Monday, 21 December 2009

Season's Greetings from Joanna

Dear Friends,

Firstly, let me wish God's richest blessings on all of you and your family this holiday season! How truly blessed we are to find ourselves in the bosom of dear ones - a truth that I've been powerfully reminded of in 2009.

When the bottom fell out of the economy earlier this year, I received a call informing me that my role had been axed. Although it wasn't easy to bid farewell to a wonderful team of colleagues and the security of a paycheck, this news gave me exactly what I needed - a six-month break and a healthy bank balance.

Within 48 hours of reaching out to family and friends, I was enveloped in kindness and received invitations to stay in homes all over the world - a privilege I happily exercised. The Glass Half Full series chronicles this welcome break.

My heart overflows with gratefulness when I think of the many precious memories that were created this year:
  • Our Yeoh family was reunited with Julie's homecoming to Malaysia during Chinese New Year, and family ties were further cemented when we took a family vacation to Sacramento, Lake Tahoe, Bodega Bay and Las Vegas
  • A wonderful vacation to Candidasa, Bali where I enjoyed massages, snorkelling, fishing, massages, drinking, making new friends and I did mention Balinese massages didn't I?
  • Spending time in New York City with my friends Andrew, Isabel and their beautiful boys. The many hours spent wandering through the inspiring Metropolitan Museum and Central Park has deepened my love for the Big Apple. And a big Thank You to Elaine Li for showing me the world beyond Manhattan, and to my NYU friends for the intellectual stimuli
  • Hunting down the Liberty Bell, Independance Hall and Philly cheesesteaks in historic Philadelphia with Julie was good fun! We also made a side trip to Washington DC where we narrowly escaped a deadly train crash...thank God...
  • Visiting and learning about the Amish community in a town called Intercourse ;-)
  • Witnessing the gala reunion for BBGS (Bukit Bintang Girls'School) at the Pavilion KL was a dream come true. Thousands of girls and teachers came together to celebrate the spirit of a school that has outlasted its bricks and mortar. I am so blessed to have contributed to the event by writing the Back2BBGS blog and the Women of Vision exhibition
  • Travelling to Australia to witness the wedding of my cousin, Aaron and the baptism of my god-daughter, Alyssa. Being able to catch up with so many good friends made it feel like a proper homecoming
  • Enjoying 5 minutes of fame when the Star newspaper published an article on my career and travels, through which I connected with old friends and a gentleman who asked me if I liked younger men...YIKES!
  • Watching all five of my god-kids grow in stature and spirit is such a joy. I'm so grateful to their parents for allowing Aunty Jo Jo to contribute to their development in her nutty, unconventional way
Let me say a big THANK YOU to all my family and friends for your kind words, hospitality, a warm bed, storage space, countless coffees and cakes, food, wine and friendship. All good holidays must come to an end so when October came round, I found myself another position at a oil & gas services company in Singapore. This city state will continue to be my home as I believe it's the perfect beach-head from which to catch the crest of the Asian century.

As we bid farewell to the noughties ('00s) and enter a brand new decade, let's continue to be grateful for all that we have and become all that He created us to be.

Here's wishing you a HAPPY NEW YEAR and a blessed 2010!

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