2023 is coming to an end.

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It’s only the 11th of December yet I’m starting to pen my ‘once-a-year’ aka reflections post, which seems rather early as compared to other years – where I tend to be really rushing things up at the eleventh hour.

Well, that’s because I’m currently doing my own quarantine in my room and today is Day 4 (well kind of). Yea, I contracted covid for the second time, approximately 18 months after my first time  and somehow I’m still trying my very best to be socially responsible and coping myself up in the room in order not to pass it on to my family. Although I’m very positive (as determined by the really dark lines of my ART test kits), I actually don’t have much symptoms at all and I would like to believe that this is all thanks to my 4th vaccine dose taken a year ago + the x2 flu jab taken this year. Currently, I do have residual cough (which I believe was from my flu 2 weeks ago), runny nose and an occasional sensation of phlegm in my throat. I did have 3 mornings of ‘dry throat spell’ before being tested positive (had tested 3 days prior) but I guess I managed to skip the fever and sore throat this time around.

I’m also glad that not a big part of my life is affected as I currently have no overseas trip planned and my Christmas gatherings are only starting a week later, thus I do have sufficient time to recover before that. As awkward as it sounds, it was an ideal timing to fall sick – assuming I will get the 3-6 months immunity after. Work is also slowing down as expected in December plus working from home is also pretty alright for me – thus I didn’t have to call in sick for any days – continue working at my own pace (yea I’m somewhat of a workaholic sadly) – which is also good as it does help to past time faster.

Over the weekend, I watched so many shows that I don’t really know what I want to watch next. You know it’s kind of like fatigue where you’re spoilt for options and suddenly nothing seems interesting to you anymore? It’s like how I sometimes lose enthusiasm in food in Singapore cause there’s simply too many options and choices. In New Zealand, I think I feel a little more excited in doing food prep because I don’t have much options and I do have to spend time thinking and planning while doing the groceries – so there’s kind of like effort in most of my meals whereas here in all-so-convenient Singapore, I just get so lazy.. such that thinking of what I want to eat is a chore.

(Got distracted since the previous writing and today is 20th Dec)

Anyway, from the previous writing, I was ART negative 2 days later and I guess I became more distracts with everything else but writing, which was why I temporarily forgotten that I have yet to complete my blog post. The past week (since I recovered from covid) had been pretty busy as it is the year end and people tend to want to meet once more before the year end. I also visited our neighbouring country – Johor Bahru for a 2D1N trip – with a huge group of 6. I don’t usually travel in groups so 6 people is considered huge for me. It was nice to be able to spend time with my pals from my secondary school days. We spent the night drinking and playing mahjong. To be honest, the me at age 13 would never have imagined that I could still be in contact with these friends so many years later. However, with technology – it is so easy today. All you have to do is to create a group chat and prays everyone reply. I respect my retiree parents for being able to keep in contact with their schoolmates even till today. It is when you are a retiree where you finally have all the time in the world and that’s where you can just meet friends to chill and relax and reminisce. I hope I have the luxury to lead such a life in future – where I’m still in contact with my friends from my younger days. Would be amazing if we are still all fit and healthy too..

I guess I have long digressed from my 2023-focused post which is always the case as my mind runs at 5-seconds intervals (a new term my friend gave me the other day), which sadly I can’t deny. My attention span is indeed very short and given that I can’t even stay focus in that floatation therapy thing that I tried in Bali, I guess it is really bad. Okay let me attempt to summarise my years and emotions in the next few paragraphs.

2023 – how did I fare? On a score of 10, I would give it a 7.5 which I think is a rather decent score.

Career-wise, I think I did a relatively decent job in the sense where I am not thinking of quitting as yet, and neither does my boss dislike me. Given that I job hop quite often and that my resume looks like crap, the fact that I am not looking out (for now) means that I’m feeling somewhat stable and contended with where I am now. The industry I’m currently in is something that I have crossed out of my job hunt during my fresh grad days but with an interesting twist of fate, I somehow ended up in the industry I never wanted and didn’t think I had the abilities to be in. Nevertheless, I’m glad to be doing a relatively okay job with colleagues that have a strong work-life separation. Also in this year, I got to enjoy the long coveted ‘compliance leave’ which means that for the full 2 weeks of my work year, I need to remain uncontactable. It was such an amazing feeling because towards the end of the trip, I was wondering if I still had a job. It felt like a period of temporary unemployment. After so many years of career switches, I finally realise that work-life separation is indeed a possibility; but a luxury I never had in all my previous roles.

