Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Exercise Withdrawals

As of late, I questioned myself about why I'm feeling miserable even when things aren't all that bad. Although my frustrations are not as apparent due to my natural disposition, it did make me feel irritated with myself. Oh why oh why am I feeling so blue?

I suppose I can blame it on hormones. Or that there are some things that fell through. Or point to someone else and blame them for making me feel miserable. But deep down, I know that none of those were the answer I'm looking for.

I finally went and asked a good friend. First thing that she came out of her mouth, "Jan, when was the last time did you workout?" Apprehensively, I confessed that it has been a couple of days. "Go and workout. Run. That's your answer," she replied. Then it dawn to me that being active have always been a big part of my life. Who would have thought that being sedentary within just a couple of measly days would have such a pendulum affect with my moods? Exercise withdrawals. That's the answer.

Fascinated with the idea, I looked further into the case. There's actually a lot of studies done with the subject. In the article, Exercise Withdrawal Alters Mood In A Few Days, scientists did a study on this phenomenon.
A new study shows that people who regularly exercise will being to feel depressed and fatigued after just one week of forced inactivity. By one week, the scientists found, the subjects who had stopped exercising reported more fatigue and other somatic symptoms than those who had maintained their workout routines. By week two, the non-exercising individuals reported more mental symptoms as well. [There are] body-related symptoms of depression such as poor appetite, fatigue, sleep difficulties and low energy levels, as well as mental symptoms such as sadness, self-criticalness, anxiety and irritability.

Since I'm a long-distance runner at this time, this article, Study: Runners Experience Chemical Withdrawal When Deprived of Exercise, revealed a very interesting study regarding a link of the runner's high to heroine and morphin addicts.
Researchers at Tufts University may have confirmed this addiction by showing that an intense running regimen in rats can release brain chemicals that mimic the same sense of euphoria as opiate use. They propose that moderate exercise could be a "substitute drug" for human heroin and morphine addicts.

Given all of the benefits of exercise, many people commit to an active running routine. Somewhere during a longer, more intense run when stored glycogen is depleted, the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus release endorphins that can provide that "second wind" that keeps a runner going. This sense of being able to run all day is similar to the pain-relieving state that opiates provide, scientists have known.

Addiction? Well, running does tend to be addicting. The happy feeling after a really great exercise feels too sweet to pass up. My regular regiment requires me to exercise 6 days a week. May not seem feasible for most people but taking at least an hour a day doesn't seem that overwhelming.

Life does have a way of getting in the way of my daily routine. I have a job that currently randomizes and dictates my availability. There's also school with plenty of essays and tests that needs to completed. A lot of times, solely juggling work and school leaves me exhausted and depleted so sleep gets in the way. The lack of consistency drive me crazy. Shortening my workouts to 2-3 days a week isn't cutting it. At this point, I sometimes wonder how I will be able to finish the marathon in November.

No excuses, just do it. Perhaps I should pre-plan a variety of different exercise regiments ahead of time for my cross trainings. Or draft a feasible calendar as soon as I get my work schedule. Whatever it is, it's time to be creative. Even if there's a lot of arms needed to be twisted a long the way - mostly mine. Just to preserve my sanity.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

My Skydiving Adventure

It's already been a week since I've made the plunge and checked off skydiving from my bucket list. I wanted to see if the exhilaration from the experience would fade in time. It hasn't. I can still feel the excitement of the anticipation. How my heart beats faster each day leading to my birthday - the day when I made the jump.

That day, I woke up with my cellphone ringing. My best friend didn't bother sleeping that morning. She decided to head over my place before the first rays of the sun broke through the sky. Half-asleep and struggling to dress up for the big jump, I finally decided to wear shorts and a tank top.

The view during the trip towards Skydive Space Center in Titusville is amazing. The dawn was just breaking and different shades of red and yellow whirled together while the sun began to rise. Mists of water floated up into the air as the day began to heat up. Reflection of the sky mirrored against the waters in the marshes and lakes. It was beginning to look like a gorgeous day.

