My Gratitude List for 2017

Time seems to have flown too quickly. It is already 2018.

I was inclined to look back at 2017 as one of the worst years I’d ever had in my life. And I really thought I would end up resenting the year that 2017 was months before it ended.

But life is FULL of surprises.

Yes, I will probably remember 2017 as a year full of tears, pain and suffering, sleepless nights, and appetite loss, but in the end, I choose to be grateful for the small but meaningful things that let me endure the year that was so I can face 2018 far better and stronger.

Some of the things I am really grateful for in 2017 are as follows:

The strength and will to continue living and loving despite of. I will always remember this year as a year of goodbye, not only from people I considered important in my life, but from destructive behaviors that have been controlling my life for the past years. With the grace of God, hope did not leave my broken heart and the recent crisis I’ve been through has made me stronger, holding on to dear life even when at times, there seemed to be no light at the end of the tunnel.

Gift of friendship and family. Being in a deeply hurting situation allowed me to see and realize that I have many true friends who love me for who I am and who will support me in times of trouble. For indeed, true friends are treasures, more precious than gold. Likewise, even though I am away from my family, they have certainly shown me their love and concern.

Gift of counsel. Being depressed for almost the entire year, online counseling from close friends and people whom I don’t even know in person has helped me gain clarity and direction on where my life is heading and should move towards. I am fortunate to receive wisdom from these people who told me what I needed to hear and not what I wanted to hear. Counsel, as taught by Pope Francis, is the gift by which the Holy Spirit enables one to make concrete decisions based on the teaching and logic of Jesus.

Financial stability. I am so much grateful that God has allowed me to be of help to people financially speaking. I am thankful that I have enough for my needs and my family’s needs. God has blessed me so much this year with the capability to give more and in turn, receive more.

Capability to serve the Church. On the last day of 2017, the Parish Priest of Daean Catholic Church in Daegu handed out certificates of recognition for active servers in the Church. It was an unexpected reward for something I choose to do out of love. More than the award, I am so grateful that God has allowed me to serve His Church in my own little way, unworthy though I am.

Spiritual community. Being in a place away from home and my spiritual group, to be part of the El Shaddai Daegu Prayer Group is such a blessing. The group has given me a sense of belonging and home while nurturing my spiritual life.

Gift of solitude and silence. As an introvert, having sufficient time to be alone and in silence has given me good opportunities to reflect on my life and the things that have been happening to me in the past. I am glad that in silence and solitude, I can be myself and be happy and at peace. I am grateful that I have been in touch with myself again the past year, especially through the pain and suffering, most of which are self-inflicted.

Meeting up with old friends. I am really thankful for being given the opportunity to meet up and spend time with friends I haven’t seen for some time. I am even more grateful that even with the passing of time, the relationships I have built with them have also grown in depth and strength.

Having access to good medical facilities. Being in South Korea is such a blessing not only in terms of the comfort and convenience that I would not be able to experience much in the Philippines but especially in terms of having access to good medical facilities and support. In addition, I am really thankful for the doctor who suspected me of having an inflamed appendix instead of just listening to my complaint on having gastritis. I was able to get surgery on time before my appendicitis has gotten worse. Kudos to the surgeon and staff at the Kyoung Dae Union Surgery Clinic.

Writing articles for this blog. Of course, I am thankful that towards the end of the year 2017, I was able to write again. The holidays have given me ample time to express my thoughts and feelings on some aspects of life that matter to me.
Gratitude leads to happiness...
Here’s to hoping for a fruitful and meaningful 2018!

Marj Baynosa is a chemical engineer and educator, who loves reading and writing in her spare time, especially on finance, faith, and other seemingly mundane things.

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