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Archive for December, 2010

Looking Back, Moving Forward and Staying in the Moment

no more questions, no more struggling...all thats left is knowing that somewhere down the line when i look back, i will see how wonderfully connected my dots are

Steve Jobs once told the tale of connecting the dots, about how life hands us all sorts of surprises and stops along our life’s journey and about how it is only by looking back can we see how these dots connect. What we need to do, he said, is to trust that these dots will somehow connect somewhere down the line, even when it doesn’t make sense, even when it seems to be wrong, and even when it seems to lead you to all the wrong places. The year that ends today was filled with so many unexpected dots that have been both exciting and greatly difficult to deal with. Admittedly, when these detours came my way, I often responded with resistance and I would struggle through it, at times flailing like all hell to the point of wanting to give up. However, I have learned to be still and just believe that even if I don’t get it, the dots will connect, no questions, no explanations, just because. Read the rest of this entry »

Serial Sevens: Habits I Dropped (or Lessened at least!) in 2010

In the spirit of ending the year, I’ve been taking a look back at the year that was and I am taking pause to recognize the important lessons and events that have shaped my year. For today, I look at the seven habits I dropped or at least made changes in this past year…

  1. Procrastination and Cramming! Yes…I don’t do this much anymore (well…except for my clinic work! teeheeehee….). I have seen that by planning ahead, I do better (duh!) and I am able to see things clearer. Downside, however, without the cramming, I kinda have too much time to focus on non-essential stuff which tends to throw me off course.
  2. Biting my nails :) ’nuff said.
  3. Speaking without thinking. I have become more mindful about what I say, at least with most people, but there are some conversations with some people that still reek of verbal diarrhea teeheeeheee….lemme put that in a better way: some conversations are just so candid and carefree that I still speak without thinking, but of course, this only happens when I know the person I am talking to gets me and what I mean. :)
  4. Asking too many questions (also known as prying!). Before, I had trouble being okay with ambiguity when dealing with people, especially those I love. So when they say something, I want to know the full story and all details. Now, I can deal with the whole “I don’t really want to talk about it” or “let’s just leave it at that” .
  5. Eating mindlessly and just to cover up feelings. Like I said in my other blog, I am working on being a Fat Girl No More, right???
  6. Clinging on to old dreams and false hopes. Yes, sometimes when I lie awake in the mattresses laid out in my floor (errr…I don’t sleep in a real bed coz of Bubba…long story! teeeheeeheee), I find myself a wee bit sad and nostalgic about these things, but I have learned to give that sadness some space, that feeling of loneliness some recognition, but then I let it go when it is done. I don’t allow it to run my life anymore. :-) As I said before, I am letting go of the complicated :-)
  7. Taking on more than I can. I say no now, and at times, I still feel guilty because I know I cause disappointments or displeasure, but I realized that if I just keep saying yes when I can’t, that leaves nothing for me.

Oooh…there are more to add here, and I didn’t realize it! I do recognize though, that there are habits that I need to work on too, as well as behaviors, thought patterns and all…but that’s a whole other post!!! :)

Gifts that Warmed my Heart

It’s no secret, I think, that Christmas has always been a struggle for me. In the past few weeks, those who have been reading through my blogs may have gotten a sense of how difficult the season is for me, mainly because it taps into a lot of sadness, scratch that, loneliness for me. It’s not that I am not able to appreciate all the good and all the blessings that have come my way, but the season, what with all it’s family togetherness and abundance of love, makes me a wee bit nostalgic for the people who are not in my life anymore, are far away, and yes, admittedly it taps into that inner single girl insecurities that live in my heart. It’s not the gifts to be received, or the visits from Santa that make me sad, I guess, it’s the being alone part that gets to me…

This year, however, is slightly different. While the loneliness and longing is still there, it’s quieted down a bit despite a stumble every now and then, some even so strongly that I needed time outs and lifelines to pull me through.  And yes, while the singleness kinda gets all consuming, this holiday season reminded me of what is essential in life….these are amongst the wonderful albeit intangible gifts I received.

As for Christmas presents under my tree, there are a few that warmed heart….

lots and lots of new papers to write on and markers to write with!!! weeee!!!!

They mean so much to me because one of the things I fell in love with doing this year is writing notes. To some degree I can say it was a rekindling of the love for writing notes, either for myself or for others.  It may sound strange to say that I do write myself notes, but I’ve taken the figurative “note to self” to a more tangible level and have found that writing myself these notes allows me to pay attention to what my heart and soul needs at the moment, and these, at times, are thoughts and feelings that are too painful or ugly to post here. And while some may have gifted me with these post-its and notepads or cards by chance, a special few gave these knowing full well how much it means to me, I say thank you from the bottom of my heart…

I’ve always been a writer but for a long time, I stuck to just typing out my thoughts because one, it was easier and two, I have sucky penmanship but over the past about four or five months, I have rediscovered the joy of writing by hand. (Um…sorry nalang to the special few who I give handwritten notes to and have to read it :))  There’s just something very, um, primal in the act of writing, I guess, and I’ve loved that. There’s also the fact that I can’t really overthink things when I write by hand because unlike typing, there’s no backspace-ing or deleting, right? So when I write by hand I just allow myself to just go with the flow, which believe me, for a person like me is not very easy :) So for me, one of the many great things that happened to me in the past year is getting that gift back: my gift of words straight from the heart.