We ended up being at least one hour early. The diving center was still closed. We were intrigued with the different planes outside the hangar of the other site. There were at least six planes of different sizes, shapes, and colors.

Finally, the doors opened. Wendy at the front register spoke with me a little more about skydiving. I explained to her that I'll be doing 18,000 feet that day. She wondered whether I went skydiving before. When I told her that it's going to be my first, she became very excited. Then she indicated that I had to have a partner since they need at least 2 people to do the 18,000.

Thank goodness that my partner for the 18,000 came as he promised. We were both so excited to be the only ones to do the highest jump from the group. I told him that since we have the option to do 18,000, might as well do it all the way. More air time = more fun.

Since our registration finished before anyone else who wanted to do the dive that day, the three of us wandered off to the hangar. There, we could see parachutes being put together. We took pictures of everything. We wanted to be able to look back and remember what we have done.

I ended up talking to the pilot, Greg. He was teaching me bits and pieces of the plane. He was also showing what he's looking for, making sure there's enough fluids and what the engine looked like. He even went further and discussed about the propeller and how that worked.

Finally, the plane was being out pulled out of the hangar. We still had a lot of time to spare before getting into our harness. So, we started talking about the expectations during the jump. Next thing I know, I was donning the pilot's harness and checking out the cockpit. My little group definitely ended up with more experience than the rest of the skydivers that day. I suppose being sociable has its advantages.

After fooling around with a farting dummy, it's finally time to get into my actual harness. My jump master is going to be JR and my videographer was Big Bird. I think Big Bird's real name is Paul. But Big Bird stuck in my head instead. After being geared up and ready, I had my before jump interview. Looking back, I have to wonder whether or not I believed what I said. I said that I'm just really excited and make the big jump. I was not scared at all - just really excited. I didn't even have knots forming in my tummy. No butterflies flying around. Just calmness. It's hard to explain since most people would have been anxious. I guess I just had a knowing that everything was going to be A-OK. Might as well just enjoy the ride.

The call to head towards the plane finally arrived. At first, I was seated in the opposite side from the door. Somehow, I ended up being right next to the door of the plane. Big Bird was crazy. He mostly kept the door of the plane open and he was sitting on the floor right next to it. I have to agree that the wind flowing in was pretty refreshing. As the plane went higher and higher, the perception of how things look became very different. The houses looked like little boxes and trees became dots on the ground. I'm glad that I ended up being next to the door.

I told JR to go crazy with the dive. I was met with lots of approval from other videographers in the plane. They said that JR's middle name is crazy. I got excited when JR told Big Bird to get ready for 3 flips in the air. Yay! It's going to be a lot of fun.

The door finally opened and the light switched from red to green. At that moment, I realized that I was the first one to jump. I told myself that since I was already there, I don't have a choice but to jump. And 3, 2, 1... there goes the jump. Chin the chest, tuck in knees - we did the flips as JR promised. Then comes the serenity of floating in the air. Weird enough, I didn't feel the dropping feeling someone would have experienced in free fall rides such as The Tower of Terror. No, the feeling was surreal. I felt like I was embracing the world and I loved it.

We did a few more things like grab Big Bird's foot to put in the video. Then it was time to pull the chute. It was so relaxing just parachuting up there in the air. The view is amazing. I could see where NASA is located, the beach, and everything else in between. I can see the curvature of the earth. I was at peace. I wish I could just fall asleep with that nice feeling.

JR let me navigate the parachute for a little bit. I could see others in their parachutes landing and yet we were still way above them - still had a long way to go. I was not strong enough to make circles with the parachute so JR had to help me with that. Whoa, that part made me a bit giddy and dizzy all at the same time.

I thought at first that I had to end up in my butt when we landed. JR instructed me to just look like as if we were running. It was a little tricky trying to find the right timing but yes, there we were, stopping successfully.

