Just a quick post to wish everyone in the Flinders Community a happy holiday season!!
I’m mindful that people will be going into this holiday season in different circumstances. Some will have had a good year, done well at their studies or work and navigated successfully the strange times we are in.
Others will go into the holiday season a bit battle worn. Maybe the studies or work didn’t go to plan, or the challenges of the year were just overwhelming in some way.
Regardless, both groups deserve a good rest and I hope you can get one. Whether you have the chance to take time off or will just be switching gears (e.g. study to work mode), see if you can find ways to rejuvenate body and mind during this time. That may equate to lazy afternoons and Netflix binges, but it may also mean new, inspiring, playful projects. To rejuvenate doesn’t necessary mean sitting still. It may be expressing your energy in different ways.
We remain, like many other countries, in the throes of battling a pandemic and the various challenges that come with that. Many of us have had to rethink how we live our lives, rethink how we connect with others, rethink how we find peace and stillness amongst the constant changes and uncertainty. Whilst I am looking forward to 2022, I don’t pretend to know whether it will be an easier year or not. I predict many more changes and challenges ahead and my thoughts are with those who will need to confront them head on.
But there are bright lights ahead. The Flinders community has lots to look forward to. On a grand scale we have Flinders @ Festival Plaza in 2024 and construction will soon start on Flinders Village. These projects will transform the land on which we work and collaborate.
But my excitement for the future doesn’t just come from these bigger projects. On the smaller scale, I am fortunate that I get to see behind the scenes of just how hard staff and students work to try and build a better university experience for all. I see staff working tirelessly to build better courses and topics and support students in their degrees. I get to see students working tirelessly to put themselves out there to help their fellow students. And those efforts have amplified and accelerated, despite the challenges of COVID. And then I get to see the work and outputs of our academic/research community who aren’t just building Flinders, they are trying to build a better world. A university is a great place to see people actively trying to make the world a better place.
And it is that that fills me with hope and keeps me motivated to keep pushing in my own space as well.
Such hard work and dedication requires deep rest and I encourage you, if possible, to find ways to have that deep rest over the holiday period. Sleep, naps, meditation, gentle walks, reading, couch Netflix sessions, time in nature – whatever particular flavour of ‘rest’ floats your boat. So when we reconvene next year to make 2022 a thing (a great thing), each of us has a little store of energy in place to kick it off well. We can then use 2022 to continue the discussion of how we look after ourselves and each other as we tackle the challenges and realise the opportunities of the year.
And if you are leaving us, having graduated or retired or moved, I hope you leave with fond memories of being part of the Flinders community and know that we’d like to stay in touch via alumni programs, teaching/research collaborations or informal networks and hope to see you back some time, even if just for a visit.
Take care and happy holidays!