On Pause

I’ve been busy working on my closet today.. sorting the scarves, putting away the winter wear, thinking of what to keep, donate, and throw away. I’m not quite at the “what sparks joy” question yet— that’ll be later for the more difficult decisions. I decided to take a break and write.

The last couple of days have been difficult as a mistake I made more than a week ago caught up with me. To put it mildly, I was caught with my foot in my mouth. While I’m tempted to write about it and pour my heart out here like always, I think I’ll do it differently this time. I’m drafting THAT post and leaving it in my draft folder, with a reminder to return to it six months from now, and write about it then.

Joy, grief, remorse and relief on pause.

It’s still very much a work in progress, and much as I’d like to get to the “end of the story” sooner than later, I feel a need to let this one write its own ending before I write about it. I’m still processing it and getting to that point where I can say I am back in a good place. There are happy thoughts associated with this whole business after all. I’ll wait for that time when I can write it on a more positive note.

On PauseIt hasn’t been all that difficult, truth be told. There have been realizations, sighs of relief, and a general sense of moving forward. Friends have been supportive and yet not short on calling me out where it was needed. The universe, the friends and even the Big Guy up there seemed to be saying the same thing: this wasn’t yours, so move on. I am trying.

Things that happened in the last 24 hours have served to remind me how lucky and blessed I am. In the midst of moping and whining about my loss, I realized others are going through so much more. I suddenly felt selfish for focusing on my heartache. Perhaps it was a way for the universe to course correct — or simply put, remind me that it just wasn’t meant to be. And at the same time, the universe showed me that I am still whole and continually blessed.

Let’s see where I am in six months when I unpause.

I do wish I could pause the memories from coming when I’ve found my footing. Thankfully, there aren’t that many to count as yet. That is a relief. Each day has brought me a step closer to “okay”. I’m using emoticons again, for a start. And keeping my heart in check, reminding myself, “Accept it.” In time..

Monday Musings: Listening to the universe, April greetings and morning tea

Untitled While Mondays are usually busy, this Monday was busier than most.. I’m not complaining.. I think I did good today, sashayed from task to task in my pretty dress. Sometimes it’s all in the outfit.. forget that the 4 inch heels sometimes make you feel like kicking the pumps off— you plod on. And I did and I’m rather proud of my day.. I try to start the week off on a good note and just hope that the positivity flows on to the rest of the week.

The universe said, let it go. And I did. A question was racking my brain and I got my answer hours later. Did you ever pound your head senseless trying to figure something out, until you feel that you’ve beat the question to death and you just up and go. I didn’t let it get that far. I breathed deep and closed my eyes and then let if go. The answers are not always obvious or within reach, but they will come. You just have to wait..

All these April birthdays! It wasn’t only me who celebrated a birthday.. my brother on the 7th, as well as a favorite nephew and godson.. sister in law on the 18th.. one of my forever besties on the 4th, another on the 23rd. A cousin who passed some years ago was remembered on the 13th.. and a kindred spirit who was a fellow legal eagle, fan of The Bard, and someone who likes elevators like I do, also on the 13th. If only for all these people I celebrate, I’m justified celebrating throughout the month. Who says it should be one day only?

I did my first shot on my birthday, toasting me.. and new beginnings and an even better year ahead. That was an auspicious way to welcome another year being me. and a few days later, splitting a bottle of my favorite bubbly and cake and all the sweet things I am, when my fangs aren’t showing, that is.

I’ll say it again.. I am grateful. My heart is full.

So if you missed greeting me on the 2nd, it isn’t as tardy as you think to greet me for as long as it’s this month!

Art journal in limbo. It’s almost May and I have to confess I haven’t gotten anywhere with the art journal. I am still hopeful because there is so much to write about and put on paper, if only so I can remember when it’s time to go back to today some day. When I find myself wanting to go back and remember the happy times and relive the warm hugs and the laughter. I have been showered with so many reasons to be grateful.

There’s the captain with my diet Coke, the lunch of cheese, saucisson, grapes and Marcona almonds with a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. Those mornings someone was sweet enough to make me tea, and coached me to switch trains and just follow the crowds to the right track. Each of those lines could be a page in my art journal.. if only I could find the time to write and draw and paint again.

