• What’s Truly Important on Mother’s day — Midlife Lunacies

    Receiving hand made cards, flowers, an extra special treatment for special women is always anticipated on Mothers day. The celebration brings sentimentality and deep appreciation to the great women who influenced, nurtured and cared for us. The commercialization aspect of this tradition forces great expectations and unnecessary guilt to strained relationships. To the demented elderly mother, who seldom get visits to the nursing home, to the […]

    via What’s Truly Important on Mother’s day — Midlife Lunacies

  • “Good job”

    I never stop telling my son “good job” whenever he accomplish an ordinary routine or simple task like remembering to brush his teeth without any prompting, answering his homework independently, finishing his dinner plate, swallowing bitter medicine, keeping basic manners and saying his graces.

    How would you feel if somebody told you that “You are doing a good job, “You are appreciated or “Thank you for your service”? When you hear kind words ,it makes your heart blush and it is good to know that what your are doing is making a difference to someone’s life. It makes you want to do more or do your very best.

    In times of crisis, It is a blessing to have a job that pays the bills. It is also a blessing to be of service even when we are not getting paid. It means that we are able, we have a sound body and mind, we are capable of lending a hand. We have a purpose.

    Being safe at home, we are keeping our family well-nourished physically, spiritually, and emotionally. We are at wit’s end struggling to balance our checkbook, not knowing when we will be able to join the workforce again, preparing a healthy menu, or just doing our best to manage the household while trying not having a meltdown.

    We may be staying home, but we can send comforting messages to a friend who is grieving a lost family member, someone who just tested positive for the virus, a burned-out co-worker, an anxious friend who just filed for unemployment. Would it make us smile if our neighbor, left a kind note at our doorstep? We are already making an impact by keeping a sound and open mind so we can offer ourselves to someone who needs prayer and assistance.

    We shouldn’t take for granted our children who are being a good sport while juggling online learning, playtime and newly-assigned chores. To the housekeepers, life coaches, mask sewers, bakers, freelancers, farmers, accountants, the volunteers who donates their time or money for a good cause, the social media entertainers, the writers, influencers, artists, the researchers, the scientists and vaccine developers and all who are working behind the scenes, we realize their importance more than ever.

    To the employers, understanding enough to keep their employees, while taking a direct hit themselves, to the shoppers who are supporting small businesses to keep their livelihood and the economy going, the food pantry workers, to the pastors devoting their time and sharing the the word online, the police officers keeping the peace, to the bankers, chemists, the engineers and IT folks, to those who are giving free online workshops, the keyboard warriors, the zoom/distance learning educators that are so understanding and hard trying not to laugh at the parents who are coaching behind the scenes, you all matter and your work is not in vain

    The grocery workers, delivery people, postal workers, drivers, garbage collectors, maintenance workers who are also exposed to the elements everyday, the caregivers, healthcare workers, nurses, pharmacists, laboratory technicians, phlebotomists, medical doctors, dentists, veterinarians, medical examiners, cleaning and cook staff, your work is remarkable. It takes a lot of will power to get up and do the job knowing that your health, physically, emotionally and mentally is at risk the moment you step out of the door. It keeps us grounded knowing that what we do affects people directly and indirectly.

    By saying “Good Job”, as if our life depended on it, will make a difference. To the overwhelmed, over fatigued, tired, worried, your words might be the only thing that will keep them afloat and keep on. Doing something small is extraordinary and inspiring to someone who needs it. It might be a lesson that we need to remember on a ordinary day or a not so ordinary time like this.

  • despair

    Today is unlike any other day, you are stuck in a limbo,

    In an endless twilight loop

    Collecting your thoughts rationally.

    Still,there wasn’t any clue.

     

    So this is how it feels like to be trapped,

    with nowhere else to run,

    It is getting worse before it gets better.

    Being helpless is not an easy feeling.

     

    To know that you are in mercy of a higher power.

    Is to be in a humbling state.

    The control of any situation you cannot take.

    There isn’t any place to run or hide.

     

    You cannot bargain,

    You are out of luck,

    You picked up your last straw

    The cards never in your favor anyway.

     

    You are angry because you can’t have your way.

    You wan’t to be in control.

    It is your right to be right.

    You can blame nobody but yourself.

     

    You wanted things to end right this moment.

    Why did I let myself fall to a trap?

    I wanted to unhear the voices of doom.

    To uncry my useless tears.

     

    I am not ready to let go,

    I could not move on just yet.

    I wanted to tore down a closed door

    I’m begging to please free my from my chains.

     

    A  dead end  brick wall with no way in plain sight.

