Saturday, December 31, 2011

The year that was...

I've not written for so long...
But before I greet another new year, I would like to look back, take stock, reflect and just be thankful for all the blessings that was bestowed to me. It has been a year of making mistakes and learning valuable lessons. Sometimes I made the same mistakes but I learnt different lessons. For that, I'm still thankful.

Serving & finding meaning...
It is true "when the student is ready, the teacher will appear". Sometimes they appear even when we are not ready, and leave behind lessons for another day. Working in Hospis had brought many teachers to me, each sharing a truth that guided me on this journey. From them, I learned about serving from the heart...
I no longer question whether or not, patients benefit from my efforts, appreciate them, or even understand them; it is irrelevant. It is the elements that make life meaningful that is so important.
I serve because that's what I's how I find meaning.
I've learned that I do not have to be a doctor in order to serve. The opportunity to be of service to others is endless. A phone call answered in a pleasant tone, taking time to listen, helping an elderly cross the road : an entire life can be spent in service.
I serve because that's what I do and I'm happy doing it.

Being grateful
Gratitude is something that has been emphasized to me time and again. It's easy to feel grateful when something good comes our way, but what about being grateful for hardship, for poverty, for cancer?
"The beauty of the sunrise comes only after the darkest part of the night". Sometimes the illness or misfortune is an opportunity to learn or to teach and an opportunity to be grateful for the sunrise that was certain to follow.
Without the 'shortness of breath', one would not have the opportunity to experience a depth of life that health had not.

Running in the present moment...
Some find their present moment amid nature, others in the peace of silence or through meditation. Many find it from clearing of the mind and sinking into the quiet of the soul.
I found my present moment through the joy of running and fellowship with friends.
Yes, I am still running though not competing too much. But that doesn't make me a lesser runner.

In May this year, John & I raced our 1st race of the year in Kuala Kangsar.
I then proceeded to attempt my 1st Half Marathon (after a year's break) in June SCKLIM, wearing a friend's bib no. I clocked a poor 2hr 02mins, losing it to Sofian Triathlete!! The only consolation was I did a personal best for my friend, Eleanor.
In July, John took 28 friends and together we ran the Extreme Grassland Marathon in Inner Monggolia. Agnes Tee & I created history and made many of our running mates happy when both of us took the wrong route and came in last and second last respectively in this race!
In August, we took a mini holiday in Hatyai and ran the Hatyai Nature Run where I clocked 56 mins for the Quarter Marathon.
In September, we ran the Heritage Taiping Half Marathon in the rain. This time, I managed to improve my timing in 1hr 54mins.
In October, I registered for Adidas King Of The Road simply because I wanted to run the NPE 16.8km. It was quite a challenge with the rolling highway as race route. I returned in an hour 38mins.
We ended with the Nibong Tebal Inter-State which covers Nibong Tebal, Parit Buntar and Kedah. I clocked 1hr 59mins in this 21.9km race.
We had chosen to participate in the races above mainly because of friends and the bonding. The journey with them had made running more meaningful and exciting!

A Blessed New Year!
As I approach another new year, I hope to be able to stay fit and healthy, to be able to continue running, learning, growing and to love and live in the present moment.
And as we face the challenges and joys of 2012, I'll like to close with this old Irish prayer for everyone:
"May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always on your back.
May the sunshine warm your face, the rain fall soft upon your fields, and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His Hand."

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