It's that time of year again, the end of it. The beginning of a new one. Time to reflect on the past 365 days- what was wished for and what was actually achieved. It's not quite the end of the month yet, but it's close enough for me to start considering my past year.
In many ways I feel oddly disappointed with this past year. It's not that I haven't achieved things, as I most certainly have, but instead I don't find these things satisfying. So on the plus side, I have been involved in the publication of 3 substantial reports, 3 business marketing summaries, I've had 2 conference papers accepted, and I've managed to do a small amount of my own work.
On the other hand, at this time last year I was thinking about the work I needed to do to begin my PhD work, mainly, that I needed to do Council research and start developing, and then do, my interviews. Now, a year later, I find that I need to do Council research and complete my interviews and that nothing much else by way of my own work has been achieved. On the plus side, because I complained about how much work I was doing for the research program (see the three reports listed above), I have received an additional six months of funding to account for the time lost. And, the reality is, I still have an entire year and a half to finish my PhD on schedule. So without distraction, I may actually be able to complete on time regardless, or close to it. And this new year is truly free of most other obligations leaving it free for me to pursue my own work and writing. So that's good, but you can see how an entire year later, I vaguely feel like I haven't gotten very far at all.
I only had one relationship of note this year, with Mr. English. That was a useful relationship in many ways as it taught me that I am not the sort of person to settle. Alternately, I feel strongly that I am willing to compromise in many ways, but there is also something that is 'too much'. Mr. English was 'too much'. And I do not have the personality or inclination to give up that much of myself just to have a relationship. The result of this was not to feel very positive about relationships however, and I find I am in a down turn about the entire subject at the moment. Forever knowing that I'm not unhappy with my life, but that I would really like to be able to share it with someone, and doubting that it will ever happen.
Friendships this year have been good. No major bust-ups or issues. Although I feel that there is growing distance between me and some of my friends as their lives go in other directions or take up significant portions of their attention. For the first time in a long time, I think most of my friends are in serious relationships and not single. This relates to the previous paragraph and again makes me feel in many ways like I am 'falling behind' in some way, but that is just how I feel, not particularly indicative of anything. A lot of friends having babies, or trying to have babies, or trying to and not having babies. That's also interesting and also makes me feel in many ways left out. Although it doesn't make me feel desperate for a baby, it honestly just makes me feel left out. Perhaps not the best incentive for reproduction.
My parents are much the same which is just as well. As they get older, I worry about them. And by extension, I worry about me and how I will cope with thins when they are not okay. I wish I had better relationships with my parents, but I know that I can't make them be people they are not, and that you are pretty much stuck with who they are. I'm glad that the relationship I do have with them both is better than what other people have with their parents. I'm thankful that I still have both of my parents when other people do not. It's impossible to be too upset about family things. My family is pretty good as far as families go. And that's what's important.
Anything else important about this year? I can't think of much. It seems in many ways unmemorable. Next year should be a big deal. At least, there's a shitload of things to take care of, and it looks like it's going to be a busy one. That's good. I'm starting the third year of my PhD now, it's time to get this thing finished. In many ways I'm enjoying this 'break' from the real world and having time to myself, but I miss the structure and accomplishment of having a job and actually getting real things done. I prefer action over research and while I'm going to be thrilled beyond belief when I actually complete my PhD, I also know I'm very much going to enjoy getting back to 'real' work. Not to mention a real salary!