Friday, August 28, 2015

The Road to Four-Ever

Introspection.

Pag-mumuni-muni.

Something I've been doing in the last few weeks leading up to four-ever. This is likely because I've been stuck in Singapore for a month already, by choice. My body has been telling me to just stop and rest. I've also been wanting to settle down and put in some roots and actually have friends to spend time with (aside from my family).

I started blogging ten years ago (on Friendster) around the time of my birthday and I remember listing down 30 special things I've done in my life (ugh but please don't read it na!), the last from that list is joining a search engine. The last ten years of my life has simply been extraordinary.

On Love

Ten years ago I was heartbroken, became an ice queen (Elsa isdatu?), eventually started dating again, kissed a few frogs and eventually found my prince (there is a lot of hope!). I had actually given up, but you know you just really need to trust God and allow Him to write your love story. How Sweetie found me was an extraordinary experience even though we met at an event and I ended up fan-girling when I found out that he was the founder of Titikpilipino.com.

Friendship though was key. We became best friends even before we thought about love (we were actually dating other people!) and things just rolled up nicely. We've been married for 5 years now and ten years ago I never even thought I'd eventually get married (busy sa career at bitter ocampo!). God would really find you the right (and the best) one if you allow Him to.

When God Writes Your Love Story (part 1)
When God Writes Your Love Story (part 2)
The Perfect Proposal
The Wedding Day

On Parenting and Family

Ahhh, one of the most difficult roles I play in life is being a parent. Ang hirap! It's really hard since there's no manual for it and each child is different from the other. I will not have it in any other way though and I'm happy that I over-achieved and had Miguel at the young age of 17 (while all my batch mates are slaving away for their kids I'd be retiring in a few year!). It's not been easy though since you really have to work on things all the time.

I realized that my family is quite small. I just have two siblings and they both live faraway. Lost my Dad four years ago and I've been feeling disjointed without him in the last four years. Tears always come to my eyes whenever I think of my Dad (and that happens everyday). After my Dad I also lost two of my uncles, so my family has been getting smaller and smaller. We realized though that we all have each other when needed. And I'm happy that we have a tiny boy in the family now, my grand nephew Jet!

On Friendship

The last ten years has been a struggle on staying in touch with friends. I've been traveling so much that I've lost touch with my "offline" friends and I miss then a lot. Some of them have just slunk away into oblivion, but I realized that I've made a gazillion new friends across the globe and they are just happy to be there when I ping them. I'm still much better though at talking 1:1 than being in a big group (hey I'm an introvert!), but I think most of those who stuck around understand and accept me for my quirks. I've learned to accept the fact that there are those who you try to stay in touch with but don't. It hurts but I realized there are other people out there who are willing to open their hearts for you.

On Working

Ahh, I've been working since I was a student. I started out as a student assistant at Yuchengco Institute, then worked part time as a writer at Pilipinas Shell. When I graduated I started work at Smart, left Smart when work conditions became weird (I knew early on I didn't really like sales), became an entrepreneur exporting furniture and houseware and then eventually joined the Cyan group of companies where I worked at One Hundred Services, the Yellow Pages and Dream Satellite TV. After that I spent some time doing consulting work for DMCI Homes while I was waiting for my papers to be finalized to join Google.

Looking back I never really had a break except when I had heart surgery and where I am today is because of all the hard work I do. The companies I joined were carefully picked because I wanted to learn as many skills as I could. I never said no to any project or task because I feel I should help whenever I can. I always also pray for guidance especially during tough times. I'm lucky now though because I have very nice and caring managers, my bosses in the beginning of my career are ones you would not want to have but I learned from them as well.

On Faith

Who I am today is complete because of my faith in God. I always seek guidance from him all the time and I am very thankful for all the blessings he continues to give me and my family. Thank you Papa God from the bottom of my heart.

To everyone in my life, my family, my friends, my colleagues, my friends in the community, thank you very, very much for everything! Love you all!




Thursday, August 20, 2015

Cranky and Averting a Crisis

I'm feeling really cranky today, so thought I'd vent on my blog to ease off some of the negative energy from my system.

I'm cranky because I didn't get a good night's sleep (which is apparently a requisite to my good mood and perkiness). Last night the haze in Singapore hit 99 PSI. Hitting 50 PSI is already a bad indicator for me since I have a heart condition. By 9pm last night I felt like being choked. I used the nasal spray my EENT gave me, but that only helped a little. I tried to calm myself down by quilting since one of my friends advised me that I should let my body adjust. It helped a little and I eventually fell asleep around midnight.

