Also known as: Cleaning up, in all ways

I need to do some housekeeping. Literally and figuratively.

I've been wanting to use this for a while now. :D

Back in college, I was so proud to brag that I clean my room thrice a year. I had a schedule for that because my college school year was divided into three, so I usually just schedule a day in my term break to clean my room. When I started working, though, it became a different thing — I had no term break, ergo, no time to clean. That never really fared well with my mom, so I try to take a weekend to clean my room. Being the packrat that I am, it takes me a day to clean my room, usually involving getting rid of papers, pens and fixing and dusting my bookshelf. You know, just making sure there’s a semblance of sanity in my room.

Of course, when Ondoy came, I was forced to clean what was left in my room (which was still a lot). And then we moved to the apartment so our house can be renovated, and all my things were put in boxes and huge plastic bags. Then we moved back to the house, and it was a mess, until I got all my stuff up my room…and I sort of cleaned. I fixed my closet and my shelf and the rest, I put there. In the room. Since I was saving up for Europe, I didn’t really set aside  money to buy furniture for my room. Until now. Not that my room is still a mess — it’s an organized mess, if you’d allow me to use that. I did do some cleaning a few weeks back, but again, since I don’t have the containers and furniture, they all just got stacked back where they were, but with less of the junk.

The point is, I need to do some cleaning. Not just my room, but in other aspects as well. And this post is really for me to list them down so I would somehow remember (I’ll try, anyway), and maybe posting it here is some kind of accountability measure.

And maybe because I changed some typefaces on the blog yesterday, I just felt like blogging again.

Anyway. So, what kind of housekeeping do I need to do?

  1. Delete old files in my work and personal laptops. I can’t remember the last time I deleted files in my computers, for both personal and office laptops. Since I have a pretty big hard drive and I have an external hard drive, I just tend to save. And save. And save. A few days ago, I had a meeting at work, and I realized that some of the files in my laptop were almost five years old. And I’m sure most of them aren’t relevant or needed anymore. Same goes for my personal laptop. And maybe even my hard drive. I need to delete files and organize the folders again so I won’t use the Find function more often (even if that is really the point of that function).
  2. Organize my office cabinet. Or mobile pedestal, as we call it. Right now, I could fool myself into thinking that I have a nice, clean office cabinet since we got issued new ones after our nth move to another building in the last how many years. It barely contains anything — just some snacks, a notebook and my laptop when I go home after work1 — and I could think of so many ways to organize the things I can put in there…but alas. I can’t do that. Because I have an entire lateral cabinet-full of things that I have accumulated in the past four years I am in this company. And I need to clean that2. Soon. Really soon. DONE!
  3. Organize my music folder(s). In my external hard drive, I have a folder there for my music. It was only supposed to be named as “Music”, but I realized that I have music in my personal laptop and music from my work laptop. So I decided to name it that folder “ORGANIZE! Music” to remind myself that I need to fix that. I created that folder in 2009. It still has the same folder name. And I’m not even sure which folder has the most accurate music. And if ever my iPod crashes (knock on wood), I’m not sure if I can restore everything.
  4. Organize my photos. I’m not even sure what the state of my photo library is. I need to check that. Can’t have computers crashing and me losing my photos again. :/
  5. Weed out my bookshelf. Okay, I kinda do regular housekeeping for this, because every time I meet up with my book club, I bring some of the books that I’ve read that I know I would probably never read again. You know, those books that I don’t really like. I’ve been doing pretty good with that. Lately though, someone planted an idea in my head: letting go of books from my to-be-read pile that I will probably never read anyway. Without reading it first. I was flabbergasted. The pack-rat in me was thinking, “But what if you suddenly read a review about that book and it turns out to be really awesome and now that you want to read it, you don’t have it anymore? Better keep it!” But there is wisdom in that idea, because that would significantly reduce the amount of books on my unread pile. Some of those books are impulse buys on sales, and all that, but you know, I never got to read. I still don’t know if I will do that…maybe I will try. Maybe. At least I know I have friends who will eagerly get some of them.
  6. Get some closet space. I really need to do that “give away what you haven’t worn in a year” type of things. I haven’t really done that regularly because I’m a pack rat I haven’t really done major shopping and I’m afraid that if I remove all the clothes that I haven’t worn in a year from my closet, it would be empty. :( Which comes the next note to self: go buy myself something nice to wear. Same goes for shoes. Ah, I want a shopping spree.
  7. Go to confession. Because it’s been long overdue. And the soul needs some housekeeping, too.

So. I’m pretty sure there’s more, but let’s leave it at a manageable list of seven. Now I hope I can get to that soon sometime before 2012 ends within the first half within the first quarter of the year. I just really need to stop procrastinating and start making time for housekeeping. Maybe I can start small. With my photos, probably.

Let’s see. Oh, and finishing housekeeping stuff gives me something to post here, too. :p Hmm.

