Monday, December 30, 2013

13 Moments that I Will Never Forget in 2013

2013 went by quickly like other years. Every year at this time, I heard people including myself saying,"I can't believe one year is over AGAIN." The benefit of being a blogger is that I get to reflect how many things happen in a year. I see other bloggers are doing it and I done it for the last two years, so I better write this entry. Once I realized how the meaningful the year was, I would be excited for upcoming year.  

1. (January) I run the bake sale successfully: I have participated in different kinds of fundraising events and helped other bake sales before, but I never done one myself. I was nervous, and I thought I would not sale anything and make a loss. It was my first running my own business and selling my baked goods for money. There were so much work to do and stressful. However, the sale broke-even on the first day and sold EVERYTHING on the last day.  
2. (February) I celebrated my birthday in Ashland: It was my first time in 10 years that I celebrate my birthday in a place outside of Portland. It was an amazing experience going to an Italian restaurant and have a dessert. Ashland is such a beautiful city and filled with great restaurants. I might want to celebrate my birthday in Ashland again in the future. 
3. (March) I received a treat from my boss: I was super happy to get praised from my boss. He gave me ice cream and cookies every time I did the work correctly. Sometimes he even treated me for lunch. I was very lucky to have very friendly boss. 
4. (March) I got accept to a graduate school: This was my biggest accomplishment for this year. I have been dreaming about graduate school since my graduation in 2011. I deferred my entrance till next fall, and I am very excited for it.

5. (April) I survived tax season: I knew working during tax season would be challenging before. We had to work 7 days a week and from early morning to late night everyday. However, I had a good time in the helping out in the office putting our power together and complete the tasks. After all, it was not bad at all because I liked the people I work with. They told me that I am a excellent helper, and cheer them up during the difficult times. 

6. (April) I modeled for the first time: I presented my Chinese traditional dress (which I really like) at an International Fashion Show at school with other international students. It was fun walking around with my dress, even though it was not the most comfortable cloth to wear. I enjoyed being photograph with those pretty girls. 
7. (May) I managed to walk/run in the cold for WHOLE night for Relay for Life: This experience was tougher than I thought. I love running and I don't mind stay awake for the entire night, but it was very challenging. I was getting very sleeping and feeling tired of running/walking, and it was cold at night. When I see the sun came up, I felt "how did it survive"? I guess once we can conquer coldness, there is nothing we can't face including defeating cancer.  
8. (June) I made so many good friends in Ashland and it was hard to say Good Bye to all of them: I feel blessed to have so many nice friends and caring professors in Ashland. It was my first time living away from my parents, so I really hoped that people I meet would be good to me. My life in Ashland would not be memorable without all of them. The days before I left, most of them came to me and hugged me. Then said "Good Bye," "Good Luck," and "I have faith in you" etc. to me. I tried hard not to cry. I will never forget them. 

9. (June - August) I explored a lot of beauties in Washington, Oregon, and California: Even though I have been live in Portland OR for more than 10 years now, I still have not gone most of the big nature places around me. My family visited Crater Lake, Redwood, Angels' Rest, Dogmountain, Lost Lake etc. this summer. I am truly blessed living in this pretty place. 
10. (June - November) I helped my mother with her job: I feel grateful that I got to help my mom launching and succeeding the career she likes and good at. I also felt glad that she reach out to me when she needed and I was able to help. I can't wait to see her career grow ten years down the road.   
11. (December) I cooked entire FAMILY meal ALL by myself for the first time: I have been cooking and baking since upper elementary school; however, I never cooked whole-family-sized-meal from start to finish. I usually either just make just one dish, bake a dessert, cook for only me, or help my mom prepare. I realized making a big meal was more difficult than I thought and there were a lot work and multitasking into it. I really need to thank my mom for doing it for over 20 years.  

12. (December) I got a new job for next year: This was my another for the year. I am very excited for this new opportunity. My employer seems nice person. I will put all of effort and succeed in this job. It was a perfect way to end 2013 by finding a job and even more perfect way to start 2014 by starting a new job.  

13. (December) I spent Christmas/my mother's birthday in Hawaii: It was our first time visiting Hawaii. It was also the first spending the cold winter in a warm place. It was wonderful to eat fresh fruits, watch hula dancing and learn Hawaiian culture and language. It was my mother's dream to go to Hawaii, and she felt happy to spend her big birthday in her favorite vacation spot. I think it was the best birthday she ever had and she will be cherished for rest of her life. 
There were several "first time" and "accomplishments," this year. I wish there will be more "first time"and "accomplishments" every year. They make each year worth it . 

Happy New Year, Everyone!! 
I hope everything will be better and better each year. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

What Holidays Mean to Me

Everyone define holiday differently, and this how I describe it. These are what I like to celebrate it. When people think of holiday, most of them would think "Christmas," there are a lot of other holidays throughout the year, such as Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, etc.  All national holidays are important for me equally. 

No matter which holiday it is, they all have common meaning and purpose. They can even be the same in other countries' holidays. 

1. Time for Traditions: Each family/person has their/his/her own holiday tradition. Sometimes you don't even recognize it. When I heard some families have their traditions, I thought my family did not. Then I realized we always like to do certain things on Christmas day, we can call them as "traditions." Tradition can be created on purpose and/or formed naturally.  

2. Time for Appreciation/Giving: Thanksgiving is not only holiday for appreciation. Christmas and Valentine's Day are not the only holidays for gift sharing. Gift does not have to be a "object." We show "appreciation" to our lovers and families on Valentine's Day. We express our appreciation on independence on July 4th. We honor Veterans on Veterans' day by giving thanks.

3. Time for Good(Unique) Food: Food must be the best part for any holiday. Cookies for Christmas, turkey for Thanksgiving, chocolates and candies for Valentine, peeps for Easter etc. Most holidays are associated with their own cuisine.  Each country have different holidays, but they all use food to bringing people together. Food is universal and central for all around the world.  

4. Time for Reflection/Remembering/Forgiving/Something NEWI like to do annual personal reviews during holidays. I reflect the past year and sort what I should remember and forgive for the year. Good memories and people I met should be kept, so they will stay with me. Sad memories would be forgotten and bad people would be forgiven. I also like to try something new every year, so I can get a fresh start. 

5. Time for Bonding/Relaxing: During any holiday anywhere, everybody should be surrounded by people they love and feeling relaxed. No one should be alone, working, and/or stressed for this wonderful time of the year. Holiday time is family and friends time and happiness. This is same for every country's significant holidays. 

I will be taking vacation next week and I am very excited for it. I can't wait to share the details of my trip when I get back!!

I wish you a Merry Christmas!!

Xiaoxi Mei