This is that time of the year when people are suffering the post-Christmas blues (you know, complaining they ate too much or spent too much) and contemplating what resolutions they are going to make on New Year’s Eve, ideally ones that they might actually keep. This is also the time of year when people say to themselves “where have the past 12 months gone?” or exclaim “I can’t believe it’s another year already!” as if it has taken them by surprise.
For me, new year’s resolutions have never been an issue. I simply don’t make them. What is it about that one day of the year that makes it different to any other day? Oh, I am not a party-pooper by any means. I love the parties and the fireworks and the all-night music video shows that count down to midnight. But I believe that if you are going to resolve to lose weight (which is likely the most common resolution on NYE, right next to “I’m going to find my perfect partner”) then eating and drinking copious amounts of caloric food and alcohol is probably not the best way to start off.
My 2010 started off nicely, with an invitation from one of my oldest friends to a quiet little party at her parents’ apartment to watch the fireworks. Then a little family holiday a couple of hours down the coast from Sydney. Lots of usual summer activities such as Open Air Cinema in the Royal Botanic Gardens, a trip to our national Capital to check out the European Masterpieces art exhibition, a front row seat at the Rob Thomas concert at Centennial Vineyards (all be it a completely flooded experience but hey, how often to you see a Grammy-award-winning rock star and his band on stage wearing gumboots?) and then a new job working for an old boss. Oh, not to forget, LOTS of movies.
The winter months were just filled with AFL goodness. My beloved Sydney Swans recruited and traded well at the end of a tumultuous 2009 to form a young and enthusiastic team that took everyone by surprise. We found new heroes in young rookies, said farewell to our most respected coach as well as co-captain, and finished up with some very exciting home games that had perfect strangers hugging each other in the finals series as if we had just won the Grand Final. There was no doubt everyone was excited after all the punters thought the Swans would bottom out for at least a couple of years before we would find any success again on the top half of the ladder. Oh how happy we all were to find a team ready to prove all the so-called experts wrong!
When footy season was over, I had two major events I was going to look forward to before the year ended: my birthday celebrations which included day spa treatment, watching The Marriage of Figaro at the Sydney Opera House and the Swans end-of-year Club Champions Dinner; and holiday in Vietnam followed by one to Hong Kong to visit my Grandmother before Christmas.
All the excitement and anticipation went out the window with one phone call from Hong Kong advising my family that my Grandmother had been taken to hospital unexpectedly. Before I knew what was happening, I was canceling my birthday plans and sitting on a plane on a dash to HK, hoping and praying that I would not be too late to say goodbye to my Grandmother. But I shall not dwell on that time as I have already written about it (you can read that blog post here).
My holiday to Vietnam went ahead as planned and it was an eye-opening experience. I shall write about that at a later time. And so it was that at the end of November, I flew to Hong Kong once again, as originally planned, only this time, I was staying at my Grandmother’s tiny flat without her there. I spent the week there with my Mum, feeling lethargic and uninterested in anything. But the world continued marching on, as I knew it would. The city was filled with people preparing for the Christmas season and rugging up in their big coats in 25 degrees Celsius temperature while Mum and I wished for a cold change in our short-sleeves. I carried around a pashmina with me everyday regardless…because that was the kind of thing I would have done so that my Grandmother would not worry about me catching a cold had she been around to nag me about it. Old habits die hard.
And through it all, there is no denying that I feel utterly blessed. At some point during the year, I made a few groups of new friends: the ones I “met” on Twitter who have seen me through the highs and lows of most of my year, my new friends at work who shared the pain with me (and dragged me into playing volleyball whilst assuring me that if I was to get hit in the face by an incoming ball, that they would laugh with me and not just at me – and by the way, I did NOT get hit in the face or head at all!), and those I met on my recent adventures in Vietnam. I have a beautiful and loving family, and of course, old friends who have still not grown too tired of me after all these years. I have a beautiful home (the mess is only further proof of how blessed and fortunate I am that I can afford to have this mess) and most importantly of all, we all have our health.
So, if anyone asks me what my resolutions are for the new year, I can only say I just want things to be much the same because sometimes, as the Vietnamese like to say, “Same Same, But Better” is a good motto to live by.
Happy New Year my dear friends!
With love, Me x0x