About a year ago I have posted my plans for 2015 on this blog so today I would like to share my 2015 summary but also plans for 2016. It is now my tradition to share those annual updates, but also use the end of each year as a small milestone. I do not make resolutions, I act on the things I see missing from my final ‘end-of-year’ summary.
2015 was a year of people. I say this because normally I would focus on my projects, actions, achievements and new insights. This year was very unique in that I have used the silence and solitude of 2014 to establish new friendships and learn to build relationships differently. Up until now, my friendships were based in the fast moving world. Many of my friends were quick, abrupt, very active and often forgetful. Very often busy. In 2015 I have focussed on making time for my friends and met a few very interesting people who live this life philosophy every day. It feels like all the improvements and background work in preparations for university back in 2014 freed up a lot of my time in 2015.
Spring 2015 was slow and focussed on my mental wellbeing. I did a Reiki course and learned to meditate more effectively. I cut out a lot of noise and distractions and I let it a lot of new sources of information, energy and sunshine. I focussed most of my work on the local community – probably as a result of my 2014 ‘Wantage Tales Documentary’ which opened a lot of doors to very interesting people too. I slowed down in my online work and spend all my free time outdoors, mainly in our new allotment. The allotment was a project which also helped me get back to writing and to photography. Going out and enjoying the microcosmos of nature was exactly what I needed after years of fast life, work, quick lessons and well, rather challenging events. Allotment became my personal retreat – one I could enjoy every single day. Together with my lovely English Springer Spaniel we would drop off my son at school and walk back home with a stop for dog’s morning run and my morning visit to the allotment no. 108. Spring was still wet and cold but already full of flowers (I planned those in November 2014). I think it was the first compliment from my allotment neighbour that actually reminded me that as a child I was really good in gardening. At work, I spent my spring working with my ongoing clients but a new theme emerged from my services – many of my new clients started asking about my take on social media and business running and so I have helped them more in form of personal coaching than actual social media work. I was still running the Minecraft Club but I have also volunteered to co-chair the Wantage Summer Festival as it was doomed to fade away after 20 years of grassroots work in showcasing the best of our community. It had to be done.
I have spent the entire summer 2015 going back to my very own roots – my childhood fun with nature and outdoors. I registered for our local running club, started and miserably failed to complete the 5K training course but I did start running. I just discovered that I like running on my own. I need a lot of time on my own, with nature. I cannot tell you how colourful and yummy my summer was! I spent all my precious moments away from the screen planting flowers and vegetables, experimenting and finally bringing baskets of fresh food and bouquets of colour home. I blogged about most of it. It became an integral part of my lifestyle, of who I am. I have also started developing my BlogALife training – back then still as a programme, not yet an online thing. I have worked with five clients coaching them based on my personal approach developed during the last 10 years of work but quickly realised that there is so much work to be done that I might need a new format.
I did not travel much in 2015 because we have decided to spend all our time preparing for a very important conference – Minecon 2015 in London. Minecraft Conventions usually happen in the US so having one down the road was a treat. Registering for tickets that sold out in 3 minutes was pure luck. I don’t regret betting on this one weekend in summer at all – it was by far the best industry event I have attended in my life. I have never been to a conference that would attract an equal amount of men and women, people of all ages represented equally, all solution and focus driven. I have never been to an event where attendees are driven to it mainly by the younger generation (on the first day we have met a lot of parents pointing out that they are here just for the kids) just to see all the grown-ups leaving the event converted into Minecraft fans, but also reminded about the inner child in them. I have never been to an event so well articulating underlying funding principles of a brand, product, an idea. I loved everything about Minecon 2015. I have learned loads about the practical applications of the game for a social change, for publishing, for development, for education and for fun. I have learned so much about people. I had tears in my eyes in the car leaving the venue when my son pointed out that the school should last two days so weekends for events like this one could last five days. As always, he was right.
In autumn 2015 I was taken back to a very intense week in Poland, revisiting everything I have learned about political systems, fight for a better life and better family. All that on the top of Solidarity Academy – work with a brilliant group of aspiring bloggers and journalists from all around Europe. I do a lot of teaching but those trips to join a group which applies for work in practice, in the field at the end of the week is just very touching. One of my students was at the Hungarian border reporting on the refugee crisis the week after our session and following her on Facebook was simply humbling. (Note: we had many amazing teachers, I am only happy that I could contribute with my set of skills). Having my next portrait photo taken was exciting, and scary, and exciting…and a lot of fun. I always love meeting talented photographers so I hope that the author of my new portrait is going to stay in touch – I am learning a lot from her. I want to go back for more photographic adventures;) I loved my trip to Poland. I loved coming back and relaxing afterwards. Digesting all my learnings took time. But I was busy keeping the Wantage Pixel Club going, but also preparing the Summer Festival.
Winter 2015 started quietly but with a few successes. The annual Dickensian Evening event reached 10K views on Facebook (doubled from last year) so I know now that it is a local cause which can grow without me in this area. I like little small ideas and little victories like this one. My work for our local park trust is also starting to pay off so I hope that it will blend in the mix of all the little helpful things I do.
As I am moving into 2016 I do not see clear resolutions. I think 2016 is going to be a continuation of everything I did or did not do last year.
I was supposed to start university or at least apply for my place. I failed miserably but adventurously.I was supposed to learn to sew and make clothes. I failed on the first day. I was supposed to learn to manage money very well. I have achieved a great deal in the area of finance but I still have to learn a lot. I was supposed to learn to be more healthy. I have learned to manage my energy levels and avoid burnouts. But I still need to get to like the gym. I have found the activities that make me happy and I do not despise the runs, the swims, the yoga sessions. I like them now. In 2016 I want to build up that liking to the level of daily necessity. I was supposed to write a lot. I think I could have done more. In 2016 I want to read more books. Not just study but read just for the pleasure of it. Read everything, everywhere. Then I know I will write more too.
In everything I have achieved in 2015 people played a key role and I have thanked them all separately. In 2016 I will treasure and build those friendships even more. I will make even more time for them and I will adjust my life, even more, to gravitate towards them all. As my husband likes to say ‘one person at a time’. I am really looking forward to this year of learning, blogging and work: online, offline, with lovely people, locally and globally.
People are my only actual resolution for 2016.
Have a great one!