Happy 2021!

You woke up on January 1st 2021, your eyes still heavy with sleep. You wrapped the soft, woollen blanket more tightly around you and felt the soft mattress with your feet enclosed in the warmth of your Christmas socks. While lying in bed, you glanced at your window covered with pastel-colored drapes with tiny flower prints and decided to sleep some more.

You woke up on January 1st 2021. It was still very early. The faint brilliance of stars still shone in the sky and the chill of the wind made you wrap your knitted sweater more tightly around you. It made little difference but you didn’t mind it much since you have a little over an hour left before the sunlight peeps at the horizon and before your five children wake up. You hurry to prepare breakfast and light the fire, fanning the small flames by blowing into a make-shift pipe, until the chopped firewood crackled.

You woke up on January 1st 2021. It was almost 10AM. You recalled the wonderful party held the night before. Oh! How much fun you had with your friends. You talked, danced and had food and wine all night. You check your mobile phone and saw the message, “Don’t forget lunch at my place.” You smiled and stretched your arms over your head.

You woke up on January 1st 2021. Your back is painful from lying on the cardboard on the cold pavement. You try to cover your feet with the tattered, grimy blanket. You look to your left and saw your younger brother still sound sleep. You remembered last night how happy he was that somebody, a person with a good heart and smiling eyes, stopped briefly at the sidewalk where you and your brother were seated and gave two packs of Jollibee spaghetti and pineapple juice, greeted you “Happy New Year” and left soon after.

You woke up on January 1st 2021. You think how the new year will turn out for your company. The past year has not been so good–plummeting sales, much less consumers, the need to downsize the company, shift to mostly online services. You remembered that you have to read the reports for the stockholders’ meeting on January 4 but told yourself to only allot one hour for work, as you need to spend time with your family and enjoy the day.

You woke up on January 1st 2021. You wonder how the citizens and the media reacted to your nationwide speech the night before. You checked your mobile phone–20 messages and reminders. You recalled that you agreed for a short interview in one segment of a popular morning television show. The gist was about the previous year’s accomplishments and the plans for the new year. Your mind starts to compose a message.

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You? What was the first day of the year like for you? How was it? Was it just like any other ordinary day? Or did you wake up earlier or later? Did you wear better/prettier clothes? Did you receive or send more messages to your family and friends? Did you spend the day with someone or by yourself?

Whatever is it, that is fine. The important thing is that you made it through 2020 and you are still here, alive and well. You overcame your challenges in the past year and bounced back from every setback you experienced.

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Did you wish to have a different story from the real one? For example, did you wish that you were back at home and that your mom’s home-cooked breakfast of sinangag, sunny side up eggs, tocino, tinapa and a mug of hot tinutong with milk is already set on the table by the time you wake up? Did you wish that your vacation were longer? Did you wish that you were working on an international project, helping people have better livelihoods instead of being stuck in your cubicle all day? Did you wish for a simpler life with less hectic schedules, less meetings and few phone calls, only the ones you wanted to make?

Well, there’s nothing wrong with imagining or wanting a different reality. Remember that any change starts with an idea and the steps towards it are fuelled by the motivation to have a better situation. However, there should be a balance between wanting to change and being realistic or hoping for a better situation and doing your part to improve your situation.

There are some cases though, in which we need to take a leap of faith and see how we can manage from there. Or do a crazy idea that you have been wanting to do for so long but never had the courage to try. If you decide to do that, just remember to be sure of your decision, believe in yourself, and have the support of at least one person.

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This second day of 2021, I wish you all a great year. Take care of yourself. Take good care of your health. Keep your dream in your heart and make it happen when you’re ready. Spend time with people dear to you. Be happy. ❤

Happy New Year! 🙂

Author’s Notes:

  • In the Philippines, it is common to have a heavy meal for breakfast. Common combinations are called silogs: Viand + fried rice with a sprinkle of salt and bits of roasted garlic (sinangag in Tagalog language) + sunny side up eggs (itlog in Tagalog language). Thus, we have tosilog (with tocino), tapsilog (with tapa), longsilog (with longganisa), hotsilog (with hotdog), spamsilog (with Spam meatloaf), and cornsilog (with corned beef).
  • Tinutong is a hot drink made from adding hot water to roasted rice grains. The word tutong means burnt in Tagalog particularly when referring to food.
  • Jollibee is a popular fast-food chain in the Philippines. The Jollibee mascot is well-loved by Filipino kids and adults alike.

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