Following the tradition of summing up a year and posting plans for the year to come, here’s to 2016. You can read about the previous years here: 2015, 2014, 2012, and even 2011 in my old blog in Russian.
It’s more of a note to self rather than a public accountability exercise and I use this opportunity to close the year, do a retrospective and thank for what happened and didn’t happen as there’s a lesson in both. This year’s theme was “So you want X, Y and Z? Here, let’s see how you can deal with getting all of it at once?” or “Be careful what you wish for as it may all come true… at once”.
These were the plans set for 2016
- travel to Australia – we have starter the PR application at the end of 2014 which is still ongoing, but I honestly wouldn’t plan for the trip just yet – too much happened in the meantime for this to really work out smoothly
- go to Georgia (didn’t happen), Ukraine (twice) and Munich (managed to spend one day in Munich just for the sake of it!), Japan (nope), Myanmar (nope) and somewhere for diving (had a lovely trip to Ko Lipe in February)
- read 50 books (done, 53!)
- write more about work and other non-Tiny Black Bird stuff (not much there, but I did create a portfolio website for my work projects)
- carrying over from last year’s plan: run. that. marathon. (nope, probably not happening in 2017 neither)
What wasn’t written down, but happened in 2016
We have a saying in Russian: “If you want to make God laugh, share your plans with Him”. I was very open to whatever the Universe had in mind for me and took it one day at a time and here are a few cool things that took place in 2016, but weren’t exactly planned. They just happened.
- I passed an IELTS test with a really good score (needed it for Australian papers)
- as a product owner/product manager, I spoke at a few events and started a community for Product Managers in KL called PM Huddle (if you’re in KL and interested, join this group!)
- volunteered with A Liter of Light
- went to Singapore for a tech conference for free (yay to being a woman in tech – free tickets!)
- did all sorts of sports activities: running, BBG, rock climbing, tried a hoop (aerial) class, bootcamps and cross-fit, hot pilates, archery basics and archery tag, zumba, krav maga, different kinds of yoga. So many new things, now that I think about it… My favourites are now running, yoga, bootcamp and rock climbing
- we have moved to an apartment in Centrio, which was my dream since coming to Malaysia. But not for long, since…
- I got a job offer from Booking.com in Amsterdam and we moved there in July
- right after signing the offer we found out we were expecting. Now how’s that for the plot twist! Kept it under the radar for most of the time, but here it is, late pregnancy announcement :-)
- spent a week in Kiev with friends and family, got there right in time for my sister’s high school graduation which was a very important event for all of us
- participated in a 3-day mobile photography workshop which gave me a good new perspective on taking and editing pictures with the phone (see my Instagram from July onwards and also this account we started with Anton started for street portraits)
- attended Jimmy Nelson’s inspiring talk organised for Booking.com employees
- trips to: Thailand, Singapore, Amsterdam, Leuven, Munich, Kiev, Berlin, Brugges, Delft, Zaantvoort and Cologne
- worth mentioning another dream coming true (not the way I imagined it though) – I messed up with my tickets and visas so I had to get a last minute Business class ticket from Kiev to Amsterdam. Always dreamed of flying Business class (not at such cost, but – off the wishlist!)
Whoa, what a year indeed… So many things, the biggest being moving across continents, new job AND most of the year – while being pregnant. It wasn’t easy, but it was so worth it!
Now, I don’t know what 2017 has in store for us, with the new baby and all, I don’t know what to expect in terms of, well, everything! So how about I keep the plan humble and stay flexible? So far this approach worked like magic.
(Humble) plan for 2017
- enjoy the maternity leave and time with the little one
- come back to work and rock it
- run 12k to mark the return to running
- go for a family trip to the sea and attempt some diving
- go for a conference for work
- get our own place to live in Amsterdam
- read 50 books
- stay open, positive and active
Bring it on, Universe! I’m ready!