Friday, December 28, 2007

Saying bye to a happy but unfruitful 2007

Yes, it's the time of the year to ponder back and reflect or what I've accomplished in the 365 days of a year that is soon to pass.. and make (realistic) resolutions for the new year.

To be honest, 2007 has been a cushy year of indulgence and comfort - in almost every aspect of my life. And to be honest, I'm not proud of it.. it's almost like `the year off'. Lets just break it down and see..

It's the year when I have tried my hands in a freelance writing career and had experienced the pros and cons of it. The pros would have outweighed the cons if I was more industrious, hardworking and disciplined. But I have been just too nice to myself - although I did try to seek new jobs, I wasn't ambitious enough to really push myself to the limit. I have as much free time (or may be more) than that I'm occupied by work. Because of the longer deadline period with magazines, I've allowed myself to work at a more relaxed pace compared to how I was working while attached with the newspaper.
One of the newspapers I've been contributing quite regularly with had `dropped' me unofficially since beginning of September. But at the same time, I have been contributing to a couple of new magazines. At the moment, I'm a regular contributor to five publications and hopefully as promised with one or two more to come in the new year..
It may sound pretty good but the truth is, the remunerations are quite meagre due to not much output (one article for most of the magazines a month). Which leads to my next grouse..

Personal Finance
In all my working life, although I've not been able to save from my regular salaries, I usually managed to cover my expenses. But no longer this year. As I exhausted all the payment from my previous company, I realised that my expenses far exceeded my earnings! I KNEW I was earning less, and I've tried to cut down in my spending.. But it was not easy as I could not change my lifestyle overnight... so even with some cutting down such as not eating out so much, I needed help in my finance.. and thank God my parents are great financial planners and had helped me in some investment and financial planning. So without going into details that are a tad bit confidential, just say I've been paying off my credit card debts not from my own earnings but from other financial source. Sigh.. I'm quite sad and ashamed of my financial status.. :(

Spiritual Life
One of the advantages I thought of when deciding to be a freelance writer was that I could have more time to serve God. But did I do that? To be honest, there wasn't any difference in my ministries for God. In fact, I had even taken a break from worship leading from January to September as I was planning to be involved in Missions. But alas, that didn't materialise and I ended up only resuming my leadership role in my peer group - while I could have devoted more of my time in some other ministries..
As far as personal devotion is concerned, I also failed. So I managed to read the `One Year Bible' daily until July - but to be honest, it was just reading and not really studying nor meditating.. Then when I got engrossed with `Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallow' and missed a few days of it, I was too unmotivated to catch up again, especially as I was reaching the more tedious books in the Old Testament.
So the second half of the year was a spiritually dried one although i still appeared `active' in church. I barely even read the Bible and also found myself praying less... even when I prayed it was to heed some prayer requests of friends or I desperately needed God's help.

Fitness and Diet
End of last year I signed up personal training in my gym and even extended the sessions. So I was quite regular working out for some months. But since the personal training ended, my gym sessions also became more irregular. It gotten worse during the end of the year. In November I only went twice and this month only ONCE. And no I don't exercise outside gym at all..
As far as eating is concerned, I've not even tried to diet at all! The year started with a `eat everything but in moderation' principle but soon it regressed into just eat anything, and any amount too! Yes, I've been pretty much a glutton for this year esepecially the last few months. My one-week trip to Hong Kong also saw me put on quite a bit of weight. A few honest friends commented that I've put on weight and I knew that cos my clothes don't lie!

No, I don't mean romance here.. well, because there was zero! I'm referring to my relationship swith family and friends in general.. And maybe in this aspect, I have not done too badly. Because of the flexible time and freedom my work enjoys, I had the chances to spend more time with my parents, especially my dad (only because my mom is so busy with her own programs) And I feel blessed that I'm able to do that and even dad has said so.. He is supportive of my choice of career as I think he also enjoys my company. As for friends, although my social life has not really improved a lot but I also had some time to spend with some friends, a bit more than when I was fully employed. And also get to know some friends better.

Pastimes and Hobbies
For those who know me, I have basically only ONE main pastime: the Internet (what else?) I don't watch much television, don't read much, and even not listening to that much music - except if in the car. There's just too much for me to do on the Net - emails, blogs, surf websites and in the last half a year - Facebook! I know, I am nearing addictive level but it's so hard to tear myself away from my computer screen when I'm at home.
This year I've been taking singing a bit more seriously. I rejoined the church choir in April and when our small group vocal class ended, I decided to learn singing in an individual class, weekly basis.

Sleeping Habit
My owl-like sleeping hours are nothing new.. have even blooged on it a few times. Since I don't need to get up for work, and unless there are (rare) morning assignments, I normally sleep from 4am to 11am-12pm. Yep, that's my terrible sleeping pattern..

I'm blessed that even though strictly speaking my earnings would not give me the privilege to go for holiday overseas, but I did, albeit in the region only. In January (where I still had quite a bit of money) I finally went to Bali. In July to Bangkok and in August, to Bali again with parents this time. And finally in November, my yearly trip to Hong Kong to visit my sis and family as well as to catch up with old friends.

So it has not been a year where I have accomplished much at all. Yes, it was a good year in the sense that I felt happier and free.. basically enjoying myself most of the time. However, like what I said in the beginning, I have allowed myself to take things rather easily and just enjoyed the freedom that I had. It doesn't sound like anything wrong but I still feel there should be a limit. And I really need to discipline myself and make a plan to achieve something more meaningful and fruitful in the new year..

coming: my new-year resolutions and action plan in the next post..

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