Goodbye 2018, Hello 2019!

Melody Beattie once said, “The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.”

Before I officially let 2018 go and welcome 2019, I will be doing just that – set goals for myself, but let me first run down so many things I am grateful for in 2018 and some of the things I am looking forward to 2019:

  1. MY FAMILY. I don’t know what will I do without my family. Thank you, Lord for my parents, my sisters, my niece, nephew, and brother-in-law. May You always bless them with good health and long life and keep them safe always. Give us more years to be together and always bless our life.
  2. MY JOB. Our past two years had been tough — financially and emotionally. But thank God, 2018 was definitely way better. Last January, I was offered a new job, became a correspondent for a national newspaper a few months after, and got other extra writing jobs. It may sound I am earning a lot, but it is just enough to support myself, pay our bills, and give some comfort to my family after all we’ve been through. You see my parents are already retired. I don’t want to burden them by spending for us. I want them to enjoy their retirement money for themselves.
  3. MY UNEXPECTED US TRIP. My parents went home last August after a year in the United States because my 85-year-old grandmother was seriously confined in the hospital. We almost lost her. Thank God, she is doing okay now. But when my mom was about to go back to the US, she asked me to try apply for a tourist visa, which I did and got approved. The US embassy granted me a 10-year multiple visa. So I bought a ticket right away and accompanied my mom to the US for a month of vacation. It was really a month to remember, which I will writing more in my next entry.
  4. RELATIVES – Thank you Lord for my uncles, aunties, and cousins who supported our family in good and bad times. Most people hated family gatherings or reunions, but I don’t because I’m blessed to have relatives who are very sensitive enough not to give unnecessary comments as to why I’m still single or why I gained. They are happy with my achievements, and they support me and family all the way.
  5. LOVING FRIENDS. In everything that I’ve been through in 2018, what I realized is that I am so blessed with so many good friends – friends I didn’t really expect to be there for me but they did, those friends who stuck with me through good and bad times, those friends who’d check on me, and who’d make time to see me.
  6. GOOD HEALTH. I can’t thank God enough for giving me good health, and it’s really something I’m always praying for to God so I can serve my family, the church, and fulfill my dreams.
  7. CHURCH LIFE AND COMMUNITY. Some people make fun how they often see me at church, how I go to mass every Sunday, how I appear goody goody, conservative, or ‘manang’ (term they call young people who act like adult) to them. But it’s okay. I agree I forego my getaways with friends during weekends, specifically if it’s a Sunday except if it’s work-related or out of town trips, because I have duties in our church. If people don’t like to attend Sunday masses, I don’t have anything against them. I just don’t want them to take it against me or mock me. Being involved in a church and having a community helped us get through during our family’s lowest point in life, and I thank God for that. So I think it’s really something I see myself doing for the rest of my life.
  8. BLESSED LIFE. Despite all that my family had been through in the past years, God has blessed our 2018 with a good life. We have food to eat, community at the church, work to sustain us, and we have one another – those I think are enough reasons to be called our life blessed, and I hope God continues to bless our 2019 and beyond.

For 2019, I won’t promise anything or I won’t set strict rules for myself because I’ve been there, done that and whenever I promise something to do, I always fail to keep to them. 2018 taught me to live at the moment, plan but be open to life’s surprises, and trust God’s perfect plan.

But since it’s nice to set goals, I want to write down some things to keep me going and so I have something to look forward to.

  1. READ MORE. I turned 38 years old in 2018 so I bravely set “38 books to read” as one of my goals, but disappointingly, I never got to read any single book. For this year, I want to put “39 books to read” as my goals, but I know I won’t be able to make it again, so I will just consciously try to read more and just enjoy the process. Who knows I will be able to surpass my supposed goal for this year?
  2. LIVE HEALTHIER, EXERCISE MORE. I boast on social media that I run 3x a week, pretending to eat healthy, but did you know that I never lost weight? I will lose a pound or two only to gain them back, and the process repeats itself every year. A month ago, I tried Intermittent fasting and prayer where I only ate light breakfast and lunch, no dinner and spend time on prayer, cut back on chocolates, sugary foods, soda, and rice consumption, imagine I lost 10 pounds in just 20 days? Which brings me to a point that healthy living or losing weight should always be coupled with exercise and healthy eating/diet, commitment, and determination. It cannot be exercise alone or just eating healthy alone. (Note: I will explore more of this topic in my next entry.)
  3. PRAY MORE. If there is one thing (and the best of all things that helped me survive) 2018 was the power of prayer. I pray when I am sad, scared,lonely, confused and happy. But sometimes I am so caught up with my life, my work, friends, social media, and church activities that I forget to really talk to God and meditate on His words. It’s one thing to say the rosary, it’s another thing to read the Bible and take time to really talk and listen to Him. That I will try to do more this year. So help me God!
  4. JOURNAL/BLOG MORE, AND WRITE A BOOK. I know some friends who’ve had published one or two books already. I’m not pressured, but I just wish I had that determination, focus, and goal like them to accomplish at least one major goal in my life every year. While I’m happy that my articles get published in a national newspaper regularly, writing and publishing my own book is still something. So this year, I will keep that in mind, publish a book and be more active in blogging.
  5. LET LOVE SURPRISE ME. If in the past, I’ve been so caught up with love (or having a love life) this year, I will let love surprise me. Anyways, life is full of surprises. When that happens, I promise to share it with you. But unless you’re in my shoes or I asked for it, please don’t ever, ever try to advice me to be more aggressive, to be more open to love, or give chance to people because you don’t really know me or what I’ve been or going through. Just because you are “happily” married or in a relationship or we’re Facebook friends gives you the right to judge me, comment on my love life, or give unsolicited advice because nobody’s perfect, even yours I bet, and those harsh comments of yours doesn’t really me or anyone. So save it for yourself will you?
  6. BE MORE KINDER, GRATEFUL. I know I was bitchy there but this 2019, I’ll try to be more kinder to people (like you) and be more grateful. Life is good, my life has been blessed, and God has been good to our family, so thank you Lord.

One that note, I would like to officially say good bye to 2018 and say Hello to 2019.

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.” – Neil Gaiman

May we have a joyous, more blessed, prosperous, peaceful, and prayerful year ahead of us. Cheers to 2019!

“Take a leap of faith and begin this wondrous new year by believing. Belive in yourself, and believe that there is a loving Source – a Sower of Dreams – just waiting to be asked to help you make your dreams come true.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach

Published by Mylene Orillo

Mylene Orillo is a contributing writer at My Pope Philippines. Prior to that, she contributed to the Health & Lifestyle magazine.  She's a former correspondent at The Manila Times; former editor-in-chief of TravelPlus magazine; and former assistant editor of Health & Lifestyle, Zen Health, and DiabetEASE magazines by FAME Publishing, Inc., a company owned by cardiologist Dr. Rafael Castillo who has given her the much-needed break and opportunity in the health industry and medical field.  Her previous job as a Media Consultant at the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office and Writer-Researcher at the Headquarters Philippine Army ignited her passions for charity, volunteering, selfless service, and love of country. As a young girl, she loved reading her mom's collection of Mills & Boons pocketbooks, which started her passion to write romance stories.  She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Sto. Tomas in España, Manila. She is now working towards earning her master's degree hopefully this year. She loves traveling, long-distance running, reading romance and non-fiction books, watching Korean Drama series, feel-good rom coms, military movies, and documentaries during her spare time. Someday, she wants to meet Prince William and Pope Francis, settle down with the love of her life and have a family and kids of her own; and become a bestselling romance author.

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