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Reflections at the end of 2021

Luces de Navidad

What a year! I do not even know where to start nor how to structure these thoughts. So here they go, as they flow without rhyme or reason. I am sure a will leave a lot behind but at least I am doing something I should have done more frequently in 2021: writing.

End of our third American adventure: One year in Boston, two in Dallas, the infinite luck of having professional contacts that have given me a lot, and of having the chance to travel across this huge and diverse country that is the US, despite restrictions due to COVID19. I may not be the right person to give advice to almost anyone but I will leave one here: just as we Europeans are surprised when people in the US talk about Europe as a unity when we see big differences between a Danish and an Italian (just to mention two), we should not talk about the US as if Massachusetts and Texas were the same thing, or New York and Montpellier, Vermont (Jost to mention two places in the same coast).

My youngest daughter turned 18. If there is just one thing that makes me feel the passing of time is to see my daughters becoming adults. The oldest one starting Medical School back in 2017 meant a milestone. The second one returning to Spain last academic course to start her Biomedicine university studies was another turning point. But the youngest one becoming an adult just at the end of the year was definitely the end of a phase in our life and the beginning of a new one. I have really enjoyed the one that is ending. I have great expectations for the new one.

I read a lot during 2021. Many years not reading so much, since my teenage and college years. I made it a part of my daily routine and I read at least 30 minutes before going to sleep almost every single day. I have alternated classics and contemporary novels. In 2020 started re-reading Galdós’ Episodios Nacionales, kept on doing it and it looks I will finish this endeavor during 2022. I liked them when I read them at the end of my teenage years but it is actually now when I am really enjoying them. It is fascinating to see how the biggest problems of Spanish society during the 19th Century are still here in the 21st. There are paragraphs that could have been written just yesterday.

I am still using Feedly, not so much sharing links to what I read there. Maybe because I have to renew the sources, which no longer give me content that I find so interesting. Maybe because, who cares what I share after all if it’s just a bit of noise in an unmanageable avalanche? Maybe for a little bit of everything.

I have quit Facebook, still present in Linkedin and Twitter with quite passive profiles beyond some interactions with people with whom I have already had a relationship for a long time. I follow, mainly on Twitter which is where there is more non-professional content, a wide variety of people from all political spectrums trying to enrich me with all the visions, and I am fascinated and at the same time terrified to see how we have gone from having political opinions to build an identity around these opinions, an identity that leads to total support for what “my people” say or do and to criticize unmitigatedly what “the others” say or do, implying the total disappearance of the critical sense and reinforcing the need to label ourselves and label others.

This has led me to a total disaffection with politics and politicians and the absolute conviction that this only has a solution that is independent of political colors, and that I believe is overwhelmingly logic, it should be supported by any citizen (except those who are benefiting from the matter, of course): either the way of voting is changed, or there is no solution to this. Politicians will continue to act with a view to the short term of votes with the certainty that their voters will never consider voting for another list because it is simply not theirs.

Even though I have had a Coinbase account since 2014, I recognize that it is now that I have begun to try to understand what all this cryptocurrency is about (I believe I am not going the wrong way), and NFTs (whose real usefulness beyond the pure trend is costing me a little more to understand). If we add to this the trendy concept: the “metaverse”, we already have the keywords for one of the issues that will keep us busy during the new year.

I finish and I have the feeling that these thoughts do not summarize the year, they do not even scratch the surface, but it is what has come naturally to me, so it is time to finish, and I want to do it in a similar way to how I have been doing it in previous years:

Demos a 2022 una oportunidad para que suponga el cambio que deseamos y necesitamos. Porque necesitamos colectivamente un cambio de rumbo, no solo en lo relacionado con la pandemia del COVID19 (que no he mencionado antes deliberadamente), sino también en lo social y político. Y también en lo más cercano a cada uno, porque en el cambio está la diversión, el cambio es lo único permanente.

Let’s give 2022 a chance to bring about the change we want and need. Because we collectively need a change of course, not only related to the COVID19 pandemic (which I have deliberately not mentioned in this post), but also socially and politically. And also in what is closest to each one of us, because change brings fun, change is the only permanent thing.

Happy New Year. If there is something I can do to help you, count on me.

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