I am so glad 2018 is finally over. I am looking forward for 2019. I guess I can say that 2018 has been a trying year for me. I decided to take the challenges, tears, sweat, anxieties and heartbreaks of 2018 as lessons for the future. They say all experiences even the bad are opportunities for learning.
My start of my year bled me dry. Have you ever felt like every part of your body experienced thousand of papercuts, slicing you unexpectedly over and over again? I guess that what it feels like when a glass gets shattered into broken pieces and in spite of the attempt to piece it back together, it will never be the same again. Then I realised something. I prefer brutal truths than sugarcoated white fibs. How sad it is to look back at your life when you realised that reality is uncovered and what you thought what was before is just a reflection of your unreliable rose-colored glasses. But then I surged on and prayed with my family by my side, my skin thickened from the pain in spite of its occasional throbbing of papercuts. God whispered in my ears a secret and a promise so I smiled and accepted my fate.
Expectations is the mother of all frustrations. Have you waited & waited for something and it never came? I would tell myself maybe it is my fault. Things or opportunities never knock twice. I was a fool for saying “No” when fate beckons and now in my waiting, I am being punished for waiting for something that will never come. I now understand people who been waiting for years to get out of unlawful imprisonment, that positive sign on the pregnancy test, the call from a dream company, the appearance of the elusive prince charming, the ring on your finger from a man who been dating for 10 years, etc. I totally get them now. I am one of you. And by the end of 2018 as I put another stick to number of the days, it never came. Will I be luckier in 2019? When I get it, will it taste sweeter because I been wanting it for so long or it would taste like a foul stale bread inside my mouth?
So with my little hearbreaks throughout the year, it gave way to what will be my theme for 2019. I decided to just let go. I am letting go of:
I am ready to let go of the reins. I can never have a full grip of control on the heavy waves of life on where it will lead me. So I let God do the steering and I will just trust in Him.
Gratefulness List of 2018
My 2018 wasn’t all that bad. It had its great moments and a wonderful bonus in the middle part of the year. This list made me realised that 2018 weren’t as stingy in blessings after all.
1. Our Zeke
The arrival of Zeke made my 2018 bearable. I was around 6 months pregnant as 2018 enters and I gave birth to Zeke on 9th May here in Singapore. He is so cute! He was born with dimples on both his cheeks with twinkling eyes. I fell in love with him instantly as I saw him. I just felt with Zeke, my little family is complete. A family of five just felt right and didn’t feel the need to make it a family of six.
I was having apprehensions delivering Zeke in Singapore. I gave birth to Naj and Fynn in the Philippines. I was worried about how my caesarean operation would go, the hospital bills and many more if I give birth in Singapore. I heard horror stories of mommies incurring large amount of debt in hospital due to complications occurring during the delivery. But my worries was laid to rest when my operation went smoothly, baby is ok, we managed to pay the hospital bills without a hitch and we had a wonderful hospital stay in KK Hospital.
3. Longer Maternity Leave, More Time with the Kids
Since I gave birth in Singapore, I didn’t have to fly to the Philippines early in my pregnancy and didn’t have to rush back to Singapore to work. I had longer days with Zeke and my two toddlers at home. I was happily breastfeeding Zeke at home and I get to have playtime with Naj and Fynn. I would tutor Naj after his daily playtime at the condo playground. I get to make breakfast for Fynn, my always hungry monster as well as for my hubby. I got the needed rest at home.
4. Maternity Shoot with Wein
I never have done any maternity shoot with my two older kids. I was thinking it is too wasteful and expensive. I was also looking like a hippo when I am 7-8 months pregnant which made me not even think of anyone taking my photo. But then with Zeke, I decided to have an amateur photo session with my creative friend, Wein. She visited Singapore for a shortwhile and we made it happen. I was happy with the results.
