What is Marriage to You?

People have different opinions about marriage, just like having different versions of definition for love. To others, marriage is a life of compromise and hard work. To some, it should be all about love and trust and respect.

anete-lusina-146471I agree to everyone, and the most important thing to know is that marriage is a variations of complex combinations of different species. It is dynamic. It changes based on several things – cultural background, environment, resources – so many things contributes to it. What works for other might not work for some.

That’s why it’s very important to feel secure about the relationship with your spouse first. It is hard enough to have someone else judge your marriage that having your other half misunderstood you would be too much. The perfect thing before entering this life is to know and love your partner, and accept the love that he/she offers you. lizzie-guilbert-15050.jpgBuild a relationship based on love, and by love, it means, unconditional, no judgement, no leaving other baggage behind. You may be an addict before, or a suicidal teen, or an awkward brainiac, and no one seems to understand your struggles. It’s important to find true love on a time when you have already found your love and self-worth, because this would give you courage to open up all that you were that makes who you are now (though it should be clear that it doesn’t mean who you were defines who you are).

melissa-askew-15335

Three or four years before I met my husband, I was a total wreck. I had fun around, and I party hard. I spent all Friday nights drinking until morning comes. I smoke, I date a lot of boys, I spend my income buying drinks for my friends. I don’t look around to meet the next person who would love me. I go around town to meet useless people, those who you only know the name for that night, and forgets the next day.

The day my soon-to-be husband walked in on my life, it wasn’t that magical. We were colleagues. We could feel each other building a good friendship, but not more than that. We’re two different people. He was in a serious relationship, I was in a lost state. That year, I didn’t know who I was, what I want with life. I mostly feed myself from what my friends and my officemates would like: they like branded bags, I do too; they like shoes and make up, that’s also my thing. I don’t have a personality, just a list of what I wanted so that I could fit in with everyone. It is not so bad, though. It sounded like peer pressure, but I knew, with the right motivation I could get out of this insecurity anytime.

hernan-sanchez-172307Then, I dated the love of my life, who was a totally different person than me and my friends. He grew up in a rural place, while I am a city girl. We have different definitions of luxury, dates and spending habits. Those seem so important to me back then, but when we got together, it was just something that can easily be set aside.

Being married to my total opposite, some would say I’m just settling; it’s a lot of compromise on my side, which rooted from our deep love to each other. Actually, not everything needs compromise. It’s just like we already go had a flow with each other. We quarrel and bicker all the time: at home, in the car, at the mall; but it’s just small stuff and nothing that requires us backing away frommadi-robson-113922 our vows.

For me, marriage is not a series of compromise but an acceptance of who the other is, and somehow, lovingly and with all your heart, your other half becomes a part of who you are. You would like what he would like, and he would do the same. You have to go to a party, and he already knew that his part is to drive you to the gate. He would want to go to the gym every day, and you have to spend an extra hour alone with your kid, and it’s okay. It’s doing things without having to worry that your partner might not have understood why you liked it. You know that it’s not a big deal.

 

People would say, oh, but you’d lose yourself for your spouse. Well, not really. Every day is a constant change of who we are. I believe that there is something in each day that contributes to our growth into becoming the person that we will be the next day. Who you are now might not be who you would be tomorrow. So, everyday, I am a changed person, not for my spouse particularly, but more for myself. And being okay with this fact and accepting this is what matters to me. I am a work in progress, and I wouldn’t have been me today if it weren’t for my family and for the people I’ve met along the way. As long as I know I’m worthy and I have brains and I add value into this world, that I also contribute to the change of our home (for the better, always for the better), then I am proud of becoming a changed person.

Writing in buns,

sign-20170112

Slow Down, Momma!

It’s a past-faced world.

ben-white-127223.jpg

Every one is hustling and moving. I can’t even finish one article without starting ten more just so the ideas would not leave my head. My big, busy head. There’s a lot of things I want to write, and a hundred other things I had to do. Add motherhood to the mix, and I had a full brain buzzing with a thousand lists of to-do’s.

Then, I realized, maybe it was because of the way I was brought up by my parents. My mom, a teacher, always brings home her auto-timer for every tasks, just as how she does it at school.

“You have 20 minutes to answer this pop-quiz.”

“5 minutes to take notes before I erase it all down.”

“10 seconds to answer this question.”

“1 minute to pee.”

