Happy New Year! 2013 still feels fresh and new as it's only the second day of the year today. It's funny how the end of one year and the beginning of another always gives that 'the old has gone, the new has come' feeling. At the end of the year, we look back and take stock of what we didn't accomplish and rush about to try to do it. 'Spring' cleaning at winter time. Then, we start making new resolutions that we once again hope to achieve, only to slowly forget to work hard on them as we procrastinate and tell ourselves there's lots more time before the year ends. I'm simply speaking in general as there are people who are super-disciplined and seriously keep track of theirs goals and resolutions.
For the first time, in 2012, ACE made three resolutions each. I remember on 31 December 2011, we sat down together around a large piece of 'mahjong' paper, divided it into three columns and wrote our resolutions down. C then illustrated them with her simple drawings. That piece of paper was stuck to one of the doors in our room for the entire year and slowly, it became an insignificant part of the room, like it was invisible as we passed the door daily, like a forgotten picture frame on the wall! Hahaha.....but there were times, though rare, that I looked at it and thought about how we fared at that point in time in keeping those resolutions. Out of the three resolutions, we managed to achieve one each by 31st Dec 2012. If we were graded, it would have been only 33.33 per cent....
For 2013, we've yet to do the same 'mahjong' paper thingy despite having reminded ourselves that we need to think about our new resolutions. We were busy and tired on 31st Dec 2012 having made a day trip to Seremban and Melaka that day. We didn't even stay up till midnight as a family. It's still not too late so I shall try and get us thinking and writing them down again, although not necessarily on 'mahjong' paper. As parents now, I think it's a good activity to have with C. It helps with providing some learning opportunities, direction and focus.
C and E are back to school and work today. I had feared that we'd have difficulty getting up at 6.00 am but surprisingly we managed. C even got up on her own to her alarm clock. That hardly ever happened last year. Last night she said she was rather excited about going back to school so I guess that had 'primed' her brain to wake up this morning. Her excitement was evident this morning with her chattiness. She said she was looking forward to checking on 'latest developments' which I suspect is about classroom gossip, as well as what new storybooks her school library has. Well, that's typically C. Who her class teacher and other teachers will be, the changes the school is facing this year (movement of students and some of her old classmates to the international school syllabus the school is now offering) are the least of her worries, unlike me when I was her age.
I wasn't as self-confident as C back then and used to feel nervous on the first day of school every year, despite knowing that I'd have the same friends in my class. I didn't take to changes well, especially with new teachers. And I remember when I was in Standard 3, we had the worst teacher any nine-year-old could have. She was strict to the point of being abusive verbally and physically that a number of parents complained to the principal. Looking back, it was indeed a terrifying time for all of us in that class. Imagine getting slapped for handing up your work 'too early', grounded without food for the entire recess time because we were noisy, getting whacked on the back with the gigantic wooden ruler used for drawing lines on the blackboard if you couldn't answer correctly, and a few more horrific abuses I shan't mention .... we literally cowered with fear everytime that teacher came into class.
Sigh, but we survived and a number of my classmates and I remain good friends till today, having shared such memories plus more wonderful and fun ones as we continued into our teenage years until Form 5 and now into parenthood.
Indeed, the end of an 'old' year and the beginning of a new year is a good time to reflect and count our blessings.