Small Wins

I’m proud of myself today.

My biggest battle has always been internal.

It has always been against myself, and my inner demons.

I’ve tried to control them so I don’t lash out and hurt others with my harsh words and biting sarcasm.

Because after it’s been said and done, remorse washes over me like a tidal wave.

So today, even if my buttons were pushed..

… I chose to ignore the itch.

… I chose to turn away.

… I chose to take a deep breath.

… I chose another battle.

And after the calm, I smiled.

Today, at least, I celebrate being calm.

Today, I celebrate the small wins.

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Picture Perfect

“The most treasured heirlooms are the sweetest memories of our family.”

~ Terri Burritt

 

I was recently given a chance to recuperate and enjoy some free time. This is every mother’s dream— to finally rest and have a bit of time for herself. Because I was used to always being busy, I wanted to use the time to still be productive, and to catch up on my personal to-do’s that always took the backseat

One of my projects was to organize family photos. All of our family pictures from trips, candid moments, selfies are just dumped in my phone. And when last year’s phone was suddenly corrupted, I also lost a lot of memories because I was not able to back up my gallery. So I vowed to be more consciencious in documenting and organizing our pictures. The goal was to save these photos, and to create yearly albums so we can see my daughter’s growth through significant milestones in our family life.

Easier said than done! It seemed like a gazillion pictures needed to be saved and archived correctly. So while there’s still much to be done, the important thing was I was able to start it. Now, I’ll put more effort to save and organize more frequently. After all, moments are fleeting and memories cannot be recreated exactly the way it happened. And these memories will be a family’s treasure, that will be handed down to the next generations.

Next stop, select pictures and layout to photo albums! ūüėä

Orlando’s Magic: the Space Kennedy Center

“It’s always a thrilling experience to go into a place that offers you a lot of choice. You know it’s like it reminds you of when you’re a kid and you go to the amusement park and whether it be Disneyworld or Six Flags you know that thrilling moment when you first enter and you know you’ve got all these possibilities for the day and it’s really a… it’s a wonderful feeling.” ~ Sheena Iyengar

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My first time in Orlando was for a business conference. I discovered though, that the city is a dreamland of theme parks, for all ages. It would have been lovely to go to DisneyWorld or Universal with my family. So though we were busy with work, we found time to sneak an afternoon to another adult theme park: The Kennedy Space Center.

I’m not a space enthusiast, but the idea of going to a space center is still quite thrilling. We were in a hurry, so we rode a cab outtown, and the driver agreed to wait for us so he can bring us back to city center. As soon as we arrived at the visitor’s center, we got our tickets, took pictures by the NASA icon and rockets garden, and looked for the next available show: an Astronaut Encounter.

The Center featured Ken Cameron that afternoon— a former Space Shuttle astronaut. He described his missions… from the uniforms, equipment, space protocol, lift-off stages, and their work on the satellites, and even re-integration back to earth. He had very interesting trivia to share too:

  • Each mission has a unique patch that they sew on their uniforms, their flags, and all mission paraphernalia. They hold a “creative workshop” to come up with the design patches.
  • The uniforms have round, metal-like necklines, not just to fit their helmets, but also as a protection against water/sea water, in case of a water landing. The necklines will prevent water from entering their suit.
  • Rockets lift upwards, then slowly veer horizontally to prepare for ascent to space.
  • Before lift-off, the astronauts are all gathered in a room with no windows. The lights are adjusted internally, so the astronauts will have time to adjust their circadian rhythm to morning and night, just like in a plane.
  • Someone in the audience asked: What do you need to do to become an Astronaut? His answer: 1) Study hard (it was a little boy who asked the question) 2) Have a technical background 3) Really love flying and space. Passion will always come into play.

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I felt giddy like a kid listening to him, taking pictures, and absorbing our short but sweet time at the Center. I really wished we had more time to take the bus tour or go to the launch center. Theme parks really bring out the joy and amazement— to kids and to kids at heart. But alas, work beckons and we had to go back to the convention center. But the Space Center was a definitely a unique experience, and I hoped to relive this magic again with my kids, someday, when we go back to Orlando.

