It’s 1:20 in the morning, on the second day of the new year.
I’m sitting cross-legged and currently typing away at my desk.
I have a cup of (already cold) French earl grey, I’ve lit my lychee and peony candle, and Airling is playing in the background.
It’s been a great first day of the new year, and I’m so glad I can sit here at the end of the day, look back and feel happy + warm.
I usually attempt to write a reflection before the year comes to a close, but in true Emily fashion, I leave it till New Year’s Eve; it becomes too rushed and because I know I’ll take ages to finish writing, I never did get around to it for 2017. (I thought I would just take my time and look back at the year that was in the new year – so expect something a bit more reflective in the near-ish future.)
For the moment, I want to share with you a little bit of how I spent New Year’s Day.
I slept in the entire morning, eventually rolling myself out of bed and giving my body some sustenance.
I had intended on spending the rest of the afternoon tidying up my room. We were expecting family over for dinner, but they ended up arriving much earlier than I had anticipated.
As you may or may not already know, a large part of my family doesn’t reside in Sydney, and so I don’t get to see them very often. This holiday period, my uncles and aunties have all come with my cousins, and tonight they came over for dinner.
I had to run out to buy some juice, and so I took three of my cousins and my aunt out to drive to the shops. We ended up having to go to two different places because (surprise, surprise) the shops were closed at the first mall.
We made it back home and I spent some time playing cards with my cousins. Then more family arrived and I went to talk to my aunts. One aunt in particular who I’m closer to – who actually lives in Sydney but I don’t often see – hugged me and mentioned how she hadn’t seen me in a long time. We caught up and talked freely and made plans for next New Year’s Eve (heehee). Can you believe I haven’t been to the city to see the fireworks in person?! Ever?! After a total of 10 years living in Sydney?! At least, not that I can remember.
I’m the oldest grandchild on my father’s side, and there’s a decent age gap between my cousins and I – it’s a little hard to really be close to them and connect with them (if you get what I mean), especially when I hardly see them. I do make an effort though. At the same time, it’s always nice to see their cute faces and watch them shy away from me – in their eyes I’m probably more of an adult.
In saying that, because I am the age I am, I am much closer to my aunts, and I love that I can talk to them the way I do. It’s kind of like having older sisters that I never had, although there is definitely that generation barrier thing (?) that obviously exists – especially because we’re that kind of an Asian family.
Anyway, we enjoyed mum’s home cooked laksa for dinner and then had fruits + conversation/watched television. The topic of shopping and clothes came up when they were talking about plans for today. One thing led to another, and I ended up taking out bags of my old clothes for my younger cousins to sieve through and take anything that caught their eye! The three of them picked out a couple each and tried them on. It was nice to see them try on my old clothes and like the pieces – and I could help them adjust the clothes to see how they fit, and they would ask me about how to wear this or what to wear that with. I loved getting to do that with/for them.
Not long after, it was time for them to head back to my grandma’s and call it a night. We walked them out to the cars, and when I came back in and kind of looked back at my day, it brought a smile to my face.
Despite not seeing my family often, it always feels the same when we come together again. I ended off the day feeling warm and fuzzy and just really happy to see them. I’ve rambled on so much about the little details, recounting the events that unfolded, and now I’m a little lost for words to describe this feeling. I guess it’s like returning to an unfamiliar familiarity – if that makes any sense at all. Like a warm embrace you remember, one that is familiar and that you anticipate and imagine returning to, but until you’re actually in that embrace again, all you have to go off is the manifestation of your memory, and you won’t know for sure what it’s like until that moment comes. (Well, that was a little bit of a stretch. I haven’t written in ages so please forgive me)
It’s just been an amazing day spending quality time with family. I feel like I was able to just live in the moment, be present, and savour every second.
Can’t wait to see them more this week and also looking forward to my other aunty and her family coming in a few days!
I want to always remember this feeling.
Here’s to being present in life’s fleeting moments in the new year + always.
Wherever you are, be all there.
With love, Emily.