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Sunday, January 29, 2006
There once was a little girl who had a bad temper. Her mother gave her a bag of nails and told her that every time she lost her temper, she must hammer a nail into the back of the fence. The first day the girl had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as she learned to control her anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. She discovered it was easier to hold her temper than to drive those nails into the fence. Finally the day came when the girl didn't loose her temper at all. She told her mother about it and the mother suggested that the girl now pull out one nail for each day that she was able to hold her temper.

The days passed and the young girl was finally able to tell her mother that all the nails were gone. The mother took her daughter by the hand and led her to the fence. She said, "You have done well, my daughter, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same."

When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a person and draw it out. It won't matter how many times you say I'm sorry, the wound is still there. A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one.

There are socially acceptable ways of displaying anger, such as throwing darts, hitting a punching bag, playing competitive sports or cleaning house. They become a form of release. Anger when released in an unacceptable manner can create barriers of fear and intimidation in relationships, can result in the sowing of long-lasting hurts, and can negatively affect the health of the person.

That is why we should never let our anger take hold of us. Learn to turn it into aggressive action. Tim LaHaye suggests the following:
1. Get more information. Information can change thoughts and feelings. Oftentimes what is perceived or assumed is not really happening at all.
2. Open your memory file. Hurt and anger from past experiences can continue to affect you now. Identify these. Don't let them trigger you.
3. Evaluate. Are there common times, people, or associations that "trigger" your outbursts? If so, learn to avoid or be careful in these situations.
4. Face your anger. Trying to justify it, explain it, or blame someone else makes you incurable. You are responsible for your actions.
5. Express it sooner. Don't let negative feelings fester. Get over situations sooner. Express yourself before anger takes hold.
6. Think positively. The mind must dwell on something, so feed it positive emotional food.
7. Recognize displaced anger. Most of the time people are angry about one thing but take out their anger on others who are not connected to it. Discover the real root cause of your anger.
8. Confess and repent. When you do "lose it," ask forgiveness of the people involved and of God.

He therefore concludes, "Anger is a habit...that can control a person as tenaciously as heroin or cocaine making them react inwardly and outwardly in a selfish manner."
3:30 PM | Permalink | 17 comments
Friday, January 27, 2006
At 8 A.M. tomorrow, my best friend who was diagnosed to have papillary cancer (thyroid) 20 years ago underwent hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) 2 years ago due to a malignant mass. Now the cancer cells have metastasized to her colon and rectum. She is scheduled to undergo an exploratoy laparotomy to remove the multiple malignant masses in her abdomen tomorrow at 8 A.M. I know she is spiritually prepared for any eventuality but I still would like to offer this prayer for her.


Dear St. Peregrine, I need your help.
I feel so uncertain of the life of Lucy right now.
This serious illness makes me long
for a sign of God's love.
Help her to imitate your enduring faith
when she faces the ugliness
of cancer and surgery.
Allow her to trust the Lord
the way you did in
this moment of distress.
I want her to be cured,
but right now I ask God for the
strength to bear the cross in her life.
I seek the power to proclaim
God's presence in her life
despite the hardship, anguish, and fear
she now experiences.

1:30 PM | Permalink | 5 comments
Thursday, January 26, 2006
For days now, I have been feeling so stressed out. After going through my activities for the week, I was spending a lot of time trying to help a few colleagues with their problems aside from the ones that are really part of my job.

Dr. Blanchard, co-author of the One Minute Manager, said that you are helping your people too much if you take responsibility for the care and feeding of their monkeys. "Monkeys" in this context refers to the tasks, jobs, or problems that are the responsibility of other people, normally subordinates, friends, or children.

Saying, "Let me help," or even worse, "Let me do it for you" is making that person walk away thirty pounds lighter, because now the monkey (the problem) is yours.

Putting too many of other people's monkeys on your back causes stress and reduces the time available for your main responsibilities. The tendency of your subordinates and friends is to check up on how you are doing with the problem.

To avoid having these monkeys on your back, try doing the following responses:
1. SUPPORTIVE RESPONSE - tell them you understand the complexity of the problem and that you are willing to talk to them about how they (not you) can solve it.
2. DELEGATING RESPONSE - inform them that this is their responsibility. Offer suggestions for them to try.
3. COACHING RESPONSE - if you see that they do not have the ability to handle their monkeys, give them specific directions. Explain the next move or strategy and then supervise how they carry it out.

