This letter I wish I didn’t have to write

Earlier in the year, one of the things I had put in a list of things I called 19 for 2019 that I had hoped/wanted to accomplish in 2019 was to write some letters — the old fashioned way.  I finally had a list of people to write, and the stationery is ready — but life has been a tad hectic.  I am hoping that one or two of those letters head out to the post office before the year is over.

On a professional level, I like being able to express my thoughts in writing, be it to compliment someone or to lodge a protest or complaint, like the letter below.  There are times when verbal communication fails us, more so when we are trying to clarify or explain something.  More so when we are upset.  We end up saying things we don’t mean, or things we end up regretting later on.  I find that writing my sentiments help me to more carefully flesh the facts out and be clearer in relaying my thoughts and feelings.

I have a friend who is my “Goodness meter,” because she is that one soul who gives everyone the benefit of the doubt and has an immeasurable stock of kindness.  I always said that anyone who lands on her bad side would have to be really nasty — because she almost always never thinks ill of others.  Ms. Goodness meter has time and again told me that it’s all in the delivery.  Some people don’t realize that there are many ways to relay a certain message, and sometimes it comes with negativity when none was needed.  Today, I was unfortunately on the receiving end of bad delivery.

I tried to reach Ms. X below but the clinic wouldn’t give an email out.  So I backtracked a bit and went the old fashioned way — I asked if they had a fax number I could send my letter to, and I wrote this and hit send.  It should be self explanatory.

I can write all the names and identify the establishment, but that is not my point in posting this missive here.  I felt writing the letter was like writing a blog post.  You expect your doctors to treat you with a little compassion because one’s health is always a personal issue — and we look for that kind of care, more so since it’s not free.  So here it is.

———————————–

Good afternoon, Ms. X —

First of all, I hope this message finds you well, and let me say on the outset that I am writing and have tried to reach you only to clarify what I believe was a mistranslation of my request to you. I just want to clarify the question/request, and wanted to relay to you what I was told in a rather disturbing call this afternoon.

I have seen you only once before which was repeated to me by a lady who called me with your response. I am seeking to see you this time around in relation to a previous visit with the Dermatology department where they had done my bloodwork.  My iron levels were apparently too high, and my Vitamin D terribly deficient at a level of “#” when normal was “##”. I was put on a Vitamin D regimen – ##k units for 8 weeks, and now #k per day. Dr. Y  advised me to see my GP about these levels, which is why I’m trying to see you. I am going to see my regular dermatologist later in the month for my dermatological issue.

When I requested for the appointment with you yesterday, I had the lady put a question through if you could look at my bloodwork from 90 days ago and I told her the Vitamin D regimen I’ve been on (which I trust would’ve been in my records), and I was volunteering to come in for bloodwork if needed, so you can see the difference in levels if any. It was not a demand to have my bloodwork done ahead, I just wanted to save us both time given the tightness of schedules, and I don’t want to keep drinking my Vitamin D if I didn’t have to. So what I specifically stated was, “Can you please ask the GP if she wanted me to come in for the bloodwork before the appointment and I will make time.”

I received a call today from someone calling on your behalf saying that you said that per policy, I had to see you before I could have bloodwork done – I understand that part. I asked if you were told about the matter regarding my previous bloodwork, and I was told you had seen me only once for sore throat. That is a fact. However, that seemed like someone telling me off that I don’t know you – but I was told you had access to my reports as this was all done in the same (Name of an uber famous doctor’s facility) location. Then I was told YOU SAID THAT IF I WAS HAVING A DERMATOLOGICAL ISSUE, I SHOULD SEE A DERMATOLOGIST. And that is what gave me pause.

So I realize that that might not have been you talking, and I certainly hope not. I also don’t want to come across as being a difficult patient, because it was a question, but I believe half of the question was inaccurately relayed or not relayed to you at all. Just to set the record straight, I am trying to see you regarding my iron levels, and my Vitamin D deficiency. Both, I believe, are within your expertise and practice, and not dermatology.

