Muse on Vacation

Where do you derive the inspiration to write?

Before I get to publish a blog post, this is normally what happens to me…

even Spongebob blogs...

… I sit in front of the computer, go to WordPress (Supergoddess Me), click “New Post.” 

… then I stare at the screen for a good five minutes. 

… I get impatient when I get to minute 3 so I open another tab and check out Facebook.

… about two minutes into Facebook, I find out that there’s nothing new happening in FB world so I go back to WordPress.

… Inhale, exhale.  I will get that inspiration somehow.

… Maybe coffee will help… so I stand up to make myself a good cup of coffee.

… Hmmm… coffee is good with cookies.  Maybe I should get some, too.  Cookies or chips. Yum.

hoping to be inspired...

… Darn, I can’t drink coffee and eat chips while working on the computer.  Seriously, He-Man will have a fit.

… I wonder what’s on tv?… Coffee, chips, TV.  Perfect.

… I never liked the Bachelor (nor the Bachelorette)… I have watched these Glee episodes two times already… There’s no nice movie… I don’t feel Oprah-ish nor Bauerish…  Oh great, there’s TMZ.

… I am getting tired of hearing about Kim K and the rest of the brood.  Don’t they have anything more interesting?  Isn’t Brad splitting up with Angelina yet?!

… Oh geesh, I need to fix the magazines in my bedroom. They are beginning to pile up and are starting to collect dust.  Enough of TMZ.

… I read the magazines and wonder when I will get another article published.

… I rack my brains for a topic to write about.

and THEN I remember that the computer is on… and my screen is still on “Add New Post” (that is, after I shoo away the bubbles of my screensaver)

… and then I start typing… (until someone buzzes me on ym or Facebook beckons)

That, ladies and gentlemen, happens on normal days.

I need my Muse

And yet there are days when I get so inspired and the words just start forming in my head.  It starts with a topic, then words, sentences, paragraphs… it will just flow smoothly until I sort of finish the whole essay. In my head.

Sometimes it happens at night, right before I sleep (the Rejection blog post is an example).  I was on my bed, body so tired after an eventful day… and then I thought of the topic… and then sentences started to form… and since I couldn’t turn on the computer anymore to type away my thoughts, I just wished and prayed that I would still remember them in the morning.   Thankfully, I did.

Another weird time is when I am in the shower (blog post entitled Things Money Cannot Buy).  Again I prayed I won’t forget the words the moment I come out of the bathroom…  I think my muse likes spontaneity. 

Sometimes we just try so hard… and the more we do, the more difficult writing becomes. 

Like today.   I really don’t have anything to blog about.  Therefore I won’t try so hard. 

So, see you all when my muse gets back!

days like today...

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Muse : in Greek Mythology any of the nine daughters of Mnemosyne and Zeus, each of whom presided over a different art or science;   A guiding spirit, source of inspiration. (Free Online dictionary)

photos via weheartit.com and google images

Rejection in the Time of Facebook

Facebook Friend?

 

Have you ever rejected someone in Facebook? (That is, if you have a Facebook account.) 

If you do have an account then you know what I mean… You check your notifications one morning, then you find friend requests from people you don’t really know… or people you used to know in earlier life but never really talked to.  And so for a moment you contemplate on befriending them because, after all, you have matured and you are friendlier now.  Or maybe because the stranger’s profile picture looked just like George Clooney… oh wait, it IS George Clooney in the picture! Duh?!

Sometimes I feel bad not responding to someone’s friend request that I just let the invitation sit for, say, about six months… Okay, so maybe that person would have already figured out by now that I didn’t really want to accept the friend request.  Though at least technically I haven’t really rejected said person so I have no reason to feel guilty.  But then again, not confirming the request is pretty much telling.

Facebook friend wannabe

So am I a bad person if I hit the “ignore request” button? But then again, do I really want to be friends with Monsieur Delifrance from Paris or Mr. Macho-Wearing-Tank-Tops from uhm, the gym?  What about this high school classmate that I NEVER breathed a single word to, all those years we were classmates?  All I remember is that the boys used to tease him a lot.  And Mean Girl Me couldn’t help but laugh whenever they teased him (gimme a break, I was very young then!).  And then now this guy wants us to be Facebook friends.  If I hit the ignore button, then it’s like rejecting him all over again. 

