Life Lessons · Marriage


A new decade had begun and I am ringing it with a short essay about our family paying tribute to our mistakes in 2019.

We started doing this family tradition 3 New Year’s Eve ago where we review the past year through all the photos we took. My husband, Mike, would prepare a slideshow creating a huddle as if we were about to watch a movie but only this time, everyone would interrupt once in a while by saying something about the photo that was just shown. And to further reflect on how we lived for the past 365 days, he follows up with four (some say complex) questions.

  1. What new thing did you learn this year?
  2. What mistake/s did you make this year that taught you something?
  3. What did you try hard at this year?
  4. What are you looking forward to in the new year?

Just as we like spending our Christmas mornings contemplating on the life of Christ, we refer to NYE as our downtime where we process things and recuperate from the holiday brouhaha preparing ourselves to once again face reality. But since Mike is mostly away now, we decided to spend the eve of the new decade in an Airbnb to ensure an even better quality time.

As the tradition took place, we realized we had such a big year. From attending parties to all the challenges we faced, we were surprised on how 2019 defined each of our personality. Although there’s one thing that stood out the most for me and will forever treasure in my heart. That is when Mike became real and admitted his biggest mistake.

He went ahead first and told the entire family about his biggest mistake of the year. He admitted that he was over confident and that he believed in and relied on himself too much which is why the business he started ultimately failed and now had to work in another country, far from us. My respect for him just levelled up when I heard him actually say this in front of our kids who probably at the moment didn’t really understand what Daddy meant but I’m sure he just planted seeds of humility in their hearts.

You also have to understand that in our family, even from the get go, we encourage failure. We constantly remind our children that mistakes are good because we learn from it and the only time it becomes vile is when you are too proud to admit that you were wrong. But of course, as human beings it is unnatural for us to humble ourselves quickly that is why sometimes we result to forcing an apology or being defensive.

When Mike opened his heart to us, I felt some certainty that he’s way past blaming himself for our present situation and that there’s no mark of bitterness or whatsoever when his plans went sideways. He was indeed proud— proud to admit that he made a mistake and that this simply means albeit we are all moving forward, we are not to forget the past. It shall be a reminder of who we used to be and a proof that we haven’t attained our full potential just yet.

It really takes a lot of courage to come forward, to get real with our emotions and to be completely open to other people. So I am dedicating my first blog for the new decade to all of you who are still mustering grit for them to face all the hardships this new year might bring. I have faith in you!

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