Wednesday, January 21, 2004

The Season for Renewal

The Season for Renewal

In that dreamy state between sleep and wakefulness early this morning, for a moment I wasn't sure where I was. A surge of panic seized me: was I late for my morning lecture? Couldn't be--I'm already done with all my lectures for the week. Was I in some remote Javanese city? What time is my train departing for Jakarta? Was I late?

I woke up and realised that I was in someplace unfamiliar: home. I didn't know what I should be doing, for I don't have a regular routine yet. There's an uneasy feeling that I was somehow wasting time: Shouldn't I be at the Internet cafe, typing a report on my laptop, or just heading somewhere?

In actual fact there are a lot of things that I have to start doing. First I have to clean up my room and clear some space for all the junk that I have accumulated during my years away from home--those debris of past experience that I constantly mine for meaning.

It is tempting to take thing easy at home. One can easily sink into a stupor of sloth and languor if one is not careful. I need to maintain that austere discipline that I had kept all those years that I was away. I have to start building good habits.

It's Chinese New Year. Instead of treating it like a distraction like what I've always done in the past, perhaps I should make use of this auspicious occasion to embark on a new beginning. Spring is the season for renewal and regeneration. I must remind myself that I am Chinese and the Chinese are a very pragmatic and positive-thinking people. Sometimes I feel the Chinese already have all the virtues expouded by motivational gurus like Anthony Robbins embedded in their very culture.

The Chinese New Year celebration itself is nothing but a massive parade of positive thinking affirmations and symbolisms. Everyone participates in an exchange of well-wishes--for wealth, success, good fortune and prosperity. The din of lion dances, the gaudy display of reds everywhere coupled with the cacophony of of firecrackers help to break old patterns of thoughts and rouses the mind for greater achievements ahead.

So join in the revelry, savour its vigour, feel its vibrance, embrace its positive spirit--'tis the season for renewal. Gong Xi Fa Cai!

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