This is quite a different year…

I can’t believe that we have reached the end of this shocking year with so many turn of events! Sure, Covid-19 threw us off our feet, but on a personal basis, I have never in my wildest dream imagined that I would do the things I do this year, and even now, I think I am still in recovery mode. This is the last chance for me to add one more post before the year folds.

Some of my most notable “achievements” and highlights include these:

1. Started gardening

Like so many people who contributed to the rising price of plants, I am one of them who caught the gardening flu during the Movement Control Order because of Covid-19. I have a whole blog post on this so I’ll save myself the hassle of regurgitating of how it all started. Here are some awesome pictures of my garden.

My little bromeliad corner
My little “princess corner” for the plants which couldn’t take too much sun
Another corner for those who love the sun
My significant other helping to create shade for the princess corner

2. Moved house

My moving house signifies a different stage of life and era for me. I rented a room in my friend’s house mainly because I find coping with lupus while travelling the distance (30km per way) to be quite taxing. I was very grateful that my bestie lent me a helping hand by allowing me to stay at her place. Two years went by, and many things happened to our lives. We went on to our separate ways, she moved out, and after 9 months I moved out as well. We kept in touch, but we have different priorities now. So moving out is a huge change to me. Furthermore I made a conscious decision to stay in a suburban area instead of in the city so that I could have a garden instead of staying in an apartment where I know I have to give up some of my plants. I was not ready for that.

I think this is one of the most tiring year for my other half

3. My blog gained more viewership even though I only wrote 6 posts this year

Truth to be told, this year has been a rather tough year for me, work wise. As much as I love to, I had no time, and was not in the state of mind to add more posts to the blog. In fact at some point, I felt that I was so overwhelmed that I might be mildly depressed. The strangest thing was my blog’s viewership actually increased when I was not posting any new blog posts. I suppose this has something to do with the “3-year rule”, i.e. many of your efforts will only be seen after 3 years, especially websites and blogs. I think the 3-year rule rings true for many things. Even for my plants, some took 5-6 months to blossom. If I gave up on them prematurely, I will not be able to enjoy their beauty.

In 2021 I am going back to develop my blog further, edit and weed out some of the not-so-great posts. I am going to think about content and have more interviews with lupus patients so that my readers could be inspired.

4. Quit a stressful job and moved on to a less stressful role

My job has always been a stressful one, as long as I lived. However there was something else end of last year and almost the whole of this year, which made me pull the trigger. Covid-19 was the last straw that broke the camel’s back. Due to the pandemic, my team could not work at the client’s place, the clients were not fully digitised, and therefore work was delayed and there was nothing much we could do. By the time work resumed, it was already 3 months down the road, and there was just no rest for anyone. It was really tough.

I have been contemplating about moving on to something else for quite a long time. For me, the question was always: when will I hit my magic number for early retirement?

Amidst this pandemic, I have other questions such as:

-Is not working going to make me happy?

– Why am I feeling so reluctant to work?

– Is this money going to be enough for me to indulge myself in my expensive hobbies?

– Am I shortchanging myself trying to save more to early retire?

I think I have been in withdrawal for the longest time. I always spent time tending to my garden, surfing the internet to buy more plants, doing something else instead of spending time to pen down my thoughts in my diary. I thought once I have nothing to do, I could sit down and contemplate about these questions. But it turns out that I could not actually sit down and do nothing. It is tough. Or maybe I could, but I would be surfing the internet. I do not have answers to these questions, so I carried on with the other job that does not leave me depressed and exhausted all the time.

I tried a few new things this year, namely getting writing jobs, selling plants and trying to sell some printables. I could not persist too long with my full time job. I also dislike packing up plants and earning peanuts trying to sell expensive plants to people who will not appreciate it. I might be doing it wrong but I think even if I changed my method to sell, I am not entirely sure I want to make this a career, not before I have a piece of land to place all my merchandise.

5. Did not use my passport at all this year

This goes without saying with the current pandemic situation. I think this has to be the first time in 20 years I have not used my passport at all. It is saddening, yet I now sometimes consider what would happen to my plants when I am travelling. What about my dream of living in a different country every year? Probably just have to install some irrigation system that can be controlled from abroad.

6. Only read 2 books this year

I suppose for me the most surprising turns of events was reading only 2 books and adding more than 100 plants to my garden. Maybe deep down I will always be a hoarder, be it hoarding books or plants or some other collectibles. I also have a secret dream that one day maybe I will be selling off everything and start living a minimalist lifestyle. Until then, I will recommence my reading habit soon after I tidy up my garden and made it the one I have in my head.

This is a year that gave me a lot to think, and I see many different things in new light. It maybe my quarter life or mid life crisis, there was just so many things to think about, I rather not think. Humans are complicated beings, or can things be less complicated? Am I overthinking or there are some merits to the things going through my head? This is such a quizzical year, and yet I felt that I have done quite a fair bit this year. I hope things will improve next year, and I could find some answers to all my questions!

Happy New Year to you and I wish you all the best!

Author: Li

This is a blog about the journey with my friend - Lupus, 500 days and counting after I was diagnosed. After I passed the initial stage of acceptance and moving on, it has been well so far. Whilst I have a full time job, I am also a writer for hire and could write just about anything. Contact me if you see anything that you like!

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