My lifesavers of the year

…there are still a lot of blessings that saved me this year.


It is a lot easier to make ourselves believe that time will pass as we simply live our lives. Yes, this may be the case, yet how well will we ever be able to live then?

There are a lot of worry and sadness still lingering in my mind and heart these past few weeks. Picking up a book or watching a series on my phone do not seem to help this time. I have been distracted. I have this growing longing to work on my plans yet with the current state of the world, it seems that I am stuck.

Losing control

Distractions are difficult to control these days, especially after losing the sense of habit with my daily routines for work and that of my writing. It seems that it is a lot easier to procrastinate by doing other smaller tasks at hand and not facing the important chunk of the writing process.

There has been an attempt (and a continuing struggle) to stay away from any social media applications. However, even after removing them from my device, I still try to check them regularly for updates. I don’t usually reply and you may also notice that I am not an active user of those social media applications, yet I end up being stuck with them. It has somehow been an addiction that has been embodied within my core habits that it is an exhausting feat whenever I try to have a social media detox. After all, we have this great desire to connect with people and be updated. Even though I am not this sociable in person, my small circle of friends sure has a great part in my life. I want to be there for them wherever and whenever possible.

There is that momentary blindness where I could not do anything as I am stuck with the position I am in. I want to be able to free myself from such heavy weight on my back and in my heart.

Feeling down and worthless

There has been an increasing sense of feeling worthless in my mind as I continue waking up to days when I do zero productive stuff for myself. Yes, I am still working and there are tasks as well as some online meetings here and there, yet, I do not feel accomplished most of the time. It is sad writing about this, yet, I know it may sound too much or an exaggerated view of things. Double these conflicting feelings with the type of personality I have, and you get a disastrous combination. It is tough to not criticize myself for being lazy or for accomplishing nothing for a day.

I am struggling in keeping focused on tasks. I have this drive to always multi-task so I end up accomplishing nothing at all. The tasks I try to start working on will mostly end up halfway done or not even at a 20% progress. This is driving me anxious and out of control. It is difficult to fight with my own mind during these times, especially when I am aware of such tendencies. There are days when I cry in bed for simply feeling lost in this seemingly routine less quarantine life.

Taking the small steps

In these trying times, I decided to actively face my mindless worry and habit-building challenge. So, I try taking few small steps to change my mindset on things. I begin each day with prayer and I try my best to commit to a routine that can keep me going. This is when I decided to work on my daily morning devotionals. I have been working on this for a year already, yet I have had long pauses in between when I get too distracted.

I have not fully completed having this routine stuck in my system. I still miss some mornings so I try to work on those at night, before going to bed. It is a refreshing habit to build as I get to communicate with the Lord through prayers and bible verses. There are days that really surprise me as the next lines in my devotionals are the answers I need for the day. It is something that I cannot completely explain yet I know that it is where my faith comes in. Many people may have a different take on this kind of situation, yet for me, having faith in the Lord is a source of strength.

I may still struggle with a lot of the plans I wish to accomplish each day, especially with my writing and my dreams. There are still numerous distractions around me, my books and my new prayer routine get me through those times. I may be chasing too many tasks that I think are productive, and I forget to look into the tasks that matter the most – my relationship with the Lord. I hope to keep track of those little reminders I receive each day with the blessing of life. After all, my ultimate lifesaver this time is my faith and I am learning to love this growing desire to learn more about the teachings of the Lord.

As a reminder of a new day coming, here is one of the songs that have been in my daily playlist. This is a song that reminds me that I have been chosen, and I am loved. Praise be to God!

GOING BACK TO MY PASSION PART 2

Books and music are some of my lifesavers (and my cats)

There are a lot of wonderful things in life that I tend to neglect when I get too busy or too focused on work (or my worries). It seems difficult for me to simply sit and be grateful for all the different events that happen in my life. I would like to make sure that in this new journey that I will be taking in life, I learn to be grateful for all the blessings – big or small – that are given to me.

