The New Year

The New Year

Dear Boys,

As mentioned in my Facebook post, this is my 38th New Year, having celebrated 38th times, what makes a New Year ‘new’? Isn’t new technically means that you are doing something you’ve never done before? So how can New Year be new, when I’ve experienced it 38 times?

I used to be ambivalent towards the ‘new year’. because I want to look at things on an equanimous opinion. Besides, when the ‘new year’ comes, the radio station will still be playing ‘last’ year’s songs, It is still yesterday’s news on the newspapers, the people you know, and knew were from last year. There is, technically, nothing different, this day from the one just ended.

This changed a little when I caught this movie called ‘New Year’s Eve’ back in 2011.We were out on a date and we didn’t know what movie to catch, this one was showing in the cinema and it was a star studded cast, so we chance to catch it. It was a life changing movie, well, gradually that is.

It changed my perspective on New Year’s Day. It was a significant event.

People being people, will seek a certain closure, promises made, promises kept, resolutions made, kept. People to meet, places to go. The end of the Julian Calender is a timely reminder for us all to make good what we want to do for ourselves and for other people. The Year’s End and the New Year is of the spirit of continual closure and renewal. Things that we didn’t do so well, we will resolve to do better in the ‘new’ year. People who have died, we seek a closure, the New Year is an opportunity for us to move on, start anew.

This New Year. I planned to sleep through it, there was no place to go, I’m at home with all the people I love and treasure the most. All the other places are too crowded, the world is getting too commercialised, you want to party on New Year’s eve? Pay.

Besides, there was an air crash, Air Asia QZ8501 went down on 27 December, and as I typed this, rescuers are still trying to reach the plane wreckage under the sea. No, I don’t know anyone there, but such news, depresses and sullens me. I’m also concerned about Uncle Vincent, who has gone over to New York to further his studies and I hadn’t heard from him since. His Facebook is closed and there is no way for me to ascertain his well being.

But the New Year has a different plan for me!

Massive fireworks gone off right outside my bedroom, there is the usual New Year Celebration and the fireworks was spectacular! we lived on the 15th floor and the view was magnificent. You boys are so excited about it and so is everyone downstairs. More importantly, we are serendipitously granted a grandstand view to the fireworks!

The celebrations jolted me out of my blues. There is no way the new year is going to let me go without a bang!

What is the significance of the New Year? It gives us courage to forgive, even if we do not want to forgive ourselves. It gives empowers us to try again, and give us hope. and because everyone celebrate and is aligned to this day, it gives us collective energy. Everyone is in the spirit of renewal, everyone is given the same new year, the same chance again. Everyone starts fresh.

So let’s start fresh as a family and fill our 2015 with meaningful experiences and endeavour to find new meaning to fill the pages of our lives.

Posted January 1, 2015

Our Neighbour- The Kwoks

Mr and Mrs Kwok

Dear Boys,

People often say that ‘Friends are the family we choose.’ There’s nothing much said about the neigbours living next door to us.

While we have many good neighbours, which is another topic that’s too long to write about, I just want to tell you both about the ‘Kwoks’ well, that’s what we call them.

Hit off at first sight

I remembered when we first got our house keys, we were of course excited about it, and from what I can recalled, The Kwoks was here first, they moved in slightly earlier than us, and has pretty much settled down.

It was quite an occasion, and we did made some noise, and left our front door open, which is typical, then The Kwoks, kind of peeped in, when they got home and we welcomed them in, that’s where we hit off.

They were genuinely very nice and we could click, just like that. It was really a rare thing that both of our families got off so well. They brought a kind of comfort and warmth into our new home that very day and both your mum and I liked them, for their down to earth, unpretentious personality. They weren’t proud or trying to act like they were superior in anyway.

Both Mrs

As both were stay at home mum, your mum and Mrs Kwok hit off. Although Mrs Kwok was a good many years older, she could communicate with your mum, and there is no generation gap whatsoever. Over the decades, both families has shared many things, and none of us kept a score. It was pure goodwill where we lend each other stuffs, cooked and shared food, and even shared purchases in this age of online shopping.

We got so close that your mum even taught Esther, their eldest daughter tuition during her primary school days and right now as I typed she has completed her ‘O’ levels, how time flies!

Mr Kwok and Esther during Wayne’s 5th birthday

Looking out for each other

It was kind of unspoken, we were neighbours and we shared things. We even share the shoe rack outside our house. The shoe rack’s ours but we straddled it between our door and theirs so they also put their shoes on our rack. It wasn’t overbearing on both side thankfully. They didn’t hoard the rack, and they knew not to put too many shoes on it.

When we go for our respective family holidays, we will lookout for each other and help to clear any flyers stuck to our doors. Sometimes, they’d tell us when they will be away and even if they didn’t, we would know they are gone for a short trip and just clear their flyers.

When you boys were younger and your mum needed to rush off to get somethings done, and leave the both of you at home, Mrs Kwok would gladly babysit the both of you until your mum is back, and sometimes, we would tell her that you both are at home and she’d keep her door open in case you boys needed to shout out to her for help.

And of course, we do, trust her with our house keys, when we need to.

Shared values

It helps we bind at first sight and it is pure goodwill on both sides. Like everything in life, there are good and bad stuffs, even with neighbors, we are thankful there is more good stuff to share with them than the bad. We are both constantly and unconditionally helping each other, and looking out for each other, which is more than we can look for in a neighbour as awesome as The Kwoks