Finally started writing those letters again. I am way behind answering the letters received from friends— more so the ones that came with postcards to add to my collection. My bad. I have started writing the replies and will hopefully make my 12 letter goal this year. I am trying. Writing used to be effortless. It used to come so naturally. I remember those days when I’d write on anything handy and send them off to friends, one time collecting quite a bunch from a former bestie. I’ve lost most of them, but some I’ve kept. I came across this card from BFF Donna from down under, written almost 30 years ago when we were still both in Manila. I took snapshots and sent it to her and even though she couldn’t remember, the song it referenced was a very special song to us even back then.

Letter from long ago

“How was your day? “ I often wish I could answer that question in all honesty and unburden my heart, or whine and just describe what went on during the day just ended. But I simply say it was okay, or that it was busy but it went fine.. not because I don’t want to let you know how it really went, but sometimes I feel all that might be too much to hear when you’re ending your day as well. Again, in time. Just hearing the question asked is enough for now: even if it’s followed right after by a simple goodnight. It helps to end my day with a smile,. And I sleep better because someone asked the question — until tomorrow’s morning greeting, at least. These simple gestures are a warm hug to my heart.

Mondays are happier these days for many reasons, and again, for each and every one of those, I am grateful.

On turning 56 and other updates

I meant to write this post on the weekend I turned 56, but too many things have been happening that I haven’t caught a breath since, and it’s been more than 20 days.

Turning 56

It feels good to be 56. I see the wrinkles on my face and the wisps of white popping up in my temples and other unexpected places, but I can deal with all that. It’s called aging gracefully. I know I don’t look my age and I always say it’s Asian skin. (Thanks to the melanin!). It might also be because I’ve learned to embrace the passing of the years with acceptance, and a desire to enjoy life as best I can. I am in a happy place, even if a million dollars would make me happier. I could shed not just a few pounds, too, but I’ll take the pound or two that just loves me so much it refuses to leave me.

My not so little guy is actually a man now, getting ready to conquer the world and leave his mum’s protective embrace. Give me a little more time to come to terms with that as I watch him enjoy every meal I cook, or as he hugs me tenderly from out of the blue. And well trained that he is, he still calls out “I love you, mum” in the middle of his video game, guitar playing, or whatever he may be busy with. How he has grown.. how he has changed and stayed the same. If there is one proud accomplishment I can lay claim to, it’s raising this wonderful human being. Motherhood has made the passage of time easier to contend with when you see the heart in this human being you gave birth to. He is always his mother’s son— whether he’s here beside me or somewhere else being his own person. I will let go.. in time.. not just yet. So he plays the guitar and I sing “Yesterday”.. it’s our song not because of the lyric or what the song says, but simply because we can actually pull off a performance from start to finish and be proud of it. (Waiting for him to learn the other songs within my range..)

The son gifted me with two new books I requested. One was a book by former President Obama and Bruce Springsteen which, although I wasn’t a fan, was a bibliophile’s dream acquisition even if unsigned. And there was the paperback of one of my forever favorite authors, John Grisham, Rouge Lawyer. Reading has been such a welcome escape. He still owed me the dedication and birthday card. I have always been very sentimental with the birthday cards, more so from those who need to go out of their way to get one, and write from the heart. For those revealing words, I am truly grateful. And the Starbucks mug from England is a welcome addition to my collection. I always feel special when people remember I am a collector and bring me a mug home from their travels

So I laugh harder and louder. I greet everyone with a genuine optimism and joy — like I really mean the “good” when I said “Good morning.” I had a real smile on my face instead of the usual half-smile that went with the perfunctory greeting. I’m trying to learn more about hockey and trying to understand the men in ice skates and what they are all trying to do. I hang tight with the sudden u-turns but let my heart swing with the car— I don’t fight it. I try to set the pace with a gentle tug as a reminder that I take smaller strides and I don’t walk as fast. I listen but weigh the words— I watch from the distance, almost afraid to take it for what it is. In many ways, this golden girl has been jaded many times over, but not jaded enough not to enjoy the moment. There are just those moments that are meant to be savored as part of “now”, without regard for what comes tomorrow. I am happy.

Life, in general, has been busy. I feel like I am watching my days unfolding in very unexpected ways— and I’m discovering new things that have sparked joy. It was ironic that one of the best birthday presents I received actually came from someone who didn’t even know it was my birthday. It was very spontaneous and honest and raw. Who knew? Sometimes those little surprises that the universe springs upon us are the most impactful.

