A List of Nevers…

Sticky posts

Never…

allow other people to define who you are.  You are a wonderful creation, full of endless possibilities.  Don’t let others limit you.

let the past rule your present and take over your future.  The past is over and done with.  Learning from it — the good or the bad — makes you a better, stronger person.  But today is a different day. Live it.  Tomorrow holds so much promise. Be expectant.

try it.

underestimate kindness.  A kind and gentle heart affects many.  People remember a kind deed.

think it’s okay cheat when no one’s looking.  Cheating is cheating, whether you have an audience or not.   

forget to say thank you.

wallow in self pity.  You are too good for that.  Be sad a bit, but learn to move on.  Wallowing won’t get you anywhere. 

take your friends for granted.  Life gets so much brighter with good friends around.

be carefree

let go of the child in you. Joyful. Carefree.  Fearless. 

let other people steal your dreams. People will always have a lot to say.  People won’t always believe in you the way you believe in yourself.  When they try to pull you down, keep the faith.  Let their opinions inspire you to do better and give you the added nudge to prove them wrong.  Remember, great success is the best revenge. 

forget how it feels to hold someone’s hand, smile a genuine smile, offer a shoulder to cry on or a listening ear, receive a compliment, give a compliment… and spending some quiet time by yourself just taking in the beauty of everything around you. 

Life is Good

 

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photos via weheartit.com

When the Universe Tells You Something…

For the Drama Queen Me

In my last blog, I was basically ranting about being so busy that I don’t get to write as often as I would want.  I talked about how my family always comes first and how I am ready to give up things I am supposed to do for myself the moment one family member hollers for me. 

I was pretty sad that day.  It was one of those moments when you want to do a lot of things but you know that you won’t be fair to anybody if you choose to do all.   I wanted to write more often.  I wanted to start on my writing project, but I also am in the middle of planning a major baseball event, that my thoughts are pretty much all over the place.  Throw in the day to day activities of the brood… So the other day, it really felt like something’s gotta give.  Basically it felt like that something was me.

Honestly, I feel bad whenever I see my blog hits dwindling.  And for several days leading to my last entry, my hits were somehow stuck at 3 a day — okay, sometimes 2.  Hurray for me.  I really felt quite low.  But then again, I can’t blame my readers… why will they stay (or come back) if I can’t offer anything new, right?  

I was beginning to feel the pressure.  Part of me was saying, I must blog everyday.  I must have more hits.  Another part was saying, Forget the blog. Start your dream project.  And still another part, Forget all those.  You have a baseball tournament to manage!!

which way now?!

Bottomline is, I felt like I had to explain myself.  I had to explain why it’s taking forever for me to start my writing project.  Explain why my blog stats is in its near-death state.   Explain why I’m hovering over my son as he studies for his exams.  I felt like I had to explain every little thing I do, every choice I make.  Though I don’t really know who I am explaining to… I may be explaining to the wind, for that matter… It just felt better afterwards. 

Maybe, just maybe, at the back of my mind I knew that I wouldn’t feel as bad anymore when I see my blog stats.  I was giving myself reasons to NOT feel bad that no one visits my blog (since there’s nothing new to see anyway).  And I was releasing myself from that pressure of having to compose something even when my thoughts are  in shambles (Pretty much like now?!).  I told myself I won’t force myself to blog if I don’t have anything to blog about… and I won’t feel guilty not having blogged.  More so, I won’t get suicidal after seeing my blog stats. 

That was three days ago. 

And then something happened… again. 

Yesterday was another busy day.  I didn’t get the chance to check my WordPress page the whole day.  Besides, after 5 days of having a mere 3 hits per day, I pretty much knew the trend.  And since I didn’t post a new entry, then all the more I couldn’t expect anything more than 3.

Come night time, just before I went to bed, I opened my WordPress account.  Force of habit.  Some practices are hard to let go of…

Not mine. Though my graph looked somewhat like this.

76. Seventy six. LXXVI.  At ten in the evening, I had 76 hits.  I almost fell off my chair. 

Okay you might be thinking, cheap thrills SGM!   But no, to me that wasn’t cheap.  Not when I was getting used to 3.  76 is a gift!  Though at the back of my mind I was thinking that maybe half of that was from a spam-connected link (sorry, I don’t know the word for it), well I was still happy with the number.  I ended the day with 79.  Of course they had to add 3 more (probably my 3 loyal fans remembered to visit my blog that night).

Whole point of this entry?!  Well, the universe HAS a sense of humor.  Just when you thought you are ready to give up on something, the universe will find a way to make you NOT give it up if you truly are not ready.  Just when you thought you have lost all direction, the universe will show you the way… or will veer you to a direction you can take.

Just when I thought I ran out of topics to write about, well, I had this.  And just when I thought that I didn’t have the time to sit down and write… well, I found the time to sit down and write.  It was just a matter of time management.

When the universe tells you something… maybe you should just listen.

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photos via weheartit.com / WP stats via google images

Writing, Interrupted

 
I made some changes… and then I disappeared.

It’s the 8th of March.  The last time I blogged was on the last day of February.  Okay, so maybe that was just a week ago, yet I really feel like something’s amiss.  I just can’t make myself sit in front of the computer long enough to compose a decent blog. 

Two weeks ago I told a friend of mine about my dream writing project.  It was an idea that came to me sometime in the beginning of this year.  I toyed around with the idea and even made some research about it.  I was all gung-ho at first… determined to put a start on this project as soon as possible.  I felt I was ready enough.  I believed I write well enough.  I was confident that I could do something BY myself and FOR myself, using the God-given skills and talents that I have. 

