Thoughtful Thursday | Getting Away from It All

stockholm

“Let go. Relax. Take a breather. You can always get back at it with things being alright.”

I’ve never been good at doing that. I have not been good at ‘getting away from it all.’ Thank goodness for life’s seize-the-moment occasions where you just surrender yourself to the feeling. And you remember nothing else but that certain moment.

I’ll be on my way to Scandinavia in a few hours. I was told that Stockholm is one of the world’s most meaningfully beautiful places.  I have been getting ready for weeks now, waiting for the answer to the question, “When will I be ready?” Even my husband keeps asking, “Are you not excited? Are you ready?”

After making a list of things to settle with work and business, a mental note of how to prepare the children while I am away and anticipation of how much to spend and not to spend, I thought maybe then I will be ready.

But I’m still not.

I tried making a photo list of my places-to-explore, things-to-do and delicacies-to-taste and then a sudden round of hospital bout beckoned once again. I had to take care of my mom. Thankfully, health concerned were cleared in several days.

v luna

I went back to preparing.

Getting away from it all is kind of difficult for me. I want to be nearby my usual everyday, to be sure I’m there when something needs me. That’s my main problem. Three people advised me to seize the chance to take a break.

After my last errand on the list this morning, I stopped doing. I simply waited for my husband to arrive. He asked again, “Are you ready?”

I looked at my hands, “I have to get my nails done.”

He brought me to a salon for a good nail cleaning. After, I looked at my nails again. They’re ready! Then I must be too.

nails

Routine is beautiful but everyone needs a certain moment to breathe. I remember how I sit on the field sometimes, looking at an airplane, wishing I was in it. Now, I’m given a chance for a getaway.

Let me try again to get away nicely so I can come back fresh, enriched.

 

 

 

 

 

Weekend Wonder | Football and #Sepanx

Sepanx.

I love the word now. I used to think it was a brand of a feminine product, not being exposed enough to the world of hashtags. Now I understand what it means.

Football.

I love the game now, too. When my son was 5 years of age, I was introduced to the beautiful game and to a passion ever so present in my young son.

conditioning

Today, he leaves for Spain. The family has come together to sacrifice and support him to make this dream possible. As he continuously worked hard for the sport, it was easy for the family to decide to work for giving him this experience. With his love for football, he is deserving to experience how the sport is celebrated in countries that regard football like we love basketball.

MFC Champs

Often times, I ask myself and other soccer moms, “‘Till when will we chase the football dreams of our sons?” It’s not easy to fulfill these dreams in the Philippine setting. The answer to this question is answered every time I watch him at practice, every time I see him prepare for his games, every time he comes home from school with good grades and every time I see the good in him. Football is so much a part of him and it has contributed to the goodness that I see in him.

before a game

Just before a championship game

As he grew with the sport, we were slowly exposed to the politics of the game, as it is with the real world. Gone were the days when I just scream and shout and have a good time during games. When you become competitive, there are other elements at play. The challenge is to remember why you support your son, in the first place. With him, it is easy because he shows us that he is in football because he wants to play, to be good at it, to be happy.

kick

Now, he leaves for the World Youth Cup. To bring home the gold is a long shot. But to come home inspired, fueled by the real flames of football adoration is a natural consequence. I wish I can be by his side the whole time, to see his bewilderment, awe and happiness as he experiences all that.

This is where my new favorite word comes in.

Sepanx.

beach

A big part of me wants to cry and hold him and never let him go. But you let go because he is growing up. Because he has dreams. Because it’s the natural course of life. The word I only see in hashtags in social media comforts me though, #sepanx, everyone feels this at one time or another. It’s normal. It’s something I can overcome.

Just saying the word is comforting.

#Sepanx.

 

On Mother’s Day

Happy Mother's Day

Mom, life’s greatest gift.

My MIL (mother-in-law) recently celebrated her birthday. It has been customary for the family to gather around her every year over good food, fond story-telling and memorable laughters.

There’s tears this year, though.

