When I was writing up my first blog post on the 1st of January, in the back of my mind I was already getting ahead of myself and was trying to imagine what this day would feel like - how it would be like to be writing my 366th post on the last day of the year. (Ok technically this is not my 366th post because as I'm typing this it's the 2nd of January 2013 and I have 83 unpublished backdated posts to complete!! But my rule is that a post will be done for every day of the year about what made me smile on that particular day, but it may not necessarily be done on the actual day itself (ha nice save Sammie).)
At that time, what this little project would look like by the end of 2012 was a massive unknown for me. Honestly, I was kinda nervous about it. I wasn't sure whether I'd have enough determination or motivation to keep writing everyday, and for all I knew then my blog could have ended up containing just 5 sad posts. Heck, I'm pretty sure Jon put money on me giving up after a month while Brett was kinder and said I'd probably sustain it for 3 months. They probably knew that I loooove proving people wrong (bless them), and knew that I would take their cynicism on as a challenge.
And even though as I type I've only written and published 77% of 366 posts, I reckon that's a mighty fine achievement! (The remaining 23% will appear in drips and drabs...) I have a pretty short attention span, I can get bored from eating a big piece of steak....... so I'm actually quite
Ok now, I knew from the start that this question would pop up eventually towards the end - soooooooo, after all that, have you learned anything?!
Well, what I've come to realise from documenting my smiles for the past 77% days of the year is that no matter how low you're feeling, no matter how bad your day has been, there is always something you can smile about because there is always, always, always something to be thankful for (and if all else fails, just remember that these guys are having a way worse day than you).
I've also come to appreciate that there is so much beauty in everyday banality and triviality once you make an effort to see; that there are a lot of inane, spontaneous little moments that happen almost every day that can bring a smile to your face even if only for just a second; that the joy you get from helping others is irreproducible and often lingers deeper than you know; and that gratitude is often the root of daily pleasures, as once you're truly grateful most things start to appear repainted in a different light. I now believe that it's these little happy moments that connect and add up to form the basis of a satisfying, fulfilling and happy life.
And blogging on a daily basis is freakin' HARD.
So anyway cutting through all that excessive rambling that reads a bit like my drunken texts... today's smile comes from the same place I started the year with - hope.
But first, I'd like to share this video of how the world searched Google in 2012, as it showcases the highs and lows of the year around the globe.
Parts of it made me smile, parts of it made my heart ache, and other parts made me feel a little bit sad. Human beings never cease to amaze me with both the wonderful and destructive things we're capable of doing. Year after year, we've seen how humans can be so brilliant yet so damning, so kind yet so sickening.
But there is always hope. Hope that tomorrow will be a better day; hope that humanity will prevail; hope that kindness always wins.
And that's what I'll carry with me tonight into the new year as we say goodbye to the year that was 2012 and usher in 2013 with champagne and the MOST AMAZING TASTING black truffle and white cheddar popcorn (hi reader, if you're in the States, stop whatever you're doing and go grab a bag of this right now. RIGHT NOW!!!).
I'd like to say a massive thank you to my readers and followers, who consist mostly of friends and family. Thank you for your support throughout the year and for guilt-tripping me whenever I get slack and fall behind on my posts, and thank you for believing in and sharing my journey. Thank you to those of you who take the time to comment on posts - it's so nice to hear other people's thoughts on silly things that make me smile!
I'm also especially grateful for:
- The friends and family I have in my life;
- My brother Pe Yang and my friends (namely Soon Yang, Jon, Michelle and Wang Wei) who always send me cute things that make me go aww, and funny stuff that make me fall off my chair laughing;
- My patient and ever supportive Grizzly Ninja Brett who obliges begrudgingly when he gets roped into doing silly things like mid-air high fives with me and keeps me in line with his "Didn't you say you were going to work on your blog? I've been hitting refresh all day and I don't see any new posts..." guilt-trips;
- My fat and furry Snowflake (who's often appropriately mistakenly referred to as "Snowball") who is my daily source of laughter and happiness.
I know there will come a day when everything I own stops getting covered in white fur, when I can finally get a new sofa because she won't be there to destroy it, when I'll come home to just an empty house without her there to greet me by the door like clockwork... but I hope that day is in the far far distant future because I can't imagine existing in a world where she doesn't (and Snowflake if you're reading this, get off my computer).
2012 will be remembered as the year I smiled a lot.
Happy New Year!
Ps. Post-2012, I'll continue posting about things that made me smile, but on an ad-hoc basis instead of daily. Might take me a while to get to that as I need to catch up on the 23%, but until then... keep smiling!