Those Facebook Memories

I don’t do Facebook as often as I used to for several reasons, and I don’t usually catch much there given the number of friends I have racked up through the years.  While I am going to seriously trim that list at a future time, I have to make do with what I am able to catch when I open the app on my phone or those few times that I actually open it on my PC.

Don’t you just hate and love those Facebook memories that keep popping up? Love them for the warm memories they bring, and hate them for reminding me about how I looked and was so different years ago– I am truly happier with the older and better me now.   Sometimes being reminded of how our feelings and life in general have changed can be both good and bad.

But I was struck by how something I said 7 years ago has changed meaning from black to white. Definitions have evolved. Feelings have changed. The world is now so different. “Family” then is so different from what it is now. But while I thought I was happy then, I realize now that I am in a happier and better place.

Those Facebook memoriesOne thing those Facebook memories do for me is show me how my little guy has grown.  I have those pictures tucked in my virtual or hard drive somewhere, and I do gush and turn misty-eyed occasionally when I see him as a baby or a toddler, or even as a grade schooler… He HAS grown.    For those moments, I am grateful to Facebook.

Grey Saturday

I started writing this midday Saturday at almost 1pm, in my PJs and I have gone from shoring up my village (yes, PinayNewYorker/GothamChick plays Clash of Clans! — as GothamChick), watched an episode of The Brink (my HBOnow subscription has been dormant the last 4 weeks!  Wasted money!)  and I’m trying to decide on how big that afghan I’ve been working on should be.  (Note to self: This part of a handmade project should be determined/decided before I start the first row of stitches.)  I’m also trying to see how much yarn a pullover I’m making for myself will need (something I failed to do with the afghan), and I’m trying to figure out if I will brave the chilly temperatures outside to get some “taking care of me” stuff done.  No trips to the city for me this weekend — that much, I’ve decided.  Not with this kind of weather.

But — I am here, and I am happy to be tapping away on the keyboard.. Writing has proven to be quite the best outlet for me, be it longhand, via art or through this little corner of the blogsphere.  And I’m trying to catch all the bits and pieces racing through my mind before I completely forget about them.  Little thoughts.. big ideas.  Don’t you hate hitting a eureka moment and then losing it midstream?  It hits you in the quiet moments how you should have taken the time to stop and ponder.  And maybe the thought would’ve developed into something bigger.

Week in brief.  This one’s a mixed bag.  It’s been rather challenging and not without its surprises.  (My 11-year-old locked himself out the other day, leaving his keys IN the house — so Mom rushes home.  Thank God for understanding bosses.)  It’s also been a time of reflection.  (Need to do an entry for my “What do I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY want?” journal.)  Sometimes I feel I need a reality check when I get carried away.  (Someone always reminds me about reality by texting me his version of “News Flash, Sister” bits..)  Disappointment and frustration have a way of bringing us down to earth.  This ship has touched the ground.

But it’s a week with its gems.  One thing I have learned in the recent past is that you really have to focus on the positive and bask in that — and like another friend said, we make the most of what we have.  And we did.  And I am happy.  I tell myself I should be so lucky.  It may seem most days that I could be surrounded by better people, but I count the ones who make me smile and I think I’m in more than just a very good place.  I’ve always been that person who won’t stop herself from getting a treat.. I get dessert when I want to — I am not deprived.

I look at the pictures I take these days, and the sadness and anger are no longer evident. (Either I hide them better or maybe they no longer dominate my psyche.) And I’m happy to be back to Medium — and these PJs I’m wearing had languished in my closet for ages because I bought it before I had my boy, and I couldn’t fit into it the last 11 years or so.  Well, sometimes, I did.. that’s why it stayed in the closet.  But it had been tucked into a far away corner and I just rediscovered it recently — and am wearing it again.  Reason indeed to be happy! I count my blessings and I think about the things that are weighing me down — and maybe it’s the age or just experience, but I can let go much easier now.

Weekend plans.  I’m in the thick of trying to put some order into my world.  So more organizing, more crafting, and again, laundry.  (I would rather do one big load every other weekend than do it every week.)  I need to get moving with the letter writing, although I think I wrote some fabulous birthday messages this past week.  I am trying to get ahead of some important dates coming up.  I would like to think that receiving something in writing other than an email or text message greeting still counts for something.

I’ve managed to repair some jewelry / accessories that had broken through time, and while Saturday has come and gone with nary a new piece created, I’m still hoping Sunday will be the day for me.  I’m seriously working on reopening the shop again, but I think I need a new header piece.  I am continuing to work with my crocheting and am getting on with the projects.  But that’s for the other blog where I discuss my crafts.

It has gotten chilly in New York and it’s that time of the year again when we have to wear layers.  I’ve dug into my closet to bring out the sweaters — and my summer clothes will have to be tucked away higher or deeper inside until it gets warmer.  We’ve started wearing coats again… still on the lighter side, but we can hardly go out now dressed in summer clothes.  Chilly!!

Weekend thoughts.  I am looking forward to Monday but I wish the weekend was longer this time around.  (A real pause followed that sentence.)  And yet on second thought, I think I would want it to end so that the things that keep bouncing around in my brain can fall silent in the din of work and being busy again.

I have a half dozen wishes in my head.  A friend who just celebrated a birthday made a wish after blowing the candle on his birthday cupcake.  I always wish birthday celebrants whatever it is their heart desires.  Rather than zeroing in on something specific I wish for them, I think that to wish that they get that which they wish for is the better gift.  If you want another piece of cake, I wish you that.  If you wish success, I wish you that.  If you wish to have more “me time”, I wish you that.  If you want dessert this time around even if you don’t like sweets, you get it this time because it’s your birthday.

I’ve always been big on birthdays, and those who have known me a long time know that I make a big production of greeting friends and family, even if it is a belated greeting.  It is always a good reason to celebrate the day someone came into this world — even if the celebrant is not big on birthdays.  WE celebrate them!  And I’ve always said that birthdays have no do-overs.   Milestones or not, we should make it a point to celebrate the occasion.

I greeted a friend a week late on FB and she responded back.  At least I didn’t get lost in the flood of greetings that came her way last week.  Even a short greeting is good.. the point is — as we say in the vernacular — you remembered.

Speaking of which, I keep hearing this piece playing in my head — “Remembering.”  A friend had introduced me to Avishai Cohen not too long ago, and it’s a very relaxing yet dramatic tune that I keep hearing in a loop.  The last time I listened to this, I found myself in a different kind of blissful heaven, and after listening to it, I’m sure you’ll agree and find yourself there, too.

 

Remembering

53 years ago, he came into this world, and then he left just as quickly as he did. I never met him, and yet in my heart of hearts, I know him. From time to time, he would visit me in my dreams in some form or other, and I would know it was him even if I knew he was in heaven already .. He would just say hello, and sometimes he would hug me.. and in that dream, the tears would come because I missed him so dearly. I knew I always had a Kuya who was always watching over me. So I know that though he is an angel in heaven, he is always with me, forever holding my hand. Life would have been so different with you around.. Happy birthday, Kuya Silvano.

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..

And life goes on…

I’m on page 73 of My Altered Book and I’m starting to write on the first 4 pages of the book.  I want to make my happiness journal a “no-pressure” journal which means I am not stressing out to work from finished layout to finished layout.

My Altered Book: A Happy Life : Words of Wisdom on HappinessFor example, one spread is on WORDS OF WISDOM on HAPPINESS where I am compiling quotes on the subject of happiness.  the other layout is one I’m working on with Angelo as the subject matter, because who else has brought such happiness into my life?  (Even just that thought brings a smile to my face.)  I am working on these layouts simultaneously and will be starting a third.  So each page is a work in progress, just as the book is one.

The outer cover of my book now looks grubby, and I suspect that I will end up doing a temporary  cover over the masking tape.  I am constantly handling the book and it’s always in my purse.

Downtown one week afterI started an Art Journal Every Day layout yesterday on the subject of 9/11 which I just feel I had to because of the significance of the day to me personally.  It is a loss that will forever be felt in New York, even if one didn’t suffer a personal loss.  The experience of that tragic day is enough to stir feelings of grief, one I will always carry and feel strongest on this day.

Everyone speaks of healing but there is really no set formula on dealing with grief or with pain.  We each cope our own way.  Just like the events of that day affected us in different ways.

It is perhaps a relief that after 11 years, the way we reemember is now more solemn and personal than ever.  Politicians were not allowed to speak at this year’s ceremony which is befitting.  This day of remembrance should be about the people who lost their lives and those whose lives were forever changed by that loss.  I didn’t watch.  It felt heavy on the heart as it is.  Today I will scan the newspapers for my usual collage postcard.  But these postcards will be different because not only do they chronicle the events of yesterday, tbut more importantly, they will bring me back to the memories of Sept. 11, 2001.

Art Journal Every Day: I miss you, Papa…

Art Journal Every Day: I miss you, Papa

“Those we love don’t go away,

they walk beside us everyday.

Unseen, unheard but always near,

Still loved, still missed and very dear.”

If you want to see more of my Art Journal, please click here, or you can always choose my Art Journal Every Day page from the list on the top left of the blog page.

I invite you to view the Flickr Group dedicated to this endeavor by clicking here, and be inspired to create your own art journal.  (Artistic talent optional.)