Hi, my name is Iryna. I am from Kharkiv, the city in the Eastern part of Ukraine. Now I am a European Solidarity Corps Member at Leaders of Change Foundation. This organization administers such programs as Study Tours to Poland and The Lane Kirkland Scholarship Program. Here I will share my impressions, tell about the life at the Foundation and the life in Poland! Enjoy reading :)
Do you know any fortune tellers or whiches, whatsoever, who can cure me from being a rain-magnet-person? I just wonder why I go to Krakow and it is raining there, I go to Wroclaw and it's raining there too. Ok, then I stay at home in Warsaw and it starts raining here too!!! Well, probably, it's the weather. But why, oh God, why when workdays start, holidays over, and all my guests left, the weather starts to be JUST LIKE IN A FAIRYTALE!!! With snowflakes, Christmas lights, and snowmen... It drives me crazy, really!!!
Ok, enough with complaint :) This first week of a new year read about what a true perfect trip is, three small New Years, saying goodbye over and over, plans, ideas, motivation and quite an unusual Christmas Eve.
#1. Happy New Year!
There is a popular saying 'The way you spend the first moments of a new year is the way you spend all of it'. However, I do not believe in this because, actually, you are the only thing that can influence your year, your life, each of your days, and all the other units of time. Probably, this year I don't believe in this saying even more because when we were celebrating New Year I was very sick and the only thing I wanted was to go to bed :)
As you probably know, currently my family is living in three different countries: father and grandparents - in Ukraine (Kharkiv), sister - in Russia (Voronezh), and me - in Poland (Warsaw). In each of these countries, we have one hour difference. In real life it looks like this - firstly New Year is celebrated in Russia, in one hour in Ukraine, and the last from my family who celebrates New Year is me, in an hour too.
So this year the celebration of a New Year was pretty strange because at 22:00 I said 'Tania, Happy New year to you!', at 23:00 we called grandparents and congratulated them with New Year, gave presents to each other and wished all sweet things, and at 00:00, as me and my sis were in Warsaw, we finally celebrated the New Year in the place where we were. Sounds pretty strange, right? However, all this 'three hours celebration' was pretty much like an ordinal life - I finished writing
my blog, Tania was preparing some stuff for the table, we were listening to the music, etc. Just about 5 or 10 minutes at 22, 23 and 00 were spent on congrats and wishes. Because what you say is even more worthy than for how long you're saying it.
So, we had a cosy and very sweet New Year cosy and very sweet New Years :)
#2. Staying at home
For me the best holidays are when you have lots of places to visit, you have a plan of things to do and
you have no free minute at all - so rich your schedule is. That is why when Tania and Olia were coming to Warsaw, I created a 'program according to my taste' - with 3-days-trip to Krakow, two friend visits in Warsaw, museums and castles in the capital, 3-days-trip to Wroclaw, New Year celebration, and 1-day-trip to Lodz.
Well, it sounds great, but it turned out to be that for great holidays you need not so many places in your list but more good moments with people near you. That is why our trip to Lodz was not realized (unfortunately, none of my friends wanted to go to, so the tickets were wasted :( )*. However, we spent a lovely day with Tania at home, watched films, talked about life, plans and wishes. Also, we made a little photo shooting inspired by photos of two other sisters - Ola and Ira Averina.
So, collect moments!
* Probably, another reason was my sickness and awful weather. But that's another story :)
#3. Time to create new memories!
Everything great comes to its end so that 'far day of January 3' came very fast - the day when my sis went home. I remember that feeling of excitement when I was waiting for her right in that place, at the airport, 2 weeks ago. It seems now as if a whole life happened from that moment!
You know, one of the conclusions that we came to during these family holidays is that living together is wonderful - you have lots of happy moments, remember all funny and silly things happened to you in childhood, you even feel somehow like a child when you are together. However, a real-life - adult and independent - is awaiting. And we should not be absorbed in old memories, we should create new ones.
#4. Welcome, planning!
If you are still in a search for some great techniques of changing your approach to life - choose Miracle Morning! I am in love with
this one and I have already written about it in one of my weekly reviews :)
As a planning/diary/sheets/colours/stationery fan, of course, I have a list of 'colourful things' for a year, month,week, and a day respectively. As it says, big elephants should be eaten one bite at a time. So, goals are set and it is high time to start climbing up!
Big thanks for my dear friend Olia Kovalchuk whose gift was so in need - an amazing yearly planner with wonderful pictures and colourful pages :) I adjusted it somehow according to my habits and voila! This calendar is now a part of my everyday morning ritual!
#5. Merry Christmas, everyone!
This year my Christmas Eve looked like this :)
Due to the fact, there are no other people who can eat all the other 11 dishes, there was only one on my table this year - kutia - made according to my family traditions. Holidays time is for spending it with your family and friends, that is why I had a lovely day of calling, talking, and laughing with friends, father and sister, and grandparents.
Merry Christmas! Wish love, peace and happiness to your families and home!
Хай ангел торкнеться вас ніжно крилом,
Зігріє вам серце Різдвяним теплом. Хай радість, кохання наповнять ваш дім, Оселяться щастя і спокій у нім!
All the best from EVS-wolontariuszka Ira Konoplianko.