Thursday, September 24, 2015

My roles in life

I just realized this year that I am an entrepreneur because my blogging is my business. It's not a hobby anymore.

Hobby. It took me ten years of blogging to realize that this blogging isn't a hobby. I was thinking of this over the last few months, how all my life I've avoided labels. Just ask Vince. It took me a long time before I finally agreed to be called his girlfriend even though I was, duh, his girlfriend. After we married, I resisted changing my last name because I couldn't see myself responding to "Mrs. Sales." When I started blogging and people asked if I was a blogger, I used to say, "I'm not a blogger. I just have an online journal." On a plane to London, a woman sitting beside me asked what I did for a living. I replied, "I work for a magazine publishing company. I write. I edit." And she said, "You're a journalist." And I replied, "No, no. That sounds so serious!" 

Fear of commitment, that's what it is. As Dumbledore told Harry Potter, "Always use the proper name for things. Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself." 

I didn't like labels because I was scared to be tied to them and the responsibilities they came with.

Well, here we go: 

I am a wife. 
I am a mother. 
I am a writer. 
I am an editor. 
I am a journalist. 
I am a blogger. 
I am a friend. 
I am a sister. 
I am a businesswoman. 
I am a child of God. 

Funny how someone who always proclaimed that she's so proud to be who she is couldn't embrace the names of all that she is. Doesn't make sense, right? Well, to me, back then, to claim a name meant putting myself in a box. If people identify me as a blogger, what will happen if I give it up? If I become a wife, what happens when the marriage ends? If I tell people I'm a Born Again Christian, what happens when I fail and sin? Better to be safe and just live quietly.

Well, I'm finally claiming all these roles. Motherhood made me do it. That was what did it. Motherhood was a role I could never run away from, and accepting that role made me embrace everything else. And you know what? I love this new life of roles. I guess it comes from now knowing who I really am and not being afraid to be that. There is no longer the insecurity that plagues the young. There is no more doubt. I am who I am and I like me very much. Fabulousness and flaws.
Enjoying all my roles. Here I am mother, blogger and teacher. 

Wow. I'm finally proud of who I am. I guess I never was. Felt like all my life I was trying to prove I was somebody but deep inside I wasn't really sure that somebody was someone to be proud of. Despite all I've accomplished in career and life! Imagine that! 

Thank goodness the years have changed me! I love growing old. That's why I think I'm coming out of my shell now. I'm open to do workshops and meet my readers, meet new people, because I now truly believe I have a lot to offer and I'm also willing to learn more. I want to tell people who I am and what I know—not just what I think—and hope this can help them. I want to add to my roles. I'm now humble enough to ask for and accept help to grow and mature. I'm also now confident enough of whatever I've achieved. I'm enough. Whatever and whoever I am now, I like it. Of course, I want to improve myself (as wife and mother, most definitely!) but I also know I'm doing okay. Yes, I'm okay. 

I hope you're also okay. God bless you!

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Monday, September 21, 2015

A successful morning routine

Good morning, everyone! I'm curious to know what your morning routine is, especially those who are moms. I need a morning routine that will work for me. Whatever I'm doing now is just not helping me or my family.

I don't want to give a too detailed account of my mornings but let me just say that I have finally acknowledged that waking up after the kids is not ideal. I really must rise with them, or before they do. That means I have to wake up at 6:30. Trouble is I get up at 8 and that's because my kids are either fighting or yelling for us to wash their butts (they don't like the yayas to do it), and then we're up in a panic and then the rest of the day unfolds in a rushed and chaotic manner.

I wish I could wake up before the kids do. I've tried. I just end up like a zombie. That's because I stayed up late the night before. I usually sleep at 2 or 3 a..m. That gives me 5-6 hours of interrupted sleep. Interrupted by breastfeedings and cuddles from all three kids. (Maybe it's time to wean so I can sleep with my husband instead!) I also can't sleep well with my kids because a little cough, a murmur, or a whimper from a nightmare wakes me up. Imagine that multiplied by 3 boys and then you get a picture of my troubled slumber.

