It’s the end of a sort-it-all-out-weekend. After a perhaps life-changing ‘accelerated productivity’ training session with the lovely People Who Do last week, I have finally decluttered. I created a filing system for two years worth of paper piles, booked some flights to Berlin, done my first detox of 2012 and got a new carpet. Everything is tidy and now I can write. It seems like I have finally arrived in the new year.
The other day, we were contemplating how long one should say ‘happy new year’ when bumping into people one hasn’t seen since 2011. We came to the conclusion that the end of January was the cutoff point, so I guess I’m still within deadline to write my list. I do hate the first month of the year, truly, madly, deeply. That time when you question what you’re doing with your life, why you are still broke and whether you should just give it all up and live on an island. Or in Berlin. At least there is a label for this kind of depression: January Blues. Harmless in the grand scheme of things. And it turns out I’m not alone.
2011 has been a good year. Busy, sometimes too busy, but exciting. It was so eventful that I didn’t manage to recover over the long Christmas break. Even though I was back home for over two weeks, mainly eating and sleeping, I came back to London tired. Not doing anything is exhausting. Perhaps it’s the fresh Berlin air. Being thrown right back into the big smoke is always hard, but there is some kind of weird energising action going on. I feel a bit like the Duracell bunny.
Here are 10 things I did, learned and experienced in 2011:
- I started this blog. Because sometime in July, I had a sudden urge to get all this stuff out.
- Then I got a little bit addicted to Twitter and reduced my thought output to 140 characters.
- In about September, I lost the ability to concentrate on reading books and the desire to write anything at all.
- Maybe that’s because I was taking so many photos to feed my addiction to Instagram, which I still love. Everyone is always so nice to each other. You see many corners of the world through the eyes of some really talented people, and you start seeing the world in little squares with rounded corners.
- I travelled the world a bit for real. Some for work, some for pleasure. When I travel, work is pleasure. I went to Texas, Singapore, the South of France, San Francisco, Atlanta, New York, Boston, Israel & Palestine, Munich and of course home to Berlin. Wherever I go, I try to picture whether I could live in a place. San Francisco is one of these places.
- Because of all this moving around, I became unsettled and restless. There was never enough time to work through these experiences in my mind, to digest and to just settle back into life at home. My boyfriend has been very patient with me.
- Towards the end of the year, I found a way to cope and relieve stress, even the positive kind. I learned Transcendental Meditation and have been meditating 20 minutes each morning and night, for the last three months. I’ve gone places I’ve never been to, with my mind.
- And with my organs. I started a series of detoxes, flushing out gallstones from the liver. Seriously, they exist. And now, most of them are out. It’s amazing, kind of like an MOT for the body. You can read all about it in here.
- I’ve discovered my personality type according to Myers-Briggs, a psychometric questionnaire based on Carl Jung’s theories. I’m an ENFP (Extrovert, Intuitive, Feeling & Perceiving) person, which probably explains all of the above, especially point 8.
- I became an auntie. My little nephew is my favourite thing about 2011. And 2012. And beyond.
Now I’ll go and finish that novel I’ve been dragging around with me all year. Just reading. One page at a time.
P.S. Oh, and a happy new year! 2012 and Chinese Year of the Dragon, which is just starting now.