Everyday is a lesson learned, Matters of the Heart

2017- The Year that was

I’ve always wondered why a new year has to be celebrated. When I was little I remembered the festive feel it gives, the food, and the noise. I was just sort of- going with the flow. As life grow inside of me, I was given answers to some questions and usually answers aren’t absolute as they led me to more questions.

2017 was a year of self-discovery for me. My ulterior motives, my internal battles, and of finding what really propels me to live. Is it my children? My work? The love of my life? Or something else? Questions like why do I have to get up to work? Is it to feel useful? To have a good life? What are my ambitions? What is the worth of my soul? I have noticed that as I drew nearer into uncovering the answers to the questions, I am left with more questions. Life as I realized will be a never ending discovery.

2017 tested the faith I have in myself and that I am more selfish than otherwise at times when I feel convenient for me, who am I kidding? I talked more than necessary, I talked more than I listened and I analyze less. I spent time on unnecessary stuff and I sweat on things that never really matters. I have questioned the validity of my marriage as I delved into the reasons why I tied the knot and of why him. The important decisions and whether I chose well. It brought me to the answer that our choices defines how we live, that true love is a choice, and that my ultimate ambition is just truly to be happy. Often, this is masked with so many unnecessary things I thought I needed. But, I am working on it. I read loads of books, baked and cooked, watched too many TED Talks than I had ever been, traveled a lot, missed many appointments, but gained true friends. Just a few of the things that unfolded right in front of me. I’ve had the opportunity of professional development- many of it. I got lost, felt incompetent and overwhelmed and just before the year ended, my husband lost his dad to cancer. He was diagnosed in 2013. It was sad for him and his whole family. 2017 was many things.

2017 was a tough year. But as to why we celebrate it? Maybe it’s obvious- New Year brings new hope, a reminder that everybody can start all over every day, every morning at the exact moment we open our eyes. Despite the challenges, living and loving is still best than not have lived and loved at all.

Cheers to 2018!




Everyday is a lesson learned, Matters of the Heart, Simple Joys

That Tiny Cottage in My Dream

A movie date with my husband yesterday and on our way home, the conversation goes like this:

Mommy: Dad, I saw this funny video like a gag TV show wherein a man would put a cute piglet inside a faux grinding machine that would produce sausage. He would let the innocent bystanders taste the sausages and when they say it tastes good, he would take a live piglet and put it in the grinder.

Daddy: Is that the same Gag Show we saw before?

Mommy: No, I think it’s created by animal rights activists.

Daddy: Mommy, does animal rights activists eat animal meat?

Mommy: I think they shouldn’t because what’s the whole point?

Daddy: I think animals are created really for human consumption.

Mommy: That is up for debate but I agree with you. I also think that human population has grown exponentially that it has created an imbalance in the whole ecosystem. Dad, how did we grow that fast?

Daddy: That’s the question for mathematics, Mommy.

(Both laughed)

Mommy: Also, why is it that we are filling up the cities too fast?

Daddy: Because we have everything we need here, school, jobs, hospitals and so much more.

Mommy: Why do we need hospitals?

Daddy: So we get cured.

Mommy: Why do we need to get cured if we all die in the first place? I mean, don’t get me wrong on this question but the city is so stressful, polluted and I don’t understand what we are after.

The conversation stopped there as my husband also changed the topic while his focus shifted solely to driving. The last thought got me thinking further into it. I had a dream few days ago that we settled into a simple little cottage with my favorite place just outside the kitchen- a small chair facing a small garden. To read, to watch the children play, to see life’s wonders, probably write a book, get an online job-coding or virtual assistant or anything. Plant vegetables and flowers. Bake. Watch the world go by.

I felt some sort of peace. That wonderful place gave me hope. One day, I will live in such place. Towards that goal, I will work on it.

A place of zen and peace
Everyday is a lesson learned, Matters of the Heart, Parenting, The Link to the "Thinking Bulb" thing

Doc Sahlee

We just had a trip to the doctor today as my youngest was having a hard time with runny nose, colds and cough. Even though we’ve bought over-the-counter medicines, I still feel uncomfortable giving medicines that’s not prescribed by her pediatrician. She’s the doctor of both my daughters and I call her Doc Sahlee.

Because I had to bring my youngest daughter to Doc Sahlee I had to inform school that my eldest can’t be anywhere but home. There was a disruption in the household as my husband’s grandmother was also in the hospital being looked after by the family members. We never had a nanny so when emergencies come up, we had to make do and make adjustments.

Normally, waiting for a doctor’s appointment can take hours and hours but today we were lucky that the list isn’t long. Our turn came 15 minutes after we arrived. While Doc Sahlee was doing her routine check up, listening to Gabe’s chest, hear her heartbeat, looked at both her ears and had her open her cute little mouth- we were also having small talks about life. We seldom see each other except when the kids get viruses and bacteria one after another which no mom would ever want. She asked me how things have been and I told her how recently I had a breakdown and that I got myself overwhelmed with everything that has been thrown at me. She listened like a good doctor would and told me, “Say no. Just say, no”. Told me that there would always be sacrifices built around wanting to achieve something in life. All these are not new to me but those words coming from a mother whose profession is far more important* than mine, and who took a backseat saying no to conferences abroad, to symposiums and all other activities to take care of her children and her husband- it was a breath of fresh air.

