Monday, May 2, 2016

The Champion In You

Watching  the prestigious Boston Marathon 2016  was a total game changer for me ( no pun intended) as a half committed runner. Fortunately, my stars were aligned on April 18, 2016 when the world renowned Boston Marathon route unbelievably passed by the main road  just few yards away from my house. 

As a half committed runner  which means  my progress in running for the past years is more like the hilly roads of Hopkinton to Boston that goes up and down endlessly. Therefore, observing the tenacity of  the Marathoners first hand made me feel like an Ostrich with my  head buried under the ground.

 My exuberance in  anticipating for the arrival of  runners  was brought about by my personal research on the dynamics of marathon and to have an idea how runners survive the shift of wind direction,  extreme weather condition and exhaustion  on the way to the finish line.

However, as I stood there on a cool breezy sunny day for three hours, I luckily  got twice more than what I bargained for. Standing by the curb I was rooting for all runners since I do not even personally know any particular runner but I know the joys and pains each one of them experience.

I was more than happy to be witnessing this historical event. Truly,  my eyes were opened to something that I have never even imagined possible before. It totally  made me view running a marathon in a different light.  It was such an overwhelming sight to behold 33,000 people with extraordinary determination and strength  make their once in a lifetime dream come true.

 As one of the spectators and  cheerers  of thousands of running participants pumped up  with adrenalin and high excitement to finish 26 miles ( 42 km,) Marathon taught me that pursuing your dream does not have any limitations except with the condition that your mind is set to achieve it. Runners who are disabled with prosthetic legs, pregnant woman with 26 weeks written on her bib, octogenarians and even a blind person ( who ran with a guide) did not consider their physical and age limitations as a hindrance to pursue 26 miles.

To accentuate the principle that all things are possible,  a certain runner,  Maickel Melamed a 39 year old Venezuelan  fighting against muscular dystrophy finished the run at 5:30 am. If you see him on video, he could barely make a single step in the end but he made it through  with the help of the people in the streets of Boston cheering for him.
 Now, after witnessing all of these,  so,what's my excuse? And what's yours?

Isn't it amazing how human beings' sheer persistence and will power can go a long way. Boston Marathon runners  who sweated the long  way to the finish line did not compete against each other but  proved that nothing is impossible regardless of  age, disability, sizes and shapes as long as you don't stop pushing until you reach the end. A printed shirt worn by one of the disabled runner says "The voice in your head that says you can't do it is a liar"" indeed is so true.

 So don't believe it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Happy Spring!

Has spring sprung already to where you are at? Here finally I can already feel the spring breeze and whiff of fresh warm air, birds chirping like crazy  and days are unbelievably longer. Though  trees and plants are still budding in my area and not yet in full bloom unlike in some other places. But you will surely feel that a new season has already begun. It has its way of making you know that spring has already arrived.

Life never stops moving. Season change every three months. Situations are not always the same. People change.  Friendships outgrow. If you don't go with the flow of motions of life, you will be left out bitter, hurting and bearing negative energy in yourself and feeling hopeless.  Some people hold on to the past and clutching tons of regrets in their hearts- a lot of I should haves, if I had done this and done that it would've been different. That's total waste of time and emotions. What has happened- happened. It's is done. Finito as the Italians say. Bear in mind that there is always a reason for everything even the falling of a leaf and changing its color in fall. People you meet everyday is not by accident. God sent them to you for a purpose.  So stop reading past pages of the chapter of your life. God is making new chapters from clean slate.

This is why I open myself to the possibilities of new adventures coming my way this season. I may encounter almost same challenges or more difficult ones maybe? or  maybe not.  But one thing I know,  my reactions and decisions to the challenges will be different  this time for a new life new beginning.

Do you plan to do something different this Spring? Well I won't be too ambitious to do something  outrageous. I will start with soaking up some sun as much as I can and catch up with my supply of vitamin D since Winter has been too dark for me. Now, it's time to see the light. Wake up and smell the flowers.

I don't know about you but I will enjoy the unfolding of this new season and bask in its glory for as long as it takes.

Happy Spring everyone!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Where Were You Last Christmas?

Don't you just ask yourself every year, where was I last Christmas? I'm not talking about the place where you exactly were last Christmas. But where were you at that point in your life at this time of the year. Were you battling some kind of personal crisis that you successfully overcame this year? Or you were probably in a cross roads of your life where you had to make a  bold decision that thankfully turned out into a right one. Whatever you were going through last year, in retrospect, you look back and breath with a sigh of relief- that was one hell of a year.

A lot of things can miraculously happen in a span of a year. As you chronicle your journey every day. You'll witness the difference a year makes. It is a fact that everything is not permanent. Things change abruptly or gradually even with your physical appearance. You look younger than last year or you see lines emerging on your foreheads. Your psychological makeup can also change in short period of time. You eventually resolve with  a radical paradigm shift onto a new positive outlook in life.You morph from a  person concern about what other people would say  into a new individual who doesn't give a hoot at all.  Either way, you have changed one way or another.

Life evolves. It takes you to places where you have never been.  You saunter , dash, crawl, hurdle or trek through life's challenges. But at least you are moving forward or even  inching small baby steps are still movements. And it will always take you somewhere whether it's moving turtle slow or moving a gazelle like bounding leap.

