A Return to Equilibrium

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After a very long hiatus, I guess I am back.

It has been six months since I came back to the Philippines to start a new adventure. Right now it feels like I never really left. The memories of the sojourns I had the past few years felt just like that, memories.

Now, I am trudging on a new path I uncovered for myself.

It has been great.

But like any new life event, it comes with busyness and adjustment.

Settling in my new place; making my apartment feels like home. Getting to know better my role in my job; learning how to be effective in it. Meeting new friends; spending time with them. Spending time with old friends; picking up to where we left off. Getting used to having family time again; making sure it is quality time spent. A lot has been going on.

I forego slowing down, finding time, introspecting, writing for a while.

It can’t be helped it.

Now, I believe equilibrium is back.

So

Let’s try blogging (again).

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What Did I Do Last Weekend?

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“Over the course of our lives, we only get a few thousand weekends. The most successful people know better than to squander them by laying around or scrubbing the floors.” – Carolyn Cutrone in How Successful People Make The Most Of Their Weekends (link here)

After reading the book of Laura Vanderkram on “What Successful People Do On Weekends”, I was forced to evaluate how I have been spending mine and I have to say many of my Saturdays and Sundays were used mindlessly which leads me to the all time question come Sunday, “Where did my weekend go?!”

As I was in Indonesia when I encountered that book, I don’t have much liberty to plan mine as almost all weekends (and weekdays!) were spent on working. Now that I have the luxury of time, I am more than excited to implement this newfound knowledge on spending my weekends wisely.

This 2014, we have a total of 52 weekends. That is 104 Saturdays and Sundays combined discounting some bonuses from long holidays. That’s 104 days of doing something we have been planning to do if we only have the time but never get to go around. That’s 104 days of spending it just the way we want them. Bliss.

This year, I will try to post as much mindful things I did on weekends. I plan to make my days off matter and do something worthwhile. I know there will be days when I will just be a total bum and laze around but I hope they would be significantly lesser than before.

My weekends will not be full of trips, getaways or expensive entertainment. But instead I hope my weekend will be full of meaningful experiences which will give justice to these precious days.

Let’s make our Saturdays and Sundays matter.

I hope you’ll join me in this experiment of sucking the best out of life. Let’s see how much we can extract the best out of our Saturdays and Sundays.

For starters, I hope you had a great weekend.

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A Send Off and a Kick Off

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Five days in the first month of 2014. Though I am still trying to string together all my wishes, dreams and aspirations for this year, I know I have to start somewhere and welcome the new year.

But before that, let me do a proper send off to 2013. If there’s one word to describe the year that was, it has to be the word CHANGE.

That year started with me living in Indonesia. I was barely 2 months in that country when I welcomed the new year. I was actually at a loss on what the year has in store for me as I was living in the hills where opportunities to make things happen is slightly hampered because of my physical location. But 2013 was a surprise, such a pleasant surprise. It was a great year. It allowed me to live and work in another country again and experience new things my home country cannot offer. It allowed me to meet amazing people and provided me adventures of a lifetime. It widened more my perspective about human nature and stretched more the capacity of my heart to welcome individual and cultural differences. It made me become a better friend to the self. And my most favorite part, it led me to that one person.

Now that 2014 is here and I have repatriated back home, I am excited to live a new phase in life. 2014 will be a year of COMMITMENT. It will be a year of commitment to SIMPLIFY.

By simplification I mean it in every sense of the word. I hope to simplify all areas of my life. As I mentioned in my newly created blog, I have been so into reading a lot of materials on the said movement last year. I like it so much that I want to add to the conversation. From lessening my ecological footprint on earth to really figuring out and enjoying what really matters, my COMMITMENT to SIMPLIFICATION will be my guideline in living my life this year.

So there, welcome 2014. Take me away.

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My Brave Heart

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I am taking it all in. I am trying to make everything count just in case I never manage to go back. Every wave, every smile, every simple conversation, every quick joke thrown here and there, all are enjoyed, all are cherished. I don’t know when I will get the opportunity to do these again. With them. Here. Maybe soon. Maybe later. Maybe never.

The decision did not come easy. It was a series of long tossing and turning in bed, of writing in my journal, of seeking counsel, of meditating, of praying. When I made the decision, I did not feel happy. I felt scared and very sad. How can I do this? How can I just walk away from something so beautiful? How can I ever think of leaving?

I have no answers. Even now, when it is almost here, I am still battling with the self. I am so scared. Only a stupid person will do this, I say. But I guess being scared is good. Being scared means another opportunity to know the capacity of the self, to befriend the self, to take the self by the hand, to walk through it with the self until everything becomes alright.

I know I have been in this situation many times. Leaving. Sometimes I think there is something wrong with the self. Most of the time I think there is. Why can’t I just stay, be still, grow roots, settle? It will make my life easier once and for all.

But I know I will be doing a disservice to the self.

I cannot discount the voice within. The one that is saying just close your eyes and jump.

And all the time I am led. I always believe. I always follow that tiny voice in my head saying, “Get up. Come. Let’s start a new adventure.”

I am one emotional mess right now. There has been a permanent block in my throat the past few days. Everything makes my eyes well. I love this place, God, I love everything in this place. The birds in the morning, the many faces of the lake, the perfect weather, and the unbelievable kindness of people. What else am I looking for?

I don’t know.

Everywhere I look is begging me to stay. Heck, even the animal towels I always find shaped on my bed. I know I would also want to stay. The tears won’t be there if it is not very painful. I am breaking my own heart.

But I am one crazy person.

Because just when the roots are beginning to dig deep and anchor themselves to the earth, I surprised it by uprooting it and subjecting it to blinding brightness again.

I am trying to be brave to leave everything and walk away.

For what? I don’t know.

To where? To wherever life leads me.

I am so scared.

But I am ready.

On Saying Goodbye

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I have seen it several times the past few months I have been here in Indonesia and though I can say that I have learned how to hold back tears and control emotions, it doesn’t make it any easier. Today, I said goodbye to one of my best staff. She was crying and I was just hugging her telling her everything is going to be alright.

I almost joined in her tears but it doesn’t look good losing my composure especially when I already look terrible to begin with. It is my day off and I was lazily enjoying my bed in my pajamas and messy hair reading blogs when my phone rang. An unknown number popped out. I answered and it is her. She said she wants to say goodbye. I don’t have time to take a shower or dress up as she is outside my door. I pulled my hair in a ponytail or a semblance of it and did a quick physical check if I am wearing undergarments. No time even to wash my face. When I opened my door there she is, tears welling up in her eyes. I hugged her tightly thanking her for the wonderful service she has done and that I wish her success in all her plans in life.

As I look at her and hug her again and again, there was a slight pinch in the heart. In as much as I want to compartmentalize my life treating work as work and personal as personal, there comes a time when the merging happens without us knowing. I cannot claim that all those people who have said goodbye to try something new or to welcome new experiences are very close to my heart, but those few who were able to transcend the imaginary professional block that I have created occupy a very special space within me because they found a way to touch me dearly.

I am trying to hold back tears now as I type this but I am also joyously aware and thankful that I am allowed to feel this kind of emotion.

I know the coming and going will always be a part of life. That’s what makes it interesting. That’s what makes it worth living.

To all those ex colleagues who became special to me in one way or another, thank you for touching my heart. Thank you for allowing me to play a part in the story of your life the same way you played yours in mine.

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