It’s the last day of 2015, and like many of you, I’m thinking about how 2016 will look like.
But 2016 is a complete mystery. All I know is that, during the first months, I’ll still be in Leicester doing some teaching. My contract ends in February, so I’m basically applying for everything. This means that I don’t know what I’m going to do, but also where I’m going to be. Will I stay in the UK? Will I have to come back to Madrid? Will I go to a different country? Will I be able to find a job?
Uncertainty is not my favorite thing in the world, so I have decided to face 2016 having in mind a few things that I learnt during 2015.
- I work better after a night out dancing -or even a bit of dancing in my living room. Dancing stimulates my body but also my brain: following a Swing tune makes me feel the same kind of excitement that having a new idea or making a discovery in my sources. That puts me in the best mood to write.
- I can work on several projects at the same time. I know this may seem as a basic skill for a researcher, but up until this year I have always tried to work in packages: one after the other. In 2015 I have been writing different articles/projects on the same day and it was not the end of the world!
- Deadlines are important, but sometimes we miss them -and it’s ok. We are all overwhelmed and overworked, and sometimes we’re also late.
- ‘Merit’ is a very ambiguous term. Some months ago I reflected on the challenges of being a ECR, and I got an amazing response, particularly from women. That taught me not only that we all have the same insecurities, but also that sharing them in a community might have effects well beyond consoling each other -which is important too. Changing our daily practices can make a difference.
- Rejections are part of the job. Not getting a job still frustrates me, but my work has been accepted in many other places, so relax. We’re all rejected many times.
- Having a break is important. As I have reckoned before, I still struggle with my English. From time to time, my brain decides to stop, and I just can’t make a whole sentence right. Then, suddenly, it resets and I’m back to normal. I guess I have to listen more to these signs.
- [Bonus track] I love what I do: the joy, enthusiasm and excitement that makes me feel sometimes are just amazing.
Reading this list again, I guess my resolution for 2016 is to step back when I’m stressed, look at the big picture, beath and enjoy.