As a professional blogger, I need to be observant. Observant of the things happening to different people, observant of what the latest trends are and observant of what will come out in the market and the different innovations that products bring. That’s one skill as a “freelancer” that I have and I need.

This past year (2018) though, I’ve been looking out a lot. And looking at other people’s lives didn’t make me feel good, and it just made me compare my life with them. Obviously, I’m smart enough to know that what you see in social media is not the entire reality. But, looking out still didn’t make me feel good about myself.

Aside from looking out, I was so caught up with just doing things for the sake of just doing it. I got caught up with my day to day tasks as an entrepreneur and a freelancer that I forgot to take care of myself. I also “semi” forgot how feeling passionate about my craft was. I don’t know if this was just the feeling of being burnt out, or if this was being frustrated that things didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to, or if it was just me being impatient, but I hated the feeling.

I’m not a complainer. I just end up feeling tired. Although, I am thankful for having a super duper great support system (family and friends who are uberly great!), but I end up tired and feeling sad about my life.

The thing that helped me a lot this year are our prayers at night and my quiet time in the mornings when I run. In the evening, we take turns in the family to say what we are thankful for. Then in the morning, I love the stillness. I love that everything is so quiet, and it would be just me and my thoughts.

I’m grateful that I just need to look out my window to feel inspired!

So my resolution for this year for both my personal and professional life as a freelancer and entrepreneur is to do more looking in rather than looking out. I promise to do more introspection. I know that this will lead me to become more self-aware and self-awareness is the key to happiness and success. Why? When you truly know who you are, you capitalize on your strengths. You become happier with yourself, and when you are happy, you make other people happy.

So this 2019, I promise to:

  • Look at my strengths and weaknesses again and use it or act on it.
  • Try new things.
  • Blog about what I feel and what I think about things more frequently.
  • Set aside time to improve myself and my craft.
  • Spend more time with family and friends and have deeper conversations.
  • Build deeper relationships with people.
  • Continue to fix systems and process for my freelancing career and my business so that I free up time — time that I can use as “ME-Time”

I know that by doing this, I’ll be a better wife, mom, freelancer, entrepreneur, etc. I’ll be good at whatever role I need to fulfil in 2019.

Last year, I was on an emotional roller coaster. Some days were filled with joy and happiness and some days were just bad. In some days, I felt as if I were on top of the world, while on other days, I felt like quitting. I thought that being busy would make me NOT think about things, but it actually made things worst. My emotions rose and dipped at extreme levels.

Welcoming the New Year wasn’t easy for me either. This is the reason why this (first blog of the year) came in pretty late in January. By the way, I can’t believe that it’s almost the 15th of the month. Anyway, going back to my story, it wasn’t a “happy” new year for me. First of all, joy wasn’t in the air when I noticed that my blog was hacked by some random hacker. This made my host take down my blog for almost a month.

Next, the yaya that we had for almost 5 years just didn’t return after going on vacation. I was furious! It wasn’t so much that she was gone, but it was more of that she didn’t have the decency to tell us that she wasn’t coming back.

And then, the worst thing that happened, was that Zeeka got sick. It’s the worst feeling in the world for a parent to have to bring her kid to the emergency room (again — twice within a month) after having intermittent fever for 5 days. Oh myyy!

But then, that’s life right?

You might be wondering, “then why the heck is her one word JOY after having a few episodes of unfortunate and definitely, sad circumstances?”

I really thought about this for a long time. For the past few days, this sat as a draft in my blog. I wasn’t too sure about the word either, until…

Until one day, I listened to the blink on Blinkist of Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff and It’s all Small Stuff by Richard Carlson. That’s when I realized that being happy or joyful is a choice that we need to make. And I also realized that the things that we deem to be urgent, important and life changing or threatening aren’t always such a big deal.

Maliit na bagay lang pala.

There are things that we don’t have control over. There are things that happen to us that we obviously didn’t wish for, but what we can control is how we react.

So, what I did FIRST was I analyzed why I felt the way that I felt. What I found out was that…

1) Hacking incident – I felt so sad that people would waste time hacking into other random sites of strangers. I was feeling that way because I didn’t know if we would be able to restore it (which we did! Yey!)

2) Yaya Incident – I felt furious because I hated adjusting again to a new rhythm and new way of doing things again, especially that I have a ton of things to do.

3) Zeeka’s sickness – I felt like I didn’t pay much attention to Zeeka last year and I felt like I wasn’t a good mom. That made me hate myself.

So there. I analysed why I was feeling this way, and it was because of things that I could actually control. So what if my blog was down? I could converse with my readers via social media. So what if I had to adjust to a new way of doing things again? It’s not as if I didn’t have new things and ideas every time. Haha! So what was the difference, really? So what if I failed last year at being a mom? I still have a lot of time fixing my mistakes and focusing more on Zeeka this year. Maybe this scenario of being yaya-less is actually a blessing!

So this is why I chose the word Joy. I need to find those little things that I can be grateful for. This word that I have chosen will constantly remind me that life is great. Living is great. Even with the many challenges that I face, I know that I’m strong and I know that I will make the most out of it.

Living a life with no regrets will bring Joy. Saying I have loved will bring Joy. Striving to be the best that I can be will make me happy. Picking myself up after failure will make me love life more.

How about you?

Are you happy? Is you life filled with Joy?