Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year

I think for a lot of people, 2017 was a year that belongs in the rearview mirror. And it would be easy to spend this post listing the reasons why. In fact, I had written a couple of sentences doing just that before I caught myself.

Starting a new year isn't about looking at all the bad things from the previous you want to avoid in the next one. It's about hope. About a clean sheet and a brand new indelible marker to write with.

Definitely not visible from my window.

Sitting here in a serviced apartment in rainy Singapore, two kids fast asleep and a hectic December behind us, it's hard not to feel like we are poised for a big transition. Temporary housing will give way to a permanent home; we will get to know this city better (why are all the nearby playgrounds closed right now? Don't they know we have restless kids?) and forge ahead. I'll start a new job that will mean days of playtime with the kids and family lunches are back to being weekends-only treats.

All that is certain. I don't need to hope for it; it will happen.

So do I want out of the next year?

It's not hard. I want my family to be healthy, happy and safe. And I want 2018 to exceed 2017 in every way that it can. Is that boring? Maybe. But I won't be disappointed if those hopes are realized.

No matter how you feel about 2017, and no matter where you are or how you're celebrating (I will spare you the details of New Year's Eve: Corporate Housing Edition), I hope your hopes are realized too.

Here's to a bright, new year.

*edited to remove the artifacts of writing while recovering from 2017’s parting gift: a family-wide stomach bug.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

It's Christmas Eve, babe

... and, as always, I hope most fervently that none of you are in the drunk tank. It's been an interesting December, but Christmas has arrived nonetheless. Here's to a great one, and a great finish to an, uh, exciting year.

Happy Christmas, or whatever holiday you celebrate (even if it's just a responsible trip to the bar).

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Revenge of the Return of the Misc Box, Part II: The Boxening

Well, readers, I'm sure you're just as aware as I am that it has been a long time since we've exchanged electrons here on the blog. Like a long time. As usual, I will offer no excuses other than: life has become busier than usual.

Sure, Gerry, you may say. But that's true of all of us out here in the world, watching American democracy teeter and Hollywood greenlight remakes of movies that were great the first time around.

And you're right. We're all busy in our own way.

My particular way of being busy these days is another international move.

Mrs. Blog and I, now joined by Little and Littler Blog, as I guess I'm calling them, are moving to Singapore. And I have a new job, with another global news organization. New climate, new restaurants, new weird-but-iconic statues.

Weird-but-iconic merlion.

It's a whirlwind, moving a family. A real maelstrom of stress, planning and preparation. All you can do is keep putting one foot in front of the other, logistically and mentally speaking, until you're at your new home. At least that's the theory. We haven't arrived at that home yet, so I can't say for sure.

An artifact of previous international moves has been the existence, at the end of a day of packing up a home, of a catchall box. It's not full of one type of thing (like glasses) or even stuff that all goes in the same room (like the kitchen). No, it's a Misc Box that holds stuff you want to take with you but isn't easily categorized.

This time around, it doesn't look like we'll have one of those. That's partly because Mrs. Blog is an expert at organizing, and partly because this move will be the best supported in terms of relocation services. I won't go into the boring details, but it does appear that everything--regardless of categorization--will be neatly packed away, only to rematerialize in our new Singapore pad.

Instead there's a mental Misc Box. We've been here six years--my longest stretch in anyplace that's not Chicago or Kansas City. We have roots and friends and two little kids who were born here. What the movers can't take, but what I'm bringing with me, are those things. Those relationships, memories and experiences--good and bad--we found in Hong Kong. They'll always be with me, even if they defy categorization.

And so off we go. Soon we'll hop on an airplane, shake the dust of the 'Kong from our shoes, and embrace the future (which may or may not be devoid of chewing gum).

Hong Kong hasn't been perfect. But it's been home.

Sic transit gloria mundi.

Or as they say in Hong Kong, "Bye bye!"