December 18, 2015
The last weeks of December definitely are a good time to look back on the past year. And what a wonderful year we had! Starting with a great vacation in Bali and the boys’ 5th birthday in January, great skiing holidays, visits from dear friends and family, Lilo turning 9, the longest summer vacation ever with an amazing time spent with close friends, good food, drinks and discussions. We also had some stars of the week, Lilo received her orange belt in Aikido, we discovered more of Tokyo and Japan, deepened our friendships with our friends in Tokyo, took some delicious cooking classes, …., basically we enjoyed ourselves a lot!
Coming to the end of the year, Lilo, Linus and Leonard did a great job in their Christmas performances. Lilo’s concert was a trip around the world on a magic carpet which took them also to Germany. Luckily our Chinese friends had been to Munich earlier this year and had bought a Dirndl for their daughter which we could borrow. Lilo gave a great speech about what Christmas is like in Germany. (For those who are interested, the video is below.) Leaving the house this morning, she asked me if she could not bring a gift to her teacher – today is the last day of school before the winter holidays! Luckily we found some German sweets she could take “for the BEST teacher”.
Last but not least, I also started my own company and found me a freelancer job with a renown training company! I am still amazed by how easy everything is for me here in Tokyo. Being a member of a great women’s network (FEW), I feel really well connected and inspired. It opens up new jobs, speaking opportunities at events and most of all I meet so many interesting new people and learn so much. Wonderful!
I also started working on my self development! At one of the network meetings I won a 12 weeks training course with the Dale Carnegie training company. So I joined a weekly evening class end of November to work on my communication skills, relationship building skills – well, let’s call it over all improvement of social skills. And it is amazing how it works! A few little things can change so much – and this is only the beginning.
We will end this year and start 2016 as we did last year – with a great vacation! We will leave for Vietnam next week and will travel the country for 18 days. I am most excited about this trip and I hope that my family members will enjoy it as well. Even though the majority of them would prefer to spend at least one week at the same hotel… I will keep you updated.
Another thing I am looking forward to is my 2 week training in Bangkok in January right after our vacation to become a certified cross-cultural trainer. Two weeks in an amazing city, with nothing to do but focus on new learning, enjoying a new culture and going for delicious dinners. Sounds like a dream come true!
Stay safe, have a wonderful Christmas break and a very happy new year!
Lilo’s speech at the chapel: