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It was a not-so bright Sunday afternoon yesterday, the weather was a bit rainy and I was walking home after a 55-minute work-out at the gym. With my JD Sport “gym sack” hanging weightlessly from my right shoulder and my I-pod blasting a mix of work out and solemn music, I trudged on home, the hood of my jacket was my only protection from the “epileptic rain” and my thoughts wandered as I observed pairs of Sunday shoppers and diners walking and holding hands.
I got to the pelican crossing, pressed the signal and waited for the traffic light to stop oncoming traffic so I could cross. While waiting and wondering, the music on my I-pod changed to “Bianule” a song by Samsong (It is a Nigerian gospel praise song performed in a mix of English and Igbo Language). As I listened to the song, I felt my heart flooding with positive thoughts as I reflected on my year 2012.
Flashes of different memorable events flooded my mind: I had my graduation ceremony in January 2012 which saw my parents and friends coming over to see me finish with a Distinction in Information Systems Management. Between February and March, I let go of some friendships and made new friends, I went ice-skating for the first time in March and realised that I was extremely bad at it (I fell too many times to count. It was hilarious and physically painful) Between April and July, I changed jobs twice and moved to a new city as result of the new job. By August, I started a fitness plan, embraced a life of more conscious living and lost a total of 32 pounds (about 15kg) between August and December (I still find it hard to believe, please look out for my blog post on fitness in January 2013 as I will be sharing some fitness tips).
Between August and November, I studied and passed some certification exams and excelled at work. In September, I travelled to the beautiful, serene country of Malta with friends on holiday… and the list continues. My friends and loved ones have not been left out of these testimonies as good health and success stories have been highlights of the year.

As I thought about all these and more, I began to sense a feeling of intense humility as I acknowledged the fact that I would not have achieved this without God for He alone made all these possible. When people praise me, I find it hard to believe and accept because I know that they have not by my power and might. I wouldn’t have achieved any of these if not because of the finger of God in my life. They were surely not because I have deserved them because by some standards, I haven’t. The Creator in his infinite wisdom and love has kept me and mine throughout the year and I will always be thankful for this.

You may be reading this and comparing your 2012 with mine and it may not seem as grand or positively eventful but I urge you not to be dismayed. You are alive and your heart is beating, that is something to be grateful about. You need to realise that in every minute you spend not being thankful, someone has lost his/her life. The constant awareness of this tends to put things in perspective for me whenever negative feelings crop up. You may be comparing yourself with friends who seem to have done better than you in 2012 but you need to realise that we all have different paths and as the saying goes, if you decide to be someone else, then who will be you?

I urge you my friends to replace any feeling of ingratitude or irrational competition with a heart of thanksgiving for the things you have. This is because, the more thankful you are, the more your life becomes a fertile ground for the fulfilment of those things you still desire.

If you have had an even more fruitful 2012, then I rejoice with you and urge you to stay thankful as even greater achievements will come in the new year.

I wish you all a fruitful and fulfilling 2013.

Photo credit: ultimatealoe.wordpress.com