I was overjoyed to have create deep connections with women who are struggling with life just like me. It was nice to share, support and laugh with genuine friends. I am grateful that I have a tribe here in Singapore that I can run to for a shoulder to cry on and who would cheer you on and pray for you.
6. Successful Big Event I Organized
One of my big stresses of 2018 was organising this big event for work. It took a year of planning and very detailed execution. I wanted it to be a success and not a total failure so I was under a lot of pressure and stress. It was my first time to organise an event and at a big scale. But my efforts paid off and it was a huge success. My boss complimented me for a job well done.
7. Amazing blogging collaborations
I am amazed at how my blog has grown. I would received constant emails of blogging engagements from wonderful brands and companies. I felt blessed with the opportunities that was showered upon me. Some of the brands that I have worked with last year and some are ongoing this year are MilkyWay Maternity & Nursing Wear, Cynbolic Nail Bar, Lucky Lash Brow, La Vie Aesthetics, Tayo Station, Pororo Indoor Playground, Alfero Gelato, Pink Parlour, Kkkboats Cruise and many others. It is humbling to know that these brands and companies trust me to feature them in my blog.
8. Trips to Johor Bahru, Malaysia
I didn’t get to travel much this year but my family and I have been to nearby Johor Bahru for staycations. One of the brands that I have worked with last year was Cynbolic NailBar in Johor Bahru had arranged for us a night stay in Hotel Jen Puteri Harbour. The kids enjoyed the trip so much and Hotel Jen is etched in their memories, they keep repeating anecdotes of our stay there. So on Naj’s birthday, we went back to stay in Hotel Jen in Johor and spent a day in Legoland Malaysia.
9. Naj & Fynn
I can never stop being grateful for my two big boys. They have grown up to be so sweet and loving. They are very talkative and inquisitive now. It is fun to talk to them. They say the funniest things. They always show their concern for me and rest of the people in the house. They would always tell us, “Be careful!” if we are standing on stools to reach objects, “Are you okay, Mommy (or Ate Dar)?” if we are not feeling well and lots of “I love you”s all day. They are self-reliant by always putting their cups & plates in the sink after they finished drinking & eating and they put back their shoes in the shoes rack after going out. They love to build cool block creations and would tell me cartoons stories. They pray before eating and before sleeping. They do fight a lot everyday just like my sister and I before. I hope one of these days they will they will stop fighting and be best of friends.
10. Fun Christmas Party
My hubby and I hosted a Christmas party with our friends. My hubby grilled a mean perfectly- marinated Pork Belly and I cooked KareKare, a peanut butter beef stew which is my dad’s recipe. Our dishes were guests’ favorites! The rest of the visitors brought potluck dishes. All the wives who were organizing planned games for the party. It was so fun! Boys vs Girls. We laugh so hard throughout the games. We also had games for kids.
11. Discovered my colors
I wanted to stop at 10 but this is a bonus. Late of last year, I discovered Color Analysis. It is what most image consultant use to determine what colors works for you in clothing and makeup. I been hoping that I would look good in pastels, dusty rose, blush pink and dusty blue but I look so washed-out. I discovered I am a Clear Winter and I look better in bright saturated color. So instead of blush pink and pale green for my fashion color, I will be sticking to White, Black and Blood Red. I throw in sometimes some emerald green, bright fuchsia, hot pink, lemon yellow and icy blue. Just think of Audrey Hepburn’s wardrobe in Funny Face.
Thank you 2018 for the blessings. Thank you for the lessons. And especially thank you for giving us Zeke. I am letting go of my heavy baggage of 2018. Hi 2019! I want to face you, 2019, lighter (emotionally & hopefully, physically too – 1.5 to 2 kg to be exact.) and baggage-free. I am letting go of expectations, anxieties, negativity, paranoia, materialism, self-deprecation and comparison. I am all yours, naked & free. Do me as you will. Take me in a new adventure. You have my full attention. Surprise me and please promise me, make this a good one to make up for 2018. Thanks in advance!