As long as you don't stay stagnant. Then that's a good sign. Embrace changes as it gives you room for growth. So if last Christmas somebody gave you his heart, the very next day, just don't give it away. That would be too soon for a change. Right, George Michael?

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Accessory Anonymous

For women like me who have been hooked on accessories, who never forget to buy a piece or two every time I go out for just window shopping (even  during a self imposed strict rule of no buying for now) this habit could be addictive. In the same way as one gets hooked on alcohol and cigarettes when one promises that this drink or this stick is the last. Ofcourse, it never happens. Once my eyes  fancy on something that sparkles and something that I think would complement one of my attire that I plan to wear for the week, then that accessory beckoning me from afar will already be in my purse in less than an hour.

 May it be a pair of earrings, necklace, bangles or a hair clip as long as it makes me wear something new for the day, I'd jump on it in a heartbeat. I knew that I needed some kind of rehabilitation or more like AA meeting ( Accessory Anonymous) where I'd introduce myself as "Hi my name is Joy. I am an accessory addict." In as much as I wanted to be healed in this area, I couldn't do so as there is no such thing as accessory rehabilitation center and perhaps other women suffering from this type of addiction would be embarrassed to reply "Hi Joy." No woman, in the right frame of mind would admit that she's hooked on the same accessory addiction problem. I think I am the only stupid one who admits this.

 After amassing tons of accessories over time, I wonder what would I do with this pile of dusty rainbow colored personal tinsels that I only used up once or twice  sitting in the four drawers of my closet -valueless and yet I'm still holding on to them like my life depends on it.

My accessories which I consider my personal valueless treasures remind me of how many times I feel good about myself. The joyful moments when I feel so ecstatic about a new event in my life or an expected blessing or just merely feeling accomplished after a regular smooth day at work. The happier I am the more I accessorize. It's weird. Isn't it? But everybody has its own quirks.  Unfortunately, this is my version.

Please don't judge. And I won't judge yours too. Now that as I was doing a summer  holiday  tidying up time, I thought of tossing those that are not used up for long time. But on second thought,
as I was sorting them out, I  vividly remembered the event when I was inspired to pick a pair of turquoise earrings that match with my light blue top that goes perfectly well with my jeweled turquoise bracelet. It goes with the memory that touched my mind that I wore these when I got the job in one of the schools I used to work before.

 The double strand of pearl necklace flashed back memories of my wedding day. In  the same token as  my gold cross necklace reminded me back when I went to the court for my divorce. The apple green pair of dangling earrings was with me when I tripped over and sprained my ankle which losing a pair of earrings was more of my concern than breaking a leg.

As valueless as they may seem because they are not as real as J-Lo's stunning 18 k Emerald Diamond ring, I realized that they are not that valueless at all. They are reminiscent of the monumental events, happy times and missteps I made over the past literally and figuratively speaking.

Clearly, these valueless possessions are not actually good-for-nothing but to accessorize my wardrobe purposes only. They are priceless not because they match with the wardrobe but they refresh memories of my past. And as it turns out, these are the most valuable possession I've got.

So, at this point , I am saying my own version of the Serenity Prayer that goes like this. I am asking God to grant me the serenity to keep the accessories that I can't toss away. The courage to change  old accessories that have been sitting in my drawer for ages. And the wisdom to know the difference between quality accessories and those that are not.

Then I think I will be Ok with one accessory at a time. :)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Things That Matter Most

We usually thank God for healing of physical ailment when our situation seems hopeless, recovery from an addiction when we hit rock bottom, a bright sunny day after long successive months of bitter cold winter, a roof over our heads when we're tired of being a temporary couch resident in a friend's house, food on the table when the fridge is almost empty, meeting a lifetime partner when several relationships failed and ofcourse extra cash for shopping when all bills are paid.

Beyond our basic needs, we tend to overlook at other significant things like doors of opportunities that He opened for us unexpectedly,  people we meet along the way that touch our hearts and  chances we take that didn't make us fall over the cliff.

However, there are things, that are more significant that we take for granted and yet, things that matter most that somehow is greater than the basic needs we often worry about. Here are what I personally count as small blessings and yet important as breathing fresh air.

I'm grateful to God for the golden sound of silence during my alone time  while I amble my  way to work, lounging in armchair in the comfort of my home , the short naps that rejuvenate my energy all throughout the day. The solitude I find when running 5 kms along the busy road, the soft summer breeze that makes the trees sway, a canopy of dainty pink cherry blossoms that brighten up my day, the whiff of freshly baked bread,the loud screams of happy children playing in the garden, the sunrise that reminds me of a new beginning and the sunset that assures that everything has an end and a new day is coming.

These precious moments are ethereal. The alone time that I snatch from my busy schedule gives me the chance to rethink about God's goodness and how His saving grace carried me out from a -would-have-been-catastrophic  repercussions of wrong decisions in the past. God is amazing.

 He always gives us reason to go back to Him  to give Him back the glory for His greatness whether it's the magnificent beauty of nature, a new job or just simply the priceless moments of silence that connects my soul to my maker at any time of the day.

How about you? What do you thank God for?