Sunday, January 26, 2014

Three Decades

Aside from New Year's Day, one of the things I look forward to at the start of the year is Papa and Mama's wedding anniversary. They got married two days after New Year's. But this year, I find it significant as they are have been together for 30 years.

Writing this entry is something that is meaningful for me likewise.Not just because I am writing about my own parents, but because of how privileged I am to have witnessed a lengthy, worthwhile bond that they have. In this era where everything comes instant, where values seem to be set aside and relationships (including courtship, couple hood and marriage) are all but short-lived, being together as husband and wife for 30 years are not just a milestone but a blessing.

And I am indeed blessed to see and be part of it. In those years that they have been together, I was able to pull out words of wisdom:

  1. Saying yes to marriage means saying yes to the whole kit and caboodle. I remember asking Mama five years ago if she does not get tired of doing the same thing for 25 years. She simply told me that she's used to it; for when she said yes to marrying my father, she also wholeheartedly recognized that marriage is a bond that involves dutiful service to each other and serving your partner out of love.
  2. Patching things up overnight is not always necessary. While it is often advised not to go to bed angry, Mama once told me, don't rush to iron out things as some of them needs some time to be fixed and it's not always in your control.
  3. If you cannot say it out, put that in writing. There are things that are better left unsaid. But in instances such as arguments where anger can do more harm than good in stating your point, putting down your point in writing is most often the most efficient resolve.
  4. Know the right way to discipline your children. I'd like to think my parents never believed in capital punishment. While my brother and I used to get scolded (for being mischievous as kids), we never got spanked black and blue. As parents they believe the need to punish out of love, but it does not have to come in aggressive form.

Back in college, one of the signs I was taught of using is the sign #30. And as much as I want to use that in the title of this entry, I opted not to as the #30 symbol implies an ending. Marriage is a blessed union that God has put together, and therefore  no man should separate. On the day of their anniversary itself, I  had no material thing to pray for. Just for God to bless them with more happy, healthy years together.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Camaraderie Out of a Starbucks Planner

In my job, I tend to juggle with different tasks every single day. And I deal with all of those side-by-side my own personal agendas outside work. And given these activities, a planner is a must especially that I tend to be forgetful at times when workload piles up.

I have been familiar with the planners offered by coffee shops for quite some time. Given that I have been a lady whose workplace is a city near these kinds of establishments, I have seen how people literally go too enticed (if not obsessed) to complete stickers in order to get a planner good to be used for a year. But despite of this planner phenomenon, I never dared to join the bandwagon and kept my loyalty with the generic planner in bookstores (well, save for that Paulo Coelho planner I bought last year).

When I got my first sticker for the Starbucks 2014 planner, I simply found it a common thing. I was not really planning to take it seriously because I knew, it's going to be a long shot at best to complete all those 18 stickers (and I'm not out of my mind to spend a couple of thousand bucks for coffee).  But as days went on, I just realized the sticker booklet that started with one sticker had 15 stickers in it.

Sue me now, but I won't deny that I was also secretly desiring a planner even just for once and the feeling aggravated as the deadline for this approached.

Funny but I cannot say my office mates' obsession for a Starbucks planner is a mere craze because at a certain point, the spirit of camaraderie suddenly becomes alive (without having to force someone to do it, ha?) in a crazy way possible; in 2012 I helped my office mate, Mommy P, get her planner by contributing 4 stickers to her booklet (which meant 4 cups of coffee on four different days). This year, the "contribution"system was at it again, from a supervisor donating his booklet (with 9 stickers in it) to office mates contributing a cup of coffee so that someone in need gets entitled to a sticker on his/her booklet.

In the end, I got my "secret desire". Thank you to Mommy P, who, volunteered to contribute two stickers so that I'll hop out of the coffee shop with this planner in my mom's favorite color -- YELLOW. And while some people might even cringe, if not raise eyebrows on what I've written and tell me it's downright frivolous, I'd like to look at the positive thing that it has caused especially to some of us -- that even with craziness for things like this, the spirit of TEAMWORK is alive and working.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Blurry Tuesday

At least that is how I can describe it. It all started when I arrived in the office yesterday expecting my office mate Sunny to finally be there (we have not seen him since the second week of December). It was not until another colleague Fern said these words:

"Wala na daw ang mama ni Sunny."

It was something I never expected to hear that day. To know that kind of news left me with this gripping feeling of disbelief. Yes, it was a cool morning but at that time all I was feeling was numbness in my toes slowly ascending to my body. I felt it all the more when I came home, browsing on Facebook, I read this:

Reading this still makes my eyes well up as I type this entry right now.

For a time being, I sat in the living room at a loss for words. In a way, I knew how Sunny and his family is feeling for I went through the same ordeal with my own grandmother eight months ago and it's still a fresh memory. While I have been somewhat consoled by people's advice that death is really inevitable, there still are times those why's would pass by my head. It made me think that probably, the concept of death will remain as a strange thing.

Yesterday, in the midst of those confusion, sadness and disbelief over the news that we all received that morning, I passed by the church near my office before going home, hoping to seek solace and refuge, and to pray for the repose of the soul of Sunny's mom. No word could ever console a grieving heart thus, this would be the best thing I know I could do. And if there is one thing I have realized, it would be this:

That prayer is the most effective respite to the worries of the world.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Lessons from the Memory Jar

Took this photo using Instagram.
For the past three or four years, I have been observing some routines in time for New Year's Day. I rarely make resolutions for the sake of it because I believe you do not need New Year's day to do it -- or better yet, you need not make promises of change just on new year but the rest of the year.

I have heard about creating a "memory jar" last year. At that time, I was still on my self imposed tradition of lighting prosperity candles. But what is a memory jar? It's actually a simple method of keeping memories. All you have to do is write what good thing has happened to you for a day and keep it in a jar.

The catch? You should religiously do it for, read this, 365 days.

And just for a change, in exchange to prosperity candles that always told me my career this year would be  lucky (and it never failed), I took this challenge of keeping a memory jar. As of this writing, I now have 11 wonderful events kept in it. Doing so felt good because for one, it got me into the habit of recalling my day and look with gratitude the wonderful events that happened. I know this is just the beginning but it has taught me that regardless of how messy or stressful a day has been, there will always be one or two good things that happens and I should look at it that way. Wonderful. Beautiful.