NYE 2014

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With New Year’s eve tonight, I can’t help but feel an impending sense of doom. The doom isn’t because it is NYE but rather because I will be meeting him and we will probably have”the talk”. Truth be told, even though a part of me wants to get it over with, another part of me just doesn’t want to start the New Year this way. Last year, I had a good feeling before NYE and while the evening wasn’t exactly perfect, some good things came out of it. For some reason I was hopeful for the year ahead of me and I knew 2014 was going to bring change. And it did, in a massive way. A lot of rotten feelings, followed by good. So the year is ending happy, but I don’t have the same optimistic feeling I had last year. Well, I guess the only thing left is… God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

Happy New Year….

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Crossword

Every morning, I do the crossword. None of the difficult ones, just the easy one printed in the paper. They say doing the crossword keeps the brain sharp. Something I’m determined to keep. This morning, I couldn’t find the newspaper and I feel like something is missing because I couldn’t do the crossword. I am not myself this morning.

Planner journey in 2014…

Wow…this year was a roller coaster ride with my planner. I don’t think I’ve changed this many planners in a year as I did in 2014. I reached the height of confusion and indecision. It was probably also a reflection of my life during 2014…. Bumps, diversions, changes and eventually settling down.

The year started off with me thinking I could do something different. After a couple of years of using a FF Personal (with a brief touch of A5s), I thought I could go back to a system that I used several years back… the Moleskine. Ah the Moleskine, with their cream-coloured paper and grey lettering, always a pleasure to look at. I bought the Week+Notes edition with a red cover. I loved how compact it felt and how easy it was to carry around. Slowly, but surely I realized that once a ring-bound convert, going back is difficult. While I loved the notes page, I never had enough space on the week page. I tend to write my to-do and follow-up items by date, so I know when I need to tackle them. So this format just didn’t work. Worse still was the inability to carry extra paper or to fit in my essential information which is written on address pages of a Personal. For a while, I carried my FF Compact Raspberry Chameleon just for these pages. The whole thing was a total fail and I managed to barely make it through January.

Come February, I was so depressed. I happened to visit WH Smith and ended up buying a FF Personal Holborn in lovely brown. The Holborn is such a lovely binder and so functional as well. I was happy, really happy. With all the changes going on in my life at the time, the Holborn was my perfect solace.

I did venture into buying a Midori Traveller’s Notebook in March. But as soon as I set it up, I realized that I could never use it for work. So I used it for personal stuff… like, blog notes, poems, sketching and gratitude journal. I kept the MTN by my bedside and came home and wrote in it every night.

In June, I had a brainwave. I thought I should try using a wirebound planner. Don’t ask me why. I was browsing through Paperchase and they just got a stock of academic diaries and I thought why not? I bought a weekly version and while it was a nice diary, it was horrible for me. I didn’t even get through a week. What was I even thinking?

July brought a major change in my life, with me quitting my job after more than 10 years with the company. Somehow I decided I needed a reward. I ordered a FF A5 Charleston in Purple. I thought I should give the A5 another go. I was very busy with a lot of personal paperwork and visits to government offices. Funnily enough, the A5 was a really good companion. Given that I didn’t have the added weight of carrying around my work Laptop, I didn’t mind the size or the weight. I loved the look, the feel and the organization.

The A5 was a wonderful experience till I started getting really busy at my new job in September. Somehow the week on two pages format wasn’t cutting it any more. So I decided to browse for better diary options, thinking I would start 2015 with something new. I realized that if I were to switch back to a personal size I would need more space so DO2P or else 2DPP if it was going to be an A5.

After many years of Filofax, I ventured into unknown territory and found myself looking at the Franklin website. I really liked the diary layout of the DO2P and was trying to contemplate what that added width on the personal pages would feel like. Truth be told, none of the binders seemed really attractive until I found myself looking at the Boston binder. They didn’t have it in Classic and that was probably a good thing because the added width that I was pondering over has turned out to be just enough. I found a three-month pack and ordered it with the binder. I love it. The binder is even wide enough to hold A4 pages folded in half, and I’m not too fussy that the top of the paper sticks out. Three months down the line, I have ordered a complete refill for 2015. So ends my planner journey for the year.

My life has also settled down quite a bit. I’m in a better place with my new job and personally I feel a sense of relief.

I hope I can ring in the new year on this positive note… Happy New Year everyone!!

Planner Journey in 2014
Planner Journey in 2014

December 29, 2014

My mind is reeling with all the things I need to do in the next couple of days. Work is slow as my clients are busy closing their books. I, on the other hand, have a few personal deadlines that I need to complete. Sometimes I wish I could hire a personal assistant to get these done for me. Someone like Man Friday from Robinson Crusoe.

My biggest concern is my car. I need to take it to the workshop to get it dented and painted. Taking it to the dealer will mean a lot of money, something I don’t have a lot of these days. So I need to take it to a local garage. All of this is tine consuming and I can almost never get away from the office during the day.  Then I have to get it serviced. Then insurance and renew registration. I don’t know why all of this seems like a lot of work to me. It gets on my nerves. I try to take things one step at a time, but it still bothers me.

A new beginning

With the New Year around the corner, the first thing that people decide to do is make New Year’s resolutions. I stopped making resolutions three years ago. I never followed through with them and it just made me feel guilty. So I decided to just go with the flow and see where life took me. I resolved not to resolve.

It’s not like I never decided on doing anything though. Every couple of months, I set short term goals for my self and even some longer term ones. But nothing concrete and nothing that would make me feel guilty afterwards.

This time around one of the things that I’m planning to do is write more. I know it sounds very much like a resolution, but hey, who’s judging? I used to write a lot in my teens and early 20s. Somehow, all the creativity has seemed to fade away with the busy life I have.

So this blog is a way to get me back into that. Not into creative writing but just writing. By the end of the day my mind is blank, and all I can do is put down some words that make sense and seem to recollect different aspects of my life.

So here goes…. to a new beginning.

Wear Sunscreen

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/chi-schmich-sunscreen-column-column.html

This is one of my most favourite pieces ever. It was originally published in the Chicago Tribune on June 1, 1997, Mary Schmich under the name Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young. I’ve included the link to the original article. It was meant to be a speech for a graduation ceremony and was later turned into a song by Buz Luhrmann called “Wear Suncreen”. The words are simply priceless.

“Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’97:

Wear sunscreen.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.”