Again, I am just trying to set the record straight. I don’t want you thinking I am trying to insist on what I was asking. While I have seen you only once, I was struck by your being personable and a caring medical practitioner. That is one reason I’m coming back to the practice for this other inquiry. And I understand if they relayed the initial message sans some important details, leading you to misunderstand what I was asking. It was a clarification / suggestion / question. I wanted you to be able to appreciate that with the correct facts stated. Thank you and I wish you a happy thanksgiving.

Sincerely,

(One disappointed patient — of course I signed my name..)

Before there was texting and e-mail..

.. we actually wrote letters. We even collected those scented stationery sets. Remember Betsy Clark? They came in beautiful hard boxes and were imported from the US. Then there were pads and this thing we called postalettes. They were foldable tri-fold cards that were lined on the inside for you to write on, and it folded into a self mailing card that you sealed with a sticker and put a stamp on the front to mail. (I can hear the millennials wondering what am I talking about!)

HandwrittenI collected them and traded them with friends who collected the same. We never really wrote on the pieces that were part of our collection, but we bought specific sets for us to write letters on. We wrote letters to friends and even got an oocasional request to write a “Palanca letter” to someone attending a spiritual retreat. These were words of encouragement or spiritual guidance which were given by friends and family to those attending a retreat at the end of their journey of introspection and enlightenment.

But on a day-to-day basis, we wrote letters among us friends and exchanged these in person, even if we were classmates and saw each other practically everyday. There was no email and we didn’t have cellphones yet. Things we didn’t get to say to each other when we were together were said in writing. The letters themselves were part of a continuing conversation between friends.

I kept those letters for the longest time. While I had thrown away most of them with the moves I’ve made in the last two decades, I still see one or two pop up amongst old things I had managed to hold on to.

These days we email, message via text or chat and only write business letters — and only when needed. Letter writing is slowly disappearing. Sadly.

I still say that nothing beats holding a letter in your hands and being able to go back to it later to read and hold those words and feelings close again. Sure, you can go into your inbox and go through your emails and read them– but it isn’t quite the same.

When was the last time you got a letter? A real letter– not just a card.. At the start of 2019, I cam up with my usual list — 19 for 2019 —  I wanted to be able to write a letter a month, and I’m 8 letters behind. Time to get writing then, I guess.. won’t you write me one?

Friday Five: Keep it simple!

#FridayFiveSo it’s back — and I had actually posted this Thursday night on my Instagram account.  For those who just stumbled into my corner of the blogsphere, My Friday Five is a list of doable tasks to be done during the weekend or the week following.  I started doing this intermittently last year and hope to bring it back in 2015.  For this week’s Friday Five, here’s my list:

1. Write letters.

2. Finish 2015 graphic.

3. Put away extra Christmas cards and wrappers.

4. Create one piece of jewelry.

5. Pick five items to destash and give to someone else.

Make your own and you might find yourself more focused. Keep the list simple and choose things that you actually intend to do. Make the tasks achievable. The list is there as a scorecard and a reminder of what you have set out to do. Even if only one gets ticked off the list, you will feel a sense of accomplishment when you go back to it day before the next Friday5. No pressure! It’s there to keep you focused on doable tasks.

#lists#ThingsToDo #personalscorecard #keepjngyourselffocused #tipstofeelgoodaboutyourself #accomplishingthings #stayingontrack #reasonableexpectations #thingsyoucanactuallydo #keepitreasonable #suggestionsforabeyterYOU  #pinaynewyorker #blog #penandink #sprayink #bloggraphic #friday5 #choosetoliveyourlifeasyouwantto #takecontrolofyourlife #alteredbook

Happy Friday, everyone!

Friday Five – the Turnaround

The week has been long but nice.  One of those weeks when a lot happened but didn’t necessarily wreak havoc on my sanity and health.  There were a lot of moments that saw me smiling.  There were a lot of happy moments.  Plenty enough that the usual worries were but a hum in the background.

Here’s my progress report:

1.  Cut my flower embellishments for my Thank You Postcard Project.  Done!  I can’t stop making them, though, so there’s more to cut.

2.  Finish the polymerclay earrings I had put together three weeks ago.  Life was just too hectic, but will do this weekend.

