Chapter 2014: Page 7

What a hectic day this turned out to be!

I woke up late for work for the second day in a row. I actually woke up around 4am to go to the bathroom, but I went back to sleep. When I next opened my eyes, I was startled into wakefulness seeing it was already past 7am. I did file a leave from work today to get the requirements for my new work, although it was a half-hearted attempt. At the back of mind, it was just a safety catch since I still intended to go to work.

This changed things. I dawdled for a while getting myself ready. My daughter took advantage of the situation by wanting me to help with her homework, so we finished that first. Then I speedily dressed up and fixed my bag’s contents while she was having a bath to avoid further delay she could cause with her requests to have me personally dress her up and get ready for school.

The jeepney ride along Taft Avenue to get my NBI clearance at UN Avenue, Manila provided a trip down memory lane. It gave me quite a shock to see the crowd of people on the sidewalk waiting to get their clearance. I definitely did not want to be part of that crowd under the hot sun, inhaling the smoke from vehicles. So I immediately hopped on a taxi, and burned a couple of hundred to get to a satellite branch in a mall in Ortigas.

I couldn’t have thought more wrongly when I expected to get my clearance within the day. As I attempted to join the end of the line of people, an officer gave me a number on a paper, instructing me to go back next week just to get the form I am supposed to fill up. Half the day was gone already, I was very hungry, and had to go to the office to finish a presentation.

To avoid being late on my half day leave, I again got on a cab. Thankfully, I got to the office 30 minutes early. At least burning that cash on cab fares proved worthwhile.

As the reality that I would be soon saying goodbye to my current job slowly sinks in, I had to juggle performing the current tasks, turning them over to others (which I have yet to begin), and set my clearance in motion (of which I have no idea where to begin). I also have to start composing my farewell email to friends in the biz, and news of my leaving is fast leaking out. I would have preferred people learned the news from this horse’s mouth.

I had to buy some stuff to donate to a couple of kids from Guian, Samar who were typhoon victims. I’m glad to have gotten those items in the mall, in addition to some unplanned but necessary purchases.

It just amazes me, how I was thinking I had to buy some stuff soon. While making my way inside the mall, I chanced upon the specific shop I had in mind with items on sale, hence the unplanned shopping. I was also mentally planning to get the items in the kids’ wishlist before I went to the office, when I happened about those in a Japanese thrift store inside the mall. I was able to find cute plastic children’s caps shaped like small construction hard hats, and a couple of deflated balls that were practical, considering the long way they have to travel before they can be received by the kids. I just hope they have an air pump or something similar to inflate those rubber balls.

Thankfully, I have finished the presentation, and am relaxing a bit in my office chair (and obviously getting this assignment done for the day). Notice the blank days missing the required 500 words… I will be off in a while to drop off the items, and be on my way home to another set of tasks. Oh well, a day in the life of a working, single mom. Still blessed, and thankful.


Chapter 2014: Page 3

Power Up Your 2014

Having gorged ourselves during the past Christmas and New Year celebrations, many people are now thinking of dieting and exercising. Here’s an interesting one somewhat discussed during the last Salcedo Feast of 2013. It was the conclusion of the series Power Up, and the title of the talk was Are You Acting Enough?

Consider the passage Matthew 21:28-31:

There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’

“‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.

Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go. Which of the two did what his father wanted?

Feast builder Jan Silan hashed out the difference between Intention and Action. Right now, you might be thinking of going to the gym or buying an exercise machine to help you shed the excess pounds gained from indulging during the holidays. But did you know that 95% of exercise machines don’t get used after three months?

Good intentions don’t bring success. It’s not enough to have a good plan if there is no action right after. It is action that attracts abundance.

It’s a good thing Bro. Jan shared the Steps to be an Action Person.

Step 1: Make a Mess.

Sometimes you might be afraid to act because you think whatever you do won’t be good enough, or you can’t contribute much. This kind of thinking will cause you never to take that first step. So what if you make a mess? Make a mess, make a miracle. It’s alright to mess up. What’s important is you keep on trying. Remember, your good intention won’t be realized if you don’t act at all.

Step 2: Be a Fool.

When successful people were starting out, people may have laughed at or mocked them. But they didn’t let that stop them. Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Walt Disney… all started seemingly as failures. But they did not let the opinion of others stop them from pursuing their path. And now they have changed the world.

 If you’re afraid of being misunderstood, God can’t use you. – Steve Furtick

Remember this, successful people are disruptors. Now that they have become famous, where are the people who laughed at them?

Step 3: Eat Your Frog.

Here’s the type of diet I mentioned. The frog represents the most difficult task for the day.

Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day. – Mark Twain

If you delay eating the frog, the constant thought of it will drain your energy. Champions eat the frog first. When you eat your frog – your most difficult task – you gain power. So, what is your frog?

Step 4: Do Your Thing

Successful people didn’t start out as successful right away. They all started as amateurs.

If you want to be expert on one thing, work on it 10,000 hours. Invest more, if you want to be a genius.

Step 5: Make a Mess Again

Is it really necessary to keep on messing up? If you want to keep on learning, you won’t be afraid to make a mess again.

Have you experienced your plans not coming to pass? Don’t be disheartened. God will wreck your plans when He sees that your plans are about to wreck you.

