Living and learning, as always

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Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

Happy New Year, dearest followers!

I know I’m late to the party, but I wanted to share with you what I’ve been up to.

After more than a half year later (seven months, to be more precise), here I am, writing on my own blog. We did have guest posts and the Greatest Women in Translation interviews (though not with the normal frequency either), but I, myself, haven’t written on the blog since June last year. Time flies, huh?

Although I didn’t feel inspired to write an end-of-the-year post with a review of the past year and resolutions to the year to come (hello, 2019!), I gave it a lot of thought.

Professionally, 2018 was a great year!

  • I earned a dream direct client.
  • I received some amazing and rewarding feedback on my work (as a translator, as a blogger and as a conference speaker).
  • I let go of tasks and clients that were not doing me good.
  • I increased my workflow with a dear overseas translation agency I work for.
  • I worked closely with a dear colleague and friend on two joint projects.
  • I was invited and presented a webinar for the members of PEM (Panhellenic Association of Translators).
  • I curated the TranslationTalk rotation curation Twitter account.

However, as I always say, our work is not everything in life. And even though I am a strong advocate of a work-life balance, even I learned a few things this past year.

  • I need two vacations a year; one is not enough. Apart from taking a month-long vacation in April/May (European trip, attending the BP and the ITI conferences), I will spend a week at the beach with my family next month and plan on taking some time off in the second semester as well.
  • Working from home being single and living by myself silently took its toll this year and I learned that living a balanced life is not enough; we also need to go an extra mile and care for our mental health. Working and living alone is great, but socializing is necessary. Anyone up for a chat or a coffee? For those who live in Europe, I’ll be in the UK, Bologna and Stockolm in April/May. Let’s meet!
  • We should never wait for Monday or a new year to start something. I finally started yoga in December and will start taking Italian classes again next month.
  • We need to reduce our online time. Scrolling social media is not a way of relaxing; on the contrary, it is not doing us any good. I’m trying very hard to avoid scrolling social media for no reason and I keep on turning my mobile off to read a book every night in bed.
  • No matter what people say we should or should not do, either personally or professionally, essentially, we have to be true to ourselves first and foremost. We are the only ones who truly know what works and doesn’t work for us, and we should respect that.
  • Even when we think we have a perfect life, there is always room for improvement.

Since I am still trying to truly get to know myself and identify what can be improved and what needs to be changed, I do not have any resolutions this year. I am going with the flow and changing as I go.

I still believe the New Year is great to revitalize, but even more importantly is constantly living and learning and changing as we go, truly getting to know and deeply understanding ourselves and identifying what is good and bad for us. As a one-man/woman business, we owe it to our professional life, but most importantly to ourselves.

What have you learned in 2018? What would you like to change in 2019?

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Here’s to new beginnings!

Natal 2017

Created by Erick Tonin

Before I started writing yet another end-of-the-year post (this is the fourth of the blog), I took the time to read the previous ones (Unwrap your memories, A 2014 wrap-up/New Year resolutions, What I learned from a bad year and 2017 resolutions for translators) and to recall old resolutions. Have you ever tried recalling/reading your old resolutions? It’s nostalgic and it gives us that warm feeling inside. It shows us how much we and our priorities change with time. Try it for yourself.

Last year was one of those years to me, so I was really looking forward to it ending for good. At New Year, I said, “Finally! May it be gone for good and take everything bad that happened.” An uncle made fun of me, saying there is no such a thing as year-ending and problems magically disappearing, something along those lines. I know problems do not magically disappear, and nothing changes if we are not willing to and if we don’t actually do something. However, can you imagine living in a world without weekends and Mondays, ends of the year and beginning of new years, birthdays? I can’t. I think we need these time blocks and breaks to recharge our batteries, rethink our lives and find the inspiration and will to change things. At least that works for me. Luckily, my birthday is right after New Year, so it’s perfect timing as well.

New years are clean slates where you can write the story of your life the way you wish. Take in all the positive energy, love and happiness of the holidays and use them to your benefit, transforming them into determination, focus and attitude to change. Leave old thoughts and feelings behind, let them go with the year that ends, and restart fresh. Even a small change makes a difference. Start small and see where it takes you. Take it from me, you will not regret.

My 2017 was amazing! Why is that? Because I was determined to change what didn’t work in the previous year and took it seriously. I got back to exercising and eating healthily, and was able to drag other people with me, so now, when I need some inspiration, they are the ones who help me. I am more conscious of how valuable my time is and of what is really worth doing and what is not. I had two major changes of opinion: I never really fancied traveling to other countries in South America nor to the US. I went to both this year, and loved both experiences. I got new clients and rewarding feedback from the existing ones. Luckily and fortunately, I didn’t have any project downtimes.

Now, with eleven days left of 2017, I am feeling beat, but not in a bad way. It’s that feeling of exhaustion for doing a lot, accomplishing more than I expected and going beyond, and having a blast of a year. Now, after spending some quality and fun time with family during Christmas, traveling to have fun with friends during New Year, and traveling to the beach with family for my birthday, I will definitely be ready for yet another new beginning full of promises, new resolutions, dreams and wishes.

Are you also ready to a new beginning? If not now, when?