Blanchard teaches that the two biggest problems in possessing other people's monkeys are: they must be cared for and fed by you, and their former owners now check to see how you are doing with their monkeys.
3:00 PM | Permalink | 3 comments
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Have you ever experienced feeling very disappointed as a child because your mom or dad failed to fulfill a promise? How about as an adult? Well, I did today. I felt not only disappointed but deeply hurt when I learned that the long overdue adjustment in the salaries of the supervsiors which my boss promised to sign during our meeting before the year ended was put on hold. The HR Department informed me that he needed more comparative studies. I not only felt hurt but embarassed too because when he verbally approved it, I relayed the good news to the supervisors in our last meeting for the year. If as an adult I felt this way, how much more a child who finds a promise as something sacred.

The Little Prince in Antoine de St. Exupery's story said, "When you promise to call, make sure you don't forget. When you promise to come at four o'clock, make sure you come on time. Because I remember your promise and I look forward to it, and when you don't call or come on time, I am disappointed." As parents we must always remember that a child has a short memory. But when it comes to promises, he often doesn't forget.

Fr. Simplicio Apalisok Jr. in one of his sermons said that a promise is a link between the now and the future and between the giver and the expectant receiver. Keeping promises nurture relationships; breaking them, erodes relationships. When we fulfill our promises, we cement our ties; when we fail to keep it, expect to lose it in time.

Adults are like children too when it comes to expecting promises. Promises, especially the little ones, mean a lot. Candies, toys, flowers, a gift, watching a movie, eating dinner...these seemingly insignificant things matter. Come to think of it, would people actually expect us to keep our extraordinary promises when we cannot do the easier ones?

Credibility is an aggregate result of being true to our promises. I guess people will readily give their understanding if we fail to deliver our difficult promises. But they would certainly be less accommodating with our incapability on delivery to their mind, our common and plain pledges.

The sad consequence of the saying "promises are made to be broken" is that relationships are likely to be broken when we often break our promises. By keeping them, relationships would be established and fostered. We become credible and honorable people only because we were considerate to meet the expectations of others.
2:00 PM | Permalink | 4 comments
Monday, January 23, 2006

Laughter is the best medicine so the saying goes. When you laugh, your blood pressure and heart rate rise briefly then drop below their original levels. It even increases white blood cells which fight disease. So go ahead and laugh. Here is a story which I got in the mail today which really made me laugh.

Don’t Mess Up With This Grandma

An elderly Florida lady did her shopping and, upon returning to her car, found four males in her vehicle. She dropped her shopping bags and drew her handgun, proceeding to scream at the top of her voice, "I have a gun, and I know how to use it! Get out of the car!" The four men didn't wait for a second invitation. They got out and ran like mad. The lady, somewhat shaken, then proceeded to load her shopping bags into the back of the car and got into the driver's seat. She was so shaken that she could not get her key into the ignition. She tried and tried, and then it dawned on her why. A few minutes later, she found her own car parked four or five spaces farther down. She loaded her bags into the car and drove to the police station. The sergeant to whom she told the story couldn't stop laughing. He pointed to the other end of the counter, where four pale men were reporting a car jacking by a mad, elderly woman described as white, less than five feet tall, glasses, curly white hair, and carrying a large hand gun. No charges were filed. If you're going to have a Senior Moment, make it a memorable one!

2:30 PM | Permalink | 6 comments
Sunday, January 22, 2006
Haven’t you noticed that people nowadays are increasing their speeds? What was previously considered fast is now thought of as slow since others are going faster. No wonder many of us feel so frazzled at the end of a busy day. Wasn’t it just like yesterday when we celebrated New Year? Well look, January is almost over.

The words “fast,” “rapid,” “quick-acting,” and “speedy” are being used in the business marketplace. The same is also true on an individual level. Since companies are constantly looking for people who can do a quality job quicker, the employee is pressured to increase her speed and improve her skills. As a result she/he is promoted to a position paying her/him double of what she/he is previously making.

This is a worthy achievement, however, there is danger here. I remember reading an article that states that even though achievers should have a quick-service mindset in the marketplace, they must be careful not to personally become driven people, wildly racing to and fro. In our fast paced society we must fight to find times and places for peace, quiet and a slowed-down pace. Otherwise our personal health, spiritual growth, and/or vital relationships will suffer.

The real secret then is to balance professional quickness with personal rest, worship, and play. So this weekend, I will do the following fun things:

1. Work in the garden with my hubby. It does need a lot of caring.
2. Bring my grandson along when I go shopping. He has been reminding me for quite some
time about my promise to bring him along.
3. Buy flowering plants. Time to change some of them.
4. Play badminton with my grandson. Am not sure if I can still swing that racquet.
5. Start putting all the pictures that I have accummulated last year in an album.
6. Listen to my favorite recordings which I recently downloaded from the internet.
7. Bake a chiffon cake. I haven’t done this in such a long time.
8. Sing songs from our videoke machine.
9. Have dinner in the lanai.
10.Give each other fifteen-minute backrubs.