Many people I know in the corporate world has had issues with sacrifices, of what to sacrifice and trying to solve the work-life balance enigma. Always trying to console the self that the sacrifice of being away from family and children is worth it and that being at work for 15 hours in a day equates to love, as such is working hard. I am beginning to believe that those people who’ve already made choices of bringing children unto the world does not have that kind of luxury to even begin with. There aren’t easy choices but only sacrifices to be made. And we must be willing to accept that these sacrifices are necessary and that the children nor the partner shouldn’t be guilty of us taking a backseat for them nor us thinking that they owe us. And if we decide to do the other thing and sacrifice the kids or the partner or the friends and the family then we must be willing to accept the repercussions of not having the most memorable time with those we love and shouldn’t blame ambition and dream for it for we made the choice. After all, time will continue to pass us by and we have the control over how we use it.

After the prescription paper and saying the many thank yous, I kind of appreciated Doc Sahlee more. I just realized that she has become one of those people I truly believe, trust and appreciate.


*I said more important because saving lives and terminating people has huge difference in impact I suppose. But these two have different meanings to us, so both are still incomparable in a sense.
Career, Everyday is a lesson learned, The Link to the "Thinking Bulb" thing, Work-Life

Understanding Functions

I am writing this while class is ongoing. I know it’s not good, I don’t believe in multi-tasking. It is not effective but surprisingly has become addicting. So I am writing this piece with a whole lot discussion going on, an idea when it arrives sometimes I find it compelling.

Discussed in class topics like how to think, act and become a strategist like a CEO- has given me a lot of insights but it’s becoming clear too that the job is scary. It is a very demanding and difficult job. An ambition to be taken with caution.

Anyway, an idea popped into my head while the professor was talking about strategies, integration and levels of responsibilities in leadership- I just realized that while one begin to understand his/her role in an organization as one gains knowledge, experience and wisdom; the gap will also widen with the people she/he works with. The gap I am talking about is the level from where we understand one another especially when the rate of accumulating those wisdom, knowledge and experiences is not the same. It goes with all relationship, I suppose. Misunderstanding happens when a concept/idea/information is interpreted differently. And interpretations are personal, comprises of level of maturity, experiences, emotional intelligence and interests. Interpretations stems from inside the person’s ideals, ideas, beliefs and views of the world.

Where am I driving at this? What made me write about this? In my line of work, talking to individual is the core essence of my function. From discussions on problems, giving options, coming up with solutions and compromise. The conversations we make everyday also defines relationships. When we talk to people who are not ready yet to listen to the things we have learned, what we believe and our realizations -we become misaligned. Why I think this is important? Because often I feel disheartened when I am not understood. Everyone wants to be understood but not really concern on understanding first. I remembered my Director saying, “Seek to understand”. Easier said than done as emotions always gets in the way.

My understanding have expounded, and that on how we send a message across is important. It is a must to ensure that the message will be understood. Because our level of understanding will never be the same. My function in the organization involves communicating and making others understand, may it be new processes, programs and changes and a whole lot  more. More than that, my job is also to understand the connection of the people to the organization and how I would be able to help in adding value by communicating clearly.




Career, GDD, Parenting

Moms and the busy word


I attended today a parent meeting for the upcoming Family day at school where my 7 years old daughter go. I was late because of headache and laundry and my youngest child’s tantrums and my husband’s still not done with work and my own paper at school due. When I arrived, the parent attendees were all ready to leave and seems they are done for the day but they went back as soon as they saw me. I was embarrassed of course for being late and for stopping them from leaving.

We went through the whole talk of the activity which will be in two weeks time. The preparation to the dance presentation, costumes and the whole shebang. We haven’t figured out what to dance so we still have a long way to go.

One parent approached me that she might be having a difficulty with the practices due to work and that she’s very busy and another parent saying that she too has less amount of time with these extra-curricular things because again busy. As a mother of two, a worker, a wife, a student and between all other things I do in life, I didn’t know how to respond to them because I understand how the things we do in life are overwhelming us. Being a parent is an altogether a demanding job.

What struck me though is how conveniently we use the busy word in this age and how it’s become the shortest  word we can come up with as an excuse. I also have challenges with managing my time and I could still vividly recall what my mentor told me about being busy and with time. She said, “We cannot manage time, we can only manage ourselves with the little time we have”. This is what I always remember whenever I get hit with the busy word. We are not busy, we just prioritize and spend time on things we think as important. My only problem is that I am sucker with saying “No”, which I find myself over committing and this results to me either over-stretching myself and or disappointing people for under or not delivering at all.

As I go along my journey as a mother, I have learned basic principles, laws and lessons of the choices I make. The mistakes that drives me to change and the triumphs that keeps me inspired. One of the mantra that have kept me afloat is that on priorities I am a mother first, a worker second and a student third but this as simple as it may seem is still not to be taken lightly and while I may be guided by this mantra, the others can sometimes be overbearing and overtake the first priority. Today, I was reminded of this and of how the school activities is my duty as a mother and that my involvement in my daughter’s life is one of the most important duty as a parent.

we do everything

So why I started to decide that busy is our reality today, it still shouldn’t keep us from deciding what’s important and what can wait.