Things I am thankful for, 2nd Week of December 2011


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Today, I am just happy to be alive. <3

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Just for today, I wanted to be less stiff and just update from the heart.

No bullet points, just the things that will flow, because those are what have been on top of my heart for the moment.

I haven’t updated any of my blogs in a while, but I’m just happy to be alive today. I’m happy that BF and I finally got to listen to a podcast in lieu of Sunday Service, as we’ve been majorly procrastinating since Sunday. I’m thankful for a little bit of provision, because I can finally think clearly once more and be able to breathe a sigh of relief and focus better on work.

I’m thankful that I was allowed to borrow an old computer by my major employer, and I’m happy to be working at a more secure arrangement. I’m happy I’m productive. I’m happy I’m learning to fix my room because it’s just so much more conducive to journaling when I see my table all clean and ready to be written on.

Not everything is peachy-perfect: I haven’t perfected the art of budgeting just yet, but I’m happy that I’m more determined to see my finances be on a more even keel. Neither have I perfected the art of shopping restraint just yet, but at least I’m seeing myself say NO more often. I’m still the same old gadget-crazy girl, but I’m learning to snap out of my gadget-crazy haze faster now.

My creditors are still at my heels, but it’s more manageable now. In short, even if it’s an arduous climb, at the very least, I know I’m already taking one step at a time.

Life isn’t perfect, but it’s getting happier. And for that, I am grateful. <3


Photo Credits: Tigers Prepare/Auburn University Career Center: And the rose goes to…

Things I Am Grateful For, 8/29/2011 Edition

So many things happened last week, and they mostly went down from the comfort of my room. Heheh.

I got home from Manila Thursday of the week before, so cramming work missed at the end of my week was stressful.

I was also fearful that this total lack of settling in, this crazy Livin’ La Vida Loca lifestyle: having moved twice within six months, traveling immediately after moving, a friend visiting just a month after possibly settling in — things like those could push a person’s rhythm out of whack.

Things came to a head Friday (26th) when my fever didn’t have signs of letting up. Things were so bad for me health-wise that I had to cancel the scheduled trip back to Manila that I was supposed to take, for work. I didn’t want to return here to Kalibo needing to be rushed to the hospital. I don’t have the funds for that, and I sure as hell don’t want to come running to my folks to finance that. I found my last visit to Manila physically stressful because of the crowds I had to wade through, and the Manila lifestyle, I realized, is no longer compatible with my weary system. A visit may be good every now and then, but visits back-to-back, with me not having been able to recover from the previous one just yet, is just begging to be hospitalized, in my book.

So I had to make a decision to say “No.”

I sure wanted to attend the event, I wanted to be at my best for work, plus, it’s about tech stuff, so it’s something I’m genuinely interested in. But coming home to the hospital is not an option. So I made my choice.

That being said, here are the things I’m thankful for, for the week that was:

