The Birthday Blog

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First of December 2016 selfie

Dear Diary,

So, I am turning 27 again in a couple of days.

I can imagine my friends shaking their heads no… but hey, it is my birthday. Indulge me.

For the past couple of weeks, I have been complaining that my back has been hurting and my neck and shoulder muscles have been pretty tight and stiff. I think it’s stress related. Now I am realizing that this normally happens to me whenever December comes and my birthday is nearing. Getting another year older stresses me out somewhat.

Getting older means having wrinkles, eyebags with baby bags and skin that won’t defy gravity. It is also about that extra five pounds that just won’t go away but easily manages to double after a drink of mocha or a bite of brownie. It’s about the body aches that you suddenly feel even after not really doing anything strenuous. Sometimes I am just sitting in the car and my neck will start hurting — and it’s not as if I craned it to take a selfie or something.  

Of course I don’t want to die young… but it’s the looking old, getting wrinkled and all part that bothers me. Maybe this is neurotic, but you know how vain I am, so the pain — and fear — are genuine.  

True beauty emanates from within. Maybe I should make that my mantra.

Excuse me as I get more expensive moisturizers and eye gels… Brb.

Love, Shallow Betsy ❤

❤ ❤ ❤

The Real Thing

So, I am celebrating my birthday in a couple of days. I think this is the perfect time to look back on the year that passed before I let it go and start another year…

As with the other years, this year I met new people, formed new friendships… only to see some friendships fizzle out even before the relationship can take off.

People really come and go. Some stay longer than others. Some stay as long as it’s convenient or you have something in common. Still there are others who just stay, regardless.  These are the ones you can call your real friends. 

I am thankful for my friends — whether old or new. They make life interesting and fun. The old ones keep me sane and grounded, while the new ones inspire me to be the best version of myself always (lest they change their minds and think that I am a flake, after all!). 

The past year was not devoid of challenges, frustrations and disappointments. And yet my God has always been faithful and He always came through for me.

I may not have had all the things that I wanted, but this year He gave me a desire of my heart. (Insert shameless plug of the book here: Twenty Years in Between, now available at Central Books AND Fully Booked!! Grab a copy now! 🙂 ) A childhood wish turned real. 

This year I learned that one is never too old to dream — or to go after a dream. Truly, the only one who can limit you is yourself. 

Indeed, I have so much to be thankful for. 

I thank God for my family and friends and for the love that they provide. I am thankful for good health — especially that of my parents’ and I pray that they will have many more years of being active and happy.

I am thankful for the opportunities thrown my way that allow me to grow as a person. I am thankful for the skills and talents that I possess (Here’s to more write ups, blogs and selfies…).

I am thankful that I look the way I do (Gorgeous, according to my brainwashed besties) … Though if God will make me miraculously lose several more pounds, I will be more thankful. 😉

I am thankful that every day I am protected and I have angels all around me.

I am thankful that God guards my heart and that though it sometimes breaks, experiences hurts and pains, it doesn’t remain broken and bitter because Someone up there keeps it whole and happy. 

Surely the blessings far outweigh the bad times. And I can’t help but be expectant of more good things in the year to come. 

Joy — like true beauty –emanates from within

Here’s to another joyous and beautiful year ahead. Happy 27th birthday to me… 🙂  

❤ ❤ ❤

photo credit: Selfie belongs to me!!

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Sunsets and Friendships

Sunsets come and go… But friends stay forever. 

I saw that as caption to a photo posted by a Facebook friend. It was a picture of five people in silhouette, watching a beautiful sunset by the beach. 

The picture was truly breathtaking… and the message equally inspiring.

It made me think of my high school friends and all the sunsets that we shared together — as well as all the times we waited for the sun to rise. 

If there are people who know me the most, these would be my high school friends. I can say this because we practically grew up together. And growing up together entails knowing each other’s quirks, each other’s habits and hobbies… It means meeting all your friends’ love interests, both the good and the bad ones, and they meet yours, too… Through the years, you share life’s ups and downs… You know what buttons to push to irritate or compliment the other…

It’s about knowing their life story — and accepting and loving them just the same.

My high school friends are the ones who call me Gorgeous, instead of calling me by my name.  They can also proudly and boldly call me vain and narcissistic without me being the least bit offended.

They have seen me at my best and still loved me at my worst. 

Like I said, my high school friends and I don’t just watch the sunsets… we share sunrise, too…

hs-1997

January 1, 1997

Taken almost 20 years ago, First of January, 1997. Coming from the house of another friend, we waited for the sun to rise and had this picture taken in front of St. James church in Alabang.

The night before the photo above. New Year’s Eve, 1996. 

And 20 years — and pounds — later… we still do Christmases together…

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Christmas Get-Together 2015

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Post-holiday 2016 Get-Together

I don’t always get to see my friends much. I know I am partly to blame because I allow the busyness of every day life to get in the way.

