Perhaps it’s cliché, but at the end of each year – I feel the inexplicable need to think back on what the past 12 months have changed in my life. It’s most definitely fuelled by the thousand blog posts I read about making New Years Resolutions and starting off another 365 days with good intentions. And as per usual, life immediately reminded me that much as I am a consummate planner, other things get in the way.
I’m sitting here writing this, four days into the New Year, barely recovered from a pretty horrific bout of Norovirus having completed none of my News Years Resolutions of yet. It’s not that I didn’t want to go the gym and practice yoga yesterday, but when you can barely move from the couch, let alone the bathroom floor, life priorities somewhat… shift. Maybe I shouldn’t have had some tap water at the Ataturk airport. Or maybe it was just from feeling emotionally drained and on top of that, handling 20 hours of travel.
Emotionally drained? While normally I would just blame this on the holiday season, in this particular case, I was feeling exhausted from having to leave the love of my life. Long-distance relationships are hard, I’m not disputing that. But getting to spend three weeks with my boyfriend, who I rarely see, was the most incredible gift of last year. It was like looking through a small set of binoculars at what could be in the future. I tell myself that a year isn’t so long before being together, and that isn’t to say we won’t spend time together in-between – but the concept of delayed gratification is lost on me.
Politically, 2017 was the most draining year yet. Watching my country descend into infighting while handling a corrupt leader was exhausting, especially while working in a Court where I got to read about war crimes day in and day out. What do you do when you feel like you can’t make a difference despite all of your attempts?
What’s funny is despite all of the politics, and all of the exhaustion of a long-distance relationship – last year was really quite successful for me personally. I started (and subsequently ended) my MBA program in Berlin. I finished my Certificate of Journalism program, moved to the Hague to work at the International Criminal Court, and got accepted to my top Masters program at the University of Groningen. The year seems a bit shrouded in sheer tiredness when I think about the world news, but as an exercise in reflection – last year really wasn’t so bad.
And it feels somewhat off to think that it’s already 2018. But nonetheless, I will make my New Years Resolution lists and hope that my stomach somehow recovers to start said list before too long has passed:
New Years Resolutions
- Practice mindfulness and yoga daily
- Write down 5 things you are grateful for each morning
- Eat healthier by using meal planning
- Exercise more by joining a gym or studio
- Do well at school by committing to studies
- Putting in the time for my work at the law firm, Yoganect and Sub Stances
- Stay in touch with my friends
- Keep on top of your dental hygiene
- Take this year to really work on languages: German, Dutch, and French
- Write and read more (30 minutes per day)
- Start to look for post-grad jobs and opportunities for Jim and I