How about you? What fun things will you be doing?
12:30 PM | Permalink | 13 comments
Friday, January 20, 2006
My nephew who works in a big company was surprised to hear music playing in my office when he came over to see me last week. I was shocked to know that there are companies who do not allow music in the offices. What kind of employers are they?

Don’t they know that music, in the right dose has healing power. And fortunately, no life is too busy for music because music coexists so gracefully with other activities.

Invisible to the eye, light as air, this magic called music can surround you with comforting, relaxing sound while you go about your daily rounds.

It is a prayer in a different language – a language, according to many spiritual writers, that is God’s favorite!

For me, setting aside mood music when I am feeling particularly overwhelmed, stressed, and harried has helped soothe my spirit and calm my nerves. So let soft music be your prayer today.
1:45 PM | Permalink | 5 comments
Wednesday, January 18, 2006

In our class reunion recently, I was surprised to learn that a former classmate stopped sending her kids to regular school because of the unsavory influence that has been lurking in our society. She and her husband believe enrolling them in a home-study program will protect them from these evil forces and it was not going to stunt their personalities at all.

Is there a way…or do we simply close our eyes and cross our fingers?

There is really no single formula that will answer these questions. But there is a way. Figure this out…you take risks.

It is the duty of the parents to keep the child nourished, protected, and educated so that he will grow into a useful individual. The parents keep him sheltered under their wings until such time when he will have generated his own powers to go forth and propel on his own.

It is true that there are evil forces lurking everywhere, but a child has to learn to live with them. He cannot exist in a vacuum. Every child needs an opportunity to experience both pleasant and unpleasant moments, preferably with the pleasant ones predominating.

The child who is pampered or sheltered from unpleasant experiences may have a happy and carefree childhood but he is ill prepared to meet disappointments and frustrations he may face with his parents no longer around to protect him.

All individuals need a reasonable tolerance – to be able to “take it” – without going to pieces in the face of trouble. The child who is over-protected and deprived of opportunities to learn how to cope with unpleasant experiences develops feelings of vulnerability.

Psychiatric clinics are filled with clients who are unable to cope with reality. Many of them are pampered darlings who were never taught to stand on their feet.

Having an opportunity to experience all kinds of emotions and learning to cope with them provide “mental health insurance”. A person who has never encountered any misfortune cannot truly appreciate the position of those who suffer.

So I strongly feel that by exposing them to these unsavory influences will provide them with a range of emotional experiences. This is the ideal way to bring them up.

What are your thoughts about this?
1:00 PM | Permalink | 7 comments
Monday, January 16, 2006
For non-working mothers, I don't know if your husbands feel this way but I know 2 of my friends' husbands do. In one of the get togethers we had before the end of 2005, they were ventilating to the group about how sick and tired they were of going to work everyday and breaking their backs to provide for the family while their wives stayed home and spent the money they worked hard for. They wished their wives will experience what they go through so they kidded each other about switching roles with them. Since they know I am a career woman, saying something in defense of my friends will not be appreciated, I decided to tell this story...

One day, God in His infinite wisdom granted a man's wish to switch roles with his wife. The next morning, the man awoke as a woman. He arose, cooked breakfast for his mate, awakened the kids, set out their school clothes, fed them breakfast, packed their lunches, drove them to school, came home and picked up clothes for dry cleaning, took it to the cleaners and stopped at the bank to make a deposit, went grocery shopping, then drove home to put away the groceries, paid the bills and balance the checkbook. He cleaned the cat's little box and bathed the dog. Then it was already 1 pm and he hurried to make the beds, do the laundry, vacuum, dust, and sweep and mop the kitchen floor. Ran to the school to pick up the kids and got into an argument with them on the way home. Set out cookies and milk and got the kids organized to do their homework, then set up the ironing board and watched TV while he did the ironing. At 4:30 he began peeling potatoes and washing vegetables for salad, breaded the porkchops and snapped fresh beans for supper.

After supper, he cleaned the kitchen, ran the dishwasher, folded laundry, bathed the kids, and put them to bed. At 9 pm he was exhausted and, though his daily chores weren't finished, he went to bed where he was expected to make love, which he managed to get through without complaint.

The next morning he awoke and immediately knelt by the bed and said, "Lord, I don't know what I was thinking. I was so wrong to envy my wife's being able to stay home all day. Please, Oh please, let us trade back."