My MIL candidly told us stories about her child-rearing and raising a family. She choked in tears as she recalled how she raised eight children while being a dutiful wife and a dedicated public school teacher. She talked of her sacrifices and pains as she gave her best years to motherhood. The grandchildren listened to her innocently. My children looked at her with loving eyes. Her children injected her words with jabs of anecdotal one liners to keep her from crying hard. Her husband patiently listens. I looked at her in admiration. Let her have her moment.

flowers 2

Every mother can speak of their ultimate sacrifice for their children. With each story comes unique, personal feelings that are simply beyond words. Perhaps, only one mother can understand fully what another mom really feels.

I once thought that when all the kids are grown and into their own lives, my motherhood role will eventually slow down. A more experienced mother told me, “I’m sorry to break the news dear, but it never really ends.” I realize she is right.

What would be the real rewards to motherhood? Is it finally when your children graduate from school, having solid careers of their own? Is it when they successfully raise a family of their own? Is it when they go places and travel abroad? Is it when they make their own choices and are able to carry on strongly with the choices they have made? Is it when they come back to you in the light of your years amidst their busy lives?

What is the reward, really?

To me, the reward for my motherhood journey, I find within myself. That unspeakable kind of love that almost bursts inside you. That infinite affection that goes beyond limits unimagined. That great, top-of-the-world feeling of pride evoked by certain moments. That strength of faith and unwavering acceptance demanded by circumstances. Only a mother understands how one can feel all these.

With a mother, there is always love, in spite of, despite of and even ifs. Like this, I love and honor my mother, in spite of, despite of and even if, along with beautiful things she has shown me about love and life.

And perhaps the best way to honor and love our mothers is to love others the best way that we can. To raise families as they have shown us or better. To nurture life, whether our children’s or the lives of others. Let us live with the kind of love that always brings light even to the darkest moments.

This kind of love, I learned from mom.

 

Workin’ Wednesdays | Pockets of Time

work 1

Choosing to work from home while raising a family was a conscious choice we made in order to look after the children. In doing so, it was tough to intersperse real work, housework and all the other duties that come along with raising a family.

All these things, I do with a full heart.

Throughout the work-at-home journey, I tried all sorts of organization strategies and work schedule to cope with the demands of my existence. I tried blocking off time to focus on real work, waking up extra early to get more done, sleeping a few hours later than usual to accomplish things. I tried working alongside with the children. I even tried working while driving especially when in horrendous EDSA traffic, which by the way will never really work.work 2

Then, I found myself getting enough done (not more, just enough) and making progress when I realized the secret of working from home, being a working mother.

Pockets of Time.

A lot of management experts say, make use of those pockets of time.

I have identified where mine comes from. I spot time on my hands during a lot of waiting time — soccer practice, basketball practice, school dismissal, cheerleading practice, bank errands, car wash session. My pockets of time span throughout the day. This is why I arm myself with my bag of work essentials, a sort of work-anytime gear so that I can readily seize opportunities to work.workspaces 2Since these pockets of time can present itself anywhere, I must be prepared to find a workspace that works for me. I would be pretty lucky if there’s a pretty café around the corner or a cafeteria with nice, clean tables to work on. On other days, I find myself working in a gym counter, a bench at the school park or at the back of the pickup truck.

workspaces 3

I wish I were a better-dressed working mom whose work and errands encompass the hours in a day. How I can imagine being that J Crew picture perfect work-at -home mother who has time in her hands! But then comfort and weather are my utmost considerations in getting dressed these days.

As my schedule is fluid, my mind often races with itself. Prioritizing and responsiveness often help me fulfill my roles in a day. Accepting that I cannot have everything done in a day, I take pleasure in pockets of progress too that I make. In awhile, I realize that I have lesser to do. The work is never done for a mom. I know this by know. This is why I take comfort in the work chunks done in a day as willingly close my laptop, call it a day and spend time with the family.

work 4

I have learned to work steadily through pockets of time. Doing so helps put me at ease. Doing so helps me battle with the power of procrastination. Doing so led me to believe that it is possible to make time so that I would never have to say, “I don’t have time.”