    The agonizing truth that the pain will never dissipate.

    There is no other choice but to surrender.

    And prepare for the battle, to do it all over again.

  • The Givers

    In this time of financial hardship, it is hard to think of others, when you yourself is in need. In our own little ways, we can give a piece of ourselves. It may not be much, but it will be a lot when it will come from our hearts.

    Because He first love us, whatever we have now is already given to us. God’s timing is always right, for the times when we are in need, God always provides and never left us.

    I ask God to take away my pride. I asked God to open my heart and mind. Sometimes, I feel the burden of giving .That I should give because of responsibility. I couldn’t give without being bitter. I could’ve used the money for myself. Like a melting candle that is slowly burning, I couldn’t share my brightness.

    True giving is giving without getting anything in return. I felt proud when I give something. I expect gratitude and the accolade. Sometimes, we will never get the acknowledgment we deserve. I believe we received our reward first before we gave anything away. Giving doesn’t require an audience.

    God cannot be mocked.  We can say, that we will give when we are ready. We say, Lord, I will give, when I win the lottery.  I will give when I receive my raise. Sometimes, the time never comes. God provides us with the capability and strength to give. Oftentimes, we have doubts. We lack empathy. There is no time to give but the present.

    One of the clients, once shared how she was blessed by sharing. She didn’t have the money to spare to begin with. She said that instead of playing the lottery, she would use rather send the money to the needy. Every charity letter she received, she put a few dollars. She always share what she have. A little generosity goes a long way. How can someone who doesn’t have much be that generous!. God is be pleased not by the amount we give but by opening our hearts to give.

    To be used as an instrument to spread the flame of kindness, let us be a beacon of hope once more. We may be that only person to show kindness someone who had lost their faith in God. We may be that sign that someone has been praying for.  I pray that He can use us to share the blessing to others that they may know Him more.

    God is not finished with you yet. He can change you. He can remove all the bitterness and hate. God doesn’t call the qualified He qualifies the called, as the mighty saying goes. If you feel that your life is over, that you don’t have anything to give. That you are too frail, too old, too weak, God can use your life. Our labor will never be in vain.

  • Eye on the Prize

    One day, turned to another week, another month has passed since the simultaneous cancellations of all non-essential activities and government mandated lockdown worldwide. The glimmer of hope for the vaccine is at least for another year. There are not enough evidence that the anti-viral medications they propose are effective. The PPES and disinfectants are still scarce and in high demand. There are more massive protests, conspiracy theories, more political issues. The only certain thing is the uncertainty. We don’t have the answers.

    It is not supposed to be like this. I should be on the prime of my life. I should be traveling and enjoying the fruits of my hardwork.  I deserve a vacation after all the years of toil. Being unemployed and feeling helpless is something that I did not plan. When will it end. All our lives had changed dramatically. All we do is complain and mumble. We forget that our lives are intertwined that whatever we do or don’t do affects one another. Even a simple prayer, a faith as small as a mustard seed can create a ripple effect.

    We are afraid of the invisible virus. But stronger is he who believes God is still God and His promises are still true. The same God that lifted when you were nothing is the same God that will bring you through. I don’t know how but He is will. May we endure and finish the race and until we see the big picture. May God’s name be glorified and magnified now till the end

     

     

     

  • How to be happy

    What is the secret to lasting happiness? Is it having a doting family, having a secured job? financial security?  a good portfolio? successful career? having a good business that will not fail and carry you through all the economic distress? having no worry? good health? being vegan? popularity?having a sense of pride, respect, appreciation? being a generous giver? a pretty face? being well traveled, a fulfilled bucket list?

    Will a new Louis Vuitton purse give me excitement? will having a belly full of treats makes me happy? will being mindful make me happy? will decluttering ease my stress?

    Are we really chasing after the wind? Will all this things grant us the joy of contentment?We all take pride in our accomplishments, we all enjoy the applaud and approval. We are happy when people appreciate us. But is that enough? Is there something more?

    If we don’t have enough food to eat, we don’t know how we are going to pay the next bill, mortgage, when our jobs will reopen, are we less happy than someone who have a healthy appetite or enormous wealth? Do we fear that one day, we will get old and helpless, that our wealth won’t save us? That someone has to pull the plug on our life support. Our life wouldn’t matter if we are old and debilitated.

    For years, I think that someone with autism or disabilties have no chance to survive in the world. How will they cope with society. For neurotypical individuals, it is hard, what more hardships can life can offer for them. Will they ever be fully prepared for the outside life? My good friend, before she passed, was worried that not even her relatives will handle the responsibilty of taking care of her severely disabled child, and that she is considering putting her in the home. She was worried that when she dies, no one will love her like she do. She is afraid that she will get abused and raped because of her mental status. It is hard to imagine, in this fallen world we are afraid that anything that may or can happen.

