Navigating the new year and new decade: A day at a time


We are just starting the new year 2020 and the new decade, and yet we already feel the heavyweight of what is going on in our life, in our country, in our world.

Maybe you are battling sickness, or are mourning the death of someone dear to you.

Perhaps you have a child who is off course, a marriage that is not working, have lost a loved one, or feel betrayed.

Possibly you did not get the break or the promotion you were expecting, or have lost your job and wonder how you can support your self and your family who depend on you.

Or maybe you have been waiting for so long to be reunited with your family in the Philippines, but the current immigration system has made that dream so elusive.

And then your heart bleeds when you see young men and women being sent to harms way, especially if your son or daughter among them, for a war that you could not make sense of, and yet you see some leaders of the world using the lives of people as pawns to satisfy their political and personal interests and wonder how they even got elected to make such consequential decisions that affect the lives of families all over the world.

Your gut hurts when seeing pictures of the inferno ravaging states in Australia, burning millions of hectares of land, destroying thousands of homes, killing people, and extinguishing the lives of helpless animals like kangaroos and koalas.

You hear about the hurricanes, typhoons, floodings, earthquakes, and other natural disasters triggered by extreme climate change, threatening the lives and livelihood of mankind and the life of living things in the planet, and yet we see people in power denying and concealing even more scientific proofs of the climate crisis because they worship money and prioritize their immediate self-interest instead of investing in the lives of the next generations.

AMID ALL THESE CHALLENGES, do not lose your faith. In both our personal lives and in what is going on around the nation and the world, know that we are not helpless.

Before we allow ourselves to be weary and depressed, we need to remember and make a list of the blessings we still have — our lives, our family, our job, opportunities, and choices we can still make to change a situation we are not happy about.

When we wake up every morning, we are reminded that this is another day to start again. Another day to smoothen our rough edges, make our crooked paths straight, and use our God-given talent to make our dreams come true.

I know how daunting it is to look at the hurdles we need to face because a lot of them are beyond our control. But then again, we need to focus on what we have control over, on what we can do right here and right now.

Break down your goals to yearly, monthly, weekly and then daily plans and “to do list.” Really focus on what you can do, without waiting for others to act because that will just paralyze you.

Every morning aspire to be the change you want to see in the world because the truth is, that is the only thing you can work on — your self. Choosing to do the right thing even when others do not.

Do it faithfully and dutifully every day, giving your best even when it is difficult. Believe that what you do your self will have an effect on others, and will inspire and move them to work on themselves, and this will trigger a domino effect.

And remember the “Lord’s Prayer” that says “give us this day our daily bread…” Have faith that the Lord our God will give us all the grace we need for each day, for tomorrow will be another day, another grace awaits. Do not let the fears or worries of tomorrow keep you from fulfilling what you are entrusted to do for today.

The past is gone, we cannot do anything about it. Today is our gift, make the most of it for it will be the foundation of our future. Today is all that we sure have to work on.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! May all that we do each new day we are gifted with, move to the direction of our prayers.

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Gel Santos Relos has been in news, talk, public service and educational broadcasting since 1989 with ABS-CBN and is now serving the Filipino audience using different platforms, including digital broadcasting, and print, and is working on a new public service program for the community. You may contact her through email at [email protected], or send her a message via Facebook at 

Gel Santos Relos

Gel Santos Relos is the anchor of TFC’s “Balitang America.” Views and opinions expressed by the author in this column are solely those of the author and not of Asian Journal and ABS-CBN-TFC. For comments, go to and

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