2013 on a high
I have a good feeling about this year, and I think that part of it has had to do with the recent trip home to the Philippines over Christmas and coming back home to Sweden for the New Year. I had my worries before the flight that I would have a hard time feeling at home anywhere, and I am relieved to know upon coming back that having two homes is not an impossibility.
As usual, it's more about geographical placement. More importantly, I realized how much I care for people (and how much people care for me) in both countries, and how great it feels to be welcomed in both. When I come home to the Philippines, my parents and my siblings are like my best friends. We went on a holiday out to the Palawan region this Christmastime and it was awesome to hang around with them in that relaxed kind of way. Funny too how our weekend family lunches turn out to be, as my brother described it jokingly, “drinking sessions,” of course with the usual corny jokes and talking about everything under the sun. In Sweden, my best friends, not least M and M, are like extra family. When I arrived in New Year's Eve, two of my Swedish colleagues, Susanne U. and Anna, came to pick me up at the station and surprised me at home with 3-course dinner complete with wine pairings! It's amazing to have such friends.
This December and the good end to 2012 was just the kind of thing I needed to collect myself and look forward. Isn't that the whole spirit behind New Year's resolutions – deciding to start the year with a positive outlook?
Since beginnings of the year are packed with lists, here is yet another one:
1. I have decided today that I will be without the cats from this year. They will go back to their previous owner, who lives out in the countryside and can provide those young, energetic and curious things with the freedom they need. At the same time, it also means freedom for me: freedom to pursue weekend activities, freedom from the guilt of leaving them alone, and freedom from worrying about the state of my apartment. I have been thinking over this since October and it feels relieving to finally come to a decision, even though I know I will miss those critters sometimes, and it was really nice to have them as my feline companions a while.
2. I have together with Susanne U. signed myself up for Stockholm Marathon in June (the full marathon, 42 km!). On the practical side this means I have to start running real soon, as soon as I get over this jetlag. But the marathon is the big carrot on a stick this year, at least where exercising is concerned. I also want to improve my skating, skiing and swimming. How this goes together with running, I dunno. But even swimming is beginning to be fun.
3. Today was also my first day back at work and surprisingly, it felt undramatic and pretty natural to start picking up the threads again after three weeks of vacation. This year also marks my last full year as a PhD candidate. If things go as planned, I'll be finishing by spring term 2014. I expect there to be a lot of things happening over a short time. In ca. 356 days (minus some weekends, plus some days in 2014) I will transcribe interviews and make a few more, write a fourth article, get two manuscripts published, and write an introductory chapter.
So, wish me luck in 2013!