Hello everyone and hello 2017! Happy New Year!
I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday break and enjoyed the special times with loved ones as well as took a well earned break now looking forward to a new year!
I love this time of the year as it’s an opportunity to start afresh with a new perspective and with renewed vigour to the possibilities and opportunities that come our way.
Over the last month, my husband and I were chasing snow in December. We had never experienced a white Christmas or seen falling snow or even had a winter in December so on a whim, we decided to travel to Paris for one week and then join a 10 day tour of Bavaria Germany. Staying at the beautiful town of Oberramagau for six nights, the site of the Passion Play, we used it as a base for day trips to various villages partaking in the Christmas markets, mulled wine and bratwurst. We got to see our dream of seeing falling snow but we have to go back to Europe some time over the next few years to actually have a white Christmas.
This trip for us was an opportunity to put behind us some of our disappointments related to our work. For me, it was something to look forward to as an opportunity to rest and reflect about the changes I needed to do in my professional life. Not only was this trip a way of saying goodbye to 2016, it was also a way of making some peace with it – and with myself.
The Year that Was
2016 for me was a year of ups and downs in my professional life. It was a strong year for personal learning and I achieved much by way of learning new media (video and Snapchat); publishing content (both resources on this website and blog posts); and meeting new people from diverse industries. I also had some proud moments of being awarded the inaugural award for Social Learning by the Internet Time Alliance, working on a community intergenerational film project and various other collaborations on side projects with some interesting people.
However much of all my actions did not transpire into paid work. My biggest failure was having 22 proposals of work for social learning opportunities all declined due to lack of budget. This took a toll on me mentally and sought out ways books, interviews, surveys, discussions with new and potential clients on why this was happening. Was it the industry? Was it the cut backs? Was it me?
The Year That Would Be?
So the holiday came at an opportune time for me to reconsider options and return to the things that I love to do and help others with and the more I thought about it – the more I kept thinking about that I had to stop following other people’s advice and simply do my own thing – and not worry about things I cannot and will not be able to change.
No more following so-called ‘thought leaders’ and gurus.
Reduce drastically the reading of books telling me how to live my life, business, or do my work because they end up confusing me and steering me off course.
Don’t care what people think of you.
Don’t follow or engage with the pack – especially when the pack gets nasty – (because the interesting stuff is always OUTSIDE the pack).
So I had to get back to just being me and doing the things that I love to do which are:
- Surround myself with people who are diverse, from all walks of life, positive and inspiring in their own way and stories
- Show my quirks – be ME not a copy of someone else OR how people think I should be
- Don’t let my work or what others think of me consume me – especially my headspace
- Don’t engage with people online who attack others
- Act like a little kid – be curious with everything
- Always be learning
- Feed the soul with the things I love to do:
- Blogging (as in reflective writing and journalling which I have been doing since 15)
- Rabbit Holes – accept that I love to learn different things and I like to explore new things that interest me. Go with the flow – keep doing that.
- Reading books with GOOD stories (Life is too short for crappy books)
- Stories – people have intriguing stories and lives – listen to them and let your mind wander.
- Knitting projects (and entire process of search, design, yarn selection, discussion with the ladies at the Knitting Club, actual knitting)
- Hanging out in libraries and book stores and secretly wishing I had a job there
- Staring out my study window to watch people walking their dogs
- Writing posts and kooky observations on Facebook to my friends
- Walking in the mornings at the local park or at the beach
- Hanging out with my parents at their house while my mum potters in the kitchen cooking up some delicious Greek food or with my dad as he plays classical guitar on the porch in the back garden or watching him paint a new landscape in his studio.
- Planting pots and filling my balcony with different plants that I have no idea of their name and having extreme joy when one flowers out of the blue
- Listening to classical and lounge music and then finding out the history of each piece, why, who and how it was created
- Creating video stories of anything and everything using Snapchat
- Hanging out with friends over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine
- Laughing and enjoying quirky English comedy
- Travelling as much as possible to interesting places (and yearning for more)
- Political and historical heated discussions at the dinner table
- Speaking with strangers on the street and on the train because everyone else is on their phones
So this year, I don’t have any to-do lists, tasks, actions, goals to achieve. It’s totally open to the universe because as long as I’m doing the above and having joy out of it, the rest can figure it out for itself.
I’ll be looking for some short term contracts or part-time work in the meantime to have a source of income and I’ll continue to focus in on the personal learning aspect and share ways of how personal learning can help you grow personally and professionally.
Happy new year everyone!