The One With Ten Things To Do Before The End Of 2010

.December 2010 calendar journal

It’s time of the year again. When HR departments the world over sent out circulars informing staff that, come Christmas Eve, everyone is allowed to go home earlier than usual.

Hooray to non-urgent operational needs and non-existent (year-end) workload!

It is also time of the year for me to think how I would like to end 2010. No, not with a bang – literal or otherwise – but with much thoughts and care consistent with one getting on with age.

With only two weeks to go before we allow to go crazy around town screaming “Happy New Year!” into the faces of unsuspecting strangers, here’s how I will be spending the next fifteen days or so.

Stop food reviews, for now
I have more blog material scheduled in my calendar than actual blog posts. This points to two alarming facts: (1) That I am severely behind in my blogging effort, and (2) I eat out too much for my own good. Although I do fancy myself as a food blogger in training, this blog may lose its voice if I blog about food every other day. Hence from now till end of the year, I will stop blogging about food. Probably that will help with the eating orgy I have inadvertently indulged myself in.

Reviewing my favorited tweets
I’ll admit that my favorite time to read tweets is when I am on the throne. While the iPhone is very useful in situation such as this – and probably the only time I can multitask well – it is not optimised to read shared links on my feed. So I’ll put them under my favourite tweets list, hoping to read them when I get back to my desk. Alas, the said multitasking capability ceases the moment my ass moves away from the bowl, and so the list accumulates. So before the year ends, I will read those tweets, liking, commenting and sharing as I go. With clean hands.

Be more active on Facebook
I love Facebook more than Twitter. I can understand why that is a surprise to you, considering I am tweet more than I check my feeds. In general I prefer truths than lies, and like what they say; Twitter is where you tell the truth to strangers, and Facebook is where you tell lies to friends. I also believe that if I have nothing nice to say, I will not say it. But I also acknowledge that Facebook connects me more to friends, drives more traffic to this blog, and lets my mom know what I am up to when I am not picking up the phone. So while I don’t think I will tweet any less than I already, I am ready to read more on your Facebook updates, and that’s a promise. Just don’t Farmville me, please.

Blog about my trips to Budapest, Prague, Vienna and New York
How time flies. It has been a year since I braved the wet winter in Europe last year to visit the delights that were Budapest, Prague and Vienna. And more than eight months has passed since I scaled the Empire State Building in New York. And yet my travelog remains incomplete; and that, my friend, is the fruit of my never changing procrastination. With my next trip looming a month away (see below) it is high time that I get my act together and put those memories into their rightful (digital) place.

Research and plan for Europe 2011
In my endless quest to see snow (last year’s drizzle in Prague doesn’t count!), I moved my annual Europe trip from December to January. But alas Mother Nature had it up one up on me; it’s snowing hard in most parts of Europe as I speak, and I am devastated. Nevertheless, let’s hope this atrocity of a weather will last till end Jan when I will visit London, Morocco, Spain and Portugal. And in preparation for that, I shall start booking my hostels and flights/trains in between those cities I want to visit. Twenty days for Europe may seem a lot for three countries, but without a little research work it can be over in a flash.

Spend sometime on my own this festive season
I hereby declare that December is “Singaporeans to visit Hong Kong” month and “The Month With Most Birthdays in 2010”. Not that I don’t enjoy spending time with my friends – I really do – but the back-to-back activities really do wear me out, and it is just the mid of the month! So this coming end of the year, when restless revellers will descend to the nearest clubs jingling their bells, allow me to retreat to my cocoon to enjoy some moments of solitary. I come to realise that I do not need to mark every festivity with parties and drinks and dancing. I can assure you it is NOT a sign of age.

Enjoy the best of winter in Hong Kong
Even as I blog this, the weather outside dipped below 8 degrees, and like many Hong Kong-ers I rejoiced, bundled in thick jackets and wrapped in scarves. Winter is my absolute favorite season in the world, and I am grateful that I do not have to wait weeks nor travel miles just to experience it. There are so many things once can do when the heat of summer gave way; may I suggest a spot of BBQ, a trip to HK outlying island, or a photoshoot trip to Kowloon?

Think of where I want to be, career-wise, by end of 2011
It is also time of the year when appraisals are done, where employers and employees argue over the finer points of their yearly review (and I do mean it literally) and the merits of not stealing office stationery for personal use. For me, this annual reflection propels me to think of my past, my present, and my future. At 31, I can no longer say a career path is not important. I need to know where I am heading to, as much as I enjoy the journey.

Consistently have eight hours of sleep every night
Some may not believe that this is possible living in Hong Kong, but over the past couple of weeks I have been having eight hours of sleep, if not more. Not every day, but most. Just last night I clocked a grand total of 12 hours (though the drowsy flu medicine might have helped). The benefits were apparent; my eyes are less puffy, my complexion cleared, my concentration sharpens. And I intend to welcome the new year not smashed out of my head.

Revisit my “before 35” list
Earlier this year I made a list of ten things to do before I hit 35. Among my more ambitious resolutions were to run a full scale marathon, and to scale Mount Kinabalu. I must have misplaced the list somewhere among the many Google Apps I am using, and I am also pretty sure I have accomplished some of things in the list. It is time to revisit it, scratch those off, and plan to make the rest happen.

What would you do before 2010 come to an end?

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