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Most important New Year’s resolution we often miss

It’s that time of the year again when most of us are revved up to start the year fresh, make New Year’s resolutions and plans for the whole year round. There’s just something about new year which screams renewal, hope, chances and new beginnings; it fills our spirits with optimism and drive.

The first three days of my year was spent on visiting relatives and traveling. I was out and about with no regard at being productive because I was on full holiday mood and my days were meant to be spent on making memories and quality family time. Yesterday was supposed to be the day I was to begin executing my plans. I sat at my study table in the morning and jotted down my day’s to-do list. I was committed to making that day productive.

Executing my plans doesn’t mean I have a whole plan laid out for the year. In fact, I don’t have any plans at all, except the plan of making this year different. I still don’t know how to do that or what I wish to achieve this year but I believe that it’s a process. And going through the process involves being disciplined on how I spend my day. I want to ensure that my day is spent doing the things I am passionate about, things that make me happy and fulfilled. I hope that through this process, I will gain a clearer perspective on where I want to go, what I want to be and how I will make my existence meaningful.

It’s been a cliché how the internet particularly social media has created these delusions of what an ideal life must be. I want to live an authentic life and I can only do this by being mindful my life’s unique purpose – as each of us has our own purpose of being, different from the others, solely our own destiny. So how do I remain true to my personal calling? I don’t know but living mindfully each day is the beginning of the process.

What’s the use of a thousand plans when you have an unhealthy body?

Yesterday, my attention was brought to a very important realisation. Committed to making the day productive, I immediately began to read one of my textbooks after I was done with my to-do list. Fifteen pages down, I began to feel nauseous followed by a throbbing headache. I don’t know what its cause was. So there I was, in bed capable of doing nothing except nurse my headache; and there it hit me that above all else, our health is our most important wealth. Without a good health, what use is there of all our plans when we don’t have the capacity to execute them?

Today I woke up all better, thanks to hubby’s good massage last night. I’m now ready to continue with my ‘be mindful and productive each day’ goal. But, on top of that, I will make my health a priority. It doesn’t even have to be through an arduous workout routine. It just simply means I will be careful with what I eat, drink enough water, get enough sleep and do some daily exercise/stretching and meditation.

Oh, and being productive doesn’t also mean doing so much hard work because being still and just spending the time doing nothing is a productive activity in itself. I wrote about it in another blog post here.

Happy New Year! May your 2018 be filled with good health, peace of mind, and lots of love and happiness.

Let your soul take refuge

#yoga #treepose #sunset #riverside #innerpeace #sanitykeeper #dusk

A post shared by Mary Antonette H. Abello (@mhabello) on

The last few days have been extra challenging for me. I’ve had 8AM-8PM classes that left me exhausted. I am sick with cough and cold. My head feels like I’m carrying an extra pound between my shoulders. Yet, I had to drag myself and go to school.

There have been some internal chaos as well. My sense of compassion has been put to test but leaned towards failing. Such internal battle, more than anything, left me paralyzed I ended up wasting precious time which I should have devoted to studying for next week’s final exams.

In my hopes to catch up with studies, I came to this coffee shop early. I’d probably be here for the rest of the day. The café just opened. I am their first customer. When I entered, I was greeted by worship songs so familiar every beat of my heart knows the lyrics. After giving my order, I sat in a corner and just let the music soothe my soul.

I am not an atheist because I still believe in a power greater than anything that’s holding up the universe. However, for several years now I stopped associating myself with any religion though I was born and baptized as a Roman Catholic. I evolved into a being that values spirituality more than religiosity. Besides, all religious teachings boil down to the same values of love, respect, compassion and so on.

So, I am doing away with the religious practices. I don’t go to any mass, albeit I try as best I can to manifest my spirituality through my actions towards others. Right now though, these Christian songs touched me in an oh so familiar way. My restless soul suddenly calmed down as if a storm had just stopped and everything around is quiet.

It’s a feeling I don’t want to interpret or analyze using my religious skeptic mind. I just want to savor the moment while it lasts.


I gave my hubby a huge floral bouquet

Our life can get extremely monotonous at times it feels as though we are treading a long winding tunnel with no end in sight. Whenever I feel this way, I try to think of quirky things to do that can fire up my day.

It was a chilly spring afternoon. I woke up from a nap. My then boyfriend –now my hubby—was still asleep. It wasn’t an ordinary day sucked up by monotony. Rather, it was a happy time of being reunited. However, at that moment in time I felt a tinge of melancholy because I was going to leave him in a few days’ time and go back to work in Bangkok. I couldn’t even make it to his birthday which was only two days after my departure. While I sat by the window, I gazed at him breathing calmly in deep slumber then I turned my gaze outside where the grasses and trees were beginning to enliven springtime.

I wanted to make his birthday special even without my presence but not in a typical way. Suddenly, I was struck with an idea. He would never have guessed that on his birthday, a bouquet will be delivered at his doorstep. I immediately placed my order online before he woke up.

Andddddd the big day came! We were talking on Skype. The buzzer sounded. He bid adieu thinking it was his friend Mark who came to have lunch with him. But to his surprise, it was the delivery lady handing him the sweet smelling bouquet of orange daisies, roses and lilies. He came back online right away to share with me his confused reaction which amused me to bits. He couldn’t quite find the exact words to express how it made him feel. He was of course happy but he seemed to be feeling something else that he cannot put a name on.

I guessed it was because men are not used to receiving flowers. Most men spend their lifetime never getting one. Whilst women love receiving flowers, men – those very few who experienced being given one– may just don’t know how to actually react. It was an interesting experience for me as well to find out how men are when it comes to receiving presents normally given to women.

Someday, when my day becomes another draining monotony, I would do it again. I’ll hand him the bouquet and see how he’d react myself.

What about you? What bizarre things do you do when life is a standstill?