Fasting – I did it!

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I was drawn to intermittent fasting because it was the next healthy thing to do. I have begun to embrace the healthy living position – veggie smoothie twice a day, morning ritual of a full glass of pure, freshly squeezed  lemon juice with drops of oil of oregano and peppermint oil, deep breathing and meditation, and so forth. And now it was time to push the envelope further, eliminate toxins from the body and maybe lose a few pounds along the way.

I’ve learned that there are a number of variations to intermittent fasting. There is fasting for 16 hours a day, or 2 days a week, or every other day, or 24 hours a week. I chose the latter.

I psyched myself the night before and I woke up with a headache the next morning. So much for psyching.  Of all the days to have a headache. But nothing could distract me from fasting. So I had to make it happen.

Throughout the day,  I drank nothing but water. Warm water, actually. It had a soothing effect on my stomach. And my nerves. Although black coffee and clear soup were allowed, I managed pretty well with just water.

The headache accompanied me throughout the day, but it was not as strong as my commitment to complete 24 hours of fasting. Even the hunger was kept at bay, no shaking, no pangs to speak of.

With a water diet, trips to the bathroom were necessarily more frequent than usual.  That’s alright. I was prepared to stay home all day. I also needed to conserve my energy, so when the husband asked if I wanted to go for a walk, I quietly declined. Even talking was minimized!

I slept through the night and I knew I was about to complete my 24-hour fasting. The next morning, success was written all over my face. Surprisingly,  the headache was gone. And best of all, I was not even hungry!

I made it to my first fasting day!

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Sobering thoughts

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She’s 93 years old, and was just recently diagnosed with cancer. She is on her first month of chemotherapy treatment. Everybody is hopeful that she will make it. She’s a strong woman. Heck, she was chasing subways just a few months ago. I can’t even run up the stairs of our split level home.

Her first reaction about her illness, : “Well, I have no complaints. I’ve been here long enough. In fact, I may already be overstaying !”

I cannot begin to imagine the horrendous effects of chemotherapy on her now fragile body. It’s cruel doing this to her. So she can live. One begins to wonder whether that was the right treatment direction for her. Shouldn’t the focus be on the great concept, “quality of life?” Or is prolonging life the more noble goal to achieve? She’s 93; will her life be any better with the chemo regimen? I know it will get worse, for sure, before it gets better. Hopefully it does get better for her.

There are as many sides and angles to this topic as there are infinite rays glimmering from a crystal ball. It is a situation no one wants to be in; unfortunately, life’s challenges do not discriminate. But when it does happen to you, remarkably you discover you have that humbling but powerful resilience tucked in the pockets of your life. I only have the utmost respect and admiration for those who are unwillingly confronted with making a decision that you wish God made for you instead.

Sad Day for Many Reasons

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Not a good day today. It’s quite heart breaking to listen to the news, and all you can do is shake your head. 

Too many dead, too young to be gone. They just wanted to have fun, watch their idol Ariana Grande sing and dance for them. That would be the last they would see, before their lives are claimed by an alleged suicide bomber.

Back in my country, the extremist rebel groups in the southern part of the Philippines have stepped up their violent attacks against the government, endangering the lives of the civilian population. Martial law has just been declared in the region of Mindanao. Fear grips the innocent.

In our local community, one of the pioneering supporters of human rights just met a brutal death in the hands of a still unnamed assassin. The message was loud. Those who dare speak up for the oppressed will be silenced. Forever. 

My daughter messaged me today. She’s down with a stomach bug. Severe headache. Throwing up. Energy drained. It has happened before. And we both know it will take a couple days to feel relief. Lord, please help her.

What can I do to hold on and keep myself together? Sometimes, the tears just don’t want to flow. And I feel the nerves helplessly quivering inside of me, like a roaring train rattling the walls of its cars and threatening to derail from its tracks.

As I spend moments in meditation, I will say a fervent prayer and find strength believing that everything happens for a reason. And that the reasons for all that is happening now will come to light soon. And trust that there is justice and comfort for those who are broken.   

When loud is normal

 

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My husband still believes his hearing is normal. And that everybody else is just munching on their words when they speak, so it’s their fault that he has a heck of a difficult time understanding what it is they’re trying to say.

He is also a potato couch, so he spends most of the day watching news, movies, Andrew Zimmern, The American Picker with the TV volume at an eardrum-breaking high. And that’s normal.

