Bye 2012, Hello 2013!

Photo from Shutterstock

What better way to end the year and start a new one than cleaning your room? It's almost 3:00am, last day of the year, and I have just finished cleaning my tiny flat. I would have wanted to do my laundry but it is freezing outside, around 8 degrees (in Celsius) and weather forecasts say there's no Mr. Sun tomorrow and the next days. I want a clean slate, a fresh start, so I thought of cleaning and changing my beddings and saving some time for myself to reflect on the year that was.

So, what now? What are we going to do now that the year is coming to an end?

I'm trying to recall some great things that have happened this year, the places I have been to, the not-so-many days I have spent with the family, the work I have been doing.  It is indeed a quiet year, exactly what I have imagined after finishing graduate school. As I lay down in bed, I will be sleeping with a smile because I know I made it through another year again. I don't know how I fared this time, but I'm pretty sure I have grown a little bit more mature. I have learned to quiet myself down, to talk less and listen more.

And I hope this coming year, with God's grace, I'd be able to embrace whatever 2013 has in store for me, and to strive to be a better person in the likeness of Christ-- serving and loving others. Wishing you all a belated Merry Christmas, and a Bright 2013!


Ahia's Taipei Visit

Big meets tall: Ahia and Taipei 101

It was Ahia's turn to pay me a visit after I went to Chicago summer of last year. I was very excited because I find it odd that it's the little sister who is going to pick the big brother at the airport and to show him around the city. He had a list of request: no parks, no museums, no long walks (all these he made me do in Chicago under the blazing heat wave). There was nothing left but to shop and eat. 

First stop- xiao long bao

Hotpot at Taipei's finest DingWang Restaurant 

After lunch at 168  Steakhouse, Grand Victoria Hotel

Photo op at Le Meridien Taipei

Matching colors at Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall

Ahia celebrated his birthday on Dec. 4. It is normal for him to have a week-long celebration with friends, colleagues, and the family so I'm worried about how he has been eating a lot! I constantly pray for his success and good health. I am just so blessed to have a brother who knows how to spoil his sister so much. But apart from spoiling me rotten, he has the biggest heart and shares whatever he has to everyone. Every night when I'm in bed I think of him and the way he cuddles when I sleep beside him. He is so heavy but he puts his leg above mine until I grimace in pain and we laugh together. My dihia, every time he comes home, the two of them sleep in the double bed and even hugs each other to sleep. It's still a mystery how they fit in that bed. Maybe that's the reason why the mattress was already sagging the last time I was home. Happy birthday ahia, thank you for always being proud of my little achievements.

Rest


Day off how I long for thee! At long last, I had a day all to myself. As usual, it was a day well spent inside my room, under the covers. I stayed home for lunch, cooked rice and steamed the food I bought yesterday, intended for today's meal- because I'm lazy like that. The only time I left my room was when I had to leave for an hour of hatha yoga, some grocery shopping and bank errands. I felt refreshed and re-energized, after more than a week of running around and doing late pages for work. Funny thing though, this whole week I didn't feel cranky at all, despite the crazy cold and rainy weather Taipei's experiencing.

Yoga update: I'm on day 11. I have been doing asana pranayama which is mostly breathing exercises and some easy stretching; yoga therapy with sun salutation; and the hardest class I have attended is hatha yoga, it felt like parts of my body are being ripped off. I also tried hot yoga where we stayed in a 40deg-room doing basic gentle yoga postures. We were all drenched in sweat and chugging water after the session.


December First


My 30 days of yoga

Today is December 1st, the first day of the last month of the year. With 2012 winding down, we are left with just a few days to do some more things and tick those checkboxes in our bucket list. On my part, I have finally decided today to start my 30 days of yoga commitment. No papers, no signatures- just totally giving myself the power to do something I have never done before. I have been keeping a yoga journey journal after I purchased a Groupon promo for a four-day yoga trial. Hopefully I'd be able to jot down notes until I reach day 30. I'm not flexible, my body stiff as a stick, but I'm excited to see the difference yoga has to offer. Ommmmmmm.

Eater's Digest Column

Also today, we released our very first Foreign Community page. I call it a labor of love, still struggling to hear the final YES from our bosses. It sure is an added work on our rotation schedule, but something we will do out of sheer dedication. I'm still praying we get positive response because I can't wait to write and tell the whole island about how we Filipinos celebrate the most wonderful time of the year that is Christmas.

I haven't posted anything about my brother's visit. I'll do it when I get to have a "proper" day off- my kind of day off is just a day where I lie in bed the whole day in my pajamas and eat nacho cheese Doritos or double cheese Cheetos. It's been a long time since I had one of those days.