2012 – The Year That Was

Time flies. We’re already at the cusp of the new year. By the time some of you read this, you may have already welcomed 2013. The rest of us need only wait a few more hours.

So what will 2013 bring? A great many things, I’m sure. Different things for different people. For some it may bring a radical change, a new milestone, a surprise, new people entering their lives, anything. Some changes will be the result of carefully laid plans, while others will be determined by powers beyond our control. Whatever the new year may have in store, a great many of us can’t wait to see it.

But to look into the future, you need to have a reference point. The future only exists in relation to the present, and also, the past. In this context, the value of what lies ahead in 2013 can only be understood in relation to what our lives were like in 2012. Or any time prior to 2013, for that matter.

So how was it then, in 2012?

What do you remember most from the past 366 days?

A great many things happened around the world in 2012. The Costa Concordia tragedy. Major elections all over the world. Obama won a second term while Sarkozy lost. Syria. Hurricane Sandy. The Higgs boson discovery. The Olympics. HRH Queen E parachuted from a helicopter. Greece didn’t exit the EU. Spain won the UEFA Euro 2012. The Sandy Hook shooting. Gangnam style. TomKat got divorced. Steve Jobs lost his battle against cancer. Felix Baumgartner jumped from space. Whitney Houston passed away. And so much more.

While these events have their place in history, most of us mark our lives with more personal episodes and milestones.

In my case, for instance, this year was full of change.

This time exactly a year ago, I was on a flight headed to Basel. My hiatus had just begun.

It was the year where I started familiarising myself with the kitchen. Where we actually finished 5kg of rice within a few months. This, my friends, is a small milestone for me. Back in KL, a 5kg pack of rice lasted us three years. Three years. Eating out in KL is cheaper than cooking for two. Not necessarily healthier, but definitely cheaper. And besides, I was too tired *cough* lazy *cough* to cook by the time we got home from work.

2012 was the year I had the opportunity to travel a bit. I set foot for the first time in Milan, Istanbul, Munich and Barcelona. I revisited London a couple of times. Took train rides to small German and French towns. Day trips to other Swiss cities and towns. And there is still so much left to see.

2012 was the year I managed to read a bit more. I love to read, and going into a bookstore is like going into a candy shop. Every year I tell myself I want to read more. I want to have a nice little library in the house. I want to be surrounded by books. But every year I fail. My excuse had always been time. The lack of it. Plus I’m a slow reader. I buy books faster than I read them. This year, however, was a bit of an improvement. At an average of 1.33 books a month my performance is still deplorable, but an improvement nonetheless.

2012 was the year I learnt new skills. I started taking German language classes. It probably won’t be very useful once I’m back in KL, but it’s helped me settle in here. And it’s good to keep my mind occupied with something. I also attempted to learn Baselduetch, but that was a big fail. Gave up after the first class. It just messed up my head, having not even mastered the basics of German. I taught myself how to knit (!). Haha. Yes. I, too thought knitting was only for grannies in rocking chairs. But it’s a soothing and calming activity, and it’s nice to see something you create from your own hands. And it seems to have gained popularity among the younger set. If there’s such a thing as knit bombing, then it can’t be all that fuddy-duddy, can it? Besides, I can save money on scarves and such. It can get really cold this time of the year.

2012 was also the year we welcomed this furry critter to our small household.

20121231-165558.jpg

Say hello to Muci (pronounced Moot-zee.) We adopted him a couple of months ago from a neighbour, who had just had a baby. Muci became jealous and competed for attention, and when he didn’t get it, he went on a feline food strike. Sort of. Cats can be such drama queens. Anyway, to cut a long story short, we decided to adopt him. He still lives in the same neighbourhood, so it isn’t too big a shock for him. His former owners can still see him out and about, and I’m pretty sure he visits them whenever I let him out in the mornings. He’s gained some weight now, and he seems happy in his new home, so that’s good. Credit to his former owners; he’s been house-trained well. So far we haven’t had any unpleasant surprises, and our furniture is still intact. In other words, he’s been a lovely addition to our home.

So I guess 2012 has been a good year. It has been a year of new experiences and a new pace of life.

Most importantly, it has been a year blessed with good health and well being, and no great misfortune. And for this, I am always thankful.

Happy new year everyone!

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