I guess I should already know how to deal with it, having seen my mom handle my dad’s deteriorating hearing loss. But you’re never really ready for anything until it’s actually happening to you.

And as the hearing becomes harder, so does the tension.

Patience. Meditation. Patience. Ear plugs. Patience. Distance. Patience.

And I love the guy, what else can I say.

Surviving Mother’s Day

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I have stopped browsing Facebook for today tonly. Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against Mother’s Day. And I’m happy that people are celebrating and honoring mothers all around the world. 

Social media is flooded with greetings to moms from classmates, coworkers, family. They may be one-liner wishes, or a post with the whole shebang – flowers, balloons, fireworks, with sound bytes and animations.

Of course, I have received my share of such salutations. And to preserve my sanity, I am signing off early.

Not because I don’t appreciate the greetings, especially since I don’t doubt that most are truly heartfelt ones, those from close friends and family.

But nothing is more meaningful to me than one coming from my own daughter. And I know I may be be waiting for nothing. And not hearing from her creates such a contrast to the cheerful notes painted all throughout social media. 

I can’t be unreasonable. She is three hundred miles away on a month-long yoga course. And she’s not one to get into mainstream just for the sake of conforming. And that’s ok by me. I know she loves me, mother’s day or not.

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UPDATE:

She texted this afternoon. In the middle of homework, she found time to viber and send her love. Ain’t I lucky!

He sweats the small stuff

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My husband has a hard time paying 50 cents more for a pound of onions. He’d rather drive four more miles to the next grocery store, turn on the A/C for comfort, take a chance at beating the brewing traffic as peak time approaches, and hustle his way into Safeway’s grocery section, just in time to grab the last bag of onions on sale.

As if he was chasing gold.

I know there are things that are just not worth arguing with him about…but…! Grrr…

Stage Fright

Speaking before an audience is a pretty scary thought for me. My self-confidence is nowhere near the likes of public speakers or business executives who conduct convincing presentations to their corporate clients, commanding attention to a 30-minute spiel as if the world’s salvation rested on it. The search for the right words, the use of the appropriate tone – forceful, yet not overpowering – the correct posture, the facial expression, the proper attire. the attitude, the aura you radiate. It’s a pretty daunting task to package yourself up so that you are able to deliver a speech that will line you up for another promotion.

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While I shunned it with all my might, public speaking was actually an unavoidable part of my job in my previous life.  Because of my background in market research, my job took me to face-to-face meetings with the higher echelons of major companies of the business world. It was never easy standing in front of a crowd of learned people, whose job it is to slice and dice survey results and challenge the researcher’s inferences. But as has oft been said, You gotta do what you gotta do.

I survived those years.

[All images by pixabay]

Daughter’s smile

Today, she smiled. And that made me immensely happy. I think when you don’t see it often enough, the intensity of feelings is heightened when it shows up, and I can see her smile radiating from the heart.

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[All images by pixabay.]

It’s a matter of perspective

As we encircled one end of our dining table, all three of us seated silently, unfinished food staring at us, each one intently glued to our cell phones, I said to myself with joy, “How I love my family!

For how can I not be grateful to see my family around me, when others dont even have someone to call family? When others don’t even have a dining table in which to gather around? When others don’t even have cell phones to connect them to the world?

It’s a matter of perspective, and I’ll take this perspective anytime.

 

[Image by pixabay]

Sarcasm

Why the sarcasm? Why does each conversation with you have to become a constant challenge to hold on to my patience for a lot longer than what my self-respect would allow?

All I asked was a favor, “Could you go to the store and buy some oranges? Dad needs to eat oranges because he seems to coming down with the flu.”

I was very careful with my tone, lest I sound imposing or dictatorial.

“Yeah,” you seemed uninterested, but okay.

You did not rise or make a move to prepare for the task at hand, quite characteristic of you to procrastinate actually, whether deliberately or not, so I said, “Could you go now?”

“Yes, mother, I will do whatever you want. I will do anything for this family!” That’s where the sarcasm came in. The Tone was undeniable. Mocking. Subtle. Yet, I know if I started to debate that tone with you, you will just be on the defense, and it will be world war 3 all over again.

I know better than to prolong any conversation with you, so I headed back into the house. But deep inside me, I was crumbling. My breathing was turning into tiny gasps of muted sobs. I failed miserably again in having a decent exchange with you.