The Lord in His infinite wisdom, replied, "My son, I feel you have learned your lesson and I will be happy to change things back the way they were. You'll just have to wait nine months, though. You got pregnant last night."
6:00 AM | Permalink | 10 comments
Saturday, January 14, 2006

We were a group of high-powered overachievers attending a seminar/workshop today when our speaker, an expert in time management suddenly gave us a quiz.

He pulled out a one-gallon, wide-mouth mason jar and set it on the table in front of all of us. He then carefully started putting about a dozen fist-sized rocks one by one into the jar. When the jar was filled to the top, he asked, "Is this jar full?" Everyone of us said "Yes."

He then said, "are you sure?" Reaching under the table, he pulled out a bucket of gravel which he dumped in the jar and shook it, causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the space between the big rocks. Then he asked the group once more, "Is this jar full?" By this time, we were no longer sure so we answered "Probably not."

He again reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping it in the jar and it went into all the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked us. "Is this jar full?" This time we all shouted "No!"

On the table was a pitcher of water which he began pouring in the jar until it was filled to the brim. He then looked at us and asked, "What is the point of this illustration?"

One of my colleagues said, "No matter how full your schedule is, if you try hard you can always fit some more things in it."

The speaker then said "No, that's not the point. The illustration teaches us: If you don't put the big rocks in first, you'll never get them in at all."

What are the big rocks in your life? Your children. Your spouse. Your loved ones. Your friendships. Your education. Your dreams. A worthy cause. Teaching or mentoring others. Doing things that you love. Time for yourself. Your health. Remember to put these BIG ROCKS in first, or you'll never get them in at all.

If you sweat the little stuff then you'll fill your life with little things, you'll never have the real quality time you need to spend on the big, important stuff.
2:00 PM | Permalink | 6 comments
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Tagging game? I've never been tagged before so I hope I do this right Chrixean.
Here are the rules / procedures verbatim:The first player of this game starts with the topic "five weird habits of yourself," and people who get tagged need to write an entry about their five weird habits as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose the next five people to be tagged and link to their web journals. Don't forget to leave a comment in their blog or journal that says "You are tagged" and tell them to read yours.

Here are my five weird habits:

1. When eating siopao (chinese soft like bread with filling), I remove the dough leaving only a thin layer. My friends are surprised at this and up to this time I can't explain why.

2. At this stage of my life, my hubby still has to pat my back to put me to sleep. When he is not around to do this, it takes me hours before I can.

3. I pray inside the bathroom as soon as I get up from bed every morning maybe because it is the only place at home where there are no interruptions/distractions.

4. I read the magazine from the backpage to the frontpage. I must have copied this from my grandmother who was Japanese. As a child, I would sit beside her while she read her Japanese magazines.

5. I read the morning papers after dinner. All my adult life, I have been loaded with household chores before leaving for work everyday. Even if I have the time on weekends, I still prefer reading them at night.

Did you find them weird? Hope you can share with me more weird habits than mine. Don't forget to leave me a comment so I'll know and I could check out your list too! :-)

I'm tagging:
> Cerebytes
> My Life

> Kathy
> Raindrop Fairy
> Courtney
2:00 PM | Permalink | 5 comments
Monday, January 09, 2006
In this very stressful life, have you felt just like giving up when things started to be so hard for you? Have you ever wondered why you are tired of fighting & struggling while some of your friends are taking it so well?

Well, it is how each person reacts to the situation. An example is the "carrot, egg and the coffee bean." When all three were each made to sit and boil in a separate pot with water for 20 minutes, they turned out differently. The carrots were noted to be soft, while the egg after pulling off the shell, became hard boiled egg and finally, the coffee bean tasted perfectly with its rich aroma.

Each of them faced the same adversity....BOILING WATER....but each reacted differently.

The carrot went in strong, hard & relenting however
after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened
and became weak.

The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had
protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through
the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique,
however after they were in the boiling
water they had changed the water.

