When it comes to New Year’s traditions, I must admit, I can be pretty Asian about it. My husband and I, pretty much like my family back home, fill the table with everything round, make sure we do not serve chicken, and stay awake until 12 MN to greet the New Year. One of the traditions that I used to do when I was single was to sit down right before 12, meditate, and just sit there wishing for a better year than the one we just had.
But this year, I wanted to not just dismiss 2018 but instead I bade it goodbye with my gratitude. I thanked it for what it was and what it brought me – the highs, the lows, the tears, and the triumphs. I do not want to be ungrateful for 2018 because in as much as it was challenging, it also gave me a lot of beautiful surprises. 2018 gave me what I needed to grow and be prepared for where God takes me in 2019.
It was fun until it caused me so much anxiety to be happy and optimistic at exactly 12 or else my year will not turn out right. Fortunately, you grow wiser as you grow older and as life would have it, you would realize that life is not always perfect no matter how much you pray, wish, or go for traditions. It’s not being pessimistic to say that life will not be rosy 24/7 even in 2019 but that doesn’t make it any less beautiful.
In fact, one of the greatest gifts that life can give you is the ability to accept the circumstance for what it is and have the ability to let it go without attaching any of our self-worth and emotions to it. We can fully feel the emotions that are attached with specific circumstances and not be defined in it. Growing up also means allowing ourselves to actually feel what we feel even if the people are not comfortable with our emotions or if we do not fit into what ‘proper’ emotions should be like.
Just today, on the first working day of the year, I felt the opposite of optimistic and positive for various reasons. But instead of running away from what I was feeling, I processed my emotions with my husband and though I do not feel completely a 100 percent at the moment writing this meant that I had hope that the rest of the year will not be the same. Or at least I knew that even if I had days such as this one, I would be okay. And guess what, you will be too.
We put too much pressure into getting it right on the first day of a New Year but in truth, we just have to be kind to ourselves and trust that it will all work out. I have full confidence and hope in Jesus Christ and in the middle of my own personal rant, my husband shared this verse with me,
“ Don’t be obsessed with money but live content with what you have, for you always have God’s presence. For hasn’t he promised you, “I will never leave you alone, never! And I will not loosen my grip[c] on your life! So we can say with great confidence: “I know the Lord is for me
and I will never be afraid of what people may do to me!” – Hebrews 13:5-6
Doesn’t that verse just cover all that we could possibly worry about in the coming year? It gives us hope that no matter what is against us, whether people or circumstances, our God is for us and that no matter what He will provide for us?
This 2019, I aim to rely more on God’s grace and I pray that my faith in who He is grants me steadiness in my daily life. That I learn to lean on Him and in doing so, may I become more content with the life He has given me while pouring love and grace to those around me.
In the same breath of surrender, I also want to remind myself that I am in charge of my life and nothing is simply ‘happening’ to me. I want to fully discard the victim mentality this year and own my life and my happiness. We have the power to have the life we want, we just have to fully understand it. I wrote more about this in my New Year’s Day Article for The Manila Times.
I am quite excited about 2019 and I just want to remind you once again that your life is yours. While listicles, articles, and books are helpful, you do not have to adhere to anything that doesn’t make you joyful. This 2019, find what works for you and go after it! I wish you a joyous and happy life with everything you have prayed for and more.