For the first time in my life, I did not celebrate the coming New Year like I used to do. I tried to get some sleep after hearing the New Year’s eve mass at 10 pm amidst the noise of firecrackers and ear-busting karaoke singing of neighbors. I woke up to a much louder explosions of firecrackers and fireworks because it was already 12 am – 2016! The country turns into a seeming war zone come New Year’s eve as was the tradition, to drive away evil spirits in the coming year, as derived from the Chinese culture. Due to campaigns to stop using firecrackers because of injuries and Climate Change awareness, the duration of the explosions was shorter. I did not use my toy trumpets to make some noise. I figured that if ever the noise will ward off spirits, it would be the good spirits that will go because the evil ones love chaos and noise! I did not adorn my table with round fruits or prepare a midnight repast as was the custom. The mother-in-law of my nephew, who lives nearby, invited me to celebrate with them, but I preferred to sleep and I didn’t want to ruin my diet.
It was not because I felt lonely because I was home alone this year. Even with company then, it came to a point that I was just going through the motions of celebrating to put up a happy front. Doing the same things for so many years started to bore me. Maybe now, alone, I can be true to myself. Maybe because I was anxious about the preparations for the reunion with siblings and their kids in my home the following day that I preferred to sleep to be ready for the work ahead. Or maybe I didn’t know what to celebrate as I am still battling with breast cancer, I do not know what lies ahead.