I didn’t find it stressful before, though. Instead, I learned how to move quicker multi-task. Applying make-up while sipping coffee; breakfast and checking email; social media and taking a shower.

But then, as I think about it, I don’t really do much of multi-tasking. I just do one part of the one thing in between of the other. Thus, it looks like it takes me longer time to finish one thing.girl-757441_960_720.jpg

Worse, I don’t get to enjoy what I’m doing. Sometimes, I’m in the office, and I’d ask myself if I already had my coffee for the morning. I end up drinking as much as 5 cups a day.

As a mother, though, I prefer my child to know the value of quality time; that good products and new skills are produced and learned by spending effort and time. And also that it’s worthless if he doesn’t know how to appreciate and congratulate himself for these things.

I want my son to enjoy every little thing that he does. There is no better time than now that he’s growing up for both of us to realize the value of appreciation for both of us. The small things that he discovers about his little world now might have been the usual stuff for the us, but I try to remember that these are big deal for him. These are new.boy-1916204__340.jpg

Walking, playing with usual objects, getting dressed, taking a bath are the things that we usually overlooked as an adult. We pay little attention to them. But these are huge tasks for my son, and I should not expect him to move fast..

Usually, I’d blurt out the words : “Faster”, “Come here, quick.” “Finish that right now.”

I try to be mindful of that now. I try to avoid saying these, and be more patient and wait for him to finish on his own time.

If he’s hanging on to one task for a long time, I would instead blurt out other tasks for him so he’d get to choose if he wants to switch from one thing to another.

“Aren’t you hungry, yet, sweetie?”

“Do you want to go outside and play now?”

“Do you need help putting on your clothes so that you can your favorite show now?”

julia-raasch-143428.jpg

I know that it’s basic necessity for the kids to understand how time works, but it is also important for them to enjoy every little stuff as much as they could. That could help them be appreciative of time and effort that they’d exert for each tasks. I believe to be one of the keys for them to appreciate their self-worth. They’d realize how hard they had worked for small stuffs, and they’d know that they had finished it in their own time, being mindful on each development. They would bring that mindfulness until they grow old, understanding the world around them, discovering insects and holes and door knobs, and once they figure it out, they will celebrate their mini-victories. When they grow up, they wouldn’t deliver less. They would take time to finish a project and they would know how they should be treated after each work done.

Writing in braids,

sign-20170112

A Month Recap – March

When I were a student, March is considered an ending season for us. I had a love/hate relationship with this month, anticipating it whenever I come across difficult situations at school, and avoiding it when I just can’t get enough of the things I could brag about my successes and good jobs for the year.

I’ve had three major goodbyes done in the month of March, transitioning from one school to another, all left empty promises with my friends that I would try to keep in touch, and held a lot of hope about the next scholle where I would basically be living in. They all taught me the importance of changing one’s perspective about ending a season and starting a new one.

It was all about accepting change, and the fact that moving forward sometimes means leaving something behind.

In this blog this month, I ended my breastfeeding chronicles. It’s goal is to share the essentials about MY experience: what things I think were necessary, what emotions are felt, and how I encourage myself in times when I would just about to give up. At this point of writing, I haven’t yet decided what I would like to share next in place of breastfeeding. But that’s okay. I still see the beauty of this indecision. There are just so many topics to choose from and all of them holds so much stories to be told.

As for me personally, I have encountered so many opportunities this month, so much like graduating from college. I was lucky to talk to different people about start up businesses and getting back on corporate world. It is much harder, though, now than in college, when to accept a job is based on liking the work and the environment, and not thinking about the hours that it would take a day and which one would affect less on my precious time with my child.

Eventually, I had, as of now, already gone 2 days meeting people without dragging my son with me. I left him at home, with my inlaws, and I thought about him every single minute that I’m away. It’s a burden that I think I have to learn to live by.

Even I ask myself, too, do I really need the job? Do I really have to leave my son to talk to other adults about technology and grown-up stuff? Aren’t I supposed to be just at home, taking care of my family? Isn’t it selfish of me to think of working because it’s part of who I was?

It takes a lot of hardwork and self-reflection to accept the fact that yes, I need to work. I need this, and, it sounds selfish to need it but it’s part of my destiny. I felt like it’s part of my lifetime to work on myself, to educate myself about the corporate world, and it’s a persona of me that everyone around me has to accept, even my son. I’m a working person, a working human, a working woman, and a working mother. And there’s no judgement to those who doesn’t work, to moms who stay at home, those who chose or need to be indoors. This is part of the differences that each person has, and we have to accept and be kind to everyone.