A Love Affair to Remember

Nicky and I have had an on-again-off-again relationship for the past year….medyo nagkatampuhan kasi kami when Sammy came along…

It’s not naman na pinagpalit ko siya kay Sammy, after all, there sure is room in my life for both of them, right? It’s not naman like I was cheating on him with the other, and that even if I had made a new friend he was still greatly loved, but no…when Sammy came along, Nicky prolly started feeling a little left out…a little selos, and yes, super duper nagtampo siya. For some reason, out of the blue, he stopped clicking for me. Yes, no matter how much I tried to adjust, zoomed in and out, when I’d push his buttons, no clicking. After some cooling off and letting things be, I realized we just needed to reset things and although there was a Sammy in the picture, iba pa rin ang relationship namin. Yes, true love ika nga. I may not invest extra in him, but what matters is going back to the basics…kaya hanggang ngayon, basic kit lens pa rin gamit ko.

Mwihihi ;) Kala niyo tunay na love story no??? Meet Nicky and Sammy.

Seriously though, I was glad to stumble upon a PixelPro-Online.com contest at Vince Golangco’s site (Vince is also known for his other site, WhenInManila.com where he writes with one of the blogosphere’s pretty faces, Hannah of FlairCandy.com as well as the DJ of the G-Spot) where two anti-theft camera bags are up for grabs and I thought what better way to spend the rest of Chirstmas day than coming up with my official entry, right, esepcially after last nights whole gratitude post :)

Anyway, I got Nicky (aka a Nikon D-40) not too long ago and it has actually made me realize a lot of things (okay, I’m going a wee bit philosophical here, but go with me, okay? ;-)) It actually dawned on me that having Nicky has allowed me to see, pardon the pun, the bigger picture. And while Nicky may not be a real man, he sure has seen me through a lot and we’ve gone many places together :)

One of the greatest things about Nicky is that he always flatters me. Not that he doesn’t see my bad side also, but he always manages to brign out the best in me, both as a newbie photographer and a subject for photography as well. This is one of my favorite shots ever taken by Nicky.

Obviously I wasn’t the photographer, but during a quick trip to the beach with a dear, dear friend of mine and while there, she took a whole bunch of pictures of me that seem to has captured more than what I was feeling in the moment, but when I look at those photos, it speaks volumes of where I am in my life journey. I’m not very good at having my picture taken, actually, because I tend to get way too self-conscious when I look into a camera and only a handful of people (errr…less than a handful to be precise…) can actually capture a great, natural and real snapshot of me. Sure I can pose well (yesss…let’s get to the self-affirmation part please mwahahaha!) and I am able to project for a camera and look good doing it (errr…sige na, pagbigyan, photogenic daw!), but to actually pose and be comfortable, its kinda….hard.

But with Nicky around, I get to take lots of great shots, and get a lot of great shots taken of me. I know it isn’t only the camera that does it, but it sure makes it easier. What I like about these shots is that I get to appreciate so much more than just what I see in front of me because for some reason, often times when I shoot, the finished product has something extra that I didn’t necessarily see ahead of time. For example, when I took this photo during the same trip I was talking about earlier, I was only focusing on the boat, but not the sky, the ripples of the water etcetera.

In the same way, however, I have my fair share of bad shots from Nicky…those that look good upon viewing but when I upload to my PC, errr…something isn’t right. At the end of the day, however, whether we have a good day or not, what I love about being with Nicky is that I really get to appreciate so much more of people, things and situations around me than meets the eye.

So there…that is our little love story :-)

WhenInManila.com and Pixel Pro camera stores are giving away CamSafe Anti-Theft bags and over P130,000.00 of other cash and prizes with their Picture Perfect Christmas contest! Find out how you can win here – http://bit.ly/iikRIe

My Grown Up Christmas Gifts

One of the greatest gifts I received this year is the ability to be grateful in spite of, despite of, in light of and because of all the not-so-good things that come my way. In no way is it easy, mind you, but I think keeping at it, despite it being seemingly futile at times, is what allows me to see beyond the “overwhelmingness” of the situation. By being grateful for it because deep down inside I know it is but a necessary pain, even if I feel like quitting life as I know it, allows me to see the bigger picture and to believe in rainbows even if I cannot see them.

