This time last year, I found myself in a helicopter overlooking the Hawaiian island of Oahu. The skies were clear, the water and the sunlight met in sparkling ripples, and the view… Well, the photos speak for themselves.
This year is going to be awesome, I thought to myself as the pilot skillfully led us around the island.
And last year was packed with a lot of living: highs, lows, and ultimately, a lot of change.
2015 was the year I traveled more.
I was out every two weeks or so, and I ended up much further than I thought I’d ever go.
There were other times and other places, and I’m grateful for the chance to see much of the world.
2015 was the year my career moved up a notch.
I went on more business trips, stretched what I thought I could do with different projects, and took on speaking engagements. I’ve been interviewed for TV shows before as part of the marketing aspect of my job, but standing in front of a host, cameramen, and a crew is less intimidating than standing in front of hundreds of people. My knees still knock together when I’m on stage, but my voice thankfully doesn’t waver. Here’s hoping that part of public speaking gets better with practice.
2015 was the year I tried new things (and failed at a lot of them too!).
I tried my hand with shooting film cameras. I learned to surf in Hawaii from a friendly war veteran (if you call wiping out every few seconds surfing). I jumped off a cliff into the sea in the Philippines. I began building my website from scratch last August.
2015 was the year of bad habits.
I regularly missed meals and lost sleep. I struggled with being accountable when I wasn’t at work, like the time I promised I’d do something for a friend then completely forgot after getting caught up in the office. I often got overwhelmed with things because I wanted everything to be just perfect. It took me until the end of the year to really understand why perfect was the enemy of done.
2015 was the year of relationships.
I set aside time for the people who made my life better. I went on random weekend trips with friends, showed up to support my gang’s hobbies — ballet performances, orchestral concerts, & plays come to mind — and kept in regular contact with grandparents I didn’t see too often. I was grateful for that last habit when my great-grandmother suddenly passed away after 106 years of living well. I’m glad she’s in a better place yet I still miss her. Interestingly, her funeral lead to a family reunion which included a midnight run for dimsum and ice cream.
Ultimately, my 2015 was a year of learning.
And as 2016 passes by quickly — bet we’ll be marveling over how fast the year has flown when December comes around again! — I look to the new year as a chance to live in the present and enjoy every moment.
This year, I choose to make time for more of life’s pleasures: God, family, and friends down to the little things like dressing up and eating on time. I choose to learn to be more accountable in keeping my promises, to dial down my perfectionism into great enough, and to focus on what’s important to me in my day-to-day routine.
Let’s see where 2016 brings you & me!
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