Every March of the year, I consider it a transition month for learning about myself. Ending it doesn’t mean closing my doors on my previous schoolmates and the lectures that I had. For me, it’s passing all the exams and tests of the previous semesters, applying all the knowledge that was taught to me, and giving myself a break from all the lessons. So that when the new school year comes, I would enroll in fresh from a vacation, skin a little bit darker, hair a little bit rufflier, ready to tackle on some new lessons to learn and passing new tests that life would give.

 

Writing in buns,

sign-20170112

Friends with Mr. It’s Complicated

Photo from Grey’s Anatomy.

Luke and I both felt awkward talking about his lovelife over dinner. It started good as talked about small things, like work and stress and our clients. Then, after we finished our first serving of Maki, we both looked to the other side of the table, obviously running for something else to talk about.

We used to be okay talking about his girlfriends in the past. But when Nate and I got together, I stopped talking about my relationship with him to protect Nate, knowing how Luke’s righteousness would prevail if I’d ever open up about our misunderstandings. I know he’d never buy my happy storied with Nate either.

Luke also didn’t mention his dating life since Nate and I started living together. He used to be a playboy, just like Nate, and I think the reason for not opening up since then was because he wanted to avoid me thinking I was just one of Nate’s girls he was playing with. He knows I’ll compare myself with the girls he’s dating and afraid I’d find so many things in common with them, like obsessing over small things and clinging to wherever we would go.

“So, uhm. Who’s the lucky girl?” I started asking.

He laughed. “I don’t actually know if she’s lucky. I think neither of us are.” Then a sad smile registered on his face.

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, the thing that we have. It’s kind of complicated.”

“Complicated? How?”

“Just… complicated.”

“Hey, Luke.” I reached out for his hand over the table. “You asked me out here to talk about her. So spill.”

“I know. But I’m just realizing how it’s a bad idea.” He looked down on the food, not wanting to meet my eyes.

“Just tell me, Luke. Who is she?”

“It’s… Karina…” he whispered. For a moment, the name doesn’t sound familiar. Then I realized, Karina is Yna, Sid’s girlfriend, or fiance?

“Marg…?” it must’ve been a few minutes of shock. I think my face went funnily confused.

Why would he date her? Yes, he dated lots of girls for fun, but he never targets those that were in a stable relationship. He never wants drama, especially in bed. And the most confusing thing is he would never ask me out to talk about his relationship, except that one time with….

“Carla.” I muttered accidentally.

“What? What did you say?”

“Sorry. I must have blanked out.” I snapped out of my confusion.

“I know this is something out of the ordinary from me. But I just wanted you to know just so you would know how I’d be spending some of my time out of the office.”

“What do you mean? How are you going to spend some of your time?” I asked, and it sounded more like an accusation rather than a question. I saw his face went red, ashamed.

“Hm. I knew it was a bad idea to open up.” He held up his arm to call a waiter, and gestured the bill.

“What are you doing? We’re not done talking?”

“I think we are, for now. I’m sorry.”

“Hey Luke. I’m sorry, okay. You yourself said it was out of the ordinary for you. So imagine me shocked.” I said, trying to meet his gaze.

“You aren’t shocked, though, Marg. You’re judging.” He stared back at me, already knowing what I’m doing inside my head.

I felt terrible that he said that, because it was true. I felt like I already knew this was a mistake for him. Yna is a mistake, because for starters, she wasn’t right.

“Hey, come on. What do you expect me to think? She’s Jane’s friend, and she has a… boyfriend.”

“I know that! Don’t you think I knew that? I just thought when I opened up about her to you, you’d at least listen to my story, before jumping into any conclusions in your head.”

I sighed. He’s right. I was too fast to conclude. I remembered when I told him about finally being with Nate. He never said anything negative. He just nodded and listened and we never talked about it ever.

“Okay, Luke. You’re right. You did told me it was complicated so I should have not expected that it’d have a good story. I’m sorry. Do you want to tell me how it happened?”