    Sometimes we torture ourselves with fears and thoughts. these thoughts serve no purpose but to instill havoc and stress.

    How can we get prepared  for a pandemic, when during our normal lives, we are struggling? we are struggling to make ends meet, our jobs are already dead end , our relationships are already o the fence.  Its like we are adding insult to the injury.

    As we are safe In our own homes. we are itching to go out. We are anxious to return to work. We are envious of the people who are still working and making a difference by staying essential. We are envious of the rich who can afford to stay at home and not work for a lifetime and yet have some money to spare and help the needy. We are envious of the people who never worked in their life yet getting unemployment benefits that we tax payers are paying. We are envious, ungrateful, unappreciative. We think life is unfair. People in the fron tlines are dying. Where is justice for that. At the blink of an eye, we are unemployed, we are homeless, we are in debt, we are stricken with sickness. We are in need of God. If life was fair, we would be punished already for the long list of our debts! We need God’s mercy!

    We only seek God in times of need. Its not to late! We can seek Him now!

    For many years, I thought that happiness is a destination. That we can be happy if we achieve our dreams of becoming somebody. If only we have this or that that we can be whole.

    The reason I was unhappy was instead of counting my blessings, I was looking at my neighbors green lawn that I forgot to water my own. I was resentful because I felt that people are happier than me. That I deserve to be happier.  I am suffering so other should be too. Nobody should be happier than me. Is it true that misery loves company?

    I envy my friends child. I envy her perfect family. Why can’t my child be. Why is my child so different?  As felt my child is lagging behind on his academic skills. His reading and comprehension is in the lowest percentile. While some of his classmates are reading greek mythology, mine was learning to discern vocabulary. I am not fishing for sympathy, I felt defeated!

    I realized that could not be proud of my son because I was looking at his disabilities. I forgot that he is smart in his own ways, he is improving, he is trying.  He did not speak until he was four, and now he is thriving! I forgot that God that make no mistakes. He is mine to love. He is my gift.

    I felt that as if God is pruning me. Not to be a victim of comparison. Not to be full of hate. Not to be greedy of attention. It is not about me. Its about God. He is the source of all. What ever he gives is because is who He is and is not because we deserve it. It is humbling to be loved by Our Father that in no instance will belittle us for our shortcomings. I pray for God to change my heart and to be more like His son as we all continually seek his will.

  • Solitude

    My aunt passed earlier this week. I wonder how she felt in her last waking moments? Did she felt scared? alone? is she at peace? I haven’t seen or talked to her since four years ago when we came back home for a visit. What I do remember is when we were young, me, my siblings and cousins, used to spend our vacations at our aunt’s. I remember she would always hand us a gift and money on special occasions.  She never had any children of her own, but she had a lot of nieces and nephews that she would shower great affection. She was a elementary school teacher for many years. She was adored by all the children she has taught as she was like a mother to them. She is a generous and selfless giver and always give her last penny to her relatives and those who are in need. I wonder if she left anything for herself.  On her last dying breath, what was she thinking? was she ready for this? was she fulfilled?

    As far as I know, she was the third sibling who had succumbed to pancreatic cancer. Our genes predispose us from this terrible disease. If we had known that we are sick, will we have changed our view of life? If we knew we were dying, would we love harder, be sympathetic to others and ourselves, would we lend a helping hand? Sad to say, but some of us will only receive flowers when we are gone.

    It is unfortunate that there is no commemoration or memorial service for all those who passed away in this time of crisis. There were no hands to hold, there was only solitude. Did they know that we loved them? Did they know that they had made a big impact in our lives? Their legacies are not in vain and will never be forgotten.

    We all know someone we love who had died and reality is death does not exempt anybody. No matter how great a fortune you amassed, how much good deed you did, how many followers you have, none of it will matter.  With all our great accomplishments, the one thing certain that we are all headed to the grave. We all fear death not only because it is inevitable but because it is the finality of our earthly lives. We hold on to the promise of God that the everlasting life with Him is something we all look forward to.

  • Choices

    7C7E2C53-9CAF-4557-9D84-E1CA06A85D1EThis social isolation situation has me dumbfounded and second guessing myself. So many emotions. The days that had flown by, for me, can either be described as okay and not so okay days. Some days, I have the energy to to productive tasks, other days, I have to force myself to shower. In, between days are reserved for stress cooking and mindless repetitive scrolling for anything.

