That’s how they taught us to say “Happy New Year” in Chinese back in elementary school. I remember we made and decorated little red scrolls, writing the Chinese characters for “happy new year” with calligraphy pens. We learned about the Lunar New Year and the elaborate parades the Chinese held to celebrate it.
I’m pretty sure those who celebrate Lunar New Year don’t make resolutions as we do in Western culture. But why not start a new tradition?
I know we’re all supposed to make resolutions in the first few days of the calendar year because it allows us to start with a clean slate, to promise ourselves we’ll change before we get a chance to slip back into old habits.
Too bad I had no time for a 2010 reflection those first few days of January. I went to Santa Cruz, Calif., for a family “Christmas” celebration on New Year’s Eve, spent a few whirlwind days by the beach and promptly returned to the usual 80-hour work week on Jan. 4. The breaks I’ve caught since then generally last no longer than 36 hours, and you’d better believe I spent the majority of that downtime catching up on sleep!
So…better late than never! Here are the things I hope to accomplish in the next Lunar New Year:
Find a job–ONE job. While I truly enjoy examining the balance on my bank receipt these days, my hectic schedule makes me miss the days when I had time for tasks such as grocery shopping, laundry folding and breathing. As mundane as it sounds, someday I want to live a life in which the phrases “commuter traffic” and “happy hour” actually mean something.
Sleep. This is among the everyday tasks I haven’t carried out properly since October. The fact that I’m calling it a “task” is itself an indicator that I want for more snooze time.
Get a life. I pretend to be bohemian sometimes, but I’m really a homebody. I lived in the same house almost all my life before college, and I like the idea of planting roots in one place for a while and making a life for myself. True happiness is running into multiple acquaintances at the neighborhood grocery store. Whether work keeps me here in Seattle or takes me to another city–Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Abu Dhabi–I’ve pledged to get more involved in my local community by volunteering, performing more music and attending local events.
Exercise and eat healthier. Such a resolution was difficult to make throughout college, when I was juggling multiple classes, work and extracurricular activities. (Let’s just say I grabbed a lot of bagels and cups of coffee between classes.) But when my first resolution is carried out, I have no more excuses. I’ll have a lot of time to sweat it out in the gym–conveniently located just downstairs in my building–and to carefully pick out healthier ingredients to incorporate in meals. This is the year!
Blog more. Obviously.