My birthday this year is a lot calmer than the last.
I was thinking of what to get for my birthday, but I realized just how the Lord has blessed me this year that I don’t really have anything to ask for that’s truly immediate. Instead of material gifts, I ask for good health for myself and all my family members, solid business growth, and the ability to help even more people around me.
I’m turning 39 this year, so a year shy of 40. I am adamant to hold onto my 30s as long as I can. Regardless, it’s been a fruitful and interesting year for me, more so because there were so many changes that happened. The biggest ones were:
- I had two miscarriages in one year — one in August 2018 and the other one in June 2019. It is truly by faith that I see the positive sides of losing our baby. We hope to have two kids total at least, so there’s a “spare.”
- I enjoyed a 5-star river cruise vacation with the in-laws last November 2018. We will redo it again this year, so looking forward to it.
- A lot of people left the company, so I had to hire and rehire a lot of people. That was NOT fun. I questioned why they left, but realized that God has a special purpose for them leaving as I managed to once again rebuild the team and it’s a good team.
- My brother had a child, so that’s fun. She’s very cute now. We’ve come a long way from the brother making my life difficult when he disapproved of my husband as documented here.
Anyway, enough with the summaries. As per tradition, here are the Q&As:
1) What have you done when you were 38 that you’ve never done before?
- Take a 5-star Crystal River Cruise and got fat. I used to be an XS and now I am a Medium. It’s because of the wonderful food. No regrets though.
- Sang a solo at my husband’s grandmother’s 100 year birthday. Apparently singing in Mandarin is harder than it looks. I practiced for a few nights. Barely made it due to the D&C which I had the day prior. That was tough.
- Lesson to Self: Do NOT push your body after a raspa.
- We went into the toy business. Don’t ask. It’s a tough industry to enter. Our house looks like a mancave and any boy will be envious to come and visit.
- Became an active social media contributor on Motherhood, Human Resources and the Hong Kong Protest.
2) Did anyone close to you give birth?
- My brother had a child last September 2019, does that count? She’s 1 now and walking! 🙂
3) Did anyone close to you die?
– Fortunately not. And I hope nobody does.
4) What countries did you visit?
- Hong Kong where I saw just how bad the protests has affected the economy.
- China for business. I needed to get a visa so we forced a trip.
- Europe: Austria, Slovakia, Germany via the Crystal Cruise Mozart
- Singapore for a short trip with my mom and my brother’s family. That was fun.
5) What would you like to have when you’re 39 that you lacked when you were 38?
- A healthy, normal and SMART baby.
- For us to do our second business idea off the ground. 🙂
6) What date this year will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
- None, every day was a great day.
7) What was your biggest achievement of the year?
– Rehiring my team back after I lost a lot of critical people for their own personal reasons.
Long story short, don’t need to chase after them. If someone leaves, so long as you’re doing things right, the right people will come to you.
8 ) What was your biggest failure?
– Losing two blubs.
9) Did you suffer illness or injury?
– Two miscarriages, sigh.
10) What was the best thing you bought?
I’m a sucker for shoes so I bought these Ferregamo flats on sale in China. I love Ferregamo shoes.
Something similar to this but better. I have Ferregamos in different colors.
11) Whose behavior merited celebration?
- My mom: for being a great mother, mother-in-law and grandmother
- My husband: for him loving me and being a great dad to our daughter.
12) Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
A rogue staff who complained to Department of Labor despite already getting her final pay and signing a quitclaim. I did not realize you can be compliant and people will still complain just because they want more money! That was a good lesson for me.
When people resigned, tell you things that they want to stay at home and relax, but then a month later, you find that they are working again. Apparently, the reasons they gave you for resigning were not really true. That was another good lesson for me.
When a lot of people I hired to fill up the available slots turned out to be usesero, liars, and back biting bitches.
13) Where did most of your money go?
- Toby’s Estate Flat White: At Php 170 per cup, the two shots in a flat white jolted me awake.
- Online shopping for our staff house. I love decorating houses on the side.
- I spent a bit of money educating myself this year. I took an HR course and a Harvard Leadership Course (Php 60,000), which cost me a bit of money.
14) What did you get really, really, really excited about?
- Our new staff house. I haven’t told my staff yet, but I’m excited for it. I think it will help them with their commute and will make their work more enjoyable.
15) What song will always remind you of this year?
You know you’re old when you don’t know most of the people in the Billboard Top 10 Singles that’s coming in per week:
16) Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Happier. I am blessed with a great family.
ii. thinner or fatter? Oh gosh, fatter. A lot fatter than I’ve ever been.
iii. richer or poorer? Just right but strewn to the poor. Hahaha!
17) What do you wish you’d done more of?
- Traveled more. I don’t have a lot of time to do anything this year.
- Start our second business. We wanted to do this but given the team departures, I had to spend a lot of time rehiring.
18) What do you wish you’d done less of?
- Stressed, maybe we could have saved the baby. I should have listened to the doctor more and took medicine to ensure the baby’s survival instead of winging it.
19) How will you be spending Christmas?
- In town, selling. December is our business’ peak season.
20) Did you fall in love between October 2018 to October 2019?
21) How many one-night stands?
- Married, so goodbye one-night stands!
22) What was your favorite TV program?
- Now watching Wentworth on Netflix. It’s good! Now in Season 3.
23) Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
- Nah, life is too short for hate.
24) What was the best book you read?
- I’m more of a Netflix girl this year than books.
25) What was your greatest musical discovery?
- Blah, 2019 was the year of Taylor Swift. I have not really been a music fan this year.
26) What did you want and got?
- A happy family.
- Oh and we just bought a 65″ flat screen TV which was on sale in Lazada.
27) What was your favorite film of this year?
American Factory — You have to watch it to understand why China is progressing quickly despite the backlash against them.
28) How did you celebrate your birthday?
We had a nice lunch….
And we are going to a wonderful dinner at Fireplace.
29) What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Launching the second business this year, and having a second child.
30) How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
Dress with socks on flat shoes.
Because of my miscarriages, my body became weaker and my feet would be cold in the middle of the day. The socks help in keeping my feet warm.
31) What kept you sane?
My husband and my mother.
35) Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Meghan Markle. You can’t make her shit up. How many times can you show the people you’re pregnant!
I dare you to find a photo of her pregnant and not cupping her tummy.
36) What political issue stirred you the most?
The Hong Kong Protest Movement. No, it’s not a democratic movement. It’s an anarchy-riot-terrorist movement in the guise of seeking freedom and democracy.
There’s nothing democratic in vandalizing and destroying public transport systems, breaking and entering businesses, beating up strangers, and sticking knives in the neck of the police.
37) Who did you miss?
I wish my dad was here. He would love to play with my daughter.
38) Who was the best new person you met?
A girl named Ms. She who is the HR of Auntie Anne’s.
39) Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned between October 2018 to October 2019:
People come and go. The good ones WILL stay.
That problems can be handled calmly through a soft voice and lots of explanation. Sometimes, we have a tendency to balloon things up and not hearing the other side. We could basically solve a lot of problems by listening first and talking later.
You really have to trust God in His ultimate wisdom. Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
40) Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
Have a great week ahead everyone!