this holiday i did this for me

The original reason behind this blog was for me to document one thing I did every day for myself. I started it back in 2010, when I was unhappy at work and needed to focus positively on just one thing I had done, every day, that wasn’t my job. I couldn’t quit my job until I had permanent residency, and felt so trapped and miserable.

And now, in 2015, I feel the same way. I know that I just need to ride out this one last year, in a job where I am unhappy, in order to have the money saved to turn things around in 2016. In 2016, I will be an Australian citizen, and will therefore be able to get some financial support, which combined with the money I save up this year will allow me to be a full-time student instead of working myself to the bone to pay for part-time university upfront. In 2016, I will also be able to go overseas, returning to Taiwan to do a conservation internship and research for my thesis. Everything will be great in 2016.

But right now, it’s really hard being stuck in 2015. I go back to work tomorrow, and I feel like I did nothing for me during Christmas break. So in an effort to go with the original spirit of this blog… this is what I did for me, over my holiday:

  • Spent time with my sister Polly enjoying being lazy, watching lots of silly TV and eating delicious foods
  • Went to Bikram yoga nearly every day
  • Downloaded dozens of books from Uni and did lots of reading on the topics I want to understand better for my thesis (intangible cultural heritage and human rights; ethnic minorities in Central and Eastern Asia; tourism and indigenous cultural heritage)
  • Went to the Zoo on Christmas day
  • Went to Wangaratta to see dear sweet Bonnie
  • Found a new place to live where I will able to live by myself but for half my current rent (moving in February!)
  • Redid my Excel budget for 2015-2016 entirely so I have a financial plan to carry me through to Graduation
  • Prepared a full calendar for 2015-2016 so I don’t miss out signing up for various conservation memberships and conferences, as well as all the steps for my citizenship
  • Read a paper book (this is kind of scraping the bottom of the barrel, but it’s rare that I put down my phone, laptop or kindle and read fiction from a paperback, and it feels good!)

Ok, that isn’t really enough for me to feel great about myself. Compared to last Christmas, when I was trekking the Himalayas with James, it seems pretty weak. I know that it was important for me to have some time out after a long and stressful year, but I don’t have much to show for it.So here are some things to do for me in January:

  • Keep going to Bikram as close to daily as possible — having Polly here is going to be a tremendous help for getting me there every night after work
  • Go to the ACCA with Polly to see the Menagerie exhibition
  • Go to the ACMI with Justin to see the Yang Fudong exhibition (when I did my BA at SOAS back in 2006, I wrote my ISP on the influence of traditional Chinese landscape painting on modern Chinese photography and film, and went to see Yang Fudong’s work in Amsterdam as he was a huge part of my thesis… it’s so exciting to have the opportunity to see it now in Melbourne!)
  • Keep drinking lots of water so my medication doesn’t make me sick — the immunosuppressants I’m on make me very dizzy and irritable, which doesn’t help with my overall mood, but hopefully hydration will improve things?
  • Pick up my Chinese studying again — I have this app called WaiChinese which is fantastic, but I haven’t been practicing for the last month and I need to get back into it
  • Do my physio exercises every day — I haven’t done them at all for so long that my physiotherapist probably thinks I’ve moved away, but if I ever want to run again (hint: I do) I cannot keep ignoring them
  • Get my hair cut. It’s looking pretty awful after daily Bikram.
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