Christmas: I choose to be thankful

Original Author: Gwendolyn

“’Tis the season to be jolly, fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la”… “Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way”… It is the time of the year where we hear Christmas songs played in cafes and shopping malls; where people around us are busy getting Christmas gifts; where beautiful Christmas trees and lightings are set up all over the country.

christmas-seasonAs a song says, “it is the most beautiful time of the year!” In no time, we will find ourselves exchanging wonderful Christmas greetings and catching up with our loved ones over roasted turkey and log cakes; thereafter, we will be popping champagnes and welcoming the start of a brand new year! Just like every other year, all these will pass in the blink of an eye and we will be embarking on a brand new journey of a new year before we can even realize it.

While this is time of the year where people all around the world are soaking in the festive mood and getting excited about the many upcoming parties, this is also the time of the year where I start feeling extremely nervous and jittery, simply because the year is coming to an end. I am left with less than a month to ensure that I end the year remarkably well.

It is during this season where I start asking myself questions like “Have I achieved enough in the past year?”, “How much have I grown?”, “Have I wasted my year?”… I am most afraid to end a year the same way I started it, or even worse, to have deteriorated in the different areas of my life.

christmas-gwen6As I start reflecting on 2013, I realized that there were many beautiful moments, and along with them, came many painful, heartbreaking moments as well. In fact, I would not say that there have been more ups than downs this year. There were many times this year where I found myself struggling to survive, and there are many resolutions and dreams I have for the year that I have yet to fulfill. Having all these in mind can be such a wet blanket in the midst of all the festive celebrations.

However, all of life boils down to perception. I can either keep crying over spilled milk and start 2014 on a negative note, or I can choose to embrace the lessons I have learned from spilling milk and be thankful that I have grown because of them. Furthermore, it is a blessing that having struggled to survive, I have still made it through until the end. Thankfulness puts everything in a good light and causes us to appreciate what we already have.

christmas-gwen2How we exit a year is often how we enter a new year. It is better to end on a positive note to ensure a positive start to 2014. By focusing on the positive things that have happened, we magnify the goodness of the year, making it feel like a better year than it would have been to us if we just focus on the negative parts. Coming from that angle, 2013 has indeed been a great year, because

1. I completed my first half marathon

christmas-gwen52. I went to two countries for a holiday christmas-gwen33. I celebrated my 21st birthday party with a birthday bash

christmas-gwen44. I got closer to many of my friends
5. I got attached to an amazing man

christmas-gwen1It’s good to always be thankful for what we have instead of mourning over what we do not have. 2013 is a great year because I choose to be thankful!

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