My partner and I ended up with the 18,000. It was sweet to have something to let others know that we could do it. But in the end, I just say that the paper could not even show how much of a blast the entire experience have been.

Now, another check in my bucket list. And more to go... Who knows I'll be up to next.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Oh The Little Things That Matter

It is one of those nights. Millions of stars twinkling against the dark of the night. The light of the moon cast dark silhouettes of the trees and houses. Random ripples of water break the shiny surface of the lake from curious fish peaking through. Tendrils of moss lay hanging on the majestic trees. The thickness of the humidity created some sort of heaviness within the lull of the night.

Walking back from the gym, I began to wonder how the time flew by so quickly. It's already Thursday and yet it felt like yesterday was just the weekend. I suppose time flies when you're having fun. In that sense, life isn't as boring as it seem to be.

During the walk, I felt that I missed out somehow. I've been so busy that I haven't stopped an smell the roses, so to speak. As a huge advocate of living life to the fullest, I normally look for the big picture. But at times, I forget to just enjoy the journey.

So finally back home, I thought about writing down the little things - the little things that I appreciate when I actually stop and look at the treasures that we live with. The things that are usually overlooked yet so wonderful when given the time to be thankful for. You don't always need to spend money to enjoy the gifts of the world.

There's too many things to list down. So I'm starting with a list of 25.
1. Sound of the running water
2. Lightning lightening the sky
3. Shower after a workout
4. Tantalizing smell of a flower
5. Smell of a freshly baked bread
6. Reading a good book
7. Laughing so much that my tummy hurts
8. Afternoon naps
9. Aroma of a home-cooked meal
10. Quenching thirst from a cold glass of water
11. Making sandcastles
12. Hanging upside down on a monkey bar
13. Floating on the water
14. Being on top of cliff/building
15. Daydreaming
16. Sleeping under the stars
17. Watching the clouds go by
18. Eating a good meal
19. Climbing a tree
20. Jumping off a rope and into a lake
21. Catching a fish
22. Starting a fire with a flint and steel
23. Learning new things
24. Eating a popsicle in the dead of the summer
25. Being in a hammock

There, I finally wrote some of them down. I know I have lots more that I want to put down too but I'll save that for another time. It's a lot of fun being able to achieve my goals and dreams. But it is also the little things that matter the most.

Enjoy The Ride by Moorcheeba

Shut the gates and sunset
After that you can't get out
You can see the bigger picture
Find out what it's all about
You're open to the skyline
You won't want to go back home
In a garden full of angels
You will never be alone

But oh the road is long
The stones that you are walking on
Have gone

With the moonlight to guide you
Feel the joy of being alive
The day that you stop running
Is the day that you arrive

And the night that you got locked in
Was the time to decide
Stop chasing shadows
Just enjoy the ride

If you close the door to your house
Don't let anybody in
It's a room that's full of nothing
All that underneath your skin
Face against the window
You can't watch it fade to grey
And you'll never catch the fickle wind
If you choose to stay

But oh the road is long
The stones that you are walking on
Have gone

With the moonlight to guide you
Feel the joy of being alive
The day that you stop running
Is the day that you arrive

And the night that you got locked in
Was the time to decide
Stop chasing shadows
Just enjoy the ride

Stop chasing shadows
Just enjoy the ride

Monday, June 7, 2010

Go Team!!!

This season is the season of giving and it's not even Christmas yet. I've decided to join Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training (TnT). The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) provided us an opportunity to train for a marathon or half-marathon. They also have other programs such as a triathlon and the century ride. All of which are endurance activities.

