Year-end presents opportunities to look back, reassess, and declutter our lives, hopeful for even brighter things to come next year. It's also the season to be thankful for the countless blessings we received and lessons we learned along the way. I spent four hours cleaning my room and the bathroom, and another six hours to fulfill my baking duties. All the while, my mind was drifting, remembering and reanimating the highlights of the year that was. 2013 may have been tough on us, but it brought one too many lessons that made me, and us, better citizens of this world. There's no better day to sit down and document what I learned, and what I'm grateful for in 2013.
- You always have a choice, and when you make one, don't apologize. Maybe it's age, maybe it's experience. But I've come to a point where I feel 100% free to make decisions without a slight inclination to be sorry about it. Whether I make a good or bad decision, I am fully accountable and it propels me to where the Lord wants me to be.
- Awakening my spirituality. Religion is part of my family DNA. I grew up abiding by the traditions albeit mechanically. It's only this year that I really felt what I should be searching for and it's far divine than any religious duties. It's been a different spiritual journey ever since and I'm very excited.
- Avoid negativity at all cost. I'm a relentless believer of spreading positivity. I always try to look at the brighter side of things. But all these efforts are bound to fail, if you don't actively avoid negativity. Avoid gossips and malicious conversations, choose the company of happy and positive people, stop whining and start appreciating every morning and all the opportunities it presents. Life is too short, I've lost a few friends this year (Hello there in heaven, M, A and M!), and it cemented my take to live this awfully short life the most colorful way possible.
- You can't choose your family, but you can change your perspective. I've said it a thousand times and I can't be more grateful to have a huge, closely-knit family where everyone is kind and generous. But it's not to say we're perfect. 2013 has been a year of struggle, dealing with my parents and all the mood swings and behavioral changes that come with age. It tested my patience, questioned my values and almost drove me out of the house. But this year witnessed how a decision to change perspective improved my relationships and turned around some really bad days. And this is not only true for family, but for every relationship you'll ever have.
- I only need so much. Whether friends, money, possessions, I only need so much. It's great to have many friends, but it's equally fine to only have a handful whom I can trust my life with. I definitely need money, and clothes, and shoes, but I know how not to equate them with happiness. The days when I tried to please everyone, and be worried sick about my worldly possessions are thankfully gone. Good riddance!
- I found the love of my life in 2013. Funny how he's been with me for the past nine years, yet it's only this year that I've truly seen him and all his beauty. Some may say it's pressure, I say (and feel!) it's divine intervention. :)
- No better day than today. If you miss someone, ring him today. If you want to ditch smoking, quit today. If you want to stay in shape, start working out today. Procrastination is the cousin of failure.