Friday, January 1, 2016

Reflecting on 2015, looking forward into 2016

A year ago today I set out to have a year of learning and creativity - instead of making resolutions I decided on a focus for the year. I imagined a great deal of photography, craftiness and self-motivated learning with a professional focus. The year started off much as I'd imagined it, while I was searching for a new job I had a lot of control over how I spent my time and fit all sorts of wonderful things in.

Then, in June, I moved across the country with a sudden and radical downsize in housing arrangements and several months of general life turbulence while I tried to settle and establish myself first in a share house, and when that didn't work out, in a flat of my own. I've established - or at least started to - a new network of social contacts and am finding my feet, though some days I feel more certain than others.

Even after the move I found the opportunity to attend training in professional areas and on various topics that caught my interest including origami and cryptic crosswords. Learning how life in general and libraries in particular differ between states was especially interesting with more differences than I expected, a lot of them very fundamental things.

Asides from a bit of origami I feel like I dropped the creativity ball in the second half of the year - and in the last two or three months the learning activities I did do were mostly incidental rather than motivated by my year's goal. I've been pushing myself very hard and taking on a lot of extra things, which has led to extreme exhaustion a few times and has meant that activities I enjoy like photography and blogging have been neglected. I've been reflecting on this today and have come to the conclusion that despite being overwhelmed at the end of the year 2015 was a very successful year - one in which perseverance and adaptability were needed in large volumes which I managed to produce.

This reflection leads me to my decision of a focus for this year. 2016 is going to be my year of balance. When I have decisions to make from little everyday things to the potentially life-changing I will be considering them with balance in mind. I hope that it will take many forms from spending my time more wisely to not overloading myself and taking better care of my body and mind.

One thing I'm starting right away is a challenge to move and be active every day. One of my friends has been encouraging people to take this on - I'll be using the hashtag #move366 on Instagram (find me here if you wish) to track myself and make myself accountable in some way, if mostly to myself. This doesn't mean I'll be spending hours in the gym or cycling through mountainous terrain every day - I'll just try to do something. On those days when I'm out of the house before 7:30 and return somewhere close to midnight I might only have a lunchtime stroll or a decent stretching session to report but it'll be something. Today I started off fairly gently by walking instead of driving when I needed to run some errands.

I'm feeling hopeful, and look forward to reflecting on this in a year.