How Do I Close the Year?

This year has been a year of ups and downs, happy and melancholy, fun and not-so-fun moments. I get pensive when I reflect on the things I’ve done, the people I’ve met. But being the Piscean that I am, I often am attracted to people, feelings, emotions. Never been very rationale. I always thought it was a weakness until I realised recently that it is a blessing.
Moving away, moving on
Some friends have moved away, and some like LCS have passed on. Thinking about them makes me feel that at the end of our lives, no matter how long or short they may be, it is friends and family whom we turn to. For comfort, for love, for those special times. So yes, while success, money, business are important and drive us, without family and friends, there’d be no one to share the successes with when we attain them. Anne and Alicia, I’d miss you both and our makan sessions together. The big move was a shocker but I know you have to make the decision to leave Penang. But please dears, do visit soon.
Half an Expert
That’s what my dissertation supervisor calls me. I take that as a compliment because I’ve slogged for it for the past 2 years and finally I completed it, and more importantly, passed (in his book, a full expert would be a PhD). It’s a huge relief. I grew tremendously in the last 2 years, as a person. I learnt to persevere, though many a crazy late night I’ve berated myself for embarking on it. I’ve also learnt that I can be as strong as I want to be, pushing on when all I see are shadows and darkness. I’ve learnt to take the good with the bad, and to have patience when interview respondents don’t call back or reply my emails. I learnt that people never say the same things twice. So if you want to read my dissertation, you’ll have to find it in the library of Universiti Sains Malaysia. If you’re starting on your postgraduate degree and want some advice, I can give you plenty. Just email me. Come to think of it, I might just write it up and offer it free as a PDF download here. At least it will save someone the heartache and give him or her some shortcuts. Good, legal shortcuts.

Hands On Creativity

I took up crochet again this year. In between working on my literature review and figuring out how to analyse my qualitative research project (see dissertation grouse above). Like mathematicians who like knitting because knitting is mathematically-appealing, I turned to crochet because I needed something physical to do while typing and re-typing, thinking and re-thinking my research. The repetitions in crochet are soothing. Maybe the left brain and the right brain were trying to sync with each other. I was possibly using too much of one side, the left side. And the right brain – the creative part – needed some reassurance.
Socially Responsible
Two things come to mind – supporting recycling efforts and sponsoring a website geared towards recycling. Though my store room looks like a garbage truck just emptied everything into it. I still separate my trash well, and I do not accept plastic bags when I go shopping if I can. I use a tiffin carrier when I buy food and I think it’s healthier too. Less plastic leeching into my food. Little things like that. Carefully saving bits of paper for recycling. And yes, trying to buy products with less packaging.
World of Friends
When I decided to work from home, my main worry was socialising. Worried that I would turn into a recluse because I didn’t have anyone besides my other half to talk to. Well, two years on, I think that’s a myth. Far from not having friends, I have plenty of them. Mostly friendships cultivated on online networking forums. But again, it takes a friend to make a friend. I’m quite pleased really at my ability to make friends. I think that’s where my Piscean nature shines through.

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