Thursday, October 20, 2005

Miscellany of Unforgettable Days

It’s past halfway of October, just as fast as how time flies is also how quickly various circumstances came to pass. Sometimes it’s just hard to let go of those feelings especially the happy ones. If only I can save them just exactly how each event happened that I may be able to relive them at an instance I wish to. It’s a good thing that I can note down the account of those days so that I may be reminded then laugh or cry about them…

October 4: Met a few new people from two of our field offices during a brief presentation of our application program. This will surely be a busy month of new and exciting job-related activities. I just hope not much of a headache but more of the good things that will add up to my erstwhile experience.

October 8: Just finished reading the book Wealth within your Reach by Francisco Colayco. This book was recommended to me by my friend Joy and it was really an informative book which I also suggest for you guys to read. Guess I’ve become too serious with the odds and ends of my financial status that’s why I finished reading this book in just one sitting. Whew, now I learned a better equation to financial freedom and that is: INCOME – SAVINGS = EXPENSES and not the way we used to do it which is INCOME – EXPENSES = SAVINGS. That means whatever income that you generate, put aside a portion of it first as savings (simply put it as paying yourself first for all the hard work you have done) then whatever that is left of it you have to stretch for your expenses (just one of those things that you will learn from this book). I lend this book to my younger sis and she’s very much delighted of the things she learned from it.

October 12: Felt so sad after hearing a depressing disclosure from a good friend. I just wonder why life has to be upsetting sometimes, why we or the people we hold dear have to go through such an agony. I easily break to tears when I see people close to me start to cry like I also feel the pain that they are going through. This time I became more wary about my family’s health after learning or hearing about people I know or someone they know going through a difficult phase. Inevitable concerns like health, in addition to finances just have to be in the list of priorities as one grows old, now I affirmed this to be true.

October 17: Not much of a good day for me. I’ve just seen the result of the First Time Mobile Film Makers Contest that I joined into and of the fifteen finalists that were selected, I was not among those.\(^o^)/ Obviously, it was not really meant for me, so I’ll just charge it to experience, there are still countless of other things which are worth trying and joining anyway. But it doesn’t mean that I will stop this mobile filming stuff. This is so much fun than I imagined so I will still take videos or photos of anything that will capture my fancy. I am happy for those who were selected and of the fifteen finalists five of them were from the Philippines. So guys, let’s wish these five Filipinos the best and may one of them bring home the grand prize.

October 18: According to Alexander Graham Bell, “when one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us”. I take heed on not looking at the closed door for too long and true enough I was able to see other doors of opportunity that opened for me. On this day I have confirmed the result of the promo board’s decision regarding the one I wrote about in my previous post. I am very happy of the positive outcome and this gives me a different feeling of high after feeling down yesterday. Also on this day I met more friendly people on the job and I am really gratified on seeing them pleased at using our application program. Our group felt elated for the warm welcome and for their cooperation, how nice it is seeing them wait for their turn and excited to have their pictures taken =) and uploaded on their profiles. Also on this day I met Mang Ed, the official photographer in one of our field offices (he’s the one who took the pictures of the employees). I and my friend Virna had a brief chat with him where he gave us tips on how to take pictures the professional way. He even offered to train us on how to do it. I should have learned of these things before I joined in the FTMF Contest. I may not be so lucky to be selected as finalist but I felt like I also win for meeting a good person like him who is willing to share with us his knowledge about photography. It is this simple act of kindness that really makes my day worthwhile.

October 20: Had a threesome lunch date with a very dear friend, just a way to thank her for the valuable advices, for all the appeals that we asked her that she never turned down, and for being with us in realizing our dreams.

These are only the bits and pieces of the good and bad memories of the days that went by.

Saturday, October 1, 2005

My Memoirs of September

The month of September passed by so swiftly but it brought me a lot of good things which I am very much thankful and I want to remember for the rest of my life.

In September I was able to accomplish some of the plans I listed in my previous post where I said that I want to explore and find new worthwhile things, activities, people, and places. I did find interesting people and learned a lot about them in an unexpected place - my son’s school. I barely ever attend PTA meetings because of my hectic schedule at work but that month I decided that I will be there should there be any calls for parent’s meeting. That proved to be a learning experience for me and an eye-opener at the same time. I hardly notice how difficult life is for other people really, I may have seen them in movies and affected me in some ways but it never touched me the way it did when I brushed up with people who, as I may say, are less privileged, or to put it in more delicate words, more challenged than I am.

