2022 – the beauty of being comfortable

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It is finally December – the last month of the year and before we know it, it will be 2023.

I’m not particularly happy or upset about the upcoming new year but I guess it is still a time for new beginnings, new hopes and aspirations, new wishes and dreams. Time is one of the few constant things in life that moves ahead no matter what, so rather than dwelling on the past, it’s just gonna be better and more realistic to look ahead but before that, it’s time for my self reflection in 2022 (something that I will probably re-read in 2023 and the years ahead. Hello to my future self. I hope you’re doing well (: ) Prior to typing this, I was reading my December entry for 2020 and 2021 to get a feel of what I had been feeling those years.)

In all honesty, 2022 has been a pretty decent year for me as I managed to strike off at least one thing on my list -> which was to change jobs. If you know me (though most people reading probably don’t know me personally), I’m currently in my 5th job since graduation (excluding my working holiday experience in New Zealand) and my work resume looks pretty much like a mess as I don’t seem to have proper expertise or specialization unlike many of my other friends. However, looking back years later, I don’t think I’ve regretted any of my career choices as each and every job gave me a chance to learn and understand a whole new industry, culture and many other things that I wouldn’t else have understood unless I’m in it. Together with my New Zealand stints added in, I do have a wide variety of experiences packed within me and sometimes I think I can be a good career coach to enlighten people on their career decisions. Maybe I’ll write a book when I’m older. Somehow, I’m still searching for that perfect job where all 3 stars are aligned – being paid fairly, having sufficient work-life separation and being in love with what I do every day on top of feeling motivated to wake up every work day. In my past jobs, I could only meet 0 to 2 stars and these days I’m just questioning if the perfect job even exists – or perhaps changing jobs isn’t the solution but changing my mindset is. This is one of the things I hope to work on next year where I start trying to solve my ‘problems’ internally rather than blaming external factors.

Another thing I need to pay more attention to (and perhaps for the rest of my life) is my health and fitness :/ I had quite a number of health scares this year and together with the vaccine side effects and getting covid earlier back in June, it was definitely quite an annoying year for my health. As I age further, I can really feel my health and fitness deteriorating (together with my hair loss getting more serious) and it’s really scary to think of how many more years I have to live with the same body. The least I’ve done this year was I tried to the best of my ability, and attended a weekly pilates basics class. I struggled really badly at the beginning and things are improving slowly but steadily and I guess it’s considered a small win for me. Fitness was never my priority in life but I’m starting to see the importance of it as I grow older. For next year, I need to figure out how to increase the frequency of exercising and that would be a tough one. (Future self, please work had on this). Also, when I travelled this year, I felt my knees were a lot weaker than they should have been. Yes, I do have an injury from NZ but I’m upset with myself that I did nothing during the covid years to improve the situation. My 1.5-day ski experience in Australia this year made me realise that I need to do so much more to my fitness in order to ensure that I can continue skiing for the many years ahead. Hopefully, this would be my motivation to be more conscious about my health and fitness in the future. Also, I’m trying my best to sleep more too. Ever since I bought my apple watch, I’ve set sleep reminders (which come with a Do Not Disturb Sleep Mode which I never knew I needed), I found myself being more conscious in trying to achieve my sleep goal of 6 hours every night. Thankfully, due to the increased consciousness and work-from-home hybrid flexibility, I’ve been able to meet my sleep goals. To add on, I’m pretty lazy and I try not to have plans on weekend mornings/lunch to give myself the opportunity to sleep in and wake up naturally. This is a pretty big mindset shift from the ‘me in the past’. Years ago when I travel, I try to maximize my overseas days by leaving the hotel as early as possible in order to maximize the number of attractions to visit, in order to have a ‘fulfilling trip’. The ‘me’ now spends more time sleeping in a hotel room overseas than back at home. Being overseas, I have less distraction from my computer and Netflix which allows me to sleep a lot earlier. Also, I tend to drink more alcohol when I’m overseas plus I usually walk a lot so it also helps to make my body tired and my mind sleepy. Ironically, sleeping more has improved my insomnia problem too. I used to rely on meditation apps to fall asleep but I don’t think I’ve turned it on in the past half year or so. Now that I look back, contracting covid seems like the turning point for me to improve my sleep quality and duration. That week when I was positive, I found it really amazing that I could sleep and continue sleeping non-stop. It was a pretty amazing feeling and I guess perhaps I fell in love with sleep again. Can’t believe that there was actually a time in my life (when I was really stressed and busy because of my work) when I questioned the need for humans to sleep and wished there was magic (beyond coffee) to not sleep at all, and how awesome that would be. I guess I’m glad that I overcame that phase in life.

Something that has been on my mind since last night (Christmas eve) was that someone not that close to me actually asked me a marginally awkward question – am I on any (dating) apps? To be honest, I have received this question countless times from many different people which makes me wonder if it was really not that normal to be single and not dating. I know I’m not getting any younger (for my bio clock) but having kids was never on my list for a really really long time. In fact, I don’t even remember any of my younger self ‘thinking’ of being a mother in the future. So, usually after explaining that I don’t want kids, most people continue with.. ‘aren’t you afraid of being lonely when you get older?’ To be fair, I do feel lonely at times and I do see the utility in having a partner (to share a house, cost and many other things) but I’m still not too certain whether it is worth the emotions. Most attached/married friends will tell me ‘if you never try, you’ll never know’ and I’ll just be like ‘but I’m living fine on my own right now. Why do I want to shake the boat when nothing is wrong?’ As of today, I’ve not downloaded a single dating app cause I just feel that it is so awkward to put yourself out there in a space where you get ‘judged’ and ‘rated’ based on your curated photos and written bio. Of course, I do hear success stories (many in fact) but I just don’t think it is for me. While I do not reject the idea of being married in the faraway future, I am not willing to make any effort to ‘put myself out there’ for the sake of finding a spouse/partner and perhaps be less lonely. Hopefully in the next year or so, people would stop asking me why am I single or why am I not willing to try dating apps. It can get pretty annoying at times but I always try to explain my perspective to people and I’m perfectly satisfied (and have always been) with my single life right now.

Another thing that I’ve been pretty satisfied with in 2022 was that ‘travel’ resumed in my life. It was a year of ‘comfortable’ travel where I visited friends and family around the world. I did not venture to any exciting/challenging places and most of the time I travelled alone or with one other friend. I think all my trips went really well – I ate well, I slept well and I was healthy. The ‘downside’ of my less adventurous travels was that I did not have any travel content to blog about – which makes me re-think the purpose and objective of this supposed travel blog. Then again, I also came to the conclusion that I should just do what I want to do, write what I want to write and be who I want to be; instead of thinking from the perspective of the reader. I am just a regular writer and I’ve long given up on the idea of transforming this to be a profit-generating side hustle =p I guess that’s part of being.. just comfortable. I only have one short trip planned for next year (which is next month) so I’m hoping that all goes well for that and I’ll be more excited to book/plan for my future trips. On a random note, there’s something awkward with me and my thinking. I really love Japan a lot and I have been wanting to visit it again but I’m putting the plans on hold because it feels like the whole world is going to Japan next year in Spring (March – April). I’ve lost count on the number of people I know that is visiting Japan next year and it feels like everyone knows someone that is going to Japan too. When everyone wants to do something/goes somewhere, it makes that thing or place a lot less attractive in my mind. I can’t seem to find a term for this discomfort and I know it sounds and feels pretty annoying but.. that’s me 😉 Always trying to find comfort in being uncomfortable (if this statement even makes sense).

Also, there’s someone that made this comment lately where he doesn’t feel like his 30s is anything different from his 20s and somehow I kind of relate to that. In fact, my (really ancient) friend mentioned to me a couple of years back how different his future turned out to be from his imagination back when he was a kid (10s). When you were in your 10s, you would have probably imagined yourself to be married with kids by your late 20s and be in a really cool job with a highly respected career. Now that we are in our 30s, it doesn’t seem like we are the ‘future self’ that we hoped we would turn out to be back when we were young. It feels kind of sad but that’s just how unpredictable life is – no one can correctly plan and predict what the future holds. As much as I don’t like change, it is also worrying to know that my life might just be the same in my 40s and 50s and so on.. Perhaps the idea of ‘comfortable’ will just be a constant until my time is up and perhaps there is nothing wrong with that and I guess that’s the beauty of being comfortable.

Merry Christmas to you and your family and your loved ones! Please try your best to stay warm this Winter and let’s all pray for a smooth sailing 2023. I really hope the Ukraine war can end, more lives are not lost and perhaps covid will no longer be something that we need to speak about anymore. The economic outlook isn’t looking too positive for the year and we really need to hold on tightly to any single win, no matter how small it is. May the natural disasters reduce and may everyone be at peace with as many things as possible.

See you in 2023 ^^

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