The little things that surprise you

I should be in bed.  I should be asleep.  Instead, I’m listening to jazz music and writing here.  (Oh, and i have a receipt to print out for tomorrow… but again, I’m here.)

I tried to look at my blog dashboard Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday.  I just looked, I didn’t type anything up.  And yet there were  a ton of things to write about.  I just didn’t have the energy nor the time.  Blame it on work.  (I know, right? Such a distraction!)

But tonight I vowed I would write, before all the inspiration and thoughts disappear into the ethernet and I am rendered stumped for a blog post again.
All bundled up and ready to brave the cold tonight, and looking out the window at a stunning view of Midtown Manhattan.  #coldautumn #nyc #midtown #midtowneast #midtowncityscape  #midtownmanhattan  #bundledup

It was another long day Thursday, and I was looking forward to a break at the end of the day but everything went awry at the last minute.  So all thoughts of leaving early and taking a leisurely stroll through the line of shops in Bryant Park had to be set aside to take care of some last minute tech glitches.  Problem was solved soon enough, but it was too late to do anything more beyond wait for the bus and get on it.

All bundled up with extra layers of clothing, I was ready to brave the cold.  It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  Everybody seems to think the snow was here in Manhattan, but it was way upstate.  Still, we’re all grateful for the concern.  (My brother, Abril, actually sent me a message asking how we were doing against the cold front.  Cold, I told him.. then I saw the snow up in Buffalo and figured that’s what the rest of the world is seeing.  That’s practically like Bicol and Manila, so no, we’re cold but we’re not covered with snow.)

All week long, I’ve been hit by little surprises that made me smile.  From a note from BFF Donna in Australia, to a very cheerful greeting from my “half boss”, the President of our Asian operations  (a Brit who is based in Oz) telling me something looks different when he saw me — and although he couldn’t place it, he said it looked good.  Two things, I told him — I’ve lost weight, and the hair is a lighter color.    (He’s not quite my boss because I only help him when he’s here in New York — the real boss in my world is actually a Chief something something as I describe him.)  BFF Fe showered me with her wisdom all week long — the universe has spoken.

A friend who I hadn’t heard from for two weeks suddenly called just to say hi.  We were hoping to catch up but missed each other due to meetings.  Another who usually wouldn’t e-mail has e-mailed twice.  (Mental telepathy?)  And it turns out my courtyard neighbor is close cousins with a friend from my college days — and he has visited twice and I have never even seen him.  I pinged him on Messenger this morning while his cousin-in-law was seated next to me on the bus, and he was also so blown away by the fact that I actually know one of his closest relatives.

Little things that made me smile, and now as I look back on it, I find myself smiling an even bigger smile remembering.  That’s what happy thoughts do to us — they provide us the wall to lean on when we feel spent, defeated or on the verge of breaking down.  Or what give us a dose of optimism when we are buried in work or other worries.  Those little surprises that we would otherwise ignore individually, when summed up together gives us a better picture of how things aren’t all that bad, even when we feel like the cold is sapping us of much needed energy and optimism.

Take them for what they are instead of over thinking them — and you might yet be pleasantly surprised to see the week hasn’t been that bad at all.

 

 

 

Sunset past 7pm

Spring isn’t quite officially here yet, but we’ve been feeling the shift for a couple of days now, just don’t pay mind to the freezing temperatures.  Yesterday was another cold day and my bus took forever to come.  So I pulled out the bigger blackberry and snapped away.  Mind you, this was at around 6:30pm.  The sun hung around for a half hour or more afterwards.. quite a change from when I’d walk out at just after 5pm and find it pitch dark outside.  During the summer months, sunset is at 8pm.

Glass Canvas - Empire State Building reflection

I can never tire of taking pictures of the building reflections on this glass canvas.  Even without any variety, the way the light hits it or the colors that the Empire State Building are wrapped in are worth taking the snapshot every time.  Enjoy the rest of the pictures…Sun still up at past 6pm

This is what I see when I look up… It’s a good study of how things change through the seasons.  Soon the leaves will sprout anew and there will be a bit of green instead of the bare branches shown here.It's THAT COLD.. all bundled up while having coffee

It was THAT cold… all bundled up and having coffee…

Chrysler Building Reflection on the glass, NYC Taxi Cab
I was taking a picture of the yellow taxi cab which is an icon of NYC… then realized I had captured quite the reflection of the Chrysler Building. Gorgeous as always.

The week has been very exhausting — maybe I got spoiled because the boss was out almost 2 weeks before Tuesday.  Next week is another busy week but I have my lulls.  I stayed up late last night finishing a new technique for an all-black background ATC.  I don’t want any spoilers so I’m waiting a bit.. also did a handmade postcard which I’m hoping my partner will like.

Happy Friday everyone!

Sunny but cold Monday

Our temperatures dropped and did they drop over the weekend, so much so that tourists hoping to go around wearing shorts will surely double back to their hotels and change to something warmer.  Still light coat weather, but definitely not a “t-shirt and shorts” kind of New York. 

I left the house without eating breakfast as I was in a rush, and although I don’t normally walk out of the building to grab a bagel once I’ve settled up on my perch 41 storeys above street-level, but today, I just had to have a(nother) bagel and walk down I did.

Today is Columbus Day and school’s out (so my little guy is home busy with my laptop), but not all companies observe the holiday so I’m at work.  Which is just fine.  The weekend saw me anxiously thinking my way around a situation at work where one of my boss’s direct reports is constantly trying to throw me under the bus.  Subtlety is not one of his strongest suites, and I’m beginning to think the point is to make it known that he’s not a happy camper.  Neither am I.  I normally would sweep this under the rug and shrug it off, but this one stuck with me all weekend, and it’s just not worth going back to next weekend.. I was thinking about it while I was washing the dishes.. painting my Altered Book backgrounds.. doing my Artist Trading Cards.  Well, that and a host of other thoughts.

While I had a fun time being productive with my Altered Book (more or less 20 pages painted!) and finishing up 5 ATCs for swapping, sometimes I hate that my mind quiets down just enough to let heavy thoughts come in.  Like I think about the bestfriend I used to talk to practically all our waking hours but who I haven’t spoken with for the last three months or so.. one day she nonchallantly blurts out that I have always been known to be one who couldn’t keep a secret.  I am not mad but that put a chasm between us that I think is best left alone for now.  Like I told her then, there are too many years between us for me to go back to each one and account for my slip ups.  I didn’t realize that hurt was so deep — given the way she let it out.  So I apologized for all of them, and then stepped back.

I thought about the other friend who told me that I didn’t have to do anything –that things would fall into place — and how now, even if they didn’t fall into place the way I thought they would, they did.  Where that thought would normally elicit relief or a smile, that thought still jabs at my heart for my own failings.  Sometimes we literally stumble and fall and just cannot get up.  And eventually we accept that there are things that we never get up from.  There are transgressions that you pay for to your last breath.

I think about work.. and then I remember a recruiter called me last Friday.  =)  That thought made me smile.  And this morning I saw an e-mail from one of my young friends in  Manila — someone I bumped into quite by accident when I saw his blog after googling something for a translation.  The young have so much to share and inspire us with.  Like this young man who continues to try and go against the odds — now a freshman in the College of Medicine back in UP Manila.  He looks to me for sisterly advice but he doesn’t know his own day-to-day triumphs serve as an inspiration to me as I remember those days I braved law school against all odds.  Sometimes when we are reminded of our past struggles, we find renewed strength in remembering how we overcame then as we go about our day-to-day living now.

I miss my Mom.   I always do — but sometimes I miss her more than normal.  Like now.

Time for me to get back to work.  Another day.. another week..