Forming a Habit

After 9 days of holiday vacation I returned to work in my laziest. During the vacation I was contemplating about quitting my job this year. I read somewhere that quittinga job you hate is something old people regret not doing. I’ve always felt that this job was not meant for me. I couldn’t see myself growing old in this industry. But being in my 20s, I had that hunger to learn, to please people, to let them know I am brilliant. Yes, after a short time people saw that and that’s when the decline happened. That’s when I felt like I no longer needed to prove that I am an exellent employee so I gave myself room to slack off. I think the only thing that has kept me doing this job for the past 7 years is my habit to do well in anything and everything that is thrown at me. Because I have built myself well in this job there are times that I feel I’m being over appreciated. People still appreciate my work even though I feel like I did not give my 100 percent. It’s good but I guess it also made me jaded because I know that even my so-so is good enough for them. It just didn’t push me to work harder, to give more, to be better. It has left me giving  mediocre.

So yeah.. I came in Monday and complained about everything. That’s when I realized that I do really complain a lot — from small stuff to the big ones. That’s when I listened to myself and to the people around me. We complain a lot! Read facebook, twitter, etc. so I made a plan, a rule — Not to verbalize any complaints, to completely avoid complaining.

Tuesday rolled by and I broke the rule at 10am when I shouted in the office “Ang BAGAL ng INTERNET!”. Strike 1. I pushed myself that day to do my work without complaint.  When I got home in the evening, our neighbor was holding a party with people singing karaoke at the top of their lungs. I restrained myself from complaining, trying to divert my attention by thinking about something good out of the situation.

Wednesday came and I had to zip my mouth when the HR sent an email saying our salary will be delayed. “uh-uh don’t complain” I told myself so I preferred not to comment. Our neighbor held another party that night.

Thursday came and I thought I was doing pretty well. When I got home, our neighbor was holding another party. I didn’t sleep well the night before and I really needed a good sleep that night in preparation for a busy weekend. As much as I restrained myself from being annoyed, I just really couldn’t take it anymore. By 11pm they were still not done and I couldn’t get myself to sleep. I searched the web for the building’s number and called them. Gladly, someone answered who told me they were about to finish. I just couldn’t hold back myself from posting a complaint on twitter. God must have really tested me that week and I failed.

I’m still trying to follow that rule everyday, forming a habit. I hope the next time a neighbor holds a karaoke for 4 straight nights, I will have more restraint.

By verbalizing our complaints and negative thoughts, we are throwing the negative energy out in the universe, creating an echo. We must learn to drown out these thoughts before they come out of our mouth.

Complain Less. Do More.

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A Rant on Patriotism

I lay last night mentally ranting about patriotism. I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep if I kept going through it over and over in my head so I quickly brushed it off and whispered my night prayers. My rant went something like this:

I wish Filipinos could be more patriotic. How can people exclaim Pinoy Pride when someone with even the tiniest drop of Filipino blood makes it big internationally and then almost die with shame when something goes wrong in the country? How can you say Pinoy pride when you can’t even teach your children to speak Filipino, when you can’t even put your palm on your chest when the national anthem plays (I’ve seen it a thousand times in the cinema, in the opening of an event –it’s like people are ashamed to sing the national anthem or place their palm on their chest because it’s “like” UNCOOL.Whut?! ). Shame on you! And you have the guts to complain why our country is not progressing while you watch and wait for the government to do something. Have you even done anything to help alleviate the condition of our society? If only every single person in this country did something to help someone else then maybe a lot of our countrymen won’t be as unfortunate. If only you show your love for your country as much as you say you do and actually do something to serve others then we won’t die waiting for the government to do something.

“No one could make a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.” – Edmund Burke

Snippets of Random Realizations

Inspiring thoughts and ideas come to me at the most unexpected times and these are one of those things that I just had to write about.

Just be happy being here. It’s more than enough.

-watching the finale of SYTYCD S09, it made me realize how happy the finalist were at being finalist and how they say it’s more than enough for them to be there, that whether they win or lose it wouldn’t matter. And it made me realize that maybe that’s how we should approach life. Just be happy about being alive and being where you are right now. Happiness is not a destination. Contentment has always been something people struggle to achieve but I guess when you realize how blessed you are at the moment, you’ll never focus on what’s missing.

Our fear of commitment stems from our fear of failure.

– I haven’t been training seriously for a little while now. Ever since I learned that Camsur Marathon was cancelled, I dropped my program and ran only when I felt like doing it. I didn’t push myself to run any required distance nor run at a defined pace or heart rate. After reading about the TBR alumni 21k group run, I knew that there was no way I was not going to run it. I got excited but then my heart sank when I realized that it was really a 21k. Easy run or not, a 21k is still a 21k. I lacked mileage and I only had 2 months to fill the gap before the race. To add more to the pressure, I was going to run it with my sisters. Even with lack of training, they can still outrun  me at any given time. They were talented while I keep pace with them only because I train harder than they do.

