Joy for Sadness

Lately I’ve been feeling a little lost. I know what I’m doing but I don’t know where I’m heading at. I wanted to give more and do more but it seems that circumstances are dragging me to a different direction. A direction I am not familiar, more so confident, with.

I am pushing myself to be happy, convincing myself that I should be enjoying every single day. Don’t get me wrong, I am contented with what I have now. Seeing my husband and children bursts my heart.

But, there are just times that I’m not at my best…

Then here comes the movie, Inside out.

“Crying helps me slow down and obsess over the weight of life’s problems.”—Sadness (the voice of reason)

I realized that one has to go through with this emotion too…

Then I’ll bounce back happier and more determined.

Jump, not!

I’ve been hearing a lot of people raving about how liberating it is to follow one’s passion and jump at any chance they can get. Wrong!

Have they told you the preparation and support group that have been laid out for them (with or without their knowledge) to equip them to pursue what they wanted in life?

Let’s not focus on that jump because it will come out naturally, focus on laying down the path from your comfort zone to that scary cliff. Because you’d rather take it slow, than make excuses after.

Story of Randomness

1. We are still in the process of renovating our office. It’s emotionally and financially draining. I don’t know where to get more supply of patience as we wait for it to finally be over. I can’t wait to see the output and I can’t wait to settle all our dues so that we can move on to our next project.

2.  I am undergoing splint therapy because of my TMJ disorder. After 6 months, I’d be wearing braces to make the treatment permanent. TMJ has been causing pain in my facial muscles, neck and shoulders for years.

3. What’s the travel plan for 2015? I HAVE NO IDEA! (Can you feel the frustration? haha!) Kidding aside, we’ve been delaying a lot of things because we wanted to focus our resources on our new office. As I’ve said, renovating a vacant 220 sqm office space is not a walk in the park. I am still hopeful we’ll continue the yearly tradition, but just in case nothing pushed through, I’m ready.

4. We’ve been pitching to local brands about our company Propelrr.  We’re meeting brand managers, members of the top management, even entrepreneurs themselves to present our company and what we can provide. Definitely a learning experience for a structured engineer-turned-auditor who’s more into financial and operations rather than sales and marketing – that’s me.

5. I am reading a really good book, the Conspiracy of Fools: A True Story. It is about the Enron scandal that led to the bankruptcy of this American energy company. I knew from the very start that it’s going to be a good book, but it turned out to be MORE than I expected. I am learning a lot about running a business from a C-level perspective while enjoying a mystery novel.

6. Our kids are all big! Marcus just turned 16 (the age I met Gary, can you imagine?), and he’ll be in 10th grade this coming school year. He’s now busy helping the company as an intern (not a requirement from his school but from me for him to earn the bass guitar that he’s been asking since last year.) Zach is turning 10, ready for 5th grade, and finally had his circumcision. Lia turned 6 last May and will be a grade schooler in a few months.

Compared to last year, by this time, we’ve already been to Surigao-Japan-Palawan-Baguio. But well, we didn’t have a real office space then. Those travel put together wouldn’t match the cost of the four ceiling-aircon alone that were recently installed in our new office. So nothing to complain about, really.

Pure thanksgiving.

Growing old

Time is passing by so quickly don’t you think?

I am starting to get scared whenever I look at our kids, they’ve grown so fast. Especially Marcus. I am just glad he doesn’t go out too often (compared to teens his age), but he’s starting to ask permission already. He has someone who he constantly talks to on the phone. Don’t worry I’m ok (kaya pa), just as long as he spends for his celphone load and he sleeps on time.  I don’t have problem with his grades anyway. Zach and Lia, though I can still tell them what to do, are no longer babies as well. Zach even tells me, “Ok, you don’t need to shout” whenever he talks a lot and do not listen to what I say.

One night Gary asked me, out of nowhere, if I really don’t want to have another child. Maybe, he misses a baby in the house. Or like me, he’s starting to feel scared because we can no longer deny the fact that our kids are big already. Btw, my answer to Gary is still no to having another child, I cannot go through the same process anymore. Also, I wanted to have more time with him. To take care of all his needs (his love language is service) that I cannot possibly provide now because I have 3 kids to attend to. I am planning to start having vacation for the two of us starting next year, or maybe sooner, who knows?

