I’ve been writing this post since the start of December. Since December 02nd I’ve been drafting the first bits in my mind and on the 04th I took it to paper/screen. Every blog post that I take 800 days to churn now becomes a work in progress. It no longer is an affair of sitting down and writing a post at a time. It takes a few days to construct. I don’t know if this means that the writing has become more difficult. Or if the writing is getting better and therefore needs time to build, curate and nurture. Or perhaps I’m running out of time to write all the things I have in my head.
A similar post helped put things in perspective last year, so since perspective is something I’m always looking for, this seemed like a good idea.
December has always been a bit of a difficult month for me. Besides the month being the birthday of Daddy Cool aka Jesus Christ (no offence, my Christian friends), it’s also the family birthday month. But it is also the end of the year. See thankfully I’m not one of those “it’s a new year, new me” types (for those wondering, I believe that change can happen every day). It might have been more dramatic than this. As in the words of Rami Malek in Bohemian Rhapsody, “there is room for only one hysterical queen” and clearly that queen is not me!
But December is difficult. It is the end of the year and since some of are rounding off accounts and some countries present budgets for the incoming financial year (some, except ours) you cannot help but do one of those quick evaluations of yourself. The last quarter of the year always makes me wonder what I had achieved during the year, if I had done anything productive if not substantive or if my existence was simply a replica/continuation of what was written in last year’s blog post.
But amidst these questions and in trying to keep with one of the very few traditions I attempt at abiding by, here are 28 takeaways (in no particular order) from 2018 and hopefully ones that help make 2019 better than it should be.
- I learnt how to deal with grief. I realised through videos, talking to others who’ve dealt with grief and generic readings on the Internet on the importance of not letting grief manifest within me but to instead embody it and allow it to be with you as you move on in life. Because for me, I’ve learnt (even in my 2017 post) that I not only heal best alone but I cannot truly let go or forget of all things. Instead, it’s best that I don’t fight and attempt (and fail at forgetting it) and take it along with me and maybe even plonk it in my handbag.
- I learnt to let go of some things (not grief necessarily), having realised that regretting and pondering on things you couldn’t do at a time or you could’ve done better doesn’t really matter now. It doesn’t also make a difference for the damage or the lack of initiative has already been made. Instead of beating myself up about it, I’ve learnt to accept it for what it is. This has been a work in progress for over ten years and I think I’ve finally managed to master it. hurray me.
- Speaking of regret, I enhanced (haha!) my insight on regret and learnt how I best I could work towards keeping it away from me or allowing myself anywhere near it. It’s usually best kept all the way in the back of the bus.
- While putting people and memories away, I also renewed relationships this year. Some I have pushed away from my life, to the back of the bus while others have taken the front seat. I’ve become aware of the importance of shifting priorities so that it becomes the best fit for my mental and physical wellbeing.
- Continuing my bus story, I have grown to accept that those sulking at me from the back of my bus do not matter to me and neither do their opinions. In fact, I couldn’t care less. I not only realised that I already have too many problems in my life to deal with (as we all do) and too much self-doubt to overcome, that I couldn’t care less about someone else’s negativity or opinion of me. Their baggage of me is not my baggage and therefore, it does not belong in my conveyor belt (I hope all my travel symbols are foresight into amazing adventures in 2019 haha!).
- I realised that you can pick up hobbies as an adult. Or at least new interests.
- I learnt that fitness and wellness don’t come to you easy. Only fat and calories that won’t leave you will allow themselves to be easily absorbed like the negative people in your life. It’s your decision on how you choose to control them.
- Speaking of which, I learnt that being fit and well is a choice. If you really want to be your healthiest self, you can do it so as long as you put your mind to it.
- Such as cooking! I enjoyed cooking more than I did last year and have some serious gains with speed.
- I learnt that sharing knowledge will only bring you more knowledge. Or let you absorb and learn new things.
- I also learnt to set financial goals and become more aware of spending and saving habits. I realised that having such goals will also help with aspirations to look forward to in life, such as travel.
- While becoming more aware of money, I also learnt that money is a good motivator to get things done.
- Important family became closer to me while I put the remainder of them to the back of the bus.
- I realised that I can not only write wedding speeches on behalf of the groom but my writing skills have also expanded to writing eulogies.
- In 2018, I learnt that it was important to run behind what you wanted. No good comes to those who wait around for it.
- I’ve also learnt in 2018 to enjoy solitude, peace, the quiet and my awesome company.
- I also learnt something which I call “positive guilt”. To continuously articulate something so much so that you finally end up doing it. It worked for me with travel and to some extent with my savings.
- I also found out that (some) women and small groups of people will always motivate one another and have each other’s best interests.
- I also learnt that competition is not bad. Not only are you expected to work better, harder and smarter but there is more often than not enough to go around (and share even with your competition).
- I learnt that kindness towards others will never get you in trouble. Even if it does at that moment, your kindness will reflect back when you perhaps least expect it.
- I learnt that you can be more useful than you think you might be.
- I embraced the joy of trying to sleep before midnight and waking up with the sun rising.
- With this new morning routine, I also began to appreciate sunrises better.
- Speaking of the sun, I was fortunate enough to see multiple sunsets from different parts of the world.
- Speaking of travel, I learnt so much from travelling while on work and for fun (mostly on my own) and I also realised that travelling doesn’t have to always involve a visa stamp.
- In 2018, I reaffirmed (to myself) that happiness is a non-permanent state of being. I also if you are unhappy and find yourself in the pits, to always remember that there is nowhere to go but up.
- Speaking of happiness, the year also taught me to not miss things. I learnt that if you never had something you not only never knew what it would have felt like but you also wouldn’t miss anyway.
- Finally, I learnt that regardless of what happens, the show must and will always continue to go on.