It’s currently 11 pm where I am. I’m in the living room with Yuri soundly sleeping beside me, and we’re both huddled in blankets because it’s one cold night!
It’s a lot quieter tonight compared to last week, during Christmas eve, where we entertained over 30 guests – a colourful mix of relatives, friends, and neighbours – here at home. But while it was a fun celebration, this quieter one is a welcome change. Honestly, this is how I’d love to spend the last night of 2016: quiet, comfortable, and engaged in meaningful conversations with my loved ones.
Speaking of meaningful conversations, I saw this year-end post in Thought Catalog weeks ago and I just knew I had to answer the 50 questions as I bid 2016 good bye. Here we go.
1. What made you feel the most alive this year?
I’m not sure how to answer this question as the times I don’t feel alive are very rare. Probably the most memorable thing to happen to me this year is our family’s semi-reunion this Christmas. We don’t see our relatives often because they live in different parts of the country, so being with them is always special!
2. How did you surprise yourself in 2016?
For starters, I learned a lot of things this year! I got immersed in a couple of new hobbies: calligraphy/brush lettering and creative planning. I also learned how to drive! Although I don’t drive a lot (I still prefer to have my kuya drive me around haha), I wear my driver’s license like a badge of honour.
3. What did you do this year that you regret?
I regret not watching what I ate and not working out, like, almost at all. Now I’m suffering the consequences (read: nothing in my closet fits…)
4. What made you cry the hardest this year?
Job’s health scare, which, thankfully (as in thank you, thank you Lord) remained to be a health scare that must be forgotten and locked away.
5. Which friends have been there for you the most in 2016?
Everyone close to my heart has been there for me for most of 2016! My college barkada, Superfriends, George, JM, Hazel, and Christine, who are always present in my life despite the distance. And my workmates, the dream team, the bestest girls to work with like ever, Lenz, Jona, Sarah, Xeng, and Yankee (special mention: Julie and Macy!).
6. What are you most grateful for as this year draws to a close?
I am grateful for the people in my life. Job, Yuri, my family, my friends, my colleagues, my neighbours, everyone. God put all of them in my life and made it a hundred times better.
7. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?
8. What did you do to take care of yourself this year?
I got a wakeup call late this year about my diet and overall lifestyle. I’m still working on it but at least I am now more aware of what I am doing to my body.
9. Where was the best place you traveled to this year?
This, honestly, was not a year of travelling for me, so my options are few. Still, few options or not, I think Maragusan is a wonderful place that everyone needs to visit!
10. What did you do for the first time in 2016?
A lot of things, most notable of which is driving!
11. What did you do for the last time in 2016?
Oh I don’t know. This is a hard one. Probably this one secret bad habit of mine, which I’m hoping to quit once and for all.
12. Which days from 2016 will you never forget?
There are many big things that happened to me in 2016, but these are my top 3: when Job went abroad to work, when I bought my first car, and when we celebrated Christmas with extended family.
13. What did you accomplish this year that you’re proud of?
Two things: my driver’s license and my VUL (variable life insurance). *looks smug*
14. Who did you need to forgive this year?
My brother. We had a fight April of this year and I didn’t talk to him until earlier this month. I miss him!
15. What were you most afraid of this year?
Hmm two things, too. Job’s health scare and the possibility of not passing my driver’s test lol
16. How did life surprise you this year?
God’s faithfulness never fails to surprise me! I had been a bad Christian, but God remained to be a good, loving God who never forgets his rebellious children.
17. How was this year better than 2015?
This year, I think my life is a lot better in many aspects. I have better, stronger relationships, a clearer career path, a generally more positive outlook in life.
18. How was this year worse than 2015?
Weight-wise, 2016 is worse than 2015. Grr!
19. Who did you miss the most over the past year?
Job, of course. It’s difficult not to miss someone 5000 miles away from you!
20. What was the most valuable thing you spent money on this year?
Ingrid, my 2008 Avanza! I would’ve included my SunLife VUL, too, but I only spent a little amount on it (because I just opened it last month).
21. What did you waste too much money on this year?
Oh golly, did I waste a lot of money. I barely had any savings, much thanks (but no thanks) to Korean skin care products and cosmetics. Oh, and food. And planner stuff. And did I say food?
22. How did you spend your birthday this year?
It was a very uneventful birthday – I don’t even remember what I did during my birthday this year hahaha. All I remember was feeling very thankful especially because Job had arrived in Riyadh a few days earlier safe and sound and well-adjusted.
23. What was the best book you read in 2016?
Gee thanks for reminding me I didn’t read much this year! I still read a lot, but not books. I should make it a point to read at least one book per month.
24. What do you wish you’d spent more time doing this year?
Praying, reading the Bible, and spending time with God
25. What do you wish you’d spent less time doing?
Doing useless things like browsing Facebook and wallowing in self-pity and engaging in hurtful gossip
26. What made you the angriest in 2016?
My aforementioned fight with my Kuya back in April. It wasn’t an easy to fight to get over – in fact, it took me eight months before I could normally speak to him again. But all I needed was a reminder that I’m a sinful person myself and that the person I’m hurting the most by remaining angry was myself.
