On the cusp of my one year anniversary with Apple Tree, of living and working in Vietnam, and on the heels of my travels overseas to London and Morocco, I can’t help but think about goals for next year.
Usually when I work at home, I have the TV or some music on in the background (or as the weather is pleasant now, my windows open which lends plenty of background noise). A line from one of the movies on HBO was, “Life is an occasion. Rise to it.” And it caught me and made me think. Have I risen to the occasion this past year? Has my life been well-rounded? Have I achieved all of my goals? Have I taken the bull by the horns and checked off all the boxes on my personal to-do list? No, no, no and oh yeah – NO!!!
I am actually very sad at how quickly I lost sight of myself this year. Right off the bat, work projects gobbled up me and my time, my thoughts, my every waking moment. And we all know that that is not the person I am or the type of person I aspire to be. I am not all about work. Yes – of course – I will always have a strong work ethic, be dedicated to my job…but when I don’t attend to my personal life on account of my job being too much…..Well then, Houston, we have a problem.
I know almost nothing about Hanoi. I can’t tell you what the best restaurant to go to is because I haven’t really tried enough of them. Outside the events at the Press Club, I’m not to sure where is the best place to go to have fun. I don’t really know that much about Vietnamese cuisine. I eat most my meals at work. At my desk. I have about 7 words of Vietnamese down, and 5 of those are so I can direct taxi drivers.
Sure, I have made many great friends, and certainly strengthened those relations I had coming into this post. Project Shanna 2009, though, a total bust. Absorbed the local culture? No. Made a good group of Vietnamese friends? No.
Usually I wait until the end of December to pick my personal theme for the year. (Let’s not even touch on the fact that I did not live up to my personal theme for 2009. Nor my professional one for that matter.) But after hearing that line in that movie, I’ve already decided my one theme for 2010. Rise to it. And with all my power, and spirit and resolve – I will.