christmas cake

Rest, Reflect and Re-boot for the New Year in 2017

The perfect time to re-invent ourselves is in the new year, where so much latent potential lies. If only we believed in ourselves instead of just dreaming it.

Hello and welcome back from the Christmas chaos! Hope you’ve had the best Christmas. If not, there’s always a whole year to plan for a better outcome this time. As for me, I’m in hibernation. I’m still recovering from having just returned from our Christmas coastal getaway which was what made this year a little ‘different’ for our family. Unbelievable, but 2016 had been so hectic that my better half decided we would go away at Christmastime. Awesome idea. After all, I deserved a much needed break from the usual massive festive cookout and entertaining that we usually do at this time of year.

Our Christmas Cake & my last bake for 2016

I don’t do it enough—this business of what they call, chillaxing? T’was almost surreal to find my Type A self chilling quietly on my beach towel by the warm sands of the Gold Coast. Imagine this: my pink and sun-lotion streaked nose parked under the shadow of my large sunnies and straw-brimmed hat, buried under my Liane Moriarty novel. Yup, me! of all people. The one usually running around like a headless chook in apron with flour (not lotion) on my nose, haha.

Looking up every now and then from the hot glare of the summer sun, I was actually there. In person, not in my dreams. Yes, smiling and waving at my kids and their daddy frolicking in the glimmering, crashing tides of foamy waves . Contented sigh. It was beyond nice to submerge my painted toes into the cool clear waters, enjoying a summery Christmas. One that was full of the smell of coconut sun lotion and zesty lemonades rather than cinnamon, butterscotch bakes and smoky roasts.

Maybe I’ll do this again next year and skip cooking again at Christmas, huh? On Christmas Eve, we visited an old friend who lives on the Gold Coast (lucky her) and she cooked us a beautiful Peranakan dinner. No turkey or ham. But we didn’t even really miss it! OK maybe we cheated a little and I made my turkey roast a couple of days before our holiday, but still….the point is, we weren’t alone at Christmas. We were immersed in great conversation, we were rolling in laughter, we were reconnecting old friendships, making new ones and toasting to gratitude, the good life and to a future worth anticipating. I so enjoyed being the guest and not the hostess for a change!

Our Christmas turkey 2016
Our citrus-maple-herbed turkey roast for the year

Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy cooking for others with love and soul and throwing large parties along with the whole good chaos at Christmas. However, as an advocate for maximising creativity, I do think that sometimes it’s good for us to break away from tradition to try different things, different ideas, different ways of doing something we’ve always done. Change can be good if it’s invigorating, rejuvenating and healthy mentally or physically.

There are those who wonder what you’re supposed to do in the gap between Christmas and the New Year. Were you supposed to slap yourself into work mode or simply rest till the fireworks fizzle out on New Year’s? What about the food comas?! One wonders when to stop eating at this time of year. For people of Asian (Chinese) heritage, the dilemma stretches further with the impending Chinese New Year festivities, feasting and revelry usually up to a month or more after New Year’s Day.

Rest, Reflect and Re-boot
For me, I see the gap as the best chance and necessary opportunity to rest, reflect and re-boot for the new year in 2017. This reminds me of how the far-fetched thriller sci-fi movie, ‘Self/ less’ (starring Ben Kingsley and Ryan Reynolds) fits this analogy of re-booting ourselves, almost perfectly. In this ‘theoretically plausible’ film scenario, a terminally-ill real estate mogul buys himself a new lease of life by taking over the physically fit body of a young soldier.

The beauty of the exchange is that the old dying man gets a new body yet retains his own wisdom and brain matter. The dying man basically transfers his consciousness into the soldier’s healthy young body. In the film, the dying man’s previous identity, along with his memories is known only to himself. The catch is having to assume a brand new identity and in essence, embrace a brand new life, hence giving up everything in the old life he’s ever known or lived. In the film they called this process ‘shedding’.

As thrilling and fascinating the movie was, this isn’t a film review. It did however get me thinking about how the end of every year is a necessary time to re-think our lives mentally and physically for the brand new year.

It’s the perfect chance to shed off the kilos, shed off the negative self-talk, shed off and let go of all that is not propelling us towards being our best new selves. The self you dream of becoming but never quite thought you could ever be. The perfect time to re-invent ourselves is in the new year, where so much latent potential lies. If only we believed in ourselves instead of just dreaming it. May we start believing between now and the new year.

Here’s wishing you and your family a wonderful new year with renewed vigour, courage and stamina to plan and work towards a better outcome for your breakthrough year of twenty seventeen.

Shed it off, shake it off. You can do it!
Happy 2017!

feet in sand footprints
Putting our ‘best foot’ forward for 2017!
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