I couldn’t help feeling dreadful while my mind was busy calculating and plotting my program to at least finish the 21km uninjured. That’s when I realized that I was dreading a training program because I was afraid to fail. The last time I trained my ass off, the training period was often times frustrating and stressful. However, I did reap the benefits of following it as religiously as  I could. I finished my comeback race on target. I guess I was more concerned about going through the frustration and stress all over again. More than that, I was trying to escape the commitment to training because I was afraid of failing.

Sometimes, our fears keep us from achieving the things that we are really capable of. To move out of that fear zone, we must believe that we are capable. Besides, we only fail when we refuse to try.

 

 

Random Thoughts While Running

“It’s raining”, my colleague proclaimed when he saw me in my running attire.  My face fell. “Oh no!” . After 9 days of total rest due to cough and colds, I was finally well today but I didn’t wanna risk getting sick again. I’ve ran in the rain a lot of times before and sure, it was safe but in my present condition, I had the inkling to skip a rainy run. I went back to my chair and to whatever I was doing on my laptop. Strangely, I was not really excited to run. My body was not craving for it but my mind was telling me I needed to get back into training for that 21km race on September. I checked the clock and decided I will skip the run if it was still raining by 8pm.

A few minutes after 7pm, I looked out the office window to check. Finally, it has stopped raining. I grabbed my water bottle and headed out of the office. I walked to the park across the street and dropped my water bottle on one of the benches. The moment I put one foot infront of the other I was suddenly overcome by the realization that I missed running. Whew! “This is good”, I thought to myself as I ran at an even, relaxed pace. “This is why I love running. This is why I should love running.  This is the running I love.”, I said to myself with a big smile. I was running on my own pace, not trying to outrun anyone, not thinking about the effort I was putting into it, not thinking about my heartrate nor my pace. I was thinking of so many other things. Random things started to cross my mind.

It has been a wonderful week so far. Surprisingly, a Monday turned out to be beautiful. The workload was light and I had time to browse through some awesome playlist. Soulful songs and Jon McLaughlin. I was smitten. His songs were so full of ehm LOVE. I don’t know if my mood was an after effect of the book I was reading. I was in the middle of the third book of the Trilogy 50 Shades of Grey. I spent Monday smiling like a lovesick sixteen year old, basking in soulful music and beautiful words from Book Mania. Tuesday turned out fine as well. Crazy, laughtrip Tuesday. Some facebook photo got me entertained.

Someone stopped me on my tracks, distracting me from my thoughts. Someone who looked familiar. Ohh it’s my sister. Apparently, she was also running at the park with some officemates.  On my second loop, I met her again and she grumbled about being tired already. I gave a small laugh and I suddenly realized how young she is. We are six years apart but the age gap never seemed to be there. We spend practically every single day together since we moved out from our older sister’s condo and settled in our new apartment. She hangs out with me and my friends, runs and swims with me. After she broke up with her boyfriend last year, she hasn’t been hanging out with other people during weekends. I made a mental note to encourage her to explore the world while she’s young. She should start dating again.

An upcoming trip came to mind. I was excited about traveling out of town with the gang. We haven’t been hanging out lately. Everybody’s been busy since the start of this year. I cringe remembering my work schedule. It was still something I had to work on to meet my own deadline just so I could be in Cebu by the first weekend. I smiled at the thought of our plans. Spontaneity took over all of us with this trip. I think I heard everybody say “Bahala na si Batman” with regards to availability, accommodation and plans.

I took a water break on my third lap. I reminded myself to keep the run relaxed and not stress about resting. I did another 2 loops admiring one lean male runner in a grey shirt drenched in sweat. Ahem. Mascular arms and chest. Ahem. Nyort nyorts. He was running at tempo pace. Suddenly, I remembered an embarrassing moment a few months ago while running at this park. I slammed into a man’s chest. Hahaha! Both of us were too close already when we realized we were head on. We tried to duck at the same time and my face slammed straight into his chest. Shit! I was too embarrassed to look at him. I just mumbled a quick apology and resumed running. The bad thing is we kept crossing each other’s path twice every loop since we were running in opposite directions, exchanging several awkward glances. I tried to smile at him but I think it turned out as a smirk. I noticed he wasn’t at the park tonight.

I finished my last loop and headed to the bench where I left my water bottle. My sister was already stretching with her colleagues. We had a quick chat and walked back to our building as it started to drizzle.  That quick, easy, no frills, wistful run surely added to the happy hormones.

Of Silly Girls and Prince Charmings

I fell in love today. *goofy grin*

Yes, I did. With Jon McLauglin. How can someone look so good and sound so good? Is that even allowed?

The song So Close was a soundtrack for the movie Enchanted and yes I am greatly disappointed of this late discovery. I heard the song over the radio a few days ago and I remembered to google it today and voila! He looks so damn good pala! Sorry for the gushing. GIRLS yeah yeah.

