Like every year I wrote our Elmastudio New Year’s blog post yesterday. This year I felt like writing an additional post about 2019 and my intentions for 2020.

2019 in review

Some moments of the last year were quite new and challenging for me. The impermanence of life is suddenly something very present to me, which it never truly was before. It seems to me although I could think of impermanence it never felt real. Looking back I took being alive for granted and never fully grasped that every moment of life is so wonderfully unique.

I don’t want to think of illness or old age of a parent as something solely negative. Of course it’s very sad to realise that you need to let go and that you will lose someone who was always on your side for your whole life. What helped me was to read more spiritual books from authors like Thích Nhất Hạnh and Pema Chödrön. Maybe some of you would also find this helpful.

Besides these more difficult topics we also experienced many beautiful moments last year.

After 4 years of waiting we finally got our New Zealand residency visa at the beginning of 2019. We were very relieved after quite a long time of uncertainty.

During the New Zealand summer time we also were lucky that friends visited us for a few days. We chatted for hours veganism, remote work, and WordPress. With other friends we were only able to spend a few hours together, but we also connected right away and we were happy to meet up again in Berlin later in the year.

In March/April we traveled to Japan during the Sakura season. This has been a dream of ours for a long time. We loved traveling by train with our Japan Rail Passes, visiting castles and onsens, and working in coffee shops. And of course our highlight was meeting our friends again. We spent one relaxed afternoon on Ogijima and worked together for a day in TheCase Shinjuku in downtown Tokyo. We met a cute new dog friend as well, Hello Rin :)

During the summer we spent time with our families and friends in Europe, which is always a special time for us. We visited friends in Stuttgart, Freiburg and Münster and went to the big WordCamp Europe in Berlin. This was a truly amazing event and we enjoyed the Berlin summer with Vöner and drinks in the park.

At the end of our Europe trip we traveled by train from Stuttgart to Tuscany (our flight back was from Milan). Inspired by the events in Berlin, we spend the days working on our Aino Gutenberg project and enjoying yummy Italian food.

Intentions for 2020

Usually I write down my New Year’s intentions on a Trello board. But I actually like the idea that sharing my intentions might inspire someone, so I’m sharing them here.

What I want to do in 2020 (the list is unordered and a mix of private and work topics):

  • Learn more React and JavaScript.
  • Create a Gatsby theme, with Aino if possible.
  • Read at least 6 books (audio books excluded). Currently on my reading list is Stephen Hawking’s “Brief Answers to Big Questions”. Do you have any books you would recommend?
  • Learn to sail better and take the Coastal Skipper course.
  • Start to learn Japanese.
  • Start to meditate and do Yoga regularly in self practice at home. Until now, I only practised Yoga when I was able to visit a Yoga studio.
  • Exercise regular in the gym (at least 3x week).
  • Create one Elmastudio YouTube video per week.
  • Also create private YouTube videos on a separate channel with more private/daily life topics.
  • Publish the Elmastudio newsletter at least fortnightly.
  • Take part in the Project26 (write at least 2 WordPress/tech blog posts each month).
    Spend more time with our families.
  • Be more mindful and present in the moment instead of drifting off into the future.
  • Communicate more open with others and take more time to communicate.

I have to admit that I tend to make my list a bit too long so I probably won’t make all my intentions possible this year. But I find a bit of pressure inspiring and I think that I still do more in the end this way. I totally understand if you see this differently.

I would love to hear your intentions for 2020. What do you want to learn and experience? What is most important to you this year?

And what were your highlights in 2019? What did you learn and which experiences and insights stood out to you?

I would love to hear your thoughts, please write a comment below!