With a lot of sadness or even scary news about the concerns of the world, it is not easy to look for the little things that make our day better. It is something that I also struggle with, day in and out. I would like to find that piece of hope in my heart that believes in the better days ahead for all of us. There may still be some moments when I would stumble and forget about this new practice I wish to do; nonetheless, I would like to try.

Struggle in getting back

January 2020 – the start of the new year was already a roller coaster of various local and international news. From the fearful thoughts of Iran and America’s conflict to the bush fires in Australia, then the eruption of the Taal volcano which was later topped by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic from Wuhan, China. With all those, the start of the year seemed like a long, exhausting one already. As I tried to work through my tasks as a senior high school teacher, I wasn’t able to go back to writing anymore. I chose to keep an old-school written journal instead. Anyhow, now, I would continue with my story regarding this passion of mine.

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Start of another journey

In times when everything seemed dried out of life, there are those little workers who keep on doing their part to keep death from turning up one day. Even in life, there are a lot of struggles and even some walls that stop us along the way. However, we can see them as the finish line or we can enjoy the rest and then find a detour to continue our run.

In the years after university, I faced a lot of those walls. I even came to a point where I felt worried and lost. There were moments when I gave up and didn’t see the meaning of the events happening in my life. It was, however, during those lowest moments did I give everything up to the Lord and I rested. It was not an easy journey. I had years of simply worrying about the coming days that I was too stubborn to listen to the Lord’s plan. I wanted to go my way. I wanted to achieve the dreams I thought were right for me to take. Then, only after all those hardships along the way did I enjoy the precious second of surprise as I was still led to a purposeful road which I truly love.

Now, I am still just at the start of that new road and I would like to be one of the workers to help in keeping the belief alive. There are many ways to reach our destination, we just needed some guidance and some recalibration so that we won’t hinder from the one that was designed for us.

Many may not have the same belief as I do, still, it is a good experience to share. It may even be a good chance for others to check on their current place in this run. There sure are a lot of interesting views to see and a number to better understand.

Getting back to writing

Have you ever experienced being stuck in the neverending cycle of waking up, commuting to work, getting to the office, commuting back home, and then simply just falling asleep?

I never really had this kind of problem before, however, as I get older and as I become more acquainted with the busy work life, it seems like I simply lost the light I once had. For instance, I used to enjoy writing down my thoughts and sharing stories with people around me. Now, with my work related to checking papers, attending meetings, writing down comments on various activities, I can’t seem to find the time to simply sit down and write. In this case, write to me and not for any work-related requirement.

I haven’t been active in any platform consistently, as there is a bunch of available outlets in the entire world wide web. Still, it is good to be able to stick to something and enjoy the moment. I hope to be able to find this space in the vast online community. I know that I may simply just use my laptop’s notes for these, but it is still good to have it available for others to read. Maybe there is one out there who would wish to hear these kinds of sentiments as well. After all, I do sometimes forget that I am not the only one with feelings of such worry, exhaustion, or even a sense of longingness. An emotion that I wish to jump back to right away. With that, I hope that this new note will remind me to simply pause and write my stories again. I may not be (may ever be) a well-known writer out there, but it is still a good opportunity for me to have a voice and give life to the thoughts in my mind. Sometimes, those ideas get too much in my head that they make it impossible for me to accomplish anything productive, in terms of work. So, let this be a start.

It may have been quite late as the strict quarantine period due to the pandemic is about to be lifted. Nonetheless, I hope to be able to juggle all these worries about the current health concerns of the world and that of my little world of life.

Finale

Waves of thinning memories rush to shore
Surprising me with a thunderous roar
Reminding, remembering for the last time
Before drowning into the dark side

Flashes of familiar faces
Whispers of lovely voices
I know them.
I knew them.
But now, I’m losing every bit of them

Little by little, then
All at once
Drops of water everywhere
Gathered together
Sending me off to my final bed

Soft, white cushion
A shiny cover
With sweet smelling flowers
Thrown above

Remembering

Saying good bye.


Originally posted at https://theprose.com/jmasalgado

Breathe Free

The soil was made and so was man. Every cell, every breath, every time is the same for everyone else’s, so why not yours?