Part of the reason I'm cranky is stress. The last two weeks have been extremely stressful since I had to work on a crisis situation. I do enjoy figuring out how to get out of a crisis, but part of it includes getting stressed.

So how does one get out of a crisis?

1. Audit the situation - a crisis usually happens when someone messes up. It may be work-related or something in your personal life, but usually it's because someone did not fulfill their responsibility (on or off-work). Before diving in to solve a problem it would be best to assess the situation. Check who are involved, the status and know what needs to be done.

2. Listen and ask Questions - one of the beautiful things I learned from the coaching course I took was the importance of listening and asking questions. Before making any pronouncements listen to what people have to say and ask questions. Ask more what, how, why questions and you'd be surprised with the answers you'll get. (We were forbidden to ask yes/no questions at coaching class).

3. Ask More Questions - I learned that it's better to ask than to make assumptions.

4. Check Resources - as you listen and as you ask questions you will get a lot of information. Assess the data and counter-check available resources you may have. It's very important to get all sides so you can make the proper recommendation.

5. Make a Recommendation - with the appropriate data, counter-checking resources and matching these to objectives (and maybe adding more goals) you can then make a proper recommendation to make things work out.

[Hmmm... I think the above recommendation works for love as well].

Nothing like writing to make me less cranky. =)

Friday, August 14, 2015

Acceptance

Acceptance can mean a lot of things. It can mean it's suitable, adequate, tolerance, and perhaps to some it may mean defeat. I started thinking about this word when I read about a friend experiencing some health problems and he's been having a hard time about it.

Back in 2008 I contracted pneumonia which resulted in heart failure. I was constantly coughing for about a year because the water in my lungs just wouldn't go away. When it did my immune system had deteriorated a lot and all my allergies were activated. I couldn't eat chicken, chocolate, couldn't drink Coke and cockroaches (even their smell) made me feel like I was dying. There's no cure for heart failure but there are ways to help ones allergies. So I saw an allergologist, Dr. Canlas of Makati Med. Being the best allergologist in town the line was long and I waited for about 3 hours before I could see him. I thought I was going to pass out while waiting for him, good thing Sweetie was there for me and told me I would get better after I see the doctor.

So after getting pricked 40 times to test for allergies the doctor rattled off the stuff that would trigger my allergies. He said though that the first step to getting better was accepting the fact that I have allergies and that I would need to adjust how I live. I was feeling sorry for myself then because I was so weak, I could barely eat and I couldn't do anything anymore. I thought then that I was probably dying a very slow death.

That was the first and the last time I saw Dr. Canlas, but the advise he gave me on that day made a huge impact on how I live today. Acceptance doesn't mean defeat. It means that you can face challenges in a mature manner. It means being flexible and adjusting to what you have. I know I have a lot of limitations because of my heart, but it doesn't mean I cannot do anything anymore. It also means I just really need to be smart about the choices I make so I can still do what I want and like doing.


Monday, August 3, 2015

The Top 10 Things I Learned in the Last 3 Decades

A few weeks from now I will be leveling up to the next decade of my life. One of my Kuya's told me when I sent my birthday invite was, "How time flies!" Indeed time flies so fast since I met him when I still an undergraduate student.

A few years from now I'll probably be having a mid-life crisis, or I may have gone through it early this year. I remember going through quarter life crisis quite early as well. A few years back I read a question in a magazine, it said, "If you were to relive your life, would you rather go back to your 20s or 30s?" My 20s was quite turbulent and things just stabilized in my 30s, so I'd much rather relive my 30s than my 20s.

Here are ten things I learned along the way:

1. Be content - the more you want, the more you get frustrated. Be happy with what you have.

2. Unload those baggage of expectations - if you do things with loads of expectations, more often than not there would be things that would not meet your satisfaction and you'll just be frustrated. See #1.

3. Save - and live within your means. Rainy days are sure to come.

4. Be realistic - you will never get everything you want. Manage your expectations and plan ahead (remember the 5Ps of preparation!).

5. Be flexible - I had to adjust to a lot of situations, primarily my health. There's a lot I want to do, but I can't anymore because of my condition. I've found ways to channel my energy to something I can do.

6. Listen - a lot of misunderstandings happen because you don't listen.

7. Love like there's no tomorrow - #there'sforever

8. There will be bumps in the road - life is not perfect and there will always be bumps in the road. Just take a deep breath and meditate and don't hesitate to ask for advise/help if needed.

9. Always pray - and meditate.

10. Enjoy - you live only once, so enjoy as much as you can too.