Sorry for the late post. I had this dilemma of whether writing it or not, sometimes I was in the mood, sometimes I wasn’t. But I realized there are more good things to share, so I’d rather let the overflowing happiness surface into writing this blog post.
This year, I had no plans of celebrating my birthday. I wanted it to be an ordinary day, so I decided to come to work and didn’t file a vacation leave for the very first time. I was not eager to check out a new restaurant to celebrate it with my family. I had two reasons: we had financial problems, and secondly, I’d rather plan for the birthday of my loved ones than my own. Maybe I was also reluctant recognizing we’re getting a bit older so lively, flamboyant parties are getting out of picture. I was even having birthday blues that I told Cath no one will even remember celebrating it with me (haha, drama!)
Actual Birthday, August 16, 2016
As much as I’d like to keep it low-key, it wasn’t. My mom, invited the whole family to a dinner at McKinley Hill, which is near my workplace. I appreciated that a lot. I, being the eldest in the family would always be first to plan out things every time my family will hold celebrations. And this time, it’s the other way around. I asked permission from my team leader to extend my break for 2 hours, and graciously he did approve. Before my actual birthday, my mom had been showing little gestures to show how much she treasured my birthday. She gave me dresses,shoes, accessories, and even surprised me with birthday cakes at a random celebration at church. That meant a lot, surely, because we were currently experiencing financial difficulties at that time. When the dinner bill came though, I still ended up paying half of it! (haha, panganay talaga eh, hindi ko matiis!)
Then at work, I bought pizzas for my team. Cassie, my closest friend at work became so hands-on in distributing the food, arranging stuff, and she even bought the cake to surprise me. Although, it was a failed surprise. I already saw her at the ground floor holding that tiny box which spilled the surprise at the very start of the day! (haha sorry, friend!) My teammates were planning to get this guy they’ve been teasing me with to hand me the cake, but he’s not available so Kute came to the rescue! (Another good guy friend of ours from the Trans team). Another failed surprise, I already saw him at the back of my cubicle. (Next time tuturuan ko na mga kateam ko paano mag-surprise 101, LOL.). But I really appreciated the efforts of my teammates, especially Cassie. She was so busy entertaining my guests, and sacrificed her production scores for that day to assist me. Thanks friend, love you!! 😀
That day was simple, but it was overflowing with blessings, greetings from loved ones via phone, text, personal, and social media. I received greetings telling me how much I meant to them, and that I inspire them in some ways as a friend, daughter, sister, writer and a joker (lol :D)
Post Birthday at Fowlbread
I received complimentary gift certificates from Tasteless Group in exchange of the blog post I made for Wrong Ramen. Wrong Ramen was under renovation that time, so I availed the GCs for Fowlbread instead. I wanted to share this blessing with special people in my life, so I invited my closest buddies at church: Caleb, Alvin, Jem (Insert Helen, Jhoi, Elaine, Karen) for a post birthday dinner.
Birthday Travel 2016
Since 2014, I made an agreement with myself to at least go to a new place or do something adventurous for my birthday celebration. I went to Thailand in 2014, and last year I spent an overnight staycation with Cath at Richmonde Hotel. This year, my close friends and I booked a ticket to Iloilo, and explored Gigantes, Guimaras and Iloilo City. I told my friends “kahit di na ko mag celebrate ng birthday, dito na lang ako babawi” . That travel series was so tiring, but equally renewing. I had the time to replenish my energy, reflect about life, and had quality time with God. I remember pouring out my heart in prayer while we sailed around Guimaras Islands, staring at the clear blue sky and the green waters, inhaling fresh air, and enjoying the splashes of water on my skin. I thanked God for the blessings, trials and shared him the deepest desires of my heart.
Then I climbed Mt. Sembrano for the first time. I survived the palpitation, grass cuts, getting soaked in the heavy rain while descending, slipping in the mud for three times, getting all thirsty, too tired that I had the hard time walking for three days. (haha, sorry naman, beginner lang!) But I enjoyed the trail. I enjoyed conversing with my fellow Christian friends while trekking. I saw how God artistically designed His creations through the forests, the rocks, the trees, the insects, the plants: I was totally in awe! I realized so many things while climbing. No matter how hard things may get in your life, in the end you’d still survive. In the end, you’ll appreciate the view. And you will realize that the hardships are all worth it, because God is your companion through the hard trail.
Blessings and Realizations
To say I’m so blessed this year is an understatement. Ever since, God has been faithful to me even if I am not. I thank Him for a lot of things:
- My Career– Factset has helped me grow a lot in so many ways. I’m blessed to belong to a harmonious team with a supportive leader, and a reputable organization. So far in all my years in the industry as a professional, this is the best workplace I’ve been to. Recently, I just got the highest rank this fiscal year! (If ever man aalis ako dito, it would be for a good reason. Either mag-aabroad na ko or mag full-time blogger! haha!)
- My Blogging – I am also happy with the progress of my blogging. I told God that I will do my best to use this talent to be a blessing and inspiration to others. Through blogging, I get to meet a lot of people and travel to different places. I’ve broadened my learning in terms of food, people and wonderful places.
- My Family – I am thankful of my family’s good health, well-being and financial provision.
- My Support Group– My support group includes my friends, churchmates, Christian advisers and my Pastor. They were God’s instruments of helping me survive the hard times and appreciate His goodness through their kindness.
- My Personal Relationship with Him– Everyday I thank Him for everything. For letting me know Him in a personal, intimate way when I chose to accept Him as my personal Savior. That I don’t only have the gift of eternal life, I have the everlasting peace in my heart that the world could never give. Even if there were obstacles along the way, I am assured He will never leave me nor forsake me. When my plans don’t align according to His will, I know it’s always for my protection and restoration. He removes people and things in my life for my redirection.
While it is true that aging is hard to embrace, there are still countless things to be grateful about. The Lord adds another year to your life so you’d have another chance to be useful for His glory, reach your dreams, enjoy His blessings, help and inspire others. Sure, as you mature, you’d encounter crossroads that will cause you to question “what’s next after this?”. But it’s better to grow older, knowing your life’s purpose and meaning than aging, but not knowing your direction at all.
1 Thessalonians 5:24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
Psalms 42:11 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
Romans 5:3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 5:4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: