Perhaps it’s because I’ve always been a bit of a geek. Perhaps it’s because my favourite season is autumn (or Fall, for my US colleagues). Either way, I have always loved this time of year; if I’m honest it’s the true “New Year” for me. This is the time I crack open the new journals (I’m an academic year diary type of gal), open my new notebooks and inhale the intoxicating scent of new pages, new promise and new starts. This has always been a natural time for me to re-evaluate, assess and plan for the coming 12 months.
This year, for the first time in a long time, I took an extended break over the summer months. We took the kids out of nursery, spent long days out exploring (and long rainy ones inside, it is the UK after all) and soaked up the free time. Deadlines made way for daisy chains, and so I unwound my tense shoulders and relaxed. But now it’s almost September, and I’m pretty excited about the “new term”. As much as the relaxation time soothed my soul, the promise of routine is seducing me once more. The projects I did take on this summer were tricky to handle with a toddler (or two) balanced on my lap, so the thought of an unencumbered lap and a keyboard with
no fewer sticky patches is sublimely appealing.
So what am I going to do with my time this autumn? Rather than set goals about projects, income or other arbitrary numbers, the theme for this next stage is improvement: Personal, professional and health.
One thing this summer has taught me is the importance of taking time with family and friends. Whether you have a really tight family unit or it’s your friends who are your true family, that doesn’t matter. Take the time just to “be” with them. Sometimes filling the silences, sometimes letting them stretch out. It doesn’t matter. Being with your people is good for your soul. I’ve come to discover the teeny, tiny things, the things you didn’t even think of before, are the things that make the difference. Before the summer, our kids’ bedtime was 7pm, sometimes it stretched to 7:30pm, but it was always around that mark (fun sponge, me?!) This summer we relaxed a bit. A couple of nights a week now we get dinner, and then go out and do something fun. Bedtime be damned!
Over the summer I relaxed a lot of work things. I turned down work that didn’t fire me up, I said no if the terms didn’t suit me and politely declined if the deadline was too tight or the (income) margins too slim. Did I starve? No. Did the world stop turning? Nope again. This summer, the projects that I’ve worked on have been profitable, I’ve enjoyed them, I haven’t had to pull all-nighters and I haven’t missed out on fun stuff with friends and family. Win, win and triple win. It hasn’t all been roses though. In my quest for relaxation I’ve let my blogging (for my own business) slide. I can ask the same questions I did about my project work and of course, I didn’t starve and the world is still spinning on its axis (not that I’d know how to check that) but what I did discover is, I really miss it. It feels good to be back at my (non-sticky) keyboard, thinking of the best way to express things and debating with myself if I really need that 67th set of brackets (of course I do). I discovered that writing for myself and my own business fulfils me, and I need it to complement what I do for clients. So naturally I wrote a list of all the things I want to talk to you about this autumn (you’re welcome) and I even created and scheduled a few posts in advance for the coming weeks.
On the subject of “putting yourself out there”, I didn’t completely neglect my writing. My book on copy and content writing for translators is about 80% finished, which is extremely exciting. I’m hoping it’ll be out in the coming months. I’ve set myself a goal of having it complete by mid-October, which will coincide with my presentation at the Mediterranean Editors and Translators Meeting in Tarragona. My presentation is on Getting To Know Your Ideal Client. For those of you who have taken my course, you’ll be experts already of course 😉 I’d love to meet up with any colleagues in Tarragona, so give me a shout in the comments if you’re planning on attending. To entice you further, here’s a pic of the amazing Centre Tarraconense, a former Catholic seminary with a wonderful 13th century chapel, where the conference is being held.
Recent events and the news that I am currently not just nourishing myself with what I consume, led me to make some changes to my diet and exercise. I’ve had brilliant advice and support from some fellow translators (most notably the wonderful Nicole of Vegan Translator fame) and am feeling healthy and happy with the food I’m enjoying. Another terrific concept that has been the 1 million mile challenge, run by translators, the wonderful Tanya Quintieri and Zbynek Taborsky, for translators. They explain it much better than I ever could, so here’s how they describe the initiative….
“The 1 Million Miles Challenge is a project initiated by Tanya Quintieri and Zbynek Taborsky. They are always looking for ways to create awareness for our profession. With 1,000,000 Miles, they found a way to run an in-industry campaign to raise awareness for health and fitness issues, but also found a common ground to connect to the rest of the world.
The rules are easy:
ONLY translators and interpreters can participate. After joining the challenge, please introduce yourself in the main comment thread, feel free to state your language combination, and don’t forget to include a link that will point us to your website or online profile so we can check if you are a translator or interpreter. Failing to do so will result in removal from the challenge without further notice. If you have any questions about the challenge and/or the rules, feel free to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The campaign runs from May 1, 2016 till April 30, 2017.
During this time, we have to collect 1.000.000 miles, covered by YOU. Running, biking, hiking, swimming… doesn’t matter.
Be part of the MOVEMENT!”
I’ve used the Endomondo app to track my movement for the challenge and it’s been super easy. You can visit the 1mm website here and read some more about it. There’s a Facebook group too….get involved! Here are a couple of my snaps from my #1mm adventures….