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Had good chats with two of my close friends last night. One of my friends who is a third order Carmelite attends mass daily at Sto. Domingo Church.  He was in doubt but he asked me if Fr. Lovell was the one who officiated the mass. He said the latter’s homily was a breath of fresh air.  So I asked Fr. Lovell later, he said yes. He  even mentioned my plight as a cancer survivor, how  having a grave ailment would someday be an inspiration to others to get well.  We talked about life and survival, we talked about our families and moving on. We talked about how life seems so hard sometimes.

I do agree, there are times when you feel so alone in your struggles.  There are times when you feel like giving up but it is not an option.  There are always instances when  you feel so down. Life is all about our struggles and little victories we gain from being brave and strong.  It’s hard sometimes to show strength when you really feel so weak. It is easier to show how you’ve become saddened and disappointed with what is happening around. Problems are part and  parcel of this thing we call life.  It may get a little  complicated at times  but trying times are not always here to stay. Our attitude towards vicissitudes in life spells the big difference between living and existing. It’s survival of the fittest as people often say. I do believe though that one’s weakness becomes one’s strength  in the long run. We learn, oh how we learn to survive. Staying positive may be hard to do but it is one moving force for us to survive and accept a particular situation not to our liking. I remember one writer (the name escapes me now) who said, “When life gives you lemons, don’t make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back”.

 

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I just received this  message from WordPress a few minutes ago with this logo:

“Congratulations on writing 100 posts on Gardens and Empty Spaces!”

Haha, it’s my 100th blog post on my other blog  Gardens and Empty Spaces. I have long neglected this blog because for the last six months I haven’t taken  pictures of my garden  until today. I have to use my tab to take photos. I am glad that for every milestone in blogging,  WordPress has always a reminder so we  won’t forget.

Come visit me there if you have time.  Would love to update it at least once a month.

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I’ve read somewhere about those seven signs when you are seriously broke. Seriously, I don’t think there are just those  seven signs for you to realize that you really don’t have enough to tide you over until the next pay-day or until your next pension.

My goodness, there must be something wrong with people who try to live beyond their means. Nowadays,  gadgets are always updated almost every six months and there are people who just can’t help themselves, they need to buy the newest and latest model of cellphones, tabs, lap tap or what have you maxing out their credit card limits in the process.

Since I started working at the bank back in 1978, I also started keeping a small notebook of  my daily expenses religiously updating it at the end of the day. Why, even a twenty-five cents worth of candies was written there. I kept a tab of my monthly budget and summarized it yearly when my two kids were still at university. I had several envelopes marked for marketing, for groceries, miscellaneous, Nissa’s and Josef’s allowances and for small indulgences now and then. That only stopped  a few years after my optional retirement from the bank where I worked for more than twenty-one years. Since then, I’ve been conscious of how and  where to spend wisely.Sometimes though, I am an impulsive buyer too. There are those things that we just want but don’t really need. Economists always tell us, save first before you spend. That seldom happens though. By the time the 15th or the end of the month is near, you are using your credit card to buy things.

I learned a lot while I was working at Bank of PI. You learn to save money the right way, you learn to invest in some funds the right way. They will teach you how. You will learn to curtail a little of those unnecessary expenses. You will learn to handle money. Money  per se is not evil, it’s how we handle it. There  are people who think money is their  God, the more they have, the happier they are.  You are rich when you have enough but you are richer when you have peace of mind, you can get up in the morning without worrying,  when you could admire simple things that give you happiness.

Is living beyond your means an ideal set-up? I don’t think so.  It would probably gives you more problems than you presently have.

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PAGASA has finally declared officially yesterday that we are now into summer. They say that we really don’t have summer because we only have two seasons of the year, the dry and the wet. People got used though to calling the dry days and months summer here. It would lasts until probably the last week of May when thunderstorms in the afternoon are regular occurrence.  It is not yet that hot within the day but there are almost no clouds in the sky. For those of us who love the beach, it’s time for that much-needed dip. Just don’t forget to have sunblock in your bag. Days would be longer than nights.