3. Paint the multi-window page I had cut out o f my altered book.  Just have to keep going.

4.  Mail the letter to GINA!!!    Now have to write another..

5.  Start photographing my Starbucks mugs again.  This weekend?

My weekends come and go, mostly unplanned.  I’m very spontaneous in that regard.  I look at weekends as a flowing 48 hours that are rarely planned in advance.  For example, I’m thinking about breakfast but I’m not fixated on planning for it.

I just want my “Michael’s” fix, and I make a mental note of my shopping list.  I think of what treat I will indulge in, and then I keep my fingers crossed the sun will come out and I’ll have more things to smile about.

All I’m thinking about is maybe creating a piece for myself, but here’s next week’s Friday Five.

1.  Send out two prototype Thank You Postcards for a test run.

2.  Finish the polymerclay earrings I had put together three week ago.

3. Continue to paint the multi-window page I had cut out of my altered book. 

4.  Write Donna a letter.    

5.  Start photographing my Starbucks mugs again. 

I’m exhausted but “happy” exhausted.  I feel like I had done a lot.. between the elevator rides, a department luncheon that was a big hit, and trying to keep the department happy, I’m totally bushed.  But again, I feel good.  I know the boss was happy (which was what mattered), and I feel I accomplished a lot.

Here’s hoping everyone has a good weekend wherever the weekend finds you.

 

 

Friday Five (Returns)

I have been waking up at 4:30am the last couple of days for some reason.  Unfortunately, no matter how I try to “fight” it, I can’t quite go back to sleep and end up sliding out of bed by 5am.  This morning, I treated myself to a call to the siblings back home — and we had a few laughs and dizzying moments trying Viber Video Chat, but I had to give it up eventually because it might trigger my vertigo.  My nieces and nephew couldn’t keep the cam still!

So I’ve decided to bring back my Friday Five — an attempt at focusing on five tasks over the weekend, hoping to get things done.  (HOPING being the operative word.)  The idea is to keep the tasks simple and doable, and as specific as possible.  The last iteration didn’t quite live up to that so I sort of drifted away from it.  But as the blog post title says, Friday Five returns.

1.  Cut my flower embellishments for my Thank You Postcard Project.  I have had to deal with some major distractions the last couple of weeks but have continued to prep for that big pay-it-forward project I hope to do this fall.

2.  Finish the polymerclay earrings I had put together three weeks ago.  I know. Major slump with the production and the store, but the “beads” have been strung up and the dangles constructed.  Just need to put the earwire hooks and either give them away or post them in the shop.

3.  Paint the multi-window page I had cut out of my altered book.  I haven’t stopped art journaling although I’ve slowed down, but I’m happy with the pace I’ve been moving towards the end of the book with the backgrounds and all.  I picked up one of the word art embellishments I have and then designed a multi-page/multi-window layout.  Windows have been cut, so it’s time to start actually doing backgrounds.  At least 1 page painted over the weekend would be good.

4.  Mail the letter to GINA!!!  

5.  Start photographing my Starbucks mugs again.  I got a mug from Jordan!!!!

I’m looking forward to the weekend and hoping I can actually tick off some of the above if not all.  Meanwhile, I’m finishing another blog post which is taking a while because it’s a rather emotional post for me — writing about my siblings.

Busy weekend with some relatives in town.. but it’s a weekend, and although our company doesn’t observe Columbus Day (Monday), I’m still excited about what the weekend can bring.

Happy Friday, everyone!

 

 

Friday Five Update

Happy Friday!  Looking forward to the loooooong weekend! #happyfriday #longweekend #summer #sunflowrtIf I had been ticking off my Friday Five from two weeks ago, I would be able to make quite a progress report.  Off of last week’s list, though, I don’t have much.  So rather than confuse myself between the two weeks, I’m foregoing the progress but going on with my list for this weekend. And it’s a loooong weekend, at that.

1.  Write on the postcards I meant to send out to friends in Manila.  I’m further simplifying this.  I brought home two postcards — should be easy enough to send out.

2.  Work on the hem of at least one pair of pants.  This is priority because I don’t want to end up not wearing these new pairs again until the next spring!

3.  Report on my progress with the THANK YOU POSTCARD PROJECT.  I’ve been working on this and there is much to report.  If only I could find the time to sit down and write.

