Life never quite works out how you planned, does it?

Shuffling cards

The things I anticipated doing during my break from social networks and personal email during December and what I actually did were quite different. Here’s what I got up to:

  • Prepared for my viva voce (thesis defense)
  • Got my thesis rewrites done
  • Played almost no Battlefield 3 (but a whole lot of Football Manager 2012 Handheld)
  • Spent a lot more time with my children
  • Started tracking the food I eat
  • Took the time to read about the best ways to use Evernote (and started using it ‘properly’)
  • Completed the mammoth semi-annual Christmas pilgrimage to my in-laws in Devon
  • Read more physical (as opposed to Kindle) books
  • Started using Path with close friends and family
  • Compiled Best of Belshaw 2011
  • Redesigned this blog (as well as the Purpos/ed website and Doug’s Ideas Garden)
  • Set up ThoughtShrapnel.com
  • Watched more films in one month than I did in the preceding eleven
  • Re-assessed my direction in life
  • Started using a SAD light (early birthday present)
  • Chilled out a whole lot more than I usually do (Migraine count: 1)

What I really missed social network-wise wasn’t the constant stream of news but the positive reinforcement and support I get. This was shown by the number of messages of congraultations I received both in the comments of my last blog post and on Twitter.

Of course, the question I now get asked is: Now you’ve finished your doctorate, what’s next?

Well, I answer, I’ve got some exciting stuff coming up – I’m running a workshop with Prof. Keri Facer at Learning Without Frontiers at the end of January, and then March is a busy month, with me heading to San Francisco for the DML Conference, speaking at TEDx Warwick, and keynoting a conference for the first time (see my Lanyrd profile for details).

At work I’ll be supporting the JISC Developing Digital Literacies programme, updating the Mobile Learning infoKit and continuing to champion stuff around open education.

Other than that and a couple of other bits and pieces, I’m open to offers. I’ve been asked to submit a book proposal and things are ticking along nicely with Synechism Ltd. (on a part-time basis). Whilst I’m very much enjoying things at the moment, my focus is on doing interesting stuff that aligns with my values (openness, freedom, authenticity) and that allows me to spend as much time as I can with my family.

We’ll see where that takes me.

Image CC BY-SA Todd Klassy