Thoughts at the Turn of the Year

My first week at work after the sabbatical is over! It was nice to have a soft landing with a shorter week but it was certainly great to be back.

I’ve had such a wonderful year and I’m really happy I opted for the sabbatical. Taking a year off was something I wanted to do for myself and a leap of faith. I trusted I’d survive somehow. A year ago I was not sure how I and we would do. With this I mean staying safe and sound as a person and couple, healthy in mind and body and making the ends meet.

20130105-103530.jpg  All in all I think I’ve done well. I’m so grateful that I’ve had this opportunity and that I’ve had courage to seek new experiences and change.

April in Italy was definitely a turning point. I started by booking myself courses in Italian and art history and then we decided to take a holiday in Amalfi around Easter (before my studies). Amalfi was magnificent and Sant Agnello, where we stayed, beautiful and peaceful. It was early spring and we got quite much rain, almost daily, but we did not mind. Florence then, what can I say? I’m speechless and still with tears in my eye. The whole art history course was a dream, I went practically in goose pimples through the lessons in the churches, galleries, places etc. I think I also learnt quite much Italian and have continued studies in Finland.

El Camino, the pilgrimage, in September was also a dream come true. I’d planned and planned the trip, read so much and cried over the changed plans and having been forced to postpone the trip. What did I learn or did I learn anything along the way? Patience, perseverance, humbleness, ability to tolerate change, spontaneity, and so on; The art of doing nothing / dolce fare niente and being content in staying in and enjoying the present; Not having to rush and trusting in that everything will turn out fine. These are my thoughts but I guess I should ask my family and friends, and in a couple of months my colleagues.

I’ve done much apart those two highlights. We had the last summer at the cottage, welcomed an exchange student to our home in August and I’ve seen more of my friends and family. I have taken up sports and exercise regularly, I sleep better and I feel much better overall. It seems that days are longer and there is more to enjoy in each day when you don’t have to rush anywhere. Also, less is more.

The year was not only uphill and we saw difficulties such as illness and poor health in the family. Life goes on and we might have learnt to appreciate things we have. The family is growing as nieces and nephews are building families and getting children.

I reviewed my bucket list the other day and I am quite happy with how much I have done. Some of the things on the list were writing of a blog, studying the langauge in Italy, getting fit, walking the Camino, listening more and talking less, learning to see the positive and making more time for friends.

20130105-103653.jpg The new year has just begun and I’ve not made any resolutions. I hope I can carry on with the changes the sabbatical has brought into my life.
I will carry on with blogging about food and other things of interest.
Happy New Year everyone!

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