We just came back from Kahuna Resorts in La Union where we had our Annual Family Yearender. For the last few years now, we always pick a place we have not been to and spend a few days together – just the five of us – Marvin, Martin, Enrique, Anton and I. Aside from enjoying the place (like surfing this time), we also hold our annual family goal setting.
We bring last year’s “minutes of the meeting” then we rate ourselves based on goal accomplishment. Afterwhich, we set our new goals for the coming year. We have individual goals and family goals. This is a great time to give thanks to the blessings we received during the year and also a perfect time to see how we can further improve ourselves both individually and as a family.
As the year draws to a close, I feel very thankful for a great 2011.
On January 8, 2011 my book Raising Pinoy Boys was launched and it was a very memorable event attended by family, friends and the people I truly admire. (See The Launch). The book started so many new and exciting things for me. What started out as my midlife project snowballed into talks given to parents on various subjects about raising children, office employees and clients about financial literacy, tv and radio interviews about parenting and financial literacy, magazine and newspaper features (Oh Boy What’s It Like to Raise Pinoy Boys by Ching Alano, Philippine Star, Raising Teen Investors by Alu Aluzan-Aran Working Mom). Within the year, the paperback became a bestseller. By the second half of the year, the eBook was released internationally and is now available in kindle at Amazon.com, iBook at Apple iTunes, NookBook at Barnes & Noble.
My humble attempt to reach out and share my stories and those of the parents of successful men I interviewed for the book is greatly rewarded each time I receive a feedback from a reader. I love reading each and every comment. Each one warms my heart, brings me a smile and a lesson or two.
Writing for this website has likewise enriched my own parenting. I thank all those whom I interviewed like Lance Gokongwei (Lance Gokongwei), Denise Lopez (Hot Momma), Alex Lacson (Alex Lacson & the 12 Little Things), Bangge Mabanta (Bangge Fights Her Big C wih Her Bigger Cs), Chris Tiu (Everyboys Loves Chris Tiu), Liza, Bebet, Janine, Alu, who shared their beauty tips (Be Gorgeous). I look forward to interviewing more interesting people for the website. Do tell me who you want to read about!
My parents celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary. I am very grateful that I continue to be inspired by their stable marriage. My sons and their cousins are lucky to continue to enjoy their grandparents’ company and learn from their wisdom. (Valentine)
Another milestone was my husband’s 50th birthday. It was done in our style of asking both family and friends to participate. Each group had to present a number, much to the horror of those with stage fright! It was a time for me to thank God for giving me a wonderful partner in Marvin. As I said during the celebration, “I am probably one of the happiest persons in the world and a big part of that is because of the way he loves me.” (Happiness Index).
Martin, Enrique and Anton continue to be God’s greatest gifts to us and our greatest gifts to the world. Martin, after his enriching overseas school experience, entered his senior year in college. Enrique, after graduating from high school, entered college and is enjoying it with all the challenges. Anton entered his second year in high school and recently asked his father to break him in with alcohol. It’s our tradition that the first taste should be with Papa. Luckily, he still doesn’t seem to care for it despite the fact that his first taste was no less than Canadian Ice Wine which I find the best tasting wine. (Don’t take that comment seriously as I’m not a wine drinker. I haven’t even experienced being tipsy in my entire life!)
The boys continue to be our source of pride and joy. They continue to do well in school, entertain us with their great dances, contribute and sometimes take the lead in family parties and other celebrations. They have also become speakers themselves in financial literacy workshops for the youth. Most of all, they continue to share their life experiences with us, their highs and lows and Marvin and I just love it that we are still very much a part of our teenagers’ lives.
We also had our own share of challenges during the year, trials that only made us wiser and stronger.
As I look forward to 2012, I can’t help but be full of hope for another exciting year. I plan to accomplish all my goals I enumerated during our Annual Family Goal Setting plus more. For one, there are 24 more hours in 2012 because it’s a leap year. What more, it’s my year – the Year of the Dragon!
I wish all of you find time to count your blessings in 2011 and I hope 2012 will be the best year ever for all of us!