what made 2014 special for me
what made 2014 special for me

My colleague reminded me yesterday that January was almost over. I began pondering if I should still write this post I’ve been thinking of writing since the last week of 2014. Posting a review of 2014 and my resolutions for 2015 at this point in time seems to be advertising how disorganised I’ve been.

Then I remembered the name of my blog. It’s better late than never.

Instead of a list of resolutions, I’ve set myself one resolution, one mantra and one goal for 2015….

Think as much about what I don’t say as what I do say

I received some news on my birthday that forced me to re-examine what I said to a friend 7-8 years ago.  Even though I know I’m not responsible for what happened to her relationship, I can’t help but wonder if I could’ve saved her from heartache had I not verbally encouraged her to date this guy, someone I barely knew but who looked like a good idea.  I remember telling her she should give this guy a chance, otherwise she might end up being single like me at my age.

What really irked me about this incident was how I practiced nothing of what I preached to her. I’m still single, waiting and trusting God for His best, while she’s had to spend years healing from the breakdown of the relationship.  It made question my motives and the wisdom for saying what I said to her all those years ago. I felt incredibly stupid and hypocritical.

This incident made me think about misunderstandings that’s arisen between me and my loved ones because I’d withheld my opinions for fear of hurting someone. For the longest time, I believed people couldn’t get hurt by what they didn’t know. Now I’m not so sure.  There’s a Chinese saying that goes, “Paper cannot cover up fire.” It depends on who’s involved and what’s at stake. But most importantly, it depends on how much I care about someone and their well-being. And I was forced to admit that most of the time, I cared very little. I just told myself it’s none of my business and went on living my life the way I always did.

All this changed on my birthday. I thought back on all those people who made it their business to look out for me, watch my back and speak truthfully and openly to me for my benefit. And I realised I owe it to them and God to care and exercise greater discretion in what I say or don’t say, when I say it and to whom, so my words could be “like apples of gold in settings of silver” (Proverbs 25:11).

This is easier said than done, but I’m going to try nevertheless.

Slow down

My annual body check-up in November revealed that my good friend, hyperthyroidism, is back. When I was first diagnosed with it 12 years ago, I was relieved to find out the cause of my crazy heart rate, my constantly trembling hands, my seesawing weight and my lack of good quality sleep. I heard this condition was common among Asian women and I was relieved I got it under control after taking meds for two years. Not all my friends who had the same condition were as fortunate as me.

I’d suspected it came back about a year before I went for my check-up. My thyroid was noticeably bigger than before and the doctor who examined me for my work visa medical in 2013 had recommended I get it checked up.  I put it off for as long as I could, not because I was in denial, but because I wasn’t looking forward to taking meds everyday, and seeing the endocrinologist and getting blood tests every month. I absolutely hated the hassle and the expense.

Then a friend I’d met at church was diagnosed with late-stage cancer. That was my wake-up call. I booked a check-up, got my blood tested and began seeing an endocrinologist and taking meds to get my thyroid under control. Thank God my company’s health insurance policy covers my bills.

Apart from prescribing meds, my first endocrinologist reminded me that stress was a primary cause of hyperthyroidism, and I should be careful not to over-exert myself. Hence my mantra for 2015: space things out and slow……. down.

This means I will have to tone down my workaholic tendencies, consciously take time out to wind down, turn down appointments/opportunities/cool projects, and ruthlessly keep my daily to-do list to a maximum of 3 items. So far so good. I’m slowly seeing the other upsides of going slow, apart from an improvement of my physical well-being.  I’ve been making less messes at work, prioritising more, feeling less worn out, and focussing my attention on things that are important to me. Yes, it’s early days, and things at work are winding down prior to Spring Festival holidays, but I’m optimistic. The tough part, of course, is sticking to it.

Regain control of my finances

I racked up debts when I was unemployed in 2013 which I chose not to pay off in 2014.   I decided instead to enjoy having a regular income again by splurging on holidays to exotic lands (here and here).

Being back in Sydney last October forced me to look at my Australian financial affairs square in the face, especially after speaking to my bank manager.  I hadn’t maxed out my credit card limit but the debt felt like deadweight hanging over my neck. It made me feel like I’ve lost control over my finances and I hated it.

So I set myself a deadline to pay off my debt, and made some hard decisions about what I will and will not buy in the next 12 months. It was really tough when my LG G3 was stolen in December, and I had to replace it with a Huawei Honor (my first ever ‘made-in-China’ phone) just because it was within my budget. I’m sure this is the first of many tough purchasing decisions I’ll have to make in 2015 so I can reach my goal, but I tell myself everyday regaining control of my finances is worth the sacrifice. The gradually weakening Australian dollar has given me further motivation to reach this goal.

You may be asking, why advertise these on my blog? I’m giving you permission to remind me all throughout 2015 to stick to these three items. I’ll be needing all the help I can get.

One thought on “2014->2015

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