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birthday reflection

51 Things I’m Thankful For on My 51st Birthday

It’s been my daily habit to wake up early, make myself a cup of coffee, then listen to an affirmation and read the Bible as my form of prayer and meditation before checking my email and start writing. I read one Psalm plus three chapters of the Bible daily. I have a highlighting pen ready to highlight a verse, if needed.

Today, I came upon these verses:

“The Lord has done great things for us, whereof we are glad.”

– Psalm 126:3

“If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

– 2 Chronicles 7:14

Now you know what part of the Bible am I now.

After reading, I started writing in my journal for my own reflection. Then I felt crying. I remember Sister Anne told me back in high school that every time we feel emotional during prayer and reflection, the Spirit has moved us.

That’s how I felt. I felt so blessed and grateful for my 51 years of existence. Probably I have 51 things to be thankful for right now and if you find them too random, please excuse me, I’m just jotting them down as I go along my thoughts.

  1. I’m thankful that I’m still alive. No need for me to explain. Everyone should be thankful to be alive in this time of pandemic.
  2. I’m thankful for my husband slash best friend for twenty years of togetherness [that’s equivalent of two years best friend + two years in a relationship + 16 years married]
  3. I’m thankful for my daughter, Ganjah, my source of happiness. Hunger and hallucination not included [if you don’t get the pun, ignore this and move on to the next item].
  4. I’m thankful for my adoptive parents and their families and relatives for acknowledging me as their own. I may not have met or known my biological parents but I’m thankful that I was not aborted at that time. And if ever I’m destined to meet them and my twin in this lifetime, I would be more than grateful. [So if ever you’ve seen my twin, not a doppelganger, let me know.]
  5. I’m thankful for the first two men in my life: Daddy and Uncle Aciong who taught and inspired me the art of writing [including the things that go with it].
  6. I’m thankful for my two “yayas” in my life: Manang Beatriz and Manang Ching for being the mother figure in my motherless life.
  7. I’m thankful for my in-laws who broke the stereotype [you know, those stereotypical portrayals of in-laws in the media] and with that I’m lucky.
  8. I’m thankful for the talents God has given me. I believe He had given me two and not five, because if He had given me five, I’d probably be not writing this.
  9. I’m thankful for my education. Even though I stopped practicing my professions I am grateful for what I’ve learned from those two college degrees and licenses.
  10. I’m thankful for my “mababaw na kaligayahan” — those simple joys that bring a smile to my face and a contentment in my heart.
  11. I’m thankful for my client for accepting my new rate. I hope I will encounter more good clients like him and not those clients that treat writers as “poor unfortunate souls” [am I hearing Ursula singing?].
  12. I’m thankful for my website and the people behind its web hosting. It’s one of my dreams that came true.
  13. I’m thankful for my readers, followers, and subscribers [63.95% in the PH and 36.05% in the rest of the world]. For those who haven’t subscribed yet, visit my website: issabacsa.com
  14. I’m thankful for my other blogs: Star Stack, Prime Crime, and The Gall Blogger. I might not have updated them lately but I still would like to share my other passions.
  15. I’m also thankful for my friends, co-workers, colleagues, acquaintances, likers, followers, connections, and whatever you call it on social media. You remind me that no man is an island even for introverts like me.
  16. I’m thankful for the interruptions that come my way. It breaks the monotony of working from home.
  17. I’m thankful for the abundance and lack around me. Abundance shows that there are more than enough in this world; and the lack reminds me that I have to be resourceful and creative to come up with alternatives.
  18. I’m thankful for this quote: “Kung may gusto, may paraan. Kung ayaw, may dahilan.” This quote always reminds me to look for ways and means rather than to look for reasons and answers for every “why?”
  19. I’m thankful for the food that I eat, and the people who prepared it, who sold the ingredients, who sourced it, who harvested it, and who sowed it. Just thinking about this food chain shows how we easily forget those farmers, fishermen, and animal raisers.
  20. I’m thankful for my health. I’m grateful in this position right now and I’m praying for more health to those who need them most at this time — the sick, the recovering, the elderly, and the dying.
  21. I’m thankful for having a roof above our heads, kahit may butas ang bubong. It reminds me of how lucky I am than the homeless.
  22. I’m thankful for the technology we have today. I guess I was lucky to be born to witness the emergence of the computer and digital age. And I hope that this technology should be used wisely for the good of all mankind.
