As August is about to end, I start to wonder what happened to the days that passed. It seemed that they were mostly spent dealing with heavy rains and floods, watching people on TV try to rebuild their homes and ultimately, their lives, sympathizing with those who lost their loved ones, and yes, reminiscing the days when I still had my mother by my side (she would have been 73 years old last August 10). I guess it had been a gloomy month. To top it off, I started stressing out again trying to convince myself that things will be all right as our move out day gets nearer and nearer. (We’re supposed to move back to our own house soon and that means having to live near my in-laws again.)
Now, why don’t I just make a checklist instead and see if there has been some improvement in the areas that I have been working on instead of thinking that a whole month had been wasted on nothing?
- Temper? Well, I have been trying to be more patient. Come to think of it, I confronted the man who tried to scare my youngest daughter last Sunday without getting berserk and attacking him with a pepper spray and an umbrella. I did warn him though that I would always remember his face and would not hesitate to call the police if he ever comes near my daughter again before reporting him to the nearest authority–apparently, a security guard who couldn’t leave his post to apprehend the man because he was doing two jobs at a time at the nearby supermarket. The man apologized immediately, anyway, and went away.
- Devotionals? Okay, I am now in the Book of Psalms (I’m trying to read the whole Bible), and I can’t wait to get to Isaiah. I really feel very slow in this area, although I have to admit that I have jumped to other books and finished them right away, particularly the Epistles.
- House chores? Believe it or not, I can now do the laundry, sort and fold the clean clothes almost immediately after they are dried. I did it yesterday, in fact, and oh, yeah, that’s a big accomplishment for me! Plus, all my daughters’ school uniform are now always ironed by Monday morning. (Big grin here.)
- Business? Okay, not so good in here. I’m still in the early stage of the learning process, sowing seeds. I have been learning a lot from my informal research studies though, and now I think I’m ready to devise a new marketing plan. Slowly but surely, indeed! As for home-based job(s), well, I just got another call for an upcoming writing project. I could only hope that it would turn out well.
- Finances? Bad and I need help. I don’t really want to recall the recent huge purchase I made; it makes me feel guilty all over again. It was money that I have earned from my business, yes, but all the same, I should have spent it on something worthwhile, really useful for my family (and myself). Anyway, the ridiculous items I have bought should remind me always of some very important lessons: 1) when tempted, pray; 2) move away from temptations; and 3) check my phone for the list of items that I NEED to buy, not want to buy.
- Relationships? Hmmm… I no longer try so hard to reach out to old friends. I have accepted the fact that not all so-called friends are for keeps. As for my marriage, I’d say it’s never been better although my husband and I are still separated by a vast land and seas. I also get to spend more fun time with my little girls now, even went shopping with them two or three times this month, and let them play with another mommy friend’s little boys once. We now also do things together in the kitchen as well as read stories more often than before. I continue to meet new friends and business contacts, too. Moreover, I saw my father twice this month already! I guess I’m doing better now in this area, eh?
- Emotions? I have realized that I am still one very emotional person and always will be. Moreover, crying is therapeutic for me. Weird? Maybe. Just this morning, I couldn’t help shedding tears for two news items that I have seen on TV. One was the funeral of our DILG Sec. Jessie Robredo and the other was the death of a man who used to be involved in dirty works. Their personalities, backgrounds, the work they do are so contrasting that it made me wonder why I was saddened at their stories.
With the first one, I suppose it was understandable. Many Filipinos are mourning the death of a very fine government leader, and hearing his widow talk about their last meeting and conversation made me realize what a good man he really was. He did his best to live out his role as head of the family, he was a devoted husband and a good father, not to mention a true servant leader. Really, can you name another government leader who would fix the light bulbs, door knobs, and leaks in his house instead of hiring someone to do it for him, especially that he can afford to do so plus the fact that he’s a honcho in a government office? And with his pictures posted all over on Facebook by the various individuals who had seen him work, especially while he was still serving as a mayor in Bicol, were really something, I should say. I wish all aspiring government leaders and the current politicians would at least have half the integrity and genuine love that he had not only for his own family, but for the whole community as well.
By the way, he also reminds me of my eldest brother, who despite, being a top-notch company executive, still washes his own clothes, cleans his house, does carpentry, goes to the wet market to shop for his family’s food, and spends as much time as he could with his family. Yep, I am very proud of my big brother, although I have to admit that there was a time that I hated him because he was so strict with me. He was even stricter than our own parents, actually, when I was growing up.
As for the other man on the news, well, I couldn’t help feeling sad that he was killed while sleeping soundly in the street. Apparently, the man used to be part of a band of muggers, but he had recently turned a new leaf. He had joined his father in selling pineapples and decided to sleep just outside a convenience store to ensure that they would get a good head start in the morning. However, he was killed without much ado, and never even had the opportunity to defend himself. I guess I felt sad because he never really seemed to have a chance at having a good life, just when he had finally decided to live peacefully. Forgiveness, mercy, in the killer’s mind, was obviously out of the question.
Again, mercy, forgiveness. Add to that grace, love, sincerity, service. The deaths of these two strangers, two men with very different lifestyles suddenly reminded me of these words, values. I bet the world, the Philippines, even the small communities, would be so much better if every person knows the meaning of these words and would embody them.
And I bet my own home would always be a happy place for my children if I could model them all the time. I know I still have a long way to go, but I am getting there. I am, after all, a Proverbs 31 Woman in the making.