Tag Archives: resolutions

Looking back at 2013

2 Jan

I set three goals a year ago for 2013 – do you remember what they were?

It seems like a very long time ago that I set those goals.  The last year, 2013 – or the year of the snake – has been an exciting one.  On a personal level (our weddings in China and the US and celebrating our first wedding anniverary), a professional level (starting a career at a new organization), a physical level (becoming a regular at my yoga studio) and at a friend level (lots of people moving and coming and visiting) – it was a great year.

As I look back, I will focus on the positives and the negatives will slowly slide away.  It’s the only way that you continue forward.  I am lucky that my blog documents many of those memories.  If you have favorites – let me know!

My specific goals were that I wanted a new haircut, to do another demonstration in yoga class and to visit another two countries.  By those measures (and others) – I had a killer year!

My hair, as I joked previously is now past my shoulders and long enough to braid and twist or fuss and leave down.  I never would have guessed that I would have continued to grow it out instead of chop it off.  At this point it will stay long for a while – at least until the cold weather is over.  I haven’t had hair this long since college.

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Yoga is going well.  I went to class over 100 times in 2013 and did several demonstrations.  My core and arms are stronger and I have even done a couple of assisted handstands.  When I do yoga I feel better, more focused and more flexible.

And travel wise – you’ve been along on the trips with me.  I went to Cambodia at the beginning of the year…

Framed by an intricate carving

Framed by an intricate carving

Then Taiwan with my colleagues…

Ready to explore!

Ready to explore!

And Japan with my best friend from college.

I like the red colored barrels.

I like the red colored barrels.

Then later we went on our belated honeymoon to Greece

We made an effort this trip to get more photos together.

We made an effort this trip to get more photos together.

and finally I had my work trip to Dubai.

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That was five new countries in one year.

Wow!

The year of the horse will be starting in a month – What goals should I set?  Any predictions for what surprises will be in store?  I have a feeling it will be a great year.

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Two years later – the 8th quarter review

21 Jul

Two years ago I started Zhongguo Jumble.  My goal was simple – notice what was going on around me – the wonderful and weird, the sad and thoughtful – the jumble of experiences that happen to me.

I am proud to say that two years later I am still capturing those moments both in China and during my travels.

Over the last two years I have published nearly 300 posts and covered topics from food to language to random shopping experiences.  For my most recent quarter I took some time off in the middle due to my punishing travel schedule, but still wanted to share some favorites.

I have noticed that my food posts tend to get a lot of comments and this quarter was no different.  I have started to share occasional home cooking adventures that I have and Expanding my Chinese cooking repertoire – the story of going to cooking school with my colleagues was one of my favorites.  Since I just returned to Shanghai I haven’t had the opportunity to cook much lately but am looking forward to cooking more soon.

Here's a dish I think I could do - bitter melon with bacon.  I've already tried bitter melon with fried egg so I'm on my way!

Here’s a dish I think I could do – bitter melon with bacon. I’ve already tried bitter melon with fried egg so I’m on my way!

Another post that I wanted to call out was team building trip to Wuzhen, one of the water villages around Shanghai.  Finding peace outside the city is always important and Wuzhen was a pleasant surprise during a very busy time.

Peaceful water with reflection of the trees

Peaceful water with reflection of the trees

Finally – I posted the rest of my Cambodia photos and stories.  It was a great trip and one that I would highly recommend to anyone looking for a unique vacation spot.

Angkor Wat - an aerial view

Angkor Wat – an aerial view

In addition to some favorites from the last quarter, I also wanted to give an update on two of my resolutions for this year.

One I can check off the list – I’ve completed it with plenty of time to spare.  That resolution is traveling to two new countries this year.  Between our trip to Cambodia (just mentioned) and my trip to Japan – I am covered.  In addition, depending on who you speak to, my visits to Taiwan also may or may not count as a third country.  We are debating if we will try to get to another country this year – if we do, I’m sure you’ll hear about it!

My search for Mt. Fuji in Japan - I finally found it - on the panel in the apartment we stayed in!

My search for Mt. Fuji in Japan – I finally found it – on the panel in the apartment we stayed in!

Another that I am still experimenting with is the different hair styles.  Here is one that I had for a special occasion recently.

A lovely up-do only possible with longer hair

A lovely up-do only possible with longer hair

How are you doing with any resolutions you’ve made?