I need to sleep. If I wake up at 6, that means just 3 hours of sleep!

Anyway, a working mom advised me to sleep when the kids sleep (that will be 8:30 p.m.), then wake at 3 a.m. to start my day. I get peace and quiet for 3 hours, which will allow me to focus on work, prayer, myself and home management. It sounds heavenly. Three hours of peace and quiet after 7 hours of sleep! I imagine it like this:
3 a.m. Prayer and devotions
3:30 - 5:30 a.m. Work (writing and attending to correspondence)
5:30 - 6 a.m. Greet the sunrise! Shower and dress up
6 - 6:30 a.m. Assign the day's tasks to household help, prepare baon
7 a.m. Eat breakfast with the boys
The rest of the morning I can devote to my family and myself, like bring Vito to school, play with my younger sons, have breakfast with my husband, do errands, go to the gym. I don't need to worry about work because it's been taken care of. Then I can spend a few hours in the afternoon working again—meetings, events, taking pictures of products, shoots, etc. Then dinner at 7pm, in bed at 8!

It really sounds amazing except for one thing: where does my marriage fit in this scenario???

Vince and I spend time together at night, when the kids are asleep. That's when we talk about our day, watch TV shows or movies, be married. If I sleep when the kids sleep, those precious few hours spent nurturing our relationship will be gone.

I am obviously resisting the early wake up call, right?

One of my favorite Bible passages is from Psalm 5, which clearly says we call unto God as soon as we wake up.

I haven't done any devotions in months. Months! This spiritual drought is costing me my relationships here at home. Since I start my day in chaos, everyone is affected by my panic and stress. I'm rushing everyone. I snap at the smallest things. I yell a lot. Not proud of that and I hate to blog about this nasty side of me. That's why I'm not blogging! I don't want my nastiness to leach into such a public space. But here I am, being honest, and hoping that maybe you relate, understand even, and maybe give me some advice. I really need to change how I start my day.

When I used to start my day with prayer and devotions, I was kind, generous, patient, forgiving... basically a much nicer person. Of course! My husband has told me more than once that he likes it when I'm attending to my faith because I'm just a nicer person when I pray and read God's Word.

I feel strange sometimes. My life is amazing. AMAZING. I look at my kids, my husband, my work, even myself—it's crazy how lucky I am. And in that same moment, I'm also looking at my pimples and flabby belly, at work deadlines and how I can earn more money if I were just a bit more organized and have more time to work, I look at the mess of Legos everywhere, and the fact that my husband and I never get to finish our conversations because the kids are always interrupting, and I'm filled with irritation.

I feel like I'm living everything I've ever dreamed of (and beyond!) and at the same time I'm losing control. I'm happy and grateful but I don't act like it. I don't want my husband and kids to think I'm unhappy and I don't cherish our wonderful life, because I am and I do. Oh, how I do!

So... yeah. I haven't really been the kind of wife and mommy God wants me to be lately. And I think it all boils down to me not having a good morning routine. In fact, I need to change my entire day. I need to devote time not only to prayer, but to my kids, my husband, my work, my home, and myself. How is this even possible??? I'm so overwhelmed. I don't know what to do.

How do you do it? Please help! I'll try to implement some changes (like maybe sleep earlier!) and will tell you how I'm doing in a few months! Wish me luck!

Helpful reads:
10 ways successful people start their mornings
Why creating a meaningful morning routine will make you more successful

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Getting fit with Skechers Sport!

Well, I'm trying! It is not easy. I haven't really consistently worked out since... Let's see... Since before I got pregnant with my third son, Piero? Which means I haven't really exercised since 2013!

Good heavens. I need to get back in shape! I made up lots of excuses like I'm breastfeeding so I don't want to burn too much fat, or I'm too tired because, you know, three little boys. And taking care of them is already a workout, right?! Right!

