The Little Things You Do

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. “Enjoy little things in life for one day you ‘ll look back and realize they were the big things…”

Today husband and I celebrate our 18th year together as a married couple.  This post however, is not an outline of what makes our marriage successful; rather, it is an enumeration of the little things that my dear husband does that make me love him more everyday.

  1.  He is very prayerful and has deep faith in God. He prays when he wakes up, and prays before he sleeps.  Before we go out of the house, we pray together for protection. Before the kids go to school, he reminds them to say a prayer.  Before he or I travel, we would pray. We pray before meals.  We go to Church when he is home; he goes to Church when he isn’t home…When problems threaten to overwhelm us, he’d remind me to pray and trust in God’s providence.  I remember one time when the kids were in vacation in Manila and had to go back home soon for school was just a few days away and we didn’t have enough money  for their airfare.  My in-laws aren’t the thoughtful kind [at least, according to my standard]; it pains me to say that there were so many instances we sought their help and they often turned us down. And to think that the kids were there to visit them [sigh].  Anyways, I was already panicking. Then one night, at about 10 PM, he called me.  The first thing he said was that God is really good to us.  It turned out he won Php 60,000.00 in a three-digit lottery that night.  A colleague has shared with him these numbers and in desperation, he bet on them.  So we were able to book the kids plane tickets, buy our eldest a mobile for her birthday, and send money to my in-laws to pay for the electricity bill incurred because of their grandchildren’s use of the AC [another sigh].  When the sex was really good, he’d say “thank you Lord for this”, just after he tells me he loves me.  I have no idea if other men do this but I’m just saying my husband DOES!
  2. He always helps me around the house. Yes, he can be really bossy.  But he seems to enjoy cooking, doing the laundry, cleaning the appliances or cutting grass, not to mention bathing the dogs.  He always senses when I’m exhausted so he’d tell me to just rest and he would do all the housework.  This after he has traveled uncomfortably almost six hours in the middle of the night to get home.  I say uncomfortably because his free bus ride is on those slow, non-air conditioned, unlimited-stop trips. But then again, just about everything in this country is lousy and sucks like hell for poor people.
  3. He is considerate in the most unexpected ways.  When we go to sleep, and he is uncomfortable with his position and wants to turn his back on me, he would tell me, asking permission if he could do so.
  4. He is a dedicated cop. He would go on street duty for 12 hours straight, on a night shift, standing up most of the time.  He studies laws on traffic, drugs, crimes and criminal procedure and follows them studiously.  I remember someone bringing him to court and falsely accusing him because he was upholding an ordinance.  An ordinance! For him, all laws, big or small, have to be defended. Then there were times he would call me to ask for right terms to put on the complaints he is filing.  He passed all police-related examinations and was one of the top ten passers of a national police commission examination.
  5. He is a loving father and husband.  As a dad, he is sweet and solicitous with his daughters.  He would patiently take care of them when they get sick;  rub ointments on their backs when they have cough, spend time trading jokes and stories with them.  And he commands obedience from them with little effort, something I have never succeeded in.  He is affectionate but firm. He calls every night just to check if the kids are home from school or if we have eaten dinner. He never fails to call several times a day to make sure we are alright, to say goodnight, and of course, to assure me he loves me.

Yes, these things may seem little.  But now I’m recalling them, I realize they are the big things that make a woman most appreciative of her man <3.

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#falsevalues

1. TEACHING IS A NOBLE PROFESSION.  I wish people would stop labeling teaching as such. It gives everyone the license to patronize us, take advantage of our kindness, exploit our abilities, and worse, justify our pitiful paychecks.

2.  RESILIENCE.  During that big storm last year, a lot of people around the world admired us for our resilience. Unintentionally, their appreciation helped nail us to our coffins. Maybe we shouldn’t have shown such a brave and smiling face amid that tragedy [and all others that went before it], because maybe, just maybe, our government would have been the pillar of strength in our helplessness, instead of the cripple it actually was/is.

3. SUCCESS.  Now there’s a term. A relative who is dear to me once scornfully pointed out how much of a failure I am because despite my intelligence and abilities, I haven’t gone anywhere near success. Before I could scream in righteous indignation [not to mention pain], I had to understand that success is fairly relative and I really shouldn’t take it against him if money, fame and power [all of which I do not have] are his idea of success.

4. TURNING THE OTHER CHEEK. There’s humility, and then there’s humility.  In my humble observation, people have a very strong tendency to take advantage.

Also, avoiding confrontations because of a noble intention to keep the peace or the relationship might just push one to lose his/her marbles and go on a shooting rampage.

5.THE SO-CALLED PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.  Honestly? I do not have the stamina. I am sitting here in front of this computer doing something I love–writing.  At this very moment, I’m happy. Something will eventually make me sad later. Or angry, or disappointed, or depressed.  Might as well save myself from all that huffing and puffing and enjoy this periodic respite from all my troubles.

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My Boulevard of Broken Dreams?

“The hardest thing about having a dream is living with whatever happens to you when it dies”- Matt Posky

Shit happens, they say.  And, for a long time now, I’ve been wading deep in some. So yes, I could honestly say most of my dreams have  died along the way, and it always feels like some part of me also dies whenever I give up one, and I’m always left alone to grieve and to pick up the pieces of my shattered life.    It can really be bewildering at times–being lost and unsure about what to do next, or where to go from the many slumps.  Indeed, living with broken dreams is the hardest thing.  And the hardest part is that there isn’t the comfort of blaming somebody else.

But I realize how minimal my choices were.  I had to give up those dreams and build new ones, hoping against doubts and uncertainties, that they will somehow pull through, and pull me through.  And when I consider the alternative, like, for instance, giving up, I couldn’t bear the thought of letting down people I love, or the fear of what will happen to them if I let go, or let go of them or of the dreams we share.  As Dorothy Parker says, “might as well live”.  A liberal construction of living would imply dying an existential death and still finding a way to live through the devastation.

So I wonder, do dreams really die? Or they just get replaced by something better or something less than they are?  Or they just get deferred?