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Posts Tagged ‘New Year’

Struck out the last day on my calendar…

Thankful for all the good things that have happened.

Grateful for the rough parts too and lessons learnt.

And for all the good people I know and have come to know.

May 2014 be a blessed year for one and all. Happy New Year!

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Saw the trailer for “The Iron Lady” online two week ago. Meryl Streep had me hooked and all excited about the movie in a span of two minutes.

When I told Peh about it, the first thing he did was to shove a book into my hands – Statecraft: Strategies for a Changing World by Margaret Thatcher.

Statecraft: Strategies for a Changing World by Margaret Thatcher (cc-nc-nd)

Yes, I have been given a reading assignment. Peh is making me read my old birthday present before the movie arrives at our local cinemas in February 2012.

Peh gave me the book years ago. He isn’t a political person; he just thought I would agree that a book by a prominent world leader like Thatcher made interesting reading.

I haven’t quite gotten around to opening the book all this time. He probably realised that.

Since then, I’ve been bringing this yellowing book onto the train everyday, inching through a couple of pages at a time. (My train journeys just happen not to be very long.)

My slow progress aside, I have also been wondering if I am reading the book a little too late.

You see, I like to check the publication dates when I read my books. And I realised that this book was published in 2002.

Look around us now. Almost ten years on, the world has undergone tremendous transformation. The Cold War sounds like a page from the Babylonian history. The Asian values debate is like a forgotten tune from the old 1990s CDs.

I haven’t come to the chapter that captures Thatcher’s thoughts on the formation of the European Union, which interestingly seems like a timely topic as the Eurozone crisis continues. Though of course, the chapter title, Europe – Dreams and Nightmares, already gives a strong hint at what’s to come in Chapter 9.

So, can we say that the world has truly changed since this book was written?

At every flip of the page, this question pops in my head. Whatever the answer may be, it’s definitely going to be useful for me to read more in the next 366 days and have an enriching new year.

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I have been learning to slow down.

Kind of strange to be saying this, especially when you are supposed to be in your prime. But of late, I have been noticing how much I have missed as I lived my life in a hurry.

Take for example, the bountiful life forms in a small field near my apartment block.

As I broke my long spell of inactivity and resumed my slow morning jog around the neighbourhood, I suddenly realised that a field was more than a patch of green earth.

The edge of the field was lined with the beginnings of slender lalang stalks swaying elegantly in the morning breeze. Clusters of mimosa huddled close to one another and shut their timid leaves at the touch of a passing stranger. Butterflies of brown, grey and orange hues fluttered their tiny wings amongst the dainty pink blooms of weeds pretending to be regular blades of grass.

All of these have escaped my notice until this year. And I have been walking past this field everyday for over three years.

As I slow down my pace and take in the details, I begin to understand that small things, unremarkable as they may seem, do matter. That every breath of air I take is something to be grateful for. Every drop of clean water I take is something to be thankful for. And every sunrise ushers in new opportunities to live my dreams.

At the dawn of a new year, there is nothing more that I hope for than to be able to continue to find happiness in the simple things in life.

May every tomorrow be a happy new day. Happy 2011.

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