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Happy wife, Happy life

….musings of a happy wife & more….

my 9D’s in 2019….

Are you ready? I wouldn’t say it would be easy….but I know it’s going to be full of new adventures, wonderful surprises, amazing moments, happy thoughts and kind people. 

NEW YEAR.   NEW BEGINNINGS.  NEW MINDSET.   NEW FOCUS.  NEW START.

NEW INTENTIONS.  NEW RESULTS. 

At the start of this year, God has impressed upon me 2 things – WALK and PRAY.

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New day, new year, new beginnings….( Photo by hubby: Mati, Davao Oriental, Philippines)

Walk?!? To literally & figuratively walk. I know  I’ve neglected my “early morning walks” for most of the days last month (last year)  when everything was in a bit of frenzy. Visiting relatives, checking out groceries and a few gifts, going to bazaars here and there, completing doctors’ check-ups before Christmas….then, not to forget doing some last-minute writing gigs at the same time….ALL in the thick of the Holiday season. Hoooww?  No complaints, though – it was one of my easiest, slow-paced and stress-free seasons in recent years. 

Walk the talk. PRAY more! Walking with God everyday – I need to strengthen my resolve  to turn  to Him in prayer at any moment, sharing my thoughts, expressing my love and listening to Him as I read the Scriptures or hear others preach and teach. I have to walk with Him every day.  ALL. THE. TIME.  Amidst our so-called busy schedules or lives, He is not too busy to listen, so why are we so busy to talk to Him? 😒

As I go about my 2 words to FOCUS on this year – WALK and PRAY,  I also came up with my 9 D’s. My  9D’s are what will guide me through the days ahead   –  as I want to be continually present, have physical connections and celebrate moments,  EVERY SINGLE DAY. 

“Write it on your heart
that every day is the best day in the year.”

~Ralph Waldo Emerson 

My 9 Ds for 2019:

1. Decluttter – yields some “great finds” too! While looking for something which I thought got misplaced, er, lost – I saw that my cabinet needs some order. Haha! What did I find out? About a handful thingies, some gifts left untouched and a bevy of body lotions, creams, lippies, pouches, etc.  Decluttering  my website or blog  is also a good idea. Hmmm, need to find out how (…maybe limit to max of 1K words per new blog post, starting with this one….~wink~).

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Decluttering is LIFE!

2. Delete – some unwanted files, photos and videos, both from my cellphone and laptop ( a clean cellphone and laptop makes for better, faster and useful gadgets – don’t you think?). Hopefully in the next few days….

3. Desist – from an ACTION without a second thought ( as dear hubby would often say to me, “Think before you act!” with matching hand gesture pointing to his head, lol…). Enough said. 😜

4. DissuadeME from thinking of “what ifs” and “what have nots,” BUT instead think of “what musts.” Have to consistently see more on the bright, positive side. Just be realistic, too, at times. “The glass is ALWAYS half-full rather than half-empty” should be my mantra for 2019. Emphasis is on “always!” 

5. Discover MORE passions, MORE skills or learnings that would make me really happy, inspired and would keep me engaged and productive (and why not – earning maybe, but it would just be a “bonus” if ever…). Top of mind are: crafts – accessories of any kind, online learning courses for writing and some other interesting subjects plus  small ventures which can still be tested before plunging in. For the adventure part: checking out some of “off-the-beaten track” breathtaking places that are near or far…. those that are worth visiting and sharing …..when the right time comes. Must be well-planned, too. But experience would also show us that random and spontaneous decisions are also best, at times. 

6. DevoteMORE  time to prayer, walking, ME time and the people who matter. In time, dedicate a part of myself to serving others as well, in whatever way I can – nothing big-time or fancy for now.  I can start off with just being compassionate, patient, thoughtful, empathetic and sensitive with others –  with those whom I usually interact with, even  strangers. 

7.DevourMORE veggies, MORE fruits and LESS of sweets & foods rich in carbohydrates ( Late last year, I’ve had concerns with my blood sugar levels – I want to really make it up this year – my endocrinologist surely would be delighted…yay!!!! ). 🤩

8. Detoxify – Get it?  ( My hubby adds: DEDUCT – deduct weight, haha… 😜). We need this, perhaps, once in a month. Or maybe once every quarter. I have to plan and see what works for me. 

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Photo source: Instagram

9. Distract – For me NOT to be  distracted while I write and write – hmmmm, you know what IT IS. Ha! I will try my very best to be disciplined  enough to know that I have deadlines to meet and even if I have so MUCH time to spare – I need to finish first the tasks and later, do my posts online. I dilly-dally sometimes. Linger. SADLY. But I know MY  priorities and yes, I meet commitments to my clients  ALWAYS.   I am hopeful and should be better this year.😇

Now, what are your GOALS and FOCUS this year? 

 

Let’s surrender 2019 to God and place everything in His hands. I pray that God will show ME  how to take who I am, who I want to be, and what I can do, and use it for a purpose greater than MYSELF

May you ALL have an abundant, joyful, healthy and inspiring New Year!  May you have more days to celebrate, lessons to learn  & enjoy and boundaries to push in 2019!  ❤️

 

Have a HAPPY LIFE!

 

 

 

 

ISAIAH 43:18-19  "Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." 

 

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thankful, grateful….

Is there a scientific theory to prove that people who nurture thankfulness lead better, happier &  healthier lives? I AM NOT SURE. 🤓 But what I know is this:  Grateful people lord over what they have instead of sulk, complain or gripe over what they don’t have. Don’t you notice that as you become grateful, you see every NEW morning or day as brighter, sweeter  – one that is an opportunity for some happiness, inspiration and motivation rather than a challenge, a struggle or a setback? 🙃

“The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!” 

~Henry Ward Beecher


The truth is, you CAN cultivate a more thankful mindset than you never thought you would. IKR. It may not be as easy at first, but you’ll be THANKFUL that you made the 1st step. How to do it?

For this THANKSGIVING Day, I came up with a list – just 10 of the many. Isn’t it a good practice to list down all  the things that you’re grateful for everyday – heard of the “Gratitude Journal?” It helps that we jot them down, so that it’s better for us to remember and when we have time, we can reflect on them. There’s also a ‘gratitude journaling app’ that you can download to help you out — it can send you daily notifications. Pretty cool, right?! 😁

Some families have their “Blessings Jar” – where each member writes down the things they’re thankful for. You can be creative in this, too. How about a “Gratitude Board” – so this must be a huge one, eh? 🤩 Bottomline, you’d be surprised at how many BLESSINGS you could have in a day, or week, or month and in one year. “Count your many blessings, name them ONE by ONE,” as the popular church hymn goes.

But still, some say that being THANKFUL is also being able to give. Just as giving God our thanks for His mercy and kindness is both a blessing and a privilege. It truly humbles us and allows us to just be amazed at how great God is. As we shift our attitude, it also makes us more aware of God’s activity in our lives.

