Flush

I’ve been reflecting on the past week, but I’m finding it difficult to even know how and where to start.

To say that last week had been physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting and stressful is an understatement.

Our office conducted a legal conference in Davao for three days, but prior to that, we’ve already spent weeks making last minute preparations. Ours was a team of first-timers, so as expected, we encountered a few bumps along the way. A few rocky bumps along the way, that when we finally finished, we literally fell on the floor (of our room) after our shaky knees had already given in.

Apart from work duties far from home, I worried about some family concerns, too. On my first night in Davao, my dad was rushed to the ER, and my aunt twisted her ankle in an accident. It was the first time I felt so frustrated and helpless, to be so far away and not be able to do anything. “Why did I have to be on this work trip, just when my family needed me?”

It wasn’t the best feeling, to be in that situation, but I was. I didn’t know whether to keep a straight face (in front of my bosses and colleagues), or cry. I wanted so much to grab my things and fly back to Manila, like Manila was just a jeepney ride away.

I still assumed my work duties, while I waited for updates about my dad and aunt. I never looked at my phone as often as I did that night. I was anxious, so much, that after I used the toilet to do a Number 1, I absent-mindedly clicked on the bidet when I meant to reach for the flush. Yes, I got drenched in toilet water. Don’t ask me how that happened. I can’t explain it either. I laughed, and I guess I needed that.

The events of last week reminded me about how hard work and preparedness should go hand in hand; when faced with obstacles, it’s always best to focus on the solution, rather than the problem, even when it’s easier said than done; and to keep calm, always keep calm.

But I feel, more importantly, I was reminded to keep strong in my faith. It wasn’t easy to be in such circumstances, and I could go on and on about feeling stressed and tired, but in the end, faith sustains and endures.

My team and I successfully conducted a legal conference. My dad although still with health concerns is doing fine. My aunt despite the twisted ankle shared more love and laughter with us before she flies back to America later tonight.

Indeed, I needed that instant toilet water shower. It was a wake up call, I think, to trust in the Lord and keep faith.

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Perspectives

On the 22nd to the 24th of August, I attended a workshop on Change Management conducted by Microsoft Philippines. Have you ever attended an event that left such a huge impact on you that you just couldn’t stop thinking, reflecting, or talking about it? Exactly how I feel now. I’m on a high.

I’ve been feeling like I’ve hit plateau at my job for the past year. I’m less motivated and less challenged. There’s still a sense of contentment, but there’s also an urge to find more growth. And with ‘find’, I mean explore some place else where I can fly and soar yet again. I’ve been constantly praying for contentment and guidance on what path to take.

About a month ago, I was asked to join ‘a workshop that was going to be held in Makati’ because one of our consultants, who was originally supposed to go, was not going to be able to for some reason. A ‘filler’, a role I’m trying to get accustomed to in government service. Despite that, I accepted the offer and only had two concerns: 1) what’s the workshop about; and 2) will a shuttle be provided (~because Makati). I was a bit hesitant, but more excited, looking forward to what I may learn and eager to have a change in environment.

The workshop was postponed twice which made me less interested about it. When I was informed that it will finally push through, I wasn’t too ecstatic about it anymore.

It only dawned on me how cool of an opportunity it was to be sent to this workshop on the first day upon arriving at the venue. From then on, considering that I am after more motivation and challenge, I embraced the task at hand and resolved to maximize the opportunity.

I sat right on the front row, something I don’t really do, determined to focus, listen, and engage. It wasn’t at all difficult to do because the workshop was very reflective and hands-on. In fact, I was so engaged that I managed to win the best project pitch for my team and a quiz game on the last day. Hello, competitive. I was dubbed the class valedictorian.

The workshop allowed me to realize I may still have more to give professionally; that I still had more to offer and contribute; and that this brain of mine can still think and produce wonders. (Those peanuts I endlessly munch on are working overtime, kids!) 😁

Kidding aside, apart from the many takeaways I had from the workshop, I realized that the solution to every instance you hit plateau is not to run and seek a new home. Yes, change is inevitable, but most of the time, you just need to step away from the plate and take a breather.

I’m thankful the consultant was not available for the workshop. I’m thankful I was the next best choice to attend ~ the ‘filler’. I’m thankful for opportunities to breathe fresh new air, learn, and reboot.

Scarred (Revised)

It’s been one month and six days since my finger accident, and I’ve spent the same period of time applying Betadine and protective band-aid it. It has been one month and six days, but my finger isn’t 100% fully-functional yet. Visibly, my finger looks okay because the wound has closed-up, and all that’s left is a scar that to me resembles a lightning-bolt, like Harry Potter’s. Do you see it? No? I do.

There’s still some pain though when I press on my finger which only means the wound inside has not fully-healed yet.

There are days when I get impatient, I skip the usual Betadine and band-aid, and just end up hurting my finger more. I miss pointing at things with my pointy finger, gripping on my pen when I write (I write with conviction!), and properly holding my utensils when I eat, but my finger needs time to heal, so I listen. I let it heal.

My injured finger loosely reminds me of people, who may appear ‘okay’, with big smiles on their faces; who engage in fun and laughter, but are actually not truly happy; who are most probably hurdling through struggles of their own.

People, like things, aren’t always how/what they appear. The way a person (re)acts in a particular circumstance does not always define her/him. Think Dobby, or Sirius Black, or best yet, Severus Snape – – remember how time and time again, Harry Potter was proven wrong by his initial judgments about these three?