Finally too, I am almost done with my gardening job – trimming the grass, weeding and replanting some of my ornamental plants.  I haven’t touched  anything outside our perimeter wall yet but I guess, the weeds outside our fence need to be uprooted too. They are growing  tall and unmanageable.  Our Santan  plants need trimming too. That would have to be postponed for a while because they are presently in bloom. I love those red flowers, they are lovely under the sun.

I haven’t blogged for two days but I noticed the decline in my views yesterday. It’s down to a little over a hundred compared to the previous five days before that where it reached more than two hundred a day. I remember that those times when I blogged every  day were the same days that my stats went  up. Really, we are only good as our last post although I noticed  that there are some posts that always stay at the top.  I have some favorites but they are no longer viewed now.  I guess participating in writing one post a day really helps. Back in 2011, I did that but it was never repeated. It was  kind of taxing thinking of what to write about every day for the entire year. Maybe in the future I’ll do it again.

I’ve put aside reading for the last three days but I am trying to catch up again with Lang Leav’s poems and Mary Oliver’s thoughts mixed with my fiction books.  It is always nice to get to know other people’s thoughts and dreams. I am inspired by their writings. Sometimes I  wonder where they get all the inspirations to write those lovely texts. I am envious.  I’ve been an admirer of  Mary Oliver for so long but I only have two of her books. A friend bought me a copy of Upstream,  (my 3rd one) her latest but we haven’t seen each other yet.  I read the reviews of the book, read some excerpts from it and I am really looking forward to have that book on hand.  I follow her on Facebook that is why I am updated.  I like almost all of her poems but this one is a favorite. Would love to share it you.  It’s called Wild Geese.

“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting
over and over announcing your place
  in the family of things.”

It is summer now, let me correct that, it’s the beginning of the dry season here.  Would just love to enjoy the sun  and reading.

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Sometimes I think I am sharing too much in cyberspace.

Probably you would say, “me too”.  This thing called blogging has taken up a lot of my time sometimes I wonder if other still read my posts.  Are we all too busy to blog, too lazy to comment, too indifferent to click like  or just enjoy reading posts from other bloggers?  We have those times when the screen in front of us remains a blank for so long while we are thinking of what to share and to blog about.  There are times when we all get too enthusiastic to write about the happenings in our lives. Are we sharing too much?

What do you think?

As I have said a long time ago, this blog started as a sort of catharsis for me when I was taken ill almost eight years ago. I needed an outlet to write my thoughts  and share my journey.  It helped me a lot during those sleepless nights and endless laboratory tests and doctor visits. It is a diary that was published online. I am glad of those friends who still follow me until today, fellow bloggers that I follow too and the new ones who recently found my blogs (yes I have five but not all of them are updated).  I am more inclined to see photos of different places  and people shared about by other bloggers.  I am not fond of selfies though. I’d rather post photos of my garden blooms or my family members.

I  take joy in reminiscing, going back to old times and places that made me laugh.  Life is sometimes full of angst that we   have to bear so I’ll choose to remember the happy times, those blessed days  that made me smile and remember things with fondness, the days that laughter and happiness reign in the heart.

So far for Dreams and Escapes, I’ve written 1,955 posts excluding this one.  I am growing old with this blog but I like how it is turning out.

My question remains, are we sharing too much?

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Gosh, it is the end of the month again and I’m like “where have all the days gone?” Time flies so fast and before we know it, another month is gone.