To others, it would seem a cliché or they may seem awkward to express their thankfulness, one way or the other. D. Fileta  (a Crosswalk.com contributor),  shared her story and recognized that, “Thanksgiving is about more than merely listing your blessings.” She asks, “What if being thankful meant surrendering our struggles, too?” Hmmm. Food for thought. ❤️

I have so MUCH to be thankful for this year (as the year is also about to end in a few weeks…). As I list them down, everything was just falling into place. I know this is a REMINDER for myself to never EVER take things for granted. Oh well, it’s been said that “Gratitude makes what we have ENOUGH.”  👏👏👏


“There is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude, a quiet joy.” ~Ralph H. Blum (Location: Davao Oriental, Philippines)

In case you’re wondering what that LIST is, here it goes: 

  1. I am thankful for my husband, whom I affectionately call Papa B – who has never once let me down from DAY 1 of our married life – my biggest fan, cheerleader, my spiritual leader, my inspiration, my loving partner and funniest ‘beshie'(bestfriend) for life! 💙💚💜
  2. I am thankful for my health – for being able to do the hour-long walks, for getting (and enjoying) into Pilates for several years now, and yes – being able to eat what I want, though mostly in moderation as a choice and MUST ( hello salty and sugary foods!😝 ). It’s true – having a sound mind and body will help you go through life in a breeze. I feel more energized and healthier now more than ever. Perhaps, stress is another factor:  stress-free life is the BEST!
  3. I am thankful for the gift of writing and the work that comes with it. It is both easy and difficult at the same time. Easy to do, but perhaps, hard to excel in. Always rewarding. At times frustrating.  Something that I hope to still do in the many years to come. ✍️ ✍️✍️
  4. I am thankful for living in such a beautiful city as Davao. Clean air, all greeneries and so many refreshing sights everyday to see. Seascapes and landscapes to wander and wonder in a few minutes or hours. Fruits to splurge on (and not that much to spend for). An interesting mix of diverse, interesting people – mostly cool, warm and friendly. I admit I had a bit of apprehension 20 years ago in relocating here but now, this is  MY HAPPIEST PLACE. Gotta love Davao!🌴
  5. I am extremely thankful for family and friends whom I can talk to just about ANYTHING. They make my life exciting, fun, full of surprises and lessons. I know they’re always there for ME. They’re my CONSTANTS! ☺ ☺ ☺
  6. I am thankful for all the writers, bloggers and readers who are out there sharing their ideas, opinions and stories in the online community. To THEM who share a part of themselves in this crazy, tough but amazing world. These people inspire me to WRITE to no end. 
  7. I am thankful for MUSIC – Spotify music, that is. 🎶☺ Best of all, it’s FREE. I’m just so thankful to good, beautiful music that’s easy to find and listen to – the lyrics and melody continue to inspire me as I create my writings. Surprisingly, they help me get in to focus and once I get the hang of it –my writing becomes smooth sailing all through out. Plus, I don’t get bored with the SAME type of music everyday. 🎶 It just comes and goes! Somehow, it gives me fresh perspectives every time.
  8. I am thankful for books and movies – for the laughter, the drama, the learnings and my “go-to” combination when I want to take a break from writing. The good thing is what I read and  watch seem to inspire me as well! Hoooraaay for good books and movies all the time!
  9. I am thankful for my PRESENT. Waking up feeling relaxed everyday with nary a stress (maybe except if I have an article’s deadline to cram for, but it’s not that often… as I always try to send in advance.. *wink*). Enjoying my morning walks or a ‘go-see’  in our garden. Or just doing nothing for some mornings. Drinking my coffee at the porch, staring in space with a lot of musings & deep thoughts. Making coffee for Papa B and sharing stories with him during breakfast. How great & refreshing that we have lots of time to spare for this part of the day unlike before. Ha! 😜  Simple joys of retirement and being out of corporate world —  didn’t come on a more perfect time than NOW. Yay! 😍
  10. Last but not the least, I am truly thankful for how GOD has shown His LOVE  to me through these years which encompasses  EVERYTHING! Enough said.  My heart is overflowing with gratitude! ✨✨✨

Up for a CHALLENGE? Take time off for a moment – wherever you are or whatever you’re doing. Just come up with a TY( THANK YOU) list. A ‘Gratitude List’ may not come out automatically or in an instant – but NEVER let that  discourage you from still showing that gratitude and yes, giving thanks. There’s just SO MUCH to be thankful for!  😇

 

Have a HAPPY LIFE! 


 "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever."    PSALM 136:1         

55 summers….

NOVEMBER comes and goes, but the 7th day is truly special. It’s my BIRTHDAY and I just think birthdays are really important. Don’t you think so? ☺

So, why celebrate the day you were born in this world? Everyone of us SHOULD. Our presence MUST  be celebrated everyday but more so, if you are to pick just ONE day, it has to be your BIRTHDAY. ❤️

 

Celebrating 55 summers – with the sun, sea & sky. ☀️/ Location: Dahican Beach – Mati, Davao Oriental, Philippines

 

As I go celebrate this milestone  – I am doing a LIST of 55 THINGS you know ( or do NOT know (yet) ) about ME. 

Please indulge :  written in random, loose, anything-goes fashion:

1. My name originated  from Sta. Carina ( remember those old Roman Catholic calendars that has all the names of Saints written on it – it was just there in the day  and year I was born). A first cousin suggested the name to my Mom looking at the calendar. But years later  – I learned that “CARINA” means “beautiful” in Italian, hmmmm. 😆

2. My Mom said she was fond of turnips when she was still conceiving  – maybe that’s why I am fair. I love turnips, as it is,  or when mixed in salads!

3. The “apple cut,” remember? That was my childhood perennial ‘do.  Yikes!!!!! 😁

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ME and my “apple cut” ‘do… 💇‍♀️

4. My favorite indoor childhood game was MONOPOLY.   Had to play it for a number of hours with our neighbors as playmates. What’s yours?

5. My favorite childhood outdoor game was “Agawan Base.” It’s a Filipino game much like having 2 teams outwit each other to go out and claim the opposite base without being touched by the opponents. FUN! Lots of teamwork, too! It was what we usually play in grade school back then.

6. My fave childhood summer thing to do : Chasing, catching dragonflies and putting them in a small  jar  with  bits of grass on it. You know – a balanced eco system. Ha!  But I usually set them free to fly again  after a few hours…. hey,  don’t judge me. Haha!

 7. I’ve fainted twice in my life –  when I was 9 and  11  –  both  in public, crowded  places. Thank God, it has never occured since!

8. I love collecting pens and highlighters (raving about the pastels now).  I adore cute and dainty  notebooks & journals ( even giveaways as long as paper is lined and soft). Maybe because I just love to WRITE about anything – the colors of the pens and the softness of the paper makes me raring to write MORE! 📔 ✐

9. If there’s one make-up item I should have – it has to be a lipstick or a lip gloss. Yep- I can never have enough of lippies.  So now you know what to give me as a gift, haha! 😀

10. I still like to go outside and play in the rain sometimes. Don’t you think it’s FUN?!?

11. It kills me to see a room without windows ( yasss, I’m a certified “claustrophobic”).

12. I am the second of four girls in a family ( coincidentally, sister next to me has 4 daughters as well…).

13. I love the smell of freshly-cooked popcorn. 😋

14. I can get out of bed in the middle of the night to watch falling stars in the skies. I just love watching stars at night – in the mountains or the beaches. My thing! ✨ ✨ ✨

15. I can sleep with lights ON ( but only if I’m too sleepy). Would still prefer a dark room  for sleeping.

16. I am not really sure what my natural hair color is anymore – but a  HS  classmate said that my hair’s color is “chestnut brown.” That one I truly remember.

