Monday, October 23, 2017

PANIC not

Almost had a panic attack in the middle of driving along a highway last night. I could feel it sneaking up on me but with my personal history, I know too well exactly what it feels like. It's like ants crawling up my arms, my mind going haywire, the start of a faint tremble and the rapid breathing.

But with this knowledge, I've also learned how to recognize it, not fight it and continue breathing. Letting it sit down next to me and stop fighting. I know that the moment I try to fight the feeling, that's when it will win and I will have a full-blown panic attack right in the middle of a highway. This could be TERRIBLE!

You don't know when and why it hits you, that's the problem with this disease. It could be brought on by a full busy day, a stressful phone call or just the chocolate ice-cream you just ate. It sucks. But knowing what it feels like makes all the difference in the world. I look back now and know that it was probably brought on by guilt.

End 2006 and the whole 2017 has been terrible for me and the kids. It has been incredibly stressful for me and the kids had their norm wrangled out of their grasps. But nothing in life remains constant and exposure to sudden changes and trying to cope with them is an important part of living.

As a parent, I've fought change as hard as I could because changing something means I am no longer in complete control. And I need control in order to not go insane. But every time something changes, I suffer guilt if it affects others, especially the kids. This was what happened, brought on by guilt and berating of myself. Highlighting my own failures, time and time again, beating myself up, and wishing things were different.

But the good thing was that I won. I stayed focused on the road, one kilometer at a time, telling myself there is no other alternative but to continue. Whatever was going on is going to go away soon...and to be patient. And trust. I told myself to trust myself, that I was doing great. Sometimes panic and anxiety attacks have no reason to visit you but if you know what it looks like, you might have a better idea on how to deal with it.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Status Quo vs. Change

I've never been good at changing of status quo, come to think of it. I prefer to keep things predictable so that I know what to do when something goes wrong.

It comes with parenting, perhaps, because parents have to predict and solve so many things on the fly. No notice given, lots of surprises.

But since my kids are growing up, I find myself loosening things up a little bit more. Giving myself a shot at making mistakes that nobody can blame me for.

I guess I grew up either being blamed or blaming myself. In such instances, avoiding change or unpredictable things becomes number one priority.

Like I said, however, my kids are a little more grown now and I feel the power of freedom coming back into my life.

Is it for the better? I hope so.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Let Not the Beast Trump

Sometimes, I just don't know where Trump is coming from. Where his views came from and why does he think the rest of the world is out to get America. Instead of helping people understand, love and protect each other, his mission is to destroy every fabric of cultural tolerance and understanding in humankind. 

It challenges my belief system, it makes me wonder if I was right to be loving instead of hating, makes me think that I am looking Evil right in the eye...in the form of a picture or through the lens of a camera. 

But if it is an indication, it shows that the world still needs much help. That there is a large number of people, not just in the United States, but all around the world, that chooses hate over love. Our work on this planet is being undone by a man who views the world, his allies, as potential threat and enemy. His rhetoric is almost unbelievable when you listen to him talk or have a quick look at his Twitter account. 

It makes Christians wonder why God had placed such a man on earth or in the White House, and Buddhist think that meditation, perhaps, may not do much to help disenchanted people. 

Or maybe it is our chance to see WHY these people chose him. There MUST be a reason. I always try to see two sides of the fence before picking one and I've tried to see his side. And I feel like I have always picked one, instead. There are too many reasons to distance myself from people like Trump, although I am possibly working with people who think like him, and they call it patriotism. 

It is not wrong to be patriotic but it is wrong to say you want to destroy people. That's bullying and things that the mafia and thugs would do. And aren't we over that era yet? Or is he trying to bring back the Mafia days? I just don't know. It dwindles down on my belief that there are more good people out there than bad ones. 

But to feel that way only indicates that we have lost...and we don't want people like Trump to feel like they're triumph. If they were cocky before, imagine after they feel like they've won the war. Just imagine. I hope the world will return to as much normalcy as possible after this beast is removed from the White House. I can't, personally, wait for it to happen, if not for peace-loving Americans, then for human beings all around the world. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Laptop Lifestyle

I've written it somewhere that the ultimate life I wish to live and experience once my kids are grown up is that I can work from anywhere. My work allows me to travel, move around and earn as I go. But I've never really done anything to experience this, hanging onto the fact that I love my home, where I live and I don't want to go anywhere because change is a big hassle. 