I also plan to make more vacations as a family. It doesn’t have to be out of the country all the time, but if only we can afford it we’ll do it. We can go to Baguio, Tagaytay or even in Nuvali where we can use the club house already. I want to create situations wherein my kids don’t have the choice but to spend time with their siblings and their (old, emo and senti) parents. lol

Like 2 weeks ago, we spent our long-weekend in Baguio. Btw, we usually stay at Azalea Residences Hotel because we love how spacious their rooms are and how convenient their location is. We just ate and slept the whole time. This time we tried 2 of the best restaurants in Baguio, Cafe by the Ruins and Forest House, aside from Hill Station which has always been part of our every Baguio trip.

 

photo 1

 

Here you can see the kids’ bed (where Marcus is currently lying down). Gary is watching TV (he prefers to stand when he’s tired of sitting down). Zach, Lia and I are on the dining table. I am having a bottle of beer, Zach is reading the Hotel’s Bible (kulang na lang basahan ako ng verse at i-pray over hehe) and Lia is playing puzzle. On our back is the kitchen where you can find the ref, stove, microwave, sink and cabinets of utensils. On Zach’s right is the bathroom and another room for Gary and myself (though Lia still prefers to sleep with us) which has another TV and bigger closet.

 

photo 2

Picture of our babies-no-more while buying vegetables and Baguio sweets at Strawberry Farm.

I hope we can make many more memories like this.

Why enrol your kids to different schools?

I always get this question. And every time, there is a lag between the question and my answer. I struggle for words to explain that I look for school that would meet each of my child’s needs and not the other way around. I’ve learned my lesson already and I don’t want to make the same mistake twice.

My eldest son Marcus was diagnosed with mild ADHD. He doesn’t have learning disability, actually his IQ is above average and he is as normal as any normal child can be, except for one, he needs more attention. He would always get a bad remark for his behavior because of that. His psychologist recommended that I enrol him in a school with small class size (15 students or below) so that he can get the right attention that he needs. BUT because I didn’t want Marcus to feel that he has special needs, I still enrolled him in a traditional school. I tried to talk to the guidance councilor and adviser to make sure that his needs are addressed. They made promises that they were not able to keep. When these traditional schools gave up on Marcus, namely Don Bosco Makati and San Agustin, I was forced to look for another school. Blessing in disguise, Australian International School was referred to me.  Since Day 1, they did not disappoint me. Now, Marcus is always on the top 5 (among 15 kids with different nationalities), he has proven his leadership skills, getting (almost) straight As, varsity player in basketball and learning to play the piano and bass with minimum supervision. Opportunities that for sure won’t be presented to him from schools he came from.

My second child, Zach, goes to San Agustin. He fits the traditional school discipline. I honestly would want to pull him out from that school because the number of students there per class is so big already (almost 50), not to mention how they treated my eldest son. But so far Zach is doing well. He has good grades, speaks well and is confident of himself. I don’t want to stop his momentum by transferring him to another school. Maybe in highschool. So what I do now is I enrol him to other activities such as kumon and swimming. I also tell him to read books about important things not usually taught in school, like financial education.

My only daughter goes to Assumption College. She was enroled in a progressive school last year. There was great improvement in her in terms of social skills and independence but I transferred her this year because in terms of acads, they’re not much of a hurry. That scares me because I don’t want Lia to be left behind. Also I want her to get values and religious education. In Assumption, there are 16 students in her class (compared to 20+ in CSA for Kindergarten). I am still observing Lia’s progress, but so far so good. I will also enrol her to special class on top of Kumon.

There. I believe that I am in the best position to identify what my children’s needs are in terms of learning and development. I don’t want to force my kids in an environment which cannot provide my children’s best interest. So help me God.

Closure, finally!

On our way to Tarlac yesterday to attend the mediation, my husband and I were expecting nothing, though we were hoping and praying that the meeting would finally be fruitful.

On our way to the mediation, we saw the very same model of sports car that hit us. We were forced to use SCTEX to avoid heavy traffic (which we never did after the accident). It was raining like it was the day of the accident. And unexpectedly, we passed by the hospital where we were confined. Are these signs?

At the mediation, I heard that the amount they were offering wouldn’t even pay for the Lawyer’s fee. I got disappointed again but I prayed for His will.

At the mediation, something unexpected happened. My husband said his piece. It was short but expressed everything we’ve wanted to say in years. He said to the other party that… “we were never after his money. We didn’t even ask for moral damages. That we were the ones hurt but if he has been cooperative that day of the accident, it wouldn’t have reached this far. That what we are asking him to pay now is just the sum of the actual expenses incurred over the last two years. That we have given him so many chances to prove himself. That we pushed through with the case to show him that he should not run from his responsibilities. That he is lucky that his lawyer talks to us with his heart. Among others…”

We finally agreed with the amount (meeting halfway). But again it was not the money that closed the deal. It was the fact that we were able to attain our objective of meeting the person, telling him how we felt and letting him realize that people are to be respected and mistakes faced.