17. Do you know where I went in my very 1st air travel?  Yes, you guessed it – in DAVAO. God paved the way for me to meet Butch’s family while on a business trip.  ✈️

18. The chores that I love to do most are those with water:  washing clothes, cleaning the dishes and watering the plants. Anything with water makes the chore kinda’ refreshing and less tiring, hehe! 😝

19. I usually read something interesting online or a portion of a book randomly before I go to sleep. More of the good stuff and inspiring reads!

20. My favorite IG baby is Leia – Nataleia Martine Godinez-Valenciano ( yes, Gary V’s granddaughter) – I think I look a bit  like her when I was her age…no joke! 😇

 21. I have 2 guilty pleasures – coffee and chocolates.  Coffee is usually mocha. But I don’t really go for chocolate cakes. I prefer  buttercream cakes. A HERSHEY’s chocolate bar, DOVE or KISSES are my “go-to” chocolates. MILK chocolates and DARK comes 2nd.

22. At times, I’d like to walk all ALONE. It gives ME time to reflect, think about things to write  and observe people. I sometimes engage in small talks.

23. I like romance and love stories…..a LOT! 💕

24. I am a consistent honor student in grade school and graduated “Salutatorian” of the class.  Other awards: Best in Science and Best in Social Studies. 🤓

25. My HS favorite subjects are “English” and “Social Studies.” I hate Geometry and Trigonometry  – will go more for Algebra and Calculus, hehe. 🤪  I studied in a Science High School.

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Photo source: Pinterest

26. I eat ice cream compulsively. Favorite flavors are mocha or coffee, quezo and avocado.🍨

27. I do take a bath pretty fast but  (I do a lot of things pre and post) so Butch almost always ends up waiting  for me in the car.

28. My Spotify constant nowadays: BEN & BEN – a young indie folk/folk pop group band. My fave songs are: Leaves, Maybe the Night and  Kathang Isip. Band members are all millennials,  one of whom is my HS classmate’s nephew with the same surname as I.

29. My favorite movie of all time is “Notting Hill.”  IKR  – hopeless romantic! 😍

30. The 1st long poem I’ve learned to memorize is  “All Things Bright and Beautiful.”  Do you remember this poem (for the  Baby Boomers) ? I can still recite some parts of it now.

31.  My favorite TV series: Grey’s Anatomy ( secretly wishing to be one of the  surgeons of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital (*wink* ) ).

32. My childhood ambition was to be a doctor,  a pediatrician. I can never be a surgeon though ‘coz as Butch says –  “my hands can destroy anything” – a faucet, a gadget, a kitchen utensil – name it!  Waahhhh….so no chance at #31. Haha!😆

33. Music inspires me to write. I love Christian, pop, acoustic, instrumental piano or violin, love songs, Pinoy faves, ’70s, ‘80s or ‘90s songs – just about anything! Anything that’s not LOUD! 🎵🎶🎵

34. These songs never fail to make me  teary-eyed (or cry) : “Blessings” by Laura Story and “Give Thanks” by Don Moen.

35. My favorite plant: SNAKE Plant – has a lot of benefits, super fuss-free. Go Google it!

36. My favorite flower:  CARNATIONS ( white or pink ) Butch used to send me bouquets of carnations on special occasions – at home or in the office in Manila. 🌸🌸🌸

37. My lifetime motto: Live and let live.

38. I am very good at research:  whether a subject for writing, a new resto, a touristy place, a supplier for an item, a new place to visit  – TRY me! 😄

39. My favorite color is powder blue that’s why it was my wedding motif color. But years later,  it has changed – what I like now are  teal and  millennial pink.

40. My favorite Filipino dish of all time: Kare-Kare. But extra easy on its sauce (the bagoong) or else my BP will shoot up! 🙁

41. I can eat spaghetti for breakfast, lunch and dinner on the same day ( yep – tried it once or twice…BUT it has to be Papa Butch’s special spaghetti ). 🍝

42. Butch (dear husband) and I had our 1st date at a steak house in  Pasay Road, Makati. Butch recalls I hardly ate, hahaha! 🙂 Just fidgeted with the buttered veggies. Wonder why?!? 😍 😜

43. I do not know how to swim. Uuggggh, missing a lot…while Butch is a darn good swimmer!

44. I am good in memorizing names and faces. I can easily remember names and details about a person I met many, many years ago ( even really unique anecdotes  with them).

45. I love chicken more than beef and pork. I am not really  fond of steak nor lechon. But I can just eat chicken maybe everyday, but different varieties – fried, turbo-roasted, adobo, tinola, chicken curry, etc.🍗🍗🍗

46. I started my MBA at age 23, finished it at age 29. In my Oral Comprehensive Examination ( defense of thesis/paper  ) – my  subject was about HMOs, specifically, PhilamCare.  Rex Mendoza, the  past CEO of Philamlife,  was one of my panelists. He was a Marketing Professor.

47. My love for writing started in HS – had great English teachers, Ms. Josephine Agbayani and Ms Patricia Adame who’ve inspired me in a way.

48. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology.  WHY? I love being with people, observing them and I figured it might be the best option. No regrets even if I only had the chance to work as HR Assistant in my very 1st job. One of my best career joys – imagine doing preliminary screening/interviews, conducting pre-employment examinations and making recommendations for potential candidates to be hired or not. I was 20 years old, fresh graduate.

49. I would go for mountains than beaches. But having both is “surreal.”

50. My favorite Bible verses are  JEREMIAH 29:11 and ISAIAH 41:10. Both these verses are in the Old Testament.

51. If I had to migrate now in another country, it will be in NEW ZEALAND.

52. I am learning  how to do watercolor florals and modern calligraphy. It’s been my desire to do some artworks for myself — maybe not so much to be appreciated,  but more for the sheer enjoyment to create something out of my hands.

53. Back in college – I have  a 21-inch waistline and a less than  90 lb. frame. Just saying! Hahaha!  🤣

54. If I had a business now – it will be a bookstore cum coffee shop. Someday – I love both coffee and books! ☕️ 📚

55. If I can travel now ( or next month 😂 )  – I would like to go around all the European Christmas Markets. Wishful thinking eh! Ha!

As I turn another year older and wiser, I am grateful for the journey.  There have been a number of ups and downs, twists and turns, even cycles and roundabouts – but all these have made me who I AM  today.  For that, I stand tall & proud!

A brand new day after 55. Excited for the year ahead. 🙏  Location: Mati, Davao Oriental, Philippines

I would like to think I’ve laughed and prayed as hard as I can and has seen as much of this beautiful world, so far ( but with the hope that I’d see other unexplored parts of the world, too, in God’s perfect time…). I hope I have loved, encouraged and shared MORE than what my heart and soul can feel and give. God has been so faithful & gracious that I am  now looking forward to the next places and  ventures  that will  bring out as MUCH  joy, peace and contentment….and love, of course! I am truly excited!!!! 😆

Loving this life, no matter what.  Trusting God in everything. Keeping my childlike attitude and GV mindset all the way.  Believing immensely that God  will direct and guide me  to the  choicest paths that would make me realize that there’s  MORE to live, laugh and love in this beautiful world! Bring it on, 55 summers!   I.AM.THANKFUL! ❤️

 

Have a HAPPY LIFE! 

 

 

 

JEREMIAH 29:11...."For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." 

seasons and reasons….

