Each year, it has always been my goal to write more, journal my thoughts and feelings more, and share my life on my blog. My blogs (both old and new) have always been my alter ego, my memory bank, my soul. I’m a loner. I’m an introvert. I have very few quality friends by choice and even in my young adult years as I was surrounded by so many friends and colleagues, I really didn’t open up much except to a chosen few. So blogging, for me, is very personal. Having said that, I can say that my blog has become my sounding board, my confidant, my best friend (apart from Mahal of course) and I am quite happy about it. My blog is just always here to listen to my woes, adventures, and excitements and it doesn’t judge. It just is… even when I don’t get to update it as much as I would like to. But when I do, like right now, it can be very cathartic. And if you happen to visit and read my blog, thank you. I appreciate it. I hope it wasn’t a waste of your time and you get something good out of it somehow. You can check out my self-help posts, I find them the most helpful if you’re not into purely travel and lifestyle posts.
I mostly blog for myself, partly because I easily forget things I’ve experienced, lol. No, really, it’s true! Whenever people would ask me, where to go or what to do in this place, etc., my first mental reply would be “Visit my blog coz I’ve already forgotten!” or my mind would automatically go “Shit, I need to check my blog coz I think I’ve already written about it.” LOL! Aside from documenting my experiences through photos, I’ve accumulated through the years, it’s still better to always have organized documentation of my experiences through my blog. At least other people who happen to drop by can get some information they need or some sort of inspiration when they need to. And whenever I need the same, I can always go back to my old blog posts.
However, whenever I feel down, exhausted, overworked or depressed, which I’ve been feeling since the second week of January… (first week was super fun since we were still on a Christmas and New Year high!), I find it hard to write. I am simply overcome with not-so-good emotions and it takes a while for me to get back on track. This is because whenever that happens, I’d go into survival mode and whatever positive energy I have left in me (if there is still some left), I would spend it on my main priorities which are my family and my work. I still want to be the best mother I can be for Tuz, the best partner I can be for Mahal, the best I can be for my clients. Everything else has to wait its turn based on its relative importance.
That’s what happened to me this first two months of the year, hence, my absence here and on my Facebook page and other social media accounts. To summarize:
I wanted to start the new year right so I had my annual checkup and blood test done on Jan. 7.
The readings weren’t so good (cholesterol, uric acid, blood sugar, liver, heart) that I had to be on meds for a month. All those delicious food I’ve been eating over the holidays and even long before that most probably contributed to the high readings. Add to that the fact that I’m always jam-packed at work that I easily run out of time to exercise (and even sleep!) — which has to change soon and fast!
The meds made me feel weak, sleepy, dizzy and emotional and it took its toll on my work and vacation schedule. We were in Cebu and Oslob for two weeks last January for Mahal’s birthday while I was also dizzy and weak the whole time from the medicines I was taking.
Anyway, the 30-day medication is up and I got another blood test the other day. I also had a 2D echo exam a week before we went ahead with our Iloilo-Guimaras-Sicogon trip for Valentine’s and my 41st birthday just to make sure that my heart is still okay.
I already got the results and from what the technician saw the whole time he was doing the ultrasound of my heart, he said it looked okay. I will still have to have my cardiologist look at it soon though just to be sure. I’m praying that it’s nothing serious.
HS ALUMNI HOMECOMING ACTIVITIES
I’ve never attended any alumni homecoming activities in my entire life and I wasn’t actually planning to. I’m a member of both FB groups of St. Scholastica’s Academy of Marikina where I graduated from elementary and Lourdes College High School of Cagayan de Oro where I graduated from high school and I’m always invited to alumni homecoming events. But I haven’t been able to attend any because of bad timing. I’m either in another part of the Philippines traveling or just simply not in the mood to go. Moreover, as an introvert, a full-time mom, a traveler and a workaholic, I just didn’t know where else I could find the time to fit those extra-curricular activities in my very deadly schedule (as in nakamamatay pala talaga sked ko now that I think about it… I lack so much sleep because if I’m not working, I’m taking care of Tuz and the household and when Tuz is asleep, that’s the only time I can really work. And at age 40, I can now physically feel my heart giving up on me, hence, the heart tests and heart medications I took… I really need to get help, delegate, and manage my time and resources better soon).
Anyway, when our HS batch president asked for my help to join the festivities, I couldn’t say no. I was trying to convey to her how busy I am not just with work but with upcoming trips in my calendar as well. But a part of me was also willing to get out of my comfort zone and try something new for once, for my own personal growth. So, even when I wasn’t 100% sure about it… I joined. And I became more tired and sleepless than before that I couldn’t anymore muster the energy to even update my Facebook page, more so my blog.
