Monday, January 03, 2005

Happy New Year?

So how did you usher in the New Year?

I was at a party with long time friends, but it wasn't the drunken revelry I used to have just a few years ago.

Because I'd promised myself never to get so drunk that self-control fled out the window and my consciousness took a backseat a la Being John Malkovich. Eh, especially when your gf hears things she's not meant to.

Of course at this party, there was alcohol to loosen tongues and boogey and there was music to groove to and hence there was dancing... at least people attempted to.

But this year's party was unexciting and seem more like an adherence to the tradition of partying together with friends. Guess I ain't 18 no more - in fact, I'm 26 this year.

Why do we NEED to USHER in the new year anyway? Why do we need wild celebrations and mass countdowns that culminates in 5 minutes of enthusiastically hugging and kissing everyone around, total strangers included??

Of course, there are those who just wanna have fun, like a part of me.

Does the human psyche really need to think in terms of years and invariably starting each year on a fresh slate?

Admittedly man is a creature of habit. No wonder resolutions get made and abandoned just a few weeks in.

The best way to live life is to periodically reflect upon your deepest and most worthy desires and to work towards achieving these goals.

Until we give in to the inner sluggard who's always beckoning to stop to smell the roses or to take a leak.

But as I've been telling G this simple fact of life: if you really want to, you will.

If you really want to be a millionaire, you'll scrimp and save.

If you really want to lose weight, you will.

Don't bother protesting, just ask yourself deep down within, do you really want it bad enough?

As has been repeated many times in the past few days, this year's NYE celebration is understandably muted and somber in remembrance of more than 150,000 souls who perished.

Quite expectedly, Straits Times columnists like Sumiko Tan remind us not to take life for granted and even lament how in a matter of weeks, people will simply forget about this entire disaster and the massive loss of lives.

At east coast today, I stopped to watch waves lapping the shore. Instead of the usual refreshing feeling of relaxation, the sight of surfs and swashes, even at such a small scale, brought dread.

Perhaps I've read many news articles and seen too many pictures of bloated bodies and utterly decimated villages and locations. Pictures of people fleeing particularly fill me with a blended feeling of panic, sheer helplessness and a sickening expectance of certain death.

I read this recently: the loss of an individual life makes you sit up and notice whereas 150,000 is simply a statistic. Tell this to the teams bringing international aid to death-saturated Banda Aceh.

But we can't carry on with our lives burdened with sadness and guilt. Life must go on and as cliche as this sounds, hope and dreams displace these heavy feelings and are what keep us going.

My brother asked me why did God allow this to happen? I can only offer that His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.

Therefore live everyday like it's your last. Don't regret it in your afterlife.

For all my attempts at guilt and sympathy, I know that I would decline any invitations to fly to the disaster-stricken areas to provide aid. Lacking of medical training and crisis management skills would be my main excuse but more than that, when faced with countless, nameless, bloated bodies, freaking out would be my instinctive response.

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