Hello, 2017.

It seems these past years I am always late in welcoming a new year. And I rarely get the chance to reflect on the past one. It is something that I miss, something that Bas always says is intrinsic to me, and I think he it right. But in between the hurrying to finish work, the taking care of the children during break time (Bas works during the holidays) and my sister who always visits around Christmas, I have not had much time to myself. Do not get me wrong – I enjoy the Christmas holidays. But I do miss time for myself and for these sorts of things.

So here I am, sitting down to try and catch up. Sort of.

I won’t go into 2016. It was a very special year for me (our daughter, Emmi), a hectic one (work-wise), a worrying one (the world). I find I have very little to say about it now, except that I am so grateful for Emmi. She is the happiest girl and simply holding her cheers you up.

On to 2017.

I feel I should have a ton of good intensions. But the exact contents feel a little personal, or not defined enough yet, to share. I did single out 12 themes (which seems to be the thing nowadays and obviously it got stuck in my mind), that I would loosely like to focus on:

  1. PhD
  2. Career & work
  3. Health
  4. Environment
  5. Read Up
  6. Social Justice
  7. Planning
  8. Kindness
  9. Finance
  10. Create
  11. Memories
  12. Fun!

Some of these are inevitable (I will have to come up with some sort of plan work-wise, since my contract ends in April). Some are things I want & need to finish (PhD thesis!). Others have to do with this feeling of wanting to be more engaged with the world, social issues, politics. Some affect my personal life most of all. Most are a mix of the small and the big picture.


I will probably tell you more about each of these over the course of the year. I would not be me if I did not have sub-items for each of the themes. Things I might want to work on in small doses, or little projects that might be done in a month. Some are entirely too optimistic (saving money when you are about to lose your income? Then again, until April, this is probably the wise thing to do), others should be achievable. But that’s what goals are for right? To have something to strive towards, not to end up with a perfectly checked-off list. Also, I noted them down and now that I look at the subitems I ofcourse already want to change things around. But: onwards!  (I have to encourage myself, because I tend to become embarrassed about this sort of stuff, and sharing it makes me feel vulnerable).

Mostly, I want to do good, better. I want to stand still and appreciate the little moments. I want to overcome some boundaries. I want to listen. I want to learn to speak about things. I want to engage. I want to work towards something meaningful. I want to hug and appreciate and be kind to loved ones. I want to create time and calm in the midst of the multiple storms. I want 2017 to be a good year, despite the political odds. And if those dissapoint, I want to at least be part of doing something about it, and not just sit and watch and be sceptical and afraid.

So yes, I have plans. Even if they still are, and probably sound, extremely vague.

Last but not least: I wish you all a happy, loving and healthy 2017.

19 thoughts on “2017.

  1. Bina says:

    Yay bullet journal! Those are wonderful goals, I hope you’ll find/make time to take care of yourself. The political landscape grows worse and worse, but I hope for you personally 2017 will still be happy and that something great comes up career-wise😊
    As for reading, you’re welcoming to join Diverse Study Group whenever you want or can. Do you follow the Social Justice Book Club btw? That might fit in with your reading goals.

    • Iris says:

      Yes, I am giving bullet journaling a shot (in my own way, because I am the worst at daily planner stuff so can’t stick to that per se),. I hope it will help me to get a grip on certain things in my life. And also, making lists can be very relaxing for me.
      Thank you for your wishes! I of course hope the same for you!
      I will be looking into your list more specifically next week. As well as the Social Justice Reading Group. I signed up for it last year, but have not yet gotten around to responding to the email about it. It looks very promising though!

    • Iris says:

      You too! I hope to make Bullet Journals work for me. I am still finding my way a little bit. But since no planner ever seems to work for me, I thought I should give this a try.

  2. Michelle says:

    Happy New Year! I like the idea of themes rather more concrete plans. As we all know, life can turn on a dime, making any plans moot. However, themes are more flexible. We can still choose to be more loving no matter what happens or choose to be more engaged in politics even though it may not be in the manner you initially thought at the beginning of the year. Good luck with all of your themes, and I wish you a happy and healthy 2017!

    • Iris says:

      You actually made me like my own approach more than I did myself. Themes as providing flexibility: I think you are right. I like looking at it that way.

      I hope your 2017 will be a good one!

  3. bettinathenomad says:

    Happy New Year, Iris! Good luck with your themes. They sound really interesting and I’m feeling inspired by the way you’ve thought about the upcoming year in a structured way (which is something I’ve felt I should be doing but haven’t really had the time for). I have some vague ideas in my mind related to personal/professional/financial goals but haven’t thought them through. So maybe I should go off and do that. 🙂 All the best to you and your family for 2017!

    • Iris says:

      I am very curious to hear more about your thoughts for the new year. Mine feel vague. And some all too concrete (the thesis-finishing). We’ll see how I feel about all of this in about 3 weeks time 😛

      I hope you have a good 2017!

  4. Sharlene says:

    Happy new year! What a lovely way to record your goals. You definitely have a lot on your plate – PhD, work, two small kids! I am at home with my two boys and that already feels like so much….!

    Best of luck!

  5. Jenny @ Reading the End says:

    Iris, I think you are a wonderful person, and I’m so glad the book blogosphere made it possible for us to become friends. I love that 2016 brought you something as wonderful as Emmi — it brought me my little godson, so I feel you. ❤

    I haven't made a ton of concrete plans for 2017 thus far. I know roughly where I want to focus my energies, but I haven't figured out yet exactly how that's going to go. We'll see. With the Trump presidency (vomit), I know a lot of my energy and attention has to go towards trying to minimize the harm our country will do to its people. 😦

  6. buriedinprint says:

    I’m late to the new year too, and wholly enjoyed reading/seeing your goals and ideas about 2017. Looking forward to hearing more as the weeks pass and some of the plans begin to crystallize for you. (I’m not famiiar with bullet journals but I know they’re very popular; your sheets are nice and colourful though, and that alone is inspiring in its own way. And there’s something to be said for forming the words with ink on paper. It makes the intentions more real!) All the best to you, Iris!

  7. Kristen M. says:

    I just wanted to stop by and say Happy New Year! Your post made me think that I’ve definitely been feeling afraid/nervous about doing too many things lately and I need to break that cycle.

  8. Trish says:

    Happy New Year Iris! I haven’t read posts in months and I loved seeing this one with your gorgeous journal picture. For the past several years I’ve done a look back and look forward post but didn’t get it done this year. I’m wondering if February is too late to do that. 🙂

    I’ve been consumed by anxiety the past couple of months and like you am trying to keep a clear head and focus on keeping calm and breathing. It’s tough sometimes. I hope that 2017 is a great year for you. Looks like it’ll be a busy one! I admire you in all that you do between school, work, and raising two littles. Also…fell down a bit of a rabbithole on Instagram and didn’t realize you had a sister living in the states. And looks like in Texas? ❤

  9. amymckie says:

    Wow that is a gorgeous journal!! Happy New Year 🙂 I love your goals. Every time you post (which shows up in my email so I don’t always come over and comment – sorry!) I am in awe of everything you are juggling. You’re amazing!

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