On the other hand, the alumni homecoming activities I joined were successful. There was the fun run last Feb. 3 that ignited my will to run or jog again…
And there was the musical performance where I played as Grizabella, the glamour cat from the hit Broadway play, Cats. We won second place with P20,000 cash prize…
I had fun. Our whole family did. Even during rehearsals, Mahal and Tuz would come with me and Tuz would also dance and play around. He definitely enjoyed himself while his mommy was rehearsing. The whole thing from rehearsals to the event itself reignited the camaraderie I previously shared with my batchmates and for that, I am very grateful, despite the fact that I had sleepless nights after this just so I can catch up with my work deadlines. And again, I felt my heart physically giving up on me. Tsk, tsk.
TENANTS FLEEING MY RENTAL HOME AND BREAKING OUR CONTRACT
This was probably the worst experience I had. Remember my beautiful townhouse in Alabang that I left so we could start a new farm life here down south? I rented it out to Chinese nationals. The first set of tenants I got were okay. The second set was the worst. They did not pay their last month’s rent, incurred P53K in water bill, P14K in electric bill, vandalized my house, fled and stole my drums, stove, aircon, ref, washing machine and other furnishings.
Thank God for two of my neighbors who contacted me and told me about it. My house looks spanking new again (sort of) after some repairs and repainting were done. I had to sell some of my most favorite furniture at half the price I got them for so I can have the budget to take care of all the financial troubles this has caused me.
I’m thinking of selling it so I can just buy a new house here in Mindanao but we’ll see. I’m still weighing my options while waiting for some legal documents.
This incident really affected me A LOT that I’d just suddenly burst into tears that week it was happening. I was having a mental break down that I had to take a leave from work to take care of my house, delegate some tasks to my trusted neighbors, and still be able to attend practices for our homecoming activities. I was physically, emotionally and mentally drained and exhausted. It’s a blessing that my heart hasn’t given up on me yet.
BALAY KOGON LIED TO US
This actually deserves a whole new blog post which I’ve already lined up in my “posts to publish” list. Basically, we checked in at a very nice, rustic, secluded resort in Sicogon Island in Iloilo for my birthday believing that they have wifi connection like what they said prior to us booking our stay (because I always, always mix business with pleasure and never miss a day of work even when I’m traveling. I’m a momtraneur after all) only to find out that my Smart phone had no signal whatsoever and even Mahal’s Globe phone was having a hard time connecting to the net that it eventually gave up on him. When we were still in Iloilo City, particularly Goldberry Lite hotel which we really, really loved (2 thumbs up for Goldberry Lite which also deserve a separate blog post!), we called Balay Kogon and asked them straight if they have wifi because I need it for work. And they said they do. I cried my heart out after scouring their whole property when we got there, and finding out that there is absolutely no signal for my phone whatsoever. It doesn’t matter if their other services are okay (some are not-so-okay to be honest which I will explain in another blog post) but the fact that they lied just so they can make a sale is a big no-no in my book. So I missed a ton of work. Good thing that I have very nice clients. On the other hand, I am now neck-deep in tasks that I need to catch up with so I can get paid. It’s another stress that I don’t need.
OUR FARM INVESTOR PULLED OUT
Farming is a very volatile business. Even if you did everything right on your end, there are still other variables that are out of your control — the people who work for you can choose to quit anytime no matter how good you were to them, and how you’ve already considered them a part of your family. Also, the weather can be a beast. It’s so unpredictable especially in our part of the mountain. So even if we were prepared for any eventuality (we’ve already replaced the worker who ran away because he got into a fight with his uncle who is also our worker, and we’ve already controlled the conditions of our mushroom growing house and incubation areas), our investor got impatient with the returns. So to take away all the pressure on our part, we returned the investment. In a way, it was good. Because we’ve worked so hard for the farm, we’ve spent so much of our savings for the growing house that should the time come that we will reap the benefits, we want to take it all and not have to half it with someone else who only contributed so little compared to what we’ve already spent. But still, the act of breaking that investment commitment can still take its toll on you emotionally in the beginning. That investor was after all one of my favorite cousins.
OUR OJTs WILL BE LEAVING SOON
We were so lucky to have graduating students inquire at our farm page last year if they can do OJT work for us. Eventually, they went all the way from Leyte to Mindanao to do their hands-on training and they were scheduled to finish their OJT work come end of March. They’ve been doing so well and contributing much productivity at the farm. But because of the war going on between the NPAs and the soldiers in Bukidnon last Feb. 14, their professors asked them to discontinue their OJT work and come home. The whole time we were in Iloilo, all this war was going on and thieves have been taking advantage of the situation. In fact, according to our stay-in farm worker, there was someone going around our property, probably a thief or an NPA. Nothing happened, nothing was stolen, but still, the mere thought of someone evil lurking in the sidelines is still very unnerving. And so our OJTs will be going home earlier than expected.
