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VERONIKA NESVEROVA

My 2017 in review

Hobbies

  • Started some serious orienteering, joined Lunds OK orienteering club, attended countless trainings, 15 competitions including a 25 person relay and a 1-week long O-ringen, the mekka of orienteerers, competing with 20.000 other orienteering nerds in the beautiful forests around Arvika.

     

  • Grew plants, expanded my collection of green home companions until the point when I had to call it a stop for now, including 3 new avocado plants. Was donated 5 orchids from 2 different people and made all of them bloom in just couple of weeks.
  • Grew my own vegetables. 10 minutes cycling from my home is a small area with growing patches. A friend of mine kindly let me grow stuff in two rows of her patch. This year we were munching on own-grown red beats, radishes, onions, spinach, sweet peas, strawberries, fennel and a few tomatoes. Next year the plan is to ditch the fennel (didn’t have much taste) and grow potatoes and carrots instead.

   

  • Canoeing. I went canoeing three times this summer. One of that was a fantastic 4 day canoeing trip on the lake Immeln, camping on our own islands, fighting the winds and the waves, sitting by a fire every evening.

  

Work

  • The biggest step – out of my passion project I started my own company – Workshoppa. Since I launched in May 2017 I helped around 25 workshops to come to life and more than 300 people were involved either as teachers or as organizers. I sold workshops for 30.000 kr and paid just a little bit more to the people teaching the workshops and for running the business. It’s been the biggest roller-coaster and a school of my life and I can honestly admit that there were (are) even tears some times. Sometimes it was a lonely business too and I wish I knew the right person to start this with at the time when I was starting.

  • At the same time I lowered my employment at the university to 70% which was the best decision. I can’t imagine working full time again and not having that extra time for my passion side projects.
  • I published my first scientific article in The Journal of Biological Chemistry. My contribution to the paper was rather minor but it’s still a big step for my scientific career.
  • And I’m one year closer to finishing my Ph.D. Admitting that the thoughts of quitting were coming and going (I think that every Ph.D. student needs to go through this) I have decided to fight my way through till the end.

Protein crystals

Physical and mental health

  • I must knock on the wood and say that except for my teeth I didn’t have any physical health issues this year.
  • That can’t be said about my mental health. My company, my expectations and social media has been a huge source of stress for me. So big that I was even sometimes questioning whether it was all worth it.

Social

  • In 2017 I was not very good at keeping the old friendships. The few ones that survived me moving to another country will need much more love and attention in 2018!
  • Thanks to Workshoppa and the need to network and find customers I forced myself into all sorts of uncomfortable situations – pure networking events where you talk for 5 minutes to someone, then you exchange business cards and then you never ever contact each other again; pitching contests where everybody is there to judge you; public talks.

  • I have talked to more new people and made more friends in the past year then in the previous 2 years in Sweden. The task for the next year will be to develop these friendships.
  • One thing that hasn’t changed at all since the previous years is the one most important relationship. We are as synchronized and symbiotic with my partner as a couple can be. Lukas continues to be my life companion, my source of happiness and comfort and an amazing support in the time when it’s needed. We grow together. We have noticed that routine is sometimes sneaking into our relationships but we have so far failed to plan more date nights (or date days…).

Give me more double dates!

New skills

Ah 2017 was crazy in this respect. Thanks to Workshoppa I have learned:

  • to use WordPress
  • basics of bookkeeping
  • a lot of social media marketing
  • project management and coordination skills
  • how to talk to people when you need something
  • how to be the master of gentle reminders
  • to become more organized when it comes to my time

Personal development

  • Still can’t find the balance in my life, working too hard and feeling exhausted, relaxing and feeling guilty.
  • I will probably never stop dreaming about the perfect balance in my life.
  • Due to focusing on it a lot I believe that I have managed to get rid of most of my prejudices I grew up with in Czech Republic. I became much more mindful, tolerant and loving person when it comes to for example refugees and transgender people. I also became much more aware of sexism and the urgency with which we need to change the way things are. (Thanks Sweden for raising a tolerant human being of me.)

Sustainability

  • We have managed to do a lot in our household in 2017 to eliminate the negative impact of our behavior to the planet’s well being. We have for example completely stopped buying paper tissues and instead dug out my childhood textile hankies with princesses and teddy bears on it. Cute and practical. After this switch we found out that using paper tissues was absolutely unnecessary, it’s just a matter of habit.
  • Still a bit stuck on this zero waste thing when it comes to food. Traveling to Malmö to do my zero waste groceries is not feasible. Until there is a zero waste shop in Lund I am at least trying to not use any plastic bags for my fruits and veg.
  • I have almost completely eliminated fast fashion from my life. I bought two pairs of jeans at a second hand store in Malmö (70 kr a piece, fits like magic) and got the rest from my favorite brand of all times, Armed Angels. Still struggling to find eko/fairtrade panties though. Any ideas?

Home

  • After living in 3 different places the first 2 years of being in Sweden in February 2017 we have finally moved into an apartment where we can stay for some years. This place now finally truly feels like my home.

Note the avocado plant!

Mistakes

  • Trying to promote Workshoppa in July when everybody was on vacation
  • Joined social media again. After my 2-year break from Facebook and Instagram I made new accounts on both of these platforms in January 2017 to be able to promote Workshoppa. I survived several months without adding any friends on Facebook and using my personal profile purely to be able to manage the company profile. Later I gave in, for the good and the bad. I have made some fantastic connections, got to know some amazing people and managed to make friends out of new acquaintances thanks to social media. At the same time it’s been a tremendous source of stress. Not really from the fear of missing out, more like “everybody else’s life seems to be so perfect” even though I know they are not. Also “Should I post this or not?” I don’t want to be like everybody else, pretending that my life is perfect.

Thanks, really.

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