Now I feel just like JLo (yes, the new American Idol judge).  We both just can’t say NO.  Watch American Idol auditions and you will know what I am talking about.  (This is not a paid advertisement for AI, you don’t really have to watch the show if it’s not your thing.)

Back to Facebook.  What I am saying is, nobody likes being rejected.  Unfortunately, while to some people Facebook is a great way to ‘find’ friends, well it can also be an avenue to reject people. 

Facebook friend hottie

But of course, you can’t say yes to all friend requests, especially the ones coming from total strangers.  They may look hot and yummy (did I just say yummy?!), but didn’t mother tell you not to talk to strangers??  I guess Mr. H & Y wouldn’t mind being rejected.  Besides, even if he does mind, you don’t really know him so who cares, right?

What about Mr. High School Teased-a-Lot?  Is it right to reject his invite?  But when I think about it, do I really want to know his status updates? Do I really care?? And if I see him walking somewhere, will I even smile or say hi to him (like Facebook friendship gives you a connection). I think not.  I don’t even how he looks like now (no photo uploaded), so I wouldn’t know if it’s him. What’s the point, right?  

Several months ago I received a friend request from another high school classmate (let’s call him Mr. Teased-a-Lot #2).  Despite the same misgivings (I didn’t really know him, I never talked to him before, etc), I accepted the request.  Funny thing was, the profile photo he uploaded was the picture of the wrestler Batista. Yey, I am now friends with Batista.  Maybe I can smile at him (Batista) when I bump into him.  See?! What’s the point in being Facebook friends with someone you don’t really know anything about?  

Facebook friend ferret

The next time I checked, his profile picture was a ferret. Great, I’m friends with a ferret.  Now I am thinking of ‘defriending’ the ferret, but I don’t want to hurt his feelings.

Rejection.  Some people really just ask for it.

Truth be told, I can only think of one Facebook rejection that I had.  Back when I was pretty new in Facebook, I sent friend requests to friends (and not really friends) both from high school and college.  I remember sending this guy (an old college crush) a friend request thinking that he knew me from school anyway – because I was always stalking him (haha, that was a joke, of course!!).   Seriously, at some point in our college lives, we talked a few times. And so I was just being friendly. And mature.  Yeah right.

Two and a half years later (that means today), my friend request is still probably sitting—or rotting – in his friend request box.  Or maybe he has ignored it the moment he saw it.  So there, I was rejected in college… twenty years later, I was rejected once again, this time, in Facebook.  How fun is that?

A Goddess Rejected

Because I don’t do well with rejection, I stopped inviting people to be my Facebook friends.  As much as it pains me (such drama!) to hit the ignore button on someone’s invite, my psyche also can only take so much rejection, so why risk it? 

Besides, the people who really matter know where to find me. 

In real life. Not in Facebook.

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photos via weheartit.com ; Macho Man Randy Savage via google images

The Power of One

favorite number?

I was checking my blog stats earlier and I saw something new — or at least something that I never noticed before…

On top of the bar graph that shows your views, there’s a summary.  It says, “At a Glance : Days, Weeks, Months, Humanize.”  I NEVER saw Humanize before. Curious, I clicked  on it.

Funny I had to click it on the day — and at the time — that I haven’t had any new views yet. So, this was what I saw…

Today you have had 1 views.

One is the loneliest number, but don’t worry you’ll get more hits soon. Maybe invite some friends?

 
 

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.  I have been blogging for months… I have posted more than a hundred entries… I know I have made blogfriends from all over the world…

Only to be reminded by good old WordPress that I only have one hit today (which was probably even some random guy who clicked on something and got directed to my page) and that one is the loneliest number.  How sad –and insulting — is that?!

It’s. So. Not. Fair.

So, do I say goodbye to my blogging days or do I rise up to the challenge of writing some more and making more “friends” (translation: readers/hits/view) in the process?? 

Nah, I’ll keep writing… even if I’m the ONLY reader.  Sometimes, it’s nice to be alone.

Besides, in the whole scheme of things, do blog stats really matter that much?    (…or am I sourgraping?!)