  • Choices. — Learning to say “No” is tough. Especially when the choice is between two things you value a lot. I value my work, despite the fact that I lose focus a lot. I want to do well in it. But if the toss-up is between work and my health, I have to choose health now. There is no point in racking up a huge hospital bill and losing more days from work because you saw the signs and refused to heed them. I’m glad I said “No.” Even if I felt better after saying “No” and my fever stopped that same day (Crazy thing this fever. Just when I said “No,” to a good opportunity to attend a work-related event, the fever decided to leave me alone for good.), I’m still happy that I learned to say “No.” I’m happy too that I’m drawing from better sources of wisdom now than I used to. I’m thankful for the ability to make choices and stick to them.
  • The new tool and toy. — “Undeserved Blessing” kept me company through the whole week, through my shifts. I was able to get through all the shifts last week because Undeserved Blessing kept me up installing apps, tinkering with it, reading my Bibles there, reading enriching articles and Psychology Today entries, and, well, playing more games than I can handle. Heheh. I’m also glad that it reintroduced me to Cafe World thanks to the Android App Cafe Fever. Yay. :) Funny ironic name though: Cafe Fever. And yes, I discovered that app in the heights of contending with my brain-burning condition.
  • Good timing. — The nightly fevers started Monday night, I believe, but by then, I was done writing a good bulk of my to-do’s, so I’m only due for 2 articles for one main client, and one article for a client-friend-batchmate. It’s a relief that the fever came on after a good writing run. Because the fever sure kept me from thinking straight for the rest of the week, so I could only work on social media tasks. Boo. But I’m still glad for good timing. It ensured that I was still productive enough. :)
  • Conflicts, Duress, Rough Patches. — You’d hardly think of these things as something positive, something good. But thanks to conflicts, duress and rough patches in your life, you grow. Thanks to things that are tough on you, you are being made tough. I’m learning to get the hang of this. I’ve always felt entitled to an easier life because of a hard family life. But I realize now that since I’ve had a hard family life, I should be able to take more punches. Damn, that’s a tough, painful call. The statement by Mother Teresa comes to mind, “I’m glad that God trusts me, but I wish He didn’t trust me so much.” This is a paraphrase, but she’s right: sometimes you wonder if God is paying too much attention to your rough edges that He’s extra enthusiastic at sandpapering your rough edges. But either way, this is a season to grow. This is a season to get better, not bitter. I choose to get better. No matter how I fail, I choose to get better. Who cares about the many falls I will take along the way? When He is finished with me, I know He will be satisfied. That’s one of the few things that comforts me.
  • Amazing people in my life. — My childhood best pal Roxanne Prieto deserves much praise. She helped my mom get discharged from the hospital. People like these deserve medals in heaven. I cannot assist my parents anytime soon if they get hospitalized or whatever. It’s not about hardening my heart; it’s about protecting myself. It hasn’t been long since I chose to detach myself, and it doesn’t make sense to open dysfunctional doors that have yet to be fixed. There’s such a thing as idiocy, even in filial piety. I don’t believe in filial piety in the first place. Maybe that’s because I’ve lived not only unconventionally, I’ve lived dysfunctionally with my folks. I don’t want to damage myself further when I don’t have the resources to cope with more emotional and verbal onslaught. No matter how my parents will try to be better people initially, our chemistry seems to lean towards the explosive and catastrophic. So even if people get hospitalized, until I know that I have enough emotional and psychological reserves to cope, I will stay away. As I told close friends: people will get hospitalized, but at the end of the day, when you return to real life and the illness is over, the people in the relationship will interact the same way they used to before the hospitalization. Unless God creates a radical work in a person’s life and heart, interactions, conflict patterns and dysfunctionality will remain the same as it was before the out-of-the-ordinary events. So no. Nobody’s forcing me to interact with my parents until I’m ready. That’s that. Thanks to friends like Roxanne, my mom found help as she needed. I wish my church was there to help, but as it is, I’m grateful enough that a friend and sister in Christ was present. For that, I am already grateful.
  • "New" Resources. — I’m rediscovering Psychology, especially “Psychology Today.” I am no fan of Buddhism, but I’m seeing some sense in it. I’ve read articles by Buddhist therapists and some methods may work. One good advice was about how to feel the emotion, acknowledge that it’s there, but to not act on it. Just let it pass. It’s a meditation method, I know, but it would work for those who have trouble handling intense emotions. Namely, me. It’s like an itch that you don’t really need to scratch… It eventually goes away on its own. :) I like that that advice completes the Psalm 37 admonition of “Let go of anger and leave rage behind.” I don’t work on commands. I work on being made to understand why the command is a command. I’m sorry, I’m just not a good enough soldier. I can’t obey right off the bat. I don’t know if I lack trust but I really just need to know the “Why” first. When the “Why” is given and it makes sense, I usually skip off to obey the command. It’s not being difficult, it’s just that I have that way of processing things. :p