In a tropical country such as ours – we just know 2 seasons – summer…and yassss, summer. Ha! Kidding. ☺ A predominantly sunny season throughout the year, with a few snippets of rains (or typhoons) at times, usually in the middle of the year. As they say – we only have the dry and wet season. 😀

But I am so fortunate to have experienced autumn in various countries that we traveled to, particularly USA (West Coast) and Canada, 4 years ago at about this time. The additional blessing is experiencing the same season 2 years after that – in New Zealand in May and Japan in November. Awesome FALL memories! Each place created so many wonderful autumn quirks and lasting memories that keep coming back (oh yeah, the Timehop app is perpetually reminding me on this…). I guess AUTUMN is such a special season for me – I just love it and will never tire of it. The fact remains – I.AM.AN. AUTUMN. BABY. 🍁🍃🍂

 

As nature unfolds in SEASONS – so does life. When it’s Spring – it’s like when we are still babies – a new beginning, a time of discovery and hopes and let us not forget, a lot of blooming. Summer feels are our years of adolescence, perhaps filled with some “hot pursuits and passions.” You know how teens are, I bet. Autumn brings us kind of maturity – much like our so-called productive years – a rich, vibrant hodgepodge of anything brilliant, or fiery but with a semblance of stability and calm. It’s also like the falling off to what you want to discard in life and look forward to something new and better. The next season slowly sneaks up as the ground is covered with oh-white-snow, brrrrrr – just like as we go through our senior years – with a covering of quiet contemplation, peace and contentment. But hopefully, not really too gloomy or somber as the Wintertime usually is.

Ah, LIFE!

As the trees’ bright green leaves fade turning into gold, orange, sizzling red or faint brown-ish, whatever — these leaves almost quickly fall as they change. I’m just thinking – “Oh why, can’t they just be lush and green all the time?” Why the CHANGE?!? But I believe there’s a reason for every season. To be forever green it was not meant to be. In order to bloom, flourish or thrive in the next season – the tree goes to naught. Those leaves have to change colors and fall until you know what happens next. Sometimes only its trunk remains. This bright green tree in summer is gone…. but not forever. It will just turn in another cycle…and so on! AUTUMN for me means a change for the better. As there’s something good that eventually will come to draw to a close – an ending is inevitable but not for long. Something new and hopeful to look forward to. Anything that weighs you down, makes you feel distraught or sad can be thrown away – can easily fall off….ONLY if we allow it.

Just like the leaves of autumn – letting them go! 👍👍

Sometimes, we HOLD ON to a lot – the trivial, the insignificant, the unimportant and negative  stuff that weigh us down. What are you stuck of that’s keeping you to enjoy and embrace the seasons ahead? As the leaves are decaying little by little (and then, piling up to no end that we end up clearing them…) — don’t you  think that you also need to discard these “unwanted stuff” from yourself for good? Throw them away! Do not cling to all those “decayed leaves” that you have – thoughts, attitudes, habits or situations that prevent you from shining on.

You must SHINE on!  🤓

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Photo source: Pinterest

Maybe FALL is there for us to observe nature and life as we see it. As we watch the leaves roused by the wind with the trees giving all the way to their falling-outs:  something reminds us that perhaps we can also follow the same. We must not hold on these dead leaves of ours: unnecessary heaviness  that keeps us from moving forward. We cannot enjoy and embrace the NEW season if we constantly think of the old, let us allow ourselves to start anew. As you watch the falling of leaves this season – be reminded that you can always have a fresh start. A new beginning. Don’t be afraid to start over. Always strive to be better…and perhaps, the BEST. Oh yes, be the BEST that you can be. Release what no longer serves you and make room for BEAUTIFUL things, no matter how darn small they may seem to you!

Allow me to tell you this side story:

For the past two weeks, I’ve been pretty impatient and bored. I admit – there were moments I wanted to give up on my writing (for a while…) and look for something else to make me busy with. ☺ My old client went for a short break, new clients were far and between but on hindsight – I was able to focus on my walking, reading and gardening again. ☺ Things started to fall in place as writing gigs flowed in afterwards on my own kind of pace – not too many, just a manageable level where I get to write to ENJOY and LEARN at the same time. The last thing I would want is to be stressed out,  LOL!

And a few days later — three young people of diverse backgrounds approached ME for almost the same thing:

  • An established millennial freelancer in our city asked me to speak on a quite informal session they’re organizing on  how to get into freelancing from being in a corporate world (or while at it 🙂 ). And I go – ME?!?  But I’m up for the challenge and accepted it. Thankful that I have a lot of time to prepare for this activity happening next month. I’m excited to meet the participants and to be able to help and share my story.
  •  A LinkedIn connection request  from someone whom I didn’t know (but I later found out to be a millennial homemaker – a UP Political Science graduate with corporate backgrounds in Project Management, Quality Assurance, an IT expert and a Leader in her own right…) was sent my way.  I accepted the request. She messaged me afterwards and surprisingly, she asked me  for some “TIPS” on how I transitioned successfully from corporate to freelancing. She’s also mulling to freelance as a content writer and she feels there are a lot of competitors out there – how can she even start, with a lot of writers all over the world? Yeah – I know the feeling!  This young mother went into freelancing so she can take care of her kids at home. My initial reaction – ME? Really?!? I feel I’m not a veteran on this, hehe.  And so I messaged her back and we discussed. End result: shared with her pointers on how to get started based from my experience. But I know she could do even more. Tbh, I am really excited for her. I am waiting how her blog will turn out and how writing gigs will follow suit.
  • A colleague from my former telecommunications company (thru LinkedIn, too) and I had a long chat last night about our “freelancing experiences” though she is also working full-time in an office. Of course, since I had a bit of an edge in freelancing than her since I’m more of full-time, hehe… – I gave her some of my tried and tested tips so she can jumpstart her “freelancing” career. 🙂 I hope I was able to help her in a way. We promised to keep in touch and update each other.

So, what does this all tell ME?

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Photo Source: NBS/IG

These incidents somewhat looped together to put  a “fresh” perspective to myself, to what I’ve been doing.  There MUST be a reason why I am writing.  I am  wondering what did I do to deserve the  wisdom being asked of me and to be able to  share  and help in my OWN little way.  ME?!? 🙂 I may  feel down thinking I AM not  the most “in-demand” writer of the platform that I’m with, my writings are still a long, long way for the experts’ level and I have just a handful of blog followers at this point but there is that unexplainable JOY that comes that  in the short span of time that I’ve been writing – I tend to believe that I am ABLE to influence, encourage, teach or inspire someone. For that – I’m really thankful. 😍 I know God has emboldened, encouraged and strengthened me for the new full seasons ahead. When we humbly pray about it – He’s there cheering us on and leading the way. Be prepared for the future, the NEW seasons and what it will bring to your LIFE.

Falling for the  FALL season alone….definitely not! A new season is quietly unfolding and for that, I AM always READY with the right reasons!  ❤️

 

Have a happy life!

 

 

 

Ecclesiastes 3:1-3

"...There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity
 under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to 
 plant and a time to uproot,  a time to kill and a time to heal, a
 time to tear down and a time to build...."

the perfect time….

This month of September ends today ( or in just less than an hour to be exact, in our timezone…) —  can you believe it? 🙂  Tomorrow we are already in our 10th month  and to think I remember I was just planning activities at the beginning of this year and then it dawned on me  now –  “Aahhh,   sometimes – it doesn’t have to be always THAT way” — think and plan, plot those dates, schedules, wish lists, travel musts and all the works!  You just have to let things flow and see what happens…..make room for surprises:  whether pleasant, unexpected, unfavorable, overwhelming, welcoming or not.

