It’s 2014. Now, What?

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It’s 2014. Now, What?

01.02.2014

By Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez / @ZaraAlexis

I usually greet the New Year with anticipation and “happiness,” and I did pretty good job for most of New Year’s Eve 2014. While it is more important for my family and I to spend New Year’s Eve in a quiet way as we usually do, we usually don’t welcome the New Year without some good food, sweet wine, and an even better attitude. The plan was to enjoy a good meal and spend the rest of 2013 participating in a movie marathon.

The kids enjoying our New Year's Eve slumber party. (c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez. All rights reserved.
The kids enjoying our New Year’s Eve slumber party. (c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez. All rights reserved.

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We had pasta salad, potatoes, roasted chicken, wild rice, samosas, red velvet cake, egg tarts, coffee, and blush wine. The children were already dressed in their pyjamas, the sleeping bags were on the floor ready for our slumber party—Daddy even wore his lamb onesie with matching lamb plush toy—but then, I called my parents and we soon realized they were alone for New Year’s Eve.

Daddy in his lamb onesie---and yes, it even has a tail! (c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez. All rights reserved.
Daddy in his lamb onesie—and yes, it even has a tail! (c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez. All rights reserved.

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We quickly packed our food, our clothes, and our toys into our car and raced toward my parents’ place to help them meet and greet the New Year with some company. The children were a little tired by this time, but they were able to take part in our cultural and family tradition of “throwing coins in the air” once New Year hit. We counted down to the New Year, threw our coins in the air, and greeted one another with hugs and kisses. (We even witnessed my usually-private-parents in an intimate New Year’s kiss!)

And then the children were able to open some presents from their grand aunt, Mama Li,  that they had missed opening on Christmas, so it surely felt that the holidays weren’t yet over. Michael was thrilled to receive a LEGO Star Wars ATRT Playset while Xara was overwhelmed with a number of great gifts including a cozy hoodie, perfect for school with a matching winter hat, a pink turtleneck, Dora pyjamas, a Princess puzzle, a porcelain tea set, and Hello Kitty stationery! Thanks Mama Li and Papado! Your gifts certainly made the New Year bright for the kids.

Michael with his new LEGO Star Wars set. (c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez. All rights reserved.
Michael with his new LEGO Star Wars set. (c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez. All rights reserved.

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Michael ripped open his new LEGO Star Wars set and he built it in less than 10 minutes! (c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez. All rights reserved.
Michael ripped open his new LEGO Star Wars set and he built it in less than 10 minutes! (c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez. All rights reserved.

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Xara playing with her tea set with her grandparents. (c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez. All rights reserved.
Xara playing with her tea set with her grandparents. (c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez. All rights reserved.

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Little "Agnes" from the movie, "Despicable Me." (c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez. All rights reserved.
Little “Agnes” from the movie, “Despicable Me.” (c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez. All rights reserved.

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While all this was wonderfully fun, the New Year had yet to unveil more of its surprises—and some of them, not so good. Around 4:00 a.m. in the morning, I woke to great stomach and back pain only to realize later that I was struck with a bad case of food poisoning. A few hours after that, my daughter woke up vomiting. The entire day—yes, the very first day of the year of 2014—my daughter and I were quite ill.

It’s only today that I was able to get up from being completely bedridden, which is why my first post of the New Year is actually on January 2nd.

But, it is a new year, so best to try to have a positive attitude even when caught in negative circumstances. There’s only 364 days left to enjoy until 2015 rolls along. Here are some plans I look forward to implementing in 2014:

1. Re-focus my energy on my children.

Rather than truly be present in my children’s lives last year, I seemed to have whizzed by in a flurry of stress, paying only a portion of attention to them. While all their needs were met, I know as a parent, I could have been more present and involved in their interests. This year, my kids come first. (This may mean I will sit down and play with my children first before thinking about doing chores.)

2. Anger Management.

It’s more than just a movie. It should be a way of life. For those of you who don’t know (and can’t tell), I do have a quick temper. In retrospect of 2013, I know that I’ve “huffed” and I’ve “puffed” in response to things I didn’t like. There are better ways to expend my energy, I think. And this year, I plan on controlling my negative emotions in a more positive way.

3. Read and review books more consistently.

Last year, I was struck with unexpected illnesses and family issues, which put up a great road block in helping me succeed in reading the number of books I had planned to read. Instead, I ploughed through one book at a time as painstakingly as I could muster, and failed to meet my yearly book-reading pledge. It’s a new year and a new chance to clean that slate and begin again! Books, books, books. This bibliotaphe plans on reclaiming her name again. Here’s to a new page, a new chapter, and a new bookshelf to discover.

4. Opening my social circle.

When you’re a natural introvert, it isn’t easy to open yourself up to new people. But, it’s a new year, which means, I look forward to building new and healthy relationships—and maintaining them. (Hello, gatherings, here I come!)

5. Eat less and eat better.

Most people begin diets at the beginning of the year, but after I experienced an extremely bad bout of food poisoning, it seems mandatory. While I refuse to technically go on a diet, I do plan on being more mindful the next time I have the urge to “stuff my face” with food. And yes, I’ll take that second-helping of veggies vs. cake, please.

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What do you look forward to in 2014?

Do you plan on making some changes?

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