I feel like the universe is steering me in a certain direction that I am wary of heading towards, because of the choices that need to be made. I have always been open to the many possibilities that are out there, and I have learned to keep expectations and standards reasonable. I will take joy in any shape or form it comes in, and relish it while it is there for the taking. All I know is that I am listening to and watching how the universe is unfolding.

It was a happy birthday. I am smiling even now as I look forward to more surprises from the universe, like the ones that have come my way and have been a warm hug to my heart. I close my eyes and say a prayer of thanks. As a favorite verse says, “I know He hears. I see His sign, the ancient promise of His love.”

I give thanks. I sit in silence and listen. I just take it all in with gratitude and appreciation for all the good in my life. They have given me the strength to face the challenges and the pain with a firmer resolve to make it to another day.

I find myself in that point in my life where I’m thinking of the future. Perhaps it’s Angelo’s leaving for college. Perhaps it’s just that I have put off so many things for so long that they have caught up with me. And I’m wondering if decisions made before should be reconsidered and thought out again. In time.

Feedback on feedback: You made my day, Lawyer Wannabe

I had just ended a video call with the family back home when I started scrolling through my email, still lying on the couch Sunday morning. It’s a bit nippy out there but I’ve made my mind up to head out a little later than usual so I can walk to this Asian grocery 5.000 steps away to get some moon cake. (And the store didn’t carry any!). This is me, trying to stick to my Noomin’ and planning for a special treat later today. My excuse: it’s seasonal.. (yeah, yeah..).

And this is what greeted me as I refreshed my inbox, which totally beats any special treat I was thinking of earlier. Talk about a major pick me up, and a heartwarming reminder of one of the reasons this topic is always near and dear to my heart. This email is being shared unedited, save for the omission of the identity of the writer.

Ateneo only has two classes at most (and maybe I’m wrong now because it’s been ages–) and in any case, it is easy to identify someone even by mere initials.. so here goes…

“Dear Pinay New Yorker,

Hello there. Four years ago, I wrote to you because I was worried about getting into Ateneo Law as a waitlisted applicant or as a student who wasn’t a graduate of Ateneo in college. I honestly don’t remember which of the two. I do remember being extremely insecure about my credentials and that I was anxious about not fitting in. You were kind enough to indulge my concerns and you gave me valuable advice.
I remember that  we exchanged a few emails (aside from addressing my concerns on your website). You even invited me to lunch since you were visiting the Philippines. I don’t remember what happened next but I do know that you really helped me when I needed it.  This wasn’t the email address I used because the goal was to keep myself anonymous. Unfortunately, I can’t find the email thread now.
I just wanted to randomly send you a thank you note for helping a stranger out. Just to let you know, I will be graduating from Ateneo this year. I wouldn’t have made it here without you so thanks again! ☺
Sincerely,
(Name withheld for privacy)”

Touched. Speechless. Grateful.

Related posts on the topic of law school and the pursuit of a legal education based on my personal experience can be found in this section: Lawyer Wannabe

Drop me a line at pinaynewyorker@gmail.com

Hope lives on

Monday musings in paper and inkIt’s less than an hour to midnight, and I’m going to write as spontaneously as I can and hit “publish” before the clock tolls the end of the day. I’ve been writing blogposts right and left throughout my day in my head, but I often get stuck with the thought and end up with no post written. I am trying. But here goes..

Passion project in the works. An idea which hit me last week has gotten me all excited, although it hasn’t turned out as easy as I thought it would be. But I am excitedly taking baby steps towards making this project a reality. I don’t want to write about it too much because I don’t want to get ahead of myself. It’s just a good feeling to be working on something I know I can do, no matter that it isn’t exactly easy as pie. What’s more, I’m thinking about doing something I really would enjoy doing. While it is still in its infancy stage, I am very excited to be growing the idea in my head. It reminds me of a time when I was struggling to keep up with the expenses of being a law student in Ateneo and our resources were severely strained by business losses. I learned a lot during that time — and what I’m looking to do feels like a return to that first job I had, in a 21st century iteration. More to come..

Walking

I have been taking care of myself — even if it’s only walking. I’ve managed to go 13 out of 14 days straight, walking at least 5,000 steps, and getting some much-needed physical exertion in my daily routine. I’ve also been doing some mini workouts — and I know that doesn’t sound much for people who are used to spending hours in the gym or jogging miles and miles, but this is a big step for me. For someone who has abhorred the idea of exercise for decades, the fact that I’ve made this a habit the last two weeks except for that one day when the rains stopped me, is an accomplishment. I am proud of myself.

