The bottom line

What’s my bottom line for 2022?

I hope it’s not too pessimistic to talk about my “bottom line” — the lowest hope for this year on the 5th day of January.

2021 was a good year. It started very low, but then it picked up.

I have a lot planned for this new year. After all that happened in my life and the world around me, I’m grateful and content, and wishing to experience this life and this world in some other ways.

That’s what my plans is about.

But what if it gets chaotic again and something comes up that disrupts these plans?

I need a bottom line.

And I’ve got one.

I just don’t want to relive my life in 2020 again.

I spent the whole year in one city, working on my job from home, therefore trapped in an apartment.

I spoke to three people — three same people — every day.

I went on walks along the same route, every day.

It was nice at first. No distraction. I found peace in repetition of things.

Then after 6, 7, 8 months, it started to drag me downwards, day by day.

While other people still traveling, I stayed at home. For my own protection, also for others. Because I didn’t want to be the person who spreads the virus to others.

I have close family living far away. I never visited them again.

Now with the protection of vaccines, and the rising percentage of people who got multiple vaccinations, I’m feeling much more secure, and confident that we’ve ought to learn to live with this current situation.

Yes, “live with” it.

Life goes on, even with what’s happening out there.

Living should not stop.

The “pause” you hit on your life — if you want to wait the pandemic out hiding behind your walls — doesn’t stop the time. The time of your life.

I’ve waited in 2020. That was the right decision. And I stand by it.

I’ve made the best out of 2021.

Now it’s 2022. I won’t relive 2020.

I will keep protecting myself, my family and others.

I will keep experiencing life.

I will keep exploring the world.

If things don’t go as how you planned, what’s your bottom line for 2022?


The only thing on my New Year’s Resolution list

Happy new year.

Something popped into my mind last night before I fell asleep: I am longing for an honest life. 

A life that’s light, so that I don’t have to play games. I don’t have to lie to anyone and myself. 

A life that’s heavy, for I will have to take the consequences honesty brings. 

An honest life that I can provide my daughter, so that she knows behind the lightness and heaviness, is freedom.

And freedom is the most expensive thing in the world.

The thing you can’t buy with money, or any other material things. 

The thing that you can only earn with making the right choices.

And the only standard of making these choices is, simply, honesty.

To live as honest as I can — the only item on my New Year’s Resolution list for the year 2022.

If you can only put one thing on your New Year’s Resolution list, what would it be?

Want to achieve something in 2022? Read this. (a letter to myself)

Dear 2022 Clear,

It’s been an exciting year for us. A lot of new things happened that opened our eyes to the world of pregnancy, mothers and parenthood. We have grown so much in terms of creative skills and even expanded our interest to the graphic designing world. 

But you know what you want the most is what you haven’t achieved yet. 

You know that you can experience all the love and peace the world has to offer, but still feeling less fulfilled. You know what’s missing and you are ready to get it in the upcoming year.

These are the things I want to remind you, if you want to finally achieving those professional and personal goals in 2022:

1. Think from your gut. Sounds strange?  This is what I meant: Listen to your gut, but don’t let your emotion override everything.

Keep cool so that you can use your “thinking” to make out a good plan. A plan to achieve your goal, to make yourself feel fulfilled. You can do that. Because you have everything you need in your hands. Just need to make a plan and carry it out.

2. Write, just write. Don’t care about the likes and claps, subscriptions mean nothing to you. If you want to keep writing, forget about checking other people’s reaction to it. What others think is irrelevant to what you write. At least for now. 

3. Keep the setup simple. Use a pen and notebook to write. Or one app. Or one platform. Minimise the distraction of fancy tools and software. Use only everything essential.

3. Don’t be a road block to yourself. You’ve got enough other stuff standing your way. Self-doubt, perfectionism,  big ego and low self-esteem are powerful reasons why you won’t achieve anything you want in life.

4. Stop overthinking and do it already. Take the first step forward and you will know where your second step should be. Small steps, small achievements, lead to bigger things.

5. Tweak your plan, don’t start a new one. If you absolutely need a new plan to reach one goal, your goal might be the wrong one.

6. Write down your goal and plan, even execution calendar on a piece of paper. Read it everyday in the morning to remind yourself of them. 

I know you tend to forget your goal and your plans. They are important to you but you still forget about them. If you have them on a piece of paper, you will remind yourself every morning in the simplest and most direct way possible. 

Don’t put it in an app where you can snooze it away. Don’t write it in a notebook that you can put away.

Stick the paper on the ceiling above your bed, on your fridge, next to your workstation or your TV. Make a poster of it and hang the poster in your living room… Stick your goal and your plan even your schedule in front of your nose. Because you know how likely you will forget about them and then hate yourself for it.

7. Use the power of peers. Find a circle of people who can support you professionally AND emotionally. Find your accountability group. You won’t easily give up if you are watched. Or even better: supported.

8. Help others however you can, as often as you can. Helping others without expecting rewards will help with your own depressive thoughts, anxieties, loneliness… This is how you can truly feel fulfilled. You know that. Helping others is loving yourself.

These are all the advice I want to give you for now. You know your worst enemy is yourself. You know exactly why you’ve given up so often and what really stands between you and what you want to be. 

So tomorrow is a brand new day. The first day of a brand new year. You are on the right track. Just keep going. And don’t forget about enjoy the ride.

2021 Clear

Plan for 2022: Going away to the sea

To travel or not to travel, that’s a question in this global pandemic. It’s been two years after all.

This pandemic has shown us, there are two groups of travel-lovers.

One group get locked up in the place where they live. If the country doesn’t recommend people moving around, they don’t do it. And they suffer constantly because they don’t want to get sick, and they don’t want others to get sick because of them.

The other group are more “flexible”. They still travel, as long as it’s not forbidden. In Western countries, nobody can be really forbidden to go to places for too long. They have the right to travel. So they do. They behave responsibly when they travel and they think that’s good enough for them.

If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for everybody.

Or everyone else’s opinion doesn’t matter.

I’ve been feeling locked up for a very long time. I used to travel every year to another continent, and to other parts of Europe. I told myself I want to see the sea at least once a year.

The last time I saw the sea was in 2019.

Apparently I belong to the first group of travellers.

From early 2020 till now, I traveled to Italy once by car. And that’s it.

The worst for me was not just not able to travel, but to watch other people travel around the world all the time as if there’s nothing happening around them.

I couldn’t help but ask myself sometimes, whether I’ve been doing it wrong, whether I have paused the things in life that I love so much that was in fact not even necessary? There’s a global pandemic going on but life is still going on too. Am I wrong for choosing to be a responsible global citizen, to just stay wherever I am and try not to contribute to the spread of this virus?

Is there a way in the middle?

Is there a way to be travelling but still be responsible like I wish to be?

I want to get away from here, be on the road again. Soon.

With vaccinations and testing possibilities everywhere, I’m feeling more and more assured that I could also have a get-away again. Maybe just to take a ride in the car, to the South, to the sea.

That’s my other plan for 2022. To see the sea again.