  • This season. — Oh how I love this season. I’m reconciling with the pain that I’ve had to go through. I may push off the people who make my life more painful, but that’s part of the process. I feel like one of the lessons I need to learn is to stop letting bullshit get thrown my way. To stop cows from walking all over my living room carpet, so to speak. That’s not a standard metaphor, but I hardly care. This is the season to stop taking crap from people who may matter but have no right to dish out crap on me. They can do it to others, but not to me. Someday, I hope to be able to take crap and just let it slide, but as for today, still generally hurting, I need to push off people who don’t understand. If you don’t understand, if you’re not a “safe person,” I don’t need to interact with you. That’s that. I need to take this stance because I am not well, emotionally. I haven’t recovered from the 20+ years of abuse that in my early years of being a Christian, I’ve tried to cope using “deliverance” techniques that were mostly spiritual, were effective at that time, but are no longer effective now. There’s such a thing as waging an air strike, but there are times when you need to wage a ground war. This time, this battle is going to be won using interpersonal, psychological (Not “psy-war,” mind you. Just psychological tools like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: challenging yourself if your perceptions are actually correct/reality-based, etc.) methods. I have zero emotional and psychological resources right now. I’m just plain exhausted. God may have refreshed me when I went to Victory Pioneer, but it’s not enough. I have to be made whole. I am not whole. Not yet. It’s going to be a long walk, but when I come out of this season, y’all will see that my hibernation was worth it. My cousin Megoo let me know that God understands my moment of isolation. In fact, this is the wilderness where I will get to know Him more. So far, it’s been accurate. I know more about my God today than when I was running around in ministry. There was a time to experience that, and there is a time to internalize… Or listen to the Holy Spirit more. Listen to God more. Away from the roar of the maddening crowd. I love it that He gave me this season. This is a privilege. Not everyone has had the privilege to be called out of the crowd to be alone with Him. Well, not entirely alone, but generally alone. I consider this moment a beautiful privilege. This is going to be one of the sweetest seasons in my life yet! :)
  • Daily Bread. — Even if I personally have no money at the moment, God has provided. He has been more than able to keep me fed properly, healthily, and everything else I need running. He is worthy of praise, indeed, as He is a provident God.
  • Rest. — I’ve been having more rest than ever. Maybe it’s the fact that I actually have a full Sunday to rest, no church to prepare for, no meetings to attend AT ALL, and all that, that I’ve been able to rest a lot in just a week. I’m so glad for it, because I’ve been so drained in the past seasons when I’ve had to prepare for church and spend hours with church friends. I have nothing against fellowship, in fact I love fellowship. I love worshiping God. It’s one thing that I am passionate about. But I have to admit that the preparation and the energy I spend to go to church was taking a toll on me physically. There was a point when I was already cranky and begging for rest. This is my time to enjoy all the rest I can. For when Victory Kalibo comes to town, the boyf and I aim to go to church there. I’m not sure if he’s going to volunteer, but I may not. Not yet. Not until I’m ready again. But I’d love for him to be active in the future church. I feel it in my bones. It is near. But not near enough that I won’t get my fill of rest and lazing around for the rest of the Sundays till it’s here. So for now that I can still have my Sundays to some less-pressure tasks, I’m going to enjoy them. :)
  • My unique personality. — I’ve been super grateful to God for this for the past couple of days. I’ve wondered why I don’t fit the mold of children of dysfunctional/narcissistic parents, though my parents fit some of the descriptions. Children of narcissistic parents tend to be people-pleasing beings who cannot say no, according to Dr. Karyl McBride. On the contrary, I actually have the tendency to become a narcissist myself. And I believe that that’s one of the things that God has been vigilantly trying to winnow out of me. I always talk about being self-centered, how I wait for the Boyfriend to come over so I could enslave him, about being scared of becoming the abusive partner, and while some of these self-deprecating (more like self-aggrandizing) jabs are meant for humor, I can’t help fearing that the darker side of my dark side will prove fatal for me and my future marriage. So while I’m glad I am a fighter, I am still praying that God would change my harder sides and make me gentle. God has been great and gracious. So far, my fighter side has served to protect me. I should just learn to have normal boundaries: boundaries that know how to let in friends, but keep out foes. What I am grateful for is how my personality did not conform to the stereotype and let a dysfunctional past consume me. I may need to have God slough it off me, and by all means my Facebook posts may have shown that it actually consumes me, but in reality, I’m generally a happy person — until the topic hits family. Heheh. So here’s to getting over the past. And here’s to being and staying strong. Praising God for staying alive a quarter through my 27th year. :) (Ever heard of the 27 Club? I’m not famous, but it’s scary. I have to get past this year! LOL!)

