Ring in a new one

Durham, NS, Canada

First things first, I hope that everyone had an enjoyable and safe holiday break, or if you weren’t taking a break, I hope that the past couple of weeks were good ones. For me, it was a great chance to get back home and see friends and family. For the most part the weather cooperated, and I was able to get everywhere I needed to go. I didn’t spend a lot of time on my computer which is a nice rest since I suspect that I will living on it for the next couple months once I get back. However, I thought I’d take some time and say goodbye to 2006, and welcome 2007 with some vague premonitions for the year ahead.

Memories from 2006

This past year has really been a landmark year for me, considering that I spent over 96% of the year not living in my native country. Pretty much everything I did was a new experience and the memories I have of this year will likely last a very long time. There were a number of events though that stick out from the rest, some for obvious reasons, others for reasons that I may never even myself understand. Here is a sample:

  • Long afternoons/evenings in our “hallway” lab in Thessaloniki.
  • Eating bifteki at Nik with Daniel.
  • The Athens trip.
  • Preparing dinner at Nenad’s place.
  • Being pickpocketed on the metro in Madrid
  • My birthday dinner with Pablo, Nenad and Daniel.
  • Mini wine parties in Nenad’s room.
  • The epic journey back to Reading in July with Daniel.
  • My amazing trip to Germany to visit Marie.
  • Too many memories to mention from the tour of Europe with my family.
  • Visiting Oostende and Brugge with Ken and Delphine.
  • Thrice weekly gym sessions with Pablo and Nenad.
  • The Barcelona trip.

Notice that not one of those things mentions doing an assignment, or studying for an exam. That is because in 10 years, the times I spent with my friends are the only things that I will really remember or care about. Not that academics aren’t important, they very much are – but sometimes you need to make sure you don’t loose perspective.

The potential of 2007

It is this new year that is the tricky part. Last year was easy, I knew roughly what I would be doing the whole time. I knew that I had three months in Greece and then three or so more in Spain. Summer break was uncertain initially, but then I would be working on my dissertation. Not so much this time. I know where I will be until March, but after that I haven’t a clue. Oh sure, I have some inclinations, perhaps you could call them preferences, but I’m sure that each time someone asks a question about my plans after I’m finished, I give a different answer. There are a couple of things I plan to get done this year, but as usual details are uncertain as to when. So without further ado, I present my new year resolutions:

  • Visit Hercig Novi, Montenegro.
  • Visit Vienna (perhaps Prague as well).
  • Look for work in Australia and/or New Zealand.
  • Continue going to the gym and swimming.
  • Write a dissertation on Web Services for Small Business :)
  • Improve my oral Spanish until I can at least hold a basic conversation.
  • Find a place to live that I like.
  • Find a job that I enjoy and hopefully pays the bills.

These are a bit more ambitious and meaningful perhaps than some of my previous year’s predictions, but I guess I’ve crossed that line in life that tells me that I have to start paying more attention to where I’m going. Literally.

Written by Colin Bate