It is amazing how quickly times goes by. It is already September and here I am, thinking about all the things I have and haven’t done since 2017 started. I think now is a good time to go back and take a look at all the goals and intentions I set for myself this year back when I wrote The Year of Disciplined Thinking and check whether I’ve made any progress. After all, you, dearest readers, are my accountability buddies.
From the Goals-list
Wake up early
I’m an early bird now! I usually wake up between seven and eight in the morning and I do have more time to get things done throughout the day.
Apply for a masters programme
A year ago, I wrote a post called Choices and Changing Leaves where I told you I would be leaving Germany because I didn’t know what I would do after my Bachelor. So I did. I went back to Mexico, I got a job, I learned new things, I examined my heart and my options, I looked for an awful lot of MA-programs and universities, and I made a decision.
Practice an instrument
In April 2016, I bought a Ukulele and I have practiced, but I’m still not very good at it. I will keep on playing, but next year I intend to add another instrument to my to-learn list.
Be more aware of what surrounds me
I have found that a journal helps. I have kept my journal for a year and a half now and it is amazing how much we perceive when we sit down and describe what’s around us. I am more aware of not only other people’s emotions but also my own. I notice the smells and the shapes, I try to pay attention to the little things, the details that often go unnoticed, and I try to remember Virginia Woolf’s words:
«Let us not take it for granted that life exists more in what is commonly thought big than in what is commonly thought small.»
Keep in touch with my friends
In the past ten years I have moved four times and keeping in touch with friends is always a struggle. No matter how much I love them, I often forget to send them messages, to call them from time to time, to keep them informed about how my life’s going. Social networks are very helpful when it comes to not losing contact with people, but I sometimes forget that looking at their newest pictures and liking their posts is not the same as sending them a short message asking how they’ve been.
I must confess that I haven’t been very good at keeping in touch, but I can still try to change that.
Be more open towards other people
Speaking of challenges, this one has been difficult and scary. I’m not a shy person, but I definitely fall into the introvert category. I don’t have too many friends, I don’t talk to strangers on the streets, I prefer to stay at home than to go out, and I keep to myself a lot. I enjoy solitude even if I sometimes do feel lonely, so being more open has been quite the challenge.
I think I’ve gotten better at it, though. I don’t have a lot of friends now, nor do I go out every weekend, but I talk more, I ask more questions, I try to remember people’s names and stories, and I try to share more. It’s still scary when people start telling me stuff and asking me questions out of nowhere, but at least I don’t freeze and walk away as fast as I can.
Stop wasting time on unimportant things
I’m not a TV-Show junkie anymore. Hoooraaay!
What happened while I was away
I had a lot of work and then I had almost none
I worked as a freelance translator and as an English and German teacher in Mexico City and everything was going well but then the Summer break hit and apparently nobody wants to learn any languages during Summer, so I was left with almost no students and no money.
My brother moved to another city
My little brother’s all grown-up and a month ago he, too, moved to a different state to get a business degree. We decided to take a few days off and travelled to places we hadn’t been in years. We ate, we drank coffee, we went rafting, we took pictures, and we enjoyed what appears to be the last road trip as a family for some time.
I moved back to Germany
We all knew I wouldn’t stay too long far away from this country I love. I got accepted at a university, I packed my things, I applied for a visa and I came back home.
«Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colours. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.»Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky