Audio Version Available
It’s that time of the year when we make resolutions to start on a high.
In reality, many of our resolutions wane come February or March as distractions get in the way. Still, it’s good practice to put pen to paper and commit yourself to one thing (or more) that you hope to achieve this year.
It is setting a focus so that you don’t lose sight of the goal.
In 2022, my resolution is simply to make each day count.
Someone once said that “we are too quick to count down the days that we forget to make the days count”.
We wait for the weekends, for that special occasion to tell loved ones we love them, for that day to celebrate when we finally achieve our dreams.
But in the present, let’s not forget that we can still spend time with family, share a laugh with a friend, go for a morning walk, watch the sunset, or read a good book. We can still look for pockets of joy in everyday things.
After all, life is meant to be seen, heard, smelled, tasted and felt. Yet most of the time, we are so busy checking things off our to-do list to fully appreciate it, and suddenly, we realise that all that time has passed.
Making each day count is not drifting aimlessly but knowing what you want and what you are willing to do to get there. Take chances. Don’t regret the things you didn’t do. But also be forgiving to yourself, because there will be days when you just need a break, and that’s okay.
It is also embracing the uncertainty. Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke wrote in his book Letters To A Young Poet: “Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms, like books written in a foreign tongue.”
There is beauty in the not-knowing, in the wandering and waiting, in the unanswered questions. Covid may not go away in the coming year, but even in a pandemic there are silver linings.
A new year brings new adventures and beginnings, and I hope to be surprised!
Here are the resolutions from the rest of us at The Pride for 2022.
Angel Marie Magdoza:
Every December, I sit at a cafe to wrap up the year with some self-reflection on these categories: ‘Highlights’, ‘Upsetting memories’, ‘Books I’ve read’, ‘Habits cultivated’, ‘Recipes’, ‘Things I can improve on’ and ‘Areas I have grown’.
I thoroughly enjoy this time of reflection as a way to practice mindfulness and self-awareness. It is important to me to know where I can do better in different aspects of my life.
I believe humans are meant to become better versions of themselves. However, I also practice compassion towards myself and try not to pressure myself as it would feel more like a chore than an achievement. As long as I put in the 1% effort every day to reach my goals, I’m fine with that.
This year, my resolutions are simple. In past years, I’d set big goals, like reading a book a month even though I’m not an avid reader. In 2020, I tried becoming vegan — I lasted six months before I settled with pescetarianism. I wrote in my 2021 journal, “To finally get my driver’s licence”. Well, that didn’t happen.
My resolutions for 2022 will be attainable goals and habits I can maintain. I would like to volunteer on an ad-hoc basis as I already have weekly commitments. I want to set boundaries and not stretch myself too thin by overcommitting to different activities. I would like to save more, spend less — it amazes me how I still managed to splurge during Covid. I would like to finish the books I have downloaded onto my Kindle in 2021. Finally, to meditate more and prioritise skincare because I’m already in my late twenties!
My resolutions this year are to:
Buy presents Be present for my loved ones
gifts of positivity to friends those in need
3. Make time for self
Try new food
5. Stay in touch with
fashion people who matter to me
6. Go to bed
See the festive light s
My 2022 resolution would be to be a better and happier version of myself.
In this pandemic, I often find myself stressing about what’s to come, worrying and being paranoid over the smallest of things.
In the new year, I want to slow down and discover more aspects of life that we often miss out on, not forgetting to be kind to myself and others. Personal growth is essential, and I want to challenge myself to jot down my day to day experiences and reflect on them.
I want to resume the workout regime that I have abandoned since the circuit breaker — it’s time to bring it back!
In 2021, I felt unmotivated and restless staying home. Therefore, to increase productivity and live a healthier lifestyle, I aim to go on more walks, go for weekly sessions at the gym, eat healthier, sleep earlier and drink more water!
Dear 2022, please be forgiving, and I can’t wait to explore what you have in store for me.
My 2022 resolution is to be more aware of my emotions and mental health. In 2021, I realised that it is not selfish to prioritise your own mental health.
It was draining to be emotionally available for others while having so many other things on my plate. After all, if you can’t take care of yourself, how can you take care of others? So in 2022, I would like to take care of myself first.
Another resolution is to be happy, genuinely happy. It is not an easy resolution as there are always ups and downs in life but I believe that once you are happy, everything else will automatically fall into place. You attract what you believe in.
Kerng Ngee Tan:
2021 has been a turbulent year for me — from changing jobs to serving a quarantine order. Even though I can’t ensure 2022 will be smooth sailing, all I wish for is status quo for the important things around me.
I wish 2022 would be like a cup of latte. Why? Latte is a hot creamy drink made from espresso coffee and warm milk.
Just like a cup of latte, I hope 2022 will be a warm year filled with gatherings with my loved ones where we can talk about our lives and catch up with each other. We don’t need great food, a simple coffee with the right company would suffice.
In a latte, the slight bitterness of the coffee symbolises the ups and downs in life, just like the warm milk symbolising happiness to neutralise the bitterness. Life is more liveable when we are reminded of happy times.
I also hope in 2022 I can attract more people with positivity, similar to how the welcoming aroma of a cuppa draws people’s attention towards a cafe!
I am a person who goes with the flow. I seldom make resolutions as having a list of goals runs the risk of getting myself upset if I fail to achieve them.
However, 2022 will be an important year of change for me. As a final-year poly student, I am left with only a month until I graduate! As I don’t plan on continuing my studies, it would most likely be the official end of my school life. So time is on my side as I will have a long break until I get called up for National Service.
With this free time, I plan on working hard and saving up as much as possible. I want to live a more active lifestyle, exercising and working to improve myself without worrying about deadlines and submissions.
Last but not least, I would like to carry out random acts of kindness. In 2021, I occasionally did things to make others happy, most of which were on the spur of a moment. But this year, I’ll make it a priority to carry out a different act of kindness for each month of the year.
The storm was rolling in.
Big fat splatters of rain were hammering the deck of the little ferry we were on.
It was wet, cold and the wind was so strong that the raindrops were almost horizontal.
Next to me, my 11-year-old daughter was bouncing up and down in glee.
“This is the most fun thing of the trip,” she enthused.
We were on our way back from the Southern Islands. I had wanted to take her on an excursion before the dreaded P6 year started. Before the rain clouds parted, it had been a hot and muggy day.
She had spent most of the journey complaining, as many of our sheltered children are wont to do. “There’s no internet,” she’d grumped. “I’m bored, and it’s so sweaty,” she’d complained.
And I’d cajoled and sayanged but it was time to head home.
We were on the upper deck of the ferry when we saw the storm blowing in.
At first, I was concerned, then as I saw the look of exhilaration in her eyes, I relaxed.
Not a bad idea after all, to decide to come out even though the weather forecast was bad, I told myself.
Last year, I wrote about carpe diem, to seize the day — to make the most of what we have because we never know how long it would last.
Good or bad, all things pass. If there’s any word of advice I’ve taken to heart, it is this.
If you are flying high, it shall pass. Achievements, milestones elevate our moods, but the high passes. So what then?
If you are going through a storm, the sun will break through soon. This bad period you’re going through? This too, shall pass. So what next?
In 2022, my resolution is to take the chances that come my way. And in the absence of such, to create my own. To commit to a choice and not dither in indecision, no matter the naysayers, and let the bad weather wash over me like a passing rain cloud.
That was the resolution that came to me, as I held on to my girl in the storm, and listened to her shrieks of laughter.