Pause. I got carried away with my Harry Potter reference, I think. I blame the lightning bolt-looking scar on my finger.

But I do have significant realizations. With people, it’s best not to judge too quickly. It’s best not to assume too fast. It’s best not to conclude so easily.

But as for my Harry Potter finger, I should allow time for healing. It’s best to be patient. ❤️

*Harry Potter pic borrowed from the internet.

Habit

It’s Sunday, almost 5 in the afternoon, and I just finished ironing two days worth of office outfits. I would have done a week’s worth, but I’m PMS-ing, my migraine and early abdominal cramps are acting up.

I formed the habit, of prepping my outfits NOT getting migraines and cramps, just a few years back.

Before though, I’ve spent years of stressing over what-to-wear before I left for work; Years of feeling upset because the outfit I chose made me look fat, which then resulted to me ransack-ing my closet yet again in desperate need of a ‘better’ outfit; Years of leaving the house upset and grumpy because I was already running late, and I wasn’t 💯 okay with whatever I was wearing. I spent years of being miserable.

Reflecting on it now, I don’t know what took me so long to realize that I didn’t have to feel miserable (all the time). I realized that I was miserable because I saw convenience in choosing misery even in the most petty of things. It took me awhile to understand that I could actually turn things around.

Now, on Sunday afternoons, I spend a few good minutes, in front of my closet, taking mental notes of what to wear for each day. Then I scan the battlefield in front of me and start sorting a week’s worth of office outfits. And then, I plantsa.

Now, I surprisingly enjoy a task I used to despise. And more importantly, I’ve become less grumpy in the morning. Less. Baby steps.

Habit

It’s Sunday, almost 5 in the afternoon, and I just finished ironing two days worth of office outfits. I would have done a week’s worth, but I’m PMS-ing, my migraine and early abdominal cramps are acting up.

I formed the habit, of prepping my outfits NOT getting migraines and cramps, just a few years back.

Before though, I’ve spent years of stressing over what-to-wear before I left for work; Years of feeling upset because the outfit I chose made me look fat, which then resulted to me ransack-ing my closet yet again in desperate need of a ‘better’ outfit; Years of leaving the house upset and grumpy because I was already running late, and I wasn’t 💯 okay with whatever I was wearing. I spent years of being miserable.

Reflecting on it now, I don’t know what took me so long to realize that I didn’t have to feel miserable (all the time). I realized that I was miserable because I saw convenience in choosing misery even in the most petty of things. It took me awhile to understand that I could actually turn things around.

Now, on Sunday afternoons, I spend a few good minutes, in front of my closet, taking mental notes of what to wear for each day. Then I scan the battlefield in front of me and start sorting a week’s worth of office outfits. And then, I plantsa.

Now, I surprisingly enjoy a task I used to despise. And more importantly, I’ve become less grumpy in the morning. Less. Baby steps.

I Need To Say This

I’m sorry, in advance, but what follows is a rant.

Today, at exactly four o’clock in the afternoon, I received my nth call from Home Credit (HC). In a nutshell, HC is a credit group that allows people, from all walks of life, to purchase electronics, home appliances, and in my case mobile phones, and pay in installments, with minimal requirements.

But no, I did not avail of HC’s services; A co-worker of mine did, and without my knowledge and permission, he made me his guarantor. When did I find out? When I received my first call. Let’s call him DCW, for Delinquent Co-Worker.

What burns me are three things.

First and most importantly, DCW did not bother to ask for my permission, much less, let me know that he will use my name and contact details in such transaction. When someone (S1) asks you for someone else’s (S2) number, it is only proper to ask for S2’s permission first, right? What more if you’re going to make someone your guarantor. Show some respect especially when you only know of my number because of work, not because we’re chums, not because we chit-chat, and certainly not so you can use my contact number any way you want.

But the damage has been done though, what matters to me now is the next step. A sincere apology would be nice, and a little bit more than, “Wag niyo na lang po pansinin pag tumawag ulit, Ma’am.” How can I do that when I keep getting calls because you are a delinquent debtor, and you conveniently changed your number.

Second, typical of collectors is their attitude. They will not listen to your explanations; they will not care if you were just innocently dragged into this mess. They will rudely talk to you, and persistently get a hold of you at any time convenient to them. Rudely. Typical.

And third, just a while ago after receiving the call from HC, I had a chance to talk with DCW. I was upset, but I was calm. But for some reason, I only ended up feeling much worse after the talk. I felt guilty when I know I shouldn’t have because I had nothing to be guilty about. I hate this.

To be honest, I find no shame in loaning or borrowing money. I don’t even keep an opinion on how and what someone chooses to spend money on. But I do take offense in being thrust into a mess of a commitment someone got into, and cannot and won’t own up to his responsibilities.

Come on. Grow up. Man up.

An Ode

Wrote this while on my coffee break a few minutes ago. It’s freezing in our office, thanks to our overly excited air conditioning. Whatever inspired me to write, helped me with the chill.

We’ve spent countless years together

On days when stress overwhelmed,

You were there to provide an immediate relief

You were always by my side

Some people weren’t too accepting

You came on too strong, they said

But I didn’t care

I tried to fight for you

I tried to hold on even tighter

Some bonds are meant to last forever, may be

But ours, sadly, is just not meant to be

I have found another, another far better

One that’s just as strong, but more pleasing

One that’ll fill your shoes and be my new remedy.

*An Ode To Liniment (Farewell to White Flower, and Hello to Human Nature Soothing Balm)