Which brings me to a VERY pleasant surprise of this month – our plant, the hot chili peppers of Indian variety produced fruits in the garden…..AT LONG LAST! Yay! 🙂 It was about this time exactly a year ago when a family member in Manila  gave me these seeds with the friendly caution that “if it bears fruits, those are really HOT, as in super HOT.” So, the hubby and I ( with some curiosity & excitement ) hurriedly planted the seeds in 3 boxes as soon as I got home ( BUT in my bubble thought: ” if  I   begin reaping the fruits, would I be able to taste or enjoy it” – me and husband ( and more so with him ) are not really fond of this spice…haha). So days passed by – the plants slowly grew with big, bright green leaves — everything seemed right until some aphids out of nowhere began destroying the leaves. Soon after, the plants looked AS IF dying out on us. Ugh. 😦  So, we transferred them at the back  portion of the house and continued to care “with lesser attention” but still full of hope and love. ❤  So  FAST FORWARD to a week ago:  just imagine our surprise when  we saw the fruits, with some more tiny buds beginning to bear the produce we’ve all been waiting for! Amazing! YESSSS! It pays to wait, huh! 🙂

So, does patience REALLY works?!?  What is patience, by the way? What does it mean to be patient? Staying calm and still….waiting for the BEST to happen? I’ve read that waiting and patience are TWO different things. What if THAT (“best”) won’t happen at all? Is it doing nothing and bearing all those “nega” emotions inside of you? Nope, it’s certainly NOT! 

 

 

 

So, what does being PATIENT really means? If you happen to plant seeds or a cutting for example and you just thought it was not growing despite all the efforts you do like watering the plant, caring for the soil, etc : WHAT WOULD YOU DO?  Patience does not mean that you will stop watering the plant and wait till it grows. The plant would not GROW on its own…ha! 🙂  If you didn’t water the plant – surely, it will die any moment. Thus, patience is NOT the same as waiting. Being patient means you’re waiting for RESULTS — while working on it at the SAME TIME, and I mean really working hard to achieve what you’ve wanted in the first place.  Makes sense!

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Photo source: GeniusQuotes.net

Life is at times, difficult. We all know this! We sometimes experience tough moments that will make us feel sad, bad and who knows, MAD! Haha!  Patience helps – because if you’re not patient – you end up like “living in a bad or uncomfortable situation” and of course, YOU do not want that. You may  kinda’ feel worse than you were before if you have patience and you end up waiting for a longer time than usual, still with that CHANGE you are anticipating nowhere in sight, ‘right? But if you can carry all those negative emotions with ease and comfort and simultaneously fighting hard to let them GO — then, well done, my friend –  give yourself a pat on your shoulder and smile because you’ve hit it right and understood what TRUE  patience means. 🙂

I guess – being impatient is part of human nature. Why?!? I’m slowly learning and realizing this MORE as I hustle in my writing gigs as a “freelance content writer.”  I write…and yes, WAIT.  I research, do a draft, proofread, edit, finalize and lastly, SUBMIT my “masterpiece” to my client. Wait for the feedback. Is the article great? Is it wonderful? Is it what  the client is after? Do I need revisions? Write, wait…. feedback, wait. Then, write again? Ha!  Writing is a process that TAKES an enormous amount of time, more often than not. But for me, it is by far worth every process spent and done. 🙂  If you love what you do, then it becomes trivial – I’m sure you know what I mean. But WAITING – often, it’s hard. Waiting for the right topics or niche. Waiting for the perfect client. ( I’ve just learned never to  do a “trial writing job” without payment…huh, good thing – I haven’t done a FREE article yet, or else…hmmmm, learning to be a little wiser & a better freelancer, too). Btw, this post is my 25th since I started on this blog a year and a half ago. Sort of a milestone, just had to mention it. 🙂

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Photo source: GeniusQuotes.net

So, it’s true what they say on testing one’s patience?!?! Why is patience  not so easy for us? We usually want what we  want exactly at the time we want it?  Why can’t we wait for God’s perfect time? Sit back, relax and trust that God’s timing will be IT despite our own excitement, anxiety or deep sense of urgency. Who controls your life?  Are you bracing yourself into a calm, patient and obedient submission to God’s perfect timing?  TRUST is such a big word, I know. In this world, we all live through plans, calendars, schedules, notes, to-do lists very much like an “organizer” that you need to keep things in place or in order making  life easy, simple and on point.  We sometimes miss the Lord’s wisdom for us towards success, fulfillment, enjoyment or even, safety. We can never go on our OWN as it is only God who sees the entire plan for our life – he sets the path, our different journeys and He knows what lies ahead BEFORE us.  God knows where we’ve been, what is, what is there to come as He has a plan for each one of us. Are you with me? 🙂  We have to let go and let God take charge of our lives. Keep waiting and trusting – when you hear that small, peaceful voice instructing you on what direction to take – walk through it and be bold and courageous to embrace and accept everything. Patience or pride?  Your BEST way is sometimes pride but know that God’s way is what you really need to fully TRUST as you await His promises. You’d surely be in good hands, no doubt about it. God has figured out ALL things for ME and you!!!! 🙂

Indeed, patience is a virtue that needs to be practiced over time.  My favorite Bible verse is right down there below: it has seen me in my storms, my anxieties, doubts, stressful situations and lowest moments. Thankful to God that I have been patient all along and I put ALL my trust in Him, no matter what. Life is beautiful.  All in God’s PERFECT TIME!!! ❤ ❤ ❤

 

 

Have a HAPPY LIFE.  

 

 

 

 

   ISAIAH 40:31
    "...But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. 
   They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow 
   weary, they will walk and not be faint..."

 

stepping out…..

We’re halfway in SEPTEMBER…..we are left with just 3 and a half months  before another year unfolds. It is kinda’ easy breezy for me these past few days and weeks….but nope, not really complaining. 🙂  I am enjoying the SLOW pace. My last writing gigs have been completed end of last month yet ( and if you want to know how my AUGUST went by – check my previous post).

So, for the past 2 weeks or so  – I am enjoying this “quiet idleness”— lest I am constrained to learn about cryptocurrencies, artificial intelligence, fintech, alternative investments, data science or foreign exchange trading ( GET it??? ) which are what mostly the current writing jobs that are being offered are. Arrrghh, or maybe a bit of some fashion and beauty – uhhhmm, that’s  MORE like it!  Ha!  BUT THEN….

Come to think of it, stepping out of your “so-called” comfort zone looks pretty exciting! What do we call them?  RISK TAKERS – yes they are!  Are you one of them?

Risk takers are the people who are  brave enough to take on challenges, regardless of the results. They would kick their fears aside and say YES right away —  without “ifs” and “buts”. As for me, I’ve always wanted TO BE a risk-taker. 🙂  Even though I always long to be courageous and fearless (for GOD) — something holds me back every time I usually get a chance to step into that thing as “unknown.”  I know I can take risks, but just when I would — something holds me back. Sheesssh! I know I should be TRUSTING God’s guidance and wisdom MORE. That’s really important. Never FEAR. Oh well, perhaps you’ve been in the same situation? Just as you are compelled to MOVE FORWARD – fear creeps in and convinces you to stay put, relax and  face the good, old argument.  Whaaaatt? Whhhyyy??? Hooowwww?!?