I gave in and started Noom. I am not quite comfortable writing about it yet, though, because I’ve only been on the program for two weeks. I was on the Keto diet for longer and although it did work and I lost weight, it was at a rather high price that made me drop the diet altogether. This one seems to be working just fine — and I like the way it’s structured. But more on that later..

I am picking up my tools again. It’s tax time and I get reminded during this time of the year how much I have literally invested in this business. It encourages me to try harder and I know I’ve been remiss with production, but I am hoping to get the shop going again soon.

Mask making has been put on pause momentarily. Just for a bit. I was cutting new pieces to sew last week — but I had decided to slow down, after the donations and then the batch I sent home with the balikbayan boxes. With the prevalence of Covid and the thought that this is really the new normal for the near future, I think wearing masks is something we really have to get used to. I am hoping to finish a few over the weekend. Taking my daily brisk walk around the community has also given me a chance to test which configurations work — and I’m planning to work on what I’ve discovered to make better masks.

Hope. I started this week hopeful. You know how sometimes you can’t help but be filled with dread and anxiety and all those negative feelings? While I am nowhere near giddy, this Monday finds me full of hope. Maybe I’ve found a sense of calm somehow — not that I am not affected by the rising numbers of cases in other states. New York continues to be in a cautious reopening phase, and we are nowhere near normal. But I am hopeful that no matter how difficult the challenges we face may be, the universe gives me a solution to help me pull through. The doors keep opening.

I am blessed to have that insight to find hope even when things can become overwhelming. And for that, I am grateful.

Here’s to an easy week for us — no matter what you’re doing this coming week, I hope you have it easy. I hope that you don’t get burdened by unnecessary stress. Take things one day at a time..

Happy Monday!

Gratitude

Grateful for another week with much accomplished.. for being good at what I do and loving the work I do.. for weekends with my little guy at home when I can do what I do best: being a mom.. grateful for the things and people I have in my life right now that assures me I am in a very good place.. I am more than okay.

#gothamchicksays #empirestatebuilding #mynewyork #mynyc #manhattan #nycsunset

#onmywayhome #weekend #weekendishere

Daily prompt: Gratitude

Thankful (2016)

I have been floating around the web but not really quite here to finish a post.  I look at my draft box and see a slew of articles in the works, but none quite good enough to publish just yet.  So don’t be surprised if one day you find 5 or so posts published one after another.  There are as many and more in the works.  This time around, I am promising to hit “publish” in one sitting, graphics or no graphics– with on-the-spot edits.

I have been writing, but life in general has been grabbing me in so many different directions I have had a difficulty focusing.  Well, apparently, save for the annual thanksgiving post I usually get to write.  It helps that I had an instagram post on this which has inspired me to just expand on that, if only to keep with tradition.

I have never really been big on Thanksgiving, and being where I am right now at this point in my life has put major celebrations on hold — at least until that time when I can move on to the next phase unencumbered.  But while we don’t really celebrate this in my home, I can say for a fact I do celebrate it in my heart.

I have always been an advocate for everyone taking the time to stop and appreciate the blessings that one has in their lives.  I think a lot of people live in a perpetual state of unhappiness or sadness (two different things!) because they refuse to do just that.  One of the lessons of recent years I have taken to heart is that acknowledging that which you have will help you get over that which you don’t.  And here I speak both of material and non-material things, and yes, even people.

I skipped writing on Thanksgiving day itself as I got messsage after message greeting me with all these well wishes.  For all the messages I got, thank you.  The most heartwarming was the one that said “when I count my blessings, I count you twice.”  There are those people who shower us with so much love and affection that their very presence gives us reason to be happy.  And truth be told, sometimes a simple acknowledgment is all it takes to give that person a hug back.  For that hug to the heart, I am most grateful.. because that lets me know that though much is left unsaid, I am special.

And although I give thanks for having him in my life everyday, I am forever grateful that I have my (not-so) little guy to hold my hand.. who can hold me shoulder-to-shoulder now as we walk and who always looks at me with such love and affection, saying “Mama, you’re so sexy!”  

I am thankful for the scale that tells me I’ve been good (yay!) — ready to move ahead and try to push myself further to break my constant plateau.  Two vacations this year to Fiji and Manila made me gain over 10lbs each time, and trying to push that down back to my usual weight has forever been a struggle, and I’m happy my efforts have paid off.