I could go on and on, on the things I am grateful for, but I have to start my workday in a while, not to mention meet the BF in my place’s lobby because he’s working today. I’m excited to write next week’s gratefulness post. But till then, this was a great week. :)

That pic was of a sunrise that graced my window early yesterday (Sunday) morning. Thank You Lord. :)

Things I’m Grateful for, 8/19/2011 Edition

I recently took a trip to Manila, as my The Digerati Life boss was in town and wanted to meet up with us, her Philippine employees. The trip was made possible by other clients, too. That’s something I’m very grateful for.

More than the meeting with the boss, going back to Manila had been a long-held urge, because I wanted to meet some people, do a few errands, among other things. It was just pure serendipity that I finally got to do so, and was even given the funding for it. I’m so grateful for that alone. 

In those six days I was in Manila, however, I was only able to do so much. However, I feel like it was still a fruitful time. I’ve learned to quit maximizing time so much. Life is too beautiful to cram everything in so short a time. So,

  • Undeserved Blessings — “Undeserved Blessing" is the name of the supercharged iPod Touch Cherry Mobile Nova Android phone that I was given (well, just financed), for work. I’ve always hated touch screens and at first, it was like a wrestling match between the gadget and me. After two days using its touch keypad, though, I finally got the hang of it. It’s more a handy computer than a phone for me. And indeed, that’s really the purpose of Androids. I love the fact that I no longer need an iPod or an mp3 player, plus I could surf online and even update my social networks on a beautiful, snappy touchscreen interface. I even read my Bible and make my notes there.
  • Coffee!!! — I guess it’s safe to say that this will ALWAYS be in most of my lists. In Manila, I got the Large cup for 7-11’s French Vanilla coffee, which is about the size of a Venti Starbucks cup. It was awesome, even if it were “just instant.”
  • Underserved Blessing came with a big bonus. — I’ve always wanted to listen to my favorite Internet-based station, Elijahstreams, via a gadget that isn’t my computer. I realized and discovered that Undeserved Blessing actually serves that purpose. Another three-year prayer answered!

I have more to come, but since this post has been long-overdue, I’m publishing this, and then making a new one!

    Things I’m Grateful for, 8/4/2011 Edition

    It’s been a while since I last wrote on this blog. I owe it to the fact that I was rushing deadlines and preparing for my trip to Manila. Currently, I’m hanging out at Cherry Mobile’s service center, waiting for my boyfriend’s phone to finish upgrading. 

    Since I’m soo bored, I decided to forego shame and embarrassment because my boyfriend’s tablet comes in 4 pieces and a lot of wires and just blog. It would keep me productive and keep me from slitting my throat from the crazy wait. 

    But anyway. Here are the things that I listed down as things and acts that I was thankful for on the 4th of August, 2011.

    • Thoughtful Teenage gal. The boyfriend has two teenage daughters, and the youngest is very sweet and thoughtful. She cooked me hotdogs one lunch (definitely sometime between 8/3/2011 and 8/5/2011 coz I noted it down here) because she thought I was getting too thin. :) So sweet of her!
    • Thoughtful Boyfriend. Nothing beats the feeling of being taken care of properly. The BF sure knows how to do it, because he not only brings me my meals, when I left for Manila, he came over to my apartment and rinsed and hung the clothes I left, too. He’s returning there to wash my dishes as well. God gave me such a great deal! <3
    • Beautiful Coffee/Hot Choco-Drinking View. It may be located in the bathroom, but a great view is still a great view. Waking up to the sun rising in the right hand of my “viewscreen” is just priceless.
    • Getting Back My Domain. For most people, domains are just items of vanity. For us who live and breathe online, a domain would not only boost your identity, it would actually make or break it. Also, a domain could become a cornerstone for a business model.
    • Daily Rice. And more. Yes, I still need to get my act straight financially, so it’s been a struggle putting food on the table for myself. But working hand in hand with the BF has one major perk: daily rice and viand. He brings me his family’s excess rice (by reason of a major major mixup they bought double portions of everything) and he brings me viand to go with the rice too. It’s been a better time for me, and it’s a miracle I haven’t fattened up yet. :p

    There are so many things I’m very grateful for, and this is just a back-post of the things I noted for 8/4/2011. Hope you’re enjoying life as much as I am, finally. :)

    Photo Credits:

    Things I’m Grateful for, 8/3/2011 Edition

    Sunshine & Starlight

    I apologize for the lack of updates for the past 48 hours. I was caught up in an age-old emo drama, and while it was a complete waste of everyone’s time, I did learn a couple of things. I also learned that some things are better left unsaid, and some people are better off un-informed and un-updated about my life. I also got to understand someone I’m in a love-hate relationship with a little more. But I’m not willing to do anything about it just yet. The thesis about this is in my Feeblesaint blog.

    Let’s go back to the main focus, shall we?