4.  Create a pair or two of earrings from my polymer clay discs.  Already in progress and ready for assembly this weekend.  I’ve been stacking them on headpins while trying to make up my mind on the composition of each piece.

5.  Create a non-polymer clay piece.

It’s Labor Day on Monday and just about the end of summer.  School begins again on Thursday.  So there is much to savor over the next three days.

Have a good weekend, everyone…

Friday Five – Shifting gears

When I started writing this post, I didn’t feel good at all that I thought I didn’t have much progress to report this week.  But then I am here proofing the post and I realize I didn’t do so bad after all.  Last week, I aimed to:

1.  Write more letters.  Yes and no.  One of the letters I had hoped to mail got stuck with me, so I did write an addition.  Does that count?

2.  List new items. Not quite there but I am working on it.  Photographing and editing the pictures for posting can take a while.  I’ve photographed them and am halfway through editing.  Maybe this weekend?

3.  Create more polymer clay beads and additional pieces for posting.  I have another batch that has been baked and another set ready for baking.  I’m experimenting with the transluscent variety and am really liking the end product.

Polymer clay discs- experimenting

4.  Sort and store away the postcards that are “out” in the open.  They are still out in the open.  (Obviously didn’t get to this one.)

5.  Work on a THANK YOU POSTCARD PROJECT blog post and continue on with the project.   I feel like this should actually be struck out in bold because I did manage to make substantial progress as far as creating the postcards, but writing has been difficult to make time for.  Did you see my badge on the widget bar to the right?  So proud of that!  Again, more this weekend.  (I am hopeful.)

zentangledthankyoupostcardcolored
Should I be worried that I keep repeating the list and not being able to tick off what’s enumerated there?  I might have to rethink what I list down.  Where it was supposed to make accomplishing my tasks during the weekend easier to accomplish, I haven’t been making much progress.

So let’s try another tack this week.  I’m making the list very specific.  Measurable, as they say.  Here’s my new Friday Five:

1.  Write on the postcards I meant to send out to friends in Manila.  I have the postcards on my desk, just have to find my stamps and the addresses.

2.  Work on the hem of at least one pair of pants.  What can I say — I’m cheap.  I don’t see the rationale behind paying someone close to $10 per pair of pants when the nuns taught me how to sew well.  (Plus, I just bought some pins to help me keep it together — “aspile” as we used to call it back home.)

3.  Create my first THANK YOU POSTCARD PROJECT teaser video.   I have over a hundred slides to play with but I am being too meticulous with the timing and in picking the slides to actually use.  (Too much going on with this project!)

4.  Create a pair or two of earrings from my polymer clay discs.  I actually can’t wait to do this for myself!

5.  Go back to reading and praying with my daily Kerygma literature.  At the end of the day, this one is ready to be ticked off the list.

Not bad, after all.

Friday Five (after a week-long silence)

For some reason, I haven’t been “here”, so my last post was last week’s Friday Five.  This is becoming a bit staid, don’t you think?  I think it just reflects how my life has been.  Not particularly busy, but moving in all directions.. or not.  It’s hard to explain, so before I blabber on, let me put down my progress report on last week’s Friday Five:

So let’s move forward with our usual list.. Last week, this is what I had set to do:

1.  Write more letters.  I managed to finish at least another one.  And that’s good enough.

2.  Post more than just relisted items in the shop. Uhm.. next please.

3.  Finish at least one more background at the end of my altered book. Believe it or not, I did this background as I hit “publish” on the previous week’s post.  I took out a plain white paper napkin, tore off the second layer and sprayed and waited for it to dry.  See below.

I think it’ll need at least a coat of Mod Podge — to follow.

Friday five, The Thank You Postcard Project

4.  Create more polymer clay beads.  I got busy making pieced flower doodles.  So this’ll be something to do this weekend.

5.  Continue building my THANK YOU POSTCARD PROJECT blog and completing more pieces.  No on the blog, but yes to more pieces…  I’m not too happy about the ones you see here, but it’s a start.  At least I know now what I don’t want to do.