One Final Thing about Breastfeeding

I don’t have much encouraging words for myself when I breastfeed. So many people say it was hard, emotionally, physically. They said it would hurt, it would take up so much of my time. Almost everyone would congratulate me, telling me what a good job I do for choosing to breastfeed, it would sound so much as a judgment on my son’s part, on every breastfed babies part, for making it sound like a hard chore t do, like a sacrifice.

I think that as much as I loved breastfeeding, there’s only so much that one mother can share about it. There’s is no way I could end my share grandiosely other than saying that every latch time I had with my son, while not always, are the most precious moments I had with him. Holding him as closer to my heart as possible, giving him as much of me as I could, they were the greatest part of why I feel like a winner mom every single day.

Believe me, though, and every mom out there, that it is not always as happy and as zen as we want it to be. There would be moments when you’d feel like you want to wean and just stop, so you could do you, you could have more free time that you could use for yourself, and the worst feeling would be after having these thoughts. The guilt of wanting to give up for your own sake, for your own happiness; the feeling of letting down your child’s health just because you need more for you. It is just the worst. So you try to get back up.

I feel that every single day. And every words of self-empowerment gets harder each time I think about it. I prayed as much as I could that these depressing thoughts would never flow through my breast and into my son’s mouth. That my hearts sadness would not be heard while he’s latched-on and close to hearing every beat of it. I thought, sometimes, I felt myself pissed off with my son and his neediness, only to realize that I’m just mad at myself for thinking so selfishly.

The single, most important thing, that I have in mind whenever I so down, is the thought of my son growing up. I wold mentally compute how much time he’d spend on earth latching on to me. Only less than 2.6% of his entire life will be spend next to my chest. Only 2 years of his 80 years lifetime. And I doubt he’d even remember it. But the benefit that we’ll both reap. Him, being attached to me, always, even when he grows up. His good health, emotional stability, and mental capacity as he drinks the golden milk of life.

So to breastfeeding moms out there, feel every emotion, enjoy every heart beat, and entertain every thoughts, good and bad. Knowing that you only get to do this for a short amount of time is enough of a reason for you to go on and keep going.

 

Awkward friend dates are awkward

“You have had one failure in your twenties, it doesn’t mean you’re doomed to fail at everything for the rest of your life,” Ian said, smiling before taking a sip of his coffee.

“Well, they said twenties is the defying decade of our lives,” I replied and shrugged, forked a waffle and directed it to my mouth.

“That! That is why you’re so anxious. You care about the general view. ‘They say this, they say that’. Come on Margo. Our ancestors had lived in cages for years, with no interaction whatsoever. They had built a family and survived catastrophes, without other people telling them when is the right time for everything.”

“Hmm. Good point. Doesn’t matter, though. I’m here. I’m taking charge of my career, and setting aside my romantic life.”

“Ouch!” he said, jokingly, clutching his chest with his hand.

Finally, I agreed upon meeting Ian, but only for breakfast, after finally accepting that we’ll be here in the island for a good amount of time. No best way to say ‘I’m not dating’ to a friend with coffee and waffle. He is just so nice and comforting. We talked a lot over the phone and updates each other constantly. We’re a little awkward when we’re with a group of people, so I decided it’s time we do a bonding together.

“I’m serious, Ian. I’m a mess. I’m sorry if I’m being so assuming with you, but I’m in no place to flirt and date, that’s why I’ve no shame in saying that. I guess we just have to hang out for now, as friends.” I said. I told him about my 3-year relationship with a broken man and how we ended it badly.

“Hey, it’s okay. Really. We can hang. Totally.” he laid his back into his chair  and smiled.

“As friends?”

“As friends.”

“No expectations?”

“No expectations, whatsoever.”

Our first friend date, and we’re already promising something we don’t even know how to keep.

I walked toward the house/office that morning, with the remaining latte in my hand, with the thought of Ian’s smile in my head. When I try to picture Ian, he’s always showing the most perfect set of teeth. Nate’s smiles, on the other hand, are limited, present only on special occasions and for extremely special people that he wants to impress; his parents, his boss.

I shook my head as I push open the door to our headquarters, shaking away myself into the present, trying to put in any unwanted thoughts and reasons why I have to compare the two.

Ginny, my OJT, handed me over my messages while I’m gone for the morning.

“Oh, and Luke said he needs to talk to you.” She added.

I went in to my office and dialed Luke’s extension number. It kept ringing and ringing, and suddenly, he’s knocking on my office door.

