Grasping at straws

I am overwhelmed, and not in the good way.

I don’t know what I’m doing with my life.

Xavier

(Catching up)

This school has been my second home for the past 12 years. I’ve switched campuses, but the community spirit and drive for excellence remain the same. I am thankful for this school because of all the lessons I learned and all the opportunities I have been given to grow as a person and as an educator.

I enter this new school year with apprehension because I’ll be handling a new grade level alone. Again. It seems like I’ve been on my own for the most part of my stay in the new campus. I do have direct supervisors, but as the only senior teacher in the department, they pretty much leave me alone to my devices so that they can focus on the new members of the team. I love the independence and trust they give me, but I hate having to grope in the dark most of the time. 

What did I learn from this? 

Trust. Perseverance.

Gratitude list

  • Xavier School San Juan
  • Xavier School Nuvali
  • St. Francis Xavier

Waley

(wah-lei)

Street speak/local gay lingo for wala, which is Filipino for “nothing.”

Starting today I will be emptying my mind into waleyness (nothingness) as I embark on a three day retreat. I have been feeling TOO much and thinking way too much lately that I’ve ended up crying most nights, so hopefully I am emptied of all these negative thoughts and feelings during the retreat and I find peace and be able to reconnect with God.

Wish me luck. Will be scheduling posts for the other days I’m gone.

Gratitude list

  • Walks: I’ve pretty much led a sedentary lifestyle this summer, crashing on the couch to channel surf when there’s nothing urgent to be done, getting up only to do the yoga challenge and to eat and go to the bathroom. I took a physical walk and a mental walk recently and I found myself refreshed after both. The physical walk got me some good old exercise and the mental one made sure I was still sane.
  • Water: in this intense summer heat, water is both a necessity and a luxury. I am grateful I have easy access to clean, cold, and refreshing drinking water.

Third gear

Had another driving lesson, and this time I was able to go to third gear. 🙂 technically I went up to fifth, but it was a mistake because I went straight from second to fifth. 

It was a pretty exhilarating lesson especially since I was driving next to huge trucks or kept getting intercepted by motorcycles (I get the hate now). The inclines were hell, cars kept passing me, and the engine kept dying on me on the inclines. BUT I did survive without crashing into anybody, so that’s an achievement. 

No lessons this coming week, though, which is a bummer. There’s work and there’s a three-day silent retreat I’ll be going to. I’m not looking forward to it, but I’m open.

Gratitude list

  • Third gear
  • Tires: I sort of learned how to change a tire haha. Cars are heavy. That is all.

  • Tostillas: To stave off hunger while I waited for lunch.

Kambyo

I’m gonna cheat here and use a Filipino word for today’s letter.

Kambyo is the Filipino word for “clutch” (for shifting gears in driving). I had my first driving lesson today, and I learned how to operate a manual-transmission vehicle. 

It was DIFFICULT! My only consolation was that the engine didn’t die on me as I switched gears.

The clutch was the most difficult to learn.  I had to learn how to temper the pressure I put on it or lift from it. Thankfully, my instructor, a very good friend and colleague, was very patient with me and was very clear in his instructions.

My next session would be learning how to change a tire. Can’t say I’m excited, but I know I need this lesson.

  • Kambyo: This thing has taught me a lot about patience and moderation and letting go at the right time.
  • Kaibigan (friend or lover): This word can mean either friend (kai-bee-gahn) or lover (ka-ibigahn) depending on which syllable you put the stress. I’m thankful for both meanings. My good friend taught me how to drive, and my SO supported me in my decision to take lessons.

Health

I’m a relatively healthy person with only a dust allergy and 120/120 vision to mar my otherwise perfect medical record. I’ve been sick, yes, but nothing chronic has plagued me…

…until now.

My tailbone has been bothering me since October. I was at another conference and all I did was SIT on school chairs from sun up to sun down. That’s when I noticed my tailbone started to hurt. The pain went away eventually, but I noticed it would hurt again when I’m seated for a long time. I looked it up online and found that it IS indeed caused by prolonged sitting on hard surfaces. It usually goes away on its own i. A few weeks or months, but now I’m worried because it’s five months after and I still feel a bit of pain.

According to Google, poor posture and weight loss contributes to this. I’m not exactly known for my good posture, so I’m struggling to correct that. My weight loss has not been significant either. I wasn’t even trying to lose weight. It just happened because I got the stomach bug at the end of January which kept me in bed (and running to the bathroom) for about two days. 

I’m back to yoga to build my core strength and my lower back, but I’m also mindful that I don’t lose any significant amount of weight to make sure the padding around my tailbone doesn’t thin out and make it hurt any more.

Gratitude list:

  • Hugs: I’m not one to welcome hugs from strangers, but hugs from the right people boost me up instantly. Last night I needed a hug badly and I got it. 😘
  • Health: Despite the tailbone pain, I’m still grateful that all my senses are working and that I can still stand up and walk and run and lie down and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air in my town.
  • Hope: I choose to hope for and act to bring about the good instead of complaining about the bad.

Duterte

Rodrigo Duterte is a candidate for the presidential seat in the upcoming Philippine national elections this May.

A lot of people are voting for him because they believe that his no nonsense way of handling things and iron hand in dealing with criminals are just what our country needs.

I’m not sold on him for two reasons:

  1. He has been accused of (and he hasn’t denied it) being directly in charge of the Davao Death Squad, which has killed low-level criminals on the streets of that city he used to be a mayor of. I don’t think I want a president who condones killing.
  2. In interviews and presidential debates, he hasn’t explicitly explained HOW he plans on eradicating crime in the country, and this worries me because he just might resort to using the Death Squad but in a national scale this time.

However, I’m still considering him because his compassion is undeniable. When Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) struck our country, he sent help but without emblazoning his name on the relief good bags that he sent.

I have a month left to decide whom to vote for, but the prospects are weak.

Gratitude list

  • Down time: my SO’s home department invited me to help plan a surprise birthday “party” for him and his department-mate. Their birthdays were right after each other’s. We went to a nearby country club, had lumch, played billiards and bowling and overall just had a great time in each other’s company
  • Dogs: They used to scare me so much because I got chased by a big black one when I was a kid. How ironic now that our own dog (1 human year and 3 months old) is big (ish) and black, but he’s the sweetest. He’s surrounded by the cats that my sisters own, so he has imbibed some of their mannerisms. Instead of jumping up and licking our faces to greet us, he runs to us and rubs his body along our legs. When we reach down to pet him, THAT is the time he jumps in us and licks our faces. Our dog Bono is part Malinois, part labrador, a tiny part chow chow. I’d also like to think he’s part cat, but maybe that’s just me.
  • Desserts: at the party earlier we has two types of cakes: a banoffee bundt cake with chocolate chip walnut and cinnamon streusel, and an ice cream cake. I just lost all the calories I burned from doing yoga from these cakes.