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Photo source: Pinterest

It’s NOT  soooo gooood…

It’s NOT  safe…..

It WILL NOT work out…

and so on and on.

Uhhmmm. As if these weren’t enough – it further persuades you, er, whispers to you LOUDLY – “Nahhh, it will not make a difference anyway…..or anyhow?!?”  Yeah?!? So, what are you supposed to do? Like ME, I give in sometimes. Or MOST OF THE TIME. Wahhhh. 🙂

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Photo source: Pinterest

WIKIPEDIA defines  “comfort zone”  as  “a psychological state in which things feel familiar to a person and they are at ease and in control of their environment, experiencing low levels of anxiety and stress.  In this zone, a steady level of performance is possible.”  Sounds COMPLETELY right- isn’t it?  The key words here are “familiar,” “at ease” and “in control” and on the other side, “anxiety” and “stress.”  When we are at our comfort zone – we have familiarity, we have control, we have certainty  and security.  If we step out – what REALLY happens? We are unsure, we are not in control – there’s a certain level of unfamiliarity… uncertainty….setback or ALL of these  that we wouldn’t know what to think or do  causing us to be anxious or stressed.  Sounds familiar?!? I bet it is!

They say that  if you get “too much comfortable” in your  OWN comfort zone and you  hold   yourself back instead of challenging yourself to learn, explore and try new things — then that is going against having a more varied, fulfilling life. Who wants among us wants a dull, boring life? 🙂   After all, taking risks helps one GROW. Isn’t that the way to go, glow and grow? ( sounds like a local formula milk brand ad, hehe…).  Trying new, unfamiliar things makes one CREATIVE. It brings out those “creative juices” in you. You get agitated, excited and you crave for knowledge to be able to learn something that you may not like at first. Then, perhaps you will LOVE it eventually.   When we become uncomfortable, either if we want to or not –  it gives us that “push” to propel,  to do something and eventually, achieve the goals which initially we thought can not be reached.

“It’s good to step out of our comfort zone but we should also be able to go back in,”  as  New York Times’ Alina Tugend  reiterated. This makes sense, too!

Stepping out MEANS you are ready to conquer challenges = PEAK Performance

How do we expect to evolve in our careers  or lives, in general –  if we only submit to our old-fashioned habits and routines? You know that you can achieve NEW heights but there are risks and this means, FAILURES.  Ha! When we hear this “F” word – suddenly it becomes negative or something that we cringe on. But hey, there’s  also SUCCESS on the other side. Take this example:

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Photo source: Pinterest

The current CEO of one of the biggest mall conglomerates in our country ( if not the biggest) was their former Chief Finance Officer until he was given a special project in  another area which is not his forte. He began to make some strides in Sales and Marketing where he really rose to the occasion afterwards. He made a good impression – learned about the trades of distribution, too – made it really good, delivered great results and guess what? He was promoted to be the CEO in no time. These special projects or programs that  one is assigned to take the lead could  be the “make” or “break” opportunity so if ever it comes to you – make the BEST out of it. Performing at peak? Challenges help us out. They SPUR us. Maybe because learning a NEW thing is most of the time  a motivating and inspiring activity that when you begin to like, or LOVE  it ( and of course, make GOOD at it…) — you reap the FRUITS of all your efforts afterwards.  Sweet success! 🙂 Well, learning the task in itself is an experience so that makes it more worthwhile. You add new SKILLS up to your sleeves.

Embracing NEW  challenges  = AGING  better

A study found out that much as having a strong social network –  the learning of new and demanding  life skills can help one stay mentally sharp as he gets older. Wow! 🙂 Isn’t that wonderful?  Of course, we usually think that as we get older  – our comfort zones DIMINISH, too. But as we keep on embracing and expanding them, it’s even BETTER – we are certainly opening up our lives to improved well-being and greater fulfillment as we look forward to our sunset years. Who’s with me??? 🙂

It seems that learning occurs but not without any obstacles, blunders  and fumbles.  Risking failures is part of the process if we  want to KEEP on learning  — each and every day of our lives.

I read about  Forbes Coaches Council’s takeaways on overcoming fears re:  this “stepping out of your comfort zone” thing in an article entitled, “Overcoming Fear: 10 Ways to Step Outside Your Comfort Zone.”  These are the business and career coaches’ very own mental tricks –  these are 2 of MY favorites which I’ve quoted verbatim:

Remember: Some Of The Best Things Happen When You’re Uncomfortable

“In times of stress or discomfort, remind yourself that some of the best things happen outside a comfort zone. These experiences can both challenge you and help you grow. Commit to giving the situation a try with your best effort, and keep expectations low to alleviate additional pressure. Ask yourself,  ‘What is the worst thing that can happen?’  then focus on achieving the opposite result.”

~ Adrienne Tom, Career Impressions

Perform Research To Get A Handle On Fears

“The mental trick I use is to do the research on what it is you want to do. If you want to skydive, research the topic and the best skydive schools around. Also, get out and watch and talk to others who are doing what you aspire to accomplish. Research breeds knowledge, and knowledge breeds confidence.”

~ Linda Zander, Super Sized Success

So, HELLO cryptocurrencies, fx trading, AI, Fintech, data science, alternative investments and all those technology-stuff ( hmmm, perhaps not TOO boring for now, hehe…)…..oh yeah, IKR.  Stepping out, or rather trying to step out….hopefully SOON!  🙂

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Am I READY to step out of my comfort zone?!? Ohhh, YES!  (  Marilog, Davao City, Philippines)

 

 

 

 

Have a HAPPY LIFE! 

 

 

 

 

Matthew 19:26  But Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this
is impossible, but with God all things are possible." 

 

 

lessons in August….

AUGUST ended just 5 days ago….

So, how do you see a month that has just ended? Or how do you view a new month that’s prowling at you? Excited, perhaps? I guess most of us are – especially that September means the “BER” months are coming.  For some parts of the world – September signals SPRING and for the rest, it means that AUTUMN beckons. But for our country, the Philippines – SEPTEMBER means just one thing. ONLY. 🙂  It signals us to the MOST wonderful time of the year that on the very 1st day of the BER month – it seems almost automatic that the traditional favorite Christmas carols play unabashedly in every nook and cranny of the country.  Pretty cool, isn’t it? 🙂

Going back at AUGUST.….