“Hey you! How you doin’?” he started.

“I’m good. How are you?” I replied.

“I’m great! There’s… uhm..  actually something I have to run by you. It’s kind of, uhm, personal. So maybe we can grab dinner together.” He stuttered, trying to get the words and breaking the sentences in awkward places.

“You’re kind of creeping me out. But I’m down with dinner. How about tonight? Sushi?”

“Great! Sushi, is great.”

“You say great a lot today, huh. What are you? Did you just get laid?” I kid.

He suddenly looked down on his feet, a hand scratching his head. This is Luke’s classic you-got-me move. I suddenly felt my mouth formed an O…

“Oh. You did. Okay…” I felt different and awkward for having caught him off-guard. I put the pieces together and realized that’s what he wants to talk about tonight. “Okay.” I said again, trying to find that I’m-happy-for-you feeling inside of me. “Okay!” This time, it sounded jolly and high-pitched, but a little bit fake for my ears.

“That’s great! Talk over dinner! I’m down, you great man!”

Opinions, Belief, Decisions Post Marriage

In this era of advanced technology and open-minded society, I am often conflicted towards how I should react to certain things. What should my opinion be? Of course, everyone wants to be in on the what’s right and what’s good: against racism, go pro-life, be a feminist, be a vegetarian. These things, to many, are no brainers, which is the same for me.

Then I became a mother, and a housewife, and suddenly, I’m on edge about my opinions.

noah-hinton-178198

I know that you can change whatever you’ve said at any time, but no one really likes switching sides, especially those who takes one  only when it’s comfortable for them. That is why I never talk about being against something that I’ve never tried. It’s just like food, for me. Never say never until you tried it.

  • WM/WAHM vs. SAHM

rawpixel-com-191157

To stay or to work, that is the biggest question of all. You’re lucky to be at peace doing any of the two. Each has their different struggles, but I can say, they have the same solid amount of guilt that could make or break your family. I have been a working mom for a good 2 months after my maternity leave, and I feel horrible at work for not being there for my child. I think of him every minute of the day.

Then I stayed at home. It feels great, it looks great. I can sleep when my child is asleep, I play with him all day, I tend to his needs. Sleep, play, needs, sleep, play, needs. It’s a cycle, it’s an everyday routine. Going out and talking to my neighbors at times would be the highlights of our day. And poop. It was all I could think about, and all I could share about with my husband. “Oh, his poop is a bit greenish today. Yesterday, it was all corn. I’m guessing tomorrow, it would be orange-y and nutty.” The worst part is feeling guilty for not being able to bring home regular paychecks. I don’t have anything to budget, and I would have full-on guilt once I splurge on a sachet of facial wash. I don’t need one, I’m just at home!

An opportunity came and I became a Work-at-Home mom. I thought that would be the best compromise to my dilemma. I get to earn money and add income to the family, but still be with my child. I can tell you, though, that landing a home job that suits your own time is a long shot. Unless you’re willing to have your neighbor adapt your son for 8 hours during the day, without any interruptions whatsoever, or your boss could stand talking to you over Skype with a wailing baby in your arms, then, yea, sure, you’re the luckiest then.

  • Taking full responsibility over family budget.

fabian-blank-78637As a stay-at-home mom, this, for me is still sensitive. I still dance around my husband’s paycheck, not knowing if I should ask for it or just let him take the reign over. We do groceries on weekends together  (that’s our weekender family date), we eat-out or dine-in together, we buy our needs together, so all expenses, we do together. Sometimes, I would hear myself reasoning that I don’t actually need to get the money if he’s just always going to be there to provide everything that we need. He’s like a walking wallet, really, and as long as I know how much money we have on our savings account, I think, we’re good.

But there would also be times when I’d be pissed when he never tells me he already got his paycheck. Then I’d ask nonchalantly to take the budgeting task for the house. Don’t get me wrong, though, my husband is a great guy, and he agrees with me on days like this.

  • Rent, Mortgage, or Live with Parents.

wesley-tingey-182281This is, of course, a big deal with other marriages. Where would you live once you tie the knot? You thought, Millennials are so smart, even with money, that they’d already acquired homes for themselves, enough to secure them a roof over their heads for the rest of their lives, most of the articles I’ve read tells exactly the opposite. With new “necessities” that people “need” to buy, Millennials tend to struggle from earning enough money to purchase a house.