This year I have been blessed with so many things, even if so much more may have been taken away. I have seen bright, glorious sunshine and I have likewise been inundated with ferocious storms that have rocked me to my very core and yet, lookie, I’m still standing. A little bit darker, a little bit wiser, and a whole lot better.

So for this Christmas, I am grateful for all the life lessons I have learned, I am learning and I am still trying to learn along the way.

In the past year, as tumultuous as it was, I learned to to give and to take not too much, but not too little. I learned more importantly, as the prayer of St. Ignatius goes, to give and not count the cost, or expect anything in return for that matter.

In learning to take care of myself I learned to say no if I really can’t, or really don’t want to for that matter. I am learning to not pretend to care if I really don’t or for the sake of niceness alone. I have begun to move on from old hurts that plagued me and have allowed my broken heart to heal, but yet I remember to keep at it even if it hurts, as long as it’s right. I have learned to be still and just listen. I’m beginning to understand how in silence so much more can be said, even if it is uncomfortable and unfamiliar.

In trying to learn to be a better friend, colleague, sister, and daughter, I’ve tried hard at being more mindful and aware of the fact that you can only love someone too much because loving another without keeping that in mind can actually stifle the growth of such relationships and leave it stagnant, or worse, makes it fester with unnecessary hurt that is caused without even knowing it. I’ve learned too to hold my tongue and just be patient, no matter how hard it may be. I try not to ask too many questions and just take things as they are.

In my quest for growth I am trying to be more considerate of myself, allowing myself a whole gamut of emotions from good and bad, reminding myself every now and then that feeling bad about things, and yes, at times even slightly slighted or jealous is but a natural reaction that is valid and has a place in my life. And as a dear friend always reminds me, I have learned to “tap tap tap” after every toink and to start anew :-)

But most importantly, the greatest gifts that came my way in 2010, besides the gift of gratitude,  is the constant reminder that I am infinitely loved, unconditionally so even if I may find it hard to hold on to at times, to not just have faith but to actually trust and believe that good things can happen even if it isn’t very often, and to once more, be hopeful about so many, many things despite all the hurt, uncertainty, fear and insecurity that so often seem much bigger than me.

Growing up, this whole Christmas thing…admittedly hurts a lot, but I am grateful. I am especially grateful to the people, places, things, and situations that have allowed me to see all this and more.

Happy Christmas everyone.

Sammy Makes Me Pretty :)

Pardon the random post….

Not too long ago a blog reader asked me if I was happy with my Samsung PL151 digital camera. I’ve posted several reviews already in the past and now that I’ve had Sammy for about eight months now, I can safely say it is a pretty good point and shoot. Sure, nothing compared to the more beefed up models available now, but for basic purposes, it’s good.

The things I don’t like about Sammy are as follows:

  • sometimes it’s soooo slow….thus, I miss shots
  • it does very little with low light, but the beauty shot compensates well for low lighting. It’s just hard to stay still for long haha
  • I don’t know if it’s just because of my settings, but I don’t like the dimensions of the photos. Haha. Random I tell ya. I’m too lazy to figure it out though.

What I like about it are:

  • Look how clear and smooth your skin can look when you use the beauty shot! (Yes…in reality, my skin isn’t that fabulous. This makes me look like I don’t even need moisturizer but…um…lately because I have been trying out new facial cleansing products and having problems with my period, I kinda have been breaking out much…um….lemme go check out those therapores reviews and cleansing creams whatever…haha
  • How can you go wrong with the dual LCD I tell ya?!?
  • it also takes great HD videos.
  • It doesn’t cost very much :-)
  • and best of all…Sammy makes me pretty.

Ktnxbai :)

Christmas Break, Where Are You?!?!

Okay…I know I started out the day determined to not complain

but but but

can I just say HEEEELPPPP!!!! Throw me that life ring right about now why don’t ya…

Photo: “life saver revisited” by , c/o Flickr. Some Rights Reserved

oh…lemme put things in context…I’m okay…I just feel a little overwhelmed by the number of tasks I have to accomplish before the year ends…

for one there’s my grades to finish…then I need to wrap presents (errr….if I finish painting them that is)….then I have to attend to house errands….and I need to have the real estate taxes assessed and paid, plus I need to get my car insurance quotes before January….and I should take Bubba to the vet…and I have to work on those danged clearbooks done!!!

WAAAAH….save me!!!

okay rant over :)

Looking for the Holiday Spirit

Um…

Christmas is just a few days away and I seem to have not found my holiday spirit yet. I think it’s  not just me…it’s a whole bunch of other people. Don’t get me wrong: I still remember and deeply appreciate the real reason for Christmas, but for some reason, the giddy feeling of the season seems to be missing. I don’t mean to be unfair to the great blessings that are coming my way, I can’t help but wonder still: where’d the spirit go???

My conclusion: maybe it’s there…maybe it just looks different and because I am still looking for the old version, I can’t find it. Whatchathink???

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