Friday, January 07, 2011

Languid Look-ahead

I couldn't resist the name.  Now that I've completed my obligatory look back over the last year and since we're just wrapping up the end of week one here on the West Coast of the US, I figure it s a good time to set goals, make predictions and general platitudes about 2011.

I am both looking forward to and dreading the next month.  I will be on blog hiatus for a week, starting in a week, as I will be reuniting with an Aussie friend from Spain in Hong Kong (cool right?). We've got about eight nights in Hong Kong and Macau.  If you have advice recommendations I'm all ears as this is my first trip.

After Hong Kong I dart home to Jakarta to move house. Its the same building but my own place.  Thanks to the gracious Carla, I won't have to move far.  The kicker is that I will be moving while school restarts. After a whopping five days in Jakarta, I have a trip to Penang, Malaysia planned.  At the rate I'm going I may bag out on it because A) I have no money B) I have a ton of stuff that needs to get done or C) a combination there of.  I'd hate to throw away the ticket to Malaysia, but it was only about $32 and I haven't bought anything else for it.  I'm hoping to instead shorten the trip; the initial plan had been Penang, Krabi and Phuket.We have a week off school for Lunar New Year and I'd hate to waste it.

The second week of February things really get rolling for school but I have also scheduled myself for the FSO test.  Those of you who know me from before the blog days should remember I did it in 2009.  I passed two of the three steps so I'm taking another run at it. Fingers crossed. Work will keep me plenty busy in the meantime, with a business class or two to pack in on top of school.  As long as I get the science book finished for printing it should be manageable.  Oh, and I'm already getting excited for a blogger's meet up in February with new people!  The social butterfly that lives inside me will be ready to stretch it's wings again after a quiet month at home.

Plans are starting to swirl for a girls weekend in Bali or Singapore or both.  I've got a friend from the US who's made the plunge in booking two weeks of holiday to come see some part of Asia with me, though neither of us are sure which part yet.  Anything beyond April is really still up for grabs.

Goals this year are short and sweet.
Be a positive person, for myself and those around me.
Continue to push myself to be a better, more enthusiastic, innovative teacher.
Maintain better contact with my sister and my community that's not local.
See as much of Indonesia as I can, assuming that I'll be leaving at the end of 2011 (which is a big assumption).
Read more, breath in the quiet moments when I can find them, get to cooking again, and stretch towards a peaceful center where I am unaffected (maybe just less affected) by the traffic, pollution and frustrations of Jakarta.
Swim, join a gym or something because as hard as it is to get back into the routine, I always feel better when I am. 
Get Masters applications going.
Save some money.

My goals (not resolutions) are reasonably vague as to allow me to reinterpret them this time next year, and to feel as though I have some latitude in applying energies towards them.

I hope 2011 brings you what you want, what you need and what you deserve, though those three things are rarely aligned.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011


It's that time of year when we all look back to the previous year.  The objective is to process what has happened, what was learned, what could be done better or differently. As I tend to reflect often throughout the year I'm not going to spend an extensive amount of time on it just because it's now January again.  So far 2011 feels very much like 2010.

Overwhelming themes of the year? Lets make  it easy:

Moved to a tropical country where few people venture: YEA

Had to endure several months of humidity and mosquitos before I was acclimated: BOO

Proved to myself once again that I am independent and adventurous enough to handle things on the fly: YEA

Dealt with frustrating situations and less than ideal circumstances on a much too often basis: BOO

Scored a better job with curriculum creating and book writing responsibilities while seeing the same kids for a year: YEA

Put up with six months of total crap while being underpaid and under appreciated: BOO

Created a life that includes a big handful of great friends, a good job, and lots of challenges: YEA

Didn't get a fantastic job I applied for and put lots of effort into: BOO *caveat: I'm reapplying: yea

Flew home for THREE full weeks with my family during the holidays: YEA

Spent the rest of the year far away from my family and other good friends: BOO

Dated for the first time in . . .too long: YEA

Spent more than I saved: BOO but had a great time doing it: YEA

Became closer to my sister than I have ever been: YEA

Got more tattoos and piercings while losing weight and feeling better about my body: YEA

Visited Singapore, Malaysia and parts of Indonesia: YEA

Tried to be a good friend: YEA but wasn't always: BOO

Made plans to travel, meet people and be awesome: YEA

Continued to put myself out there for better or worse and felt proud for it: YEA

Spent too much time feeling guilty, upset, overwhelmed, and depressed when I forgot the YEA's on this list: BOO

This seems like a sufficient wrap up. I attribute my YEAs in big part to my mom, my sister, Chris, Julia, Donna, and additionally to Jenn, Vicki, Becky, Rodrigo, Sammy, Julian, Nora, Eka, Todd, Yunni, Ed, Simon, Molly, Christie, 3P, Asa, Mildred, Matt WJ, Veronica, Manda, Alex, Erin, Danielle, Meghan, Amber, etcetera ad nauseum. To those I forgot (or possibly have chosen not to mention by name) I hope you know who you are.

Next blog will be a 2011 forecast!