Tuesday, January 5, 2010

2009 in numbers

There was a month or so this year where it seemed that every single day I received news of another happy couple tying the knot, or else moving from happy couple-of-two to family-with-baby. Though it's slowed down a bit, the news still keeps coming. So much so that, during this past Christmas season, I opened with great trepidation every email and annual newsletter that was sent by someone who was in a position to transition into wedded or parenting bliss. I am not exaggerating when I explain that, with each of these letters, I skipped through to the end looking for an announcement. And as often as not, I found one.

It's making me feel a bit overwhelmed. I want to be happy for everyone's great news, and really, I am happy for them. But I am finding it very difficult to resist the temptation to ask them all to slow down, to take a break from life's transitions. I feel like I have fallen hopelessly behind and if I want to keep living in their universe I need to rush to catch up. But I don't want to sprint to keep up with them, so I want them to slow down.

This has been an eventful year for me, too, but in a very different way. I'm sure all my ring-donning and baby-hatching friends think my life is very exciting and full of promising, and perhaps even enviable, developments. But if you know me, or if you've read this blog before, you're well aware that these types of transitions are not new to me. But still, I decided to put things in perspectives with some numbers.

Katiek's 2009 in numbers:
  • Countries graced with my presence: 16
  • Of those, countries which hosted me for the first time: 8
  • Mobiles lost/stolen: 3 (one lost, one stolen, one is a mystery)
  • Languages I attempted to learn: 3
  • Languages I forgot, then re-learned, then forgot, then re-learned again: 1
  • Airplanes flown on, number of airlines given my business: not worth counting. However, I will point out at this moment that there is a fierce competition on between Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines for my heart. They are both so worthy of my affection. Meanwhile, Turkish Air has made my black list.
  • Pages stamped in my passport: again, not worth counting. But I haven't actually been to a single embassy this year to request a visa for myself. As much of an embarrassment as my passport sometimes seems to be, it does make my life easy.
  • Non-profit organisations affiliated with, professionally-speaking: 4
  • Job titles held: 5 (but one is "writer", which kind of took the place of "unemployed", so I'm not sure it counts)
  • Actual paid positions held: 1 (but it does encompass 2 of the job titles)
  • Gorgeous pairs of earrings received as thank you gifts for volunteering: 2
  • Gorgeous pairs of earrings received for other reasons: 1
  • Friends (couples) who have married*: 6 (three of these were somewhat unexpected, or at least the timing gave me a bit of double-take)
  • Friends (couples) who got engaged*: 10 (three of these were holiday season proposals)
  • Friends whose first baby was born*: 8
  • Friends whose first baby is on the way in the coming months*: 8 (these include my best friend from childhood, and both of my girl cousins)
* The last four items on the list were a result of a perusal through my facebook friends. I didn't include people I don't know that well, these only include friends. And not all my friends are on facebook, so chances are I missed a few. While doing this exercise, I also came across two facebook "friends" - people I've met recently but don't really know very well - who have met AND wed in the past year. On the other hand, though, I was reminded that I also do have many other friends who have not had these transitions during the past 12 months.

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