Friday, April 15, 2016

Ask Frances: Will everything fall in place?

"Ask Frances" is a monthly blog series where I will answer questions from my readers. The chosen question will receive a prize. This month's prize is from Alon Island Essentials, which "pursues the essence of island living, being one with the seas and nature, with its carefully crafted lines." Their lines encompass a whole lifestyle for islanders really. There's Alon Wear, Alon Skin, Alon Mom And Baby, Alon Home, and Alon Pluses, The Accessories. Our chosen letter sender will get a maxi dress from Alon Wear and the Alon Skin Art of Tanning Set, which is made from the purest nature-derived essential oils and ingredients.

Sabine maxi-dress. Wear as a giant shirt for lounging at home, belt it before stepping out, reveal a shoulder for a more feminine look. Versatile, comfy, and comes in many designs.

Before Tanning Oil. Virgin coconut oil drenched in coffee oil and aloe prepares skin for a golden glow.

During Hydrating Skin Mist. Your hot skin will drink up this hydrating and rejuvenating mist of green tea, cucumber and lavender.

After Healing Oil. Calm and moisturize skin with this after-sun and after-shower oil.

Our question this month:

Just wanted to ask for advice for a newlywed like myself. My husband and I were college friends who eventually fell in love (we weren't aware that we had a crush on each other since college) and got married just last month. The long distance ligawan was tough and now, married life tougher because we are still apart because of his work assignment. He's trying to get reassigned to Manila as soon as he can; we've been waiting and praying for the last three years. Money is also tight since we are just starting out and the place I'm training in does not give compensation to trainees like myself. I barely have any savings because I had to support myself for the past three years because both my parents were forced to retire early when their workplaces sized down. 

I'm so anxious about everything ahead like having babies, supporting my family, getting our own place and my career. Do you think everything will fall in place? I'm trying to remain as optimistic as I can but I'm still a tad afraid.


Dear K.D.,

In my 39 years, I think I felt most confident at 13. I was positive I knew how life worked. I was going to be absolutely amazing. I just knew it! I had a life plan, a bucket list, and the brains and arrogance to go for everything I wanted. And I did get everything I wanted and more. I also got knocked down many times, so much so that if there's anything I'm sure of, it's that life has a strange sense of humor.

One day, you're the editor-in-chief of a magazine; the next day, you lose your job. One day, you tell people you're definitely not having children; the next day, the pregnancy test says otherwise. One day, you tell your mother you can't see her because you're working your ass off to give her money; the next day, she's dead. One day, you're smug about your marriage; the next day, you're wondering when was the last time you really talked. One day, you think you're pretty great at this motherhood thing; the next day, you're collapsing in defeat behind the locked bathroom door while your children bang on it with their little demanding fists.

So what do you do? Well, K.D., you have got to stop worrying!

Let me tell you a story. Nine years ago, I was about to get married. I planned my wedding in three months. I heard rumors that I must be pregnant (I wasn't) because who rushes weddings, right? I had the flu the week before my wedding. I arrived late at the church. The cake melted. An uncle started campaigning for his candidate. No one sat where they should sit and so our parents ended up having no seats! What a disaster! Despite all our meticulous planning, despite all the care we put into every detail, things still fell apart. And yet everything also fell into place. My wedding happened the way it had to happen. My wedding is still one of the best and happiest days of my life.

I believe that as long as you've got your priorities straight, things will fall into place. My priority list has always been God, husband, kids, work. Well, God gets forgotten sometimes. My husband, too. And when that happens, chaos happens. It's when I set my priorities straight, that's when things just start lining up and everything starts becoming amazing. Like my wedding. If I had focused on what people will think about me or the wedding (or the fact that my parents lost their seats!), I would be agonizing about what a failure the whole thing was. But I didn't. Priority: Honor God by marrying Vince; honor Vince by focusing on my commitment to him. Nothing else mattered!

So I don't know what's coming your way, K.D. But I do know you're in love and you have high hopes for the future. That's great! Positivity attracts lots of good stuff! Set your priorities straight. Prioritize your marriage. I think spouses should be physically together. Your husband is already acting on making that happen. No kids now so you can prioritize work, too. Money, don't worry about money. As long as you and your husband can work, you can make money. Me, I take in any work—sponsored posts, talks, PR writing, workshops, articles—anything that pays the bills and puts food on the table is good work. Plus, gigs expand your network and you'll be surprised at how much people want to help you as long as you open yourself up to new experiences and say you'll do the job.

Anyway, I guess what's eating you up is the uncertainty of what's ahead. Well, nothing in life is certain except death and taxes! But there's also these I'm certain of: God and love and just how beautiful life can be if you stop worrying. Nothing in life is certain anyway, and I've lived long enough to know that that can be a good thing. I was sure I didn't want children, for example. Thank goodness I was so wrong!

So just make your plans, prioritize what's important, live and love and laugh, and then when life throws you a curveball, reassess, reboot, start again. Things do fall into place. While you're in the thick of it, as you are now, things may just look crazy, but when you look back, things are happening just the way they should. Just ride it out and things will fall in place. They always do. You'll see. They always always do.  

Now email me so Alon can send you your dress and tanning set! Have a great weekend!

Thanks, Alon, for providing this month's prize. Shop Alon via website:, Facebook:; Instagram:; or through their roving pop-up stores.

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If you have a question for me, send an email to with "Ask Frances" on the subject.


  1. Replies
    1. You would! You're one of the calmest, super cool, I-have-faith-in-everything girls I know =)

  2. I read the last paragraph again and again and again.. Very comforting. Thank you.

    1. Here's a virtual hug! It will all be alright =)

  3. I needed this too! Almost same predicament with the ldr setup...and all the worrying that comes with it. Thank you so much for the reminders.

    1. LDRs can work out. Love knows no distance, I believe. It's just harder to have a relationship, diba? And relationships are already so complicated. I wish you well!

  4. Me and my husband are not in a long distance relationship but I can really relate to your advice in setting priorities straight. I am a mother who loves planning in advance but still chaos happens. Never in my life did I imagine I would end up being a housewife but I am right now due to my complicated pregnancy. I am good in budgeting but we still encounter shortage due to unpredictable events. You're right, nothing in life is certain and worrying won't do any good.

    1. Same here! Never did I think I'd become a housewife!!! Anak ng tipaklong talaga! =D But everything is so fabulous now so I'm not complaining.

      I wish you a healthy pregnancy! Take care of yourself and your darling baby!

  5. Too much worrying doesn't help. Being optimistic and calm can do wonders. Yun nga lang minsan nakakaloka na talaga, kaya hinga lang at inom ng tubig and smile!


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