The lovely song is just so heartwarming and it reminds me of fairytales, slow dancing, falling in love blah blah. I guess in every girl there will always be that silly part of ourselves who dreams of Prince Charmings,  Edward Cullens, Christian Greys, the knights in shining armor who will steal our hearts and trip us into a great love story. That despite our past relationships, our brokenness and mediocrity our heart desires something beautiful (yes, like the movies and like the fairy tales and the impossibles but who’s to say it can’t happen eh?)

It may sound ridiculous but don’t let go of that part of you. Because in this age where it’s a struggle to hold on to a relationship or marriage, I think we need that part of ourselves who will hope and believe that somewhere out there a magical and lasting love story can exist.

Something About My Family

Hello, readers! It’s been a while since my last substantial post. Blame it on laziness and lack of inspiration.

Something really struck me today. It was a line from Isa’s blogpost that says “Tell me about who you’d call if it was your last hour on Earth”. I paused for a moment and thought about my mom, then my dad, then my sisters. Just thinking about the possibility of a last conversation with them made me a bit teary eyed. I reached for my phone and sent mom and dad an “i love you” message. Growing up, we weren’t really the “iloveyou” kind of family. It was only after we graduated from college that we started being more verbal and showy. I guess it’s part of getting old, realizing that we can’t keep our loved ones forever, forgiving and understanding our parents and stripping away that rebel part of ourselves.

Sometimes, I look back at my young self and wish she was more mature, more understanding, more forgiving but then I look at myself now and smile at how much I have grown and have become a better person. I guess this is the age where you say “Mom, you are right. Mom, I don’t want to lose you.” I can’t describe how much pride I have for my mom and dad for raising 5 children and holding their marriage together.

It was a scratch and scrape for my parents to send all of their children to a private school. We used to live in a really small house. Me and my 3 sisters were all crammed in a small room with two bunk beds. My brother had his own room at the basement, one of which smelled like burnt lead and smoldering socks. We moved to the bigger house (beside our old small house) when I started college. It was a house that took 10 years for my dad to build. The cool thing is that it’s got rollers, something that supposedly lessens the impact of an earthquake. That is the bonus of having a Civil Engineer for a dad. I think it was living in a small house and sleeping in a single room that made me and my sisters the best of friends. Sure, we had those cat fights when we were young. There was a time when I made my sister’s nose bleed, a time when we threw anything at each other, a time when my sister chased me with a knife but we outgrew those and became what we are now.

My parents thought us to be thrifty. Our family did not invest on material things. We grew up with a single TV, no family computer (we just borrowed it from our cousins), a black and white VHS player which was given as a gift, no components, etc. Nothing of those. The only thing my parents saw to it was that we never got hungry. The only luxury they provided was dining out every Sunday, after mass. I think that is the biggest lesson my parents taught us, how to value the time spent as a family, more than anything.

We weren’t perfect. My parents did not have a perfect marriage. We’ve seen them at their worst. My dad crying to us must have been the most heartbreaking thing I’ve seen. This was back when I was in high school. He cried about how his children seemed to love their mother more than their father. I’ve seen my mom cry many times but to see my dad crumble was something else. My dad was a very strict and stern-looking man, a figure me and my siblings were afraid of. Due to his work, there were times when he was seldom home. His projects were mostly out of town so we got used to seeing him less. None of us was a daddy’s girl, sad as it is. He wasn’t a showy man but he loved his family quietly by providing well. There were times when I wished I had a different father, a cool dad or something. I remember hating him for a time. It was only after college that I learned to forgive him and love him for the person that he is. He is not only my father but he is also his own person. I’ve heard my mom say several times that she was staying only because of her children, because of us. But that was a long time ago. I’m just really glad that they’re still together and I think they have grown to love each other more over the years. I can see it now. It’s quite comforting to know they still have each other, now that all their children moved out, all grown up. I can see how much they’re afraid of losing each other at this point.

Just relieving all of these fragments of my childhood makes me feel so so much blessed. I was blessed with an imperfectly beautiful family, one that I am proud of.

Last month our complete family headed to the beach. It was something we haven’t done in over a decade. While we were having our afternoon merienda of spaghetti and grilled fish, 4 women selling lobsters came over to us. My mother and brother in law tried to bargain but the women were firm with their price. Then, they asked for some spaghetti in exchange of a kilo of lobster. While my mom was handing over the plates of spaghetti to them, the woman who was carrying the pale of lobsters walked out and headed to the shore. My mom was a little annoyed that they committed to give some lobsters but walked out after taking the spaghetti. Then my brother calmly said, “Hayaan mo na sila. At least hindi tayo ang nanlilimos ng pagkain.” (Let them be. At least we’re not the ones begging for food.) To which my father voiced his agreement.  

how cute