Yes! It’s that great time of the year again where I countdown my birthday with special thoughts and wishes that are dear to my life. I am greatly appreciative of my friends and family that have been able to gain a lot of insights on why I produce a wish list every year. For me, it’s an opportunity to share with you what is happening in my life and also, truly celebrate my birthday in a special way. Thank you all for reading last years wish list . Here’s version 2.0
December 13, 2012 – Birthday!
Today I wish for happiness and eternal bliss. I am not sure what that means or even how it feels. All I want is to be satisfied in life with the decisions I make. The choices I make will lead me to a path. Hopefully, it is a path of happiness and long life. To smile in my heart and feel that blissful feeling every day is something I want to strive for. It’s a simple birthday wish, eh?
December 12, 2012 – 1 Day to Go
As I approach my birthday, I can’t help but wonder about the future. I suppose it is a natural event for humans to ponder aging and wonder how long we will live. For me, I want to live and enjoy as much of life as I can. Today, I would like to wish for an abundance of health and spirit. I know I have to do my part by eating a more healthy diet and maintaining a consistent exercise routine. Time to get healthy. I can’t waint to heal my leg and back so I can feel the air as I run. Miss that feeling a lot.
December 11, 2012 – 2 Days to Go
Man… I haven’t been sleeping too well at night. It could be the pains in my back, leg or ankle. It could be the sore throat I have been battling the last week. Nevertheless, I have not had a good sleep since I arrived. All I want is to have a restful and peaceful sleep.
December 10, 2012 – 3 Days to Go
As a reward for my cheer leading and expert picks, my girlfriend’s dad treated me to lunch. We had one of my favorite dishes, Pho. Today, I was able to cook a great dinner for the family. I made roasted chicken breast, stir friend vegetables, wild rice with herbs and salad. It turned out very well as everyone finished their plates. We posted a picture on Facebook for my mom to see. She was super surprised it looked so great. I owe all my culinary skills to my mom. When I was young, my mom would use me to help her cook egg-rolls. We operated the process like a factory line. I was in charge of chopping the vegetables and peeling the egg-roll wrap shells. Later, I was upgraded to rolling the egg-rolls. Little did I know this would teach me valuable cooking skills that I can use in my adult life. If you have great recipes or cook books, please send me your favorites. That’s what I want!
December 9, 2012 – 4 Days to Go
I love my Sundays! Today I loved it even more. All my Fantasy Football teams made the playoffs. I enjoyed watching football with my girlfriend’s dad. We were rooting for many teams as he places a small wager on a ticket. He ended up winning some good cash. It was fun watching the games to the wire. As for me, my Fantasy Football players all showed up and I was able to dominate and secured a victory, advancing to the next round of the playoffs. For today’s wish list, I would like the good performances to carry over to next week and the week after so I can finally win my first Fantasy Football title. I have won most things I compete in, Fantasy Football is not one of them.
December 8, 2012 – 5 Days to Go
I was pretty spoiled today. After doing a bit of housework, we went to go eat Pho and went grocery shopping for the Japanese dish my girlfriend was to cook. Soon after arriving, we left to go see “Life of Pi.” I was pretty excited to see it since we both read the book. I alwayed enjoyed watching the cinematic version of books I have read. For the most part, they have depicted the books well. In this case, I thought Ang Lee did a wonderful job with a very challenging story. I won’t give away the plot. I was in “awe” at the beauty of the scenes. It was truly worthy of the Academy Awards. In many ways, I can relate to the main character Pi. He was exposed to many different religions as a child. For me, the primary was Buddhism and Christianity. Like Pi, I questioned many things about religion and wondered how they all fit together or if they were meant to fit together. I didn’t come to have a defined view of my religious and spiritual beleifs until later in life when I became an adult. The questions of faith is the primary reason why I always loved the book. It was nice to see it on the big screen. For today’s wish list, I hope a movie like this will inspire others to look at faith and help them believe in a greater spirit that cares for all of us and the world. Believe!