March  has been a little active socially , that is. We’ve attended a wedding,  Nate’s graduation and a dinner at Dampa Seaside. It is always a thrill to see relatives and friends who you haven’t gotten in touch with for quite a while.  It is always nice to bond with one’s family and enjoy some moments singing together in a karaoke bar belting your heart out for a favorite song.  It is always lovely to see other places aside from the four walls of the house. I am not complaining, it’s just that I seldom go out with friends nowadays.  It is always  church, market, grocery store, malls and a monthly visit to my internist.  It is more on being online to update my blog on  WordPress and to update my shout outs on Facebook.  It is most of the time holding a book in my hands or reading a story on my tab. I do enjoy those quiet moments though, they are quite precious to me.

I am thinking of buying a camera. My recent Canon Ixus is dying. The screen is dark at the edges and I haven’t taken any photo for the last six months or so. It is always Nissa who sends me those lovely shots in her expensive cellphone.  I miss taking shots of my garden blooms.  I also miss gardening but sometimes it is so hot even in the late afternoon with nary a breeze to cool it off. It’s undoubtedly summer now.

It is almost April.  Gone are those days when I used to blog about month endings and beginnings. It was a religious undertaking for quite a while. Blogging – sharing life and one’s thoughts in cyberspace. I’ve always enjoyed it, turning my thoughts into a few sentences  and writing a post.

There are these apps on other sites linked at Facebook where you are asked to take (just for fun). They tell you who is your best friend in life, what will happen to you in 2017, what you will look like twenty years from now (if you are still alive, that is).  Seems as though they know too much of your life based on the  things and profile you share on Facebook. I tried one once, about Grammar and I got this result. “You are a PhD”.   I laughed. Goodness, I haven’t even taken any graduate studies at that.  I finished BSC Economics though almost forty years ago.

When tomorrow comes, we still have lots of thing to share and talk about. We still have those lovely moments to experience, we still have those days to look forward to.

 

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A proverbial question we all wonder about sometimes.

I have a friend who once felt so down because of her health.  When we are at that instance that we feel so helpless with ourselves, we get depressed. And this is so true with having issues with our health. I would like to say, “I’ve been there, done that” but each of us face different challenges every day. Each of us see problems as a glass half-full or half-empty.  Our attitude towards everything makes a big difference.

Are you having a life or mere existing?

Our life unfolds right before our eyes. We can choose to be happy or enjoy those little things that to some people are just that, little things. Sometimes though, they make us happy or maybe we just don’t see the values of a moment. We don’t understand how it is to be happy in simple things. A child’s smiles and laughter would always make my day complete. Seeing the morning sun and feeling it right on my  face is  just lovely.  Watching a drizzle and catching it right on the leaves is an enjoyable thing to do. Playing with one’s pets for a few moments is happiness itself.

Learning to do something and making it a hobby is just as rewarding. Back in the 90’s while I was still at the bank, our former boss taught us cross-stitching. That started my joy in collecting different colors of skein thread and always looking forward to see another design to do. I was able to give some  cross-stitch frames as gifts to friends and the rest are still hanging in my bedroom. There was also a time when Nissa and I made cellphone holders too.  I am trying my hand now at coloring books but then my hands sometimes are not quite steady. Nissa gifted me with two thick adult coloring books a several  colored pens and pencils to start with.  It is a lovely experience to always learn new things, more so when you have just turned 60 and a senior citizen at that.

Being brave enough to try other things in one’s life speaks of the many, many times you felt hesitant to have a hair cut, You’ve been used too long with a wavy and somewhat long tresses that you are afraid to try new hairdo.  Yes, it’s one brave thing to do.

Saying yes to people and learning to say no too in the process. Are you always this kind of person who says yes all the time but doesn’t mean half of it? Or are you that someone who honestly can turn down something and learn to say no?  When you think it is not good for you or you are brave enough to try something new. It has always been a touch and go  for many of us. We always wonder about the “what if” in our lives.

I love this quote from Steve  Maraboli.

“When you are just EXISTING, life happens to you… and you manage; when you are truly LIVING, you happen to life… and you lead.”

Does life just happens to us or we happen to life? Big questions that sometimes we just ignore. Live life and be happy.

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