Renting may seem the easiest choice for newly weds, which we also considered before, but because we know how it feels like to be broke, it seems unpractical to spend money on something that is temporary and will never be ours.

Then, we looked for houses available for mortgage, and they were gorgeous. The problem is the cheapest ones are in the province, which is 3-4 hours away from my husband’s work, and the drive to and from would be too much additional expense.

So now, we live with his parents, the cheapest choice out of three. But there’s too much challenges to conquer if you decide to live with your in-laws, and the first one is swallowing your pride. This choice is something that made us kept our car, and gave us chance to save up.

Even though I don’t like the sound of it, marriage really does changes a person’s perception of the world. Others might say: “You just approved that because your husband or your wife said so.” and I would be left thinking, are they correct? But then again, what’s wrong with it? What’s wrong with seeing things differently after being in a commitment with another adult who you would be spending  your life with? If my husband had persuaded me to think differently now, in a good way, and as long as he had valid reasons to believe such things, why wouldn’t I agree to it? The man I chose to marry is someone who does everything for his family and the people he loves. I trust him and his opinions because I know that he puts our son and our family first before anyone else.

Writing in braids,

sign-20170112

Improving Business, Moving On Life

Photo from The Mindy Project.

Our month long stay here at Chancella Island is almost over. Only a week to go before the make or break. So far, Jane hasn’t even asked about Luke and my decisions for after.

The planning of the company was a success. We’ve started good and strong, but also low-key for we still don’t have that much manpower. My contacts grew three times over just talking to suppliers and new connections finding new clients. The three of us were spending so much time together working.

“Guys, we’ve a big problem,” Jane said one morning when we were having our breakfast meeting. She was late, as usual, as Luke and I are already on our second cup of coffee, VENTI! She sat down, not removing her eyeglasses which covers half of her face, threw her bag (which contains her laptop, but she doesn’t care, of course) on the vacant seat nearest her.

As I looked up to her, I can’t actually see her face with the sunlight behind her. But I was so scared at her news. We haven’t gotten any bad news since we came here.

“We need…” she started and paused, and then quickly followed with: “Tech people because we just closed Hotel Marina!” I tried to comprehend what she just said because it was really fast, and when I understood, I just can’t help but stand up from my seat and hug her. I think I may have also shrieked.

That was our first done-deal client, and they were the first hotel that we went to the very first day we finished with our marketing and presentation materials. I have improved my materials since then, so imagine my happiness that my proposals and presentation skills have closed an account.

Okay, given that that account was actually handed over in a silver platter by Jane’s friend, Chester, we may have had a little advantage. We also gave them a huge discount. But Mr. Javier was not a very easy person to convince, and so was his daughter Marcel.

Since then, the house/office was out of control with two more hotel deals and bagging few small businesses in the area. Luke has gotten a local youngster to help him with other programming stuff. Jane got herself a personal assistant, and all around PA, and I got control over one marketing student who applied as an OJT for us. Aside from that, we have 2 more IT fresh grads to do the tech stuff to the clients.

We’re in our third week in our island and we haven’t gotten any pause since our last party night on a bar.

Good news is Nate’s totally out of sight, no text, no calls, no nothing. Better news, he’s starting to be out of mind as well.

On the other hand, Ian managed to replace Nate’s position on my phone. He would message from time to time, and we’d also talk when I’m free.

Just this morning, after our breakfast meeting, I called him to share more good news. He owns the finest restaurant in the island and they do not open until lunchtime. He would love to come over to the SOHO and bring fine wine.

“Oh no! That’s not necessary. Besides, we don’t allow drinks at the office this early.” I said.

“Alright. How about dinner then?”

“Seriously? You’ll deliver a 5-course meal on our office tonight? For all of us? Free of charge?” I kid.

He laughed. “You’re funny. I mean, the two of us?”

Like a date? I almost blurted out the phrase I feel so naive and pretentious.

The truth is, I don’t think I’m ready for a new relationship in my life yet. Not when I’m just getting started with an independent life of my own.

“Ok. That silence is kind of shameful, but I’ll take that as a no.” He said after my long pause

“I mean, it’s not that. It’s just…”

“It’s okay. No worries. Not that I understand, but I don’t hurry people to be with me.”

“I’m sorry,” I feel so picky and I don’t like playing hard-to-get.

