Hello, New Year

As a kid, our teachers would usually ask us to make a list of new year’s resolutions. Phrases and sentences would start with “I will not… again” or “I will be more…” made up most of my list.  A few years after that, I’d include “I’ll try to…” and “I will…”.

But as I grew up to become a teenager, then a young lady, and now an adult; making such a list sounded cornier and cornier. Of course, I knew what it meant but I learned early on in life that it was hypocritical of me to want to change only when a new year comes in. So, when I come across an idea or new lessons or even new criticisms from important and special people, I don’t wait for the next year before I address it — well, I try though it really is difficult not to procrastinate.

So, what happens is you got these items you’ve told yourself to do the whole year long. And what better way to close 2012 and open 2013 than putting them all in a list to remind myself what I was able to do, what I started doing, what I stubbornly won’t do,  what didn’t work, and what I should try doing now:

1. Financial independence needs a whole lot of work and to get there, you need the right mindset. More often than not, I find myself eager to achieve this kind of independence and complain when I inevitably stumble on the rocks scattered everywhere. I have to thank my best friend for snapping me out of this phase and remind me that my hard work is actually paying off and, more importantly, everybody has the same kind of problem so long as you’re living.

2. See the advantages of looking at reason more than emotion. I’ve learned a lot from my experiences but the past few years became a crash course of life and love. I admit, like what my friends can attest to, that I’ve had a sheltered life. I understand why my parents are too careful when it came to the places that I went to, the people I was friends with, the schools I enrolled in, the companies I applied to, and the like. Though they both knew I had a strong personality, the world outside was still so cruel, I even had to fight for my chance to taste it. When I say I can be emotional, that means I can be too forgiving, too kind to a fault.

In 2012, I’ve bravely put my foot down and put certain people in their place — acquaintances, my trainees, friends, people at work, relatives, even random people I encounter everyday (cab drivers, waiters, department store sales ladies, etc.). In this almost past year, I know and feel that I’ve earned more respect. Not because I maligned and insulted any of them but because I corrected what was wrong. I realize now that I’ve thought more about how they would feel rather than the implications, ulterior motives, irrational reasoning, and the effects of their words/actions on other people (including myself).

3. Be more domesticated. I am grateful that my parents and grandparents have instilled the importance of being domesticated in me. But, though I know the basics of cooking, sewing, doing the laundry, gardening, etc.; I never really found pleasure in it, growing up. I’m proud to say that I not only have found this pleasure but I can keep my own household up and it includes managing the budget alloted for its expenditures. I know I have a big deal to learn but I know I  kicked it off quite well.

4. Look after my health. I was a sickly baby, kid, adolescent, and young lady. My grandmother would always remind me to be grateful for this life because it actually is my second. While still an infant, I survived poisoning brought about by medication and was miraculously healed when my  grandmother’s neighbor made me drink herbal medicine after the doctor told my parents there was no hope. She tells me this story and how her heart sank when I was in that condition. So, you can just imagine how happy she and my parents are every time I gain weight. And how worried they are every time I get sick or look frail. I’ve been eating vegetables a long time ago. Though all my fat seem to just really go to my chin, I actually like eating and I know how to enjoy a meal. But my quick-paced life at work prevents me from eating on time or eating, at all. Yes, I am a workaholic and the schedule/shift changes can really take its toll on my health. So, I’ve promised myself to eat full meals while at work. When I’m at home, that is never my problem. My housemate makes sure I eat when I come home from work. I also can’t not eat because she demands that we eat at the same time — she doesn’t like eating alone. 🙂 My exercise is walking. I like walking. I’m lucky that I’m not like other girls who worry more about their figure over their health. I should think that when your health matters to you, everything that goes with it, also, improves, anyway. I could hit the gym anytime but I’d rather dance. 🙂

5. Expect less from others, expect more from yourself. This is pretty self-explanatory. I learned that assuming people would react this way or do something for you is stressful — it’s unnecessary baggage. Slowly, I’m learning this new skill. I’ll call it skill because I know it can be acquired and further honed. Now, when it comes to myself, I have to raise the bar. This also includes not putting up with mediocrity from outside forces. Why? Because mediocrity and poor performance from other people (for example) can pull you down. It may sound contradicting with my earlier statement when I said I shouldn’t expect less from others, but I’m now referring to things that are due you. Honesty, respect, time; among others, should be demanded and not just expected.

6. Devote more time to my baby, Schekie.Two people close to my heart have often been jealous of my dog, Schekie. I always have to remind them that he can’t talk and all he has of me is when I’m physically with him. This is why I try to maximize the time I’m with him. It has been said by dog owners (especially shih tzu owners), passersby, coffee shop “seatmates”, and friends that Schekie is well-behaved. He rarely barks and he obeys me even without treats. I do talk to him on the phone, I sing him a lullaby, I carry him like a baby, we share the same pillow (well, he usually prefers the cold floor), I kiss him numerous times, I feed him delicious food, and I never let him stay at any place alone. But, it’s true that, just like a mom, you feel terrible every time you need to walk out that door and go to work. This Christmas holiday was a great opportunity to just be with my baby. I know I will be very busy again but I’ll continue having Schekie Days every week (just going out the whole day where Schekie can play with doglovers and other dogs). I will watch what he eats and not give him too much food. I will set aside time for a check up just to know  if everything’s alright. I will find him a girlfriend (he needs to be devirgized A.S.A.P.! Hahaha). I will spend more time playing with him while I’m at home. This year, too, I’ll take him to beautiful places with my housemate.

7. Cherish those that deserve it. It’s a known fact that the two people closest to me have done many great things for me. Their patience, knowledge, time, selflessness, generosity, understanding, respect, admiration, sacrifice, and love are unmatched. Anybody close to me can see how much they mean to me, too. Someone told me I’m like a different person but not really. I know what they mean. They know it’s really still just me but more than the change in hairstyle and fashion, they see that I’m more confident, assertive, tough, outspoken, and a lot more intimidating. Oh, image is but a thing! However, the better changes took place inside. I will be forever grateful to them that I can honestly say I’m a better person and they deserve more patience, more understanding, more time, and more love. I have been more expressive of my emotions but I know I can do more, tons more. This, I’ll do in 2013.

8. Write more. I think a lot, observe a lot, analyze a lot. But I am a lazy woman, I admit. I find more comfort in sleeping over writing. But I’ve seen how helpful it is to my senses and emotions. Sometimes, my confusion ends the moment I write about it . Sometimes, I am faced with realizations about myself as soon as I read what I’ve just written. I think I owe it to myself to capture how I thought and felt at certain points in my life.

9. Be more thankful. I have done quite a lot. I’ve tried my hand in select fields and industries enough for me to know what works and what I wouldn’t want to stay doing for a long time. I know and have honed my skills and talents and I’ve been appreciated for them. I’m independently living at my own place, calling the shots, moving my way up. I have dedicated friends, an eternally sweet, loyal, and loving dog; supporting parents (family and relatives).  I’m slowly but surely moving towards financial freedom. I am loved and I love.I am blessed and it keeps getting better. I thank God for always being there, always giving me reminders to “stop and smell the flowers”. I know He’s always looking after me and the ones I love. My promises are between Him and me for I know these things don’t have to be spoken out loud for everyone to hear. Thank you, Lord. Thank you.

It’s 6pm. Six more hours before midnight strikes and the fireworks start lighting up the Makati skyline. The night looks so beautiful and so promising.

Hello, 2013…

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