#Happy

HappySo August is here. Another month just rolled away and now we are officially on the tail end of the third quarter of 2019. How time has flown.

I try to start my Mondays on a positive note, no matter how busy or chaotic things shape up to be when I glance at my calendar. I’m not a runner but I liken it to what I would be doing if I were psyching myself up for a sprint or a jog. There’s that visual of brightness and energy.

I’ve come to rely on whatever resources I can find to put me on that positive track. While I haven’t meditated much of late, I know that it’s a helpful tool. I work on imbibing positive energy through external stimuli and my own workings. I visualize. I reach deep down inside me to pull the positivity to the surface. I find my “happy”.

Don’t you just love it when a thought or a memory brings you there? More so when there are days when you need those short bursts of “good” and “happy” — be it in the form of laughter, a smile or a snapshot in your mind. Those are the real moments that matter. Why else do we have photographs and souvenirs to remember things by. We want to bring ourselves back through the memories those pieces trigger.

It seems that life has gotten busier and busier as the years have gone by. It takes a more determined effort to carve out moments to bask in a bit of happy in your mind, but the truth of the matter is, those moments don’t always have to be all that grand or big.

Have you ever tried to search for #happy on Instagram or Twitter? On IG alone, there are 535 million posts tagged with that single word. So you should have inspiration aplenty with what makes others happy. You shouldn’t have such a difficult time finding a #happy worthy moment.

Just close your eyes, take a deep breath, muster a smile, and picture the word “happy” and see what comes to mind. Then let that vision linger for 5 or 10 or 15 or 20 seconds. If it’s a memory, let that clip roll in your mind and loop it if you want or just be there in the moment again.

Just be.

Don’t even go to how that feeling was from so long ago, or is of a different place and time, or is no longer real. It was when it happened and that is what you hang on to.

Stay with the happy. No if’s, no buts. Just be.

Thank you, 2014.. Hello, 2015!

Thank you, 2014, for the lessons learned, the challenges and the joys, and the reminders that I am so blessed.  That no matter how much hurt came my way, I had much more to be grateful and thankful for when calm finally found me again.  And while the storI have been trying to sit here and finish a post to welcome the new year, but I have been lazy throughout the holidays and have been writing in stops and starts.  Now the rendering of word art, however, has been a bit easier, and I have three to four works in progress I hope to finish today.

I needed a new ‘THANK YOU’ graphic and I suddenly remembered I had this gorgeous handmade paper from the Philippines which I had bought some years back which I still have half a sheet of.  Sometimes you just have one of those things you keep saving, and before you know it, they are no longer the same or are not of any use as you had originally meant to keep them.

I am trying to get into 2015, but things keep pulling me back to 2014.. so like most things, let’s do baby steps and say thanks to the year just passed, and say hello to the new one that has just begun.

I’d like to save my “Thank you, 2014” post for the “other” blog where all my thank you’s are meant to be posted.  (It has been languishing in limbo the last half of 2014, but I promise to jump start it before January is over!)

So, hello, 2015!  

For starters, here’s a list (not of resolutions that we end up breaking anyway!) of things I hope to do in 2015.  For brevity and to make my life a little simpler and the goals more achievable, I’m keeping it short.  No write ups, just a list.. and let’s see how I get on with this as the year goes.  (I just found my 14 for 2014 list, but that’s another blog post altogether.)

#ThingsToDoIn2015

1.  Read six books (one every two months should be doable)

2. Take a trip to visit old girlfriends from SPCP/SPCQC — on my own — so that’s either Boston or California.

3. Do another craft fair and learn new techniques.  (Visit one, not sell in one.)

4. Take my little guy to ComicCon 2015.  (A request that was made just today and which Mommy committed to make happen.. note to self: buy tickets early!)

5. Take at least one actual class beyond online.  (Yes, Elaine.)

6.  Watch at least 1 concert — hopefully Billy Joel’s at Madison Square Garden.. MAYBE day after my birthday.

7.  Watch at least 1 play or musicale on Broadway.  (Yes, it’s just a hop, skip and a jump away from where I work and I didn’t watch any last year.)

8.  Go to the gym at least once a week — and maybe even earn a locker!  (Go 10x the previous month and you get YOUR OWN LOCKER the following month.)

