Thursday, December 20, 2007

Looking Back

Yesterday was the end of a 9-successive-days-of-Kendo-period, thanks to the seminar we had this week (and it really should have been 10 days). The seminar went pretty well, considering that I had to hop through the flat on one leg last Wednesday because the other hurt just a little too for me to bother with walking properly. Interesting experience.
It was fun (just too short), and I learned loads - more than on the last one, I think. Made me realize again how much I still have to learn about the very basic techniques. It's great to have so many people who give you helpful criticism.
And good that you only feel how tired you are when everything's over.


Less than two weeks till new year, so I think it's time to reflect a bit on 2007. Chronologically:

January: First discussions with my supervisor concerning my thesis topic. Broke up all contact with my ex. Turned out to be an excellent decision, letting me move on with my life without draging old baggage behind.
February: The DAF community project Zoomquilt II, to which I contributed, was released.
March: Did some radical food experiments in my first week of the new semester, which caused my immune system to break down and left me first "only" ill, then with high fever and finally with an infection of my middle ear for two weeks. Wrote a short story containing talking food (Fairtrade milk and organic milk argued with each other about which is better) during that fever at 2am (I submitted that story to a writer's contest. Surprisingly, it didn't win). Decided to not ever repeat that food experiment. Found a second roleplaying group to DM. Started Kendo in Salzburg.
May: Went to Graz to for the Schandmaul concert, visited the Riegersburg and Zotter chocolate factory. Lots of fun. Also went to two medieval fairs on my birthday weekend, which was the best present Markus and Christine could have given me.
June: Determined my thesis topic after lots of reading during the semester.
July: Got to know an almost completely different kind of Kendo in Linz. Sticked with it. Began my daily holiday schedule of staying in the garden during the day, swimming 1-2h per day and reading books for my thesis the rest of the time. Figured that combining physical with mental work is really the most enjoyable way to get work done.
August: Went to my first Kendo seminar. Also went to several medieval fairs and visited the Turba Ferox in Vienna.
September: One week Lesereise of the Germanistik. Ate the best organic apples I've ever tasted there. The lack of a computer for a week and the sense of quietude, increased time and heightened achievement made me rething my computer habits (but, alas, still nothing has changed).
October: New semester of uni started. Found out my timetable is even less crowded than I thought. Consequently decided to move out of my flat in Salzburg. Got bogu. Got stressed because a friend who had started working on her thesis at the same time as I did had already begun writing hers.
November: Got even more stressed because said friend reached page 70 of her thesis, while I still wasn't writing. Had a 2-weekend communication workshop at uni, learning a lot about voice and breathing. Started fighting in bogu. Spent a weekend training Kendo in Innsbruck. Went to the Gesundheitsmesse in Wels, catching the wrong train for the first time in my life (resulting in me finding creative ways to spend an hour at a pitch-black, open train station in the cold). Started sculpting. Went to the first research conference in my life.
December: Said friend finished her thesis. Started writing mine. Had my second Kendo seminar.

So, none of my decisions backfired on me, which is great. All in all, it was a really, really good year. Better than 2006, I think. Actually, thinking back, it was probably the best after 2004/05 (simply because it takes a lot to top the year I spent in Oxford). I'll only reluctantly say goodbye.

Plans for 2008: Finish uni, find a job, move into my own flat. Paint more and improve my technique. Continue Kendo. Spend less money (or rather, spend money only when it's really necessary, and more specifically, buy books only when I'm through with the pile of unread books next to my bed).


As written above, I started sculpting about a month ago. I always wanted to get into it, but couldn't get Super Sculpey anywhere. When I ran out of patience (or was at a point of too much motivation) I looked a bit around online and found that a few sculptors use Fimo Soft and Green Stuff and have good end results. Since Fimo is much more easily to get, I just tried it. Here, then, are the first two (fairly average) sculptures of my life (and more to follow after Christmas).
The first one's not in it's finished stage, because I painted over some of the stuff on his clothes after having taken the pictures; but it's still 94% finished.


Anonymous said...

Time of retrospection everywhere ;-)
I wont do that - as I noticed yesterday while writing an e-mail I prefer to stay in the present, try not to pollute my mind with the past or the future.

I must say your kendo is quickly improving - time for me to be afraid!

I do not give anything about numbers, so I was not so sad having just 9 instead of 10 days of training. Also, I am still tired... lost a lot of energy last week. Need to rest ^^

Nice sculptures you have created! The first one reminds me of someone... someone groovy in da house - possible? ;-)

cu, CwB

Manuela said...

Sometimes it's nice to look back. I read my notes from the Granum last week and it was interesting to see how my thinking has changed since then. Can be motivating (...or not, when you realize that you're still working on the same issues).
But in this case, I guess it's just a seasonal internet trend that everybody, including me, is jumping on ;)

Heh, I think the only reason to be afraid of my Kendo are my missed do cuts (especially since your do seems to be covered by your elbow every time I try), but thanks anyway ;)

Yesss, it is a very groovy someone. Wanted to give him a little thank you for getting me to and from the training so often, and thus the sculpting started.

Good night and good rest!

Magpie said...

I always do the looking-back thing on the first day of a new season... taking a little time to be thankful for the good things that have happened, trying to find something good in he bad things, thinking about what I want to do in the season that lies ahead... It's a tradition out of a story I'm writing, but I find it very useful.

Manuela said...

Hmm, yes, I guess seasonal retrospection has its advantages, too. With the annual one it was also interesting to see what I actually still remember of these 12 months (minus two weeks). It's a weird feeling, knowing there's a month or two of which you actually don't remember anything at all. The last 4-5 months were alright, but anythinng beyond that got a bit (or very) fuzzy.

Anonymous said...

This is another reason why I do not do retrospections: I just do not remember the highlights.

What leads me to a good reason for this kind of thinking: It is good for your brain!
Why? I have to quote an author that is unknown to me: "use it or loose it". This also applies to our brain, what means that it is essential to use it very often *G*

Well, it is not quite correct that I do not do retrospections at all. I occasionally do it when writing my blog - as I noticed today... but I always think just of the last week - and maybe the next one. To less brain-activity to take effect *G*

Good night,