Monday Musings (on a Tuesday)*

Monday musingsSome Monday mornings are easier than others, and I think today is one of the better ones. No school so I don’t have to herd out my high school freshman, and traffic looks light. Three of my buses have come one after another in a 15-minute span. That can only mean they are in sync with their schedule. (Fingers crossed). I’m starting this post on the bus and hoping I get to finish it and publish by the end of the day. (I’m trying to be optimistic and hoping to get my posts rolling.)

Through the years, I’ve occasionally hit Monday with blurbs or short posts within a post, and it helped because it took the pressure off to write something coherent about a single topic. It also helped me shape future posts because one or two would eventually become one. So here goes this week’s random thoughts racing through my pretty little head.

Planning for a trip.. somewhere. Much of my free time these days has been focused on planning a trip. I am not one those who save the shopping and packing for last minute, and I try to plan a flexible itinerary way ahead. Much excitement about this one– and I am counting the days to when I head out to this adventure.

Writing letters again. At the start of the year, I had set out to write a letter each month. I have drafted and written two but have not mailed it. Since it’s June already, I have 6 I need to send out to catch up. Some people are having birthdays this month so at least two will get a missive from me. 2 more then.

I am also sending out postcards again but in a selective manner. I have never stopped collecting– it’s just that there are years when I am more active than some.

Giving the gift of a little sparkle. I’ve been working on creating some simple pieces to give away to a not-so-affluent town where earrings would be the last thing women would spend on. And if they chose to, would not have much variety to choose from. In my mind it’s a means of empowering women to believe in their inner beauty, because each one of them IS beautiful.

Just giving. This is a bit of an emotional subject and one I can’t write and elaborate on, but there is a profound sense of gratitude in my heart for being able to give in whatever small way I can. Sometimes we hesitate, and sometimes we are cautious. But I was raised to appreciate whatever I have and to share what I have with those who need it most. I only wish I could give more.

So I got busy yesterday and ended up forgetting about this draft, after I started two others. Even if it didn’t get published until the day after, I’m on a roll. I think I’ve said that a couple of times, but this time, it just might just stick.

Here’s to a wonderful rest of the week ahead.

Saturday into Sunday

I promised myself I’d make it a no pressure but productive weekend, and so far I think I’m on track. I’m just a tad sad, though, that my last post here was practically a month ago. Four posts are in my virtual editorial calendar and I’m hoping at least two make it to publication here.

The days have been busy but not quite as stressful as the first part of the year. Or could it be that I’ve started coping better, so I am not all over the place and ready to pull my hair out when things start taking me over. I haven’t been meditating much so it can’t be that. It could be my newfound focus on losing weight and taking better care of me.

For starters, I get ahead of myself when I feel like I’m getting worked up. I step back and remind myself there are other things I can focus my energy on. Maybe that’s one reason I haven’t been too keen about keeping my meditation on a regular cadence. I am not stressed out enough to seek it out. I know that’s not the right way to get my mind into a better plane but I will try. I recognize meditation has done wonders for me during my lowest of lows, and I really should heed my own advice not to wait for an emergency before attending to things that ail us.

Weight has been lost, indeed! Six weeks ago, I decided I’d get on the keto diet bandwagon. Now this journey has been a pretty interesting one and merits a post all its own, but I am happy to report that I have lost 13 lbs, 2 lbs short of the achievable weight that I was aiming for. Not bad at all. I am back to my usual weight and can now work towards (1) firming up the flab (which I have a lot of!), and (2) losing more. I am not quite where I should ideally be, but what I have lost brings me to just “slightly overweight” instead of “really overweight”. So I can definitely say I’m making progress on the “taking care of me” part.

As the weekend spills over to Sunday, I’m feeling okay with Monday not being too far behind. No wishing for a longer weekend– I am actually excited by the thought that a new week is just right around the corner.

Paper and pen

WritingI have been hearing a voice in my head prompting me to take paper and pen and write.  I don’t quite know what about, but I was told by a friend that if I were to write a book (ambitious!), I should do it on paper.

I don’t know if I’m writing to get the juices flowing for my dream to get published to become a reality — or is it simply another love letter to an older me in the not so distant future.

Maybe.

I used to journal longhand, back in the day when blogging was just in its infancy.  Or maybe even its toddler stages.  I have at least two books (or even three) I had written longhand in — and a third which was a Christmas or birthday present from the ex — once upon a time when he answer to the label “husband” or “honey”.  Then I stopped journaling, only to resume it around a decade later.