    • Google Wave and Data Redundancy. There was a link that I really wanted to find, so that it’ll be part of my tweet/status update queue for one of my jobs, and was really doing my best to find it via my Bookmarks, History, and even my Google Web History, but I didn’t get to find it. At all. I eventually remembered that it was on my Google Wave. I “resurrected” the wave and retrieved the link. Boy am I glad I shared it with a friend as part of some of my business plans before!
    • Kind landladies. When the boyfriend informed me about how my rent will be paid, he couldn’t bear to negotiate the deadline of the 15th of August. While I had already paid one month’s worth of rent before occupying the room, I needed to pay deposit. I’ve always had success negotiating things, so I sweetly asked my landlady if it’s possible to pay two months’ worth of rent (deposit+actual 1 month’s rent) first week of September, instead. She said YES! It’s okay on my end because 2 months’ worth of rent here is equal to 1 month’s worth of my rent in Boracay! Argh!
    • Clean exits. I couldn’t be thankful enough that I was able to leave Boracay “cleanly”: Without debt and without enmity between me and my former landladies. When I paid Ate Beth everything I owed, I told her, “Ate, all you really needed was to chill on the nagging. You see, I can’t think when I’m emotionally upset. My work heavily relies on my brain. So when I’m upset, I can’t think straight on my work, either.” She apologized and it was then that she said that that was the reason why they gave me space. Thanks, but the fact that I didn’t like their methods in the past was the reason why I’m in Kalibo now. While it may have been painful, even bitter, it drove me to my next stage in life. It’s still a good thing.
    • Extra folding bed cushion! The original cot that my room had was rather long and cumbersome. I needed to have something I could fold up and out of the way when I work. I asked for a folding bed. Instead of getting one of those cheap ugly cots, I got a beautiful folding bed that’s much like the folks’ bed I slept in in St. Gabriel Hospital! I love it! However, that bed’s metal frame “bites into” my back. So I asked for an extra cushion coz it’s so painful. I got one! Thank You Lord for kind landladies!
    • First impressions don’t last. While other people would say that first impressions last, I would beg to disagree. My landlady came across as cold, stern and surly when I first met her. But on Monday, I passed by her and gave her a smile… She smiled back, and since then, she’s been a smiley person around me. That’s how I was able to negotiate and get my needs — she’s a nice and kind person after all. Or maybe it’s because I decided to take the nice and sweet stance too? As I told someone, “You only get what you give.” Indeed, in this world, when you smile, the world smiles with you. Cuss, and you’ll get nothing but curses back.
    • Lessons learned. It took me a long while to get the concept, but even if I could not put it to active application yet, just silent praying-for-the-best-for-my-enemies, I realize now that if you really do throw a piece of bread back at someone who throws you stones, it neutralizes the evil that’s going around. I pray that I will be able to do this for the rest of my life. It’s better to live around “good vibes” than to be the source of bad ones.
    • Advice I agree with. No, I’m not the type of person who prefers sugarcoatings and “yes people.” I’d rather that you be honest with me. But there are times when I hurt like hell, and there are things that I wish people would stop telling me sugarcoated, clueless lies based on filial piety. Someone I expected to care for me and love me HURT ME. Someone I expected to protect me and shield me from life’s pain actually INFLICTED pain on me. So to be accused of being manipulative and turning a story to my side isn’t something I’m happy to accept. I don’t want to live like those people the Bible says have “itching ears” and just want to be flattered. I want to know that there is a GOD who saw how I’ve been hurt. I want to know that there is a God who knows that I’ve been hurt, how I’ve turned my other cheek at times, or who has seen that I’ve dealt pain in greater measure BUT knew exactly why I did what I did. I wanted to know that the God who sees also shows some people so that they will bear witness to my pain as well. Finally, someone let me know that it’s okay to not give my parents where I live. It’s okay that they don’t know my whereabouts. In fact, he was the one who suggested that I change SIM cards ASAP. I’m grateful that someone finally agrees that it’s crazy and stupid to try and keep communicating with people who only end up in conflict with me. It’s senseless to push “honoring your father and mother” if it’s only going to end up in more conflict and misunderstanding. Finally, someone is giving me the license to stop being a hypocritical Christian, and just admit defeat and understand that understanding may not happen today, but in the interest of peace, distance is needed for now. I’m thankful that some people are wise and not overly religious to actually dispense advice like this. Such people ought to be blessed a million times over. 

    I’m not completely over the crazy 48 hours that passed me by, but this blog is helping me cope. I’m happy that I am able to count my blessings, and the people who love me are numerous. This is something that not a lot of people have. For that, I’m blessed. And grateful.

    Photo Credits: Sunshine & Starlight

    Things I’m Grateful for, 8/2/2011 Edition

    The Whispers In My Heart

    This picture here is the perfect description of how I feel right now. I am happy for some things that have happened in my life, and yet I’m a little pensive and even sad for some things that don’t seem to change.