“Hey. No. Okay. I’ll just come over this afternoon bring food for everyone. I also need to talk to Jane. So that’d be hitting two birds.”

“Great. See you around.”

Really, Ian is great and I like his vibe. He is, of course, handsome, like most of Jane’s man friends, Sid and Chester. And they all talk business-y, but never about money. The good thing about Ian is he is somewhat polite, and humble than Jane. A man-Jane is someone I would never have anything to say to, but Ian is approachable. He’s just not someone I would want to mess around with, though.

By lunch, he did came over, as promised. He went directly to Jane’s office after having 2 of his people prepare the packed food they have. Then, went to my office.

“I just came in to say hi…” he said, his head popping in my office door, smiling. “Hi.”

Somehow, I felt a tiny part of my heart melted.

Spending Precious Time

hourglass-1703330_960_720

Some other people thought that when you’re a stay-at-home mom, you have all the time in the world to spend with your little one. Sometimes, my husband would innocently ask me “how was your day?” and I’d be defensively describe to him every work I’ve done. I barely even had a chance to brush my hair. The whole day has been spent with my son, yes, but not to play with him 24/7, but to attend to all his needs, and every mom knows that a little baby can be so demanding all the time.

Overtime, I learned how to manage my emotions while taking care of my baby. It can be overwhelming, especially on days when I have to look at the mirror, and see my eyebrows turning into unibrow, the tangled hair that looked like they’d all stick together forever, or the chapped lips that I haven’t had the chance to mind all week.

One great thing that I learned into being an effective mother is finding the happiness in each chores. Being mindful helps, which I try every time my mind wanders into the pile of tasks that I had in my to-do list each day. There would be nights when I would evaluate how I did that whole day, how it all ends up and what I have accomplished. I would be very disappointed on days when all I had done was fold up laundry and putting it away. After being mindful, I learned that I have to be easy on myself, and to remember even accomplishing the smallest chore is a success in its own way. Knowing that the clock is always ticking no matter how tiny or unimportant my job is, every second is spent and that’s enough for me to believe that I have been productive in some way.

david-schap-128014

This realizations made me appreciate each moment with my little son. I try to take chores that involves him and make it a bonding moment as much as possible. The best one is when I bathe him. Before, I would give him a quick bath: wet-soap-scrub-rinse, that single set of steps and done. But then, he’d start to enjoy being in the tub and played in it, and trying to get him out of the water right after rinsing would be a struggle. In my mind, though, we have to finish up bathing because I can’t wait t
o move on to the next thing I had to do. But my attempt to force him out of the bath tub takes up more energy and more time than the actual bathing, and we both get out of the bathroom upset and disappointed at each other, which then makes it hard for me to put fresh clothes on him, and ending up him wanting to be comforted and me nursing him to calmness. At the end, we would both be exhausted and I would find myself lying next to him, napping.

alexander-dummer-150646

After a while, when I decided to be mindful, I started to let him play at the tub after the quick bath, until he has spent enough time in the water and would not be upset when I take him out. I would also watch him play, see him develop new skills, and check out his curiosity on how liquid works. I get to enjoy this simple moments, and after, it was so much easier to get him dressed, and he still have little energy left to play before nap time, which I would spend cleaning up the bathroom and doing other small chores until he’s tired and ready for a quick sleep.

There would also be times that I would take a bath with him, let him play at the tub while I take a bath myself, and after which, we’d both be fresh and clean, which is killing two tasks for the day.thiago-cerqueira-191866

Since then, I have believed at the power of being mindful, and saw that trying to multitask everything in my mind will always be a challenge to almost everyone in the house as it affects all the family members. Trying to be present at everything, be it small or big, always makes it easier and simpler for me, resulting to a more graceful mother who can run up the household in a very calm way.

Writing in buns,

sign-20170112

New Friends

Photo from New Girl.

It took us half the year to finish our current professional commitments. I had only to advise my current Project Manager to take me out of team, who, right after my notice, went out looking for a new guy to take my place, which took him almost a month, and another month to turn over my work. Almost the same goes with Luke, while it was so much easier for Jane.

We spent another 2 months planning the product that we could offer. I buried myself with our work, and spend so little time outside. It was good that I had to save my little resources, I cannot spent long hours at our local grocery store because that’s where Nate and I would usually shop. I also went back to cooking my meals, since I can’t stand eating at the restaurants we frequented.