I have personally committed to fundraise $3250 this season towards Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. It's a very high commitment to make in such an economy. However after finding out that the society have funded research for Gleevec, a cancer medication, it became personal. I have also discovered numerous personal contacts that also have to go through cancer treatments. In my line of work, I've spoken to patients that has to go through different kinds of conditions from cancer to multiple sclerosis to rheumatoid arthritis. My heart reaches out to my patients that have to suffer through their condition. Knowing how much money it takes to stay on therapy and be able to afford the maintenance medications each month, raising my commitment amount seems menial.

As an alumni to TnT, I can't say that this is my very first marathon. I have also trained and completed my first marathon back in January 2007 for the Disney Marathon. To this day, it is still a challenge to be doing an endurance run since my body is adept at doing short distances. I believe that with the right training, I should be able to complete it. I've done it before so it shouldn't be a doubt now. The biggest challenge is the fact that this season's marathon is going to be held in San Francisco, California. The course would encompass the famous hills. And I live here in Florida - known for being flat. Coach indicated that we would be running a lot in Clermont. With that in mind, keeping up with the 6-days a week training becomes essential.

I'm open-minded to a lot of suggestions regarding fundraising and training. I've been getting a lot of advice regarding modifying my diet and taking supplements. To my dismay, I have to figure out everything I'm eating and putting them into categories so I can find out what nutrition I'm lacking. I'm sure it's not all that bad once I get going. The only problem is I love to eat so I'll be stuffing it in before trying to analyze how much protein or complex carbohydrates I've just eaten.

I wish to be able to brainstorm regarding fundraising with someone. I'm trying to fill in the how to be able to reach my fundraising goal at the moment. Possibly raffle off a trip? Or sell something else? This calls for a plan of action.

Provided that training with TnT requires mental and physical challenges, it's been an interesting journey for far. And the season has just started.

"Accept the challenges so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory." - General George S. Patton

If you'd like to help and donate to Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, please stop by my site -> Jan's Team In Training Page

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Five Ways To Be Happier Today

I came across this blog today, Five Ways to Be Happier Today. Just brought in some interesting food-for-thoughts. Come check it out. I'm thinking of making a gratitude journal and see what a difference that makes.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

39 Pounds of Love

What an inspiring movie!!! 39 Pounds of Love is a movie about a 34 year old man named Ami whose mom was told that he only has 6 years to live when he was 1 and no more. And here he is, at 34 years old, fulfilling his dreams. A must-watch movie especially when things look bleak and need some uplifting messages of living life to the fullest and loving love.

Ami is now in my book of a really great role model who shows that you can do whatever you want in life just as long as you put your mind into it, never give up, and keep going. During the movie, I felt guilty since here I am, a healthy woman, who at times felt that all hope has gone and living life is too hard, thought the way I do when times get tough. But I believe that people like Ami is around to show everyone that even times get tough, there's still love and life is full of adventure.

Really inspiring and motivating. I'm glad I came across this movie.

Link to the movie: 30 Pounds of Love

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Mirror Has Two Faces

This movies is utterly moving. Barbara Streisand and Jeff Bridges have done a terrific job. This movie is about two professors who were fed up with love. Shy, plain English professor, Rose Morgan, met Mathematics professor, Gregory Larkin, after Rose's sister's intervention. Gregory has a theory that sex complicates the relationship between a man and woman. Therefore, is looking for a relationship that is platonic and completely intellectual. However, theories don't always apply to emotions and different feelings arises.

In a way, I'm jealous of Rose because she speaks her mind and have intellectual conversations with someone. I can sympathize regarding not feeling very beautiful and yet to find out that it's confidence that makes someone shine. Like Rose, I yearn to find someone who just "gets me".

I find Gregory's perplexing theory quite interesting about platonic relationships. Indeed humans need companionship and friendships tend to last longer than most relationships. However, without passion, it does tend to get stale. I feel that both worlds must be fused together and have a delicate balance to keep someone fulfilled.

Rose's words, "Why do we chase after love even if it has a short shelf life? Because it feels fucking great".

