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

Global Times – Metro Beijing - - FRONT PAGE - By Huang Yi­ran

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.

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 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.”

Photo: VCG

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

Photo: VCG

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.

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