December 7, 2012 – 6 Days to Go
Today was our date night. My girlfriend took me to eat Hot Pot at a Chinese restaurant. It was an all-you-can eat treat. I loved the mussels and seafood simmering in the hot Tom Yum broth. Everything was very appetizing. We had plans to go see the movie, “The Life of Pi,” afterwards. Knowing my girlfriend’s sensitivity to highly seasoned foods, I knew her stomach will not survive a 2 hour showing of the movie at the theatre. I made an executive decision to take a pass on the movie. Looking back, it was the right decision. My stomach wasn’t feeling too well too. It would have been a pretty horrific experience at the movies! Overall, it was a great first date night. I can’t wait for Friday nights. I wish we will be able to check out some cool restaurants soon!
December 6, 2012 – 7 Days to Go
One more week until my birthday. I have been feeling great as I am settling into my new surroundings. I felt like a little kid again playing with my iPad. I have to say it is a very high quality product compared to other tablets I have touched. My girlfriend decided that every Friday night will be our date nights. I love her! Oh, yesterday we finished putting up the Christmast tree. It is a thing of beauty. I was super happy to share the experience with my girlfriend. I came to find out that her family doesn’t really decorate and get into the Christmas mood like my family does. Her dad and mom were very impressed with how the tree looks. I was able to bring enjoyment into the home. I want to continue the festive spirit and for my wish list today, I want to make Christmas a holiday worthy of a King’s celebration and bring merry joy to my new home. There’s nothing better than the loving feeling of the Christmas spirit. I am looking forward to great Christmas to come for many years.
December 5, 2012 – 8 Days to Go
Guess what? I received a wish list item from last year. An surprise present arrived for me today. I opened it up and it was an iPad! I was so happy to finally have a tablet. It meant more to me to finally have someone special surprise me with it. Most people know I am very giving and generous. I would spend my money on others and spoil them before rewarding myself. Even though I earned enough money, I would never in a million years buy myself an iPad no matter how much I wanted one. I always believed in spending and helping others. One can just look at my history and realize how giving I am. Last year, I bought 4 tablets none of which was for me. To have one present me one means a lot and reminds me that I need to value myself more. My girlfriend wanted me to have one because it would make me happy. Gosh, what can I say? I feel the same way when I give people gifts like this. Today for my wish list, I would like to learn how to receive and find comfort that people want to present me with gifts. I want to free myself of guilt that is associated with receiving gifts and stop thinking about others before myself.
December 4, 2012 – 9 Days to Go
Today I was able to spend more time with the family here. It was nice to feel a part of the home here. They have welcomed me with open hearts. One would think there would be some awkwardness in the process. Everything has meshed well. It helped that I was in constant contact with everyone here. I would love to grow my relationship with the family here and will do what I can to contribute to a postive and healthy environment and life. This is my wish for today.
December 3, 2012 – 10 Days to Go
Spent most of day sorting and unpacking my stuff to my new home. I felt a feeling of freedom that super charged my internal mechanism. I was finally able to feel at home. It was a great feeling especially feeling trapped and lost the last couple of years. I will and will always take responsibility for my past mishaps. I know I have been a lot of poor decisions and have paid the consequences heavily. The lessons from these experiences will be my reference point from now on and I will work harder and smarter to make sure I make decisions that will support me and move me forward. It’s like I hit the “refreshI” button and was given the opportunity to live life all over again, retaining the knowledge and wisdom from my past. I am grateful for this new beginning and can’t wait to write the stories in this chapter. What I truly want to day is forgiveness for my past failures and decisions. I have to learn to let go and I hope those close to me will support me in this new path and afford me forgiveness for any wrongdoings I have set upon them. I know I am asking for a lot. Hey, it’s not a wish list if you can’t have that one wish that seems impossible.
December 2, 2012 – 11 Days to Go
Good Bye Chicago! Today, I departed to my new land of opportunity to start a new chapter of my life. The morning was pretty cool as we gave our Christmas presents to everyone since we will not be able to see them open their gifts. Everyone loved their gifts. We bought sweaters for the family with the exception of one of brother’s girlfriend who received an awesome Adisas sports jacket and my mom who finally got a big flat screen TV for her room. I have always enjoyed watching the joy and satisfaction on people faces when opening presents. It great to be able to provide my family with gifts. I wish I could do more and will work hard so I can do more. After a few hours in the air, I arrived and was greeted by my new family. It was great to see them greet me with joy and excitement. I was super excited to finally arrive and begin this new chapter with them. For today’s wish list item, I want to meet up with Santa Clause since I am in the vicinity or closer to the North Pole now and tell him what I want everyone to get this Christmas. I might have to bribe him with cookies!
