Born on the Year of the Rooster

Yep, three rooster years and counting.

I celebrated my 36th birthday this year with very little fanfare. Truth be told, I had taken down from my Facebook profile my birthdate to avoid precisely that. Not that it was a test or anything, but it kinda did prove to be one of some sort – only those close to me remembered my birthday without the help of a Facebook reminder (you all know who you are, and thank you from the bottom of my heart for remembering).

I did get to celebrate it with my family, eating Joey’s ultimate favourite: steak.

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And then I dragged the fambam to the National Museum since my old folks have not yet seen the Spoliarium up close, and because, well, what birthday of mine would be complete without a trip to the nearest museum, right?

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We had a little group celebration later on with my siblings (we were all born under the zodiac sign of cancer, and our birthdays are a week apart, with mine in between my brother and sister).

Anyway, as you might have noticed, I’ve been blogging less and less the past year. I would blame my laptop situation still (I switched to a Mac a year ago, and still haven’t figured out how to use it), but another more relevant reason is that I simply couldn’t make the time. I still want to write on my blog – I’ve got so much to share, and well, this is one the more reliable venues I have to record my memories. But, work has been eating up most of my waking moments; honestly, my entire weekday is about work. And after 12-14 hours a day, the hours I have left when I get home are spent just being lazy on the couch with the kids while I eat (late) dinner and watch Netflix. Weekends are about sleep, running errands and taking the kids out that frankly, not much else gets done.

Also, I’ve been diagnosed early this year with an auto-immune disease. I think I’ve suspected it for quite some time: the never-ending allergies and swollen face that I’ve endured for over a year, waking up feverish almost daily, and not having enough energy to get through the day. It’s not life-threatening (at least not yet), but it does require me to conserve my energy. It requires a lot of will power to just get up off the bed in the morning, even though my entire body aches and creaks its heart out (no kidding, my bones do creak when I walk).  It requires having to find ways to do things faster than I normally would/could, just so I can finish tasks before my energy gets used up. It means that I have to work harder at overcoming fatigue, work harder at motivating myself, and work harder at seeing the brighter side of things.

Because there is a brighter side. While my condition is lifetime, there are a bunch of medicines that I can take (and do, everyday) to help me live as normal a life as possible. And I am thankful I can afford them, because who knows how many people are out there who cannot?

It also made me realise that I need to rethink my priorities. I’ve always been a workaholic, and many times, I have had to choose between finishing work or being home to tuck in the kids at night, or attending their school events. Or meeting friends.

Times like these, I remember what my father used to tell me. Work may be important, but when you are gone, your work will not remember you. When you get sick, your company will not care for you. If you cannot finish something, no one is going to die because you needed to get a few hours of sleep.

So, I think I need to go back to the basics. I didn’t make new year resolutions at the start of the year but I think it’s not too late to make a few ones for my birthday:

  • Be healthy. The steroids I am on kind of nixes the part of getting slim, but at least I can still strive to eat healthy (yeah, I think I need to start bringing my own lunch box) and exercise. Twenty pounds to lose is a long way to go but that’s the end goal.
  • Spend more time with the kids. Midnight to 2am is very precious to me because that’s the only time during the weekdays that I get to spend with Jorge. With Joey, I barely see him awake, except on weekends.
  • Work smarter. I am usually more productive very early in the morning, when no one’s at the office and meetings have not yet been set (my daily meetings take more than 8-10 hours of every day), or very late at night, when everyone’s gone home. So I think I will go back to being one of those early birds.
  • Travel more. I have made several travel plans in the last two years, only to nix them at the last minute because of unforeseen events. Hubby and I actually planned to celebrate our 10th year anniversary last year with a renewal in Rome but then, work happened. Next year, that was our plan for our 12th year, but again, work will happen. May, July and November are my favourite months to travel, only because that’s when our anniversary and birthdays fall, but apparently, that’s also when most work happens. I guess I just have to accept that I will never get to travel on the  important dates and plan around it.
  • Do things I love. I think I’m getting illiterate because I haven’t been reading; for someone who used to read hundreds of books a year, this is a very high fall from grace. So I need to get back my reading and writing rhythm back.

These are not actually new resolutions. They are just a rehash of every resolution I’ve written here. But I guess, now’s the time to take them seriously.

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