  1. I leave my laptop at work now instead of bringing it home all the time — my back is thankful []
  2. This may mean bringing home office junk to the house…which is very unfortunate, since I already have so much junk in the first place. Why am I such a pack rat?! []


Also known as: Quarter-life crisis for the new year. Sort of.

The start of the year — ever since last year, anyway — always brings this…choking feeling. It comes soon after the novelty of the new year has worn off. It’s when the optimism fades and I wrestle again with the question: what the heck am I going to do with my year? With my life?

It’s the classic case of quarter-life crisis. I think, anyway. Last year, I remember feeling almost exactly the same thing, too. Except that last year had loads more to be excited about: Europe, to name one. This year, while I admit it to having infinite possibilities once again…I just have no idea what to do. I’ve been thisclose to panic mode the past few days — it could have been because I was sick, or I was stressed, but there’s a part of me that just wouldn’t sit still. I feel like I had to do something, but I don’t know what to do. I want something to happen, but I don’t know what. And worst of all, because I don’t know anything, I’m frozen with fear where I am and I just want to hide under my covers and not get out until I figure everything out. I felt like I was ready to break down anytime.

I know, I know. I said I’m going to initiate. To take the first step. But what if you don’t know what that first step is?

But a little realization earlier. In an attempt to get moving and looking for something to look forward to (and I did promise I would start going again), I attended my first SFC chapter assembly after almost five years. It was fun, even if I left early. Since it was the first chapter assembly of the year, the sharing was about the state of our heart for 2011 and at the start of 2012. Hearing the things the others said was inspiring, not only because I miss sharing sessions like that, but because it reminded me of something that’s been a fact of my life for a while now. Something that I seem to forget sometimes most of the time.

You see, I think sometimes, God answers my prayers even if I don’t expect him to answer it. Which really makes sense since He’s God. But let me explain. You know those carelessly whispered prayers, ones you don’t consider as prayers but God hears, anyway? Anyway, every New Year, I make it  a point to pray at the stroke of midnight, to open the year with a prayer. I did the same thing this year, taking advantage of my solitude (sort of. It’s hardly silent then because of all the firecrackers outside), writing a two-page prayer on my journal while playing All Things New by Steven Curtis Chapman, my favorite New Year song.

Now if you haven’t heard the song, I suggest you go do it now. It’s a song about yes, how God makes all things new. And who doesn’t want new things for the new year, right? I know I want that.

But how can I have room for new things if I cling so much to the old things?

I don’t know if this is right…but I guess, this feeling of emptiness, of panic, of not knowing what to do, is a bit of housekeeping. Maybe, maybe, God is emptying / has emptied me / trying to empty me out so He can make all things new. So He can make me new.

2011 was a good year, and maybe a part of me is still wishing that it’s still 2011, and that I still have all that goodness with me. But I have to remind myself that God is good, and God will give what is good. How could I forget one of my favorite verses in 2011? Just because the year changed, it doesn’t mean that God has changed too.

This is the part where I take a deep breath, and tell myself to calm down. To be still, because He is God. And to be excited because I know that in my heart of hearts, I believe that God has big surprises in store for 2012. I just have to take it one day at a time.

Last. I read this post last weekend, written by one of my favorite authors, Sara Zarr1. I thought I’d post some parts of it here too, so I can go back to this easily to remind myself. And maybe, if you’re like me, you need reminding of this too. Advent has long been over, but the message is still relevant.

Take comfort.
Everything is going to be okay; it already is.
God’s power is immense. Make way for that.

Joy to the world, the pressure is off.

This God, who has measured off the heavens with his fingers and held the oceans in his hands, has given us these messy and confusing lives. And also likens these messy, confusing lives to beautiful flowers. He came into the mess in a messy, confusing way, and left a confusing mess behind, and that was all exactly as he planned it.

Believing that, I can live my messy, confusing, fleeting life in total freedom. I can look back at this last year and let it be the imperfect mess that it was. I can look into next year and have no clue about what will happen next, and not try to make myself into God by writing up a thousand-item to-do list for 2012.

Because God is God, and he is with me, who is only me.

Allow me to end this post with how people in my community end their sharing (which I totally forgot about and was so happy to hear again earlier): and with this, may God be praised. :)

  1. Can I just say that I’m positively thrilled to know she writes stuff like these :D []


Also known as: Well I think it’s already obvious: 2012 goals

Just making it uniform, since I used almost the same graphic last year. :D

I meant to post this yesterday, but I (think) I was nursing a hangover from drinking on my own during New Year’s Eve, and I was out with my brother and sister-in-law at night. I wanted to blog that night, but I honestly wasn’t up for it. Not to mention that I don’t really know what to write yet.

But enough excuses.

Last Friday, I had dinner with some of my closest friends at home (more details at my best friend’s blog post about it) and as expected, we started talking about how 2011 was and what we want to do in 2012. 2011 was a pretty good year for us as friends, and personally it’s one of the good ones (as I mentioned in my post). 2012, however, is a brand new year with so many possibilities that I can’t help but feel a little overwhelmed at times. And this isn’t just because of the end of the world predicted by the Mayans1.

