It's that time again to sit down (or run - whatever works) to revisit this year's resolutions and evaluate.
Work: If I read this paragraph from nearly a year ago, I notice that there isn't really a resolution in there, more a description of what I was going to do this year, which was mostly the additional assignment that I was supposed to do for 6 months. In the end, this assignment went on for longer, along with most of my normal job. I don't think I've ever worked harder than this year, which might surprise you when coming from academia - or maybe not. There were many reasons why the assignment went on for longer, but one of the most important ones was that I really liked the work and for a while it seemed like there might be an opportunity opening up at some point. I spent a lot of time contemplating whether I would want to take that opportunity, which would mean moving further away from science. In the end, I realized that I believe that is where my strength lies: in translating between science and business and in connecting people in those two areas. But just when I was certain what I wanted, it turned out that this opportunity would not materialize and that I will return to my old role in 2018. I was pretty disappointed about this, but at the same time realize that I've learned a lot about myself in 2017. I want to get clearer for myself what it is that I work for: what my purpose is if you want to call it that. A recurring piece of feedback I received was that it would be helpful for me to get to know myself better in order to be able to grow at work. I need to figure out how and with what kind of help, but that is something for a next post.
Personal: I ran a half marathon and meditated for 10 minutes daily 99% of the days for the past year. Also, I joined a bootcamp class that is right next to my new house. And honestly, this has probably saved my sanity over the past year, with moving to a new house, being really busy at work and all the kids' logistics. There were a few times when I thought everything was too much and I needed to cut back on things. I probably yelled at my kids and husband more than I should have because there was so much going on at times. I wish I was better at not doing that.
Blogging: Last year I wrote: "I want to be more consistent in posting, so I’m going to post twice a week. Riding the train twice a week might help in writing down all the posts that are in my head but don’t always get transferred to words on paper. And I am going to try to include more link love posts. I really enjoy other people’s link posts and I’m going to compile whatever I tweet/read/listen to also here." This is really the part of my resolutions that fell by the wayside after the first few months. Partly because I was really busy and there was more going on in my head than I could put on paper. And partly because for a while I was debating whether to lose my pseud and become myself here. With every post I wondered if I would write it under my own name, meaning it would be google-able for the rest of my life and associated with me, which made me hesitate to post a lot. In real life, I have become more like babyattachmode, I speak up more about feminist issues for example. However, I have also decided that I don't want to associate my real name to my blog - for now. Especially the posts about mistakes and vulnerability are valuable for me to write, and hopefully for you to read and I don't want anyone to be able to just find those associated with my IRL identity.
Happy new year, dear readers! I hope the new year will bring you lots of whatever it is that you wish for! I’ve had a great start of the new year because my parents took us on a nice, warm, week-long vacation to celebrate their wedding anniversary. It was also a nice space to think about what my resolutions would be for this year. Here they go:
Work: In the first half of the year I’ll be doing a new work thing, as I’ll be taking over from somebody on maternity leave part-time and do my own job in the rest of the time. I’ve been debating how much to share here but wanting to remain pseudonymous I’ll just say that I’m moving a little more to the commercial side of the company. I’m really excited about seeing and learning new things and am actually currently* on the train back from my induction meeting with the person I’m replacing. People have asked me what my plans are after that, and if I would want to stay at the new place. To be honest: I have no idea and I’m perfectly fine with not knowing and just seeing what will happen and what will come on my path. I’m actually quite surprised to find myself thinking this because for the past couple years I’ve been trying to plan my career or at least I was in the illusion that this was possible.
Personal: Basically being in two jobs at the same time plus having to move somewhere in the next six months (because our newly build house will be finished then) plus having a family will be busy. The way I deal best with busy is to schedule time for self-care, because I know otherwise that might fall by the wayside. I’m running another half-marathon in March so I’ll be running 3 times a week. Also, I’ve been trying to build a consistent meditation practice. I’ve meditated before but was never able to sustain some kind of routine. This time, I’ve bought a year subscription to Headspace** and that has work really well in making me sit down to meditate for 10 minutes each day.
Blogging: I want to be more consistent in posting, so I’m going to post twice a week. Riding the train twice a week might help in writing down all the posts that are in my head but don’t always get transferred to words on paper. And I am going to try to include more link love posts. I really enjoy other people’s link posts and I’m going to compile whatever I tweet/read/listen to also here.
What are your new year’s resolutions - if you have them?
*That was actually 'currently' earlier - am posting this now at home
**This is not a sponsored post. I wish it was 😉
For years I have run, mostly as training for other sports, and almost never in races. A couple years ago I ran 10 miles in a race and on the one hand I thought it was awesome, but on the other hand, I had clearly not trained enough because I seriously injured my IT band during that race. I kept running, also when pregnant, but hadn't done a race except a 5k for years. Until my friend texted me - while I was out on a run - if I wanted to do a half marathon. I found it such a funny coincidence that she texted this during my run, that I said yes and increased my weekly mileage a bit to prepare*.
Last Sunday was d-day and as I said before, I was kind of nervous to run further than I had ever run before (18 km was my furthest training) but the atmosphere was great and so was the weather (although maybe a bit hot). I learned the following things:
- When I ran on the beach a couple months ago and thought to myself: this is something I need to train for, as this half marathon has nearly 5 km on the beach, I should have actually done that. Now, I trained mostly on roads and that is certainly VERY different from a sandy beach. Also, the water covered that nice hard sand so you could really only run on the soft sand. Unless you took your shoes off and ran in the sea, which some people did.
- To get off the beach, there was a dune the size of Mt Everest that made every single person walk instead of run.
- I get why people bring their own water and/or sports drink: I spend a lot of time worrying about being too thirsty, too hungry and worried to drink too much not to upset my stomach. I can see now that carrying your own in a race definitely has its advantages.
- I was not very fast, but I finished and did not injure myself. The only pain was being VERY sore the days after.
- I think I can be faster if I make a better training plan so my mouse hovers over the subscribe button of another half marathon early next spring...
*I ran 2-3 times a week for a total of 10-20 km a week. Not a lot, but just to show that it is do-able to finish a half marathon with little kids and work and everything else that takes up time.
On Sunday I'll be running my first ever half marathon and I'm really starting to get nervous about it. I think I've trained enough to be able to finish for sure and am hoping for any time below 2:30. Also, about five kilometers will be on the beach and to get on the beach there will be dunes. I've never been there so no idea how hard that part will be. But the prospect of pain and wanting to accomplish something makes me really kind of nervous. And that made me half-jokingly ask myself if this is part of the reason why I quit academia. So I'm thinking about Monday and how happy I'll be to look back on it 🙂