confronting change big-time this 1st weekend of the year


taking time off after a year of hard work and study.  Me, Ganda (standing), Mahal and Bunso.  Panganay was unfortunately at another engagement but was there to celebrate with us in spirit.  Happy 2015 to all!

taking time off after a year of hard work and study. Me, Ganda (standing), Mahal and Bunso. Panganay was unfortunately at another engagement but was there to celebrate with us in spirit. Happy 2015 to all!

OF all the quotable quotes that I remember from high school, one of the cheesiest, certainly among the top five, was an ironic Change is the only constant in life.  Or something like that.  Many years later, I find out that this is not entirely true.

If you’re a totalitarian despot with little regard for life and freedom, you can keep your country as it was in the 1960s, which was when your granddad, the original despot, was still alive and in power.  If you’ve got oodles and oodles of petrodollars, you can keep your kingdom as it was in the medieval age, when torture and absolutism were as commonplace as air and water.  If you’re a gazillionaire recluse, never needing to work another day of your life, you can live in your own little bubble-world where long is short, high is low, black is white, or whatever else you see fit.  The only constant in life, in absolute terms, is death and probably taxes.

Pardon me for being a little introspective on only the second day of the year, or perhaps because it’s the second day of the year.  Notwithstanding the alarming number of accidents and natural disasters that have been happening very recently, the end (and start) of the year always serves as a chance for renewal and rejuvenation, an opportunity to wipe the slate clean, set new targets, and get rid of destructive habits.  Having led a less-than-ideal life, I choose the start of 2015 to do all three.

But I won’t get into the gory details and bore you to tears.  I have the usual assortment of bad habits, underachievement and stupid mistakes of youth that I want to eliminate and make up for, mitigate and consign to the dustbin of history.  The challenge is to do all these things without being caught up in the complications of creeping middle age that Your Loyal Kabayan like myself is inevitably caught up with.

Instead, I’d like to divide 2015 into what I think will be the biggest challenges that will define the rest of my life, and of course that of Mahal, who stands by me, hopefully for better or worse.

Job.  I can’t complain about much in my job, it’s a great gig, the pay often leaves me with still a few coins jingling in my pocket, and the workmates aren’t bad.  But this 2014 I’ve stayed on a plateau of comfort and complacency that’s allowed other people to advance ahead of me.  To keep up, I need to upskill and prove myself ready for more responsibility.  This year is crucial for me.

Migration status.  Without getting into the nitty-gritty, I’ve told you a few times before that I haven’t fully sorted my migrant status in my adopted country.  I can’t stay a guest worker forever, especially in light of frequently changing migrant policy in New Zealand.  Mahal and I have received an assist from someone  who’s in a unique position to help us (I won’t jinx it by identifying the person), but the road ahead is long and winding.

Family.  I don’t know if I told you that this is my second time on the merry-go-round, and one of the things I’ve committed to is starting a family despite my advanced age.  Mahal has been patient all this time, but as you know the window of opportunity is getting smaller and smaller with the passage of each year.  We don’t know what 2015 will bring us, but if the stork brings a package, thank you God for the blessing!  That’s how fatalistic I/we am/are.

So that’s how I sum up my thoughts on the first weekend of the year.  No grand plans, and not so much as a single New Year’s resolution.  Just gritting my teeth, and biting the bullet.  So roll the dice, let the chips fall, and deal those cards.  Enough of the gambling metaphors, and let 2015 begin!

Thanks for reading and mabuhay po tayong lahat!

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