Happy new year 2019

2019: slowing things down and speeding things up

I cannot believe how fast last year has gone by. Is it because time seems to speed up as you get older, that you are a little more aware that your time is literally ticking away? Or because I’ve been too busy and I can’t say no – because freelancers don’t say no to work right? Whatever the reason and however this happened… I blinked twice and it is 2019.

2019 / screen print by Annemarie Gorissen

I do always like the start of a new year. And even though the last days of December are really no different than the first of January, it feels like a clean slate. A good reason to start new projects, learn new things and maybe even – secretly and against all odds – keep yourself to a new years resolution.

A new year’s a good reason to start new projects, learn new things and maybe even – secretly and against all odds – keep yourself to a new years resolution.

Our Italy plans are coming up in conversations a bit more often nowadays. It was about 3 years ago M and I talked about this out loud for the first time. 2020 seemed like plenty of time to plan, research, organize and prepare ourselves. Talking about our plans now, no matter how much I want to move – I’d rather go yesterday than tomorrow – I somehow find myself being a bit shocked and scared to hear myself say ‘next year’.

Farfalle means butterfly. It’s also a type of pasta / photo by Rawpixel

My Italian is nowhere near what I want it to be. We have had 12 lessons since the end of September and we have 14 to go. Our pensionati class is getting a bit on our nerves. They are all enjoying their little social get-together once a week and happily chatting away (in Dutch, nothing to learn there), while we are looking at the clock and all the untouched chapters in the book, feeling like we’re wasting our time. I’m glad we gave it a shot and I did learn a lot of the basics, but this isn’t working for us.

I’m glad we gave it a shot and I did learn a lot of the basics, but this isn’t working for us.

I still plan to go to all coming classes – except for the last one, since we’ll be on a plane to Sardegna that day. Yay! – but we’re definitely not waiting until September to continue at this pace. Our idea now, for when we’re back from Sardegna, is to speed things up by making our own study plan and hiring a native speaker for an hour or 2 a week to practice conversation with.

You could call that a resolution. And there’s another one, but that is quite the opposite: slow things down. A bit in line with minimalism and I guess a big part of our desire to move to Italy: living a more simple and more relaxed life.

Just chillin’ / photo by Lindsay Henwood

There were too many days in the past year where I did not have enough hours in the day. And that’s crazy and unhealthy. I am consciously slowing things down: taking more breaks, walking to the supermarket – in the middle of the day if possible – instead of cycling. Take the time to read a book at night. Having a maximum of 5 things on my to do list for the day. Would that work? That may mean I need to say ‘no’ or ‘tomorrow’s another day’ to chores and assignments. I suck at that. But it’s worth a shot.

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