Going Digital

“This digital world is what you make of it in the end.” ~ Ciara

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Our Department has recently enrolled us in a Digital Academy–a series of 6 training modules aimed to equip us with the technical knowledge in communicating our brands through the digital evolution age.

An exercise, “A Day in the Life”, showed us how much of our digital footprints are imprinted on a regular day. From the time we wake up to our sleeping hour, we have at least 20 social media interactions, web searches, video streamings, and app usage¬†everyday. I myself use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Netflix, Spotify, Snapchat, Youtube, Viber,¬† Messenger, Waze, Swarm, RPGs like Pokemon Go, and of course WordPress on a daily basis.¬†That’s a huge step from just absorbing brand promotions using ATLs even BTL activations. Mobile usage has increased to about 60% compared to website/desktop internet access to only 30%, while watching TV are only at 10% and still on a downtrend. More and more people crave for accessibility and convenience in social sharing networks, and this has greatly influenced not only the way we consume brands, but the way we lead our lives in general.

As a working mom, I admit that I have depended on digital activities to help juggle multiple tasks, ease workload and still maintain relationships, from the homefront to the office. Waze helps me get from home to office, or to summer ballet classes while avoiding the usual Manila traffic. Youtube helps me think of new recipes for lunch and dinner. Viber and Messenger helps me keep updated with friends that I don’t see as much as I used to. Netflix with wine at home is our new Fridate (and even Mondate or Tuesdate). Though I have yet to try Honestbee, these along with Zalora and Lazada are the kind of apps that also cater shopping and delivery convenience for the working moms.

While today’s work-and-family life demands that we fulfill obligations faster and smarter, digital applications have truly lent a helping hand for working mothers. However, we have to be careful on how and how much we use social media. Security¬† must always be prioritized–especially in sharing pictures or personal information online. We must ensure that these privacy settings are in place especially on social media. We must watch carefully what our children digest through YouTube videos, lest they are chatted online by strangers or predators. We must be cautious in not looking at our phones too much, especially when on dates with our significant others or when on catch-up reunions with friends.

Think before you click, as they say. In this digital world, there are numerous applications that we are attached to that can create infinite dependencies. It is important to speak the digital language to know how these platforms may help us with the daily grind, but we should be wary not to let these technologies totally control our lives and our relationships in the long run.

The Luxury of Time

“We don’t have the luxury of time. We spend more because of how we live. But it’s important to be with family and friends.” ~ Sara Blakely

Why do we work so hard, Mommies? We want to help provide our children and our families with the best possible life, and a little taste of life’s luxuries.

But time is the ultimate luxury, “the currency of entrepreneurs”. We work hard and earn money to buy us more time to do what we love and be with who we love.

I love being at home to spend time with my husband and daughter, but I don’t particularly like cleaning. So I use my salary as a working mom to get extra household help for laundry and general cleaning.

I like learning time with my daughter, but most of the time I arrive late at night and I’m always too busy to do all her homeworks. So I pay for tutor so they can do required homeworks in advance, and we can just review her lessons when I arrive.

It takes a certain amount of concessions and a certain level of financial capability to allow us the time and resources in pursuing our passions and create more time. This is another motivation for me to work hard and earn for my family.

Read more in this article.

Mental Load

Working mothers who are the breadwinners are 3x more likely than fathers to bear the mental load.” ~ Bright Horizons Family Solutions

Here is an interesting article from Business Wire on Working Mothers. According to a latest study, women who are primary breadwinners are doing more at home than their male counterparts and even more than working mothers who are not providing their family’s primary financial support. Mothers with jobs that provide their family’s major source of income are also two and three times more likely to be managing the household and children’s schedules than breadwinning fathers, and more than 30 percent more likely than other working mothers to be taking care of everything from family finances to organizing family vacations.

Overburdened working mothers and modern husbands need an effective support system to fulfill their new dual, even multiple roles. By providing supports to working women, they can help open up mindshare that can contribute even more to the workplace. And by creating environments where men are encouraged and valued for taking advantage of work/life supports as well, workplaces can start to catch up with the culture this generation of working families demands.

Full article here.