Summary of 2012

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I’ve been very busy again/still in the past few months and I haven’t had time to update even my blog. Or of course I would have had time, but somehow I never got to typing. Anyway, the end of year is a perfect excuse for taking the time. Therefore, I decided to write some kind of a summary of 2012. I took a quick look at what I had written in Dec 2011 and Jan 2012, and it was quite nice to read where I was then and compare my thoughts with where I am now. So here it goes!

I’ve got two comments during the past week about my studies and how the commentators have been following my activities in the social media and how I’ve worked so hard and… I have been a bit surprised to hear these positive and encouraging remarks as I haven’t felt exhausted in any way, not at least after I finished my thesis, but I know I’ve had all kinds of projects going on all the time. However, I’ve been able to do other stuff as well, so I haven’t felt that studying was the only thing that would describe my 2012. As the received credits reveal a lot, I decided to summarize the credits for 2012 and for my entire study leave  to get some idea how my workload compares with the official requirement of classification as a full-time student (60 credits).

To my surprise, the result is indeed quite impressive: Jan-Dec 2012 = 72,25 credits / Oct 2011-Dec 2012 = 99,25 credits! Thesis alone is 40 credits, but still; I’m pretty sure I’ve used way more hours for that as well than the earned 40 credits (* 27h, which is the model for calculating the amount of work).

My exams and courses in 2012 went very well, especially in my major (political science): I got only 5s (A) or 4s (B). My minor subject (public health) was mainly estimated for 3 (C), but grades varied between one 2 (D) to two 5s (A), so I’m quite happy with those as well. And zero failed exams, which is always good. ;)

I still have two exams left, occupational health and ethics of medicine, and in Jan-May I will also attend a course on developing countries (healthcare, practicing medicine). However, I’m extremely happy to announce that I’ve actually and finally completed all the required courses in my major subject so I’m ready to graduate as soon as I’m done with these three public health entities. Scary, but true. :)

As an added bonus, and especially a huge academic encouragement at this point, I’ve been actually contacted by an university in reference to a PhD, and at the moment I’m waiting to hear if my funding application is successful or not. The results will be out only in Feb-March, so we’ll see if this project will take a step forward in 2013. In any case, I feel extremely flattered for this kind of an unexpected proposal.

What else was there in 2012?

So much has happened in 2012 that it’s hard to even remember all. I try to pick out some stuff that I feel worth mentioning at the moment, but I may very well forget something very important.

In 2012, I’ve had more time for my friends than in the past years and I also got to know so many new people, great people, actually.  Thank you for your friendship and our shared moments IRL or online; I hope I can give back at least a fraction of what I’ve got from you. :)

I was volunteering e.g. for the Helsinki International Ballet Competition (which was absolutely fantastic, btw) and some other dance-related  events. I was also lecturing on arts/dance marketing and productization, and I will take this kind of surprising sidestep in 2013 as well. I was able to see a lot of good performances, mainly ballet, and one of the highlights was to see the Boston Ballet in September, but there were many, many good ballet moments otherwise as well. And also some opera, thanks to a lighting designer friend who invited us to see his work!

Besides backstage and participating in production, I was lucky to have also more time (&money) for my own ballet classes – not as much as I would have liked to and some health problems forced me to stay out of class from time to time (plus my exams and thesis…), but still: back at barre. Besides reuniting with my old ballet buddies, I also got new ballet friends, and one of the greatest ballet experience of 2012 was taking classes in the Big Ballet Studio in our National Opera House led by some of the most extraordinary dancers of the Finnish National Ballet. It was so much fun and I’m already looking forward to our spring classes!

I also ran my very first 1/2 marathon, an idea, which wasn’t even born in January 2012. But I made it, only with 2 months’ preparation, and I’m very proud of myself for surviving. :D Besides ballet and running, I also kept myself busy with Ashtanga, Zumba, Latin dances, African dance, gym, Nordic Walking, stretching, Pilates… I also consulted a physiotherapist/personal trainer. However, I wasn’t as successful in following my exercise routine as I should have, and especially towards the end of the year I could feel in my body that I’ve sat too much and exercised way too little. Parly due to my laziness, partly because of my studies so there’s something to be improved in 2013. ;) One very surprising event was to be able to meet with Antti Muurinen and to be able to play soccer in Sonera Stadium with other HJK fans. I won this unique experience in a competition, and it was definitely one of the best experiences ever!

One of the greatest, probably The Greatest, thing in 2012 was to get Mr James 100% in Helsinki. He was working earlier in another city and spent half a week there, but he got a new job in the capital area and in August he moved to Helsinki. No more extremely early morning trains, no more extremely tired Skype chatter.

Some new, beautiful babies were born to relatives and friends, lovely weddings took place, but unfortunately there were also some really, really sad losses and funerals. Some friends received unpleasant news regarding various illnesses, but there were also very happy recoveries and hope for the others, as well. A huge thing in the early 2012 was the baptism of my godson K, and I was honoured to attend my very first Orthodox baptism ceremony and sacrament ever. I was also present when K was taking his first swimming “lessons” and I learned to sing along some baby swim songs in Finnish, Swedish, and English, such as “Pikkuiset kultakalat lammessa ui” “Hej då, vink vink, hej då, vink vink”.

In 2012, many unemployed friends got a job offer after a loooong search and I’m really, really happy for them. Some friends decided to leave their permanent jobs and start their own business instead, and I’m wishing them luck. In my understanding, the beginning has been great and everyone seems happy about their leap into the unknown.

All in all, I must say that thinking back, my year 2012 has not been bad at all, and I’m really thankful for many things and people.

I’ve been relatively healthy and e.g. panic attacks have been absent – I’ve been able to breathe them away whenever I’ve felt that they have been lurking close… I’ve more or less achieved all my goals and surprisingly much, much more – many things that I couldn’t have even dreamt about! I have felt very happy and balanced, I’ve laughed a lot, I’ve mainly spent time with nice and positive people and at the same time I’ve tried to avoid those people of whom I feel that they are not good for me. Of course I’ve had my moments and things have definitely not always been easy, on the contrary, but I’ve been able to work through them as well.

Besides trying to take care of my physical being, I’ve intentionally tried to “cultivate” myself to be a better human being, to understand even better those people who may not think my way, but I’ve also tried to let those things and people go, which I can’t do anything about or which make me feel bad. I will continue my “spiritual journey”  in 2013 as well to be able to be and remain more true to myself, and luckily there are many people around me who can support my efforts. :)

Thank you everyone for 2012, and I’m looking eagerly forward to 2013 whatever it may bring along!

Image courtesy of pal2iyawit / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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