1st of March

…And just like that, it’s the third month of the year! Gosh.

Plans…

This time last year, I was pestering  reminding my editor about the draft of my book. My cover artist had also already given me sample artworks to choose from. Geesh, time flies. I’d better start working on a new project so I’ll stop this reminiscing and I can start moving forward. 

I actually have two book projects lined up. One is a children’s storybook and the other is the — drum roll please —  sequel to Twenty Years in Between. (Did I say that out loud?! Am I really committing myself to a sequel??)

Without meaning to brag, most of my readers have been asking for a Part Two. I would like to believe that the book was that interesting and exciting that they wanted more. I have been asked several times when the second book is coming out. Yeah, like it didn’t take me more than a year to finish writing the first one…
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#Thankful

rainbow

Life is beautiful

Truly there are so many things to be grateful for.  Sometimes, though, certain situations wear us down.

I have those moments, too.  Moments when life’s uncertainties just sow fear in me, enough to make me feel sick with worry. Sometimes I end up feeling sorry for myself.

When I go through challenges, no matter how trivial they may be, sometimes I find myself asking, “Why this? Why me? ”

But then, when I stop focusing on myself and my woes… When I stop and look around me, these are what I see–

  • I see people carrying their own share of burdens.  Sometimes lighter, oftentimes heavier than mine.
  • I see people who may have less in life yet who also have bigger smiles. 
  • I may see people who are proud, yet I also see selfless and loving ones. 
  • I see the opportunities that have been laid down in front of me.  Opportunity to help a brother in need… opportunity to showcase talent… opportunity to be the best Me that I can be.
  • I see all those times I surpassed a challenge — and came out stronger, better, wiser. 
  • I see all the answered prayers.
  • I also see the innumerable blessings that I have been showered with all these years.
  • I see all those times that my God pulled through for me.

And I go back to being thankful.

***

Be still and know that I am God. – Ps. 46:10

*****

photo via google image

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

 

What I learned today

up and down…
down and up

The past couple of months have been quite an emotional rollercoaster ride for me.

A series of events made me go through all kinds of emotions — disappointment, anxiety, worry, disgust, anger… the list goes on.

I do believe, though, that even in bad circumstances, one is bound to learn something.

These are the things I learned from everything that has been happening in my little world lately.  Some of which I already knew, but the universe has a way of reminding us about the things that we ought to learn and remember…

1.  Friendships do not happen overnight.  And sadly, they are easier broken than built.

2.  You cannot be everybody’s friend.  Hard as you try.

3.  A person’s true character is revealed during difficult or trying times… not when things are good.

4.  Same thing goes with friendship.  True friends are those who will stand and stick by you,  through thick or thin.

5.  You cannot buy breeding.  Nor can you buy character.

6.  People are not always appreciative so don’t expect them to be.

7.  You cannot expect everybody to always agree with you or think the way you do.  Besides, life will be boring if that’s the case.

8.  There will always be people who have a lot to say — about what you do, about what other people do, about the system, about the weather.  If what they say doesn’t do you any good, just shut them out.

9.  Stay away from negative, toxic people.  They will suck the energy out of you.

10.  It’s all about perspective.  When you feel like your world is closing in on you, step back a little.  Find a better view.  Breathe.  You may not be able to change the situation, but you can change your outlook.

11.  You cannot please everybody, help everybody, make everybody happy.  But being one person’s hero is enough.  Be that hero.

12.  Stick to your non-negotiables.  They define who you are.

swing hard
go out swinging

Life is about the ups and downs, good times and bad, hits and misses.

We wake up each morning not knowing what the day has in store for us.  We are not always ready for the curve balls that life throws our way.

I may not always anticipate the curve balls, but I intend to go out swinging… And I will bring the lessons I learned with me to fight another day.

 

**********

photos via google images/clip art

Life’s Journey

Sometimes you feel like you are all alone in your journey through life…

… and then you realize there are others on the same road with you 

… more than you expected… 

Sometimes you catch up… but then you start thinking that the others are still much better off…

Sometimes it feels like life is just passing you by…

Or you’re going the wrong direction… 

At times the journey gets so confusing…

 You are given different options and you have to choose well.

Or you see a winding road ahead…

Sometimes you simply just need to stop for  while… 

Time and again I have heard people say that it is not always about the destination… it is about the journey.  

So live it, learn from it, enjoy each moment to the fullest.

Take it all in.

It’s all worth the ride. 

***

“Life is a highway, I wanna ride it all night long…”

– Rascal Flatts, Disney movie Cars

*****

*all photos are from my own GE digital camera, taken during my last visit to the USA (March-April 2011)