Experience. Life happens. The pen writes when the storyteller begins to speak. The hour hand turns after minutes have passed and seconds have completed the rounds.

You see, he speaks, she hears, they feel

We all bleed the same in the end

Dreams rushing to the open air
Memories running back for more
Hopes and wishes of years gone by

All bleeds for time to heal, life to come again
Nostalgia in the heart
Logic in the mind
The end is still the end


Originally posted at https://theprose.com/jmasalgado

Crystal Clear Blur

Genuine smiles come rarely,
Everyone takes their time
Differences shine brighter than ever before

Once the clock strikes three in the morning
The elegant moon bids her farewell, 
The sun risks another early greeting

This, after all, is a unique and mysterious place

It’s crystal clear
The blur between then and now
A life worth living
Gladly becomes a crazy ride

This, after all, is a unique and mysterious place


Originally posted at https://theprose.com/jmasalgado

Quarantine Update: What has changed?

Two weeks have passed already for the Metro Manila quarantine. Today is the last day of March, and there are still hundreds of thousands of people all around the world who are fighting the epidemic. How exactly did we end up with this enhanced community quarantine (ECQ)? This happened due to the country’s response to the COVID-19 epidemic that has been a great concern globally.

A lot of people, including myself, are safe at home to observe social distancing – an action to help lessen the chances of spreading the virus. The initial epidemic turned into a global pandemic as assessed and declared by the World Health Organization (WHO). Amidst this situation, Filipinos here and in various countries are fighting together to overcome this global health emergency. Despite these events now, many people in quarantine are finding ways to stay positive. I also try my best to remember the blessings I receive every day.

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Mindless, Boundless

Why so serious? 
The veins in your hands keep tapping
Reminding you of daybreak
You pick a fork to cut them out
But, they keep fighting for life

Why so serious again?
Bothered by the sound of the wind
Reminding you of your own breathing
You block the windows with iron bars
But, the wind whistles through the gaps

Why, you ask again?
With open eyes, you see the sunrise
Reminding you of yesterday’s miseries
You pick a chair to stop the memories
But, you heard a knock, once and twice

Why are you smiling now?
A stranger’s voice passes through the wall
“Hello? Is anyone there?” 
You want to say hi
But, you could only tap the wall once
“Good. Let’s be friends for a while.”

Why smiling looks good now?
You kicked the chair to the side
Pressed your face to the wall
Listened to the wind from the gaps
Felt the tapping of your veins
Followed the rhythm of the other one’s breathing

Good. 
Count to three.
Why so serious?

Going Back to my Passion Part 1

Wala ka na bang ibang trabaho? (Don’t you have another job?)

That was a striking question that I received from my doctor last March 2019 when I went to have my check up because I had been having difficulties speaking. I thought then that it may just be a swollen throat as I had been speaking for hours on end due to my job. I really thought that I would only need a couple of days of medication and then I’d be fine. I wasn’t ready for that question of my doctor. It made me rethink of the various tasks I had at work. I love teaching, however, I had to ask myself if I should continue or not. This moment was definitely a heavy one for me as the first months of the year had me emotionally and mentally drained.

Roller-coaster of choices

Growing up, I had always thought of my mother’s work as interesting and fun. It was a job that seemed to have a lot of interesting activities as well as stories to tell every day. I truly enjoyed watching my mother prepare for her classes, not knowing how difficult that was. So, with that kind of background, I wanted to be a teacher as well.

However, as the years passed by, I met an aunt who graduated with a degree in accountancy. She lived with us for a couple of years, which had me thinking that I wanted to be like her. Then so during the latter years of my elementary, my dream profession changed.

A few more years and I entered high school where I had to be in the special science section. I had to learn various advance classes from mathematics, statistics, research, and the sciences. With that condition, I had to wake up at around 3:00 am, work on some last minute class homework, and prepare for my commute. I had to make sure that I arrive at school before 7:00 am and go home by 5:30 pm.

Yes, that schedule was my day-to-day routine, not including the travel time going to and coming from school plus the after hours group activities as well as weekend practices for other extracurricular ones. Where did I get my energy then? I think it was a wonderful decade of my childhood. 😀

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