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Archive for October, 2010

Serial Sevens: Things that Remind me of Yesterday

In the past few weekends, I’ve been working on cleaning up the clutter in my life, both literally and figuratively. One of the major tasks I had to do was sort through a whole lot of old stuff, from pictures to projects, and even old test papers and papers from my students (and even mine!). I also had to clean up my dresser, where I found a whole bunch of things that triggered old memories, both happy and not-so-happy. It got me to thinking about things that trigger such memories and decided that since it’s been a while since my random serial sevens list, I should make one today.

So here goes:

  1. Johnson’s Baby Cologne :) especially the blue one. This reminds me a lot of childhood days.
  2. Fruit Stripes bubble gum reminds me of my mom’s daily pasalubong (treat) for me when she’d come home from school (she was still completing her degree in Accounting in DLSU when I was a child :-) )
  3. Paste that comes in tubes.
  4. The smell of Old Spice cologne and baccarat cigars. These remind me of my papa and all the places we used to go when he was still in Manila.
  5. Stamps on letter envelopes. I haven’t seen this in a while, but whenever I do, I recall the time when I was still collecting stamps :-) Oh, and how I would write different embassies as a child to ask for stamps from their country for my collection.
  6. Chinese junk food like kiamoy, champoy and all those yummy and not-so-healthy preserved stuff/
  7. Planters Cheese Curls. My mom said she made me “lihi” (craving) on cheese curls dipped in condensed milk. Um…yes, I know it sounds weird but it is pretty yummy. As a child, we’d eat a whole lot of this :-)

What about you? What are things that remind you of yesterday?

After the Sunshine

Yesterday was such a physically tiring but emotionally restful day for me, especially after the whole weeks stresses. Much as I was able to manage to make it through with enough positive energy and optimism through the week, I couldn’t help but run a bit low as Friday came along, particularly since the weather was really, really bad. Anyway, yesterday I was able to put those shadows aside, and find some pleasure in my art again.

Today, however, Project Sunshine kinda….um….is kicking my behind! Physically, that is! My knees hurt, my shoulders hurt, and my back…let’s not even go there!!! And since yesterday evening, I’ve been soooooo dizzy, but emotionally, I’m good so that’s okay hehe.  I have half a mind to take some pain relievers right about now, but I think I’ll be okay without it. What I realized, however, is that I really am not taking very good care of my body. Although yes, I am working on losing weight, I also have to work on other aspects of my health, such as being consistent with taking the medications I’ve been prescribed by my doctor (but I hate to the highest heavens because it wreaks havoc on my tummy all the time!). I should also start taking calcium supplements and vitamins, especially since I’m not getting any younger and given my hormone problems, I’d say a future with osteoporosis may not be too improbably.

For now, however, I’m going to lounge in bed all morning with my laptop and give my body a chance to recover. And later this afternoon, when I leave, I may just have to give my heels a day off….my knees can’t take anymore strain!!!!

Project Sunshine

A few months before Teacher Alice, our school directress who was more like a mother to us than anything, passed away, she took me and my co-teachers to the warehouse of Booksale. We went crazy picking books. I fell in love with one of those Hallmark-like inspirational book with lots of nice illustrations. It was a bit on the high end, price wise, so I decided to forgo it. Little did I know that when we’d get back to school, she would give it to me :-)

One of my favorite pages in the book is this one, mainly because it speaks of one of the things I love most: the sunshine.

In many ways, the quote really describes who I am, at least in the way I interact with others. While I may not be a bright-eyed optimist when it comes to myself, I definitely am a bright, sunshiney person for others.   Perhaps this is why people refuse to believe that I am a shy and introverted (yes, and deeply dark) person.  I guess this is partly due to my job as a preschool teacher where I have to really be super happy and pleasant all the time. Also, one thing I do a lot of, both consciously and unconsciously, is bring some sunshine to people who may need it. As my friend T always says, for some reason whenever she is iffy about things, talking to me brightens and cheers her up (and seriously, I don’t know what it is I say but… :-) ) and that despite my resistance to take on the task, I would make a good therapist  (um….menolikey!!!). That’s why every now and then she rides home with me from work, even though it’s kinda more hassle for her since she still has to take a jeepney ride from where I drop her off, as compared to a bus ride that goes all the way straight. And like the quote says, the more I am able to share my sunshine, the more I am able to see it for myself. Being able to share my sunshine really means a lot to me. Inwhatever way I am able to do this, on purpose or not, allows me to also feel bright and shiny myself . It makes me feel so fulfilled and content, and that I am living up to what exactly I am here for. I suppose this is also why I make it a point to honor and acknowledge my feelings, both good and bad, because it allows me to tap into that sunshine, even if for myself only and in the same way, this is why blogging and writing means so very much to me. This is why whenever I feel troubled or low, I get even more agitated when I am unable to write because in many ways, writing is my sunshine. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

