Following my annual tradition in determining a new theme for a new year – pretty much like how a Pope is chosen – a few ideas have been going round my head for days and I have been waiting for an answer [from above]. As though I saw fumata bianca raising up from my ears, one day I woke up with such clarity of this-is-it. Avid readers have witnessed how such a simple concept called theme has shaped my life in a sustained manner over the years. I welcome my friends’ questions such as “Does it really work?” and “How does it work?” and I would like to briefly share my thoughts with you.
One, unlike New Year Resolution that often revolves around things that I should not do and things that I set out to do, a theme captures the essence and the internal driving force and reasoning on what I aspire to achieve, which gives me a much stronger willpower in battling with the daily little decisions. And two, annual themes are aggregative in nature. A theme is supposed to make me a better person and after one long year of practice, it should become my way of life. Sure, there are occasions when I need to take out an old theme from the closet, blow off the dust, and give it a new look. Every year, I have dreamed of a new theme since 1996. Some themes are public, some are not.
This year, I pick the theme “Follow It Through!”. Last year’s theme “Do It!” has done wonder. It prompted me to start doing so many different things and has kept my life very exciting albeit chaotic. But it has its shortcomings. Quick wins and low hanging fruits are favored over longer term activities that require sustained effort and resources and interest.
Sustained interest is hard.
So what kind of ‘projects’ fall under the umbrella of “Follow It Through!”? Quite a lot as it turns out to be. I want to continue to head towards a healthier lifestyle. Already abstained from alcohol for close to one full year, I want to substantially reduce the intake of meat (especially red meat) and unhealthy ingredients. And I want to resume my regular exercise ritual. I want to look healthy, feel healthy, and be healthy. Why stop at body health? This year, I have resumed my spiritual ritual and have started to attend Mass regularly. Weekly close encounter with God seems like something mandatorily non-negotiable. Besides, I begin to derive new meanings to my reinvigorated faith.
My friends ask what our band will do next. Good question. We finally played a live gig. That is “Do It!”. Now, we need a series of next steps. That is hard work. Cynthia and I have passed our level 2 Spanish test with ‘flying colors’ as informed by the school (more update to come!) and we intend to continue to level 3 and 4 in the year 2009. That too is hard work. Our home is long overdue for stage 2 of renovation. I think Cynthia would jump in tears of joy when she reads this. It is high time we execute what we have been talking for years, what I have been sitting on for years. That is very hard work.
Many ideas have been floating in the air for far too long. I see fumata bianca. It is less sexy than “Do It”. But it is time to “Follow It Through!”.
PS. A picture taken during my trip to Bandung at one of the volcanoes. It is straight from my camera as I prefer to do without post production if possible. Strangely, the color looks a lot more vibrant before I convert the image into JPG that is what you see here.