Thank you Lord. Justice has been served. We can now move on.

It can be tiring…

I take this moment to rant about something that has been bothering me for days. You see, my husband and I have been working so hard to what? To give our family a good life and our children a better future. But more than that, we are deeply thankful for being able to serve God and others. Unfortunately, some people can be insensitive? ungrateful? or just plain (sorry for the word) stupid.

It never entered my mind to take advantage of people. I can continue running my business even for the sake of maintaining my employees. I don’t expect people to give me credit for anything I have provided for them because it all came from the real Provider. I just want them to strive harder and be deserving.

It is a challenge to be generous, because sometimes you have to keep reminding yourself that what has been given to you is not really for you (And usually it’s not just the amount that you can conveniently give). But more than that, it is a great challenge to provide for people who you think don’t deserve any of it. Or those who are not happy for what you can give them. Then again, who am I to judge?

When can we move on?

After almost 2 years, I finally saw the person responsible for our vehicular accident. I’ve heard so many things about him. Negative things to be exact. Aside from the fact that he did not help us when we were thrown at the embankment (obviously hurt, rain pouring hard and our children crying), he did not even ask how we were when he went to the hospital. All he said to my husband was, “Nka-compre ka nman diba?” (He was referring to our comprehensive insurance).

Despite his behavior, we agreed that he will just shoulder the hospital bill just to make us feel that he did not abandon us. In short ‘pampalubag-loob.’ We just wanted to move on with our lives and forget about everything. The important thing for us is that we are all safe. But what he did was, he gave P40k and that’s it. 3 adults and 3 children were hospitalized plus the fact that I was under general anaesthesia during my knee surgery and he would think that that amount would be enough. We should have paid for it instead (part of it will be taken cared of insurance anyway). We were not asking for financial assistance, we were expecting him to be responsible for what happened. That made us decide to file a case instead.

To be honest, I want to move on and forget about all these. Each session that we attend reminds me of the FEAR, PAIN and ANGER that I felt that day because I can’t imagine how some people can really be mean. Plus the fact that I almost lost one or more family member/s. And I don’t have a choice but to remember every detail of it because when in case we would be asked, we should be prepared.

The encounter yesterday with Mr. Michael R. Tiqui (from Bulacan) made me realize that it would take more time for us to move on.

Bits and pieces

So many things are running on my mind and I just have to let it all out;

1. I have this diary/organizer where I list all my activities for the day. The more items checked, the more accomplished I feel. But lately, I noticed that items on my list are not directly related to work; Kumon, Taekwondo, bank, grocery, bills. In short, I’ve been busy driving for my kids and running errands. It’s so frustrating! But at the end of the day, I have to keep reminding myself that my family is more important than work and I should be thankful for the privilege of being a hands-on mom/wife.

2. I am a considerate and generous person and some people tend to abuse. I cannot tolerate those people. They wouldn’t hear a thing from me but they’ve cut for sure what could have been more.

3. A good friend just gave me ref magnets from Singapore, Malaysia and Korea. I LOVE ref magnets! :) I started collecting during my work-related local travels. So when I go to Singapore this July I don’t have to buy anymore… uhm maybe one from Universal Studios lol.

4. Speaking of travel, I can’t wait to pack our bags again and go. I am excited to see Singapore and Malaysia for the first time and hopefully Indonesia as well. But to be honest, after this, I don’t know when’s next. Traveling is expensive. All I can do is put my hands together and pray for more. :) Btw, I’ve seen a batch mate at St. Petersburg and instantly I fell in love with the place. Aaaarrrgggg…

5. I miss reading. It’s one of the things I REALLY love. No time is not an excuse of course. I’ve proven last year that at least 10 pages before sleep is workable. I’ve read a lot of books last year. I have to buy myself a book one of these days. Or maybe re-read some I have at home. I just have to start reading again. Period.

A year older

I don’t have a perfect life (if there’s such a thing). Blessings and answered prayers come in abundance and so are problems and challenges. But today as I turn 34, I can say that I am already a fulfilled woman. I know my kids are still young and I feel that God isn’t done with me yet, but there is so much contentment and happiness in my heart that I cannot ask for more. It feels like the rest of my years alive will be bonus already.

God has been using me not mainly on what I am good at but more on what he sees in my heart. All these things that are happening to me today is not what I pictured myself years ago. I underestimated God. Who I am today is not my own doing, I feel Him working in my life. All I did was pray (hard), wait, keep my feet on the ground, share my blessings and keep the faith.