But before that, I went online and wrote.. took photos and wrote.. and I am still writing.  Not quite as much as I had hoped, but at least there is that conscious effort to write again.

My return to written journaling was spurred on by my discovery of art journaling.  I picked up a hardbound book and altered it with drawing and color and used it as my canvas.  This coincided with a very tumultuous time in my life which meant there was so much I needed to write down.  Although I have always said I am not an artist, I managed to create an altered book with my own version of artistic expression, filling the embellished pages with journaling over a period of two years.  Then my life somehow settled — some — and the upheaval subsided into a quiet calm.  I came to the end of my altered book.

I have tried to kick start my art journaling several times since, but with no success.  And yet I know I will keep trying.

So here I am now, pen in hand and almost to the third page of my first story.  I feel like that in itself is quite an achievement.  These days, I go with a joyful “yay!” to celebrate joy & Triumph.  And with a smile on my face, I know I am back into my love affair with paper and pen.

In my corner

Grand Central

For days on end, I’ve been trying to get myself to write a post here and in my craft blog, but the truth of the matter is, life had me sidelined by more pressing matters that needed immediate attention, and we sometimes have to pause other portions of our lives to deal with it.

I love how this multi-frame pic came out, achieving overlaps and shadows of the typically busy scene at the grand concourse of Grand Central Station. I picked a corner and tried to hold the camera still. I wanted to capture the movement of the people but keep the building itself as a steady backdrop to the action. It captures what I sometimes feel going through my head or my heart or both.

I’ve been trying to sit with unsettling feelings instead of wasting time fighting them off. It works for me. So yes, I’ve been listening to my meditation guide and trying to imbibe what he is urging me to do, although it has been days since I took the time to meditate. (NOTE TO SELF: meditate.). I never quite realized that avoidance takes more effort that just acknowledging the feeling and letting yourself settle with it. I try.

Meanwhile, I have set a few goals for the weekend, but mostly putting my house in order— literally. I have projects waiting which I will write about in my other blog, and I look forward to just resting and recharging. To me that means going through my magazines, maybe reading a chapter or two and creating. We all have our means of coping, and fortunately for me, I had long ago identified what takes me to that place of calm.

It’s quiet. This weekend is mine. And while I enjoy weekends spent with my boy, I like the silence and the space to just think and worry about me. I don’t need to worry about taking care of anyone, just this weekend and days like this. I can venture out and go to the city, or do something different and maybe visit a museum or just go window shopping, but the gusts blowing outside make me yearn for the coziness of home. And more and more, I find that the quiet moments help me to deal with the noise when I return to the world come Monday.

I have also just returned to posting on social media again — and I am many posts behind. I’m getting there. Sometimes I think I should just post the pictures, no hashtags, no blurb. But just as I blog more for myself than for anything at else, I need those tags to remind me what that moment was all about. Even when I post about a meal I may have had, its more than just that food that was instagram-worthy. It’s more about the feeling of the moment and the company and the conversations and the memories that were made. My boy and I have started a new tradition when his weekends are mine. We now go on a Fridate. He and I are liking the new routine and then we head home together. I take a picture of the food and yet that encapsulates that one evening and the joy it brought. Happy thoughts.

I like quiet weekends when I can be alone with my thoughts and just be still. I used to think that I needed to keep myself busy outside to explore and enjoy and experience life. Then I discovered I could do the same without leaving my home. Of course, there are days when I feel the urge to just go out.. I might, tomorrow. Or I might just stay home.. and keep busy. Or maybe I will just rest and recharge. I kind of like it here – me in my corner.

Monday Musings (on a Tuesday): I have been a busy bee

Monday musingsI promised myself I wouldnt write about how cold it is so I will skip to what i’ve been up to. Yes, I have been busy.

Busy. Since I do have a day job, most of my waking moments have been preoccupied with a task that actually helps to pay the bills. When my focus is required, I tend to drift towards these things that actually translate into cash at some point or other, and it has been busy enough that I have gone home exhausted and sometimes I just choose to sit and rest. So things like writing tend to take a backseat. Half a dozen drafts started but none finished — and I don’t think it was for lack of trying, but rather because my brain was too tired to get anything coherent together.