That’s blogworld for you.  You will never know what you are bound to get…

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photo via google images

True Calling

you have a gift

Each person has his or her own gift.  Each of us has our own calling.  It’s not always, though that we find out right away what that calling is…

I used to ask myself what my calling is.  Whereas some people knew right away what they wanted to be or what they see themselves doing, I, for the longest time, was quite clueless.  I knew I was smart enough and I could be hardworking enough so I could pretty much do whatever task or job I would set my mind on. 

But then again, there are things that one does out of need… ie, because one needs a job and it’s the only job available… or because one feels the need to prove something to other people that they do things that others expect them to do.

And then there are the things we do out of passion.  Things we do because our hearts call out for it.  Things that make us feel more alive.   Things that give us the feeling of importance… a sense of purpose. 

Like I said, there are fortunate ones who know their gifts and get to use them in day jobs.  To those who can’t quite figure out what they are called to do… or those who are still uneasy about showcasing their God-given talents, well, it can be a struggle. 

~*~

Certified M.O.M.

I like love being a mom.  I love being a hands-on mom.  Despite everything I heard — the disbelief, the negative remarks, the dismay — when people found out that I chose being a full-time mom over being a career woman, I was never sorry about my choice.  If there is one thing that I know I am firm about, it’s the decision that my son will always, ALWAYS come first. 

Some people think it’s easy.  People from the outside think that being  “just” a mom is synonymous to not doing anything (wait ’til they see my daily ‘to-do list’). Well, it’s not that simple. Motherhood is not easy.  Raising an individual and making sure that said individual will grow up to be a decent, loving, God-fearing human being is a challenge.  Parenting does not come with a manual.  Mothers make mistakes, too.  We try to be good role models to our kids, but we do trip and fall sometimes.  And we have to rectify our mistakes, and at times, swallow our pride, so we can teach our kids what is right. 

Motherhood is not just about giving birth.  It is about molding, shaping, loving the child that you brought into this world.    It is about giving one’s time, attention, one’s heart… one’s self to the child.   

There is nothing easy about that.

~ * ~

One thing I like about being a full time mom is that I am given the chance to extend myself to other children, as well.  Sometimes it’s not just my son that I take care of.  There’s my nephew — who practically grew up with me, and even my son’s friends when needed. 

My friend and her husband had to go out of town for four days last week.  And so for four nights and four days, they left their two boys, Super Slugger and Whiz Kid (aged 10 and 12) with us.  They are my son’s baseball teammates and really good friends so you can imagine how happy the boys were when they found out they will be together for four whole days.    

It wasn’t just a regular “go to school” schedule for the three boys, believe me.  The boys had full schedules going into the weekend.  Full meaning baseball tournament for Super Slugger, Math contest for Superson, Computer contest for Whiz Kid.  Our mornings began at 5:30 am and our nights ended well, pretty late (tell me, how do you make three boys sleep early?!).  My days consisted of shuttling them to and from school, or waiting for them to finish their practices, or watching Super Slugger’s games.  I had to make sure they were well fed, hydrated, with homeworks done… I had to make sure they woke up early, their uniforms were complete, they had enough socks and underwear…  

I had to make sure they were happy and not in anyway homesick.  I was particularly more mindful of Super Slugger because he had a three-day tournament and I didn’t want him to feel alone so I watched every game that I possibly could. 

It was a busy and tiring weekend. But my heart was quite full.  I was happy because I was doing what I do best.  I was being a mom… and I was extending it to other children.  I was in my element.   

You know what made the whole thing more special?  It’s the realization that my friends trust me enough to leave their children under my care.  Knowing that they can entrust their kids to either their relatives or other friends, but still they chose me to take care of their children, doesn’t that say something?  Isn’t that a high form of compliment that not everyone gets freely?

~ * ~

We are all called to do something.  Sometimes we have to dig deep to find out what we are called to do, what our purpose is.  Oftentimes we make the mistake of comparing ourselves to others… we think that they are more special, or their gifts are more important, more valuable.

What do you do best?  What does your heart tell you to do?  What skills and talents do you have?  Find your purpose.  Find your passion.  Find your calling.  Stop comparing yourself to others (like what I’ve done half of my life) because you are who you are.  Just be the best you that you can possibly be.