This New Year is the time to rise again. Prepare your plan, to avoid committing the mistake of failing to prepare thereby preparing to fail.

It is a bit strange that the last installment of the last series for last year present very good insights on how we should start this year. Maybe that’s just meant to be, to guide us on the path to take as we begin a new year.

Chapter 2014: Page 2

Among the 101 things in my to do list are finding my guiding verse for the year, designing my cover photo, finishing my writeup for my new job, completing the content for the Feast bulletin, updating my dream board…

In the latter part of 2013, my guiding Bible verse was Jeremiah 33:3. Call to me and I will answer you, and show you great and unsearchable things you do not know. I still love it up to now. Something strange happened related to this. I unearthed a gift I got for Christmas two years ago. Call me unappreciative but I’m not exactly filled with delight with knickknacks that don’t actually have much use except as decoration (dust gatherer, in my opinion). So the item remained hidden and forgotten, until I got around to my poor excuse at spring cleaning.

It was a decoration shaped like a scroll, with the Jeremiah verse on it! Now I can’t bring myself to dispose it.

During the start of 2013, however, in the design of my cover photo, I used Deuteronomy 28:12 — The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none.

Here’s the cover photo design I posted last year:

cover 2013

But at the end of the day, I couldn’t tick off anything from the list I mentioned above. I just managed to do a little bit of everything, without finishing anything. Having said that, I wasn’t able to finish this post for my daily 500 word thingy within the day… I violated one of the rules, and kept on editing and rewriting parts of it. Finished this on day 3.

The writeup for my new job is coming along nicely and is half finished. For the bulletin content, need one vital article that still hasn’t been sent, and I need yet again to finish another writeup for that.

Here’s how my dream board is coming along:

Dreamboard 2014

One thing I’m glad about though is I finally got that much-needed mani-pedi. I thought before this was a personal luxury. But having endured peeling skin around my fingernails, over the holidays and beyond, and chipped nail polish convinced me this was more of a necessity than a want. My toe nails are now ready to celebrate a happy new year 🙂

So how did I while away day 2 into oblivion? Finally, my boss read my letter, and I knew she would react that way. Thankfully, she didn’t get angry, unless she’s really good at hiding it. We had a long no holds barred conversation about how I came around to my decision, what I can suggest to improve how things are being currently done, and who I see will be the next best person to do the job she’s doing now. It was really interesting.

I had an unscheduled lunch with a good friend who needed to discuss a development in her personal life. We had to pore over and decide if what happened was a good thing or not. But I think I managed to steer her to thinking it’s better to look at things positively.

I broke the news to some other office mates, which led to a lunch date scheduled sometime next week to celebrate a birthday and say goodbye. The rest of the afternoon is when I got parts of the writing and content gathering done but unfinished. Then had to rush off to get to my mani-pedi appointment.

What makes me sad was I didn’t get to go to the first Friday mass of 2014. At least I’m glad to have attended the first Wednesday mass. I just hope next month I won’t miss the first Friday mass, and be able to sustain it for the rest of the year.

Puttering around the internet, I came across one of the verses which always strike me

But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. ~ Isaiah 40:31

I’m thinking this could be “the one”! 🙂

Putting out another reminder here. A couple of possible topics for my succeeding posts could be the new job writeup and the bulletin writeup.

The Chaplet of St. Michael

September 29 is the Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Archangels.

This Chaplet is attributed to a devout Servant of God, Antonia d’Astonac, who had a vision. St. Michael told Antonia to honor him through the nine salutations to the nine Choirs of Angels. St. Michael promised that whoever would practice this devotion in his honor would have, when approaching Holy Communion, an escort of nine angels chosen from each of the nine Choirs. In addition, for those who would recite the Chaplet daily, he promised his continual assistance and that of all the holy angels during life.

The Chaplet of St. Michael

O God, come to my assistance. O Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory be to the Father, etc.

[Say one Our Father and three Hail Marys after each of the following nine salutations in honor of the nine Choirs of Angels] Continue reading

How to Turn Your Day Around

My day could have been really crappy…

It felt like a double dose of Mondays. Starting with a bad commute that made me resolve never to sit again beside or between middle-aged men. One would have thought they knew the basics of good manners wearing those office polo barongs, but that was expecting too much. Then waiting for the office elevators, trying to run after a barely filled one & loudly saying “up” wasn’t enough for the occupants to press the doors open… Continue reading

Drifting Thoughts on Love & Forgiveness

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. ~ Gandhi

A few days ago, I posted about Amara’s comments to me. She is an expressive child who is generous in giving affirmations. In her eyes, I’m simply the best. We cap our nightly prayers with thanksgiving. It always starts with “Lord, we thank you for…” She amazed me when she said “For Nanay being the best office-er” and made me laugh too. Since I go to work in an office, she had difficulty finding a noun to describe what I do, unlike teacher, doctor, or the like. She meant I was the best worker in what it was I do. In the same way that she expects me to say “For Amara being the best daughter, ballet dancer and student.”

It got me pondering about unconditional love.  Love which is undeserved, yet given without reservations. And it led me to thinking about forgiveness.

Once you have confessed your sins, the Lord has forgiven you. And it made me realize forgiveness is easy for God, but hard for humans.


to forgive