Everyday, I am grateful for the family that may be on the other side of the world but whose love is just a heartbeat away.. for friends who make me smile and who assure me I’m okay right here where I am.  I have been lucky to have the right people in my life right now — who, even when we don’t see each other or keep constantly in touch, are always there.  I have selfies and photos galore, snippets of laughter and twitchy noses in my mind which surface time and again to remind me I have much to be thankful for.  People who will pop in with a sweet hello or a morning text with a virtual hug — which always helps me start my day right.  Or a simple “GM” before getting on with their own respective crazy days.

Being so far away from home (Manila) used to be so heavy on the heart when the homesickness crept in, but the past months have found me meeting new friends and reaffirming old friendships — making my place on this side of the world just a little cozier.  Be it through the sewing classes or through drinks or lunch, we connect and stay connected.

I celebrated my 50th birthday in April with a dozen guests who were the people who truly mattered– and who made my birthday a meaningful celebration.  It started a yearlong celebration of thanks for all that I have and continue to be blessed with at this point in my life.  There were those who weren’t here but who meant as much, if not more.  Their presence in my life continues to keep me going, even if they are just there– in my heart.

And I am grateful that there are people who have touched me in a myriad of ways that have helped me to know myself better– be it for words that were said, experiences shared, or simply for walking in ever so casually and changing the colors in the frame just by being in it.  For those simple acts of kindness like a message scribbled on a piece of paper,  or a warm and tender touch to say I’m okay, I say thanks.  It has made the ride more fun and interesting, and has given me something to truly smile about even if only but for a fleeting moment.

I am grateful for each day that promises me a new beginning, no matter how chaotic my world may be at any given time.  In the silence of each morning as I wake up before everyone in the house does, I try to frame it as a fresh start to try and make things right, or to continue to go on with whatever is good in my life.

And although I wish I had more time and energy to write, I am thankful for the gift of words to say thank you to those souls who make my otherwise ordinary life simply fabulous by being a part of it… I know I am blessed many times over, and every day I live I try to cherish that which I have and let go of the things I can’t and don’t– Thanksgiving or not.

Feedback on Feedback : Feeling the love

Felling the loveI used to respond to all comments here individually — back when I could focus and give ample time to write a blog post.  At the moment, I think I’m around 5 to 10 comments behind, but I think I have to start and try to catch up somehow, if only because I’ve been swamped with a lot of much-needed love pats lately.  I know I don’t hear from most of the people who read my posts — and I am grateful to each and every one of the 35 of you.  (Okay, maybe 40.. LOL)  You can see that I haven’t lost my knack for self-deprecating humor when it comes to my readership.

But let me just say I am thankful, and truly grateful that there is that small portion of my ever tiny readership who write and let me know that some of the things I thought made sense only to me actually make sense to others as well.  Not everyone leaves a comment, and there are one or two who e-mail me directly at pinaynewyorker at gmail dot com — and while I don’t get to respond to that in a timely fashion either, reading your questions and notes are a warm hug to my heart.

I hope the others won’t feel bad if I focus on two particular comments received very recently, but I have to start somewhere.  (Kim, I haven’t forgotten about you.)

Tita Clarita wrote:

Hello Dinna,

I read your blog and sorry that I rarely leave a comment but this time your to do list for 2016 inspired me to restart “decluttering/downsizing” my “stuff” so to speak. I am a Lola (73 years old) and I feel this is a good time to seriously start cleaning-up. I did some crafty things (cross stitching, crocheting, knitting, jewelry making) but not expertly, I’d say the result of my efforts doing a project is very basic, passable to a certain point. I have already given away some and now I am going to sort my beads (seed beads, stones, etc) and let go or donate some of them.

I will also “try” to read books to help sharpen my ageing brain, enroll in an aquatic class to gently relieve me of my knee pains, and possibly do a little bit of domestic or overseas travel.

I am not getting any younger so I will try to do my best to reach some of my goals this year or the next.

I hope this New Year and the next ones will bring good health to you and Angelo, achieve your goals, and most of all feel content about your life which I think will in turn bring happiness. You take care.

Fondly,
Clarita

To which the Pinay New Yorker says:  I am glad to hear that people of all ages find some sense in the things I write — and always happy to contribute to your self improvement.  I’m sorry I never directly responded via a blog post to your earlier comment (or I might have), but I do remember.