Yet whenever we do see each other, it’s like no time has passed. We are still the very people we once were. We just easily pick up where we left off. We update ourselves with the things we missed, we celebrate each other’s successes. 

And as we got older together — and hopefully more mature, we know that we are done with petty things. We still tease each other, yes, but we don’t bicker. We now talk about serious stuff… our families, our fears, insecurities, goals and achievements, even our mistakes. And we can still laugh at shallow, silly things (and people) — just like when we were 15. 

My friends and I are secure in the knowledge that we accept each other for who and what we are and were. Each of us with our different moods, strengths, flaws and all.

Because that’s the thing about true friendship. Neither time nor distance can change how you see the other person, nor how you feel about them.

With real friends, you can never lose the love, the respect and that feeling of being home.  

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With three of my high school besties, Jeg, Liesl and Sandee. Homecoming 2014.

I originally captioned this, “Mean Girls,” but they objected. They said I was the only mean one. 🙂

❤ ❤ ❤

Sunsets come and go… But friends stay forever. 

*****

photos from the ’90s — which I grabbed online — i think came from our friend Joel.  All other photos are mine!!

Them. In no particular order: Jeg, Liesl, Sandee, Kokoy, Myla, Patrick, Manny and Joel

Summer afternoons

I truly feel bad whenever I see my blog site and realize that I haven’t been blogging regularly. Changing my blog name (A Daily Dose of Betsy) has crossed my mind a number of times.

I just can’t find the time to blog daily.  Heck, sometimes I can’t post even one blog in a week! Tsk, tsk…

The spirit is willing, believe me, but time does not always permit.  Because life happens.   And as I let life happen, time just flies… Or I get too exhausted to stop and write… Or age catches up and my brain cells have a difficult time composing something.

Okay, enough of the blather.

So what has been keeping me busy…

I guess pretty much, this:

photo 1

Field of Dreams

Yes, we run a baseball camp.  My husband and I own and manage the Philippine Habagat Baseball Club.

The summer training started late March and will run until end of May.  Ergo, I am there at the venue Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays to oversee registration and talk to parents and players, reply to inquiries.

Training is from 2pm-6pm. In the beginning of summer camp I used to go to the Club as early as 12:30pm and stay until training finishes.  So there goes my afternoon.  Lately, though, I manage to leave the Club much earlier. Once they are all settled, I start packing up. The boys don’t need me at the field, anyway.

photo 2

smaller boys doing exercises

It’s amazing how the Club has grown.  Five years ago when we first started, there were but twelve (12) boys. We actually started with ten — the other two joined middle of summer.  We only had one team. One team that was formed to join an international tournament.

We learned a lot from that one team… from that first year.

It was not an easy journey.  Being new, people watched us closely. There were people waiting, even wishing, for us to fail.  There were bumps along the way. The world can be cruel.

But then there were victories, too.  And somehow, the victories outweighed the challenges.

Now, 5 years later… We are still here!  Bigger, and hopefully, better.

We have sent a number of teams to various international tournaments.  We have joined — and won — a lot of local tournaments, in different divisions, to boot!

And yes, we have been running a baseball summer camp for about  four years now.

From a team of twelve 11 & 12 yr. old boys, we have grown to much, much more! We have boys as young as 4 years old and young men as old as 18, training with us.

God has been good.

photo 3

big boys in a huddle

SO this pretty much keeps me busy these days.

I am not one who enjoys the sun, the heat, the dust, the sweat… (thought balloon: Eeew!).

But I love the times I get to spend chatting with the players — especially the little ones– before training.  I also relish watching them grow right before my eyes.

As I watch them get better, stronger, transform from being timid to becoming a fighter, I can’t help but think that yes, we must be doing something right.

Better players, better people.

***

Of course, there still are afternoons when I wish I’m elsewhere — malling or having a massage or doing something girly — and not whiling the time away under the heat of the summer sun.

When the boredom arises, I just do what I do best…

summer selfie

Summer Selfie!!!

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windblown hair, anyone?

And yes, the afternoons pass much faster when you have your BFF to share it with…

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Chat away!!

 I’m living in the moment.  

These are my moments.

Happy Summer!

🙂

***

I credit myself and my phones for the awesome photos 😉

#shortcuts

lol

league of legends?!

I was texting with a teenager the other day.  He was one of the players in a baseball team that I managed a couple of years ago.  He was asking for a character reference from the coach for a school requirement and  was coordinating with me. After I gave instructions as to where my driver will meet him to give the form he needed, this was his reply:  “SLR. 🙂 Thank you so much for your help!

Hmmm.  I got the thank you part… but try as I might, I couldn’t quite figure out what SLR meant.  SLR camera? Did he need a photo?

Geesh, what’s with this short cut language? I truly am so behind! I suddenly felt old.

