Goodbye 2008, Hello 2009

I know it’s two weeks into 2009 and while many have already did their 2008 year-in-review and 2009 resolutions, I thought it will be good for me to spend a little more time to think over what I truly want and am able to achieve in 2009.

2008 has been a most turbulent year, especially since September when the financial meltdown began in the States. Since then, not a single day passed without some form of bad news on the TV or radio. News concerning bad debts, rescue packages, restructuring and layoffs haunt our headlines without fail everyday. Although the last two quarters for 2008 have been pretty bad, many estimate that the worst will probably hit us in Asia Pacific in 2009.

Personally, unlike the economic situation, 2008 hasn’t been all that bad for me. Certainly, it wasn’t a bed of roses, but I still am able to find several things that I’m thankful for.

In 2008, I have…

  1. I’ve finally taken that step forward to make that first commitment and a second one again later in the year. And it’s only because that certain someone has showed me that it might be worthwhile to plunge and take that risk.
  2. I’ve finally been to the other side of the world – to Finland, no less! Although it was a business trip and alot of time was spent on work, it was definitely a more than memorable trip to me. The disgustingly long journey there and back, the cold, cold weather, the peculiar food and the people I’ve met or gotten to know better during this trip have made their imprints in me.
  3. I’ve visited Phuket with my loved one – it was a journey of 2 firsts – first time traveling with my partner, first visit to picturesque Phuket too!
  4. I’ve gone crazily shopping at Bangkok with some of my colleagues – a few whom I’ve actually grown very fond of and close to.
  5. I’ve also made slight process in my career path – it definitely feels good when your efforts are being recognized.
  6. I’ve also undergone my first operation, and an extremely painful one at that. Although the wound has healed, I’m still currently suffering from some side effects from the surgery. No fun, this one.
  7. Watched my first pop concert at the Singapore Indoor Stadium – No doubt the Jay Chou concert was pretty enjoyable, but I wasn’t too taken with it. Given a choice, I would much prefer a musical or ballet performance.

All in all, these experiences have definitely helped to stretch my mind, helping me gain a little more wisdom to deal with life moving forward.

For 2009, here’s what I hope to achieve…

  1. Cut down on harmful habits – I’m currently in the process of quitting smoking (since November 2008 ) and I think I’ve done pretty well on this so far.
  2. Explore activities that I’ve always wanted to try, but never found time and energy to in the past – I’ve embarked on a new hobby since November/December 2008 and am still keeping it up. Hopefully, I’ll be able to improve my skills on this as I go along.
  3. Nurture my relationship with my loved one to the next stage. Although it hasn’t been extremely smooth sailing all the way, but I certainly think that we’ve done pretty well for ourselves.
  4. Make further progress on my career. Need I say more?
  5. Adopt a more Zen mindset to handle whatever challenges life throws in my path, be it personal or work-related matters. Although, I’m no Buddhist, Taoist, Christian or Catholic, I’m slowly becoming attuned to the idea that what’s important in life is how you’ve lived it, not what you had (material possessions) when you were living it. Sounds extremely simplistic, but how many of us can truly own that mindset?

Some of my friends balk at the idea of making New Year resolutions, citing reasons such as they’ll only break them the very next day and hence, it is a futile exercise. However, I still think that resolutions can be good directives and help us establish what we want to achieve in the year ahead. Without them, don’t we look like ships sailing aimlessly in the wide ocean called life?

On this note, I definitely hope that you’ve made yours as well, and would love to hear what they are, if you would share them with me.

All the best to 2009.