I just can't believe we're now in the last day of of the year.. Tomorrow it's a brand new year - and a brand new decade - if you have celebrated year 2000 as the turn of the millenium!
As with the custom since I started blogging in mid 2005 (gosh, has it been more than 4 1/2 years already?), albeit having really slowed down in the last few months, I don't want to miss out writing this `momentus' year-end post that includes both reflection of the year that has been, as well as setting `resolutions' for the coming year..
Ahh... resolutions! The big `R' word which many has a love-hate relationship with - and yours truly is one who believes in setting resolutions yet always almost never achieve most of them! Having said that, it is important I feel to have new goals for the new year, and also re-examine old ones that one has not realised - and try to make them work again!
Ok.. besides turning the Big 4-0 in the middle of this month, I shall recap of the significant events and things that have happened in 2009 - not a top 10 news of the world thing, but what has happened in my life - of course, this is my personal blog! ;)
1. Grandma passes away at 90, just after CNY after deteriorating condition of suffering a stroke for 10 years. We were sad but of course her death was not unpredicted. In fact, it was a relief for her as well as for us.. she was already in semi-conscious state and before that totally bedridden for a year plus.. She could even hardly spoke for some time already. There was no quality of life. The extended family, relatives and close friends turned out in full to pay her last respect. RIP Ah Nei - I still miss you..
2. The set-up of my SoHo/ home office - complete with new furniture and paint, and got my first iMac! That idea has been brewing in dad's mind for some time but due to lack of proper room space it was not done. But since grandma's passing, the room downstairs has been vacant so it seems a good idea to turn it into my `home office' - since I mostly work from home as a freelance writer, and working from my bedroom was not really conducive. That explained why I frequented Starbucks for a while! The conversion was an easy process and not expensive too - and by August, I had a proper SoHo to work in - and even got a new iMac which I heart!! Ya, now I always work (and play) in my private SoHo :p
3. I sat for my first vocal examination in June. After taking up personal vocal lesson proper (the ones I took in the past were infrequent and group classes) since November 07, I took the plunge and sat for the First Concert Certificate exam which required me to sing 4 songs by heart! It was a pretty nerve-wracking experience as my legs actually trembled singing in front of the examiner! Being pushed by my teacher, I was aiming high - but was quite relief to get a Merit and not less.. (Distinction would be great but oh well..) And with the exam preparation, I felt my singing has improved quite a lot this year!
4. I took up Italian lesson since beginning of this year.. but progress has been slow. Found my tutor Giovanna online and enjoyed learning.. however, the language is so tough and my brain matter (ie memory) is getting so much weaker these days.. I won't say it's a waste of money although I can hardly master much of the language after a year.. and she's leaving for Rome so I am not sure of the continuation.. :(
5. I was blessed to be able to travel to a few interesting places this year - some of which I didn't even blog about like my Shanghai trip in October - which I really had fun! We went on a family holiday to the scenic Wuyishan in Fujian, China - my parents, my sis and me like old time :). The following month, we did our annual `pilgrimage' to Hong Kong to visit sis family - particularly the three kids! It also turned out to be a shopping spree for I had lost some weight then (read more about my weight-loss achievement below) In July, I had my first World Rianforest Festival experience in the cultural village of Sarawak - which turned out to be pretty `memorable' for some wrong reasons! And then finally in mid October, I went to Shanghai by myself and was the guest of my Malaysian friend who lives temporarily. She drew up a concise itinerary for me and we did so much in a week - food and shopping being the highlight. I LOVE the cosmopolitan of Shanghai and want to go back again.. But alas, my blogging momentum took a dip after that so I didn't blog at all - it would have been a super-long post! However, photos that speak a thousand words can be seen in my Facebook album.
6. Ok, regarding my work.. hmmm.. what can I say? It has been VERY different from the last two years of being a freelancer. Oh ya, as of November this year I have been on my own for THREE whole years already and with God's blessing, i'm still at it. But now I'm doing only half editorial work and the rest is corporate/other forms of writing and translations. But for the first 2 1/2 months of this year, I was attached to GardnerAndWife Theatre and was helping them to write press releases and publicity materials that led up to their first production of the year - Wicked Wizard. That was quite an interesting jobe experience. But even if translation work pay prompt and copywriting pay more, my first love is still writing feature articles for papers and magazines and I pray I can still be doing that in 2010!
7. Some of my church friends had been battling the `big C' this year. An dear faithful servant, an auntie from church at just 60, has passed away in November while there were many new cases - including a close friend who was detected with stage 4 lung cancer which doctor and was only gave her months to live. However, her strong faith in God had seen her battling with medical means and prayers, and we were so glad that God had worked a miracle in her body and life - that her tumour has reduced and all cancerous spots were cleared from other parts of her body! It also spurred her to become an avid blogger who regularly updates her spiritual blog here. Now we are praying and ministering to another brother whose condition has worsened lately..
8. Farewell CCF. Ironically just 3 months after the nostalgic and wonderful CCF Alumni camp, the church's peer group fellowship that I've been a part of since 1994 has disbanded after being there since 1991. It has seen the coming and going and of course staying-on of many young adults over the years and has built up strong friendship as well as Christian foundations in many lives.. It was kinda sad but from its condition in the last two years, we know we need to move on. So since middle of this year, I have joined a home/cell group and also enjoying new fellowship with more mature friends and studying the Word together..
9. Woe to the Net addict. Sigh.. although I posted that in February, my addiction on the Internet had gone from bad to worse.. i think! Ok, maybe it had `maintained' since I also spend some time watching HK drama series on Astro. My work also demands the heavy usage of email and google and other Internet tools, and on top of that, I have somehow succumbed to the temptations of the many Facebook games - the ones I'm current playing actively are (ok, hold your breath!) Sorority Life, Cafe World, Petville, Pet Society, Word Twist and Restaurant City (RC not so frequent). This is on top of managing and sending messages, checking friends messages and status and all other 1001 things Facebook offers!! I'm a real Junkie but on the plus side, FB has helped me in my work too!
10. Last but not least.. if I have only been given one thing that is significant to review this year, it would be this: Since February till September - I have successfully shed off 15kg of weight - that's like 5 1/2 inches off my waist (no need to go into details of the other vital statistics). And the good news is, I have maintained that weight in the last three months - without having to go on a diet anymore.. It has been so obvious that so many people whom knew me before had commented - and then it has come to this stage that I had to get rid of almost all my old clothes! Especially jeans and pants.. and also most dresses, shirts and blouses!! No wonder I have been spending a lot - cos I had been shopping locally, in Hong Kong and also Shanghai for new clothes and now I decided also to alter some of the old ones that I like.. So how did I do this? Of course some of my friends would have known already.. but since there are lots to tell, I shall follow by another post soon in the future - dedicated to this `Big Loser' lol - and also with photos of `before and after' to show!
So you had my top 10 list of 2009. My next post that hopefully I would write later today.. or on Jan 1, will be my aspirations and plans. I shall not use the word resolutions anymore - for the year 2010.
Ya, it has been an eventful and unforgettable year.. And it's kinda hard to say goodbye.. to 2009..! :(