Life has a way of starting and ending our months plus the in-betweens. One of my most anticipated months is you guessed it, August. AUGUST being the most festive month for our city – where we hold our Kadayawan Festival. Colorful. Abundant. Lively.  Fun. It is at this time where locals show how grateful and happy they are for all the abundance of fruits and other produce that we have. But August started on quite a sad note,  a little bit difficult even. But with God’s grace, everything worked out for good in the end.  God has been gracious and faithful all throughout those 31 full, long days – most especially at the time when  I was at my lowest.  Have you experienced that? When you thought that JUST everything is impossible….overwhelming….but then you stopped, took a deep breath and said, “Nope, I will easily get through this. This will pass. Better days are coming!”  Been THERE, done THAT and a lot of “other” bubble thoughts will just seemingly appear out of nowhere. Making you feel a little bit better, calm and relaxed. And you keep GOING! 🙂

Indeed, last month was full of unexpected wonders and interruptions at the same time. I will not say it was really good and easy – not too difficult even. It was just one month that you wished will pass real quickly or END  at that instant. But life has its twists and surprises, too! Pleasant ones, that is! I’m happy though the month ended on a brighter, lighter and happier note. What do you know? The best part of the month was the husband’s birthday. It was a day worth celebrating, no matter how simple it turned out to be. A tradition we’ve kept up to this time, on a different setting  though is having a hearty breakfast to mark the beginning of the special day. We were ready to pass this off this year  until my MIL(Mother-in-Love) who was just in the hospital a few days back insisted we went ahead with the tradition. So, off we had the traditional birthday breakfast, with my in-laws joining us. My realization is this: The way you started the month will be nothing like the way it ends. So much has happened midway but towards the end, there is still the GLADNESS and JOY that will spark off somewhere, somehow. 🙂 IKR. Not all endings are really happy! But as it turned out,  ours was a month that ended with a BIG bang! A roundabout of super happy and uplifting emotions that we surely welcomed with open, thankful arms.

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Photo source: Pinterest

No matter what the circumstances are, pleasant or unpleasant –  it is the way we view them that’s what differentiates us from each one. This process is painful to some, but wonderful and great for others. No matter how we see it – one thing’s sure – God shapes us into what His purpose is for our lives. He can always use the fleeting moments or even the trivial, insignificant experiences to let us see that His grace is abounding – much like a vast ocean in the middle of those heavy, trying times – we only have to LEAN on Him.

Isn’t that the popular quote from Paulo Coelho is true: ” The more violent the storm, the quicker it passes.”  If you have survived the destruction, then paths will be opened. And once the the storm is over, you just want to remember how you made it THROUGH.  And from the Biblical point of view – a few verses will tell us that “All suffering is  TEMPORARY. ” Although this doesn’t make it easier for us in the moment – it’s reassuring  to know this as it is.   Bible verses tell us that we will suffer “a little while” or that  we experience only “light momentary affliction” and that these sufferings are only for the “present time.” What’s MORE hopeful, comforting and motivating than that?

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Photo source: Pinterest

The MOST important thing is the LESSONS learned. We go through difficulties but in the end, the learnings and realizations will bring us the “light” to all the darkness that clouded us.  The next time we are faced with these seemingly  insurmountable odds of life – be STILL, be READY and  remain COURAGEOUS. After all, the winner is the ONE who finds the strength for ONE MORE burst of speed and might – even when all the rest is pulling you DOWN. Just focus on being what you are – positive, resilient and downright victorious!  Who wants to fail or falter?  Not one of us, I suppose. As we face the remaining months of the year,  ENJOY the journey! Have a happy SPRING, a bright AUTUMN and an awesome pre-CHRISTMAS-y season feels, whichever one applies to you! Live the life!  🙂 Plus, REMEMBER this:

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Photo source: Pinterest

 

Have a HAPPY LIFE!

 

 

 

 

  Romans 5:3-5...." Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, 
   knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces
   character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us 
   to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts 
   through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us...."

of grey hair, laugh lines & wrinkles…

Has it been said time and again that the only thing constant in this world is “change?” Or rather, the only thing permanent in this life is “change.”  Whatever. When I was younger, I used to scoff at this idea…until several years later, I finally find myself thinking and feeling how true this saying is. Have you been thinking in the same way?  Are you the type of person who embraces change so easily… something that flows in and out of your life so  fast?  Or are you that person who resists it, or perhaps rather  irked and annoyed by it that you totally reject it?  Hmmm…guilty? Familiar? But the thing is, we really cannot fight off that CHANGE, especially if we talk about the subject of AGING. We tend to just ignore it, ‘right? But we must learn to accept and EMBRACE that we will all get older. Grumpier?  Angrier? Hopefully not. But WISER,  we will be.  Hopefully. A few weeks ago, my Mom celebrated her 84th birthday. My mom still waters the plants, washes her clothes, cooks and walks every morning. She doesn’t have a Facebook account though….but she goes on video chat every now and then with love ones and relatives. She can also talk a lot about each and everyone of her grandchildren. 😎

          “Aging well is the supreme expression of wisdom.”  ~Michael Gelb

Speaking of Facebook or FB as most of us call it…I’ve read that “people over 50 replace their FB profile photos with their pets?” Awwww. How true??? Does that make you discouraged with how you look as you get older with each passing year?  Hmmm… you grow more grey hair, put on a lot of weight, have a “not-so-tight” young-looking skin as before and yes, have all those laugh lines, crow lines and wrinkles in your face?  But I also read that “some people are old at 18 and some are young at 90.”  Duh! So, TIME is  really just  a concept. It’s really ALL a matter of perspective. Aging  is inevitable – a  fact in life we will all go through. Bodies will begin to loosen and weaken a bit. We will slowly have physical limitations. We can no longer jump as high as before or  bend as long as we wanted to. But LIFE goes on….

 

“When age is joined with wrinkles, it is adorable. There is an unspeakable dawn in happy old age.” ~ Victor Hugo

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Photo source: Pinterest

Today, we are alluded to a lot a “anti-aging” stuff:  medicines, cosmetics, food or diet, work-out or exercises and maybe a NEW “lifestyle” altogether.  All of these are superficial though ‘coz I believe that  we can have the BEST years of our life as we age with so much grace, dignity, fulfillment and contentment without THEM. Inner peace – oh yes, VERY MUCH, too!

I know I am not  the BEST person  to give you TIPS on aging gracefully but we can together learn ( will be handy as you approach it and/or  will be helpful as you interact with  your parents or relatives who are into THIS stage:  definitely a “win-win” situation).

Here’s what TO DO:

  • Have a positive attitude about growing old. Period.

Although our bodies may limit us, our brain doesn’t. You might suffer limitations physically but don’t let this define you.  As the brain has 200 billion neurons and a little more than hundred cerebral synapses – it can actually even improve with age significantly. Whew! Yaaass! Brain continually creates new cells, a process called “neurogenesis.” Continuous learning is the key. Read more. Maybe,  put a blog ( I’ve enjoyed following and reading on these “60-ish” bloggers, hihihi…😆). Do crossword puzzles or  the more modern “sudoku” or “wordscapes” now.  Or if you can, learn new apps in your Android or IPhone that you can make use of. Engaging in social media is alright, too, as long as you will not be up for the whole night scrolling up and down the posts. Ha! There are many possibilities. Don’t get stuck. Always keep your mind active, as they say.  🤓

  • Open up to other interests and activities.

We know that some pursue their passions after retirement or in their twilight years. We usually do not want routines anymore. Those who used to be in the medical profession may go into painting or dancing or poetry. The aging artists can try other fields, too. As long as you’re happy pursuing these activities – it’s okay.  Life is not on an “autopilot” mode always so you can explore options or crazy stuff you didn’t think of doing when you were much younger. Or afraid to do. Or do not have the resources. NOW is the best time to pursue them. Challenge yourselves! Don’t you want to stimulate your brains? Or you may volunteer your time to a church ministry or a community project. Some of the senior ladies in our city I know are busy  giving their time and assistance unselfishly  in one hospital – one of  their tasks is  cheering up the patients. Nice!  Be creative in your pursuits and God will lead you to the right direction. You can do EVERYTHING provided your mind is healthy and  sharp and your body will not ache afterwards. Ouch! 🤪

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Photo Source: Pinterest

  • Be thankful and grateful always.