That day I get acquainted with other parents who each has a different story to tell, I made friend with someone who is also a mother of three, who maybe because of the hardship she had been going through mustered the courage to open up to me about her frustrations, her dreams for her family, her thoughts and her fears for deciding to work as DH. This encounter broadened my understanding about what drives other mothers to seek for greener pastures in other countries though it would mean sacrificing valuable times spent with their little kids. I remember my first post about working mothers and truly I can relate to her dilemma. I feel guilty for the forty hours a week that I am away from my little ones while she has to bear the pain of going away for two years, missing a part of her kids’ childhood, two years is such a long time for the little kidsL. I only have wishes and prayers for her that she may be able to attain her aspirations, that when our paths cross again, she will be in a better position than where she was before. This friendship was also a sort of revelation for me when she told me how she finds confiding to me to be as easy as telling secrets to a close friend though we only known each other for less than ten minutes. All along I thought that other people find me unapproachable but that friendship made me know myself better somehow.

I also get to learn a lot from the teacher who shared with us her experience with the kids, the effort she has to put through for being a surrogate mother for the more than forty (some naughty, some nice) kids. I found myself shallow in comparison to her and embarrassed at the reality that I sometimes burst out with anger at my own kids’ naughtiness while she was able to keep her composure and patience despite being around with all the noisy and unruly students. I respect her for the kindness and understanding she extends to the kids who are in dire need of love and attention, most especially to those who were product of broken families. I regard her highly for her generosity for sharing a part of her meager earnings to her students who do not even have a penny in their pockets to spend for a day’s snack, much worse for a day’s meal. That experience made me more grateful to my kids’ teachers because it became apparent to me how teaching is more of a passion than a profession where it requires more than someone’s intelligence, skill and patience. I am thankful to her that she is doing her best to be a good teacher to my son and to all other kids, same with my daughter’s teachers.

I also get to know how my son’s personality is developing, being around with less fortunate kids and being exposed to the harsh realities of life made my son’s outlook a bit surprising. When he talked to me how pity he was with his classmate who do not have money to spend for snack and what he did to contribute in his own little way made me proud of him. I am just thankful knowing that I am not raising a brat.

September also brought me between shivers and sighs. Wonder why? Well, I underwent an interview with the promo board. A day before that, I attended a brief discussion with a Financial Advisor (FA). There I learned about the three fiscal stages of an adult life, in her presentation it showed that at the age of 21 to 30 is the “dreaming stage” (you think about you or your family’s future: you want a house, enough funds to support you or your family, a stable job or a lucrative business, etc.), age between 31 to 50 is the “building stage” (realization of dreams, around this time, you must have at least a sound financial outlook if you don’t want to end up poor when you reach retirement age, that’s according to the FA) and 51 onwards is the “leaving a legacy stage” (whatever it is that you accumulated or built that you will bequeath to your offspring, it could be wealth or debt). The presentation also showed a proven study of the percentage of people where they are most likely be situated at retirement age, the least in the statistics is the 1% “wealthy” and the highest 63% “broke”, “financially independent”, “still working” and “dead” were also included in the categories. We were asked where we plan to be by the time we reach the age of retirement, of course I do not want to be included in the 63% I want to be on the safer side, the “financially independent” which comprises of only 7%. You might be wondering why I don’t aspire to be wealthy, I just think it seems too far-fetched to be realized and aside from that I do not want the big problems and fears associated with being rich. This meeting drowned me in more serious thought for if I must apply it in my life, I must be in the building stage by now but I guess I haven’t gotten over the dreaming stage just as yet which according to the advisor is something that must not be overlooked. So during the interview, it was on my mind, I was quivering because whatever that would come out of my mouth would make or break me. That event would determine whether my dream would be realized, whether I could move forward and proceed to the “building stage” of my life or be stuck in the dream world longer than I anticipated. Gee, it only seems like yesterday when all I do was think of spending my allowance for “non-essential things” (expensive clothes, accessories and the like, “non-essential things” or “luxury”, now I qualify them as such), but at this point in time I need to think of how to have a sound financial future (Uh huh, too serious that’s right, it’s really getting into my nerves but something I just cannot ignore!) Anyway, the outcome of the interview is yet to be known, I am praying and hoping that it will be on the positive side.

September took me closer to long-time friends and relatives too. My plan of getting in touch with them is a worthwhile and joyful activity indeed. This move rekindled relationships and opened up new undertaking. It brought me new people to meet, new letters to send, new places to visit and new dealings to engage in. Also through the goodness of a long-time friend who offered me a new venture, I now see a glimpse of hope to recover something that was lost from me. I was not able to indulge myself in my favorite pastime but I joined in a different and equally interesting activity which is mobile film-making. I only tried my hand in it, I will let you know if this leisure interest will bring me better outcome. I just hope it will, because I want to know the difference it will bring me so that I may be able to share them with you.

Should I write down moments of unhappiness here? I prefer not to, but I had a slice of them myself (as everyone does, I guess). So there goes my memoirs of September, the things, activities, peoples and places I found and experienced made me more appreciative of everything that comes my way, also, prepared me to look forward to more fulfilling days ahead.