Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Counting my blessings, the year 2012

As I usher the brand new year of 2013, I shall take some moments to look back and reflect upon the year 2012. As I reflect on the year that has just passed, I choose to count my blessings and to acknowledge the challenges and struggles that I have overcame along the way.

Health wise, I am deeply thankful that my general health has seen improvement over time. Through the help of caring and professional physicians as well as friends who have shared health tips with me, I have gained more knowledge and confidence in self-care. I have a number of friends to thank, particularly RL for having checked in from time to time and lending health tips that were invaluable. On the other hand, there were a few good friends who think I am a hypochondriac, so I shall take their opinions as reminders not to be overly obsessive with health issues. I could only say after health was improved, I could appreciate how invaluable health could be.

The year 2012 had began on the darker side with the demise of a paternal grandmother. She had passed away at the end of the year 2011. She had lived in a different country and I had very limited interactions with her. I am still puzzled how I could have felt grief and darkness when the year started. Maybe I had felt my father's grief and it was something not easily spoken about? The experience has possibly helped me to be more empathetic when faced with loved ones and friends who have to encounter the passing away of loved ones. This year seemed to be a year when I had attended the most number of wakes thus far. I am still finding it hard to believe that a late-colleague had passed away quite unexpectedly in June 2012. Maybe the message that the year 2012 had for me was to treasure every moment that we are alive with our loved ones?

Then there were moments of self-doubts to be faced and dealt with. Perhaps these arise from a typical mid-life crisis that had came too early? I thank my friends, particularly RL, Mystic, JY, ML, IS, J, SH, TC and so forth for lending their presence, support and ears when I needed their assuring and encouraging presence. Thank you dear friends.

It would have been natural to infer that a person facing health concerns and self-doubts may not be the most wonderful person to live together with. I take the opportunity to thank my family members for their tolerance, patience and kindness. I am not sure if I could return and repay all that kindness so I figured it can help to pay their kindness forward?

Work-wise, I count my blessings that while it has been an extremely challenging year, it has reminded me that   I am at the very least strong enough to pull through the year. Perhaps what does not kill us will make us stronger? Thank goodness for extremely tolerant and kind colleagues who have been patient with my idiosyncrasies and have been willing to lend a hand when needed. I am also pleased to have spent some time exploring the field of Art Therapy by taking up a 3-day Introduction to Art Therapy and the Creative Process and the Returning Home to Yourself classes by local art-therapist Joanna Tan. While I do not seem to have a strong conviction that Art Therapy is an area that I could specialize in as yet, I have at least started to explore and find out more about it.

Relationship wise, 2012 was a year where I have unexpectedly been making a great number of new friends. I do agree that human beings are social beings. Perhaps it is through our relationships that we best learn and best grow better as persons. I am thankful to everyone whom I have came across and the friends I have. Their presence in this world has shaped me to some extent. I am also deeply grateful to the people around me who have in one way or another shared their time with me. The times together gave me a sense of fellowship which often brings comfort and care that I appreciate.

Interestingly, I had found myself spending more time with children in the year of 2012. My first nephew was born in the year of 2012! I am still clueless what it means to be an aunt. Anyway, my nephew has certainly brought joy to the family. May he be safe, healthy and joyful. Other than the birth of my nephew, there were births of colleagues' and friends' children throughout the year. May these children be safe, healthy and joyful. It was also quite humbling to spend time with the children of some of my friends. I had wanted to spend time with my friends and one way to do so was to include their children! Children do teach us a lot about life, just as we adults may show them how they could learn to thrive in this world. I thank my friends' children for sharing with me their joy and enthusiasm about living.

Where blogging is concerned, my post on the Innovation Great Singapore Souvenirs tops the chart as the most popular of my blog-posts that was written in the year 2012. Yet, if you were to ask me, my personal favourite was the collection of posts listed under the title, Sydney May 2012, containing notes of my visit to Sydney. I had surprised myself by visiting Sydney at that time of the year when I was not of the best of health. In fact I was wondering if I ought to go. Looking back, I am glad I did. I was grateful to spend some time in Sydney with two of my wonderful friends and their family. I was also very thankful for the opportunity to attend my first Interfaith service at Uniting Church led by, Stephanie Dowrick, one of the authors whom I respect.

I am also thankful that one of my entries to the Heritage 2012 Blog Competition had won the second prize. It was an encouragement for me to have won a prize in the competition. I have also learnt ways to improve my writing skills and presentation skills through reading the entries of other participants.

Music wise, it was a slower year. I had decided to take a break from double bass lessons and it was not quite a decision I could be pleased with even though doing so had freed up some time for me to nurse myself to better health. I miss learning more about how to play better on the double bass. So I have learnt, it will help to make time to enhance my capacity in make music! Nevertheless, I am thankful that despite a hiatus from double bass lessons, I have still have opportunities to play music and delight in the process of music-making.

So as I conclude this post, I count my blessings for the year 2012. May the 2013 bring me progress, good health and better blessings to come.

In the meantime, I wish you a better year to come. May the New Year bring you progress, growth, good health and joy.

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