A happy and fresh New Year to you and to me.
It’s that time of the year again, when we’re all looking back at our year in the rear view mirror. Last year I wrote about how 2020 was a collectively bad year and we should acknowledge that without fake positivity, so this year I wanted to throw some real positivity at you. Because yes, I am optimistic about 2022 and in my head there’s a whole vibe of boldly going into the future as if no one has gone there before. Yes, I know, I’m waxing poetic again, but that’s what this blog is for.
After the mess that was 2020, I managed to get my sh*t together, both in my personal and professional life.
My PhD is right on track as I’m currently writing my first topic-related paper and planning a study exchange in the Netherlands in the spring and my boyfriend and I are happier than ever. More notably, we’ll be moving into our own home soon, which is something that my generation can no longer take for granted and also why my podcast is currently on hold. We are getting the upstairs flat in his parents’ house in the old part of Ljubljana, which is gorgeous and will be even more so after the renovation and some major fixes. I’ll tell you more about the whys and hows of it in a different post soon and show you the some progress photos as we’ll be doing a lot by ourselves, but suffice to say that we are excited and very grateful. Also, no more rent!
2021 was a year of contrasts for me.
On the one hand, my boyfriend and I started planning and realising our future home renovation, a very permanent and mature endeavour involving lots of work, bureaucracy and bank loans, which is a major upheaval from the normal. On the other, it was a year for rebuilding and a tentative return to normal after the uncertainty and shocks of 2020. My health is back to what it should be and I’ve consciously forced myself to get back into all the boring habits that keep me grounded and add quality to my life – reasonably healthy eating, packed work lunches, somewhat regular workouts, active rest and quality time with both my people and myself. Although I never fully let go of them in 2020, I felt myself growing lax and falling into the vicious cycle of stress, tiredness and unnecessary worrying over the pandemic situation. I’m a reclusive person by nature and lockdowns didn’t exactly help my social side, but even when you think you’re spending time by yourself, that’s not always time well spent and it’s easy to grow lazy and unmotivated and convince yourself that one more hour or one more snack won’t hurt. There’s nothing wrong with snacks or taking time off when you do it consciously, but ultimately, sticking to healthy habits is boring work and it’s difficult to focus on it during major upheavals and lots of stress. Psychologically, 2020 was a hard year and I think it’s only natural that my normal routines were disrupted, so I’ve learned to accept that without berating myself (and you should too!). However, healthy habits only pay off in the long run, so for me self-discipline is the true act of self love and we tend to majorly underestimate its importance.
2021 was also a year of slow and calm reflection on just how much the world has changed since the pandemic started and what my future in it should look like.
I’m still not fully clear on that last one, but at least I know what my new permanent address will be and I couldn’t be happier about it. The rest will come, as it always does. As always I’ve also learned some new skills and run out of time to practice all the old ones. I’m on the way to fluent Spanish and Python programming, but I haven’t properly touched my embroidery or poi spinning for the better part of the year due to all the work with the house renovation, which is also a huge learning experience. I’ve rediscovered and deepened my Sweden-induced love for yoga, herbs and personal peace, but I haven’t danced much and I dearly miss it. It’s one for the 2022 list that needs to get fixed ASAP. But mostly, I just learned to sit with it, whatever it was at the time, and be content with what I have. The devil is in the details and my life is full of awesome ones. In fact, you, the reader of my blog, are one of those details and I am very grateful to you for sticking around and really appreciate your support.
2021 was by no means a very exciting year, but for me it was a good one.
I feel recharged and rested, but I am also getting restless again as I can already feel all the exciting things waiting for me around the corner in 2022. So yes, I bought a planner, even though I never use them, because I think I’ll need a tangible reminder of 2022 if even half of what I’ve got planned works out as it should.
How was your 2021 and what are your hopes and goals for 2022? I wish you all a very happy and fresh New Year, even if it maybe doesn’t feel like that right now.