Tag Archives: Life 101

Life 101: On Choosing Happiness

I woke up today to my phone’s text tone. It was a message from someone dear to my heart. It sounded of defeat, frustration, unhappiness. It broke my heart that, despite all the blessings he has received from Life, he feels that the word HAPPY “is empty, meaningless, and absurd.”

How can someone lose sight of all the reasons to be happy?

Why are some people swallowed up by their own problems and imagined sufferings, so that they fail to see there are many others in real suffering? Continue reading Life 101: On Choosing Happiness

Life 101: On Being Stupid

Yesterday was just another school day. I was thankful it was nearly over as six-year old VGood and I studied in the car, waiting for achi Patchy to be done with her Chinese tutorials. I parked along the side of the street right outside the tutorial center, as I always did. Since it was cool and breezy, I decided to turn the engine off and open all the windows. Other cars were also parked. Drivers and yayas waiting for their wards were standing nearby, goofing around.

I sat in the car with VGood, going over her new spelling words. Somewhere along that time, a migraine began to set it. When we were done, VGood fell asleep on the back seat. It was getting darker, and mosquitoes were flying into the car. So I turned on the engine and closed the windows.

My head was throbbing and my eyes stung from lack of sleep the previous night. I tried to amuse myself by watching the yayas and drivers, trying to figure out who were items. You know, the ligawan that goes on among them…

Anyway, Patchy seemed to be taking forever! I better go check on her. But how? My exhausted VGood is fast asleep. A bulb lit up in my mind. Continue reading Life 101: On Being Stupid

Simple Wishes of Children

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Please keep my dad safe everyday.

Please make me well from my nose bleeding.

I pray that my achi (big sister) will not watch TV too close anymore.

Have my mom come home early from work.

Make my kuya (big brother) strong and healthy.

I pray that my shoti (little brother) will not call me Dodong anymore.

While waiting for my daughter VGood’s dismissal from school the other day, I wandered off to the Bulletin Board. One corner featured the Little Samuels Club, a club where pre-schoolers learn about praying and men of prayer in the Bible. The quotes above are a few of the kids’ prayers. (The last one made me LOL; the fourth teary-eyed.)

I love how honest and simple their wishes are. They do not want for so much, really. Not one of them asked for the latest PSP or a trip to Disneyland. (The teacher could have edited those out, hehe.)

Sometimes, at the mall, my kids seem to say “bilmoko” (A Filipino slang which translates to “Buy me this; buy me that”) a hundred times. But during their quiet moments with God right before they go to sleep, what is it that they murmur?

I’ve caught VGood several times whispering fervently with eyes tightly shut: “Please help me to be a good girl, please, please, please. I’m really trying hard to keep quiet and concentrate in school.”

It’s touching, but true: our kids don’t want expensive toys. Our children probably learned materialism from us adults. In their innocent and simple minds, they know that they only need those that matter. Good health. Parental presence. A loving family.

Life 101: On Surrendering Expectations

My kids’ second quarter exams have just been concluded last week. I actually took a break from blogging in order to allocate more time for studying with them. (Well, among other things…)

Yes, everyday last week, and the weekend before that, my kids studied like never before. I, too, drilled and grilled them like never before. I printed out mock exams for Patchy, and formulated ruthless Math exercises. I even went to as far as timing her, based on the premise courtesy of the Math-wiz technohub: “If you stay too long on a Math problem, chances are, you don’t know how to solve it.”

Oh yeah, I also decided to monetize test results. Each perfect score will be rewarded with a shiny ten-peso coin. Chinese tests will be a bit more expensive; they get a twenty-peso bill for a perfect test. Aha! Now I know why they studied like crazy!

Anyway, this week the exam results were given out. Naturally, we were confident. My coins were ready, and the kids’ eyes were going “kaching, kaching!”

I was surprised with Patchy’s Math test, but not in a pleasant way. She almost failed it! Looking closer at her paper, I noticed how careless she was, doing division on a problem that called for multiplication. It was sheer disappointment. I’m sure she was terribly disappointed too. Not only is she not getting a coin, but this was also the first time she got a score so low. (Modesty aside, I have a smart girl!)

As for the other subjects, no perfect scores either. She perfected the more expensive Chinese tests though. (Did I say she’s a smart girl?)

A few posts back is an entry on coping with stress. One of the tips were: surrender expectations.

So this is what it means to surrender expectations. Not without reason, my expectations from my children are high. They are smart kids. But this came as a gentle reminder that they are just kids. If we adults commit monumental boo-boos, we should allow our kids to make these little mistakes. I am reminded to take it easy on them, and on myself. This way, we save ourselves from unnecessary stress and disappointment.

Surrender expectations. A small phrase packed with so much. I will definitely mull over it today. It’s a good way of psyching myself up, as VGood’s results aren’t out yet. 😛

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UPDATE: VGood’s test results came out yesterday. She did well, had perfect scores for Chinese, Reading, and Math… clap, clap, clap! Kaching, kaching!

But… she flunked the Filipino test. Despite the prepping and the psyching up, I still was not prepared. I still was not not able to scrap the long motherly sermon. I couldn’t help being disappointed. But then, at the end of it all, seeing that all VGood could do was shrug innocently, I take a deep breath and accept reality. They’re just kids. We will just have to study harder next time. And, for sure, I will teach VGood more Filipino words. *sigh*

Not So Sunny On A Sunday

Just a few thoughts for the sun-ny* people out there who pop up, gush about their problems and expect me to gush along with them:

There are people with problems worse than yours.

People (like me) may have been in the middle of something (like a personal crisis. Yes, much like yours. No, of course not as great as yours. Whose problems are greater than yours anyway?) when you unexpectedly popped up, so don’t expect them to be sweet and sunny all the time.

Other people have better more important things to do than listen to your endless whimpers and rants.

Do yourself a favor: get over yourself.

And while you’re at it, go over my post on Coping with Stress. I believe I wasn’t of much help, but those tips just might.

Don’t get me wrong. I care about your problems. But it won’t hurt to (appear to) be sensitive sometimes.

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*Sun-ny is a new term that iMoM coined just today. It refers to persons who think they are the Sun. You know, the great ball of fire around which the Solar System revolves.

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And that’s that. I’m not about to squander any more of my time, creative energy and emotions on this.