27. When did you feel the most at peace this year?
When I finally made peace with my emotions, which, in reality, is my biggest enemy.
28. What is the biggest risk you took in 2016?
Took out all of my meagre savings to buy a car? Hahaha.
29. What made you laugh the hardest this year?
I cannot answer this question. I laugh really hard at least twice a day hahaha! I laugh a lot, really.
30. What ended for you in 2016?
Erm, not knowing how to drive? I don’t know lol
31. What began for you in 2016?
Being a driver, being an OFW-girlfriend, and being an insurance policy holder teehee. Oh, and being a preschooler mum! Although Yuri didn’t go to regular school, we still consider Eye Level as “school”
32. What song will always remind you of this year?
I’ll have to think about it! I’m tempted to say “Uptown Funk” even though it’s not a 2016 song because it’s Yuri’s favourite and he always sings it. Yeah, not the most meaningful answer I know, but reading this in the future, I’ll remember what Yuri’s favourite song was when he was 4!
33. How did this year differ from the way you thought it would go?
I thought it would be a boring year, same old same old. But big totally unexpected things happened over the course of one year and I’m eternally grateful.
34. How would you describe your personal style over the past year?
I got more conservative, as in I started wearing jeans and cardigans again, but that’s because of necessity (aka huge arms and tummy) huhu.
35. Who in your life did you look up to the most this year?
My mum, as usual. She’s my personal hero.
36. Which quote best sums up the past year for you?
Media noche is about to start so I’ll have to get back to this one!
EDIT: Maybe this one –
37. Did you fall in love this year?
Yes. Still with the same person. Chosss. In all seriousness, I think I got to appreciate Job a lot more this year.
38. Did your heart break this year?
If Korean stars are included, yes?
39. What was your favourite TV show in 2016?
Descendants of the Sun. Pretty cliche, I am aware, but I was so hooked on that issue. I jumped on the DOTS train quite late (I only started watching it around April) but I immediately fell in love with the story, the characters, everything. In fact, I believe I wrote a post about it haha.
40. Which (if any) new years resolutions did you keep this year?
I need to review… I don’t remember any lol!
I reviewed the resolutions I made last year by re-reading this post and I believe I pretty much maintained a strong connection with my 2016 One Word, which is “commit.” Which reminds me, I have yet to think of a new word!
41. Which (if any) new years resolutions will you be making for next year?
I’ll have a heart-to-heart talk with myself, then I’ll devote a post to my new year’s resolutions if I’ll be making some.
42. What disappointed you the most in 2016?
Nothing that I remember? All I remember are the good things that happened this year, no kidding. There were several things that were negative – if I think about them all, they would surely weigh me down – but there’s no use thinking about the bad things when the good things are much more awesome.
43. Who did you rely on the most in 2016?
Job, my rock and my refuge chosss 😛
44. Who might you owe an apology to at the end of this year?
God, because it’s him that I neglected the most this year.
(PS: And my body…)
45. How did you grow as a person over the past year?
I think I levelled up as an adult. I started paying tuition fees that are not mine, started driving, and finally took the plunge and bought myself an insurance plan. I made bigger decisions, decisions I’ve never had to think about before.
(You have probably read “driving” and “insurance” a million times already. Please don’t get sick of me.)
46. What made you feel the most stuck this year?
There was a time I contemplated on focusing on real estate, but I just cannot give up my job. I love it too much and I love my bosses and colleagues too much. Still, I am open to the possibilities and that doesn’t necessarily mean choosing only one thing and leaving the other. Right?
47. What made you feel the most inspired this year?
This is another question that I find hard to answer. I’m not the world’s most difficult person to inspire, to be honest. Just let me listen to a good song and I become inspired. Give me words of affirmation and I become inspired. Give me a thoughtful gift or a genuine act of service and I shall be indebted to you forever. Seriously, I try my hardest to look for something inspiring each day. Otherwise, what I will see is a world that is bleak and boring.
48. If you could go back and give yourself a single piece of advice on the first day of 2016, what would it be?
It will probably be about homeschooling. It’s what I consider the greatest “fail” of this year for me. My advice to myself? You will attempt to do it, and you will do it well. However, midway, if you find yourself getting tired, don’t be afraid to call it quits. You’re not giving up on your son’s education; you’re merely admitting that you’re human and you cannot expect yourself to be able to do everything. Your being a good mum is not defined by homeschooling.
49. What’s the most important thing you learned this year?
The good outweighs the bad. My 2016 is not as bright and cheery as this post makes it appear to be. However, in my perspective, it is as bright and cheery as a summer morning. There were a lot of struggles – the aforementioned health scare, the aforementioned fight with my brother, and my dad’s condition. And these are just the major ones. But when you look back and focus only on the positive things, you’ll see that while God lets us suffer challenges and setbacks, he is a good God, a loving Father, who blesses us twice as much.
50. What do you hope will be different for you by this time next year?
There is only one thing that I am praying for, and maybe I can tell you about it in God’s time. 🙂