This weekend’s Friday Five:

1.  Write more letters.  

2.  List new items. (Meaning to create one of my multi-charm necklaces per Lou’s query on pricing.  Coming soon!)

3.  Create more polymer clay beads and additional pieces for posting.  I am determined to work on my transluscent clay this weekend. I tried creating a transluscent cane midweek but wasn’t happy at all with the results.  So I’m trying something else.  I also stacked the beads and discs that have been baked and it makes me want to create more..

4.  Sort and store away the postcards that are “out” in the open.  I haven’t been good with this but hope to send out what I can and store what I should.  The postcard collector in the Pinay New Yorker has been in exile… bring her back!!!

5.  Work on a THANK YOU POSTCARD PROJECT blog post and continue on with the project.  I must confess that this project has been a very good “escape” for me, be it in its very essence (trying to spread some kindness to the rest of the world postally) or in working on its elements (like doodling and cutting and assembling the pieced paper flowers).  Will it ever get off the ground?  Hopefully.

The thank you postcard project

Not for anything but I might not be back until next Friday.  I will try.  This is not a good week for me but I am trying to stay positive.

Robin William’s passing has made me think of many things I want to write about.  As a fan, a parent, someone struggling against her own bouts of being lost.  But that’s another blog post altogether.  It might be too hard to write right now, but I will get to it.

There are many things I am reflecting on after finding myself celebrating yet another milestone here — 15 years in the US.  It feels like half a lifetime.  I don’t feel there is anything to celebrate, but there are many things to reflect upon.  So reflect, I will.

I am trying to conquer the angry demons in my heart.  I don’t like how negative thoughts weigh me down.  So I think of being thankful — I try to concentrate on that.  I don’t like how my anxiety creeps up on me as I sleep.  I end up staying up so late trying to avoid closing my eyes.

I wait until I cannot postpone sleep any longer so that when I put my head down, sleep comes quickly.

Have a restful weekend, everyone.

Friday Five – Getting there

Can you believe summer’s almost over?  It’s August!!  I think I’ve done pretty well for summer although there’s still a lot that I need to take care of.  Soon enough.  I know trying not to stress about it has a tendency to get me complacent and totally behind.  But the intention is there.

There are days when it’s hard enough to get one foot in front of the other so to speak.  When you think about the so-called “big picture”, you realize there are so many cogs and wheels running through your whole life.  So many little things making up the “whole”.  Baby steps, some say.  It’ll eventually get you moving forward.

So let’s move forward with our usual list.. Last week, this is what I had set to do:

1.  Write those letters.  Yes, I got one done, but I hope to write more!

2.  Post the almost finished bracelets and necklaces in the shop.  This will have to go to the following week.

3.  Finish at least one more background at the end of my altered book.  I tried, but I’ve been journalinlg!

4.  Create more polymer clay beads.  In progress..

5.  Complete a bunch of THANK YOU POSTCARDS.  Does one count?

Zentanglef, Black and white postcard
I still have the weekend to accomplish something.  But here’s my next Friday Five:

1.  Write more letters.  

2.  Post more than just relisted items in the shop.  I have a bunch of items that expired over the last couple of days which I have relisted, but I want the shop to continue to grow.  I need to create more pieces.  I think one stumbling block is that I keep wanting to create “new” designs but I have a ton to work with by using what I already have.

3.  Finish at least one more background at the end of my altered book.  Work has been busy because of my vacation last week so I haven’t had much free time.  Things will hopefully ease up this coming week and I will be able to take this off my list next week.

4.  Create more polymer clay beads.  I’ve done great progress here although I’m waiting until the weekend to bake them.  Instead of concentrating on ‘pieces’, I’m trying just focus on “beads” and I’ve had more success there.

5.  Continue building my THANK YOU POSTCARD PROJECT blog and completing more pieces.  I’m still a little hesitant to “launch” the project because I want all the little pieces to be ready.  I think I’m doing okay as it is.  There is really no deadline for the project and I’d rather wait when it’s ready rather than scramble to pull something together and then have it all blow up in my face.

There are times when I want to just keep going and keep drawing or creating through the night.  I literally have to drag myself back to bed as I remind myself there’s work the following day.  But at least it’s Friday!!  Weekend’s here…