Well, D and I are away for Christmas. Nearly every year D drives up to the North Island to visit his fam, and this year I am going with him (to meet them for the first time, mind you!). Things are going to be quiet around here for a couple of weeks, so I shall leave you with this nice, long post to tide you over (for what will surely be an equally long post when I return).
Thus, it’s time to quickly sum up 2012. There is really only one word I can use to describe 2012 and that is Epic. I might also add Amazing. Kick ass. Best-year-ever? Honestly, I’ve had a terrific year.
- Christchurch beer festival weekend
- Hokitika Wildfoods festival (had been on my NZ “bucket list” for some time now!)
- Tramping Gillespie
- Tramping Greenstone/Lake Rere
- Tramping Matukituki Valley
- Tramping Silverpeaks
- Visiting one of my besties, Frankie, in Auckland and seeing Florence in the Machine (May)
- The epic Medieval party for D & his flatmates’ birthdays
- Visit home to hang out with family and friends in MN in July
- Epic swim across our lake from my sister’s dock to my parent’s dock – roughly 2.5 miles
- Finalist in the Otago 3 minute thesis competition in August
- Dozens of weekend/day walks with D all year long
- Several crazy nights in town
- Tramping Luxmore hut weekend
- Tramping Greenstone/Caples
- Tramping Macetown
- Tramping Kepler-in-a-day
- Baking a lot of cakes
- Quit my job to become a full time PhD student
Mostly, this all has to do with the fact that I live in New Zealand. A lot of this year has been a surprise. Remember my goals from Dec 2011 for this year? So how have I done?
- (Pay off my credit card) Yes, my credit card will be paid off by the end of Dec 2012! But I did take out more student loans this year when I quit my job and my scholarship ran out and I was in need of some financial certainty. So I’m not sure that is a win.
- (Maintain healthy eating) I’m pretty sure I ate more junk and carbs than ever this year (D and I do like the occasional ice cream, and when I go tramping I often subsist on lollies…). But I still fit my clothes so I’m not too worried.
- (Be super productive on my PhD) I think I’ve been quite productive on my PhD – but I haven’t achieved everything I want this year – and I am beginning to accept my PhD will be completed in closer to 4 years than 3. : (
- (Apply for PR) No, I didn’t apply for PR. I don’t know how much longer I’ll be in NZ (1 year?) so it doesn’t make sense considering the cost.
- (Read more classics) I finished the count of Monte Cristo and I’ve started Bleak House – so… I am continuing to read the classics but not at the great pace I wanted to.
- (Tramp the Greenstone/Caples, the Routeburn, join the OTMC and do 1 trip a month) Here I have been very successful! Okay, yes the 3 times we tried to do the Routeburn were all cancelled on us due to weather but everything else was definitely a success!
- (Survive the apocalypse – I was being facetious) I seriously doubt there will be an apocalypse this year, however, financial and climate crises do seem to be looming in the not too distant future.
But also, I cannot help but mention the absolute best thing from 2012 and that is my D. He is the most amazing, brilliant and fun person I have ever known (I could go on and on about all his good qualities, but that would just give him an inflated ego). He is the reason we’ve done so much tramping this year, as he took to tramping like a fish takes to water (I actually think I created a monster by taking him on that first, fateful tramp of the Gillespie back in April!) – he is just as keen, if not more so, for tramping than I am! So it’s good to find a kindred, adventurous spirit!
Now I suppose it is time to set goals for 2013.
- FINISH MY PHD (by Sept at the absolute latest)!
- Get to stay in NZ until my PhD marks are back (FYI, my current visa expires in March).
- Upon completing said PhD – get a job!
Number 1 is obviously the most important. Setting other goals actually seems a little arbitrary – I mean, in the grand scheme of things do they really matter? On the other hand, I won’t allow my life to be defined by my PhD. Yes it is important, but I am also more than just my research. So here are some secondary goals for 2013:
- Do the entire Routeburn and at least one other great walk (not counting the Milford which we’ve already booked in for Easter). Also, the Sugarloaf/Rockeburn pass. Maybe the Copland for a second time? Do the winter Routeburn trip with tramping club.
- Attend at least 1 or 2 academic conferences.
- Visit my sister and her family in the UK.
- Save some $$$!
- Publish some papers.
All in all, 2012 was amazing. If 2013 is half as good, I will be a lucky little PhD student. However, finishing a thesis is quite stressful (I am still a little haunted by my masters) and eventually I know the serious torturous stressful late night revisions will come – and soon. But for now, I shall remain optimistic and be thankful for all I have.
Happy 2012 everyone! Thanks for following my blog thus far, and I’ll be back in early Jan.