But there comes a time when there's not much of a choice. The time could be now. 

It makes me sad and cautious because I don't like change very much and always prefer status quo. Maybe it's time to change this, to put this to a test, to show myself that I can adapt. In fact, when I was young, change was exciting and something new to look forward to. 

As I age, I relish the idea of having a place, a refuge, to call home. Anywhere I am challenged and tired, I return to my refuge and I am comforted. Although I no longer have a bunch of people (a family) to live with, to support me and take care of things when I am not able to, at the very least, we have a roof over our heads and we can do anything we like in a place we call home. 

Things change. This is something I think I may have to face in the very near future. After all, watching the people around me change and adapt, I think I can do it too. After all. I am OK. I am strong enough for this because I have the people that I love around me. I can do it. 

Thursday, August 31, 2017

I Have a Home

After battling a whole sea of people from morning till late afternoon, it feels great to be home.

Sometimes, we forget to be thankful that we have a refuge. A room to rest and relax and lie your head in. A place to eat with your family. Modern amenities for your clothes and space for your clothes-drying. A kitchen to prepare food. A bathroom with running water. A computer to work on.

The list of simple things that we sometimes overlook is endless. Everything from friends, family to cars and beds.

Once you step into the world where humans are everywhere, you will soon realize that you are merely one of many. And it takes each and every one of you, them, us to make it work.

And when I come home to my refuge, and they to theirs, we have to remember to be grateful that we have one.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

I Wish I Never Met You

Most days I wake up remembering to be grateful for what I have. To appreciate the fact that we have never once (well, maybe once or twice) had to live out in the streets, abandoned and almost unforgotten. 

Most days.


Some days, I make the mistake of comparing my life and my kids' lives (mostly their lives, because I feel sorry for them for having me as a mother) to others and wishing that there were things that I could have done for them. 

This morning, my son asked for a new phone case because the phone tend to slip out of his fingers sometimes and he was afraid of it falling out of his hands and breaking. It was a reasonable request. But because I've had several bills and payment reminders in the past, and coursing through my mind was the number of stuff that I have to get from the morning market, I lashed out at him for being high maintenance. In reality, my kids are not really high maintenance. In fact, they're really kind, understanding and rather undemanding kids. 

And yet, I find us struggling every month to make ends meet, with companies calling me up every single day (during a particular period of the month) with reminders and threats to discontinue service. It is during this period of the month that I am afraid of my phone and emails. 

I've learned over a long period of time that running away from them is not the solution. They catch up with you sooner or later but my instinct still tells me to run. There's so much stress that I feel a little like bursting at the seams, that I want all of this to end. 

This brings me to that one person that I wish I have never met in my life. But there MUST be a reason that we met somehow, again and again, and again. It doesn't stop me from wishing that I've never met this person, the person who made me feel less than what I am, made me feel terrible, offered no solace, behaved like I was the biggest burden and loved me not one moment of his life. The one person who probably thinks of me as the biggest regret in his life too. 

It's, perhaps, time to close my eyes and try to set things into tiny little drawers in my head. Trying to find a solution for things, drawer by drawer, instead of staring into the abysmal heap of mess that is cluttering my head. 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Laugh

"Laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live." Anonymous 
Laughter and love make great partners like salt and pepper; bread and butter; and a bat and ball. Laughter makes one forget the seriousness of the day; the dark clouds of worry; and the looming regrets of yesterday. Love nurtures the soul; warms the heart and promises the dreams of tomorrow. Bring them together in your relationships today and watch the seeds of sunshine grow. Laugh often and love

How easy it is for us to forget to do this...laugh. Because we face everyday challenges, bills to pay, unexpected news, obstacles in life, changes in friendships and love life, work environment and family, we might be carrying around a huge sack of burden on our backs without even knowing we're doing so.

It's not that we stop feeling sad or burdened or emotional about things but it is a reminder for us to remember that laughter, happiness, joy and gratefulness is right around the corner too.

As Timber Hawkeye of Buddhist Bootcamp pointed out, time and again, that feelings are fleeting. They come and go and we have a choice of choosing one over the other. The dark clouds may be looming above but so are the silver linings. As long as we choose to believe we are armed with our own strengths and that things happen for a reason, we should be able to snap out of it and choose joy instead.