When I arrived a year ago, I had a few specific goals. Some have been met, others altered or changed:
Learn Arabic: I’m learning Punjabi instead
Make Emirati friends: The English teachers at my school are colleagues with whom I am comfortable. They aren’t friends in the sense that we do things together outside of work, but they are definitely friends in the sense that we discuss personal things and are getting to know each other on a personal level. I will pursue these potential friendships in this coming year.
Grow professionally: I have been able to contribute to the presentations of colleagues in the States at professional conferences and collaborate on 2 different professional contributions.
I got knocked over in this one however locally. I have not grown professionally in terms of my own teaching or research. I will not abandon this goal however, as my reflections and evaluations are contributing to my current process of redefining this goal.
Increase personal writing production: My Work In Progress (WIP) novel is nearly finished and I have 2 critical readers now reviewing the draft. I still aim to seek publishers and/or agents this Fall Term.
I was lost in my blogging work – 1) this one: feeling my way in the dark to find my voice. But I believe I’m ready to be more proactive now; 2) I contributed 30 posts to a local wellness center in Indiana. For now, I’m putting this project on hold and will focus more on my own blogging for now.
Meanwhile, there are many things I am grateful for. Here are my top 10:
- The support and encouragement of my family in Indiana
- The opportunity to live and work in the Middle East
- The opportunity to see and experience local Emirati life
- The opportunity to travel to Asia
- The opportunity to take and complete the 200 hour Yoga Alliance Certified yoga teacher training course in Dubai
- Successful completion of and recovery from a hysterectomy
- A nice place to live that has a swimming pool
- My driver and that unlikely and very special friendship
- Feeling fairly comfortable in desert heat
- Living close to the sea