What Is Your Theme This Year (2013-2014)?



Phew! Hi babies.

I have been meaning to write sooner, but starting a new academic year is always a little nuts. Basically all I do that week is I run around on university campus either to my students or for my students. Everything is getting started, and that’s something that makes me very happy. New beginnings inspire me.

I’ve been sort of without direction for a while, I guess. I want some more focus, drive and plans in my head. So I thought to myself…What do i want to do this year? Not in terms of goals or achievements, but just…What do I want to focus on doing? What do I want to give love and attention to*? What areas do I want to dedicate myself to this year?

I thought about it, and found three major themes I am dedicating 2013-2014 to. It’s not specific results, because that’s not what it’s about. It’s about focus, and about keeping the important parts of you or your life the most important parts of you and your life. Here’s what I want to focus on.

Working Hard

Before you guys think I’m sitting around with my feet on the desk, picking my nose and grading my coworkers on relative attractiveness**, no. I make myself useful. I make deadlines, I do what I need to do and I do it well.

But because I procrastinate, I often do it at the last minute — quite frantically too. I could just have easily done it sooner, and therefore better. Also, I like to give the extra effort that takes a normal thing and makes it great. That makes me feel good.

Which comes down to a basic truth I discovered about myself (and people in general): I am happier when I’m getting shit done. I’m happier when I am productive and spending my time on things that good for me and others. I’m happier when I am reading literature for work, writing, preparing material for students than when I’m slacking off and procrastinating.

So my first main theme for 2013-2014:

“Do the work. Work hard. Do your best, work through whatever to get shit done. Even when you aren’t in the best mood, when you’re a little tired, when you would rather hang on the couch with Manfriend and Breaking Bad episodes, do your work, whatever it might be for that day. You’ll be in a flow of doing things, you’ll get more positive results and most importantly, it makes you happy.”


Over the summer I realized I want to offer up more of my time and energy to my yoga practice. There is so much in there for me, both physically (I will one day do a full-split Standing Bow) and mentally (granting me the definite decrease in ADD symptoms).

The connection I have with Bikram Yoga combined with the commitment to Yoga Maya has created an equilibrium in my head. Although it’s the most crucial part of yoga for me personally, yoga is not just Bikram for me .It’s not just the sweaty battles against myself in a full-length mirror or the mental battle of “should I go or shouldn’t I go**”. Yoga is just yoga. Whether it’s in 40 degrees for 90 minutes, 10 minutes in the living room or an hour long class that ends with chanting: Yoga is yoga. And I love it. It’s good for me.

So I’m making yoga a first priority, in both yoga schools. I’m still working on the details and an exact schedule, but there will be lots of Camels, Downward Dogs and other Yoga Postures With Animal Names in my immediate future for sure.

Be Calm

When I am excited about something (which happens a lot, I love stuff), I get quite happy and loud and my arms tend to move up and down a lot to express my excitement. And when I am busy with stuff, I can also get a little frantic and flailing and loud. You can only imagine the amounts of loud noises and limbs flying around when I’m both busy and happy.

Plus, I like to make people laugh. To do that I make faces, crack up a few jokes and all around try to be funny with a lot of outward energy and behavior.

I discovered I kind of wear myself out sometimes with that. Because of that I have two completely incompatible social settings: ADHD-Social Butterfly-On-Various-Groovy-Drugs and Hermit-Recluse-Who-Refuses-To-Speak. If I have a couple of social events in a week I tend to be all energy and excitement but after that I’m exhausted. I often need an alone-day to completely recharge from social stuff.

Additionally, if I’m all over the place with my movements and jokes and weirdness, that affects other people too. Similarly as a really quiet person makes you either quiet or talk more, me and my energy have an effect on who is interacting with me. They either get on my level and we end up a bunch of loud idiots or they think I’m too much, become withdrawn and timid and we can’t connect as well. While my intention is the exact opposite.

So for the past few weeks I have been experimenting with a new social setting: Calm and contained.

Sorry to anyone who hates phrases like ‘I don’t like his vibe’ or ‘there is something is off about her energy’ but I know my own energy very well and it’s very all over the place. And now I try to contain my own energy more.

I keep it more within myself. I am still my open, normal self, but the focal point is more on being a calm version. I just try to send out a relaxed vibe, with some funny bits.

I’m not doing it with meditation excercises or visualisations or anything, I just do it by being chill and calm, especially with new people. I think it’s working well, because I feel less tired than I usually do at the start of the academic year (from all the new people and work).

So taking care of my inner calm is another theme for me this year. I think it will be really good for the people I meet and interact with, as well as for myself and my own energy levels. I predict they will fluctuate less.

So, yeah. My mantra for 2013-2014: Work hard, do yoga, be calm. I encourage you to think of themes for yourself, but as always, feel free to use mine. Bye babies.

*Besides like, family, friends and various cute fluffy animals.

**While I only do that on Friday

***Unless I’m in immediate danger of dying, the right answer is pretty much alwaysΒ  ‘yes I should go’.

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  1. πŸ™‚ Ik vind je mantra fijn. Ik denk dat ik ‘m overneem. Misschien enjoy to the max toevoegen, dat vergeet ik namelijk nog weleens. En yoga plus fitness er van maken. Je schrijft zo leuk!

  2. Your blog really inspires me πŸ™‚ I definitely need to sit down and think about my themes for the upcoming academic year, especially since it’s my final one at university and apparently that’s sort of important or something. However yours seem like pretty good ones to follow if I swap yoga for pilates. Good luck! xx

  3. I feel it. Just do the work, it’s not that scary. And since I just successfully finished a 10-day green juice only fast, I will add “eat well” to this.

  4. Theme unicorn all the way!

    Another fab post – I would definitely love to share (steal) your themes, except for ‘calm’. I currently need a bit more get up ‘n’ go, so I’m going to go for something like ‘get active’! =)

  5. Ik ben fan van jou! Je schrijft heel erg down to earth en met veel humor over mooie en belangrijke dingen en ik krijg er altijd zin van om Dingen Te Gaan Doen met mijn leven. Super, echt.

  6. Cool! I’m usually not up for New Year’s resolutions, but I feel very much like theming right now. Got a list of 5 in no time, and to my surprise they’re more practical than the stuff I usually come up with. That’s your good influence I guess πŸ™‚

  7. Perfecte timing! Vrijdag ben ik jarig en in de dagen ervoor kijk ik altijd terug op het afgelopen jaar en vooruit naar het nieuwe jaar. Dus dit sluit daar helemaal op aan!
    Happy new year to you and to me πŸ™‚

  8. Mooie post weer! Ik kijk niet echt in schooljaren meer, maar ik ga streven naar meer werk op freelance basis. Ik doe het nu fulltime, maar wil nog net iets meer opdrachten genereren, en ik moet mezelf daar soms toe dwingen. En daarnaast gewoon weer gelukkig worden, gaan fitnessen en me focussen op enkele schrijfprojecten. Ik heb er zin in!

  9. De perfecte mantra! Hoewel ik onder de tweede (yoga) ook sporten moet laten vallen voor mezelf. Doe ik te weinig en zoek uitwegen om niet te gaan, terwijl ik me juist zo goed voel na het sporten. Succes voor komend jaar πŸ™‚