Monday, December 15, 2008

Reflections for 2008

Greetings from one of the best, if not the best, airport in the world--Changi Airport. This state-of-the-art airport made me realise how fortunate and blessed I am to be born in Singapore. Random thoughts keep running through my mind as the year comes to an end. What if I was born somewhere else? Would I have the same opportunities that I had? Would I enjoy the good quality of living? Would I have died in a earthquake? Would I have drowned in a tsunami? Would I have been blown away by a hurricane? Would I have the good friends that I have? Would I have traveled to so many countries at a young age? Would I be the same person that I am today?

I am not sure. But I would like to count my blessings.

I must say that I am truly blessed by the Lord. For without Him, I would not be here typing this entry. I am not sure about you, but I think that sometimes we get too caught up with the hustle and bustle of life that we forget to count our blessings. We get too caught up with our activities, our projects, our gathering, our outing, our games, that we forget to stop and smell the roses. We get too caught up with gossips, friendships problems, competition, jealousy, comparing with others, that we forget to appreciate our loved ones. We forget that life is more than doing things.

Do you feel the same way?

For me, this past year has been real challenging and exciting at the same time. I was faced with all kinds of stress. There seemed to be so many things for me to deal with at one point that I thought I could have easily jumped off a bridge, again. (For a bungy jump I mean.) It wasn’t an easy year for me, but it was definitely a milestone year. One of the things that I will truly remember is seeing my book finally in hard copy, in my hands. It was surreal, to me at least. After that, seeing my book in all the major bookstores gave me the kind of intense feeling that I can never............eeeee........eeee........eever........forget. It was so unbelievable. Who would have thought a good-for-nothing-problem kid could actually publish a book? I wouldn’t. After all, “trouble” was my middle name. All I knew at that time was getting into fights and running away from class. Writing and publishing a book? That is like asking me to hold a music concert.

Personally, that was one big accomplishment, considering the fact that I took seven long years to publish my book. 2008 certainly marks the beginning of the next chapter in my life.

More importantly, in 2008, I got more in touch with people that I care about. I reconnected with some of my old friends. Spent more time with my family. Built a fish pond for my father. (Killed a few fishes along the way). Made a new friend whom I can truly connect to and relate to emotionally. And I got to spend quality time with a few individuals. All in all, it was a fruitful year for me emotionally.

I guess, ultimately, the quality of your life is the quality the relationships you have. Yes, I do agree that pursuing one’s dream is important. I agree that achieving personal success is fulfilling. But I also agree that taking time off to count your blessings, appreciating your loved ones, and helping people are important. We should not neglect that. There should always be a balance. Otherwise, success has no meaning. (At least to me.)

What about you? As you look back at 2008, were there any regrets? Were there things that you want to do but didn’t? Were there dreams that you wanted to pursue but didn’t? Were there people that you wanted to appreciate but didn’t? Maybe you should do it now. As written in The Joys & Pains of Growing Up, principle 10, we should “Say ‘Thank you’ before it is too late.” We can never know, can we?

As the festive season is here, do what you need to do—have fun, play, BBQ, gatherings, movies, party, go crazy, whatever. But I think you can add ‘appreciating loved ones’ to your list. It is not too difficult, is it?

As 2009 draws near, think about what you want to do accomplish next year. What are the things that after you have done it, will save you from regrets? Remember, once time is gone, it is gone forever. You can’t turn back time. Now, you have the opportunity to learn from 2008, the mistakes, the regrets, the heartaches, the stress, to move on to the next year with a fresh start. After that, set out a plan to accomplish those things that you want to do, and do it!

Then my friend, your LIFE WILL NEVER, EEEEEEEE................EEEEEEE.............EEVER, BE THE SAME, AGAIN!