I am a mother… and I strive to be the best mother that I can be. 

In the end, that’s all that matters.

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photos via weheartit.com

Mean Girls

girltalk

I had breakfast with one of my mommy friends last week.  We didn’t get to see each other over the holidays, so I decided to visit her one January morning to catch up on things.

We’ve been friends since our children were in Sr. Prep (they are now in Grade 5).  Her child is a girl, while mine is a boy.  The gender was never an issue, though.  They hang out with other boys and girls whose moms are friends of ours, too. We have had a number of Christmas breakfasts with the kids, as well as Halloween parties and lazy summer afternoon get-togethers.

When I apologized for missing the last Christmas breakfast, she had this to say… “You wouldn’t believe it.  The kids DON’T talk to each other anymore!!! The boys were at one corner of the room playing PSP, while the girls were at the other side, talking in hushed voices.  It’s like they don’t know each other!  When I asked them if they wanted to swim, they all gave me this stare like I said something silly, and then all looked away at the same time.” 

“They have changed. All of them.  I wonder if they really ignore each other in school,” she sighed, “I don’t know what happened to those kids!”

I think I know what happened.  They grew up.  They all grew up – right under our noses – and they started choosing their own friends.  They found the friends they want to be with in school.  Unfortunately, mommy’s friends’ children aren’t always the people they prefer hanging out with (or being seen with, at the very worst).

Friendship isn’t something that you can force on someone. 

 ~ * ~

I asked my son if he’s still friends with my friend’s daughter and if they talk to each other in school.  He answered yes to both questions.  Then I told him about the Christmas get-together and how the other kids didn’t mind each other.  He just gave me a knowing smile.

I told He-Man about the incident.  This was his explanation, “They are at that age where they are starting to choose their group of friends… or who they want to be associated with.  You know the groups… athletes, nerds, mean girls, misfits.”  And he continues, “Come on, you should know.  You were a mean girl in high school. Did you talk to the misfits?” 

I was stunned.  He-Man called me a mean girl.  But then again, I couldn’t deny it.  I WAS a mean girl in a high school.  Shamefully so.

~ * ~

now you know why i like pink

 How can a shy girl* end up being a mean girl, you may ask? 

Oh, I was a nice, mean girl.  I wasn’t really nasty.  I never did anything bad to a schoolmate just for the heck of it.  But then back in high school, although I was pretty active and joined clubs and school organizations, I wasn’t really friendly to just anyone.  I used to regard people at arm’s length.  I chose the ones I would talk to.  I wasn’t warm and friendly.

I think I was more mean to boys than the girls.  There were boys that you wouldn’t catch me talking to.  The boys I went out with basically just came from the two groups of popular boys in our batch.  I don’t remember having a conversation with the lesser mortals. 

Boy was I mean.  And immature.

My best guy friend from before told me that I seemed to have this fortress built around me.  Self-preservation, that’s what I called it.  Or maybe I was really just a self-centered and egotistical person who thought everybody else is beneath her. Perhaps it was my need to prove myself, my worth, that compelled me to act all high and mighty.

Eventually I attributed my haughtiness to my being really shy and insecure.  Unfortunately, nobody bought that reason. I am pretty sure they thought I was just a snob.

Half of the Facebook friends I have right now are people I NEVER talked to when we were young. A quarter of them I didn’t even know existed. Believe me, I chose the people I would converse with in high school. It’s surprising they still wanted to be Facebook friends with me today.

 ~ *~

I have come a long way, really.  From being shy and insecure child to a mean girl to a nice, happy, sociable and smile-a-lot adult.

Perhaps it’s because I have come to realize that one should not judge other people by their mere appearance.  Maybe it’s also because my experiences taught me that it IS much better to be liked than feared.  It feels much better to open up your heart to people than to live inside your fortress all by yourself. 

People do change.  People mature.  People mellow down.  As you age, you get to realize that everything’s not about you.  You get to value people more.  You tend to be less critical, especially since you know that you are not perfect, as well.

But then again, some people DON’T change.  There are mean girls who grow up to be mean adults. Am I glad I am no longer one of them.

