First of all please allow me to wish you all a very happy and fulfilling New Year 2013! I also like to thank you for your continual support despite the lack of post since we left for our babymoon.
We had an incredible time in Europe and the whole experience has enriched our lives greatly. Ideas had been swirling in my head and I was looking forward to share my thoughts with you but things happened that took away my time and energy.
Ever since I started the practice of writing the gratitude list, it has helped me tremendously in recognising what is going well in my life. This keeps me positive and hopeful especially when the going is tough.
At the start of this New Year, it is timely to look back at the year 2012 and be grateful for the gifts that I have received. I do firmly believe that life is full of surprises and blessings. We just need to pay attention to them.
Here are 12 things that I am grateful for in 2012:
1. The miracle of life
The unexpected pregnancy is definitely what we are most grateful for this year. We feel honoured for this privilege to be parents to our unborn baby. It is a dream comes true. Truthfully, the pregnancy has been difficult and there have been many challenges that tested our faith along the way. I have learned great lessons from the experience and I know the learning is not going to end anytime soon. For once, I am very grateful that I do not have a work commitment and that I can take as much as rest as I need.
2. Good health
As someone who has been given a second chance at life, I do not take my health for granted. It has been five years since my brain bypass operations and I have remained symptom-free. Not only do I reclaim my desired quality of life, I enjoy a much richer one as a result of that decision.
3. Deepening of love and friendship with husband
I am infinitely blessed with a loving and protective husband who continues to impress me. Our marriage is at a very happy place and we look forward to the next stage of our life when the baby arrives. He is my pillar of strength and my best friend. With him by my side, I know we can weather any storm of life.
4. Excellent care providers
With the challenges that I face in the pregnancy, I am very grateful to be under the excellent care of my providers who are not only competent but also compassionate and caring. They help allay the fear and anxiety. It also helps greatly that our insurance coverage is sufficient and we don't have to worry about finances.
5. Family visit
I am really thankful that my mum and sister made that long and arduous trip to the Bay Area to share a piece of our lives here. Couple of months later, mum had a fall that led to a hip fracture. She is in recovery now and this hits home that I really need to cherish all the time we have together because you never know what's going to happen next.
6. Great opportunities for growth and development.
This stint offers me wonderful opportunities for growth and development both in my professional and personal life. Last year, I attended two acclaimed conferences that inspire me to be a better clinician/therapist. I get to do courses at the prestigious Stanford and Berkeley, something that I value greatly. My hunger and love for learning is definitely satiated by the many opportunities that are available here.
7. Strong and supportive tribe
Other than my family, my friends are definitely my tribe. I know I can count on them in good and bad times. They have come through for me with their love and prayers when I first underwent my treatment back in 2004 and then my surgeries in 2007. And now as I go through my pregnancy, they are there ready with words of encouragements, support and prayers. Thank you my dearest friends. You know who you are!
8. Technology and Social Media
Sadly, majority of my tribe resides half way across the globe and you can imagine my gratitude for whatever means that can connect me with them easily. Technology has removed the barrier and distance so to speak and I get connected with family and friends at the touch of a button. Social media has also enabled me to keep abreast of the happenings in the lives of my friends and family. Cool stuff that I am grateful for when you live so far away.
9. Readers of Winifred & You
Yes, I am very grateful for you. You are the reason why I started this blog more than a year ago. My love of reading, sharing and writing found an outlet in this space. Your readership and support has been a great encouragement. Without readers, a blog is meaningless. I write because I have something to say that I hope will make a difference in the lives of others. Thank you for giving me this wonderful opportunity.
10. Extensive travelling
Travelling and good food are the two luxuries that we indulge in. Last year, we had the opportunity to visit many places including Tokyo, the Canadian Rockies, Hawaii and four European countries - Italy, Turkey, Greece and England for our babymoon. Thousands of great memories have been created and while we know that travelling will no longer be the same when the little one arrives, we are extremely grateful for all that we have experienced. We are also grateful that we were kept safe in all our travels especially those that we took during the pregnancy.
11. Strengthening of muscles
I firmly believe that life's struggles help us to strengthen our muscles. Last year, I was challenged to surrender and trust a great deal. There were so many occasions where all that I could do was to remind myself that God is in charge, recognise the moment as a moment of suffering and an exercise to strengthen my muscle. I have tonnes of practice in self-compassion. I also learn to accept the good and the bad in life with equanimity. I have a feeling that the strengthening of these muscles will intensify this year when baby comes.
12. Contentment with life
Most days I feel contented with my life. Sure, life is imperfect and I have my share of frustrations and bad hair day but overall life is pretty awesome. While we are not rich, famous or influential, I have more than I need materially. I may not have a paid job or a successful career to speak of but I am doing what I enjoy on a daily basis. I imagine my current life is the portrayal of my retirement life and that makes me very grateful that I am living it already.
So, thank you 2012 for all the blessings, surprises, joy, pain, struggles and everything in between.
Food for thought: What about you? What are you grateful for in 2012?
Leave me your comment. I love to hear from you.