This New Year crept in sheepishly dragging behind it last year's pain.
The aftermath of the tsunami makes us reassses every aspect of our own lives. More so now that we begin to hear the victim's own stories of survival and loss. In today's paper the heartbreaking story of the mother who was holding on to her two sons and knew that she would have to let go one of them if any of them were to stand a chance. A sort of Sophie's choice. How do you live with it afterwards? (Fortunately the elder son was found alive after the mother let go of his hand and the waters carried him away.)
And Acheh. Bloated corpses piled in the streets, unidentifiable now as individuals because so badly decomposed. No-one to mourn them or to remember their names or their stories. No final dignity in death.
I can't switch off. I have to feel it.
We sent money. I wish with all my heart I could do more.
CNN and BBC have taken their eyes off the tragedy in Malaysia. Our numbers of dead are quite small and dwarfed by the horror of elsewhere. We were hit by a secondary wave. But loss is loss all the same.
I'm glad I am not religious. I'd hate to be trying to find out answers from a god.
The celebrations in KL were quiet this year. No big firework displays to see the New Year in but plenty of candlelight vigils.
I did not go anywhere because The Old Man is suffering from "cluster headaches": severe migraine attacks several times a day and I want to be around for him even if I can't do anything practical. The pain is so excrutiating that he can only pace up and down, up and down until it goes off. He becomes afraid to fall asleep because that's when they attack.
But I hope despite everything that it's going to be great year. A big shiny hopeful year.
I wrote down not so much a set of resolutions as a three-page manifesto which I keep adding to all the time. Have so many ideas for things I want to do, schemes I want to get involved in. Watch out, I'm taking over the world!
The only person I showed it to was Leah who dropped by New Year's day. There's too much here, she said. You have to focus.
So first, my writing. Getting my stories finished. Turning those ideas into poems. Sending them out to find a home.
Second, growing my company. Getting my first creative writing course off the ground. Right now just need to find the venue.
And thirdly, developing those friendships which make me whole. Valuing the dear friends I have already. Finding kindred souls.
I thank my journalling friends here for the glimpses into your various worlds which enriches my own and teaches me so much.
May your year indeed be happy.