At this point I know I cannot choose my child’s friends for him.  He has his own experiences that will dictate that. Yet I know I can always give a gentle reminder… Be nice to a misfit, he might grow up to be someone really important.  Okay, that was a joke.  That was not exactly mature. 

Be nice to everyone just because.  Much better.

 

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*see previous entry “Love Thyself”

photo via weheartit.com

 

Love Thyself

Supergoddess Me

Female:  “I can’t think of a name for my blog.”

Friend:  “Why not Supergoddess?  It fits you.”

Female:  “Hmm. You’re right.  It does, doesn’t it? Thanks!”

AND then Supergoddess Me was born…

~ * ~

I wasn’t always this cocky… confident… sure of myself.  Believe me, once upon a time, I was this shy, timid girl with inferiority complex who gets sick in the stomach and vomits everytime she’s nervous.  Okay, so maybe that still happens to me ’til today (old habits die hard), but I am far different from who-what-how I was years ago.

I grew up under the shadow of an older sister.  Older sister was smart, confident, outgoing, no-nonsense type of girl… a real toughie.  She was also the nanny’s favorite.  And since we were left with our nanny for the most part of our growing up days, well, older sister basically ruled.  Nanny just adored her and everybody knows about it.  I for one, knew about it.  How can I not when I was always, ALWAYS being compared to her?

She’s not as tough… She can’t be on her own, she might get lost… She’s so nice, people will take advantage of her… She can’t take care of herself… She’s NOT a lawyer she won’t know what to do…

Those were but some of the words I heard spoken about me.  And somehow, they stuck.  When you are young, you are easily influenced by what others think about you.  Give a child words of encouragement, and you will build her confidence.  Tell a child how disappointing you think she is, and you will easily see the change on how she sees herself.  Eventually she will prove that she IS a disappointment if that is what you keep ingraining in her. 

For some time when I was growing up,  I think my self-esteem was subzero.  Self worth… uhm, what self worth?

My confidence level improved somewhat when I was in high school.  I realized that I was smart enough.  I was a diligent student, too.  And so I studied hard, made sure that my grades were above average, so I had something to be proud of.  Something to feel good about.  I knew, as well, that my parents would be proud of me, too, if I kept getting good grades.  I was somewhat active in high school. I had a lot of friends, I joined contests and clubs, but I made it a point to hit the books whenever needed — which was all the time.  I was a closet nerd. 

College was another thing, though.  The university was big, the course was tough, I had to make new friends, so it was pretty much like going back to square one.  I had to prove myself all over.  I was a diligent student still, yet I guess my shy side prevented me from shining.

I think it was when I started working that my transformation took place.  It was then that I realized that there’s nothing wrong with being nice, or patient, nor is it bad to smile a lot.  In a way I looked at  my being “charming” as an advantage.  It made people warm up to me.  Being friendly and approachable helped.  Eventually as they found out that I had brains, too, well I guess I gained their respect more.

But more than what the others may think about me, my confidence level grew when I started seeing myself differently.  It was when I stopped comparing myself to others — my sister, my mom, my friends– that I began to value myself more.  It was when I accepted myself for who I am that I understood what self-worth is all about.

Oh yes, I still had my moments.  There still were people who tried to bring out the insecure, inferiority complexed person in me.  In my past life, I went out with someone who was emotionally abusive.  For some time I was inching back to subzero… It took the intervention of my best friends to make me realize that I shouldn’t let anyone trample on my self-esteem, nor should I start comparing myself to other women… specially when, according to them, I am already several levels high up.  Thank God for caring friends!

One YOU

We are all unique individuals.  Our differences make us who we are.  Our differences make us special.  We are all an “original” given our strengths, as well as our flaws and imperfections.  Our self worth should not be dependent on other people. 

You don’t need another person to define you. 

 

What’s important is that you KNOW yourself.

And LOVE yourself.

 

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photos via weheartit.com

My Blogging Wow-Meter

As I was checking my emails yesterday, I came across this message from WordPress.com which was basically about my “2010 year in blogging.”

