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 by 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.

Continue reading

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.

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

Lettuce of Love

Red roses turn dark all over
Leaves fall on the grounds
Heavy footsteps approach
With the crisp break of dry leaves
It’s the season again of cleaning up
And making quick deals
To see the colors of red,
Blue, and purple all around

Pack all the songs of youth
For a strength unknown
Bring the lively drums
Of the beating heart of a child
For today is another day
Of lovemaking of gods
When one tells the other
To hide all the colors
Under a shirt or two
And keep the mystery of love

Prism

As tiny bits of red petals fill the empty jars

The air fills up with the stench of yesterday’s death

With the crowd quickly crowding above the town

Children start going out of their little boxes

Pushing their way up the slopes of deserted land

They step cautiously with their mouths shut

Their tiny feet soak with the blackish mud

They scan the place left in the aftermath

As one by one they see familiar colors of the past

They rush with quiet steps towards the pile

A glimmer of blue, yellow, and blue pop up

Yet they are all touched by the red spots

Others got a bit darker now after the first blow

But the children didn’t know as they poked the colors

“Mama?,” one of the little children said

“Papa?,” the others call from the far left

Step 1 in Retrieving my Lost Time – Devotionals

In the previous post, I talked about my disappointment whenever I’d felt that I wasted my day. In my decision to get back my time, I wish to take the first step in that, hopefully, long-term commitment. I will start with my daily devotionals.

I have done this for an entire year last 2018 and almost got through the half of 2019. However, a stumbled a couple of months in the year and lost the drive to do anything. This was when I physically, emotionally, and mentally got drained to a point of a breakdown. I almost tried seeking professional support, though I didn’t get a chance to do so. But, no worries, I still do plan to take that step later on. I am simply taking this change, one step at a time. Perhaps, if you know any local (PH) venues where I can have free or with minimal charge, psychological assistance, I’d greatly appreciate it when you share it with me.

Morning Routine

With my new work schedule, I arrive home close to midnight already. I’d only have enough energy to wash my face, fix myself for bed, and doze off right away. In spite of that, I plan to take back my morning routine or set a new early morning habit that I can stick with. I think this is a good way to make sure that I have a system that can help get me back up into feeling and doing better than I have been for the past three to four months.

I plan to get up before 8:00 AM and make sure to devout it in prayer and my bible reading plans. Right now, I am using YouVersion and it has been really helpful in making me prepare for the day ahead. There are numerous plans that are suitable for various concerns: fear, purpose, happiness, and more. It has never been a bad move to thank God for another day in my life as well as the chance to find new meaning in the events that are happening around me.

Commitment

This kind of change is not that easy to see through the end, especially with little motivation or proper guidance. The good thing is that even before starting, I already accepted the fact that there will be struggles or trials along the way. That surely is a great thing to settle in my mind to make me see a better way to make this fresh commitment work. But, I think I will also share this one great song to help put this new task in perspective – Best News Ever by MercyMe to help me end this reflection for today. This is also a great reminder on how I can commit to this new step in my life.

Getting Back my Time

Have you ever felt like you needed more time in a day? Maybe, you have felt that at the end of the two dozens of hours, everything you did with your time was not that productive at all. Well, if you never felt this way, I am happy for you and how I wish that you may be able to share that with me.

On my part, I have had a lot of those moments when I simply couldn’t believe that more than 18 hours of my day went down the drain of unproductiveness. I felt disappointed with myself because after all, it was my own decision and action that led me to not do anything worth my time. Of course, there was once that time when I had never gotten tired of filling my schedule with tasks. It seemed that I always had the energy for various activities in one day that end, I felt fulfilled and satisfied with the way I used my hours. But gradually, as I got older, I slowly forgot about that drive.

Lost Focus

I got too focused with work that whenever I have a free time, I’d rather sleep or use my phone. I think that I got too attached to my device that I also skipped my usual habit of reading. I lost the motivation to continue with my passion projects as well. I built a mindset that I have exerted a lot of energy to work and that I simply deserve a relaxing time; idly tinkering with my phone or watching loads of hours of TV series/dramas. Then when the sun went down, I’d crawl with a burden of disappointment as I wasted my day that didn’t help in leading me closer to any of my life goals. Though, arguably, I was able to rest, but was the stress after it worth the random acts of fulfillment? Not so sure about that.

With that in my memory, I have to make sure that I move back to finding a better focus. Each of us will have a different priorities in our lives as we have distinct paths in reaching whatever we find as worthwhile life goals. In the years after graduating from the university, my priorities changed. My understanding of categorizing various events as well as tasks into priorities leaned closer to my family. My dreams changed as well. They aren’t as far-fetched as when I was younger; I became more realistic. This kind of experience both had it’s pros and cons.

There were days that somehow, I felt that days won’t be any better. The days just seemed to become a routine. Luckily, with my job, teaching students brought a lot of delight (as well as headaches). It was not easy, but I found the fulfillment. Until one day, I got too burned out. I realized that it was important to have a balance with work and rest. I also needed proper guidance for me to continue with doing work well.

I may be capable of doing my task properly with less guidance, but it would always have been better if there is a mentor who could share insights. I, after all, am an individual who wished to perform still better than what I do in the present. Moreover, I learned that being with the right set of people could affect my actions.

I learned to let go of my worries. I started facing my fears – the worry that I may not be doing well, emotionally, physically, and even mentally. I needed a redirection for my heart to be well. This is when I went back to God.

Initially, there was denial as I was not confident in facing the Lord again with the fear of rejection. But, I went back to the encounter I had long before when I received Him and then I remembered that I shouldn’t be afraid. This is when I realize that I need to make new commitments to help me stand up from the slump that I put myself in for the past year.

Commitment

There were days when I still struggle, but with a few more little steps to make, I hope that I could do better and retrieve my time. I may have wasted hours simply being lazy or doing random things that I thought would help me get better. Now, I wish to make a few commitments to let me start refocusing my goals to a life worth living – to a life where God is leading.

  1. Devout a quiet time with God – this should be on the top of my list. Not everyone may agree with me, but this is where I can get strength. Having to start a commitment with anything, without proper guidance would definitely double the difficulty. I have learned that with my faith in the Lord, I gain strength to face many trials. I may not be enough, but God is more than enough.
  2. Learn a new skill – it’s not that easy, but I hope to start getting my time back by changing my focus to something that can help me get better in the future. I may not be that young, and learning a new set of skills may take longer, but it’s worth a try. I personally would like to start learning any of these skills: a new language, swimming (as I am still very much afraid of deep water), and driving (yes, I still don’t know how to drive at this age).
  3. Keep up with an exercise routine – I’m not getting any much stronger and younger each day. I need to begin looking after myself, which includes taking care of my health. I do, honestly, slowly feel the drag of muscle pain as I work on a few exercise movements. This is something that I know I should have started much earlier. 😉 Also, this is an act that lets me take care of the body the Lord has lent me. After all, I need to stay strong to fulfill the plans He has for me.
  4. Go back to creating small passion projects – I have left some of my childhood dreams behind thinking that I would never be able to do them any justice at this age. But, I also learned that doing so won’t help me in any way, reaching a better appreciation of my life. I like reading stories and creating some of my own ones. Perhaps, I need to start doing so and sharing them to people who may wish to also read new stories that can help them ignite the flame of passion in their hearts.

Let’s see how these will end and I hope that I would find the strength to begin them now.