Long Press the Power Button to Restart

We had that experience when our laptop suddenly stopped working and all we could do was to press long the power button to restart. That’s how I see the year of 2020. I didn’t expect a drastic change of life in 2020 as we began the year but I did toy with the idea of resigning early this year so that I could return home to Kupang. Who would have thought I then spent most of the year working from home because of the COVID-19 outbreak. It disrupted the flow of people’s lives including mine. Well, here’s my year of 2020 in a review

Family trip to Magelang

It is difficult to get together during Christmas. Our homes are in Kupang and Davao, while we are living in Jakarta. Both Kupang and Davao have pre-dominantly Christian citizens so at the end of the year is not a good time to travel. Airline ticket price would be skyrocketing. Nevertheless, we were able to get together. Papa Dennis and Denise, my father and sister in law, came to visit and we took a train trip to Jogja and then rented a car to Magelang. My former office mate was getting Married in Magelang, a city located between Mount Merbabu and Sumbing in Central Java. So the trip had dual purposes, Christmas get together and attending the wedding. It was a nice trip and the weather was pleasant.

Winter Adventure in Japan

It has been our dream to see snow up close together. My experience of seeing the snow was way back when I went with other students up to the Snowy Mountain in Australia. My wife had no experience of it and been wanting to see it for the first time.

A couple of years ago, we took a trip to Japan in Autumn and had a chance to go to Murodo, up in Tateyama volcano to see snow. It was very short as the place was quite far from Osaka and we had to rush home to catch the last train home. I promised my wife that we should go back and spend a longer time. We did. We started our trip from Sapporo to Hakodate, Nagano, Shizuoka and finally stopping by Tokyo before returning home. It was right at the beginning of the pandemic and we were lucky that the trip was smooth. Three weeks after we returned the situation turned worse. Offices were closed, airlines were disrupted, and we were asked to start working from home.

Work from Home for the rest of the year

Starting March I adjusted back to living at home in Kupang and were near our family and pets again. Life has been nice, I must admit. Take out the factor of possibility of being infected by this deadly virus, the quality of life has been great. Well, I didn’t exercise as much as I used to though, but we had some fun at home. We took some enjoyable land travel across Timor, spent more time seeing the sunrise or sunset at the beach and spending quality time with my wife at home or during these travels. We were able to live more modestly too, reducing our monthly spending substantially that now we’re at home. I’ve got to learn new things too. I got better in video making and photography, and toward the end of the year Gita introduced me to investing in stock which led me to learn once again more seriously about investment strategies. It’s a bit too late for my age but I guess, now it’s a perfect time to welcome the retirement phase.

Pressing the restart button

When December came, I got nervous and couldn’t enjoy our time anymore. We had an almost two-week break before the year-end from work, and I just couldn’t take my mind off from what had troubled me. Our rent of the apartment in Jakarta would expire. We had so many stuff in our apartment. After our Japan trip, we attended my cousin’s wedding in Bandung and a week after that we returned to Kupang. So we left Jakarta in a hurry without any preparation. Our fridge was full, house supplies were well stocked for few months too. I just didn’t know where to start when planning for the move. This was a torment for someone who got used to planning.

In the end, I went back alone to our apartment in Jakarta and spent the whole week packing and sending our stuff home to Kupang. It was a grueling week to wrap our four years living in Jakarta. Our stuff had arrived and we realized, we had too much stuff that we don’t really need. That is not good. We made our year goal of decluttering.

It was indeed felt like pressing the long the power button to restart.

The 2021 is well underway, don’t know how this year will turn out to be. Will I ever go back again to Jakarta? Something to find out I suppose.

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