*sigh*

one on hand, it's the most wonderful time of the year.....on the other, bah-humbug!

I’m going to go all Scrooge-y for a moment and take a moments pause from all the overwhelmingly inspirational posts I’ve been sharing lately to acknowledge a wee bit of not-so-happiness I am feeling right about now. Today I spent roughly four hours in my car sitting stuck in traffic. It seemed that there was no escape from it, no matter where I went. One thought that popped into my head (well, one of the so, so, so many thoughts that popped in!) was this:

Yes…it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Christmas traffic that is…

Notice how every time we cross the mid-October threshold traffic increases like ten-fold??? It didn’t help much that today was also the start of a long weekend, plus it’s been raining like crazy so traffic was virtually at a standstill for so long. Oh, and of course, let’s not forget that since it’s the weekend, sales and bazaars were aplenty again today. I was amazed that not only store windows are lined with Christmas-y stuff like trimmings and ProFlowers Christmas decorations, even a street vendor I came across today carried those little plastic Christmas trees.

Well…like I said, I’m a bit Scrooge-y when it comes to Christmas, so all that was kinda challenging for me.

This is the one holiday, well the whole season all the way till New Years to be exact, that always manages to tap into a somewhat sad part of me. Don’t get me wrong…it’s not that I don’t see and find pleasure in the festivities of the season, because I still do. It’s just that the Christmas season brings back a lot of memories of people and things now gone that I miss to bits. Sometimes, I miss it so much I feel my heart breaking over and over again. It is the one time in the year that I miss these people and things the most. During the rest of the year, I do think of them, and smile fondly when I do, but during the holidays, it becomes a tugging ache in my heart.

This song says it all for me:

I guess the best word for how I feel about the holidays is bittersweet. On one hand, it reminds me of how blessed I am and how many wonderful things there are for me to be grateful for, but on the other, it also reminds me of what I don’t have and still long for. Okay, okay, I do recognize that that whole statement is kinda…self-indulgent and melodramatic, but isn’t that what emotions are after all? ;-) Seriously though, what I do like about the holidays is how it brings people together and fosters the happy spirit of giving (not necessarily material things but giving of one’s self). It is also a time when you really can appreciate the wonder of friendship, the joy of love, and the enduring strength of family. There is so much togetherness that is fostered in the holidays and to some degree, I do like that. However, because I am more of the introverted type of person (as unbelievable as that may seem), I thrive in just being by myself and with a select few. So all the togetherness and joy the holidays bring tend to take it’s toll on me. Again, it’s not that I don’t like it…I just can’t deal with too much of it. I guess in many ways, I feel overwhelmed by all the movement and energy, as well as the colors and the noise that the holidays bring.

See, told you it’s bittersweet.

Scrooge mode still on. At least for the moment.

Finding My Way to “It’s Okay”

It’s been three weeks since I went on my little road trip to Tagaytay….three weeks too since I hit the magic number 21 on the weighing scale. And yes, three weeks later, it’s still stuck there. Okay, on one hand, I am glad it hasn’t gone up, but on the other, a little itty bitty part of me feels slightly frustrated because…well…because it’s stuck.

Then again, I do know that these numbers on the scale are just that: numbers. In my head, I know it’s okay that the numbers haven’t changed, because I can see the difference anyway when I look in the mirror. After all, I have come to the point where I accept that I will never ever have a very slim frame because that’s really now how I’m built. No amount of surgery or thermogenic fat burners will ever give me that anyway, right? So I have to work on getting to the best possible fit given my body type. I also know that I am going the right way with this weight loss quest of mine, meaning I am taking it slow, allowing my body to adjust and cope with the changes without throwing off my balance completely.