Bead busy. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve actually been deep into organizing my craft supplies. I had hoped to start creating again for the shop, but between the mental and physical exhaustion from work, I haven’t had much of a chance to really sit and create. I do think I’m making progress. I had a tendency to separate working supplies into bins and then forget to return the left over pieces to their original trays. Then there are the bits and pieces and parts of a strand that fall out of the tray that never find their way back. So for now, I’m sorting by kind. (Glass crystals, Czech pressed glass, freshwater pearls, gemstones, metal findings.).

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I am also trying out a new way to pull the beads together, basically vine wrapping the wire to form a branch of something. I pulled it together into a brooch and I wore one last week for a test run, and I think it held up well and got a few nods. I’m getting to that point where I will be working on more pieces for the store. More to come!

Art journaling reboot. Funny how I wrote my first post today and it was about the gigantic headache I was having and mom being sick. You think of journaling in terms of profound brush strokes and big tapestries and you find yourself going back to basics. At least it’s moving.

UntitledSimple gestures that make their mark. I know it’s Valentine’s and no, this is not from an admirer or a suitor. It’s a spontaneous gesture from the boss who saw it in one of flowers shops here in Grand Central when she went for her afternoon coffee. I am grateful. I think it’s the universe speaking to me.

I had been rather restless the past couple of weeks and I have been told time and again to not stress about things. Doubts crept up and overtook me — and they were difficult to shake off. Countless questions raced through my head — many remaining unanswered. And then this.

I hear you.

Special presents

So the presents have been sent and exchanged. What special gifts did you get?

As a Starbucks mug collector, the two new mugs that my little guy bought for me are meaningful additions that will have a special place in my collection.

I don’t normally buy mugs unless it’s a new issue or when I chance upon one in my travels, but I spied this gold printed mug at the Starbucks branch I frequent near work. For someone who once received a $200 offer for a Christmas mug I had bought ages ago, I’ve learned to watched out for special holidays issues. It was a regular New York design but in gold print. I bought one and brought it home. The barristas apologized that they didn’t have a small bag, so I had put the boxed mug in my tote and then took it out when I got home.

My little guy comes and sees the box and his face drops. He had apparently bought me one as a Christmas present after being torn between the gold printed mug and the blue “Been There” series. Long story short, I returned my purchase and kept his.

The weekend before my Christmas Eve, he was spending the weekend in Washington DC to watch an NBA game. I had specifically asked that he look and see if he can get me a mug from one of the rest stops along the way. I told him I would pay for it.

I somehow missed his call to give me a choice as there were several available. By the time I returned his call, they were back on the road and he had already gotten the mug — and he refused my offer to pay for it. He said it was another present from him. Two mugs from my baby!

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I love the stories behind my mugs, but love the mugs that come from people close to my heart all the more. It adds a special value to the addition — even if only in terms of memories and emotion. Thank you, my dear son!

Sometimes, friends or colleagues who know I collect the mugs surprise me. When people visiting from other places ask me what present or pasalubong I would prefer, I always ask for a Starbucks mug. More so from places not yet represented in my collection. Sometimes though, it’s the giver who makes the mug special, no matter that the mug is a duplicate of something I already have.

No pressure

Friday came and I was feeling the pressure to do a Friday Five post, but the evening slipped by and I was just having too much fun trying to sort and organize my beads.

Sunday evening and I realized I had a Monday Musings post to put together — and I could have — but I wanted to take it easy and enjoy what was left of my weekend. I had spent the weekend indoors, tidying up and doing chores, and binge watching some shows I hadn’t caught up since their return from the winter haitus.

No pressure.

I’ve always believed that blogging should be a relaxing and spontaneous activity. At least, it is, for ME. Maybe that’s the reason why I have failed to monetize my writing. I write when I feel like it. I didn’t get to do any of that this weekend, but I feel like I got to accomplish a lot.

So this weekend, I forgot about lists and just took care of what was to be done with the things in front of me, instead of me thinking of things to do beyond what was already there. One habit I’m trying to cultivate is dealing with the tasks I can at the very moment it occurs to me that something needs to be done. No more procrastinating and putting off things that can be done this minute. I have this tendency to put off putting away things and leaving them “for later”. They tend to be forgotten. And then they pile up or just end up lying around. I put away what I can and discarded what needed to be thrown away. Much accomplished in that respect!

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Junk mail tends to float around so nowadays, I don’t even put the mail down “for later”. I sort them as I pick them up and get rid of what I know is not essential.

My favorite part of the weekend was just catching up on my favorite TV shows and sorting my beads. I think the weekend was more productive that way.. and I know I can write when I can..