Man, I never knew saying good byes would be so emotional. The past couple of weeks have been very special for me as I say my farewells to friends and family. Today, my mom hosted her farewell party for me. It was nice to see 25 friends and toast farewell with them as we feast on my mom’s great cooking. The evening was a lot of fun. We had a sushi station where my girlfriend taught others how to roll California rolls. It was fun to see everyone engaged and celebrating our friendships. I had a shot and said a toast to every single person there. I shared stories of my friends and I over the years. I was brought to tears as I said good bye to a friend on his way out. I tried not to get too teary eyed or sappy but sometimes you have to lose yourself to your emotions especially to the special friends that have supported you over the years. I was surrounded by great friends. True friends. These guys have done everything for me and have lifted me from my melodramatic states to a state of joy. I will truly miss them. I know our friendships will grow and the best is yet to come. For today’s wish, I want to see them soon and I hope they can come visit me or if we can plan a vacation together in the near future.
November 30, 2012 – 13 Days to Go
I had a lot of fun today. We went outlet mall shopping in Wisconsin. I used to go there a lot when I used to work at the bank in my early 20’s. It was fun to go with my girlfriend and my mother. We were able to get my family their Christmas gifts. My mom bought me a pair of North Face boots for my early birthday. She’s too kind. She wanted to make sure I had everything I needed when I move away. It was a sweet moment to see my mom buy my girlfriend an awesome jacket. It was such a fun day with the ladies. In the evening, my girlfriend and I went to my dad’s house. He was hosting a farewell party for me. He invited his closest friends and catered the food. As part of the farewell party, I had to ask forgiveness from my day so he can bless my new life. It was a very special Lao tradition as my girlfriend and I stood in front of my dad asking for our blessings speaking our native language. Perhaps the most endearing moment was when my younger brother tied the blessing string on my hand and made me cry tears of happiness. He was so genuine and sincere in his blessing. He brought back memories of our childhood and how close we have become. I will miss this guy a lot. He has truly grown up to become a strong man. A man I respect and look up to. For my birthday wish today, I want to give my brother the greatest blessing I can give him. I want him to continue to grow in life and continue to work hard to become successful in his career endeavors. I want him to be the man he wants to be so he can make a great future for himself, his girlfriend and his loved ones. I want him to know that I will always be there for him the way he has always been there for me. I never knew I would have experience a level of brotherly love the way I have with him.
November 29, 2012 – 14 Days to Go
My girlfriend arrived today and we had dinner with my brothers at a Korean restaurant. It was nice to see my family interact with her and vice versa. I was always confident that they would get along. It was just great affirmation to see it live. She is my future and I was so happy to see her finally. We had been doing this long distance relationship for a couple of months now. I never knew how much I would miss a person given the physical separation. Love is challenging in every aspect. I hope and I want everyone to have that feeling in their lives. To live and to love with the partner that will treat them with enduring and ever lasting love.
November 28, 2012 – 15 Days to Go
My mom and I were for the arrival of my girlfriend. We spent time talking and sharing great memories. She wished me well as she always had. Today was different. We both realized what was happening was going to be life-changing for both of us. I was moving on to a new life in a new country. It will affect us both. It was a special moment for me to have my mom open up her jewelry box and present me with a gold necklace I was given when I was a young child. I have never been a big jewelry guy. She wanted to give it back to me. She did and she gave me a gold cross to hang on it. It was a very touching moment for us. I can never replace my mom’s love. She will always be a special person in my life. I love her so much. Today, I would like to live my new life in a way that she is honored. I want to do the things I couldn’t do for her in my past life. I love you mom!