9. Lose another 10 lbs at least before April.  (Lost over 20 in 2014!)

10. Tweet/Instagram at least one positive thought every week.  (I thought “everyday” would be too big a commitment to make.)

11.  Find a rehearsal studio and actually spend an hour just touching the piano keys again.

12. Spend a Saturday a month, on my own,just roaming NYC or some other place nearby.  (Do something “only in New York”..)

13. Leave one preloved book out in the open once a month for someone else to enjoy/read.

14. Destash: Give 5 items away from my current stash (clothes, books, art supplies, postcards) every month.

15. Write one letter long-hand every month.

So let’s see where this list goes.  I just went over last year’s list and I don’t think I did too bad against that one.  But as I said, I’ll get to that in another post.

Happy new year, everyone.. Let’s try to make this a “happy” one, indeed, whatever “happy” may be for each of you out there.

 

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.

 

 

 

Fast forward to “peaceful” and “happy”

DAILY PROMPT: If you could fast forward to a specific date in the future, when would it be?

Fast forwardI don’t have a specific date in the future because I don’t know just “when” I will get to where I want to get to.  I do know I want to get there.

My world is nowhere near the kind of calm that would enable me to open my eyes each morning with a peaceful thought.  I wake up in the oddest of hours in the morning, and I think of the reason why I am waking up when I should be lost in slumber.

The ceiling over my bed is becoming my focus spot even in the darkness.  I don’t see anything.  No color, no darkness.  I see white.  And it stays white.  I used to drag myself out of bed half-awake still intoxicated with that bliss that takes you over after a restful sleep.  I miss that.  I wake up — wide awake, eyes open and I am “up” even before I pull myself out of the bed.

I grab my phone and blackberry and saunter out of the room.  I start making breakfast.  Because it’s winter, it is still dark outside.  I find the darkness to be my friend at this time when the silence helps me to get my bearings so early in the day.  I move slowly.

I try not to open the TV until I’ve gotten my groove after preparing Angelo’s water jug which I fill with ice and then water to the brim to “semi-freeze” it.  That’s the way he likes it.  I grab the snack of choice (fave of the moment) and put it in the ziploc bag.  For now, that’s pretzel.

My mornings are full of sighs and empty thoughts.  I pray.  I start with the Serenity Prayer.

I’ve subscribed to Kerygma’s Daily Readings.  I try to do this early in the morning or when I find a moment of “peace” at work.  It helps that I don’t have to lug my Didache anymore.  All the scripture and reflections are literally at the palm of my hand.

Then my day begins.  And then it ends.  And it goes this way over and over again, punctuated by moments of anger, pain and just numbness.  I want to get to that point when the anger will just be a momentary flash.  When the pain will just be a memory.  When the numbness disappears.

I don’t know how far ahead in the future I must look to to find that point where I would fast foward my life to.  I cannot even think of April right now which is just weeks away.  I just want to sleep through it and have it be  over and done with.  I’m thinking maybe I’ll take a trip alone someplace.  Then I think not.  Again, the numbness takes me over.

I’d like to get to that place again when opening my eyes in the morning means looking forward to another day.  When it ceases to be another day I must pull myself through.

I’d like to get to that place when I feel good about life again.  When the uncertainty has lessened for I know it will never be truly gone.  When I can walk with a steady gait instead of faltering through the hills and valleys I pass or know I will pass.  When I am not overwhelmed by the sense of loss I feel now for things, time and opportunities that have been taken away from me by someone’s evil designs.

I want to get to that point when I cease to be evil myself.  When I get to that sense of being okay with the world as it is, whatever the state of my world may be.  When the thought of ruining someone no longer appeals to me or appeases my anger.  When forgiveness finally settles in my heart and soul.

Ten-minute blog post on "Happy"

It’s 11:30PM and I’m tired, but I thought I’d blog before hitting the sack because it has been a day full of “happy”.

Happy that I’ve arranged my jewelry making supplies organizers into a neat stack in one of the closets — and keeping my fingers crossed that I can get creating again.. soon!

Happy to have had lunch with my cousin, Mia, who has moved to New York.  It always feels good to be with family — even if among her three sisters, Mia, being the youngest, must have the foggiest memories of me.  That’s the advantage of being older, though — I remember more.  Lunch at Bryant Park Grill — and a date in the works.