“You know you can borrow money from me, right?” Jane offered, nonchalantly, thinking I was doing it to save up since no money is coming in at me right now.

“I know, but I don’t need it for now. Sometime in the future maybe.” I just replied.

Almost every night, we were planning the things that we could offer, and our marketing strategies. In the morning, I’d wake up and right after making coffee, I’m in front of the computer, creating presentations for Jane.

The group decided to not talk about the work every weekends, when we go out for dinner. Although we don’t have a formal business hours yet, we tried to keep it on weekdays, as normal companies do. We met different people who could join the team. Jane offered to give me full salary even though we aren’t operating yet, so I declined the offer and ask her to just gave me a huge sign in bonus once our first client comes in.

After six months of preparation, we are ready to go on our island trip to meet our potential clients. We were to stay for a whole month at Jane’s small condo unit she purchased last year, and we will see from then.

The small condo unit has 4 bedrooms and a huge living room, which we decided to turn into a small office. Luke and Jane and I had our own rooms with our own TV and closet. The other spare room was converted to a conference. All was set few weeks before we even arrived.

The first three days in the Chancella Island was spent touring around, seeing the attractions, and the vibe of the people. I had enjoyed the tour so much that I was so thankful we get to stay for at least a month. We were so lucky to have been escorted by Jane’s local friends which she said used to be her playmates whenever they came here for family vacation once a year. They were warm and funny, 2 couples (one married) and one single guy and girl. We went out almost every night for a drink.

At the last night of our 3-day touring, we went out on a classy bar where customers had to be members of the resort club. Ian, the single guy, and Chester, the married one, both Jane’s friends, were VIPs.

“So Jane, are your city friends here a couple?” I heard Chester’s wife, Dianne, said with a whispering gesture.

Jane looked back at us and shrugged. This girl isn’t someone she’s approved of, obviously.

“If they were a couple, I’d never be friends with them.”

Dianne laughed, totally not getting the joke.

It wasn’t really offending. Had I been an outsider to our group, I’d also think Luke and I were dating. I’ve been very clingy with him since we got here, because Jane doesn’t want me sucking up  all her happy hormones. Thus, she spent more time with Chester and their friends.

The night life started, and we settled on our VIP lounge, with non-stop booze and cocktails settled and refilled at our table. The other people would once in a while stand up to dance or to play poker on the other side of the hall. Dianne with Paula and Sid(the unmarried couple), settle with their own conversation. I, as usual was tied up with Luke (or the other way around), while Jane was taking a tour down memory lane with Chester and Ian.

I noticed Luke looking at the poker table, and I knew he’s eager to play just one hand, to enjoy the night.

“Go.” I shouted in his ear. He was surprised, and I think he definitely still didn’t hear what I said.

I nodded my head pointing to the playing area, and smiled.

“Oh, no. I’m good here,” he said, and laughed nervously.

“Play, just one game. But don’t forget to treat me dinner when you win.” I insisted.

“Do you want to come and play?”

“No, I’m good here.”

“Are you sure? I don’t have to-”

“Go, geez! This is why they can’t stop talking about us.” I pushed his shoulder up and urged him to go.

When he was gone, of course, I was left to myself. Jane is looking at me from time to time, also offering me drinks and snacks and asking me what I want.

Finally, I stood up and told her: “I’m gonna go check the area. Would that be fine? I can use a time looking around.”

She looked at me with that excited eyes, totally thinking I was going out to hunt some men. I ride in on her thought just so she could let me be alone.

“Do you need me to come with you?” She asked, just for etiquette.

“No, no… I’ll be fine.”

The minute I stood up, I walked around and looked for the bar. I positioned myself on a stool, and ordered my favorite tequila sunrise.

“So you’re a tequila girl,” I heard a man’s voice beside me. Suddenly, I saw  his perfect smile. I felt shy, feeling like a little girl who just got busted buying alcohol. I just nodded without a word.

“Glad I ran into you. I am dying to get Jane out of my ear.” He replied, and then turned to the bartender and ask for a new drink for himself. Suddenly, he’s also sitting at the stool next to me. Somehow, I got the feeling that Jane sent him to talk to me or whatever. But I knew her, she’s not the cupid type of friend.

He turned to me, and then, with a worried look, stood up as if he got burned. “I’m so sorry. I got excited. Can I stay here?”

I smiled. And just nodded.