The heart, however, is still on it’s way to finding the “okay” in it. I’ll get there soon, right?

Welcome To My World of Quasi Sunshine

...if all the sun beams were bubble gum and ice cream, oh what a sun that will be...

People say happiness is a choice. I beg to disagree.

For me, I’d like to think it is a process and not just something you chose to do. It is something that is worked at, very hard, continuously and with conscious effort. It’s something you don’t take for granted or assume, just because you choose it. More than choosing happiness, I think it is about creating your own happiness, and part and parcel of that creation is acknowledging and honoring the sadness that may come along, recognizing its inherent value in the building of your soul. Sure, making a decision comes with the package, but it doesn’t end with just choosing to be happy. It comes with creating what makes you happy and reframing the way things happen around you.

Take this, for example.

Anyone who knows me knows how much I hate the rain. For me, the rain brings back bits and pieces of bad memories from really traumatic events that have greatly impacted my life. For me, the rain represents so many negative emotions like fear, dread, impending doom. At times, even death. The slightest hint of rain, from gray skies to the rumbling of thunder, always manages to tap into that. And while it may perhaps be a psychosomatic response to the rainy weather, whenever dark skies come and raindrops fall almost endlessly, I always seem to find myself physically debilitated and no amount of antibiotics or any medication would completely make me better. It is as if my physically body is commiserating with my soul, which slowly withers to the point of being at the brink of ‘death’. Read the rest of this entry »

Things That Go Bump In The Night

....I see the moon and the moon sees me The moon sees the somebody I'd like to see. God bless the moon and God bless me God bless the somebody I'd like to see....

Oh….this isn’t a Halloween post.

Although that would have been a good title, wouldn’t you think? Haha. Pardon the random flow of thoughts. It’s 2 AM (oooh…sounds like the starting lines of one of my favorite Anna Nalick songs!….gah…focus, Ri, focus) and I tried to go to bed and just as I felt myself drifting to sleep, those little things that go bump in the night reared it’s ugly head.

Yes, these things that go bump in the night are restless thoughts jumping all around in my head, despite all efforts to be still. From reminders of what I have to do the next day, tasks that have been left undone, to old and new memories that stir up whatever feelings in me, they suddenly come rushing in. Just as I am falling asleep. WHY??? I’ve been trying to figure that out lately why it creeps up at night, or comes to haunt for that matter, because seriously, I really, really need a good night’s sleep free from weird, interrupting and sometimes fearful dreams. I haven’t had that in months…well, to be fair it comes every once in a while, one night of reprieve from the buzzing, bumping thoughts. Usually they come after really, really good days where I feel safe and secure. Read the rest of this entry »

Chasing Rainbows In The Big Blue Sky

At the end of the rainbow there's happiness, And to find it how often I've tried....I'm always chasing rainbows....

It’s been a rough few days for many I’m sure…what with the endless rains that stirred up old fears and heartaches, mine included. While I may not have braved the same storms many others have, nor have I lost all that I had to it’s fury, it has had me at it’s grip for a long, long time…the rain and I, we’re not friends much, not at all if I had my way, but I’d like to believe (or should I say I’m working on believing) that indeed, every once in a while, we all need a little bit of it.

So tonight before I rest my weary self and try to find the happy vibe I dropped somewhere along today, and in the absence of my own words to say (yes, apparently silence does come to me every once in a while :-) ),  let me share with you an old Irish (I think it’s Irish, that’s what it said in the bookmark I copied it from years, years ago) proverb that I pray will warm your heart, as it has warmed mine so many times in the past.

In every life, however sweet,

God sends a little rain.

And every soul, however good,

Must know a little pain.

Today a cloud may dim your sky —

And dark as though it may seem,.

I’m sure that not too far away,

You’ll see the light gleam.

Nytnyt, dear friends. Don’t let the bed bugs bite.

♥ ,

yapatoots

Photo credit: “The Rainbow After the Storm” by Trey Ratcliff, c/o Flickr. Some Rights Reserved

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