Musings on the last day of this decade 

Published January 3, 2020, 12:00 AM

by Alex M. Eduque


Alex Eduque
Alex Eduque

It is the day of New Year’s Eve, and I find myself at home, in bed, nursing a fever. Definitely not what I had expected, and most far cry to the bamboo forests of Kyoto I had imagined myself looking out to as I write this piece. But everything happens for a reason – whether or not we concretely figure it out in this lifetime – and life is full of surprises, and this is just one of them, I suppose. I will not deny that I am bummed to be missing out. Just when I thought I had gone through the whole of 2019 with a clean bull of health (albeit the occasional cold here and there). Not to mention, I have not spent New Year’s in Manila (and never in my room alone) since last decade. Who would have thought I would be spending my last New Year’s Eve as a single woman quite literally single, at home, and alone?

Do not get me wrong. I am not wallowing in self-pity. In fact, I had quite a laugh about it myself when I realized. Life is humorous if you choose to see the silver lining and allow it to be. Perhaps this is the most precious alone time I unknowingly seek and yearn when the going gets tough and the busy-ness of it all is in full swing. It just happened at a time I expected the least, but is that not always the case? And when I think about it, though we may not initially realize it as we let our frustrations and emotions get the better of us, God’s timing is always the most perfect. He always has something in store.

For one, while getting sick at the very end of the year in the midst of the holidays is tough because no doctor is in town, I was still thankfully able to get in touch with my most reliable doctor of thirty years. While I sought the opinion of another in the meantime as I could not reach my choice, I knew well in my heart that when my ever-trusted one called me back, God was most definitely in my midst. Although I am missing out on exploring what seems like paradise according to my sister’s Instagram stories, I am basking in the quiets and comfort of this home I grew up in, relishing every lazy moment while it is excusable, and cherishing the simple joys of lying around and watching television all day – my ultimate guilty pleasure. After all, come next year, I will be fixing up a new place – a home to call my own. And at the end of next year, while this house will always be home that I know I can come back to and still sleep over in from time to time, it will no longer be the base I return to at the end of everyday. Quite a change that will be, but one I am most ready to embrace, play and dance around in. There is absolutely no work to worry about as well, and unlike any other time of year when I still would receive calls and messages in the midst of recovering, the quiet and serenity of this time of year is ultimate peace. Perhaps, after a December full of sleep deprivation – capped off with the long days and short nights brought about by Simbang Gabi – this is the rest my body needs to re-charge for what I know will be one of the busiest, but most beautiful of years ahead.

The other day, I watched Two Popes on Netflix, and ended up in tears. Not because of sadness, but because the movie moved me in a way I had least expected it to – it gave me so much hope, and re-affirmed my faith in religion, leadership and humanity. It reminded me that God is always in our midst, and while we may initially question big decisions, His will always prevails, at His time. And only in His time will things perfectly fall into place. Perhaps it was fitting to end the year with that movie because if you were to ask me what this last year has taught me, that would have to be one of, if not the most prevalent lesson: all in God’s good time. May we remember that, hold it in the very depths of our hearts, and when moments of doubt arise, may we cling on to that very thought and the faith we have in it to see us through. Cheers to a blessed 2020! May it bring us all an abundance of blessings and beautiful moments to share with our loved ones – all in God’s perfect time.