New Year; New Beginnings

By Andrea Pavee

About three years ago, we started a massive family project: the breaking down and subsequent rebuilding of our family home.

We were greenhorns at this, however, bearing in mind that our kids are growing up and about to strike out on their own, it was high time to rebuild the house to suit the needs of adult children and gracefully aging parents.

The design and cost went through many, many revisions before everything was finalized and then, mid 2019, we moved out.

How blissfully unaware we were, back then, that that a hidden, looming and protracted pandemic was fast bearing down upon the world.

No sooner than construction started in earnest, than the pandemic hit us full on, with the construction sector being badly hit, whether it was due to the many Covid clusters, the subsequent mandating of PCR tests and vaccination drives for all construction workers, to the supply chain bottlenecks and then the frighteningly horrid floods which broke upon many parts of the country last December.

Delays were the norm, the unexpected became expected, with challenges flying in from every side.

As with anything else, I managed to look for those silver linings and here are some gleaned takeaways.

Patience is a virtue

While it is a tough virtue to acquire and live, it builds up fortitude and enables one to weather all challenges.

There are somethings we can change, while others lie beyond our control. Rather than bemoaning the situation constantly, a little patience and a dose of good cheer has seen us weather those storms away. As Mum always said, “in time, things always work out for the best.”

Bloom where you are planted

This snippet was a favourite of our late parish priest, Fr. Peter Kim and it held me in good stead as we settled into a new neighbourhood.

The area we lived in while awaiting the completion of our forever home was chock full of neighbourliness, something which is sadly waning today.

Our neighbours were always ready with a warm smile, a quick hello, and when possible, ruffling up a quick gathering to celebrate Independence Day, or any other celebrations.

When lockdowns and caution discouraged face to face gatherings, Zoom led the way.

The new place became home to me.

Like a coiled spring

Our time away from home, even with its interminable delays, provided a good opportunity for me to reflect and work on improving myself.

Whether it was better home management, the adventure of trying out new recipes or baking a new treat for the family, these lessons strengthened me to better face daily challenges peacefully, serenely, and with a smile upon my face.

We finally moved on Chinese New Year’s Eve and the first day of the New Year of the Water Tiger. We are still settling in and ironing out the kinks here and there, but we are getting there, slowly but surely.

Here’s to new beginnings in a new home in a New Year.

Posted by Chayo, HomSkil Editor 1, 19 February 2022

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