Health-wise, there’s certainly a lot I need to buck up in this area. I have not been very consistent with my exercise classes and there’s always a good reason to skip a class or two, without any intention to have a make-up for it. I hope that I will be more disciplined in the coming years ahead and hopefully with class pass, I will be adding more variety to the things that I do – working out different parts of my body and muscles I never knew about. Food intake.. it is hard. I know I should be making concrete effort to cut down on this but it is just so tough when food is comfort and enjoyment for me. The only tiny baby step I am doing is that I’m intentionally cutting down on bubble tea and consciously choosing the less sweet option (but still not zero sugar yet). Still not convinced that I have the determination to do more in this aspect but baby steps – I guess this can be considered an excuse too.

Travel-wise, I think I’m becoming more and more of a lazy traveller but I guess there’s nothing wrong with it as long as I’m happy. I didn’t explore new places this year – sticking to country of my comfort zone like Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Bali and oh wait, I did go to somewhere new – Hat Yai – where I had an amazing mountain glamping experience. The irony of all these is that the more annual leave days I get, the lazier I get when it comes to travel planning as it is not as precious as before. I guess I’m just finding excuses for being lazy so let’s just leave it as that =p Meanwhile, I’ll have to fret over how to plan my leave days for the year ahead which is really tough for me as I do not enjoy taking leave just to stay at home. oops.

Friends & Family / Relationship-wise -> There hasn’t been much changes to this aspect in my life for the years before and possibly in the years ahead. I think I’m pretty much in my comfort zone, found the people who I enjoy having company (though it is dwindling at times when some of them gets upgraded status to be spouse or a parent) and at the same time I have also found the ability to be comfortable myself – which helps to ward off the loneliness at times.

Hobbies – I kind of got back into crocheting this year and I completed 3 bags to date, and I’m on to my 4th one. I somehow find crochet a rather good thing to be working on when I’m listening to audiobooks. As you can see, I can never do one thing at a time and I find the joy of multi-tasking in every aspect of my life. I also managed to complete more audiobooks this year but I wouldn’t exactly consider it as a hobby as it is something I enjoy doing as a ‘multi-tasking’ activity (e.g. when I commute or taking long walks). And.. I can’t really think of anything else to add on for this category. I don’t consider watching Netflix and YouTube as a hobby because it has somewhat been ingrained in my routine. Oops.

Anyway, over the weekend, my friend asked if I knew my birth timing – which could determining my ‘rising star’ sign which can combine with your usual horoscope to determine some readings/predictions of your life and yes it might be a ‘confirmation bias’ kind of thing but I found myself getting a somewhat depiction of myself.

[Removed my star sign to remain mysterious], in all areas of life, you build with rigor and method, based on sensible and lasting plans. You are sometimes judged by other people as austere or ambitious because you remain very reserved, even to the point of being secretive. However, your affections are deep, and your loyalty is total.

To put things frankly, reason, reflection, and analysis dominate all your endeavors; you leave nothing to chance, sometimes risking getting too attached to details. But your precision harmoniously combines with your way of synthesizing, so you don’t drown in trivialities. Your logic and rigor prevent many troubles but make it challenging to understand your own feelings and emotions. Their subjectivity requires a certain letting go to fully experience your loves. You naturally tend to adopt a reasonable point of view on everything. It is rare that you let yourself be carried away by emotions; your reflections guide you, allowing you not to lose touch with reality. Realistic, pragmatic, and full of common sense, in all areas of your life, you want to take the time to build solid, lasting foundations, but your lack of spontaneity and fantasy isolates you a bit from your surroundings.

