To say that year 2008 has been a good year for me is an understatement. Year 2008 has been a Great Year! Gave more talks, (the most in my life so far) met new friends (all of them nice and exciting), learned new things. And when you have given a total of 376 talks in a year you can’t help but learn from the people you meet. Oh yes God has been gracious.
My son’s career is blooming, my daughter’s business is flourishing and my youngest daughter is entering college. We enjoy each other’s company. The Ilocana continues to support me and our many years of marriage has grown stronger so what else can a man ask for? What a year!
And then there were the challenges.
Studying. Lessons preparations. Logistics. Flying in and out of the city. Rushing from one speaking engagement to another. Doing trainings abroad and having to deal with people of multi-cultural backgrounds making sure that the lessons given help them. These are all part of the job and though they may be taxing they sure were fulfilling.
And then there are the teachers, and the parents and the students.
Not many people know this but a great deal of my talks have been devoted to giving parenting seminars, faculty development training and student motivational talks. Never charged fees and refuses to accept honorarium as this is the least I can do to give back to my country and my community.
And then maybe this is why I am happy!
I am an eternal optimist but I’m also a realist.
Never in any of my talks would you hear me say, “When you wake up in the morning smile. Smile at your spouse. Smile at your boss. Smile at your friends and smile at everyone you meet. This message is brought to you by the Mental Hospital….”
No I am not living in denial and one comedian quipped, “Denial is not a river in Egypt!”
Year 2009 will be challenging. I know I will be hearing more of words like: “Recession, retrenchment, downsizing, rightsizing or even dumbsizing and this is why a lot of the talks I have given and a lot more talks I will be giving will deal with handling difficult times.
Yes. Next year will be challenging but Jacob M. Braude says it very well: “Life is a grindstone; whether it grinds you down or polishes you up depends on what you’re made of.”
But we also have to look back and review. Maybe year 2008 has been a year of many mistakes. But yesterday is in the past. One wise person says: “Instead of crying over spilt milk, go milk another cow.” It’s never too late to have a brand new beginning.
Poet and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson says it beautifully: “FINISH EVERY DAY and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities crept in-forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it well and serenely, and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old mistakes and nonsense.
And so here is a toast to the New Year. (This material is credited to anonymity)
May you have:
Enough success to keep you eager, Enough failure to keep you humble,
Enough joy to share with others, Enough trials to keep you strong,
Enough hope to keep you happy, Enough faith to banish depression,
Enough friends to give you comfort, Enough determination to make each day better than yesterday.
Let year 2009 be a bright and better brand new beginning for you and me!