Many people find themselves counting down the last 30 days of 2018 with guilt or accomplishment

By Huang Yiran Source:Global Times Published: 2018/11/29 19:48:40

Some people say they are fulfilled with 2018, while others are not satisfied with the past year. Photo: VCG

Tearing off another page from the calendar, you may suddenly realize that there are only 30 days left in 2018. So then you may suddenly think of the goals and wishes you made at the beginning of the year: lose 10 pounds of weight, build strong abs, read 100 books, have a romantic relationship, or earn a lot of money. However, over time, you gradually lose your passion for exercise or reading or socializing with people. Every day after work, the only thing that comes to your mind is probably lying on the bed, browsing randomly on your cellphone and watching a show or TV series until you fall asleep at midnight. Then the last month arrives, December, which is like an alarm clock, reminding you of the rhetorical words you said when 2018 just began. What a shame, you may say to yourself.

However, don't be sorry for that. There are so many people who share this feeling with you, they even give it a term - to set flags, which means you make a lot of wishes or set a lot of goals at the beginning, but in the end, you realize that you have failed all of them.

The term "flags" was originally from Japan, which means a hint that foreshadowed later developments in a story. But as the term spread on the internet, its meaning has been retorted, and now Chinese young people reference it to "set a goal" or "make a wish." "I will definitely go to the gym today!" "I can finish this PowerPoint by 12 pm." If you hear these sayings from your Chinese friends, don't be too serious. They may just be setting another flag.

At the end of November, Metropolitan journalists hit Beijing's streets to see what wishes people made when 2018 started and whether these wishes became "flags" or not. To our surprise, while some people say they failed to realize their wishes or goals, most people say they are satisfied with the past year. "Fruitful", "satisfying" and "splendid" are the most used words when our interviewees summarized 2018.

No matter if it's a year of achievement or a year of "flags," 2018 is waving goodbye to us. Lukily, we still have a new year to count on. Photo: IC

A great 2018

For 30-year-old Cheng Jiugao, his 2018 is definitely a great year, because he and his wife welcomed their first baby.

"I can say that my 2018 is a fruitful year," Cheng told Metropolitan. "We have a baby, and I also found another job, which is more challenging. It feels like a new beginning of my life."

A parent like Cheng, Yuan Yuan also made a "family-pact" wish - she hoped that she and her kids can both make great progress in 2018.

"I don't have a specific goal, like a number or something, but I think me and my kids all made some progress in 2018. It's a busy year full of hard work, but also full of enrichment and happiness."

Chen Haipeng, a 25-year-old student who just graduated from university in June, planned to do a great job on his thesis and find satisfying work at the beginning of 2018.

"I think I realized my wish. My thesis is going to be published in a journal, and I'm doing an internship in a company, which I'm quite satisfied with and determined to stay," Chen said.

Lin Yuhuang, an art teacher from China's northwestern Gansu Province, wants to promote Chinese painting and calligraphy in universities.

"Chinese painting and calligraphy are the treasures of China. What I've done is too little. I will keep working to promote Chinese culture to more universities and schools," Lin told Metropolitan.

Some people are attracted to Chinese culture. For instance, Jake Smith and Michael Barbera, who come from Australia to learn Chinese in Beijing, said their wish was to travel more and see cultures that differ from their own.

"I think our dreams come true. See, here we are, in sunny Beijing," said Barbera. "But learning in university is really stressful," he said with a smile.

"I hope in the coming 2019, I could continue studying, stay focused and have fun with friends," said Smith.

Sorry, it's a 'flag' year

While most interviewees enjoyed their 2018, some people are not that lucky. For different reasons, they haven't realized their dreams, but they hold a positive attitude toward next year.

"I haven't realized my goals. What I wish is to change my job," said deliveryman Wang Xuepeng. "Doing delivery is too laborious. What's worse, we don't have too many holidays."

When talking about his wish, he said he wants to go back to his hometown and stay with his family for some time.

Hu Mu just got her MBA degree from Germany and is not satisfied with her 2018 either.

"I would say it's a year of upset," said Hu. "My life was too plain. Every day is a repetition of class, gym, and the supermarket. Nothing special."

Shen Jingyi said she failed most of her goals.

"For instance, I wish to pass the CET 4 test this year, but there are only 20 days left, and I haven't even started to prepare for it," Shen said. "I am lagged by my procrastination. But I still think university education has really enriched me. I often study or do homework at midnight."

No matter if it's a year of achievement or a year of "flags," 2018 is saying goodbye to us, and we still have a new year to count on. Just like Ma Xuejiao, one of the interviewees told us: "I wish everybody a happy life. If you don't feel satisfied, don't worry. Just work a little harder. And please be happy. Because nothing is more important than your happiness."

Newspaper headline: A year’s worth of reflection


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