Only 8 days to Christmas and another 15 days before 2017 begins. How quickly this year has passed and it being the festive season, I’ve been fulfilling cake orders left, right and centre. I complain but secretly, I’m also feeling very blessed that my cakes and cookies are in demand. I take it as the Christmas bonus I need to work extra hard for, which is well and good for me too since other times of the year are generally less hectic.

There’s still a couple of weeks to go before the year comes to a close, but I was reflecting earlier on and thinking about what a ride 2016 has been – and a bloody good one at that! Obviously, the entire year has been an adventure in itself but I’m glad that the last quarter has been unfolding itself into a magical one.

On the family front, everything has been well apart from a health scare in September when Mum kept having insanely high heart palpitations that went on for about an hour before it slowed back to normal. We found out that the slight abnormality is manageable with medication which she now takes twice-daily, and she’s now able to go for our regular walks and her weekly zumba classes without problem. This episode made Dad and I realise just how important Mum is to our family and having her hospitalised for two nights not only caused her misery, it also made home feel empty.

I have also been blessed with old friends and some new ones. Each time I meet up with my girlfriends, I cannot help but be in awe at just how much time has passed since we all first met in school. I love each and every one of them in their own way and cannot imagine my life without them. Even though we don’t have time to meet up as often as we’d like, I’m grateful for each gathering we make an effort to attend. I always come away with a lighter heart after a night filled with laughter reminescing about our school days, and also little anecdotes of events that may have taken place in each of our lives.

I also have Les and Amanda who are very much like sisters to me. It’s funny how we are all 5 years apart and yet, we get along in our own special way. Lesley is very much someone I go to when I need a listening ear, and Amanda offers sound advice as well so much so that I often forget that she is the youngest of the three of us. There’s also Grace who lives in Penang, and while we don’t meet often, I know that she’s always there if I need her.

The recent Bali trip with Lesley’s other bridemaids has also forged a bond amongst us and I believe that this friendship will carry on past Lesley’s wedding in February. I have found 4 more friends who are witty, funny and incredibly smart – and not to mention attractive both inside and out. It is too early to say how close we will all become but we get along very well and that for me, is a good start!

One part I haven’t been doing so well on is my health. I know that I have let my health slip slowly but surely over the last year. I can’t quite put a finger on why exactly. Maybe it stems from not feeling good enough and the need for control especially when I feel stressed or anxious or tired. As usual, it is far more difficult climbing back up onto the wagon because it is almost as if falling off bruises and cuts you, so that trying to get back on feels more painful. And each time, it gets more tiresome.

But.

This year, I also met someone who loves me and accepts me as I am in a way no one else has. Ever. And it wasn’t until him that I realised that all my other relationships have been destructive ones, or rather, not-constructive ones. And I know that he is one more reason I really need to get my health back in order. Him. Myself. Our future.

Florian has in so short a time made himself a huge pillar in my life. He has shown me love and patience especially during the times when I am vulnerable, and when I am most unlovable. He has exercised immense care and understanding towards the fears that I face even if he might not fully grasp what it is that I struggle with. I love that Florian loves my parents too – spending time with them and talking with them. They love him back (and his cooking!) and that means the world to me.

I was also blessed to have met Florian’s sister, Naima. She’s lovely and I’m so glad that we managed to spend some time together during her short trip here. Naima’s beautiful heart enabled me to open my eyes further to Florian’s generous nature and love for family.

I haven’t been too good with attending church. That’s another thing this year I have fallen back on a bit. Still, I am well aware that God is around and constantly showering me with His unconditional love and blessings even when I hardly deserve them. This year has clearly shown how present God is even when I do not always acknowledge His presence.

He has blessed me with gorgeous friends, a family whose love for me never wavers come what may and a man who I feel is perfect for me. He has also sustained me each day even as my weight has slowly gone down and He has also brought Mum’s health back to where it was before her health scare. I have also been blessed on my travels to Ho Chi Minh, London, Barcelona, Phuket, Gili Island, Bali, Bangkok and Malacca, travelling to and fro in safety while collecting more memories with friends and loved ones. I cannot be more grateful for His watchful eye upon all of us.

2017 will definitely begin with a bit of a bang with lots of changes happening in my life. I will be facing a new environment and adjusting to life away from my current routine. I am excited and apprehensive as to what this change will bring but I know that with God above me, Florian beside me, my family behind me, and the future before me, it can only be amazingly bright and wonderfully beautiful.

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