I am a planner. I anxiously live tomorrow today.
Before going to bed, I have tomorrow’s checklist running in my mind or even already written down on my notebook of things-to-do or a piece of paper. By mid-week, I already plotted out my weekend’s plans, secured schedules with family / friends (often gets done if they cooperate or are not at all as fond of spontaneous get-togethers) and errands to run. Before the New Year, I have reflected on the year that was, evaluated my personal performance and written my goals and plans down, ready for implementation on January 1st.
But somehow I still have not done that to the intense detail I expected. Strangely. Maybe I was caught up in the hoopla of the holiday flurry, which I oddly did not expect. There were not a lot of parties, just the main events of Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve; but there was A LOT of cooking and baking. More than the usual.
So here I am, just relishing the few days of feasting on leftovers, taking a break from full on cooking and baking. Now I have the time to pause and reflect. Albeit a little late, it is still better to start now that not at all.
The thing is I am notoriously good at starting things. When something catches my fancy and excites me (which is a feat in itself! As I do think I am not easily excitable) and then when I get my heart into starting it, I dive in head first and as deep as I can…until I want to.
2014 was anchored on the word “Create” and start to create I did.
I started some new hobbies to supplement my day-to-day housewifely chores, daily exercise routine and blogging.
First, I got into hand embroidery inspired by Sublime Stitching. I learned a number of stitches and finished a number of projects on display in our wee home. But now, my thread and needle are in the drawer gathering dust with future projects in the backburner.
Then, I progressed into hand quilting. I made us a set of hand sewn, hand quilted coasters and placemats. I still have scraps of cloth leftover and I don’t know what to do with them. Or I just have not been motivated to create more.
Then, by some stroke of luck, I started writing essays for Rappler. After those pieces were published, I had to pitch stories like any other writer, but failed to submit something that satisfied the needs of my editor. And that discouraged me big time, so, with a number of rejected stories, I stopped trying. I stopped writing my stories. I even wanted to stop blogging, leave writing altogether. I felt that my thoughts and insights about some of the eye opening experiences as a Filipino in abroad were not valid. I never opened those files again…until now.
I wrote (especially if you’ve been reading the blog), but I knew I could do better. I thought that most of it was just fluff, fillers, but hen again I needed to keep on writing somehow.
A few months after, I had the itch to start something else, so I started running. I was challenged to finish a 5KM race. I trained, ran 2-3 miles everyday until my right knee (where I had a torn ligament a few years back) started to hurt again. So I paused, took it slow and easy. I stopped running for a few weeks, but I knew I had to get back up on the treadmill or hit the jogging trail occasionally. I did and trained some more, making sure I did not push myself too much to get through until race day.
I wasn’t fast, of course, but I eventually crossed the finish line. I finished my 1st 5KM race.
Its been more than six months since I started and I still am running, 3-4x a week. I will join the same 5KM race this year and am aiming to sign up for a 10KM race later on.
Running surprised me. Does this now mean that I can start, finish, carry on and become better?
Two months back, I finally mustered up all of my courage of conviction to start baking bread. I’ve always wanted to do so, but I was deterred because I didn’t own a stand mixer. I always thought I could not bake bread without one. But then I learned that I was equipped with my very own stand mixer: MY HANDS!
I read, watched videos on YouTube and took down notes.And yet my first loaf was a failure, hard as a rock. But then somebody told me that I should try again and have a little faith.
And I did. I studied some more then tried, again and again and again. I still am at it. I just perfected my pandesal (Filipino sweet rolls) and Spanish bread (a Filipino roll with a sweet filling).
So this 2015, I am not starting any more new goals, just continuing to do the work and get better eventually…in time. It is about “GRIT“, having the courage, the strength, the faith in my abilities and the persistence to do the work, get down and dirty everyday no matter what, to get back up despite failure or rejection. Because crossing that finish line means not just starting the race, but making one step after the other to succeed.
I will be facing my fears, re-open those old files and will get to writing my stories, my essays. And more importantly, get them published! So what if publications reject them? I can always publish them here. Doh! Whether it be personal stories about the Filipino expat life or #TrailingSpouseStories or perhaps dabble into fiction (What do you think?), I will be writing.
I will continue running. I will train regularly, eat right in mindful moderation (to help lose some weight, which will help me be faster?), and, most importantly, rest well (Easy on the knees!).
I will be baking bread. There will be more pandesal and Spanish bread. (Yes, I actually accept orders to those living in DFW, Texas and are willing to pick up – additional costs for delivery, of course). The Husband better be prepared to eat lots of it.
I’m so ready to work!