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  Friday, December 30, 2005

  End of the year thinking

This time of the year it's always about looking back and looking forward - thinking on things done and those to come. It's also about cleaning your house and your thoughts - to be prepared for the new to come. Somehow I really need those moments, and the symbolism of the year going away and another coming in works just fine.

Even my Tablet gets in this mood - a bit of fiddling with admin options, restart - and I can't login anymore. Funny enough, I'm not dissappointed a bit, even given that not everything is backed up. May be it's a sign that I don't need it during my days in Moscow? May be it needs time and will get fixed once I'm back in 2006? Or may be it also wants to start a year prepared for the new things to come? May be it needs clean reinstall? I don't know, but the whole thing reminds me of the interview with Pico Iyer telling about his feelings after his house burnt down taking away all personal posessions, family archives and work in progress:

I probably told myself that I fel liberation - in reality the only thing I missed was all my notes and the many books that were in progress or that were close to completion that were reduced to ash. And yet at the same time I probably did quickly see that as a possible liberation. I think one of the good things about being a travelleer is that you come to see every circumstance as a possibility. When any of us are travelling, especially in one of the difficult parts of the world, we know that in some ways the more things go wrong, the better the stories that we will bring back from it. [A sense of place, 179-180; more]

Anyway, it's funny how year plans turn to be true even if you don't think about them that way. It's almost a year since I wrote:

As the year before 2004 was a year of passion and no work-life balance, with blending fun and work into exciting and rewarding mix.

Funny enough, now I want more balance. It's not about "work-life balance" since my work is part of my life and I don't want to draw lines in between. It's about something else.

Passion can take you far away, shake your world and turn it upside down. Often between excitement of discovery and fun of making things happend there is no time for doing nothing, relaxing, slowing down, letting ideas submerge and transform, creating a space for silence, emptiness and things waiting to emerge.

This is something that I'd like to learn in 2005: not being driven by passions all the time, letting things go, slowing down and creating welcoming empty spaces. My own definition of balance :)

It worked that way. Not sure I found the balance, but I'm definitely learning to let things go. So, the highlights of 2005:

Reading and thinking on ethnography - as a research methodology and as a way of living. Starting from there and then rethinking "field - home" metaphor, shifting from building boundaries between experiences in different countries to blending them into a whole. Realising I grew up in a small place and learning not to be scared by the big world.

Internship at Microsoft. Discovering the people and the culture of US. Having fun travelling around and small discoveries on the way. Being able to focus on the work I love while being in a good company. Rethinking PhD focus as a result (wonder when this "rethinking" stops :)

Being stressed as I was never before and figuring the way out. Letting things go. Restoring the balance. Learning to focus and to make choices. Enjoying being slow. Reading good books. Letting things grow.

Buying a wedding dress (I'll need it in 2006 :)

It was a good year. Let's see what the next one will bring. Don't know how end of the year predictions work, but I can give it a try - I think for me 2006 will be the year of getting things done...

And for you all - lots of love, time to think, finding who you really are and becoming better in that, enough strength to change the world and dreams worth chasing...

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© Copyright 2002-2006 Lilia Efimova.

This weblog is my learning diary. Sometimes I write about things related to my work, but the views expressed here are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

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