THE SILVER LININGS
As the saying goes, after every storm, there comes a rainbow. And because of these many storms, I’m also seeing so many rainbows. The silver linings being:
THERE’S STILL TIME TO TAKE CARE OF MY BODY AND BE HEALTHY AGAIN
I am now more aware and mindful of how I treat my body and my health. Health is wealth and if I want to live longer for Tuz, I must really do some major changes in my daily routine. Hence, we have started running, jogging and walking at the Pelaez Sports Complex in Cagayan de Oro.
Entrance is only P15 per person and P10 for parking. I’ve also cut out fast food and junk food from my diet and just stuck with the fresh organic vegetables and fruits we get from our farm. We’re always there almost every night we’re in Cagayan de Oro City and it’s really very empowering and energizing. I am actually appreciating Cagayan de Oro more because of it. We never had that kind of place in Alabang nor in Cebu. So the Pelaez Sports Center is really quite a gift.
SOCIALIZATION IS GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH
Studies say that women who can spend time with their women friends end up a lot healthier than those who don’t. After all, we are social beings as well. It really is important to relate to other people outside of your family. While it has always been my choice to not socialize so much because I get easily overwhelmed and stressed by a huge crowd, I guess spending time with my best friend and/or few close friends, or even just simply networking with other people can be good.
So let me announce here that I recently applied to be a part of the CDO BLOGGERS group since I now live in Cagayan de Oro. Expect more blog posts about Cagayan de Oro because of this. I have tons lined up and I’m excited to share them with you!
It’s good to have a social life once again even if I don’t really crave for it. It’s still going out of my comfort zone but I know it will contribute to my overall happiness and well-being and when I’m happy, my family also feels happier. After all, happy wife, happy life! Right?!
I NEVER KNEW TUZ TO BE SUCH A SWEET AND COMPASSIONATE TODDLER UNTIL HE SHOWED ME SOME COMPASSION
I saw how Tuz can be such a sweet and compassionate little boy. On those times that I’d suddenly burst into tears because of the depression I was in, he stopped what he was doing, ran to me and hugged me tightly for a long time until I stopped crying.
MAHAL PLANNED THE PERFECT VALENTINE’S CELEBRATION
Rarely do I ask Mahal to plan trips for us since he’s always busy at the farm and so physically tired at the end of the day. But for this particular Iloilo trip for Valentine’s and my birthday as well (na muntik ng di natuloy because of what happened to my house in Alabang), I asked Mahal to handle everything for this trip. And so far, so good! Everything that happened from pre-Valentine’s to post Valentine’s was so perfect — the hotel room, the tours, the food, the schedule… etc. Again, I will do a blog post about this!
STOCK MARKET BLESSINGS
Add to all these the recent blessings we got from our stock market portfolio. Mahal earned P100K while I earned P50K from my very first P5K investment which I never touched. God really provides and we are just filled with so much gratitude.
When I found out that I won’t be able to work because Smart had no signal at Balay Kogon Resort in Sicogon Island, I borrowed Mahal’s Globe phone which had intermittent internet signal and emailed my clients. I was on official leave with one so at least I won’t have to worry about him but I was still on work mode for four more. I only got to read their replies when we were back in Iloilo City and I felt truly blessed to have such kind clients. They didn’t mind that I’d be offline for a couple of days, and one even wished me to enjoy the island and my birthday. And for that I am grateful.
HOPE FOR MORE FARM BLESSINGS
Our OJTs are still at the farm. They’re still doing farm work and helping out with other tasks. Maybe, they didn’t really want to leave yet. The war between the NPAs and the soldiers in Bukidnon (which is still quite far from where our farm is in Claveria but still very scary) seems to have subsided. Perhaps, they want to finish their contract. As for us, we’re just glad they’re okay and that no harm came to our workers and our farm. And now that we have no investor hovering over our shoulders and it’s just us two again making decisions for the farm, Mahal and I feel much better. We are more energized and motivated to give this our best shot because we know the returns will be tremendous once we reach our goals. We’ve always been “solo” (or shall I say “duo”?) kind of workers and that’s when we work best. For this, we are grateful.
So now, as I am writing this, I’m really starting to feel good overall about my 41st turn around the sun. 2019 has been a roller coaster of a ride so far, with all the storms that came our way but now that I think about it, and after having talked to my sister about it, and remembering what I learned from Abundance Guru Christie Marie Sheldon of MindValley.com, I now believe that these are just the Universe’s ways of showing me what else I need to work on, overcome and improve on for me to attain self-actualization (in Maslow’s terms) or just simply my own definition of higher levels of success and happiness.
And again, for all these things, I am grateful. God is truly great and as long as He is with us, then nothing can be against us. To God be the glory, always!
P.S. I now feel much better after writing this loooong blog post that I am ready to write more new blog posts as I promised. I hope you won’t get tired of reading my long rants and what-not. Abangan! ^_^