Of course I was curious to find out how I fared… though honestly, I was nervous, too.  I mean, what if the people from WordPress were just writing me to let me know that compared to all the other WordPress bloggers out there, I paled in comparison… or that my entries were pretty much senseless… or that I was too lazy to write?  But then thinking about it, who am I trying to impress anyway?  Am I not blogging because I love writing and blogging is a good outlet for my thoughts and ideas?  It’s not as if it’s a contest and I have to compete with someone…

And so I looked at the summary of my “over-all blog health” for 2010.  This was what I saw…

 

Blog-Health-o-Meter

Wow?!

Wow

Blog-Health-o-Meter™

They (the WordPress team and the Stats helpers) compared my number of blog views to about 5 full Boeing 747s.  Of course, I had to read that analogy a couple of times over before I fully understood what they meant (duh!).   

Seriously, I have no idea how I wowed them.  I know there are bloggers out there who write every day.  I am happy enough if I get to write at least twice a week.  Sometimes, the spirit is willing… but the brains just won’t cooperate.  There are times when I stare at the screen willing the letters and words to just appear.  At times I just hope that by staring at the screen long enough, I will get the needed inspiration to come up with something.   That doesn’t really work, though… I mostly end up chatting with my friends or doing Facebook.

But then the Site Summary from WordPress really made me feel good about myself.  I had the tendency to count the number of times I couldn’t blog for different reasons… but the Site Summary showed me that I WAS able to post a certain number of entries… meaning, I was able to write that much in a given year.  And that’s something.  117 posts/entries/articles/essays is way much better than none.   

SO this year, I will try to do even better.  I will join that postaweek2011 challenge.  I am even setting a goal of blogging more than once a week (I have to be realistic, blogging daily is overkill for me). 

Now I am really excited.  Who knows, I might wow even myself along the way.

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credits:  Blog Health Meter from WordPress.com

Kudos to the WordPress.com team and the Site Stat helper monkeys (?!) for coming up with the Blogging Summary.  I know the stat count is automatic and all, but to have a summary for each and every WordPress blog site is truly amazing.  The helper monkeys must have worked overtime! (Unless I am the only special one you made a summary for, then I’m doubly thankful!)

Hats off to you guys.

New Year… New Beginnings… New Post

To new beginnings!

This is the first Monday of the year.  This is my first blog entry for the year. 

… and I don’t really know what to write about!

After the countless Christmas parties — and the unwanted pounds that I know I gained, given all the food– I think my system is still not ready to go back to my everyday reality.  Part of me is half-hoping there’s still a gift waiting to be bought, and yes, wrapped.  Holiday hangover, indeed.

new beginnings... new chances

I have yet to write down my goals for this year.  I haven’t sat down long enough (in a quiet place, where thinking IS possible) to come up with the things that I would want to accomplish this year.  I don’t do resolutions anymore… I never get to keep them anyway.  I think I only get to remember about my New Year’s Resolutions until February of the given year.  Beyond that, I normally come up with all the possible excuses for not keeping them. What’s the point, right? 

Besides, most of my resolutions are the same year in and year out… Lose 5 lbs (Gosh, I seriously don’t remember the last time I actually lost 5lbs!)… Go to the gym/exercise — I never go to the gym.  I loathe sweating, really…. Don’t spend unnecessarily– Do you call the weekly trip to Coffee Bean unnecessary spending?… etc etc etc.  The list goes on.  The list of things that I promise to do (or not to do), which I end up contradicting anyway.

This is what I like about the new year.  It always signifies that one CAN have a fresh start.  That no matter how bad the past year was… or how lousy you were at following the previous year’s resolutions, you have a new set of days to make things better, discard the old ways, old habits… and be the better person than you previously were. 

This year, I’ll do something different.  I will set goals… and maybe dangle a prize for myself should I get to achieve any.  Perhaps this year I will start treating the Mocha Ice Blend as a prize, more than a daily beverage (and then I wonder where those unwanted pounds came from!!)  This year, I will practice delayed gratification.  Somehow it is still nice when you have to work for something.  Achieving your goals is gratifying, but the journey– and the learnings along the way — is prize enough. 

Isn’t it wonderful that we are given a new set of days to live and experience life?

Happy new year everyone!

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photos via weheartit.com