Though the true New Year starts during the Spring season in the Northern Hemisphere “with buds on the branches, bird chirping in the trees, and flowers starting to bloom,” as my churchmate beautifully phrased, it is still worth looking back and evaluating the “past year,” at least from the calendar perspective. The first time I made a year review was in 2013, and it has proven to be a positive exercise. I’m not going to lie, there were some hard losses and really sad times the past year. But through this blog post, it is my aim to focus on and document the brighter side of my 2015, to ultimately cultivate the attitude of gratitude. 😊
1. Adventures. First, I’m thankful for new experiences and fun exploits in 2015. In February, one of my bestfriends and I went to see the annual Hot Air Balloon Festival in Pampanga, the Bamboo Organ Festival in Las Piñas, and the Spring Fest: Asia Music Festival at the University of the Philippines. By June, my adventurous church friends and I had a memorably exciting three-day road-trip to Ilocos region, highlighted by our cliff-jumping and sandboarding experience! That same month, I managed to
drag myself up a mountain climb my first mountain together with the same bunch of intrepid buddies! In September, a different set of churchmates and I explored Sitio La Presa (Sitio Pungayan) in Benguet, which was the set of the hit TV series, “Forevermore.” 🙂
2. Opportunities. Year 2015 is by far the most stressful and hectic year for me, with overwhelming duties required in a full-time work, a part-time job, gradschool, and church. But behind the never-ending to-do lists, busy schedule, and occasional panic attacks, is the door of opportunities swinging open. For 2015, I’m thankful for the chance to spearhead projects at work that not only provide my bread-and-butter, but also push me beyond my limits. I also warmly appreciated and enjoyed the many opportunities to serve in our church’s eight-day affair in Baguio, which is truly an enriching endeavor. Finally, I will never, ever forget the privilege of pursuing a graduate course in music, accompanying in piano our church congregation during hymn singing, meeting my aunt and only living daughter of musician-composer Nicanor Abelardo, Mrs. Cecilla Abelardo-Quizon, at the “Tikladong Hirang” concert by the UP College of Music, and being part of the UP Center for Ethnomusicology that enabled my first stint in radio announcing. Indeed, responsibilities come with rewarding results; and for that, I’m sincerely grateful! 🙂
3. Friendships. The aforementioned roles, tasks, and achievements would have never been fulfilled, accomplished, and attained without my family and friends. Therefore, I’m genuinely thankful for the people who are gracious enough to bear and put up with my sporadic attacks of manic depression, cognitive dissonance, obsessive compulsive disorder, and childish whims (LOL!). I’m forever indebted. 😀 Kidding aside, I’m grateful for old and new friendships, reconciliations and reunions, countless sleepovers and acads cramming sessions, and that one rare family dinner buffet! 🙂
4. Interests. Of course, our small triumphs and simple joys should not be missed for they add color to our days, too! The past year, alongside pursuing my life-long dream in music and squeezing in some time for church flower arrangement, I was also able to rekindle my first love, painting, through conducting a basic watercolor workshop with a church friend. Fandom was also promising the past year: We went to see a screening of L’Arc~en~Ciel’s concert with fellow fans, plus, I was able to finally complete their studio albums and DVDs! Just before the year ends, I also happened to watch the most touching and poignant drama series in my book. It was exceptionally moving that it has left me in deep thought (with whimpering) for days, haha! 🙂
5. Lessons. As what is expected in life, extremely difficult challenges came along with the good times: from as “trivial” as dealing with a serial plagiarist and uncooperative groupmates, to as serious as losing my grandma, and battling with physical and mental health issues, just to share a few. In retrospect, my 2015 underscored the perpetual struggle with troubles in life. But gratitude changes everything. And as cliché as it may sound, the lessons learned from these trials serve as a valuable consolation at the end of the day—something to be truly grateful for. 🙂
Ultimately, I’m thankful for the Lord’s unfailing grace and mercy. ❤️
With that, 2016, you have big shoes to fill!
Sharing this post as an entry to Daily Prompt, as well 😉
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