I stepped out for a meeting and this greeted me when I got back to my room. So beautiful and fragrant. It definitely cheered me up. Bonus points to the hubby for this post-birthday bouquet.
Hubby sent this to my office 2 days after my birthday

So I’m officially 36. Like I said in an earlier post before my birthday, I kinda feel closer to 40 now than when I was just 35. And it kinda feels like my life is on fast forward and I want it to go in slow motion. Nope, I am not afraid of getting wrinkles. I’m more concerned with getting gray hair (or worse, going bald!) and losing my teeth. But seriously, it’s not about beauty. We were all created to eventually grow old and wrinkly after all. I have a lot of thoughts buzzing my head right now and I am having a hard time organizing them. So I thought I’ll just list them at random here – things I am thankful for, things I am dreading, and things I am wondering about.

I am grateful…

For 36 years of God’s faithfulness in my life, regardless of my state of faithfulness towards Him. Amazing grace!
For having my lifetime partner with me for the last 10 years (12 if you count our engagement period). I’ve seen more of the world and experienced more of what life has to offer since he came into my life.
For my family – my parents, brother and sister-in-law who have shared tears and laughters with me all these years. I am thankful that we get to celebrate major occasions together throughout the year.
For good health. I know, I know. I have weight problems but I’m working on it. And I am thankful that I have not been seriously ill, and I have the means to seek help when needed.
For 15 years of corporate life, and just a week short of my 6th year in Coke. I am so blessed to have a rewarding career across three multinational companies that enable me to pursue my other passions.
For the privilege of seeing other parts of our country and the world. This year, we’ve gone outside of Asia for the first time and it’s an unbelievable experience. There is so much to see and I am so grateful for the opportunity.
For technology and connectivity. Some people love it. Some hate it. I absolutely embrace it. I believe it is a way to touch someone’s life across the globe without leaving my own world. It’s wonderful to make connections with people I have not met face to face. Even more unbelievable to meet someone I’ve met over the internet face to face across the globe (met with Scotland-based classmate in an online class when we visited Edinburgh).
For traditions – those started during my childhood and continued to this day (like family gatherings on All Saint’s Day and Christmas Day), and those started in recent years (joint Christmas Eve celebration with my immediate family and Ariel’s).
For my hobbies. I love scrapbooking and photography! I am grateful for having these outlets that allow me to use my God-given gift of creativity.
For having enough (ok, maybe a little more than enough) money and material blessings. I may not have as much as some people around me but I am so blessed beyond what I imagined. Again, amazing grace!
For friends. Old friends I have known since I was a toddler. New friends I’ve met in recent years. Friends I have never seen face to face. Friends I see regularly. Friends I chat with over the internet constantly. Friends I only see occasionally. Friends who strengthen me. Friends who annoy me. Friends who inspire and motivate. Even friends who break my heart. They make my life much more interesting and meaningful.
For entertaining TV shows, movies and books. They make for relaxing weekends and fun getaways.
For clothes that fit. They are harder to come by these recent months. 😀
For Figaro, Starbucks, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, and other coffee specialty shops. They satisfy my coffee craving. 
For six months in the gym (and counting!). I’ve never lasted longer than 3 months.
For cheese, red wine, and margarita. My guilty pleasures.
For a house (2 actually) we call home. It’s comforting to have a place to come home to at the end of each day. For the occasional bouquet of fresh flowers. They make me smile.
For beautiful sunrises and sunsets. They make great photography subjects and they remind me that God created a beautiful world for us to live in temporarily, and I can only imagine how much more wonderful our eternal home will be.

Loving the Instagram update. But what happened to Gotham?
Our living room

 As I get older, I am concerned with…

Seeing my parents grow weaker. It will break my heart.
Having health issues. I especially fear losing function in my hands, or losing sight. I am most afraid of being totally dependent on someone for my basic human needs.
Becoming too weak or too old to go on adventure trips. There is so much to see, discover, experience and learn from.
Not having enough saved for the rainy days.
Not having enough energy to keep up with our future kids. Not having enough energy. Period.
Losing my sense of adventure.
Losing hair and teeth!
Becoming a boring old lady. Worse, becoming a grumpy old lady.
Losing my memory. Watching a family member lose his/her memory.

Hmmm…I am surprised at how difficult it is to think of fears. Mostly they are about health – mine and my family’s.

Also, I wonder?

Will I ever make a living out of my current passions?
Will I ever become a mom?
Will my parents ever have grandchildren of their own?
What will I do differently with my life if motherhood is not the path God set out for me?
How can I better serve God? What ministry will He call me into? Will I ever serve God together with Ariel? I really want that!
Will I see the rest of the world? I want to go to France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, the US, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Japan and China. And of course, there are lots of places to see in the Philippines alone.
Will I ever achieve my fitness goals? When? I’m working on it, but it isn’t cheap, nor easy.
Will I ever consider working or being based abroad?
Should I go ahead and put up a photography business?
Will I gather enough courage to bungee jump?
Will the answers to these questions come easily to me?

Finally, I end this post with scriptures as a reminder to me and whoever chances upon this post. I like this translation from The Living Bible.

Philippians 4:6-7
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank Him for His answers. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ.

Written by Alby Laran

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply