A Wonderful Young Woman (Day 6)

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Today was designed to be a wonderfully uneventful day–if you look at my calendar, that is. Of course, the universe often has plans of its own. Mind you, I’m not complaining. The universe’s plans eventually turn out to be much better than my own. 

Today I was visited by someone I haven’t seen in a while. This is someone I fiercely admire. By simply living her life, she has taught me so many lessons: on fighting for what you believe in, on admitting you’ve stumbled and looking for better ways, on accepting your limitations and learning to overcome them, on thriving in whichever environment you may find yourself in, on recognizing the importance of what you do, on letting go of the superficial, on the inner strength that resides in all of us. 

Today, I thank the universe for sending my way this wonderful reminder, this very timely push that I didn’t know I needed. More than that, I thank the universe for the privilege of having the most awesome woman I know as a friend.

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Rethinking “Wonderful” (Day 5)

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I am not an adventurous person. The rush and excitement are welcome breaks to the everyday life. But let’s be realistic about it. Who can really handle all those hormones and emotions, stress and sweat, highs and lows on an everyday basis? I’ll more often than not choose a quiet day over an eventful one spent jostling for some space in the train, navigating the traffic snarls, and negotiating one meeting to the next. 

Yesterday was about finding the wonderful in the ordinary. In my book, a simple day where the only issue I had to face was a minor one with the building administrator is a very good day. An uneventful day means no big problems, no urgent issues. A quiet day is a peaceful, wonderful one. 

Waking Up to a Wonderful Week (Day 4)

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We set the alarm a little earlier. After a healthy breakfast, we hit the floor. The husband and I are trying to develop the practice of exercising. As we clock in the years, we realize we need to take better care of ourselves to take better care of each other. We try to eat healthier. We try to squeeze in a few minutes of exercise everyday (or at least as often as we can). We have to keep strong. We want to share a long, full life together. We see a life together that will always have fun and adventure. We have to start preparing for our retirement years now. We won’t just sit together on the porch, though we’ll do that to. We have mountains to climb and waves to ride. 

Focus T25(Here’s Shaun T helping us do it with Focus T25.)

What better way to start a fresh week?

 

Two Wonderful Days (Days 2 and 3)

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When Saturday brought us together, it was a bundle of energy and excitement. It knew just how much we were all looking forward to spending the day with old friends. Saturday was all about catching up with each other, sometimes laughing, sometimes serious, sometimes pondering, always underscored by genuine love, concern and mutual respect. Conversations punctuated with mmms and aaahhs as we kept on eating and eating – just a little more cake, some more of those chips, or one more buffalo wing – always more.   

Caught in an endless moment of friendship, we didn’t notice as Saturday quietly slipped into Sunday. It tiptoed its way; the faint sound of its light footsteps easily drowned by our stories and laughter. Before we knew it, the sun was peeking out and it was time to answer the last question, reminisce that last anecdote, and take that mandatory group picture for those who couldn’t make it.

Seeing our hearts filled, Sunday lovingly ushered us home. Our hearts were quiet, joyful, and content within the bonds of the strongest of friendships.  

One Wonderful Day

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 Indeed. 

While the world was rearing its ugly face at me, I got a call from a very long-lost friend. It’s been more than a decade since I last saw her. The best part: I’m seeing her tomorrow!

My husband is on his way home from a business trip abroad! Can anything be more wonderful than that?

I’m reminded of a quote from Love Actually (photo below is screen grabbed from the movie’s opening scene):

Love Actually

 

Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends.

 

 

100 Wonderful Days

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A few minutes ago, I decided to challenge myself to have 100 Wonderful Days. I was feeling good about myself, my life. The day wasn’t half done and I’ve crossed off two major tasks from my to-do list.

Just as I made that decision, then came text messages bringing me back to reality. As if some negative energy out there was taunting me: “Kiddo, life’s not rosy. Not at all. Here’s Problem #1. Deal with it NOW. Here’s Problem # 2. Should have been dealt with yesterday. Oh, by the way, you should have been finished with this and this and this as well. See? You won’t even make it to wonderful day number 10.”

 Wonderful World

(Image from http://www.oopsiedaisy.com)

But you know what, I’ll deal with whatever comes my way and still forage through the noise. I’ll always find the gems, you’ll see. I’ll re-focus myself to connect with the happy, the good, the awe-inspiring, the beautiful, the hope-filled, the exciting, the calming, the life. Even in the midst darkness, there’s always light.

Climbing beyond the clouds; On trusting someone else with your pack

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Before we left for our trip to Kalinga in the Cordilleras, I told my husband that I will be completely dependent on him. He answered, “No worries. It feels good to have you dependent on me for at least once in our life.”

True to his word,  my husband did everything. He just asked me to pick out this number of pants and shirts. That’s all I did. He bought our bus tickets. He packed our bags. He pre-cooked the food we brought to the community. He arranged for our guide.

This is something that I’ve never done before. I am used to being self-sufficient. But for this particular trip, I didn’t know what to pack, I didn’t know what to expect. I had to work right up to the last minute before we left to catch the bus. I had no idea how we’re getting there, what exactly is going to happen. This is not me. Or at least, not the me I was before. I would have researched the trip to death, pre-arranged everything that can be arranged from miles away and tried to iron everything out so that the trip would go smoothly from one point to the next.

This time is different. I have someone I can completely trust. I know that my husband will do everything he can to make the trip as comfortable and enjoyable for me as possible. He will go out of his way. He will put me first before anyone and everything else – including himself.

Now, I have a really bad back. I visit my chiropractor at least once a month to keep the pain at bay and try to ensure that it wouldn’t get worse. That being said, I couldn’t have possibly reached the community atop the mountain if I had a pack to carry. Worse, I can just imagine how much my back would be screaming at me if I lugged stuff as we traced the sides of mountains and trekked up steep inclines. Here’s me without a pack, negotiating the narrow path.

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Looking back, I now realize that the trip wasn’t just about me relying on my husband.  It was about us trusting the good in others. The trip wouldn’t have been as wonderful if it weren’t for the nameless people who, one after the other went out of their way to make the trip a little better for us.

It was about talking to random strangers, sitting on the floor and shelling dried beans while passing the time, taking a glimpse into their lives for just a little while. It was about sitting on a log beside a mother, listening to her stories about her children – all scholars, she proudly tells me. I learned how two were teachers but had to look for better paying jobs and are now working at the BJMP in Valenzuela. It was about trusting a young guide who would unobtrusively keep an eye on us, making sure we don’t fall. Knowing just when we’re about to run out of breath and suggest a quick stop.

The pack that I’ve been carrying, the one filled with worries and work-related concerns, got lighter with every story we shared, with every smile I received and returned.  I felt these just leave my pack, one by one, ride the wind, go back to Manila and wait for me there. That wonder is not something that I could have done by myself. Without knowing it, I needed these strangers, random people, who didn’t feel strangers nor random at all, to help lighten my pack.