Another trip around the sun. Another year over and a new one just begun. Another year closer to the end my friends. No wait, scratch that. New Year’s is supposed to be light and beginning. Refreshing and positive. Let me start again.
I’ve been blogging for three years now. Aside from making me realize that of the 300 million people who blog, 3 actually make a living from it so my dream of sitting pool side while tapping out lengthy sentences about whatever moves me will not pad my bank account, I’ve learned that I feel surprisingly the same about certain things, year after year. Like the New Year holiday. This was my New Year’s post last year and it is as true today as it was 365(ish) days ago. I accomplished none of the resolutions I wrote about only further proving my reluctance to buy into this contrived holiday. (Julius Ceasar first picked this to be the first day of a new year based on the Roman god of doors and gates, Janus. It’s been moved around several times (most often to March, by Christians who align it with Annunciation Day) before some surprisingly precise calculations measuring the earth’s rotation against seasonal changes, set the date to January 1 again.) After all, aren’t our birthday’s our real new year’s?
But still, despite the overhyped significance of really just another boozy night, and the overwhelming messages that in the seconds between 11:58 pm and 12:01 am, on this particular night, everything becomes possible again, I suppose it’s as good a time as any to pause, reflect and look ahead.
I’ll spare you a year’s worth of reflection and instead fast forward to the past month when I dropped off my blog. We went back to Connecticut for Christmas. These are my takeaways.
1. Time warps are real. Traveling 24+ hours but ending up only 13 hours from when you started makes you feel like you’ve cheated time. It is a long way from New York to Singapore. And really, kind of mind boggling to think about how you actually were able to travel around the world, 30,000 feet above land, with all the modern conveniences your accustomed to (except leg room). (Maybe the reason I’m hung up on these arbitrary dates.)
2. The wonder of 21 century air travel and the feeling that you could be some kind of time warping superhero wears off approximately 68 minutes after landing when the reality of jet lag sets in. Going from night to day is no joke. And perhaps because it lingers, the jet lag to me, seems worse than the 19 hours in flight.
3. Family is…family. Being away from family is the hardest part about living here so it was good to be back. But what seemed to stick with me this trip is how on one hand, it is so crystal clear you are related. On the other, you wonder how (if) it is really possible that you are in fact, related.
4. Admittedly, I am a member of the “Christmas is too commercialized and materialistic” club but having kids makes you a less vocal member of the club. There was a time, not so long ago, when I wondered if I could really promote Santa and all the hoopla and impossible details about the chimney and flying reindeer and the presents made by elves. Turns out, I absolutely can. This was the first year my kids were really into Christmas and now I get it. They blindly believe and it is kind of magic and endearing. And because they blindly believe what you tell them, you can skip the parts you don’t really like – like a creepy elf spying to make sure you’re good enough to get on the nice list. What about being food for goodness sake? Ok, calm down. We do have an elf, he just hung out as our friend not some narc who reports into Santa.
5. In looking ahead to the new year, I can say coming back to 80 degree weather in January is lovely. I enjoy a good heavy snowstorm, a warm fire, fleece, but 3 weeks is good enough. Its been sunny and breezy and comfortably warm. Its hard to miss the crackling fire while sipping drinks poolside.
6. Singapore turns 50 years old this year. Just a babe in the league of nations. I recently read this article that talks about the lack of “exciting chaos” here versus other regional cities like Jakarta or Kuala Lumpur and that Singapore feels “scrubbed clean” to a fault. I’ve heard this before but I wonder if part of it is just that Singapore (as an independent city-state) is new. It’s still working on it’s personality. Anyway, there already is a bit of a buzz in the air for this “Golden Jubilee” year even though their independence day isn’t until August. Happy to back.
7. The Christmas decorations are coming down and Chinese New Year decorations are up. This year will be the year of the sheep. Way more exciting than Valentine’s Day.
So in the spirit of “anything is possible”, this is probably the year my blog will take off and land me a super flexible, high paying job and I (and those I love) will be blessed with perfect health, and the sun will shine endlessly, and we complete all our resolutions with ease and it will be the best year ever. For all of us. Happy New Year!