Everyone I know, seemed to have armed themselves with a well thought through resolution to kick start the New Year with. I have friends who are already in the midst of working on their respective resolutions. One of them took up water painting, another decided to step up her fitness regime with supposedly the latest and greatest fitness plan. Yet another one had decided to de-clutter and went on a spree to throw out everything useless that she had hoarded over the years including facebook friends and a boyfriend.
I thought hard about a resolution. I did not quite have one because I was already on a fitness regime. I did not hoard anything apart from shoes which really, isn’t hoarding. They are a necessity. I was doing what I could to save money and be more prudent with my spending. I lead a fairly well-balanced life between work and personal commitments and I did have some hobbies.
However, if I thought about a word that could guide what I wanted to experience this New Year, I thought of the word Celebrate.
Last year, my year was very much about health and fitness. After a spate of surgeries and health scares, I threw myself into a rabid regime that saw me working out every day under the supervision of specialized trainers. Health and fitness became a way of life for me. I was more conscious about what I ate, how much rest I had, and intensity of my fitness regime. Indeed I prioritized my health and fitness above everything else and struck a fine balance in the way I invested my time and energy at work and at the gym. I chose to reprioritize my life to take care of myself better, and I believed I had done a remarkable job with that.
However, the impetus to take care of myself was not the only factor that led to the re-adjustment of my priorities. 2015 saw the passing of my Dad, the enlistment of Joel into the army, and restructuring within my team at work.
These, quite abruptly forced me into the unfamiliar territory of needing to let go. As one who took charge and controlled almost everything in my life, learning to let go was difficult, but I adapted to the situations by readjusting my priorities once again.
When I once defined my life with my career, I now defined it by how well my family was taken care of and how much time I could spend with them. That would explain my frequent travels with David to support his sports photography work by teaming up with him as his writer. I turned down a lot of social engagements and tarot reading and teaching opportunities over the weekends to spend time with my family. Having lunch with Mom and attending mass with Joel every Sunday were important rituals for me. My family came first.
So 2015 was a year I acknowledged what mattered to me most and shifted my priorities accordingly.
What then, would be my theme for 2016?
Naturally, the only thing that could evolve from a fairly eventful 2015 that forced me to reprioritize my life was to celebrate each moment and each experience, no matter how big or small, no matter how good or bad.
When Dad passed on, I shifted my perception of his passing, from one of loss to one that celebrated his life and his love.
When Mom was anxious about Granny's frailty, I thought about how we had celebrated Granny's 85th birthday recently and she still looked fabulous for her age. I hope that when I do reach 85 years of age, I would look like her. Granny was a woman full of courage and if you had heard her stories, even you would celebrate Granny's life full of adventures.
When Joel enlisted into the army, I was worried about his lack of fitness and possible inability to adjust to a new life in the army. However when I saw him enjoying army life, making new friends, learning new skills and coming home fitter each weekend, I shifted that perception from one of worry to pride. And I celebrated Joel’s courage, openness and sense of adventure.
When I was forced to restructure my department and I lost 2 staff in the process, I shifted my perception of that loss to one that celebrated the opportunity for these team members to develop new skills and be exposed to a wider scope of work.
When David and I started getting more involved in sports photography and sports journalism beyond combat sports, we got the opportunity to do even more exciting work at the 2015 SEA Games and the 2015 Asian Para Games. Even though our free time had been reduced significantly, these assignments pulled us closer together as a couple. I celebrated the closer relationship fostered because we worked the beat as Team Ash and will continue to do so.
My theme for 2016 then, would be Celebrate. I am more than ready to celebrate the good times and will be just as ready to celebrate difficult ones. I celebrate family and good friends, the close relationships we foster and the spats and squabbles we may have. In fact, I started the year off by paying a long overdue visit to Granny's hometown of Kuching in Sarawak and reconnected with my extended family whom I had not seen in more than 40 years. Now that deserved a celebration.
I celebrate every moment, how big or how small because these are all opportunities to enrich my life this year.
The writer of this blog post is a Marketing and PR professional for over 20 years. Due to her love for Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), she is also a freelance sports writer on the side, contributing MMA-related articles to several sports media. She works in partnership with her husband, David Ash, who is an avid sports photographer from www.singaporemaven.com. She is passionate about Boxing and nurtures a dream to fight competitively one day when her coach stops making fun of her. She is also a psychic intuitive by birth and runs a consultancy that does tarot and numerology readings under her brand, Sun Goddess Tarot. This blog is affectionately called "The Crazy AngMo" as she is married to one, although she has not yet explained to THE Ang Mo that when translated, he has been labeled “the bloke with ginger hair”.