The first month of 2016 is coming to a close and it feels like I have not done enough to reach some of my goals. Some days I’m out all day doing errands and attending to the girls’ needs, while some days I just feel so tired that I would simply rest and sleep for hours. I am starting to feel pressured, but before I start feeling overwhelmed, I think it would be a good idea for me to see go through the things I have learned so far this new year.
- There’s a thin line between resting and procrastinating. As much as I have learned to value and appreciate rest again–I’m no longer the driven career mom who’s enslaved to the notion that I have to be busy and productive all the time–it has become much easier for me to succumb to procrastination. Unfortunately, I still have a lot of backlog in writing, editing, and translation, not to mention, there are meetings that I still need to organize/attend. When we got back last January 1st from our two-week holiday vacation in Laos, my girls and I just rested and rested. So there goes my few days of rest back home, all spent on the first week of the year. It felt like we did nothing but go out and walk when we were in Laos, and it didn’t help that the chores to be done around the house make me want to hit the sack all the more. (Some things are simply needed to be done and I’m glad that many of them are out of the way now, done.)
- I can fast and overcome those desires. Sick of not being able to accomplish much, I decided to join our church’s prayer and fasting the following week. I was certain that doing so would help me become more focused and disciplined. Indeed, it has been a meaningful week for me, and I’m pretty proud of myself for being able to stick to the object and partial food fast that I had set out to do. The good thing about fasting is at the end of the activity, you discover that you actually have the strength to say no to things that seem to keep you out of focus. In my case, I was able to resist chocolates and watching the AlDub Kalyeserye everyday (which has become a noontime habit for me). More, when my mother-in-law sent us some pork chops for dinner, I didn’t even get tempted to eat it!
- I really need to be on guard and pray without ceasing if I want to win the battle. I cannot say that everything went well during the prayer and fasting week. My eldest daughter accidentally got bitten by our adult dog Olaf. Apparently, she was trying to keep Olaf from taking away the food she gave to our younger dog Hershey, and it was in the middle of a food fight that Olaf accidentally grazed the palm of her right hand. Now, despite having prayed for a lot of things, including my marriage, ironically, my husband and I started to fight all because of the incident. I chose to see it as the devil trying to distract us, particularly me, from continuing to pray and fast. I must admit that it seemed to have succeeded, though with the help of my friends who were also praying and fasting, by the end of the week, everything was good again between hubby and me. Moreover, our daughter got the treatment she needed and we didn’t have to spend so much on it, thanks to the local government’s Animal Bite Treatment Centers.
- God provides in different ways. I’ve been praying for financial blessings, and this time, God answered by opening up work opportunities on the third week of the month. I met some seasoned bloggers and got invited to a PR event–my first this year–the opening of Wonder Photo Shop’s second branch, which happens to be in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. Aside from that, a six-hour a week office work that pays rather well was also being offered to me, and so on. I believe I already have the answer to my prayer, that is, of the type(s) of work that I should pursue this year. I couldn’t focus on my anti-aging business and have stopped teaching ESL online some time last year, but I’m determined now to pursue my other interests and earn as well.
- I have a strong desire to homeschool my daughters. It’s now the last week of the month, and so far, I’ve become busier. I still have my deadlines and it didn’t help that my children’s school is celebrating its founding anniversary and I have to accompany them to some activities this whole week. What else can I do but try to enjoy, right? However, even as I did that, my resolve to homeschool them only intensified, especially as I see very little improvement in their school’s facilities over the years. For one, you’d think they were in some public school up in the mountains for having filthy rest rooms! And, I’ve already raised this issue twice in the previous years with two of the school’s administrators. The other parents are now urging me to write a petition letter that they would sign to make the school finally take action. Maybe I’ll do that though I can’t help wondering why they have not done anything themselves.
- You don’t necessarily have to run all the way to finish the race. Ever since I acquired peripheral neuropathy, my muscles became weak and I could no longer run. However, I persisted in walking, even if it was sometimes difficult for me, and I’m glad I did not give up. Whereas running would easily make my legs feel rather limp, walking makes me feel energized and refreshed. For some reason, I could walk and walk and walk without easily getting tired. Recently, my daughters’ school held a 5k fun run and we joined, of course. My 3rd grader and I walked 90% of the way and we obviously finished last (my 6th grader was way ahead of us with her friends), but we still felt good that we finish the race. It also helped that there were people cheering us along the way.
So far, these are the things that I have learned (about myself and life in general). I know there are more and bigger lessons to come, but I shall not forget these.