I am most grateful for your well wishes and your sage advise about contentment.  I am trying very hard to be happy with what I have, because it has helped me to appreciate how blessed I am.  The past few years have been a big challenge, and I know that I have quite a journey ahead, but I think life has been kind with its lessons, and I have been fortunate to have the discernment to know my strengths and weaknesses.  The former have kept me up on my feet, and the latter have continued to keep me grounded and humble.  I keep hearing the universe and the big Guy upstairs reassuring me all will be well — from the way the sunshine feels so differently when it touches my skin, to how words of encouragement come from the most unexpected people like you.

If you are ever in my neck of the woods, please let me know.  I’d love to have coffee or even lunch or dinner with you.  Keep reading!

—–

And an old “friend” from Etsy and here, brought my way by another blogfriend who I have already met in real life (Lou), pops back in.  Cora writes:

Hi Pinay New Yorker,(Dinna)

I was cleaning my computer and saw my old bookmarks with Pinay New Yorker on it. I clicked the link and found your site. It’s amazing to find you are still blogging. Do you remember when I used to order your hand made jewelries thru Etsy?

Well, so many years have gone by, I have a 2 yr. old granddaughter now and will be a grandmother again this coming May. My daughter and her family lives in Brooklyn and I frequently travel back and forth to NY and Chicago to help out with the kid. I was in NY last week during the big snow storm .

Hope things are well with you. God bless and keep on blogging.

Cora 

To which the Pinay New Yorker writes:  Okay, Cora, you owe me a date!  LOL  (I have written her separately to ask that she contact me next time she’s in town.)  A faithful customer of my Etsy Shop (when it’s open, and right now it is!) — from way back.  People must think I’m nuts when I say they can ring me up if they’re in town — and I would be more than happy to make time unless my world is totally turning upside down.  (Half the time, it’s close to that!)  But that is a sincere invitation and I am hoping more will take me up on the offer.

Yes, I’m still blogging and hope to keep blogging, Cora.. there is so much more that I want to write about but hardly have the time to sit here and compose my thoughts.

It has  been such a perk to actually meet strangers who become friends because of this corner of the web.  I had started this blog with the sole thought of being able to do an online journal for my own personal benefit, and that hasn’t changed.  While I have grown in other directions, I have made a very conscious effort to keep this space the same way it’s been through the years.  Other writing ventures — if there are any — are in another space separate from this personal corner.

I have always enjoyed the conversations in this space both on the blog and offline.  Your comments and notes have made such a big difference in keeping me writing, through the challenges the past 11 years this blog has been in existence.

Yes, I’m feeling the love.

Grateful

Is the weekend really over?  The next long weekend we are looking forward to is not for another couple of weeks, but I have better things coming up like  a trip to Manila to pick up my son before the next holiday.

But I’m getting ahead of myself here.

I have been focusing on moving forward and have been taking care of “me”.  With my little guy back in Manila, it has been easier to focus on taking care of the one who takes care of him most of the time.  I’m finally able to concentrate on the things that I usually gloss over, or those things that have to “wait” when I have to worry about dinner or homework or giving in to having him sit on my lap.  Instead of focusing on “‘Me” time after 10pm or so, I’ve devoted a whole weekend to doing just that.  And while I do miss my son, I have enjoyed the “alone” time.

I have been sorting through things and trying to discard what needs to be thrown away, and further sorting through the things I want to keep.  And I’ve also been packing.  I have seen things I had forgotten I had — not just craft supplies but mementos that are now being tucked into a box for safekeeping.

I end my weekend feeling grateful.

…for the flowers blooming all around me.  One thing I truly enjoy about summer is that all the blooms come to life in seeming shifts.  The tulips may be gone but the hydrangeas in their pretty colors are here to stay.  I even have a bunch all dried and yet still lovely in a small vase on my ledge at work.  They color our lives in a different way — and I have always loved how they remind us that life goes on and on and on.
Untitled

…for sunny days.  Yes, even the ones that start out dark and grey with some rain.  It’s been a glorious weekend celebrating freedom and we have been blessed with sunshine.


