Lessons We Learned in 2005

Every year brings various experiences and each experience brings various lessons. The year 2005 was no exception and as we look back, we are thankful for the lessons that presented themselves to us:

1. It is possible to be nice even when you are right -- I met a car accident in January 2005 and it was totally my fault. What did the owners of the other car do? Did they scream, shout, or rant? Nope. They said it could happen to anyone. They invited me to dinner when I dropped by their home to take a photo of their car for insurance claim purposes. It is easy to be nice when every thing is fine and dandy but when you totally have the right to scream your head off and you don't, you start a chain of goodness and inspire other people to do the same too. Thanks, Mr. and Mrs. O. Your kindness will always be remembered. I just hope that I remember it just when I find myself in that situation where I have every right to be angry.

2. Singapore and KL are great places to bring kids -- When you have kids below the age of 7, never fool yourself by saying that you are going on a vacation. It is your kids who are going on vacation. You'll go to attractions that will interest them. You will build your schedule around their sleeping and active times. You will feed them, take care of them, etc., etc. Still, despite the stress that family travel with kids brings, it is one of the best ways to bond and spend time together. We thoroughly enjoyed Singapore and KL in 2005 and for 2006, we have our eyes set on Bohol again. =)

3. Kids get sick an average of 10 times a year -- A pedia once told me that on the average, kids get sick a total of 10 times a year. That I shouldn't worry too much if my kid is sick but does not get hospitalized. Since June 2005, I've been tracking Ali's illnesses and as of December 2005, she's been sick about 5x. She was illness-free in December so we'll see how she does from January to May 2006. Looks like she will be average although am secretly hoping (and praying) that she will be short of Number 10.

4. Eating ice cream is like drinking fat -- Ali has been stuck at 27 pounds for the longest time and with some adjustment in her diet, she ended December at 31 pounds. She had initially hit 33 pounds which is ideal for her age but she lost 2 pounds during the holidays. How? I wouldn't know. Maybe when she's older I will discover her secret and we will be rich! Anyway, the rice with butter continues and she can eat one scoop of ice cream daily. She can also have her fill of nuts, peanut butter, and other rich, high fat, high-calorie food. Lucky kid!

5. Things and people change -- Our kids get older and are not as easy to handle. Some things don't always go as planned and we should be ready to go with the flow. Relationships start, relationships end. Nothing really remains the same.

6. All of life is obligation -- Desperate Housewives was the only show I followed in 2005 and in one of the episodes, one of the characters (Lynette, I think) uttered this line which rings so true. Have you ever stopped to contemplate just how much of the things that you do daily are just for you? I can tell you, if you're a normal, breathing human being -- you won't spend much of your day doing the things you like. What's my ideal, non-existent life? Sleep when I want to, write when I can, eat all I like (and not gain a pound!), find a high-paying, 5-minutes from my house, non-stressful job, and travel endlessly without thinking of the costs. Well, maybe when I'm 60. =) In the meantime, we need to send the kids to school, entertain them, love them, and slave away. All of life is obligation. The sooner we embrace this truth, the easier things will be.

So, have a great 2006 everybody. Be nice. Travel with your kids. Stay healthy. Watch your weight. Be flexible. Embrace all your obligations with a happy heart. You're all set!

[By Angelica Viloria | Sunday, January 1, 2006]

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