A Belgian Eye – Episode 98

Our resident Belgian Philippe Persoons takes a look at life through a Belgian Eye and wishes you all a Happy New Year!


Let me wish you all a happy new year. 2016 Has started and I hope you celebrated it with a nice party, something small with friends and family or did you went out to some mass event in the city? Whatever, I hope you had a wonderful time and I you have already recovered from it.

Now it’s time for the world to recover. Last week seemed it bit a lost week. I had some working days and it felt as if I was the only one “in office”. “In office” was not quite the right expression for I did homework, the office itself was closed. And it was a different kind of work. It’s not the “homework” that made the difference, but the absence of people, people at work You didn’t had to try to consult a colleague, you didn’t had to try to call a client or a supplier, more then half of them had taken some days off.

You conversed more with an answering service and you mailed more with automatic reply devices. I got a response on my Christmas greetings telling that all was well received and that a ticket had been opened. “you can check the status of the ticket by following the “My tickets” link”.

If you’re at work between Christmas and New Year’s Eve you, are a bit alone on the planet, on your professional planet because the other world outside is buzzing with everybody trying to get the last presents, and preparations for the parties. Don’t try to go out shopping at that moment! You will inevitably end up in a long queue, completely stressed up and frustrated because you didn’t find what you were looking for. I admit, I didn’t dare to jump in that Christmas shopping crowd and I found my refuge on the Internet. Which I don’t like. Buying on the Internet is bad for your ecological food print, bad for the local economy, and bad for business in Belgium, for most of the web shops work from abroad. Luckily this will change. Our social partners just agreed last December a regulation for night work in Belgian Web shops. From now on our local shop keeper again has a future, he will only have to work night and day.

Is all this necessary?

Well, I quite liked working ‘office work’ in that week. I managed to do things I should have done long ago, without being disturbed. I managed to clean things up, to ponder a couple of times all without too much pressure.

Is all the Christmas fuss really necessary?

Well, I guess we can question al the stress that comes with it. Long ago Christmas was the celebration of the new birth, the new beginning. Such a celebration asks for joy, fun and being together. Presents and huge festive dinners can be nice tools for this as long as it’s fun. Fun and happiness and no stress!

Ok, I was wishing you a happy new year and let that be the most important wish one can make.

For if you are happy, you are probably healthy enough to be happy.

If you are happy, you presumably will have enough money (not too little, not much) to be happy.

If you are happy, then I guess nothing can go wrong.

So, happy new year!

And have a nice day.