Which are you? Are you the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do wilt and become soft and lose strength? Or are you the egg that starts with malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Do you have a fluid spirit, but after death, a break-up, a financial hardship or some other trial, have become hardened and stiff? Does your shell look the same, but on the inside is bitter and tough with a hardened heart? Or are you like the coffee bean? Do you get better and change the situation around you when things are worst? When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate to another level? How do you handle adversity?
1:30 PM | Permalink | 6 comments
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
I once came across an article that shared a compilation about what people discovered about life, love & other good stuff. I found it interesting so I started jotting down my own list. To my surprise, I was able to write down a lot and up to this time I am still learning so what I'll be sharing here are some of my favorites. Here it goes...
  • That worrying does not get me anywhere. Most of the things I worry about never happen.
  • That nothing of value comes without effort.
  • That you can tell a lot about a man by the happiness of his wife and the respect given him by his children.
  • That whenever I decide something with kindness, I usually make the right decision.
  • That I shouldn't go grocery shopping when I'm hungry.
  • That if you pursue happiness, it will elude you. But if you focus on your family, the needs of others, your work, meeting new people, and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you.
  • That regardless of your relationship with a parent, you miss him/her terribly after he/she dies.
  • That if you look for the worst in life and in people, you'll find it. But if you look for the best, you'll find that instead.
  • That anger manages everything poorly.
  • That the best thing about growing older is that now I don't feel the need to impress anyone.
  • That violence on tv and in the movies is so graphic and extreme that it's numbing our children to pain and suffering in the real world.
  • That the best and quickest way to appreciate other people is to try and do their job.
  • That how you do your work is a portrait of yourself.
  • That if you want to know who's the boss in a family, just check to see who holds the tv remote control.
  • That inside every bad person is a good person trying to get out.

How about you? Would you like to share with us what life has taught you so far?

8:46 PM | Permalink | 4 comments
Monday, January 02, 2006

This year just like the past three years, we spent our New Year's eve in a hotel. From the 16th floor, we had a pretty good view of the neighboring towns and cities. A few fireworks display started at around 10 PM and as the new year drew closer, the skies were all lit up with beautiful colors. We witnessed newer, more colorful and bigger designs which really thrilled all of us (my 78 yr old mom, hubby, my only daughter, son-in-law & smart, lovable & handsome 6 yr old grandson). When the clock struck twelve, my son-in-law started using the poppers. The room was filled with colorful confettis that made my grandson shout with glee. We hugged & kissed each other, tossed wine and had our light noche buena. While eating our noche buena, we could not clearly see the skies anymore because of the thick smog. Being in the room spared us from its harmful effects especially since we are a family of allergies. The fireworks display ended 30 minutes past midnight unlike in previous years when you can still see a lot until up to almost 2 AM.

Looking back, New Year's eve was always celebrated at home. It was something we all looked forward too. Early in the evening, I would start preparing the midnight meal while the guys would already start setting up their firecrackers/fireworks in front of the house. They really put a lot of effort into it because the playing of firecrackers and the display of fireworks were like a contest among the neighbors. Each house would try to come up with the loudest firecracker and most beautiful display. I remember my figurines falling off the shelf and our doberman tearing the screen door of the laundry room where he was temporarily housed for the night because of the loud noise the firecrackers created. My daughter would put cottonballs on her and her son's ears while the music in the livingroom is playing loud just to drown the noises outside. After midnight, we start putting on facial masks because of the smog and before retiring to bed, we had to sweep all the mess in the garden and in front of the house. All these did not stop us from celebrating it that way until a freaky accident happened in 2002.

The firework which was mounted on a platform went out of control after it was lighted. It flew and landed in a room full of newspapers and books of our neighbor's garage. Fire started and we all brought out our extinguishers and water hoses. After 30 minutes, the fire was under control but there were a few injuries among the children who happened to be in front of their house. They had to be brought to the hospital for treatment and later on sent home. Since that embarrassing and scary incident, we decided to celebrate it quietly.

Many of our friends find it rather weird but our preference to spend a quite evening with the family is a new tradition that will be carried on for years. Wherever you spent your New Year's eve, I hope you had fun celebrating it. Happy New Year !!! & thank you to all of you for being a part of my 2005.
4:00 AM | Permalink | 2 comments
Sunday, January 01, 2006
How many Christmases and New Years have you gone through? Can you really say that each year is different? What difference does one Christmas or a new year bring you? There is a tendency to celebrate each Christmas and each New Year like opening a it...and then closing the parecenthesis and we go back to the same old way. I think the challenge of each of this two celebrations is to reflect whether we PROGRESSED or our relationship with God, with others and with ourselves....whether we made a difference in our lives and those of others.....whether we've been productive or not...

For this year I can say I was able to:
1. have JOY when those around were discouraged & discontented
2. exude PEACE when those around were anxious
3. practice PATIENCE when those around were hurried and frantic
4. reach out in KINDNESS when those around were difficult
5. demonstrate SELF-CONTROL when those around had none
6. stand in FAITHFULNESS when those around had no commitment
8:30 AM | Permalink | 1 comments