I ended up asking another teenager who was with me that morning.  He casually said, “Sorry late reply.” Reading his facial expression, I think his thought balloon said, “How old are you? How can you not know?” I felt ancient! 😦

What is it with all these shortcuts?  When I send text or chat messages, I make sure all the words are spelled out — correctly, if  I may add.  I cringe whenever I send a text message with a misspelled word, and I quickly follow it up with the correct spelling (*correct spelling). So, yes, I send long text messages.

When my son was just starting to use a cellphone, we made it a point that the messages we send had correctly spelled words and with correct grammar. No shortcuts. We did not want him to get used to  carelessly composed text messages filled with misspelled words and bad grammar. We wanted him to compose his messages properly. We wanted him to use words and not just letters. In fact, we wanted him to use big words whenever possible. That way he is enriching his vocabulary.

But then nowadays, people are just so used to shortened messages.  And it seems that young people can easily understand a random mix of letters! I, on the other hand, have to rack my brains to decipher what they mean.

Is it because we are all busy, things are happening fast and we have no time to waste that we look for shortcuts?  Or have the young people  just gone lazy that it gets too tiring for them to spell out a word? I truly wonder.

Personally, though, I still prefer real words. Real, understandable words.  I don’t mind reading long messages as long as there’s substance. I know I will make time.

Besides, save for bff (best friends forever) and lol (laugh out loud), I can’t seem to remember what all the other acronyms stand for. I once mistook bfn (bye for now) to be best friends not, and I thought ttyl (talk to you later) meant try and try, you loser.  Yep, I was that bad.

Maybe I’m old-fashioned… Or maybe it is because I am a writer and I put value in words that I don’t appreciate shortcuts.

Or maybe, I’m simply just old –and too lazy to make an effort in remembering what they mean.

***

Post script (P.S.) :

Yesterday, as my sister was reading a text message, she asked me what atm meant. Hah!! I knew that one!  I was too tempted to say Automated teller machine, though…

She raised an eyebrow and looked confused. I smiled and said, “At the moment.” Then I added, “Don’t you feel old not knowing that?”

Misery loves company… ikr?! 🙂

 

*****

photo via google images

Friendship is…

my kind of friendship

Spent the most part of my Monday morning chatting on the phone with one of my best girlfriends.  Somehow the minutes just seemed to tick away so fast, yet the topics seemed endless.

We talked about baseball (yes, baseball mom she is!)… we talked about upcoming tournaments… we talked about my son’s school, then we talked about her son’s school… we talked about interfering and overbearing parents (yes, that’s gossip)… we talked about our plans for our sons’ future (which didn’t only cover baseball, but their lives in general)… We pretty much covered a lot of things in just one phone call.

That’s our kind of friendship.  We talk a lot.  We share our thoughts, our experiences… we dissect them and we try to find answers to questions together.  We talk and we also listen.  It’s not just a one way thing.

***

I met her because of baseball.  She was a veteran baseball mom of sorts when my son was just starting and she took us under her wing (she was team manager then).   I didn’t really expect that we will end up being good friends, but through the years, situations and experiences (hers and mine) paved the way for us to get to know each other better.  Our values are the same, we pretty much think alike, and during those times that we don’t exactly agree on something (which is pretty rare), we still respect the other person’s views.  We don’t judge nor force our ideas on each other.  At the end of the day, it’s still about respect.

no need for a pinky swear…

What strengthens our friendship is the fact that we both know that whatever happens, we will stand by each other and we have each other’s backs.  And we have proven this to each other on different occasions — she was there to listen and support me when some people were being mean… and I was there for her when she was the one being attacked maliciously by people who claimed to be her friends.

***

There’s more to friendship than just the label.  You can address someone as your “BFF” (Best Friend Forever) or “SFF” (Super Friend Forever) or whatever other adjective you want to put before the FF… But I believe it doesn’t work that way.

To me friendship is about trust and respect.  It’s about knowing that whatever happens, the other person will stand by you and will help you fight your battles.  A real friend listens and doesn’t judge.  Sometimes he or she may not understand, but the willingness to do so is always there.

Friends may argue but in the end the relationship should be strong enough to withstand whatever differences they may have.

Personally, I’d rather have a few real friends than a lot of flaky ones — those who will drop you like a hot potato the moment they find out that you are in trouble, or worse, when they realize that you are not of any service to them.  Meaning, user-friendly people — and boy, are there lots of them!

So, maybe I choose my friends.  I know I am not ‘friendly’ with everybody.  I choose the people I call my real friends.  An acquaintance to me is still just that — an acquaintance.  There is no depth to the relationship.  But I put great value on what I have with people I consider my friends.  I know that I will fight with them and for them if need be.

Whether I talk to my friends two hours a day, three times a week… or we only get to talk for five harried minutes, once a month… I rest on the knowledge and confidence that our friendship stays the same.  It is a relationship backed by beliefs and values, experiences, history, love, trust and respect.

you just know that they are there

Friendship to me is more than just a label.

**********

all photos via google images