This movie is great to watch especially if you want to fall in love all over again. Can't truly categorize it as a "chick flick" because there's more meaning to it than the superficiality of the label. At the same time, it does have a Cinderella feeling to it. And who wouldn't want to meet their Prince Charming?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Writer's Workshop: Inspired Image

Writer's Workshop: “What images inspire you immediately? Open a magazine and create a piece of writing (poem, story, essay) about the first image that captures your imagination.”

I don't own too many magazines so I'm taking the stab on this the best I can... This image comes from my Dive Training magazine, a beach in Maui filled with black sands.

The roar of the waves
Crashing against the rocks
White foam reach out
Towards the black sand
A slight breeze brushed
The tops of the trees
Creating a certain lull
In the start of the day

The warmth of the sun
The blue, cloudless sky
Splash of the cool water
Mezmerizing, Tantalizing
The senses to seek ways
To enjoy the outdoors
Such a beautiful day -
A sin to stay indoors

Surfing, Snorkling
Wakeboarding, Kayaking
Fishing, Swimming
Jetskiing, Diving,
Sailing, Sunbathing
So much to do -
So little time
What to do first?

The sun have finally
Fallen behind the mountains
The twinkling stars
And bright round moon
Spread across the sky
After the excitement
Of the day have gone
It's time to say goodnight.

Mama's Losin' It

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Home - “The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned” ~ Maya Angelou

From the Writer's Workshop, I chose to write about “The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned” ~ Maya Angelou.

The words of Maya Angelou strike a note inside me. From my past, I have felt that I've never truly been able to "go home". Home is more than just a place to live in. Home is a safe haven where the troubles of the world vanishes and fills one's soul with motivation, dreams, and inspiration.

For years, I have yearned to be loved for who I am and wished that I can voice my thoughts and opinions without being stomped on. I have dreamed about being able to share my dreams without being criticized about being far-fetched or ungrounded. I wanted to be inspired and motivated that I can fulfill my life's purpose and use my talents to help another individual. I needed security that I will always be loved despite my flaws, forgiven for my faults, and celebrate over everything that I have done right.

I have been achingly jealous of lots of family movies that always ended in happy endings. Where the family would gather together for a nice, warm meal and share the day's ordeals. Where you always know that once you're home, you receive warm big hugs, laughter, and kisses. Where you can enjoy each other's company by using a little creativity. Or share each other's thoughts about philosophies, history, and art. Where you get together during holidays and recount on wonderful memories.

It's funny how out of all what I want to do/be in my life, this is what I feeling I wanted the most... be able to be "at home".

Oh I wish I may I wish I might... this wish of coming home tonight.

Mama's Losin' It

Sacrifice for Lent: Facebook and Myspace

I can't say that I'm a devout follower of the Catholic church. Nor do I agree with all of the teachings of the church but that to me is a personal preference and choice. But when I went to church last Sunday with a friend and noted that Lent's coming up, it got me thinking about partaking in it this year.

After some thinking and meditation, I figured to just sacrifice using social networking websites for 40 days. To some, it's not big deal. But for a social butterfly like myself, it is a big deal. It doesn't help that I have just taken up on an interest in finding more about my family and reconnecting w/ family members through Facebook. So, I really can't wait for Easter to come around.

I have spent so much time just chatting w/ friends or finding out who's who and what's what in the sites. Needless to say, I have also wasted countless hours on the apps although they did provide temporary amusement until I get bored and want to move on to something else.

With all of the time I've used in these networking sites, I hope to develop a new habit of reassigning them to better opportunities such as retouching up on my marketing skills and just finishing up my pharm tech certification. Or work on my community service. Or finally spend a lot of much-needed time in the library.

Aside from reaping the benefits of creating new habits, I suppose I'm just taking the time to prove to myself again that I can do anything that I put my mind into. Not a bad idea right?

So, when is Easter coming again? How long do I have to wait?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Last Year, This Time of The Year...