    Maybe all I really need is patience and the fortitude to weather it out. I’ve lived with it for 26 years now anyway. What’s another 20 to 40 years, more, right? But let’s not dwell on the things that make me sad. Let’s dwell on the things I’m thankful for! And that’s exactly the purpose of this community blog. :)

    • Thankful for being able to pull off “The Great Heist.” The boyfriend and I called the move from Boracay to Kalibo as “The Great Heist.” Heist, because I didn’t want my parents to know about it, and because it entailed quite a bit of logistics and coordination. Thankfully, he and I were able to make it, and though exhausting, there’s a sense of accomplishment.
    • Provision. Despite the fact that we dealt with a bit of lack, we were able to pull it off, thanks to someone who helped us, also a Christian. As God promised me, through a line I read in There Were Two Trees in the Garden by Rick Joyner: “When God ordains a work, there will be no lack of provision to accomplish it.” (p.90) God is really good.
    • I was able to get back my domain! Woot! I bought last year, but due to the lack I experienced in Boracay, I found it hard to regain the domain. Add to that the huge burden that Domains In Seconds (a sister company of GoDaddy) imposes on people who’ve let the domain renewal deadline pass them by (guilty): a whopping $80 or around Php 3,000, I was fearing I would never be able to get back this awesome domain. God was good, and I was able to transfer it neatly to Yay! In a few days’ time, I could regain all the blogs I have on there. Phew. Thank You Lord!
    • A new lease in life. This is what downsizing means to me. In Boracay, I was feeling the pinch of the prices and the cost of living there. The boyfriend had warned me about that before I went for the job and the move, but I went ahead anyway. Though there was a bit of pain involved, at least the move to Boracay enabled my move to Kalibo, where I now am. I am praying that this is the place where I will gain my momentum and finally get out of debt and live a better life.
    • God’s grace. His grace is everywhere, that I know. From my computer (thank you parents), to my tables (all four of them, the two I bought in Boracay and who caused my boyfriend a long list of annoyances :p, and the two I left in Manila and will hopefully be able to reclaim next week), and to even the fact that my room conveniently catches sunrises, He never fails to amaze me. He is amazing and He is worthy of praise, indeed.
    • Downsizing. Kalibo is great; the prices are so much better than Boracay’s. I kicked myself royally yesterday when I saw how I paid Php 180 for an extension cord worth only Php 75 or Php 90 here in Kalibo. Then I saw the prices for the goods. One of the canned goods I would usually have for meals in Boracay (coz I was dreading to touch anything except Andok’s there after the hospitalization) costs only Php 14.75 here. In Boracay, it was Php 19.50. Just wow.
    • Reasons to return to Boracay. I still haven’t fulfilled my months-long dream of going to the beach upon waking up and just having coffee. When I discovered that there are no Finetti, Rolled Oats or Korean Pancit Canton in Kalibo, I knew I have reasons to return to the island, even for a day or two. I’mma gonna have my monthly groceries there. And sometime, I may even rent a place for a week so I can finally fulfill the dream of writing on the beach for a week straight. Heheh.
    • Toothpaste. I’ve had major zits for the past few days because all my pillowcases are in my used laundry dump, waiting to be washed. My mom only gave me 4 or 5 pillow cases in all and they’re all there waiting for me to bring them to the laundromat. Grr. So I’m treating my zits with toothpaste (the “classic” kind, the white, non-gel type), and so far it’s been working. Yay. :)
    • "Room Service." Since yesterday, the boyfriend fulfilled his promise to bring me food. Saves me the energy and the effort of looking for food or cooking for myself. Yay! :D
    • Friends. Even though I sometimes find people inconvenient for time management, you can’t deny that no man is an island. One of my friends, Donna Estampador, will be coming to live on the island, so I have one more reason to visit! Also, my friend Keven Maestro is coming over, so we’re planning two days on the island, and then a day or so here in Kalibo. :) This is gonna be fun!

    This is gonna be a great day. I’m planning on a 10-hour shift, with a 2-hour break. I started it with this gratefulness post because I realized I hadn’t written in so long. :)

    So, this is it for the day, catch you again, hopefully tomorrow! :D


    Photo Credits: The Whispers In My Heart — Leaving Pieces…

    Things I’m Thankful For, 7/26/2011

    Cherry Blossom Pink Flowers

    • Five Years. It wasn’t blissful all the way, but neither was it a misery-fest. It was just a right mix of good fun, happy moments, and things that make me wish we’re married already.
    • Portable Internet. Globe Tattoo was wonky earlier, but that didn’t stop me from staying online and watching videos. Also, it’s going to be very convenient if, like me, you have yet to settle in a place you could honestly call home. 
    • Social Networking Accounts. These keep me sane, in a place where I have nothing and no one but the Internets and my boyfriend. Hehe!
    • Whiteboards, Calendars and To-Do Lists. They help keep my life organized. :p
    • Coffee. Maybe I’ll never stop singing the praises of coffee, eh? :) 

    Image by Wallpaper4U.

