“To make an end is to make a beginning.” – T.S. Eliot
To say that 2019 was a challenging year is an understatement. From calamities to personal losses, one can truly say that the year that was wasn’t as rosy as we hoped it would be.
Yet, despite all the struggles and pain, we made it. We’re here by the grace of faith, of hope, of resilience, of love. And yes, there are still so many things to be thankful for.
Growth. Adversity, while singularly inundating, is an opportunity for growth. We are thankful for all the difficulties because on the flipside, when handled right, difficulties strengthen our spirit, fuel our soul. Just the mere choice to squarely face the most painful situation is a triumph in itself. By the time we reach the other side, we realize we’ve become a much better person.
Life. We are thankful for all the things that had come and gone in 2019. We understand that even negative experiences are but teachable moments cloaked in pain and misery. The irony of it all is that while we hope that things would go according to plan, we actually learn more when things don’t. At the end of the day, we shouldn’t pick and choose which parts of our lives to be thankful for. When we say we are grateful for the blessing of life, that should include both the good days and the bad.
Family. We are thankful for the people with and around us who lift us up when life does get too much. They are, indeed, angels on earth, our source of strength and inspiration. Because of their constant presence, it is, at times, so easy to take them for granted. As we begin a new year, may we remind ourselves that family should always be a blessing that we are consistently thankful for.
Little things. Sometimes, we gloss over the little things that make life infinitely more pleasing. Good coffee, an unexpected gift, a smile from a stranger, a day at the beach, great food shared with awesome company — we should not forget to be thankful for all the little things.
Home. We are thankful for having home to retreat to after a long day. In a literal sense, we talk about shelter. In a figurative sense, we mean having sanctuary especially in times of tribulation. In a broader sense, we are thankful to have this planet as our collective home. Such gratitude should not end in mere lip service. We have to do our part to take care of Mother Earth because it can’t be emphasized enough that this is the only home we’ve got.
On a personal note, I would like to thank each one of you who have followed my column from when it was still politically-laced Insight Avenue. I used to think that I just sent words to the ether without anyone really giving them a second thought, but after the kind words I’ve received from people I don’t know personally who’ve read and appreciated my work, I realized there are those who do care. To you all, thank you. This is my last Zephyr column so before I put a final period on my column writing days on Negros Chronicle, I want to send out one huge THANK YOU to all of you. Thank you for receiving my words so graciously and generously. I hope that one day, I’ll get to be at the other side receiving yours.
Happy new year, everyone. Don’t worry. As T.S. Eliot so aptly put it, to end is really another way to begin.
Cheers for 2020!