November 27, 2012 – 16 Days to Go
Pack… pack… pack… I was getting myself ready for the big move – a major step forward in my life. As I was sorting through my stuff, I was hit with many memories from my past. Each item of clothing had a story. Who would have taught a pair of socks or a pair of pants can conjure up a life story. As I sorted through each item and reflected back on my life through my clothes, I made a decision to let go of the past and part with the items. It was my way of saying good bye to my past life and hello to my new life. There were some sad moments for me. I can remember wearing a certain pair of jeans while painting a room in the house. There were still paint markings. I can remember that day well and the reasons why I was painting. It was sad to say good bye. I had to. For today’s item, I would like many more new jeans to make new memories.
November 26, 2012 – 17 Days to Go
It’s been a long weekend and guess what, it’s Monday and I didn’t have to work. I relaxed and played more Tiger Woods golf, mastering my swing and wishing I could play this well in person. Before my injuries, I was pretty good for a Sunday golfer. For my wish list, I would like to get back into shape and get back into the golf swing of things with some lessons.
November 25, 2012 – 18 Days to Go
I missed church today. I hope I can be forgiven. Church has been a consistent activity in my life the past decade. It is a place for me to worship and praise the glory of God. Many have told me that I don’t need to go to church to feel the presence of God. I agree with them to a point. It is true that God is always with me and will always be. For me, there is a special feeling of connection and closeness that I receive when I am in his house of worship. He has always been there to hear my prayers and to my astonishment, he has given me many blessings and granted many prayers. I go to church to physically honor him in his house. It is like a sports fan going to watch the game live at the stadium instead of watching on the couch. Today, I hope to continue to grow my relationship with God and I wish more people can understand the mystery of faith.
November 24, 2012 – 19 Days to Go
It was a day to relax. Played Xbox, namely Tiger Woods. Loving it. Really want an Xbox!
November 23, 2012 – 20 Days to Go
Due to everyone’s schedule and the craziness that happens around the holidays, my family and I had our Thanksgiving Dinner today. It was a great treat to see my brothers, their girlfriends, my mom and special friends. I was honored to cook the turkey this year. We had a great dinner filled with laughter. We had so much fun laughing as a family. It was another great blessing for me to lead the prayer and grace. I spoke of friendships and love. I was grateful that God gave us a heart and that is the reason why days like these are important, where we all can come together and love one another. I wish mankind can learn to love one another and see each other as equals. Yes, I sound like a beauty pageant contestant asking for World Peace minus the beauty, of course.
November 22, 2012 – 21 Days to Go
Happy Thanksgiving! I am still feeling the effects of yesterday, leaving Cars.com and celebrating my contributions with the Lao Youth Leaders. It has been an emotional period for me as I say good-bye to a chapter of my life. I am so thankful for all the great friends and support I have been blessed with. As you can probably read, I am very fond of friendships and people. Today and every day for that matter, I would like to wish every one of my friends and family great health and happiness. I am truly thankful for you all. Happy Thanksgiving!
November 21, 2012 – 22 Days to Go
Today has been a day full of emotions – sadness and joy. It was my last day at work and I was treated with a hero’s farewell. My team gave me a great parting gift of an encased blue butterfly. It was a very appropriate gift. I was very happy and sad to leave a great crew at Cars.com. Typically, I would have stayed downtown to have drinks with friends especially on my last day. However, today the Lao Youth Leaders had other plans for me. We had our annual Thanksgiving dinner and to my surprised, my farewell party too. As I look at each of the youth and reflected over the last five years, I began to get teary eyed. I shared some great memories with them. Seeing how they have grew as leaders and reflecting on each of the students journey, I finally told the group I am going to cry. I was so touched by their compassion as they presented me a tribute book, collecting the priceless memories of the last five years. They wrote a poem. Each page had a line that corresponded with pictures. It was tough to keep focused on reading the words without fumbling through my tears. It was a very special moment for me and the youth gave me a great “awwww” and clapped their hands as I finished. It was truly a proud moment for me to see how thoughtful and compassionate the youth was. It affirmed me that my hard work over the years are making an impact on them. My wish today is that they all grow up to be great leaders that will keep alive the Lao culture and make a great impact helping themselves, their parents, their families, their communities and each other. Thank you Lao Youth Leaders for teaching me how to be a leader.
