And the BER Months are here again..

The Philippines purportedly has the longest Christmas season which officially begins during the first “ber” month: September.  Christmas carols start playing on the radio, and Christmas decor start popping up in storefronts, and soon, in the streets and building facades all over.  That’s something I truly miss about home.  This goes on way past New Year’s with the Feast of the Three Kings on the first Sunday of the year following January 1st.

While there are festivities and decorations here in New York, they are very neutral and muted compared to the “Christmas everywhere” feel back home.  First, not everyone celebrates Christmas here in New York — and with everyone trying to be politically correct about holidays and other sensitivities, the attempt at being festive falls short unlike back in Manila.

I am looking forward to a different kind of Christmas this year, although I am almost wary of making definite plans that far.  I am waiting on a life event that is still hanging in the balance to date, and until that comes to pass, everything remains a hope.  I had promised my little guy we will really go all out with the decor this year, but I had made that declaration thinking everything would have settled down by now.  It hasn’t.  So there..

I have always been big on Christmas.  Even when there wasn’t much to celebrate with, I celebrated it.  For one reason or another, my Christmas celebrations here in New York have not been as consistent.  It’s time to change that.  One time we were having our mother-and-son talks a couple of months ago, he asked if we could really decorate for the holidays.. as in REALLY.   I will never forget how my boy’s eyes lit up when I said yes.  That’s a promise I have to make good at.

It was chilly this morning as I walked to the bus stop.  I made a mental note to gather my sweaters and jackets now that the temperatures are dropping as we go into fall.  The coats?  Not quite there yet.   I just love the way the seasons goad us on to move forward, reminding us that nothing stops the world from spinning round and round.  That no matter how life may deal us a blow here and there, or how we find ourselves stumbling through each passing day, the world will keep turning and won’t stop spinning to give us time to regain our footing.  It’s up to us to pick ourselves up and keep going.

 

 

Fall anew

It’s definitely autumn in New York again as the temperatures have started dipping into sweater weather.  I almost wore a coat but I’m glad I didn’t put one on, because we’re still on the cusp of saying goodbye to summer and embracing the next season of fall.

What’s more, September is quickly slipping by.  I was just writing about greeting the “ber” months, and here we go with saying goodbye to the first of the series.  Having come from a country whose seasons are divided into “wet” and “dry”, the so-called “ber” months (months ending in September) are supposed to signal the start of the colder season which isn’t really cold — just cooler.  It’s also the start of the holiday season which, in Manila, is basically Christmas for everyone.

Here in New York, September essentially signals the start of what is actually the last full season of the year: autumn or fall.  Although some people would argue that spring is the most spectacular season visually, I beg to disagree and vote for fall as the most dramatic of all.  It’s the time when Mother Nature puts on a very dramatic display of changing colors that can flit from one color to the next from day to day.  Before you know it, the trees are bare and winter is here.

School has also started.  I’m trying hard to train my new middle schooler to work on his homework more diligently and in a more organized fashion.  As a working mom, it’s hard for me to try and do this from the moment he comes home to the time I walk in the door.  We had gotten into the habit of him calling me when he walks into the house — and for a time we did homework partly by phone.  As an 11 year old now, I’m trying to train him to do his homework on his own, with me chiming in for the more complicated tasks.

I guess he is still hung over from summer.  The volume and quality of the homework is also something he is still getting used to.  Still, we have a lot he and I have to get used to from this point forward, not just because he’s advancing in school but because life, in general, is giving us more to handle.

I am trying to get my bearing straight again — and while I have made a lot of progress, I am far from getting there.  There are days when I try to tell myself I’m functioning, I’m able to get up in the morning and go to work and go through the day and go back home and be a mom.  And yet I often find myself feeling like I’m functioning at less than half my usual self.

I have at least two questions posed to me at pinaynewyorker @ gmail dot com that needs answering, and yes, I have not forgotten.  I have several projects in the works, but the only one which has really seen any progress is the afghan I’m crochetting for my new-mom friend, Laine Laine.

Over the weekend, I continued to clean out my closet, sorting out the bigger sizes.  There were several pieces I hadn’t even worn from last year, mostly because I needed to work on the pants’ cuffs, and while I thought I could make them work with a belt now that I’m almost two sizes smaller, they would’ve been too obvious as being a bigger size and not flattering to wear at all.  So off they went to the “to give away” bin.  I already organized my cardigans, sweaters and scarves.  At least I am making progress in letting go of the things I hope I will NEVER have to wear again.  Those pieces that I had a hard time parting with were easier to throw away after I put them on and saw for myself how much bigger they were now that I have lost some weight.  Someone else back home can make better use of them for sure.

I was going to write about “letting go” in a different sense, but that’s another blog post altogether.  Inspiration from one of my journal entries as I wrote one this afternoon after a long lull.  I didn’t mean to pause in the blogging this long.  I thought I was doing good — but the nine days that lapsed between this and the previous post leaves much to be desired.  I have to remind myself I’ve been trying.  And I WILL keep trying.