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Hi! I am Asta! I am a philologist and a philocalist to the heart's core. Here I share things that I consider being aesthetic and fantastic!

31 Dec 2020

My 2020

The year of Our Lord 2020 is finally coming to an end. And what a year it was!.. From the bush fires in Australia, Black lives matter protests, presidential elections in USA, presidential elections and its aftermath in Belarus, to the COVID-19 pandemic that stopped the world in its tracks - this year had it all and more. Globally, it was a year full of challenges, but as the midnight is drawing nearer it is the time for me to rethink what kind of year 2020 was for me personally, as the tradition of this blog behests. 

"The Book of Disquiet" by the Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa that you see in the picture above on my desk is no coincidence. This year was full of disquiet. Although there was very little action going on in my daily life, nevertheless it was quite a challenge to cope with all the emotions that have started to surface once the spring was approaching and we were still sitting in the first quarantine. I tackled this issue with the help of my psychologist, as well as picking up various hobbies, from gardening (once the weather was warm enough to resume the works in our future home) to sewing clothes. The idea was to focus my mind on here and how, instead of checking the news portals on my phone for the latest updates on the pandemic, because it really raised my anxiety to new heights. Having various things to do, activities to engage in, really helped me to stress less.

Professionally, it was an immensely productive year! As I am used to work from home, the restrictions during the first and the second quarantines did not affect me that much. Therefore I was able to write and publish three scientific articles, write book reviews for the cultural press as well as give interviews and commentary to our National Radio or and other media. I've talked about my research (and more) on Urtė Karalaitė's  podcast "Greito gyvenimo lėti pokalbiai" and I was pleasantly surprised when our conversation turned into a pocket-sized book! 

Both quarantines also gave me a chance to expand my collections of antique books, tableware, and vintage clothing. This hobby is time consuming, because as I am not willing to give my last euros for an overpriced (though lovely) items, I have to constantly revisit couple of internet sites to look for better deals. Sometimes I do succeed! As I already have a vision of our future home's interiors in my head, all the things will find their place, no doubt. 

What I missed this year the most was travelling. Due to pandemic, we had to cancel our long-planned trip to Sweden, I also had to postpone my participation in a congress in Croatia. My usual visit to Tartu in Estonia became impossible as well... As a person who feel the need to change her environment from time to time, it was a hard time to endure. Well, there was a very short vacation in Lithuanian seaside, Nida in summer, and I am grateful for the circumstances that let us at least for a moment to forget that there's the pandemic going on...

Despite the fact that in 2020 we lost our beloved pet cat Puka, this year, at least for me personally, was not that awful. It was a pause, a breather that I (apparently) needed. It was a year for collecting myself once again, a time to sort out my priorities. Anxiety and swinging moods aside, I had more time to figure out what I want to do in the future, as well as what I do NOT want to do (which, I think, is also very important). 
   I think it would be naïve to think that our problems are going to be over once the clock strike midnight, but I do hope that the lessons we've learned this year, especially the value of being with other people, be it family or friends, will not be forgotten. 

Stay safe, stay healthy and see you in 2021!

Let's hope for a better year!

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