This year has truly been a very different year. Penning down my thoughts and feelings is just a way to remember the things/people I have gained and the things/people I have lost.
This year is special because ever since I had a vision of what I want to do in life, I have always earmarked the year when I turn 40 to be a year that will change my life. Year after year, I will tell myself that when I reach 40 years old, my dream will be fulfilled. Little did I know what was in stored for me.
The year began with a sentence, "leaving your comfort zone". I knew it will be a year of new challenges and probably challenges in mindset as well.
On April 24, I lost my father suddenly. He just left in less than 8 hours. Without a last word, without a goodbye. The pain and anguish stays even till now after 8 months. I miss my father. And since that day, a part of me changed. For the first time in my life, I experienced sadness that cannot be removed. I was emotionally very weak. I started to think no one loves me, friends round me are suddenly not as close as before. Even family seemed a bit different. I felt like even family cannot understand how I feel. I felt lonely and that has been my nemesis for a long time.
On Aug 14, barely 4 months later, my father-in-law also left us. Battling with cancer for more than a year, he has been as close as my own father to me in the past 12 years. Physically and mentally I know it may be a relief for him to go but no one can be emotionally prepared for death. I can only thank God that I went through it first so that I can stand stronger for my wife and my extended family. Going through the same ceremonies struck a raw nerve I thought was buried.
Now, both Kless and I are only left with our mothers and we will do our best to keep them healthy and happy. That is my resolution for the rest of my life.
In work, for a 40 year old man, this should be the time for consolidation and stability. But far from it, I was asked to switch department in my office. To a very different job scope that in my wildest dream, I would never thought of doing. Like I said, this year is a year of "leaving the comfort zone", so I am ready to take on the challenge if I am needed. I have no time to slip into mid-life crisis as some may say. I can only go forward and stronger than ever. Usefulness creates purpose!
Personal - this year I did something I didn't plan for - a solo overseas trip. Without my wife, my family or my friends. Many friends came to me after the trip and questioned how did I get permission from my wife to go alone. Irony was, Kless planned the trip for me. She suggested the venue, chose the dates and booked the flights for me. But I'm thankful for such a great wife (not because she allowed me to travel alone), because she is truly one who cares for me and wanted me to be better. And indeed this trip changed me. I was more opened to risk and changes. Which probably resulted in my decision in the career switch as well. Now a few friends were jokingly saying, solo trips when you are 40 is the benchmark for a man.
There are a dozen more events that are significant in 2014, like career KPIs, ministry breakthroughs, family trips, etc. But to end off this year, I just want to say a big Thank You to my wife. She has been my support for as long as I can remember. She has been by my side all the time, through the bad and through the good, so much so, I told her that traveling with her alone is equivalent to traveling solo. We are just too close to be separated. I love you dear!
Not a single year passed for the last 8 years I will not give thanks for my family. They have been my support and will be my support forever.
2015 will be another amazing year for sure. At least I know in work, I'll be expecting lots of changes and adjustments. For my family, I want to create more memories before my girls outgrow that stage of wanting to bond with me. For my mothers, I want them to enjoy life more than ever. For my friends who have seen me through the dark times, I sincerely appreciate your love and concern, we will grow stronger next year!
Last but not least, I pray that 2015 will be a victorious year for my spiritual family, all my leaders will be blessed and God's hands will not be shorten towards them.