…for summer.  This is really my time of the year.  No matter how punishing the heat may be, I love this season and all the energy it brings.  Everything comes to life — the trees that are bare in the winter are heavy with their greens.  You find yourself taking the time to walk a little slower to look up at the blue skies.  It’s not too cold to stop and sit in the park.  You can actually enjoy the outdoors even if you’re not outdoorsy like me.
#ThisIsMyCity #NYC #mynewyork #mynyc #manhattan #fifthavenue #Myny #mynyc
…looking forward to Manila.  I had a good trip home last April — short as that was.  I usually stay 3 weeks but managed only 2 1/2 weeks then.  It will even be shorter this time around because I’m really going home just to pick up Angelo and bring him home.

He had been requesting to spend summer there because that would mean a longer stay, and no homework for a change.  He has refused to go to summer camp the last year or two, so I thought it wasn’t that bad an idea to give in this year.  I can never go home too often with my entire family still there.  Just spending time with my Mom is incentive enough.

#JeepneyStories ; #BiyahengDivisoria .. #missingManila yet again and thinking of all the sights and sounds that make those of #FifthAvenue and #ChampsElysees but a squeak. This is how we do it in #Manila and this #NewYorker wants to go #home. #jeepney #pu
…for dessert.  I have an insatiable sweet tooth.  And I find it sad that though we all eat as a matter of necessity, the surge in health consciousness has caused this part of the meal to be shunned and treated as optional.  The way I look at it, that’s much too much of a deprivation and I’d rather skip the main course if it would allow me to indulge.  Life is too short, everyone says.  Some things I just can’t do without, and dessert is one of them.

Yay for butter pecan ice cream, the yummy milk or white chocolate wafer-thin slice (which I would much prefer over truffles but they are most welcome, too..), the Bailey’s double on the rocks I want to nurse through the end notes of a conversation after a good meal.  And dessert is best shared with another– like this light but still decadent Il Floutille from the 4th of July brunch with my dear friend, Peter, at A.O.C. New York.  I make a mean Leche flan myself which girlfriend Mily will swear by..
Untitled
I think of all these things and I can’t help but smile and feel so lucky to be at this place where no matter how crazy life may get, I know I am blessed with so much. So tell me .. what are you grateful for?

Grateful

Grateful for a truly meaningful and fruitful past week..  For baby steps turning into a leap of faith.. For finally being able to go back to a classroom even if it was only a virtual experience.. For more than just elevator rides and sidewalks and being aMinutes to midnight again and I almost shut down the computer to turn in when I decided I owed my latest instagram post a companion piece here. I figured I’d type away for 10 minutes and end there.

The thing is, I posted the graphic as a “thank you” for a meaningful week just passed, despite the challenges and the adjustments that had to be made along the way.

Like I wrote in the caption, “Grateful for a truly meaningful and fruitful past week..”  There are weeks that just come and go uneventfully, but there are those that do pass us by and leave us with a more profound impact than others, even in the absence of any life-changing events. I’ve started listening to that voice inside me again — realizing that as Evelyn and bff Fe kept telling me, I am important, too. That means taking care of “me” as well as I
take care of everyone else. I did and it actually wasn’t a bad thing at all.

For baby steps turning into a leap of faith.. ” I have always referred to my attempts at moving forward as the combination of many baby steps to take me from one point to another.  It’s my way of coaxing “Me” into trusting myself more.  I’ll say it again, I used to be more courageous (or impulsive is another way to put it), but I had been cowed into retreating into a corner instead of standing on stage by the many setbacks I suffered in the last year or two.  No more.

“For finally being able to go back to a classroom even if it was only a virtual experience.”  I wish I had an extra 6 hours a day to do the readings and catch up with the online lectures, but I am slowly making progress with my History Course.  I actually enjoy the pressure of having multi-chapter readings, of taking notes, and of just taking it all in.  While I know I have far to go, my journey has started and goes on.

“For more than just elevator rides and sidewalks and being able to see things differently.”  Something as mundane as riding elevators can have a new meaning or significance when taken in the context of things you do before or after riding an elevator.  I’ve had these experiences lately of picking up on things I see or conversations I hear as I take those two brief rides up and down my building.  It has, like
I said, enabled me to see things differently.

“For reminding me life is short and it should be enjoyed for what it is.”  Self explanatory, no?

The previous week has not been without its share of challenges, but the gains far outweigh the stress and worries that accompanied my usual toil.  At the end of the week as I look forward to the next, I am grateful.

Even as I am trying to make sense of some things and trying to make adjustments to others — I am full of hope for the coming week and know that there will be more things to be thankful for when it comes to a close.