Happy to have finished my first ever artist trading card.  I’m still pretty nervous about sending this off for my first ever ATC swap, but I figured waiting and not doing anything is not going to make me better at it.  (More on this at a later time..)   Creating I go.

Happy to continue to be creating new layouts in my happiness journal.  How much happier can you get than a pink rose bouquet on a two-page spread?  (Now trying to think of a graphic to use in the next spread which is an almost teal or teal blue.)

Ten minutes are up.. More tomorrow.

My Altered Book: HAPPY - Multi-leaf layout

Happy thoughts

I seem to have found a new routine which sees me writing on the bus.  I’m getting the hang of typing on the iPad and then posting later in the day.

Bryant Park - 13 Sept 2012
Bryant Park - 13 Sept 2012

Gorgeous weather in New York today.. makes me smile and look forward to the rest of my Thursday with optimism.  It helps when I go in armed with a cheery countenance because it helps me to deal with whatever challenges come my way.  And it’s going to be a busy day… and there are moods to tiptoe around.

My Altered Book: A Happy Life - Happy ThoughtsMy Altered Book is already working its magic as I opened it to my “Happy Thoughts” page.  I tried to think of other things that make me happy for additional blurbs on a “captions only layout I’m working on.. I managed to put two in yesterday: “How can you go wrong with CHOCOLATE?” and “Sleep in”.  While on the bus, I thought of “Butter Pecan Ice cream” and “Make up”.  (Made me smile again….).  And just now, “Paris”.  (That thought literally made me pause… and smile.)
I realize now that that is the essence of being able to go back to the “happy” in one’s life — it helps remind you that you have been blessed so many times to have felt happy.  And that is a gift in itself, in good times or bad.  I’ve decided I will do random layouts of “Happy thoughts” to reinforce that.  Both the creating and reading parts help me to focus on the positive, from the mundane to the profound.  We often tend to forget the things that brought a smile to our face, or that gave us that warm and fuzzy feeling of joy in our hearts. Sometimes it can be something as simple as a food we crave and love, or something else in our every day lives that lifts our spirits up.

My Altered Book: A Happy Life - All about my Little GuyI work on bits and pieces of the altered book, sometimes putting things in place permanently, and sometimes playing around with the layout by temporarily affixing the embellishment on the page.  On the layout to the left, the picture is already pasted (isn’t he gorgeous?) but the caption which I printed out on brown paper bag scraps is being held to the page by some teeny-weeny masking tape.  I keep going back to this page and see my bundle of joy smiling at me.  That is reward enough.

I want to go about my day today with a smile on my face and a light heart.  I am vowing not to let myself get aggravated by anything inconsequential.  Well, I will try. =)  (Trying to be reasonable here.. Life happens..)

Sleepless in NYC

I had a wonderful evening chat with BFF Fe, but her laptop, as always started overheating, hence a forced intermission.  I did my dishes but the downstairs neighbor rang the doorbell as water seemed to be leaking to their unit.  (Yes, in the middle of the night.)  Nothing I could do but say we’ll call our maintenance guys tomorrow.  Meanwhile, all the discussions about coffee and laughter and the energy of the universe has kept me awake.  I’m typing away in the darkness with the tyke lying next to me.  Half awake, brain in full gear.

Fe is trying to get me to channel positive energy by ridding my mind of negative thoughts.  She says the universe can hear me.  I’m trying to absorb that thought between the itch I feel in my throat and the dry coughing, and I wonder if the universe can hear indeed.

I’m okay.  I think I’ve handled this asthma attach pretty well.  Got rid of the cold fast enough, but the congestion is still there.  I’m hoping it doesn’t get any worse, because I should be back to 100 percent again by next week if I manage to catch the symptoms early enough.

Positive energy.. I went back to happy thoughts, happy emails, happy posts.  I guess you type “happy” three times and a smile does appear from out of the blue.   I just haven’t been one to patiently wait — and just sit things out and ride the asthma through to its going full circle.  More so when I hear the beating of my heart like a drum inside my chest.  If you have asthma, you know what I’m saying..

I heard from my friend P, by the way and I was so happy to hear some good news.  My cards have made it to Manila in quick succession, and she says her doctors have given her the option to rest a few weeks as her ailment has neither worsened nor progressed otherwise.  One of the baby steps that need to be acknowledged.  There’s one happy thought. =)  Just got to hold on to the “happy”.