I’ve just spent my afternoon writing down my vision for 2018, and I must say, it was a much more enlightening exercise than I thought it was going to be! I started out describing everything I wanted to achieve and how I wanted my work to develop. I went through each aspect of how I saw Egalia progressing and all my plans and ideas for how to move forwards with it.
Then, after reaching what I at the time thought of as the conclusion of my vision, I had before me an outline of how I saw myself developing professionally and intellectually. I had literally written that I would put ‘all my efforts and energies’ into this. But then I remembered something, and, almost as an addendum, I added a paragraph about prioritising my own health. And as I was writing, I realised that this was much more important than any intellectual or professional feat I might achieve, and I made a point of making it clear that my health was in fact my first priority.
I then went on to write about what I knew in my heart should also come before these more superficial goals, which was to always try to be there for my friends and family. I wrote about how much they mean to me, and the steps I would take to keep them close. I realised that what really mattered in my life was my relationships, and that if I am not careful I will lose a lot of them as I chase a warped idea of personal success which will bring me neither happiness nor meaning.
It was a really eye-opening exercise. Of course I already knew that the wellbeing of myself and my friends and family was what mattered the most to me, but I didn’t realise that when writing down what I wanted to focus on in the year to come I would completely leave these priorities to their own devices and focus solely on work and learning. These are of course important too, but they should never eclipse the health and happiness of yourself and your people.
In the end, I think it was a really worthwhile thing to do. I’ve never written out a vision before, as I’ve not really been very concerned with New Years resolutions and things like that, but now I’ve done it I think there is something really nice about taking stock of your values and moving into the new year in an intentional and thoughtful way, so I’d really recommend doing it. It was funny because when I sat down with it I initially struggled to finish a single paragraph, but when I first got into it it all just flowed. So now I’m feeling very excited about moving into the new year.
But first: Christmas! My brother and my sister and her family are joining us this week, and I am very much looking forward to spending time with them and to giving them their Christmas presents! It’s the first white Christmas for us in I don’t know how long, and I think it is going to me magical.