Well, here we are again at the end of yet another year. As the year draws to a close, I tend to feel more introspective. So my ideal new year’s eve is really to just chill out at home, have a couple of drinks, dwell on my thoughts and see where the reflection takes me. Free-form reflecting will probably get messy real quick, so what I’ll try to do is to kind of carve out different sections of my life and review each one individually.
2021 is probably the year that I’ve spent the most money. I bought several big-ticket items, many of which I would justify as “essential”, but the fact is I did spend a lot of money. Yes, I have expensive hobbies, like brewing coffee, custom keyboards and climbing, just to name a few. And I think spending money on hobbies and things that make you happy is great but it’s also important to be financially responsible. I am acutely aware of my lifestyle creep over the past year, and that’s definitely something I want to slow down as much as possible.
Expenses aside, 2021 is also the year that I’ve invested the most money into the stock markets. I’m not gonna go too much into that, but I’m generally pleased with my investment strategy thus far and while it’s far from the fastest method of building wealth, I think I’m on the right track and I’m in for the long term.
Physically, I doubt I’m in a better condition than I was at the start of the year. If anything I probably have zero cardiovascular stamina now. Gymming consistently has been a real struggle with the many disruptions throughout the year, such as crazy busy schedules and the numerous vaccinations.
Although, I have gotten a little better at climbing. I looked back at some of my climbing videos from the start of the year and wow, a full year of climbing has reaped surprisingly fewer improvements than expected. I started the year being pretty comfortable with V3s and was pushing into V4s. And now I would say I’m currently pretty comfortable with V4s, and I’m hoping to push into V5s next year. Grades-wise a little underwhelming, but I can definitely see improvements in my technique and route-reading. Climbing has been a wonderful experience in the past 1.5 years and I don’t see myself stopping any time soon!
Well, this is still a public blog and I doubt anyone wants to read about my personal relationships with individuals, so there won’t be any of that here. However, I do want to reflect on a bad habit that I think has been left unchecked this year – slow replies. As some of you might know, when it comes to conversations that are not time-critical, I can take a while to reply.
The initial rationale behind this was the concept of “batching”. Think about laundry, and how we do laundry in batches. We don’t wash each article of clothing right after we change out of it, because it’s simply more efficient to do it batch by batch. Similarly, it’s not really efficient, from a productivity standpoint, to reply all texts, even the non-critical ones, immediately upon receiving them. So once every couple of days, I would batch reply my unread texts. As the year went on, for various reasons, texting became more of a chore for me. I would often be too tired or lazy to reply messages and it resulted in me often taking a week or more to reply my texts.
Obviously, this is not doing any favours for my relationships with others. So, I do want to try and be more intentional in my conversations with others, even if it’s over text.
2021 has revealed a lot about my mental health. I found out that I do struggle with anxiety. There were a few times where I felt extremely overwhelmed by my anxiety when I was under a lot of stress. I don’t think I really know how to cope with the anxiety, but I’ve identified the root cause, which is stress due to having too much on my plate. Somehow or rather I have many opportunities that come my way (which I’m thankful for), and in a bid to better myself and build my portfolio, I feel inclined to say yes to as many things as possible. However, that often results in me stretching myself too thinly and stressing myself out. So one thing I’m trying to get better at is simply saying no to things. Know my limits and manage my workload responsibly, so I don’t put myself under unnecessary stress and anxiety.
2021 you’ve been alright.
Despite this being a pretty long post, it’s actually a pretty concise roundup of some of my reflections. There are a lot more things I have been reflecting on, but alas, I should probably keep them for another post. No promises though. All-in-all, 2021 has been pretty alright. There were a few disappointments along the way, from covid and whatnot, but in retrospect, there were a lot of things for me to be proud of as well.
Moving forward, like it or not, I think covid is here to stay for a while. So I want to move away from the mindset that covid is “taking away” the prime years of my youth. While the covid situation is not within my control, my response to it is. So I’m gonna stop using covid as an excuse for things, and strive to make the best use of my youth. Wish me luck, and here’s to a better 2022!