Looking back on 2015 I can think of so many things that are new to me. We had some wonderful trips, I grew in my role at work and my cooking has continued to improve as I start moving into Asian cooking more and more. Here are the highlights!
1. Travelled to China – This was my first time in Asia and it was such a rich, exciting adventure for Dave and I. We did so many new things while there. We ate all kinds of new foods (frozen yogurt with beans, YUM!), explored the Forbidden City, survived the driving, bought steam buns from holes in the wall and sped through the countryside on a bullet train. The country is vast and the people so kind. I’ll remember Dave constantly getting his photo taken, line dancing with the locals, bean smoothies, the painful Chinese massage and the corn that came topped with sugar and sprinkles. I suspect we’ll end up back there soon.
2. Worked with disabled and abandoned kids – This was such a highlight of the year. In Sanmenxia, China, I was placed in the baby room and every day I would spend time with these wonderful kids who struggled with various disability, showing them love and attention, which they desperately desired. Since coming back, Dave and I have continued to support the baby room at the orphanage we were at. I hope to one day get back to see how these children have developed, and even better, not see them because they have been adopted into a loving home.
3. Touring the Terra Cotta Warriors and The Great Wall of China – Seeing these sites always seemed like a far off reality. I didn’t anticipate that I would even see them in my lifetime since China wasn’t really on my list of places to visit. But we did, and we loved it, and we saw these great wonders. I really enjoyed The Great Wall and would have loved to spend more time there. It really was beautiful seeing the ruinous area that stretched as far as you could see from the clean, safe, tourist section. It was like there was an adventure waiting right over the next hill.
4. Joined our strata council – When we bought our condo a couple years ago I knew I wanted to join the strata council to be apart of decision making and the care for our buildings (there are 3 large condo buildings and 4 townhouse complexes – 165 units total). So this April when we had our annual general meeting, I signed up for the standard two year term. My goodness, I had no idea how much work and communication would be involved. Within just the first 2-3 days I had about 50 emails back and forth about issues. You’ll never know what is going on in the background until you get on council! It has been trying at times, but a good learning experience so far.
5. Grew into a manager at work – The first year as a manager is pretty challenging. Every difficult conversation you have with am employee seems painstaking for the first while, but then you get used to it (thank goodness) and you are able to sleep at night knowing what conversations will take place the next day. I pray a lot for wisdom in my job and the ability to be fair and consistent with my employees, to coach them through failures and praise them in success. At the start of the year, I didn’t enjoy being a manager, and while I still have lots to learn, it has become easier and I gain more confidence in my abilities each day.