And then something happened.  Life happened. 

Perhaps everyone who knows me also knows that for me, family always comes first.  In my everyday existence for the past ten or so years, my life is about my family.  My son.  My partner.  Even down to my parents and my siblings.  I am “hero support” after all.  Taking care of them is what I do.  It is what I do best.

Writing is a passion.  Blogging is something that helps me de-stress.  Whenever I write, I get to express the thoughts that I don’t get to say easily.  Writing helps keep my brain cells from turning into mush or from simply dying.  My greatest fear is to get Alzheimer’s (and at a very young age), so I have to do something to keep my brain cells functioning.  And so I vowed I will write as often as I can.  I will try to get published more often,  I will blog regularly. 

In the beginning of the year, I vowed to hone my writing skills so that when people ask me what I do, I can say that I am a writer without feeling like such a fake.   And I told myself I will take a few more brave steps and start with my writing project…

and like I said earlier,  life happened. 

Superhero Me

My life.  That superhero day job of me taking care of the world… or at least, the people in my world.  Somehow I don’t have the luxury of time to just sit down and compose something.  Even finishing this blog is getting to be quite difficult.  You have no idea how many drafts I started and saved (or eventually discarded).  I think of a topic… and then the phone rings… I try to write some, and then I get cellphone messages… and I totally lose my train of thought.  When I start to write once again, I get to remember the reviewer I have to make for my son’s exams, and then I feel guilty for not prioritizing that first.

And so I go back to doing things for them first before I do things for me

No, I am not complaining.  I chose this kind of life.  I derive joy from the gratitude and appreciation that my family show me for the things — some little, some big — that I do for them.   And maybe this is really the kind of person that I am… I mean, I will always choose helping my son with his project first before I start with my own project.  I will be there for my sister whenever her boys need me, even if that would mean giving up my writing time.   Planning that major baseball event for the boys eats up most of my waking hours, but I wouldn’t think of giving it up.

Maybe it’s because it feels good to be needed.   I can write and write and write and have hundreds of readers, and still feel alone… Or I can spend my time doing something for someone, and feel fulfilled.

Please remind me next time...

Right now it seems my other projects weigh more than the writing project that I dreamed for myself.   I can’t force myself to begin a new writing project when all that’s in my mind at the moment are either baseball, exams and zombies.  I will probably end up writing about nothing but — well, baseball, exams and zombies.   HAVE been blogging about zombies.  How lame is that?!

I have my family, and I have my writing.  My family is my life… and writing is who I am.  It’s not like I have to choose one over the other.  But sometimes there’s just not enough time to concentrate on both.  I wouldn’t want to come up with a product that’s half-baked. I know I have to prioritize something.    

So if you don’t see me around in the next couple of weeks, I guess you already know what that means. (It means I am recharging… regrouping… or I’m basically just insanely busy doing something else.)

I am not making excuses.  It just is.

The hard part is seeing my daily blog hits dwindling (hurray to the 3 hits I’ve been getting for the past three days!!).  But then again, as Don Michaele Corleone once said, “That is the price you pay for the life you choose.”

Oh well.  C’est la vie.

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photos via weheartit.com; superhero photo via google image

A Villa in Tuscany

Yesterday morning, before I started with my gazillion errands for the day, i chanced upon the movie “Under the Tuscan Sun” on tv.  I remember watching — and liking – the movie the first time i saw it, so i thought of sitting down to watch it again a bit.  An hour and a half later, i was still glued in front of the tv… dreaming of having my own villa in Tuscany at the same time.

Diane Lane’s character went to Italy at the time when her world seemed to have just crashed and she was at that point where the life she knew pretty much disintegrated.  She came to Italy to take a break… ended up staying there to find herself and start anew.  In a foreign land, with strangers… stranger in a strange land.

Sometimes life throws things or situations at us that we never expected, leaving us dazed and at a loss.  It could be divorce… separation… illness… break-ups… financial challenges… It could be anything that we never saw coming.  The once seemingly peaceful and normal existence that we had– gone in a few seconds.  It happens to the best of us.  Sometimes, despite the planning and the mapping out of things that we want to happen, well, we still get thrown off the track. 

And so we look for refuge.  Sometimes, when the present life just seems unbearable, we want to just pack our bags and leave everything behind, forget about the life that we have and start fresh.  Find our Tuscany.  

Finding Tuscany doesn’t prove to be easy.  Sometimes it is much easier to stay in one’s comfort zone… no matter how miserable it has become.  Starting from scratch seems scary…. difficult… could be lonely, too.  Starting anew can prove to be the loneliest time in one’s life.  Loneliest because despite what friends or family member say, you are still on your own as you face the world… as you rebuild your world.

And yet it is also at this point when you are at your lonesome, that you get to know yourself best.  It is when you are listening to the inner you that you find out what you value most in your life… what you can let go of, and what you can bear.  Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom to find yourself.  And once you have hit rock bottom, there is no other way but up.  The loneliest time can turn out to be the most exciting time, as well.

There was a point in my life when I really wanted to find my Tuscany.  But because of the turn of events, I never did get that far.  I was young, i was scared, and i didn’t know if choosing myself was the best option or was just plain selfish.  At that time I thought choosing myself was just selfish.  Sometimes i still do wonder what could have happened if i didn’t turn back.  I guess I will never know. 

What I do know is I am no longer the naive girl who stayed.  I stayed for a reason, and I don’t really regret the decision. 

But if need be, I am no longer afraid of finding my Tuscany.  Throw in a villa and an Italian lover, I’ll hop on a plane to Italy anytime.

(photocredit: fineartamerica.com, painting by Deborah Bertola)