It was found out from a study made by Harvard University  that those who are aging gracefully worry more about gratitude and forgiveness rather than cholesterol or blood sugar levels. The graceful oldies embrace aging with so much gratitude that this actually  helps increase their longevity.  Concepts of thankfulness and gratitude are very strong to them that they are too generous with it, making them happier in their lives as a result. 😄

  • Work on improving relationships with your family and friends.

You know that time is ticking. If you were not able to do this before, you have that opportunity now more than ever. Spend time with your family and friends as you create new memories. Comfort and empathize with those who need it. But most of all, enjoy and celebrate life with the people who matter most to you. You are still young and certainly deserve to have these fun, exciting times! Cherish THIS  time! 😍

  • Acknowledge God’s blessings in your life. Pray more

God’s plan is to renew us. We might be surprised at what He can do for us in this stage of our life. Your life doesn’t stop when you retire from work or when you get old. Remember what God has blessed you with all your life and surely, this will bring much joy to your life. Maybe there are physical stuff but more than that, the lifelong experiences, setbacks and lessons will surely bring a smile as you reminisce about them. Go over your throwback photos and as you recall each one, you will know how truly blessed you are!  The peace and joy that surrounds  you is more than enough. As we age, we might have a lot of concerns mostly about health or family or resources – but all of these issues can be prayed for and lifted to God. You can also pray for others who express their needs to you. You can also choose to grow and deepen your faith – as this has NO age limit! 😇

So, are you afraid of getting OLD-er…or aging too soon…reaching your SENIORRRR years!?! Definitely not. LIFE just gets BETTER….only if we make it! Aging gracefully is doable, achievable…something to look forward. Hey, it’s quite a long way still for me. But thank God – I. AM. EXCITED. 🤩

 

Have a HAPPY LIFE! 

 

 

" So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. "    ~ 2 Corinthians 4:16-18  

2nd chances, new blessings…

 YES to second chances! But wait – I’m not talking about love and broken relationships here. By “second chances”  I mean – life after retirement. This fact remains: Life does not END after retirement. Maybe life after retirement is not really about second chances but more on “discovering NEW blessings.” I am pretty upbeat to be in this stage now. So, what do people DO after retirement?

  • Enjoy a second career (if health still permits).
  • Enjoy the things missed out while working.
  • Enjoy going on adventures.
  • Enjoy by staying home and doing nothing (for how long it doesn’t matter).
  • Enjoy being creative and busy in NEW endeavors.
  • Enjoy reconnecting with old friends and colleagues.
  • Enjoying giving back to their community.
  • Enjoying their love ones and making lasting memories.

Uh-oh! ☺ I am doing ALL of the above except the 1st one (a second career where I’m gainfully employed in a corporate setting, that is…😉).This phase is a chance for me to embrace and fulfill God’s purpose in my life and begin a NEW life altogether. I am inspired to reinvent myself. My daily grind has ended but my journey re-discovering LIFE did not. 😍

Back Track from the PAST    I’ve retired as an Operations Head about two years and two months ago. Mine was not a typical retirement with the traditions of speeches of a gratitude and all that mushy stuff, hugs and tears and applause-filled farewell parties. Our company was closing down. Bought out by another company in the same industry and most of employees had to go. My whole Team and myself were no exception. We were notified already way ahead of time so when it FINALLY happened – I guess I was prepared. We were prepared. I was kind of psyched already to what life will be onwards. I have had a full circle of the corporate life — mostly in Customer Services and Operations in a highly dynamic telecommunications industry. I’m truly grateful. I have learned a lot, worked my way up and just too content and ready to go. Besides, I’ve already crossed the 20-year mark of service. Great years of work and learnings, mind you!🤓😌

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Ohhh, the joys of retirement! (photo from Pinterest)

Fast Forward to the PRESENT    As I lingered in my present state, there were a lot of pauses. My primary consideration is to MAXIMIZE this new stage of my life. I don’t expect and yearn for “all-glory” days. I don’t even regret and fret at what could have happened. I am not discouraged by the unfamiliarity and uncertainty of the future either. I am eternally hopeful and optimistic. Constantly looking forward to making beautiful, beautiful memories with my love ones and taking better shots at LIFE now — meeting more people, exploring more places, doing whatever I like and  doing it WELL. Hopefully – been there, done that…life goes on!

Exactly on the 11th month of my retirement – I figured deeply that I wanted to do something NEW. Guess what? I’ve always known I wanted to write. WRITING is one of my passions. I launched my WordPress blog. I had too many apprehensions then. How do I start? Will people bother to read what I’d write? I went ALL out for it with a myriad of different emotions. There was unexplained joy afterwards! Then, I went into freelancing work as a writer a month or so after. I mustered enough guts (and humility and pride combined) as I transformed into a “content writer-slash-article writer-slash-blogger.” So it’s true what they say that novelty and challenge keep you happy. Unexpected stuff will not only surprise you but will bring happiness. When you hurdle any unfamiliar situation, no matter how tough it is – there is a deep sense of satisfaction AFTER. Makes you treat each day as more fulfilling and richer. Oh, time seems slower, too. Everyday becomes too exciting. You look ahead to what God has in store for you in so MANY ways in this new challenge. Aawww. I am feeling IT!!!!! A new challenge gives you also a new sense of identity. It helps you GROW. So, what became of ME? I am not just a retiree or a homemaker or anybody like that. I’ve expanded my horizons. I have a new identity, a new set of skills, new experiences and new people I am meeting along the way. I.AM.A.WRITER.

NEW Life, NEW Blessings

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Retiring early?!? Relaxing all the way but taking the TIME to start anew! (photo from Pinterest)

How I did it:

1) THINK of one passion or NEW skill you want to pursue or learn. Check your community for groups that might be offering trainings on what you want to pursue. Read up online for courses – whether free or not. Take the plunge. Or do it through “self-learning” like what I did. Had read and watched online tutorials on starting a blog and writing in general. By some good stroke of fate, I met some seasoned bloggers in our city and got good pointers. I followed their blogs, too.

2) FOCUS and FULFILL that passion. Concentrate on making yourself good in that skill once you’ve chosen it. Some people have the mistake of learning two or maybe more, all at the same time. Focus on just ONE. If you’re just starting, devote ALL your energies on what you’re after and build up your name. Read and learn more until you have enough knowledge. Remember, learning a NEW skill is a task that you want to be good at. Make use of TECHNOLOGY. I can not overemphasize its importance. There are a lot of available articles, blogs, webinars, and tutorials to help you out. Invest in building up your skills. You can never go wrong with it.

3) EMBRACE fully your NEW passion. Be confident about it. Don’t underestimate the power of SOCIAL MEDIA nowadays. Show off what you’re up to with all your family, friends, new online friends and followers. Who knows, you might even turn these new passions into something that’s income generating later on. Yay!

SECOND chances? NEW blessings? Whatever!?! ☺ ☺ ☺

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Live the LIFE…live with PURPOSE! (photo from Pinterest)

Just FOLLOW what’s in your heart, mind and soul. Continue to walk out God’s PLAN for your life. It will undeniably keep you excited, energized, inspired and always ready for LIFE!

 

Have a HAPPY LIFE! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to 
prosper you & not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
                                                    Jeremiah 29:11

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