Where did the time go? It blazed past by although last year, it was seemingly endless. Around this time of the year, I remember conjuring up plans with 3 other ladies, trying to figure out how we can celebrate Valentine's Day with our hunnies. I suppose the oddest part is that we were all planning a road trip together when none of us ever met each other before until the trip to NC.

How come? Why would strangers get together for Valentine's Day when it is meant to spend time with people you love? Strange things do happen when the love of your life is in the military.

Unless going through it yourself, time is of an essence when you know that your heart is going to be leaving and the precious time will dwindle towards a long absence and having thousands of miles apart. It was such a bitter-sweet moment when you feel grateful for every second being with him but a throbbing thought in the back of your mind keep reminding you that he's going away soon.

I remember our mixed emotions before we were on our way. It has been phone calls, texts, emails, and IM chat galore for the next few weeks to come. We were all jumbled up in our feelings... feelings that are mixed with happiness, sadness, nervousness, anxiousness, love, heartbreak, excitement, and fear. We would be contacting each other to discuss the details of our road trip. Then all of the sudden, we needed each other for support while we break down and cry. Since this was going to be the first deployment for all of us, the unexpectedness is our worst enemy.

Reflecting towards what we have done, deployments make people do crazy things. Who would have thought about taking 16-hour drives and hundreds of miles with strangers? Who would share your deepest thoughts with ones who you've never met? Alas, this is just a little bit of what it is like to be a Marine girlfriend...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Unwinding Destiny

Just thought to post up an old poem I've written back in 2001 for old time's sake...

Unwinding Destiny

Confused, Lonely, and Frustrated before I have found myself;
It was a time when troubles
Always seemed to find me-
When I just don't know what to do;
Always seeking for a way to find that one thing
That would banish Misery forever.
Days, months, and years had passed;
I still haven't found it.
It wasn't until I began looking around me and myself,
I found out the only problem was me-
Not having enough Trust that I was able to do it.
It was then that I have found myself.
In the winding road of Life.
It was then when I found
Optimism, Laughter, and Fortune.
From then on I would always find myself-
When I was down, I would get up
I don't know what the future holds
But I am certain that
I would discover my Unwinding Destiny in time.

Monday, January 18, 2010

YUM YUM: Mochi

After working hard all week, I looked forward to just kicking back and enjoying a treat. After countless reminders that a new restaurant, Mochi, is having its grand opening, I finally surrendered and decided to make a pit-stop in Downtown Orlando at the last minute.

I must confess that I did come across another Mochi up in Jax a few months earlier and have a little dibs in what their delectables are like. But that didn't stop me from being excited to try out everything they have to offer. Mochi offers low-fat yogurt in various delicious flavors that would delight your taste-buds. Even better is being able to customize your treat with different toppings from chocolates, gummy bears, fruits, and (of course) mochi. (Here's a link on more information about what mochi is -> Mochi,what it is...)

Oh what a great way to please a guilty pleasure in a healthier way (unless of course you load yours up w/ lots of chocolatey and sugary delights). Mochi definitely won my friend's heart and should be soon a favorite meeting spot.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Challenge Number One: Be Pharmacy Tech Certified by February

I've been offered a temp job in a pharmaceutical company. They're looking for permanent hires but at the same time want to check out its candidates first through a 90-day contract with the temp agency. Since right now all I care more than ever is to have inflow of money to pay of the bills and keep me sane, it's to my best interest to be permanently hired.

After speaking with the HR, he stated that they're looking highly on certified pharm techs. So therefore, I'm pursuing the certification. Some people who spoke with me regarding the certification think that I'm crazy to be wanting to take it so soon. For myself, I felt that I'm giving myself too long of a time frame.

Then comes my cousin. After speaking with her, she said that she only studied for 2 weeks prior to the test and passed. She only used one book. She advised to just study hard and I should be fine. Finally, someone who doesn't think I'm nuts. She inspired me to just get it done. She didn't even go to school for it nor had prior experience. I suppose quick-learning is part of the family trait.