As far as my 2011 goals were concerned, I managed to accomplish 50%. By 50%, I mean 1 out of 2 — and it’s obvious what goal I managed to reach. The driving thing? Still nada. I have no valid excuses, really, and even if I say that my brother uses the car, I still had those days when I could have driven but chose not to. I’m done getting frustrated about that, really, because what is the use of my driving if I don’t have a car? And since I can’t really afford to get myself  a car2 anytime soon, I really shouldn’t worry about that.

So, here we come, at 2012.

I’m going to be perfectly honest here.

I have no idea what I am going to do.

But first, a little anecdote. Sometime last year, I attended this event for the top performers of the company I work for. It was a time to talk to different bosses in our company and it’s really a chance to pick on their brains and get some advice and/or inspiration from them for our careers (and maybe even our lives). It was an inspiring time (especially when one of the bosses took his time to talk to me because I wasn’t able to ask my question), and it got me mulling over the things I am doing and what I want to do with my career. I realized that the bosses at my company are bosses because they took initiative, they jumped at opportunities, they took chances. It’s not always easy, but seeing where they are now is inspiring. And I know that somewhere inside me, I also kind of want that.

I’m not sure if I have the guts to be a hotshot executive, and I still believe my life plan is to work with words (more to this on another post, probably), but here’s the thing: I won’t know that until I try. And since I still see myself working where I am now, and I’ve been in the same role for more than two years already, I figure it’s just high time to do something new.

The original word I used was aggression, which I wasn’t really sure applies. Haha. Okay, I used that word because I figured it was what I needed to do. I need to be aggressive with the things I want. I need to go after them, not just simply nose around and follow a path slowly, or just go with the current. I need to chase them. If I want something, I need to try and get them because not everything will be handed to me on a silver platter.

And then I realized that the term aggression may be a bit too…well, aggressive and negative, so I needed another term. It could be assertion, but it doesn’t feel absolutely right. Then my friend Dodge gave me a term: initiate.

And I thought, “That could work.”

I’ve proven it last year: there’s nothing wrong with asking, and there’s nothing wrong with taking the first step. So I figure, this year, I’m going to initiate. I’m going to take the first step out of a million possible steps. I’m going to get started, because if I don’t initiate things to reach my dreams…then who will?

The secret to getting ahead is getting started. (Mark Twain)

But I must add something. When I was writing this entry, it was really just about taking initiative and starting things. But I realized that it’s not enough to just start. When you start something, you need to follow through. So just to make sure I am on track, I need to remind myself to keep on going and finish what I started. Because, you know, it’s not fun when you leave things unfinished.

I know, all these sounds so vague, yes? But let me work on that3. I do have some goals and things to achieve this year, and for the purpose of writing them down to remember, here they are:

  • Travel more. One destination each in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Hopefully once with a group of people I don’t really know, and another by myself.
  • Go to Europe again. Well, okay this is me wishing and praying for this really hard, and if God gives it to me again, then why not? When you’re invited for a Europe mission and you think you can go to it, why not do it?
  • Get a mentor, train back-ups and start looking for a new role at work. Self-explanatory.
  • Sponsor another child in World Vision.
  • Finish one of my novels. Too many works in progress but too lazy to finish any. Must work on that.
  • Learn a new language. Bonjour! :)
  • Go back to community. Self-explanatory, too, I think.

(See, I do not have driving on this list? I haven’t given up on it yet, I just decided to let it rest this year. :P)

So let’s call this post my first step in taking initiative. By God’s grace, I’m declaring this year as another year of answered prayers. :) Like what my friend said, life in God goes from glory to glory, and I believe that if 2011 was great, then 2012 can only be better. :)

This entry is long enough — time to stop. I leave you now with an excerpt of a wonderful post from one of my favorite blogging discoveries last year, Isa. :)

I hope you discover the beauty of simple things and how they stand as lifesavers when the big things fall apart. I hope you find yourself face-to-face with a problem so seemingly impossible you will be forced to find a strength within you that you never even knew existed. And, with all I have, I hope you win. I hope you learn to be a hero. I hope you get to share an amazing adventure with people who are nothing less than wonderful. I hope you find all kinds of opportunities to show kindness to a hurting and broken world – even if it costs you. I hope wherever you are, hope grows. I hope you get to travel. I hope your horizons expand beyond all your expectations, I hope that you tremble with vulnerable love but above all, I hope you witness a miracle.

And, as 2012 comes to a dazzling end, I hope you realize what your heart has hardly begun to believe:  that the miracle is you.

I wish you all a blessed 2012 ahead4. :)

  1. Really, who believes this? []
  2. The gray Honda Jazz of my dreams! []
  3. I will write about that in the coming days/weeks/month, promise :D []
  4. Everyone and their cat had said this already, but there’s nothing wrong with too many well-wishes []