The job offer from Berlin
An introduction to my story of moving away from a small, coastal town in Scotland, to one of the biggest capital cities in Europe.
Like most people, I often consider the new year as a clean start, or some sort of trigger to make life changes. That being said, I’m also the type of person that has the same outlook when approaching a new month, or a new week. Time to stop drinking alcohol for a while? I’ll start in October. Time to start getting back to the gym? I’ll start on Monday.
A new year just feels different though. It’s January. It’s the beginning of a new calendar, and you begin on 01-01 which is somehow satisfying.
2023 was a mixed year for me. There are things I’m happy about, and things I’m not so happy about, however, I’ve failed enough goals, diets and resolutions to know that I can’t make huge, life changing goals and expect to stick to them. I need to work with smaller, more realistic goals that set me on a good path, which can slowly evolve into habits.
As a brainstorming exercise, and an accountability practice, I’ve decided to address the things I want to change, and subsequently the goals I wish to set up to help them, so that I can ultimately be a better person… yeh, I’m not convinced either, but let’s do it anyway!
That’s right - everyone’s favorite resolution. I’ve always had an inclination to exercise. I’ve been a long time gym goer, I run, I cycle, I used to play football, and go to boxing training etc.
Since I moved to Germany, I have continued to exercise, but with less frequency. In combination with my fondness for a beer and döner kebabs, I have noticed a change in my body. I don’t weigh myself, but I see the changes in the mirror, and most notably, I popped a button in a pair of jeans which suggest it’s time for a change - woops!
My goal is simply to make changes that’ll reverse the damage, and my plans are to stick as closely as possible to the following:
I did German lessons for 2-3 years when I moved here, but when I had to go to a hospital north of Berlin for 9 days, and survived on my German alone, I felt I knew enough. I also have it in my head that I’ll be going back home soon, so improving my German skills slipped down the priority ladder. Another factor was, having being diagnosed with epilepsy, and being told that fatigue could be a trigger, my morning German lessons was the first thing I dropped.
Yet, I’m still in Germany. I enjoy learning languages, and the satisfying feeling of having even small interactions in a different language is a great feeling.
My goal for this year is to continue improving my German. This will be at the cost of my Scottish Gaelic lessons which I’ve been doing, but it just makes sense.
I’ve never been a fan of reading, or a stronger reader. In 2022, I made a goal to read 5 books, and read 8, but in 2023, I recorded only 1 book read on GoodReads.
I definitely enjoy reading when I get into it, especially on holiday; it just chills me out and keeps me away from my laptop, phone or tablet.
This year, I plan to read 12 books - a combination of technical books for work, and regular books for relaxing. The addition of a Kindle Paperwhite to my tech arsenal should help with this, as it’s small, light and represents an infinite number of books on something that fits in my smallest bag.
That’s my major goals for 2024. Of course, there are other things I have in mind, but I won’t fall into the trap of setting too many goals. These are the things that are most important for me as 2024 rolls in.
My plan is to post updates every couple of months here - not because everyone cares about my goals, but it helps me with accountability.