  23. I’m thankful for the Bullet Journal I have right now because it grounds me to my analog, old school ways of writing down notes, and being mindful of what I do everyday.
  24. I’m thankful for my current laptop, and the other computers I had before it, for being my workhorse.
  25. Of course, I have to thank the Internet and electricity, the two inventions that go together and make my work from home life better.
  26. I’m thankful for my productivity tools. Without them, my life would be in analog mode.
  27. I’m thankful for the bookshelf that reminds me there are so many books to read.
  28. I’m thankful for the nice weather this morning, then the rain this afternoon. This is just to remind me that nothing is perfect and it could rain in anyone’s parade.
  29. I’m thankful that you’ve reached this part. It only means that you’re intent on finishing this with me.
  30. I’m thankful for my own TikTok. No, not the app that people are crazy about nowadays. My own TikTok means my own “salTIK and kaTOK sa ulo”, my own brand of craziness that makes me do things I do and laugh about it. Admit it, guys, everybody has one.
  31. I’m thankful for the person who said, “Allow yourself to commit mistakes.” Growing up in a military discipline fashion, committing mistakes and making excuses for it were frowned upon. But as I grow older and have accepted the principles of peace of mind, I’ve learned to embrace making mistakes and learning from it without that bothersome feeling.
  32. I’m thankful for my alternative or parallel universes or timelines, if these really do exist. It reminds me that this timeline is where I am right now and it’s better. I shouldn’t be complaining.
  33. I’m thankful for not having a third eye or any psychic abilities that freak people out. Although at times I experience strong intuition (probably four to five times) and clairaudience (probably twice), I’m better off without clairvoyance.
  34. I’m thankful for my angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here… well, that’s one of the first prayers I’ve memorized in my life, come on.
  35. I’m thankful for the philosophers, the scientists, and the intellectuals that lived who opened my mind to understand the world we live in. The Earth is not just a blue and white planet as seen in “Earthrise” but a pale blue dot in Voyager 1’s camera. This reminds me that my height of four feet ten inches is way too small than the pale blue dot in space.
  36. I’m thankful for that sales trainer who called me “Isa” for the first time. I used to be called “Marie” but when I found out what “Issa” means, I started using it in 1990. “Issa” was Jesus’ name during his hidden life in Tibet and India.
  37. I’m thankful for these three books: “Grow Rich with Peace of Mind” by Napoleon Hill, “The Greatest Miracle in the World” by Og Mandino, and “How to Make Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. These three books opened my mind to peace of mind and success.
  38. I’m thankful for my Agatha Christie collection and what happened to it. It reminds me that once down there, there’s no other way but up.
  39. I’m thankful for the calzone or pizza pocket bread I made earlier. At least I’ve satisfied my food craving.
  40. I’m thankful for my recent newsletter, I was able to update what needed to be updated in my blog and shared it to others.
  41. I’m thankful for the haircut I had this morning. I felt refreshed and beautiful. Everyone deserves to be beautiful.
  42. I’m thankful for the clothes I wear, I’m starting to love wearing black.
  43. I’m thankful for the affirmation I listen to everyday. It reminds me of who I am and what I could do.
  44. I’m thankful for the hours in a day which I try to spend wisely. May the Lord forgive me for the time spent on nothing.
  45. I’m thankful for my dreams, it reminds me that I could be Joseph who could interpret them with God’s guidance.
  46. I’m thankful for the positivity around me. It augments my own chi.
  47. I’m also thankful for the negativity around me. I’m getting better at detecting them and saying “Thank you, next!”
  48. I’m thankful for the values of truth, kindness, and simplicity. These have been my guiding principles at work and in life.
  49. I’m thankful for Benjamin Franklin for saying, “ If you wou’d not be forgotten as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing.” It inspired me to have a mission in life.
  50. I’m thankful for my own fears and doubts. Slowly and surely, I’m trying to face them one at a time.
  51. And lastly, I’m thankful to you, readers, for reading this long post. I know that you’re one of my true supporters in the world. Thank you for celebrating with me my 51st birthday.

This is just one example of counting my own blessings. Doing this always reminds me the things God has provided me all these years. All is good in this world, God is good all the time.

Tell me what you think about my list of thanks. Let me know, too, if I have missed anything, I’d appreciate your feedback. And if you like to read more about freelance writing, productivity, or creative writing, please do subscribe to my quarterly newsletter and join the tribe.