Every time a new year begins, most people make new resolutions. Things we wish to achieve, dreams we hope to live, life we desire to live, successes we ought to accomplish… Every time the end of the year comes, rarely do we look back and take stock, or even weigh the successes against the failures, note the important lessons, realize that which we achieved that was not even part of our dreams, notice the miracles that were, count the blessings that became:-

 Well, this is me, trying to take stock on the lessons that came with 2013 in the hope that they will inspire me to be a better me in 2014…

 Lesson 1:- Purity of Intention

Why do we really do what we do, whether it is an act of kindness or malice, why do we really do it? Do we do it so that we get noticed, so that people can praise us as we draw attention to who we are? Or is it inspired by who we are inside, kind, loving, caring, malicious, evil, and greedy? Or do we do what we do because people are doing it, as in it’s the “norm’?

I have learnt that I should do what I do because I want to do it, because at the end of the act I will feel happy inside, because of the substance of that which I am doing. For instance, if I want to call my friend, and check on how they are doing, I should not do it so that the so called friend will love me and lavish me with praises, I should do it because it is good to check on one another, because in so doing I will be fulfilling Christ’s call to be my brother’s keeper. My friend once told me to “love for love’s sake”. That is the true substance of love. And that is the purity behind the intention to love. Every other form of goodness should follow suit.

 Lesson 2:- Honesty of friendship

We live this life for whatever time God will bless us with. In that time, we will meet people of all kinds and some will strike a chord in our hearts whose music will never die. Same applies that we will strike a chord in other people’s hearts whose music will keep playing in their hearts. However, every once in a while, that music is dulled by our own definition on what we should expect from such friendships. Sometimes, these selfish expectations are so loud that the music that our friendships once played cannot be heard any more.

I have learnt that we should learn to be friends who expect nothing in return from the friendships we have. Expectations breed disappointments and disappointments animosity. Honest friendships mean loving our friends selflessly, even when they do not have anything to give any more, when they are angry and mad at us, we still are kind to them, and when the communication totally dies, we can pray for them hoping that in the least they are okay. Honest friendships require total giving of self, regardless of whether the other party gives a part of themselves to you or not. It does not demand for attention, it does not bang the door of the beloved so that it can be recognized. It knocks softly just like Christ, awaiting to be invited in. It requires a realization that even when things are bad, and blood is boiling, there was once an honest good that was shared which still exists in all the parties involved.

Lesson 3: Family is everything

They say family is the basic unit of the society. If you destroy the family you destroy the community. A community is a union of several families coming together for a common purpose, to be together for the good of the other.

I have learnt that we are all born in families that mould us to become an individual in a communion of families. As we grow, and move away from the family set up we are born in, we form families that keep defining who we are-acquired families. But my biggest lesson was, family makes our defining moments memorable. Family, natural and acquired, is the backbone of who we are and who we become. I got married in the year 2013. A full church, awesome song and dance, a great man to start a life with, but what was more special was the people who shared that moment with us. By this sharing, they made it more memorable. Ever planned an event where no one comes? Now you get my drift… family builds us, family supports us, family celebrates with us, and family cries with us, family prays with us, but amidst all this family accepts and loves us for who we are not what we ought to be.

Lesson 4:- Dreams come true.

There is a song by my favourite by band- Westlife- that goes “Dreams come true they do, Dreams come true from all of us to all of you they do”. Even those that we just mention in passing as a conversation, you will be surprised how true they become, so be careful what you wish for… One of the ones that came true for me will make me remember my Master’s graduation forever. I wanted to graduate, yes, but I wanted to graduate while pregnant. It came to pass. For those who know me, they know I have wanted a baby for over 8 years. To some of us it sounds like its very easy, but babies are miracles, they are blessings from God and its not guaranteed that marriage=pregnancy=child. It’s a special blessing. So I cherish this dream with my whole heart and thank God a million times for this which came true. I am forever humbled. Thank you God!

 Lesson 5:- All experiences teach us something.

Sometimes things do not work out the way we want them to. We dream and work hard to accomplish those dreams, but with every try, we keep hitting walls and boulders and hard rocks.

Every time I am in such a situation, I always pray to God, not to remove the challenge, but to grant me the graces to learn what I am meant to learn. For instance, being a married spinster is not easy, that is when your spouse has to be away most of the time. I have learnt to cherish every moment that God graces us to be together, be it one or 2 days in a month or a week in 4 months, that is what I have, that is what I cherish, and that is what I have been blessed with to make it count. I have also learnt to watch my words, because as one great man said, “Make sure that whatever you utter can stand as the last word if whomever you encounter, you will be seeing them for the last time”.

As the year begins, I make no resolutions.  I never make resolutions. I always have performance targets. With the lessons of yesterday, I pray for a great year, full of more lessons, full of treasured memories made, full of love, full of commitment to make happier families, and honest pure intentions, but more so, full of many blank pages to write the experiences and lessons of year 2014. And I pray I achieve those targets, for the good of me and mine…

And once again from my favourite boy band…

“Dreams are there to show you the way

Close your eyes find out what they’re trying to say

Only for a minute

Just to make a start

Imagine what you wanna see

 Wake him up the wizard

Sleeping in your heart

Just imagine what you wanna be

Don’t you know that…

Dreams Come true they do…”

Happy and most blessed year to us all…