My own comments: the portion about be realistic and practical is really super true. For my own MBTI rating, I gotten the INTP trait (Logician) and I agree that often, I find it hard to accept something that is not common sense. Like I just can’t understand why would people not make the ‘right’ decisions. I am also a planner aka not leaving anything to chance. If it is something that I can plan ahead in advance, I would do it in order not to screw anything up. 

In love, you take your time before settling down, but once committed, it’s for life. Whether in love or friendship, your attachments are enduring; you are faithful and loyal but not very demonstrative. You exert strong control over your feelings and emotions because you are aware that they can make you vulnerable. Your relationships are made of sweetness and understanding, marked by affection, but you protect yourself for a long time before truly opening up. You need a benevolent partner. As a double earth sign, you often settle down very late. Demanding, straightforward and cerebral, love is not your main concern, and you prefer to think about your career. In a relationship, your partner can count on you because you prove to be solid and reliable. You need to protect your other half, and you know how to be very attentive. Although you do not reveal yourself at first, you have a great sensitivity that you hide behind your shell. Commitment is something serious for you and when you formalize your union, it is for life.

My own comments: I guess it is still too early for anything =p aand the portion which mentions that commitment is something serious for me – which is why I find myself being unable to commit to anything, not even to a career or a hobby.

At home, you are energetic, optimistic, and enterprising. You are stubborn but not resentful, and you do not let daily obligations pile up in a corner. You are not very orderly, but your home seems more lively than many others. You are always ready to help your loved ones in activities that require significant physical efforts. But you can be selfish, not always easy to live with, and rarely attentive to what others may feel. Your family might hold this against you.

My own comments: Agreeing to everything in bold above. As much as I like to believe that I am not stubborn, my friends have told me time and again that I am stubborn despite pretending to be easygoing. whoops.

Ambitious, endowed with a calculating mind and a will to build, you have unwavering patience to achieve the goals you set for yourself and an enormous work capacity that commands admiration. You are discreet, efficient, with precise movements. In your professional life, you are consistent, and you value above all the satisfaction of a job well done. Your courage propels you toward a beautiful career, often formal because you are not eccentric! Square, determined, enduring, methodical, you give yourself entirely to your work and fully assume your responsibilities.

Your methods for making money are original; you are an opportunist, and your investments sometimes seem perplexing. You manage your heritage freely; you tolerate no interference in this area. You use your finances to free yourself from any constraints. As an associate, you are more influential; you become unhappy in an environment that does not suit you.

You do not fear solitude; it allows you to reflect on the meaning you want to give to your life and to structure your projects effectively, leaving no room for the unexpected. You often lack warmth, but that does not prevent you from being admired by a good part of your surroundings. To get to know you, one must know what to say because you are not very talkative, but once the relationship is established, you are simple, loyal, and attentive. While our zodiac signs are the most well-known parameter of astrology among the public, anyone that knows anything about astrology would testify that the ascendant sign is an equally important consideration for evaluating a personality. The ascendant is known to play a significant role in the development of character, along with having an influence on physical characteristics.

My own comments: I guess this is why I’m comfortable to travel alone.

Now you are very down-to-earth person. Realistic and through, you need to analyze and master everything you do, even if sometimes that comes at the cost of spontaneity. Luckily, your rising sign is all the same capable of moments of madness from time to time. It is this more relaxed aspect of your personality that always allows you to stay in good company and makes your relationships more passionate than they would be. Of course, you’re equally capable of backing off, too.

Thought that I posted the extract so I can reflect on it in the years to come and see if it has indeed been an accurate depiction of my character and life.

I don’t have anything else to reflect upon for this year and let’s hope that 2024 will be a more peaceful year, with more stable markets, lower unemployment, acceptable cost of living and a happier place for everyone. There should also be fewer natural disasters and reading the papers in the morning should be less depressing.. Oh wells. Wherever in the world you are, I hope you’re doing fine at the minimum. Don’t forget to look for the simple joys in life and continue to think positively and do good things.

Wishing you and your family and loved ones a bless Christmas and new year 😀

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