Well, nope. Even with all the chasing around, lifting up, and carrying that I do, I'm kinda flabby everywhere. Look.

I know hindi halata because I'm skinny, but I'm really soft everywhere. Plus, I never really lost the baby belly. To this day, if I happen to not be wearing my Wink Postpartum Bikini shapewear, or if I was lazy and not engaging my abs, or if I was simply wearing something a bit loose, someone will congratulate me on being pregnant. Guaranteed. My baby is now 1 year and 2 months old. I really should start getting fit! No excuses na!

So there, as the photo above shows, nag-gym na ako. I'm wearing my trusty Skechers GOwalk shoes. I love my Skechers GOwalk shoes! But they're really just designed for walking so if I want to jog or run or dance, I should get a different kind of shoe. So, because I love Skechers na, I went to their big sale last month to get new shoes.

The staff at Skechers said that for my new needs (for, you know, gymming!), I need the Skechers Sport. It has memory foam so I'll feel comfy all day long, and it comes in many styles and designs so the kikay in me won't go blech. Syempre, as I was shopping, I just had to ask everyone on my social media which one I should get:
Super hit this post! On Instagram, people voted for the left. On Facebook, people voted for the right.

I voted for...

I LOVE MY SKECHERS SPORT! Look at the details:
Gray knit material. Pink polka dots. What's not to love?
The shoe breathes. So cool and fresh to wear.
Pink details never hurt!
Memory foam cushions feet. These are so comfortable!
The S is for Super. Well, Skechers. Skechers Sport. Super Skechers Sport! 

They're so pretty, I wear them even when I'm not in the gym! Now that athletic styling is mega huge because being healthy and fit is cool again, there's a lot of girls who've forsaken their heels for trainers. Like, street fashion now has girls in cute dresses with sneakers, or monochrome outfits paired with colorful trainers, or the sexiness of short shorts and mini skirts toned down with adorable trainers. It's becoming my fashion thing now, too! I'll do an #OOTD of me in my Skechers shoes soon!

But let's not forget that Skechers Sport is designed for sporty activities! So when Skechers invited me and other media personalities to a Zumba party a couple of weeks ago, gumising talaga ako nang maaga to go. If I'm serious with this getting fit thing, then let's do Zumba!

Skechers invited Colombian celebrity Zumba instructor Monica Pulgarin (in red) to teach us how to Zumba.
Whee! Guests get to wear a free pair of Skechers! These are just two of the many styles.
This is what I got! So sleek! Love. It!
Sexy ladies (and a few men) getting ready to get sweaty.
Monica (in cap) dances her way to our pounding hearts.

My friend Nicole Romero blogged about this fun party on Beauty & Sparkle: Skechers Zumba Fitness Fun. If you click on it, you'll see me super panget and pawis haha!

And here's Monica's take on the Zumba party:

Fun fun! Skechers is really making me want to get fit, ha. They're giving me and my family free shoes for a year just so I can get me and my kids out and running. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Skechers! I will really try hard to get fit na. Hopefully, as fit as Monica Pulgarin! Yes, I'm ambisyosa like that!

Skechers Sport is available at the following Skechers stores: Glorietta 2, TriNoma, Ayala Fairview Terraces, SM North Edsa The Annex, SM Mall of Asia, Robinsons Galleria, Robinsons Place Manila, Gateway Mall, Lucky Chinatown, Market Market, Festival Mall, Alabang Town Center, SM Fairview, SM Dasmarinas, Paseo Sta. Rosa, Marquee Mall, SM Pampanga, SM Clark, Ayala Center Cebu, SM City Cebu, SM Davao, Centrio Mall Cagayan de Oro and LimKetKai Mall CDO. Also available at SM Stores: SM Makati, SM Manila, SM Megamall and SM North EDSA.

Visit Skechers on Facebook
Follow @SkechersPH on Twitter and Instagram! 

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