A Last Jab at 2018 and a few Reflections on New Year's Eve
I have a very long rooted tradition of New Year’s melancholy. For whatever reason, I was never in party mood on December 31 and on the few occasions that I attended NYE parties I felt pretty displaced.
This year is no different, and in my typical fashion, I am pondering, reflecting and analyzing two hours before the calendar jumps.
2018 - A Year in Overdrive
2018 left me with the strange feeling that the year somehow ran in accelerated speed. It passed faster than any other year ever has.
I started the year with job hunting and after some weeks of freelance consulting work, embarked on a new challenge in my old industry. The new job with a fast growing start-up was (and still is) far more intense than anything I have been doing in the past seven or eight years.
The long working hours, the wide scope of responsibilities and the countless professional challenges to deal with are part of the explanation why the year passed by so quickly.
With all that professional heavy lifting it feels as if I have grown quite a bit over the past nine months in the new job. How much, I possibly will only fully realize after stepping out of the thick of it one day.
A Year of Temporary Expertise
The second big factor in 2018 was the step to home ownership. After years of dreaming and months of looking, my wife and I bought an old village house in Hong Kong’s countryside and had it renovated over the second half of the year. As the house was an “old beauty” almost no stone was left unturned in the makeover. As we did not hire a designer, making renovation related decisions became practically a part-time job.
From the agonizing decision to commit to the purchase and to the corresponding mortgage (I am leveraged like a hedge fund now), to deciding on alterations to the rooms, choosing tiles, lamps, and switches or placing power sockets. A lot of things had to be selected, a lot of things I knew close to nothing about prior.
Over the cause of the summer and autumn, I created many excel files and had to become a “temporary expert” (a phrase borrowed from my friend Steve) in a lot of things. To chose lamps, for example, I had to understand LED technology, Lumen, and light temperature, before going and buying the nearly 30 lights we needed.
Training myself to the level of a temporary expert on many renovation related topics took another big bite out of 2018 for sure. As temporary expertise, unfortunately, is temporary, the time invested in these different areas is primarily showing in the end result of the home we built and hope to enjoy for many years to come.
What 2018 lacked and I strive for in 2019
The year had a few highlights, like attending my 20th high school graduation anniversary, a multi-day trek with one of my friends from university and finally moving into the renovated house, but with 2018 being dominated by job and house renovation, it felt definitely like a year of deferred gratification.
A year that was primarily invested in personal growth and potential financial gains/savings over the coming years.
Among the sacrifices made to the goods of career and property in 2018, was this very blog. Sadly I only published less than a handful of articles, a fact that I was quite painfully aware most of the year.
While thinking that I am letting a few people down who got accustomed to my ramblings, was likely self-important fueled wishful thinking, I missed writing. For 2019 I vouch for more regular Life-Sparring, even if it is just for my own good and the therapeutic effect of the writing. itself.
I also have all the best intention to whip myself back into shape in 2019.
While entering fit into the 5th decade of my life was an important New Year’s resolution for 2018, I have not much to show for in 2018. Two great long-distance running events in January and February and regular boxing till spring, before “lack of time” and persistent knee issues took over. The visible effect, 4-5 kg more in body weight than in the previous year, most of it in the mid-section of my body. Not a state I can tolerate for much longer.
With 2018 being primarily a year of “investment,” 2019 needs to be more balanced. I am absolutely prepared to continue working hard but definitely, need more “quality time” in 2019. A nice adventure holiday and a few getaways with my wife, relaxed weekends on the roof of our house and more time with friends and family are a must.
I am not entirely sure how to achieve it, but my biggest goal for 2019 is to slow down pace of the year.
That being said, Happy New Year and all the best to everyone out there. Protect yourself at all times, spar safe and go out and get whatever you strive for in 2019! Cheers!