Thank you to my loyal followers.  I know that there are some of you out there who have been following along since the very beginning.  Which type of posts do you like the best?  Any ideas for new things that you’d like to hear from me?  Please share so that I can make the third year even better.  Your comments and emails are what keep me going.  Please continue!

Resolutions and goals for the year of the snake

27 Jan

One book that I have read over the past year that impacted my life was Gretchen Rubin’s “The Happiness Project.”  In that book she talked about the importance of taking charge of your own happiness – not waiting for someone else to come and “make you happy.”  That was my core theme for last year, making sure that I didn’t get complacent and still looked for new ways to define what happiness was to me.

I can't "make" him happy either

I can’t “make” him happy either

It’s a little late to do New Year’s Resolutions by the western calendar- which, as I wrote about last year, are not common in China but since the New Year doesn’t start until February 10th (at least the year of the snake), I am actually early.  Last year I had one public resolution where I resolved to keep Zhongguo Jumble updated throughout 2012.  Thanks to your great support I was able to keep that resolution in fine fashion.

This year I am thinking of things in two contexts.  Resolutions are life changes, they are ways of looking at where you want to be and making changes to turn yourself into that person.  Goals are set events, something you can check off your to do list after you finish everything.  To give a concrete example:  A goal would be to run a marathon (something I’m not interested in), but a resolution would be to run for health or to get into shape (something that will never really end).

So, I thought here I’d share a couple of goals for the year.  I will resolve to continue my blog posting, but here are a couple of things that I have on my mind for the goals aspect.

1) A new haircut – I have been growing my hair out for a couple of years now – I’ve gone through more hair styles here than I did in total in the US.  I don’t know what style I will choose but I think it will be interesting.  Here’s a cut I had three years ago now – my short stint with a perm.

One of my many China hairstyles

One of my many China hairstyles

2) Be picked for another demonstration in my yoga class.  Two weeks ago when I went to a class with a new teacher he picked me to do a demonstration.  I’ve never had any teacher ask me to demonstrate a pose before and it made me feel validated that the nearly 100 classes in the last year have paid off.  Continuous practice (which may also be a resolution) should merit another demonstration opportunity.

My poses continue to get better, practice really helps

My poses continue to get better, practice really helps – this is an old photo, I can now see that my hands are not pressed down flat enough in this downward dog

3) Visit at least two new countries – we already have one trip planned for February (which I will keep under wraps for the moment) and I’d like to add another country to my list before the end of the year.  That seems doable.  Last year we went to Boracay, Philippines and I also had my quick jaunt to Korea – both places new to me.

The hotel on the beach in Boracay - where will the next one be?

The hotel on the beach in Boracay – where will the next one be?

And there are other goals (and resolutions) that I am considering that remain private but as they become reality I will be happy to share them with you.

Did you make any resolutions or set any goals this year that you feel comfortable sharing?  What time of year seems to be the most productive?  I still get that feeling in September, the back to school syndrome but a new year also calls for new plans and ideas.  Do you too?

New Year Resolutions?

1 Jan

One of the differences that I have found in China is that the culture of New Year’s resolutions does not exist here.  I remember from the last couple of years, the gym is just as deserted on January 2nd as it is the last week of December and I haven’t been able to tell that people are buying organizational systems or dieting.

Of course Chinese New Year (the lunar new year) and the 2012 New Year (the solar new year) are different and the first couple of years I thought perhaps it was more of the same, just delayed by a month or so, but that is not the case.  It is freeing to know that no one will be asking me my plans for self improvement and the gym will remain relatively uncrowded.

However, I am not Chinese and it is the season to think about plans for the year and as such I am contemplating my own new year’s resolutions.  I read an interesting article recently about having other people set your resolutions for you.  The premise of the article was that if someone else suggests them, that individual will have a clearer view of your needs and what would make the most sense.  I can see how that would work, but I am still not sure.  In my eyes, resolutions are personal endeavors.

I do have one “public resolution” – to continue to update Zhongguo Jumble throughout the year.  I am proud that I have posted for almost the last six months on a very regular basis.  I’ll be doing a “Second Quarter Review” soon with my favorites.

That said – do any of you have resolution suggestions for me?  No guarantees, but I am curious.

May 2012 be the best year yet for us all!

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