    What Keeps Donna Going?

    1. Family. The parents, five sisters, a husband and a son. I can’t imagine me now if not for them. It’s a cliche, but they are the main reason I keep going. Really. Whenever I need a support system, they’re the best there is. They have never failed me. :)

    2. Friends. Outside family, they are the ones who understand me best. And let’s face it — there are things we can’t ever tell family. *evil chuckle* Whereas family members are of the same culture I grew up in, friends provide the variety and a different kind of fun. They are proof that we can get along with people who are entirely different from ourselves — it’s only a matter of respect for each other’s differences. And because friends are more or less from the same age group, they are the ones who I can relate to best, and vice versa. But that doesn’t mean friends and family are disjoint sets. My husband is my best friend. I’m friends with my sisters, and my mom too! And my dad never fails to provide honest comments and insight that only true friends can give. :)

    3. Genes. I’ve always been grateful for the gene pool that my parents have provided for me and my sisters (and further on, the entire family tree below us). They make up our character. Our personality. A huge factor when it comes to preferences and interests. And like all the other gene pools, they come with a lot of negative stuff too, but we don’t want to count or think too much of those. There’s nothing we can do about them, they come with the package. So worrying about them will bring nothing but depression. Not to mention they’re a huge waste of time and effort.

    4. Laughter. Enough said. A single word can explain everything. :)

    5. Color. Imagine a world of just neutrals, blacks, whites, and greys. So drab. So lifeless. So… sad!

    6. Imagination. The ability to go beyond what I can see, hear, touch, smell, or taste. The ability to create pictures, in my mind, of what is written or read. The ability to make stories out of ordinary objects encountered on a daily basis. Imagination helps me see things in a different perspective, a different light. It keeps me sane while dealing with days ruled by routine and monotony. It encourages us to try and think outside the box. It broadens our horizon. Possibilities? Sky’s the limit. Seeing things as if for the first time, everytime, is always a refreshing and welcome experience. :)

    7. Art. The best medium for me to express myself. Art is something where there’s no right and wrong. It is something that makes us face the fact that we cannot please everybody. Because beauty (or perfection) is, after all, still in the eye of the beholder. Besides, critics can help us improve. But that doesn’t mean we should believe in everything they say. For me, the most important thing is whether or not I’m happy with what I’ve finished. I can never let anyone else take that glow away from me. I mean, we can’t have our lives depend on their words, it’s pathetic! The definition of perfection should be based on one’s OWN standards, not someone else’s. If their criticism do have a point, I never look at it as a sign of failure. I take note of it, and tell myself to consider it in my next masterpiece. We all have our weaknesses, and if we ever will be happy with ourselves, that’s the first thing we must accept.

    8. Positivity. I always make it a point to be optimistic. To look for a silver lining in even the darkest cloud. Everytime a downer pops up, I do my best to be objective, look at things from an outsider’s point of view, and see what I can make out of it. If there’s something that can be done about it to make things better, then I do it. Otherwise, I shrug, accept it, leave it behind if I can, and move on. Sometimes I may mention some unpleasant observations that are far from optimistic, but I don’t mean for them to ruin someone’s day. It’s just that I’ve considered them as facts until something or someone proves me wrong. And if you’re someone who’s experienced this with me, think of it this way: I’m being a friend to you because I gave you an honest comment. It’s an opportunity to be better. :)

    9. Negativity. Let’s not discredit the awful things in life. There’s no “good” if there’s no “bad”, no “better” if there’s no “worse”. We have to experience going downhill before we can say that things are starting to look up. Apply the mantra “Things happen for a reason” to your life. When you do, you’ll find that whatever you are thankful of having or being now, the negative stuff in your past have contributed to it just as much as the positive ones did. In other words, turn the negative into positive. Two negatives become positive. Any negative raised to the power of two turns positive. So there. Whenever you’re confronted by an obstacle, try not to run away, it’ll just chase you forever. Better just meet it head-on and yell, “Yeah! Bring it on!”

