Monday, December 31, 2012

Thank you, 2012

Image from

It has not been a great year according to what I set, but it turned out to be a year of adjustments, possibilities, and renewals.

In our yearly visioning session, our friend Optimommy taught us to do the following: Write the things that did not work for you in 2012; the things that worked for you; your biggest success or successes; and the things you are grateful for as you bid adieu to 2012.

It took a while to put those things in writing. I knew my year was not great. I listed so many things to achieve in 2012 but not all of them came to life. And I only have myself to "blame" for it.

To write about them seemed like a drag. But it was eventually a relief to write them down and share it with my dear friends. And after sharing, they commented that they saw a renewed positivity in me, and the things I did and the things that happened toward the end of 2012 (and without me forcing these things to turn to my favor) helped indeed.   

So what did not work for me in 2012? 

1. Financial setback. Early this year, I lost a writing gig for the two magazines I have been a contributing writer for years. And it was my fault. Toward the second quarter, and due to some company changes, my regular sideline became a per assignment thing, until toward the fourth quarter, it was put on hold. Such was a blow since that regular sideline was my "happy money" source. Thus, the third and fourth quarters saw major budget tightening. I am determined to clear my obligations by end of first quarter 2013.

2. Complacency. My becoming a regular employee in my current full-time job was the first major blessing for the year, having learned about it as 2011 closed. The opportunity to work on a new project was a source of passion, until I have become so accustomed to doing the tasks that I ceased to be "eager beaver" with the project, as my manager observed. And she was right. I could not agree more. While I am still a high performer at work, the passion left me. I am claiming back that passion, regardless how routine or how administrivia the tasks would be in 2013.

3. Self-doubt.  I have not only doubted myself, I doubted my faith big time. The financial setback seemed to have aggravated my period of self-doubt. For more than a year I have been embroiled in too much self-wallowing, self-sabotaging, self-pity, brimming negativism, and I literally and figuratively isolated myself. Sure, I still ask myself if I can do it, and the answer now is "YES!" and that is pumping me up for 2013.

The things that worked for me in 2012

 1. Maximizing my leadership potential. My managers sent me to a leadership training which helped me affirm I got what it takes to be a leader. The live virtual sessions and the 3-day classroom sessions were enriching. The role plays put us in difficult people manager-employee situations that were really nerve wrecking if they happen in real life. The results of the business leadership, emotional intelligence, competencies, and derailment surveys opened my eyes even more. I also confirmed that I am a controlled, conservative, planner, organizational, problem solver type of person per my Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument results. I'm only with the company for 2 years and 4 months when they sent me for this, thus I am thankful indeed for the opportunity. And there were occasions that I displayed both my leadership and managerial skills for which I am grateful.

2. Welcoming possibilities. I met new friends from various parts of the world and to learn their stories, be treated like we were friends for long and only separated by great geographical distance, helped improve my social life. Thanks to technology, we still keep in touch. I am not now expecting anything more personal or deeper from any of these new friendships made, but I am just glad I took the big leap, conquered my fear, stepped out of my comfort zone, and welcomed them in my life. Indeed, the possibilities are limitless.

My successes and the things I am grateful for in 2012      

1. Renewal of faith. I turned down the invitation several times. But when I felt I finally needed to, and coinciding with my 32nd birthday week, I signed up to attend the Road to Damascus retreat, organized by the Living Hope Catholic Charismatic Community. Thanks to a colleague's persistence, that weekend retreat helped me, above all else, forgive myself for all the trials I thought were pulling me down and for realizing that the Lord and His Son, Jesus Christ never left me. Sure, I still have my misses as a Roman Catholic, but my vantage point in solving problems became clearer as I now consciously, always acknowledge --- and thank --- God for His presence in my life and those people I care the most. I am far from being a truly "good" Roman Catholic, but the baby steps I am taking, and as taught us in the retreat (like reading daily and understanding the Bible and the life lessons it bears) is truly building my faith and pumping up my optimism as I try to address my existing concerns.

2. Reconciliation. The not so "old" me used to run after the problem, thinking I could solve it on my own. But when I started to welcome other possibilities, and acknowledged that I already did everything in my capacity to patch things up and let fate take its course, then the problem started to present itself as a solution. Well, sort of, because as of this date, the problem still is a problem, but this time, a "lighter" one. I am just thankful for the gift of reconciliation --- and without me forcing it to happen. The ongoing communication is vital to see where this would lead us --- reconciling together or reconciling as two entities apart.

3. Wisdom and knowledge.  During the retreat, and upon trying to receive the Holy Spirit, I asked for the gifts of wisdom and knowledge --- to learn from my experience and apply it truly well in the present and future and to say the right words at the right time. In relation with reconciliation, I see myself now saying what has to be said, even if the other person would be hurt --- because yes, the truth hurts and if I do not tell the other person about it, no one else will. I am fully aware that the other person has battles of his own, and when that person needs boost, I give it. When that person needs to be castigated --- yet firmly and gently --- I do it. I am in no mission to "save," but I am here for that person in need of another person to truly understand him .... 

Forgiving myself

After completing the exercise, we moved to the next exercise: to write down the things or habits we will let go and to list down the person or persons we like to forgive. Then, we burned our lists, an exercise in releasing, in moving forward to the New Year and beyond.

Of course the financial setback, complacency, and self-doubt definitely have to go for 2013, among other things or habits I listed.

In the list of persons to forgive, I forgive myself above anyone else. All these years I have been too hard on myself that I thought the trials were weighing me down, when in fact, it was me who was pulling myself down.

For the New Year and beyond, I will be more forgiving to myself. Only then I will only be able to truly move forward.

So, thank you for the bittersweet 2012. You're so 2012 now, 2012. Move over and hello, 2013.

Happy New Year to all!