    The other day, I have this overwhelming feeling of guilt. I comtemplated that I should be contributing something myself to alleviate the suffering of the world. I should’nt be netflixing my days away while the frontliners are sacrificing their life and all. I should’ve sign myself to volunteer somewhere and not take a time off from my job in the health care. The more I ruminate, the more I am doubting my decisions in life.  If I should’ve taken a nursing degree or any essential professions. I should’ve signed up long time ago. If I had know that this will happen, I should’ve been more prepared. I envy the people I know who are thriving from home based work and made suitable career choices.

    I realized that who am I as a person now is a summation all my collective hardships.  I cannot be resilient now if it were not for all the struggles. There is no easy path around. We have to take a road that is meant for us to trudge. There is no looking back unless you want to see how far you came and how many boulders that you dodged. The callouses in our foot are the constant reminders that we can overcome fear and pain.

    I realized that pandemic or no pandemic is not the time to start a new career. It is not about making drastic life decisions. Life doesn’t have a reset button, if it does, failure won’t be an option. But, it is still not too late to make sensible and practical choices.

    Saying that this is the new normal is an understatement. Adjusting has always been the norm. When a sudden event change poses a threat, we have an natural survival instinct and once the threat is gone, we adapt to a new routine. We learn from our mistakes hopefully and evolve to a wiser human being. 

  • A Question of When

    What’s happening in the world now, is like watching a post-apocalyptic movie scene, where you are protagonist and instead of zombies, you were being chased by a virus.  The movie which we are hoping for a twist to the story, that there is an alternate ending to which the main characters are spared and everyone get’s along in the end.That would be a satisfying conclusion.

    It is no longer a question of if or how, but a question of when the inevitable will come upon us. The world is testing our coping and surviving skills more than ever. It’s what we have prepared for all our lives: the rainy days, the days that we would need to stock up on strength, compassion and resilience. 

    We picture the distant future as something to look forward to. The trips we carefully planned in our heads. The we are excited for the vacation leave we saved for excursions and reunions. We envisioned our children reaching their utmost potentials

    But fear has it’s funny way of creeping into our minds. The reality is that road is unclear. The future is uncertain, we thought that we had it figure out. We thought that if we have a great portfolio, a stable job, we are all set. We value our security like we are invincible, that we can steer our lives the way we want.

    As we adjust to our new normal, maybe the change is for the good after all. Our focus is to keep rowing, amidst the turbulence. I think we are all going to make it together.If we look at the bigger picture, that are our lives our intertwined, and that we can make a difference if we become a part of the solution. Instead of bickering and pointing fingers, we can think of viable plans and long term solutions. 

    There are things that we thought we cannot live without. We appreciate today that we can hug our loved ones because in just a blink of an eye we can be isolated. The luxury of traveling, going to the movies, gym, eating out  will never be the same. Not being able to worship services physically is testing our faith.

    It is question of when. When time comes, we will realize what is important. To find great joy in the small things. To be selfless and kind. That is what humanity is all about.

  • Back to reality

    B84022E0-578C-489B-B5CA-8ADC0E2B3EE1.jpegAs the long stressful/restful holiday break comes to a conclusion, we look back and reminisce on all the good tidings, food and celebrations that we had. Now that it’s over, we start facing the reality, after all the decorations are put up, all the presents are unwrapped and shoved into your bedroom closets. Facing the back to work jitters, the protruding belly after engorging the sweet desserts silently depositing in your fat cells are a reality check.

    We don’t want the festivities to end. Over indulging on the Netflix and updating your social media like you are having the best time of your life.  Like old saying goes, all the good things will eventually come to an end.  Bills have to be paid and dishes has to be cleaned.  The new decade is a new start of hopes as cliche may it sound. We leave our sorrows behind and on to the new great chapter full of possibilities. Oh how we have grown and changed during the past ten years health wise, mentally and aged of course.

    What do we aspire when we make our resolutions? Is is good to aim for an high unrealistic goal? Do we start making promises to ourselves and break them the day after we lose motivation and lease on life? Do we fall back to our old ways or habits? Do we go back to were we are or be the best version of our selves?

    The key to accomplishing a task depends on the drive called self-efficacy. Psychologist Albert Bandura defined self-efficacy as a belief that an individual has the ability to accomplish a specific task. Along with motivation is grit, persistence and resilience are qualities to consider. Repetition breeds confidence.

    How do we even start? The hardest step is usually the first step. We have to start somewhere. Putting our best foot forward as we go on our day. Sip our coffee with delight as we get a headstart using all our senses to enjoy.  Breathe and savor the moment and thank God for new beginnings.

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