    10. Strong Personality. This is something I wasn’t born with. I have experienced being bullied and taunted. I was a people-pleaser. Now I don’t mean that as a bad thing, but it can BE bad if you try to please even those who trample on you, too. Anyway, I can’t remember when, or how, but I just woke up one day and simply realized that I am tired of it all. And I swore to myself that things will change, for a better me. Of course, the change was not overnight. It was a slow, gradual, and at times painful, process. But here I am now, strong and proud. I am a respectful person, but you can’t expect me to keep that respect if you don’t repay it. I can be nice, even sweet, but I can be a bitch too if you take advantage of or abuse my (or someone else’s) good nature. Throw me a sarcastic retort and you’re sure to get one right back. If you don’t, that only means I don’t care enough about your retort to even try thinking of a response.

    11. Practicality. In this world where businessmen turn luxury into “needs”, we have to be very cautious listeners. Although I was raised by very practical (even kuripot) parents, I have been through an impulsive-buyer phase too. I guess practicality is not something genetic, or a trait we can just be taught to have. Experiences are better teachers especially when there was a time that you’ve had more than enough money in your hands to spare. Then it came to a point that I’ve amassed more than a closetful of stuff that I realized I never really needed, some I even no longer wanted. That was when I told myself to start slowing down, and that if I came across something I SEEM to want to get for myself, I promised that I’d give myself some time to think about it first. If for instance, after a week I still want to have it and the attempt to dissuade myself didn’t work at all, then I’d return to it and have another go. Oh, I won’t buy it at once. And I’d not just give it another look, I’d also give it another feel, and (if applicable) try it on to see if — as they say — the shoe fits. Then I’d give dissuading another try. If after all that I still want it badly, then I’ll go easy on myself and make the happy purchase. :) Oh, I still have my moments of impulse-buying (GRRR, THE DARNED “SALE! Up to 90% off!”), but I’m generally proud to report that I rarely regret my purchases nowadays.

    12. Books. I love books, I love to read, that’s why I am grateful for the existence of BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS! It’s as simple as that.

    13. Health. I am simply thankful to God to have relatively good health today. Of course not in totally perfect health — I have hyperacidity, I am mildly anemic, I have occasional attacks of angina, and I usually experience a great amount of stress due to work, but I am not complaining. As far as I’m concerned, as long as I don’t have a fatal illness that would deny me the opportunity to grow old, to have more kids and see them turn into adults, to spend more time with and get to know more of my husband (and best-friend), and to generally experience more of the roller-coaster called life, then I’ll continue to be grateful for being “healthy”.

    14. Training. I’ve encountered an alarming number of people in my life who actually do not know how to live by themselves. They’ve either lived their whole lives with maids who clean up after their every mess, or have had their parents pamper them too much, parents who are usually unaware that they’re actually raising spoiled kids who would one day burden other people with their “cluelessness”. Well, I grew up in a home with at least 2 housemaids at a time, but our parents made it a point that from the start, all of us sisters should be trained to do simple house chores in preparation for our life of independence come adulthood. And that is one thing I’ll always be grateful for, because we’ve managed to fend for ourselves away from home. And I think this is the reason why — paired with my OC behavior and practicality — effective household management came naturally to me. Which, in turn, has made my husband very happy about our home. :)

    3 Things I’m Grateful For, 7/24/2011 Edition

    Small Kitchen College - Bang for Your Buck Coffee Orders

    I am a little drained as of the moment; I’ve just finished billing a couple of my clients and I experienced a bit of an energy low. After this, I’ll be continuing my working and writing, and it’s no fun feeling a little listless, when I’m actually excited to write. So I’m just going to do a quick list right now and then go back to sleep then work again.

    Either way, here are the three things I’m thankful for, for Sunday:

    1. Coffee. Somehow, my days are never complete without coffee. One cup a day is enough for me, for the rest of the day.
    2. The gift of writing. I just realized that this gift is not exactly commonplace. That I seem to have an overabundance of things to say is something I’m very happy about, especially because it’s what allows me to make a living.

    3. A clean room. The boyfriend arrived yesterday, and was completely in shock when he saw how messy my room was. He sat on a chair beside my office table and didn’t move until I made headway. Poor thing. But because I was entertaining possibly my last guests here in my Boracay studio-type apartment, Pisay batchmates Janis Genterola and Pam dela Peña, I had to make sure my room was clean. Poor BF didn’t get to enjoy the beauty of a clean room, however. Sucks to be him. Hahaha! A clean room does make a writer feel better and work better too.

    That’s it for Sunday. I hope to post at least 5 points for my Monday edition. Just gonna catch a nap then it’s back to work and back to life for me!

    Photo Credits: Bang For Your Buck Coffee Orders — Small Kitchen College