Going Grey

It will be two years come March that I colored/ put highlights on my hair. 

It hasn’t always been this ok.  The first year when I was growing out the color, I had constant haircuts and I counted the months when it would finally be grown out.  And then when the highlights were finally gone from my hair, some dismay set in as I noticed how many grey hairs were hiding underneath my crowning glory.

The first few months were really depressing.  But I stuck to my decision to stay natural.  And eventually I did ignore my creeping greyness.  

It’s not totally grey and from afar, it still looks dark but when my hair is up, the greys come out.  Quite obvious that not a few “aunties” have commented that I should start coloring my hair.

Being comfortable with my decision to go natural, I am now able to smile and say I rather like how I look.  It’s aging that I can see.  Looking at the greys conditions my mind to the fact that I am aging.  It’s better this way rather than being shocked one day to discover how old I really am.

Slowly getting accustomed to the changes happening to my physical appearance.  That’s the best way to grow old.

Two More Weeks

Two more weeks and a new year will come.  I anxiously count the days.  It has been a trying year of the dragon for me.

Illnesses, business losses, personnel problems and deaths.  It’s a good thing that my soul searching days had been settled before the dragon year rolled in.  At least I was emotionally at peace as I faced all these trials.

I have never been a fan of the dragon.  While a lot of people are enamored of the sign, I have been less than impressed by the dragons I’ve met.  Maybe because of the high expectations set on the dragon sign.  

I just hope the year of the snake will be less interesting.  After the roller coaster ride of this year, a boring year would be most welcome.  

The chinese zodiac says the snake is the secret friend of the monkey.  Well I hope he will be a true friend.

Which of Them?

Of late I’ve been asked if I have a favorite from among my children.  I wouldn’t have thought to write about it if it were just one or two but every other day, someone seems to be asking me that question.  And it would usually start with a sort of conspiratorial tone and it would go like this:  Honestly Jen, love isn’t equal.  There must be one from among your boys that you favor more.  Or who is closer to your heart.

I usually give their question serious thought.  But everytime I think about it, there really is none.  There is none among them whom I favor more.  Maybe the youngest will be more affectionate.  I hug him more but that’s about it.

On the last occasion, it occurred to me that I might not have a favorite because I am not that attached to all of them.  

I am not a typical mother.  I am not particularly attached to my children.  I care about them.  I  love them in my own way but on the whole, it is always on the back of my mind that their lives are not mine.  That they will eventually leave and make their own way in the world.

They are good kids and I do have proud mommy moments.  On the whole though, I just don’t think about them.  I enjoy their company when they are around but I don’t really miss them when I am away.  

I’m a weird mommy.

Sunday Date

It was a really nice morning today.  Windy and cool, I decided to go to the plaza to buy flowers to give to my niece.  

Nice driving along the way, no traffic, well except for the crush of churchgoers outside the cathedral.  But it was an interesting delay, looking at the people walking past.

I was fortunate to park just by the flower stands.  I looked at the liliums, the mums, milflores, gerberas and finally decided on roses. The rose choices were a bit pitiful since their suppliers weren’t able to deliver this week.  But oh well, this was not some grand production.  Just a fun Sunday bouquet for a little girl.  Quite a lot of people were buying too.  Some to offer to the dead, one for her altar, still another for a birthday celebration.  It was so …  European  🙂

I went to mom’s afterwards to get some ribbons to wrap around the stems and decided to stop by the funeral parlor to visit a nephew who passed away suddenly last Thursday.  I always like visiting when there are few people.  Even better if I am alone.  But it was a bonus to find his mom and other immediate family members around.  The camaraderie was very nourishing.  I felt warm and I could not stop smiling.

I got home to find O awake.  I thought to surprise him with a single red rose when he woke up but oh well, that it was not that big a surprise did not diminish the happiness that enveloped me from my early outing.

And seeing my niece’s surprise and ear to ear smile when I gave her the bouquet was worth it.  (Sorry about the blurriness though.  She moved as I snapped the photo)Image

Going To Bed Angry

All the How-To marriage books tell us to never go to bed angry.  Even the priests in their wisdom advise married couples to do so.  But I have found that this doesn’t quite work for us.

Sometimes when there is a conflict between O and me, it is difficult to talk when there are negative feelings about.  Sometimes it is better to talk the following day when we have had some sleep.  It has never reached the point where we can’t sleep.  Maybe some difficulty in sleeping but eventually tiredness creeps in and one does sleep.  Even if it is for a few hours, the sleep does us good.

The following day usually diminishes the anger or the hurt or the misunderstanding and things are better resolved.

I find that I sometimes can’t control what I say when I am sleepy.

In my case, this popular advise of never going to bed angry doesn’t work.  Maybe it doesn’t work too because even if we are angry with each other, O still shares the blanket or gives me tissues if I am crying.  And i will always cover him up when he’s gone to sleep and the blanket slips.  It’s like that cartoon about married love. 

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I think one just has to remember to still be caring and concerned even if one is angry with the partner.

Surprise Me

I told Dan that he sure had a very colorful life.  

He was very active during the EDSA thing.  He’s worked in several different Asian countries.  He’s been mistaken for an Indonesian, a Lebanese even a Jordanian.  But he has never been mistaken for a Filipino.  And his latest venture came about because he acknowledged the presence of this guy he constantly saw in a Makati hotel.  The guy asks him to join him in the lobby for drinks while waiting for his business partners and Dan, accepted.  One thing led to another and now he’s pushing this guy’s invention.

We were all amazed at the serendipity in his life and Dan said:  It’s because every morning when I wake up, I pray to God to surprise me.

Well, would I want to be surprised though?  I don’t know.  I don’t know if I can take such a colorful and interesting life.  I’m pretty ok with mine.  Generally planned although I can tolerate a few mild surprises along the way.  That’s probably all I can take.

10:34

I could not suppress my chuckle when the agent gave me my appointment time for the embassy interview.  10:34?  Nobody in the Philippines sets an appointment exact to the minute.  Come to think of it, neither does the United States.  This down to the minute time can only come from Japan or the Scandinavian States or some highly disciplined Western European country.

In the Philippines, everything is set to the nearest 30minutes.  Sometimes when I set an appointment to the 20th minute or the 10th minute, I get the same chuckle from the other party.  The nearest 30minutes is the norm here.  Ok, some do set it to the nearest 15min as in 1045 or 1015.

I suppose time in this country is not so bad.  I read that some other Southeast Asian countries set their time to the nearest hour.  And some countries in Africa, from the same article, appointments are set to the nearest half day.  As in; I’ll see you in the morning.  🙂

 

A Promise

I promised my mom that our aunt, her widowed sister who had no children, would always be welcome in our home.  

I will keep that promise no matter how difficult this aunt is; no matter how strained the current relationship is.  But nowhere does it say that I have to be friendly to her.  I no longer respect her as a person.  Maybe there is some respect for her status in life as the older sister of my mom but for her as herself?  None whatsoever.  Respect is earned.

I will be civil to her.  But that will be the extent of the hospitality that I promised my mom.

I’m sorry ma.  You couldn’t change her for the better when you were around; who are we to attempt to do so now.  She wouldn’t listen to you when you were still alive, now she’s even worse.  She is a bitter, closed minded old woman who spouts lies at every turn.

You wouldn’t think it to look at her.  To outsiders she is all charm and humility and graciousness to the point of giving all to the guests.  Whereas at home she is spiteful, hateful and opinionated.  She can be the gracious hostess but she is the guest from hell who insults her hosts and expects her hosts to agree to everything she says by virtue of her age.

I’m sorry.  My promise stops at the welcome part.