November 20, 2012 – 23 Days to Go
For some reason I was really tired today and my left foot was hurting again probably because I was walking on it, getting to work from my brother’s apartment to the Red Line. Walking has been very challenging for me. I have considerable slowed down due the pain running from my left hip to left foot. I wish I could get healthy soon and would like to find a great physical therapist to help me walk normally again.
November 19, 2012 – 24 Days to Go
Oh man! The Bears played on Monday Night Football against the 49’ers. It was one of the ugliest games I have ever watched. It reminded of the Bears playing the 49’ers when TO caught like 20 passes on them. The Bears were dominated. Today’s wish list is pretty much wishful thinking. Can someone fix the offensive line?
November 18, 2012 – 25 Days to Go
Related to a previous wish list item, I want Tiger Woods Golf for X-Box. My brother, his gf and I played in the evening. It brought back a lot of memories of playing Tiger Woods Golf into the night and early morning. This evening belong to my brother’s gf. She destroyed us with 7 birdies in a row. Amazing. She’s gonna be crying soon once I getting back into the swing.
November 17, 2012 – 26 Days to Go
I spent the day resting at my brothers and watching South Beach Tow. It was quite entertaining to watch people’s reaction on getting their vehicles towed. It is definitely not a fun thing as I recalled when it happened to a few friends. It was fun to laugh with my brother and his girlfriend. Today’s wish list gifts to have more days of laughter with them. They are two very special people in my life and I look forward on a special ceremony soon.
November 16, 2012 – 27 Days to Go
What a celebration! I was treated to a great farewell party today from my local drinking spot, Cactus. It really is a “Cheers” for me. The ladies and the guys there have been more like a family to me. It is like a second home. The manager there comped a party for our crew. Friends toasted me farewell. I felt so overly blessed to have a great crew of friends and people who poured out their care for me. Thank you everyone for making this a great farewell party. I will miss you all and I want to wish everyone of you great prosperity and success in your careers and personal lives. I look forward more celebrations with all you soon in the future.
November 15, 2012 – 28 Days to Go
I finally made it back to work after taking the last two days to heal my left foot. It was nice to finally get out of the house. Though, I did have fun playing video games and relaxing all day. I am amazed how much I miss playing video games. It was such a great part of growing up. I always told parents that video games are great for developing the critical thinking of children due to the complexities and the strategies behind many games. For today’s wish list item, I would like to get an X-Box and start beating up on my brothers. They have elevated their gaming skills and it’s time for me to reclaim my dominance on them.
November 14, 2012 – 29 Days to Go
I woke up with less pain in my left foot. Looks like the Ice + Elevation + Heat + Rest is helping. Foot is a bit swollen. I am just happy the pain is not as severe. I have been dealing with a lot of pain lately over the last few weeks and months, not only physically but mentally and emotionally. One of the ways I have been able to cope with my issues is speaking with my close friends and family. They have been a great sounding board and a supporting cast. As I reflect back on life, I had struggled with a lot of similar issues because I would feel shameful about how I put myself in these situations or I didn’t want to hurt anyone involved. Life has been a lot better once I learned the life lessons of being open to help and being honest with myself. For today’s wish list, I would like to continue to grow personally and emotionally living in the truth. It is true what you hear, “The Truth Will Set You Free.”
November 13 – 30 Days to my birthday
I think it odd that when I look back to last year and look at where I am this year physically, the month of November has been rough on me. Last year I was suffering from a lower back injury (probably a minor herniated disc that the doctor was not able to diagnose because he didn’t order the MRI.) This year I am in the recovery stage of a full blown herniated disc injury that resulted from strenuous athletic workout in the late summer. Adding to the pain is the fact that I am now screeching at every single muscle movement of my left foot because I just recently strained my Achilles heel about 3 days ago as a result of walking too much last week. Needless to day, today I wish good health for myself and the ability to heal fast. Now I know how to answer when someone asks me what super powers do I want. Who cares about x-Ray vision or super sonic strength! I need to heal myself. For my birthday wish list today, I am asking anyone with knowledge of pain therapy to help me recover. I will never take for granted the ability to walk ever again. I wish I can get a new transplanted leg, foot and back.