I have long been contemplating about getting a rocking chair or something similar because I miss ours back home. So after Christmas, I got this lovely rattan chair + the dramatic sheep skin for it from Ikea. It feels like I am in the Philippines while I am on this throne. Haha. While comfortably sitting on it and assessing my face value (through a mirror) as to how much it depreciated or appreciated (accounting terminology to connote decrease or increase in value, respectively), seriously, I was checking my scalp and I noticed that I have 3 grey hairs. So freaky. That was how it felt to see it for the first time. 😉
I survived the homesickness. Wohoo.
I am rarely melodramatic and homesick. But I really dreaded celebrating my first Christmas and New Year away from home. I think I found it as a big issue because I came from a family who does celebrate it hugely. Last Christmas, it felt much the same though especially when we were talking over the phone. I had two obvious realizations: (a) per my standards of celebrating Christmas, here in UAE I would need much effort to feel the air. While in the Philippines, without stretching much, Christmas spirit will embrace you because it is contagious and (b) I should stop expecting that I will always be in the Philippines during December, that will just be a bonus.
First new year without lighting a firecracker
I kept some of the easy traditions like wearing anything with polka dots to attract money, not to have a chicken dish so that the new year would be bountiful (and not isang kahig, isang tuka as associated with it), and to have anything sticky like the kakanins so that family and relatives would stick together, etc. I know these do not matter much for some people now. But these were my means of reconnecting with people back home.
A visit to the hospital on 1st of January
The truth is I am so sickly as 2010 kicked off. Incidentally, my fourth wisdom tooth is popping. The pain became unbearable that merited seeing a dentist. This aching molar of wisdom affected me much since 31st of December that I was not able to eat more than the
normal expected. Talk about bad timing. As the dentist said, “the molar has no mind, it didn’t know it was New Year’s Eve”. I am yet to complete taking these antibiotics and probably before this workweek ends, I would know if my newest wisdom tooth needs to be extracted or not.
Chipmunking on the the 1st of January
In the Philippines, we observe the tradition of not spending any peso on 1st of January, unless it is very necessary. That is to be frugal the whole year (Lol). So before that day, we ensure everything we might need are in place. The best precaution is to just stay home. After the dental check up and because I was so pissed by my aching tooth, we watched Alvin and the Chipmunks 2. It is so entertaining that I forgot all my worries and (tooth) pains. Not planned, too, I saw that Avatar game is already available for Wii and PC and so I bought. That makes it double non-compliance with family rules. Lol. Frankly, I don’t believe in all the traditions we observe, but it is good to observe some in a way just to keep the family tradition alive while maintaining my being reasonable. Being frugal is a decision and is relative. And it can be exercised anytime of the year.
Accepting another blessing
Rather than calling it a challenge, I will term it as a blessing. I was invited to teach selected topics for the board exams review for those based in Abu Dhabi. After checking possible conflict with work schedule and other commitments, I said yes. It is gratis though. It is about time to give back/share to the community.
Considering the good and not so good things that transpired the past days, I can feel that my 2010 is already taking its shape. This old statement is echoing to me since New Year’s Eve: if you want something more than the usual to happen, you have to exert the right amount of effort that you have not done before. It is like a fair equation. What you give out bounces to you.
I bet you are as excited, too, to do something more and better. 😀