So therefore, I've entrusted myself with my first challenge of the year: Be a Pharm Tech certified by February. Crazy? Maybe. Impossible? I don't think so!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Cocoa, Anyone?

FL is far from the illusion of a warm, sunny, beach-day these last few weeks or more like the last couple of months. Temperatures have been dropping to the low 30's. Looks like FL have finally caught up with the freezing fronts of the other parts of the country. Although it isn't quite as low, it is still yet way lower than the usual 60's weather around this time of the year. The cold wind whipping across one's face would have anyone running for a nice, comfortable, winter coat.

Broken-down heaters and water pipes added to the discomfort of some residences. Who would have thought about having a field trip just to go to the bathroom? It's amusing to watch little golf carts shipping groups of people just to relief themselves. Alas, an experience to blog about.

So this weekend, to my fellow Floridians, I'm holding up my mug filled with hot cocoa and marshmallows... May you have a nice and cozy weekend inside your warm homes. *CHEERS*

Thursday, January 7, 2010

One Call At A Time Keeps Collectors Away...

Keep the collector at bay and at the same time a better credit score.
1. Call Collector
2. Negotiate the amount of money affordable w/ own situation
3. Ask for the result of the negotiation in writing
4. Pay negotiate amount on or before due date
5. Keep track of records

Result: Less restless nights with a budget you can afford

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Not Just "Me" - It's All About "Us"

"Lean on me, when you're not strong And I'll be your friend, I'll help you carry on." ~Bill Withers

Even through the darkest and bleakest hours. Even when all seem lost and hope faded away. Even when desolation is the only company. Support and love even from just one person can shine through and touch one's heart. It makes all the difference.

When setbacks and plans backfire, it is often easy to isolate oneself to solve the problem rather than leaning on one's circle of support to find a solution together. Society embedded in our minds that asking for help is a sign of weakness. More often than not, situations and problems that arise that are way over one's head stays unresolved. It is a natural tendency to "keep it in" rather than seeking good counsel.

Quite the contrary, soliciting advice is an act of courage. Knowing when to ask for help shows that one is ready to start learning. As the Jamaicans say, "There's not problems, just situations." Since each unfortunate situations comes from mistakes, learning how to accept one's mistake is key. A wise man have once said, "Learn from your own mistakes make you smart. Learn from others make you wise."

In my own struggles, I tend to forget to seek the comfort and advice from friends and family. I have taken for granted that even when I'm in my rock bottom, I have been blessed to have individuals around me who are more than willing to lend a hand or have someone to lean on. I see that I'm very fortunate that I have at least have a solid foundation to stand on even when everything else around me is dilapidated.

I've woken up this morning and thought to myself how it's not just about me, alone and in the dark. No, it is about us, working together - supporting each other through troubled times. And that's the best part of all.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Beginning of a New Chapter

A really good friend of mine gave me a book called Three Feet From Gold as a gift for Christmas. She claimed that it's what I needed to turn my head around and go down the right path again. I've been putting it off for quite some time and saving it for a nice reading for the new year. After reading just a few chapters, I realized that she was right. At this moment of my life, it is something that I needed to help me push past a lot of the setbacks and misfortunes that have been appearing more frequently from bad decisions.

The golden nuggets of information within the pages of the book have shed some light into changing my current condition. Since my new year's resolution is to get a better grip on my financial situation, I see this opportunity to start a new adventure and surpass my failures in the past. As someone have told me once before, knowledge is meaningless unless it is put into action.

My biggest setback arise from living my life as a bitter lady lugging around a heavy suitcase full of regrets and glories of the past. As Genevieve Bos of PINK magazine have said, "Never let mistakes define who you are." I'm finally throwing my luggage down the river and starting a new life. Who knows where life is going to take me. One thing is for sure - I'm taking a sip of life one adventure at a time.