When Boredom Strikes

“I want to feel something, as a person. I don’t want to be bored.” ~ Pina Bausch

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I write this in the middle of our sales rally, when my presentation is already finished and the year is almost wrapped up. It’s been a rollercoaster ride this year, and I’m glad to have the time to reflect on everything that has happened, both in the homefront and in the office.

Actually, I just seem to have free time to clear my mind in between listening to speakers.

Actually, I’m just bored.

They say mothers rarely suffer from bouts of boredom, in between juggling roles and responsibilities in the workplace, in the family and in the other roles she plays in the community. But when this happens, though rarely, it’s a gem of a blessing. It’s a moment granted to be more introspective, to clear your thoughts and let go of any worries.

The rise of social media has given millennials the chance to create their own worlds when bored. When there’s nothing to do, they can just turn on their smartphones and let their fingers explore news feeds, tweets, and snaps. For mothers, (and I myself am guilty of this), I get updated on parenting articles or catch up with my friends through Viber, or just read on the latest gossip online. When there’s no internet access, Candy Crush is also a ready option. Not too productive, but it does help to pass the time.

We have arrived in an era where being bored is not an option. You must always look busy, or do something “worthwhile”. It’s a sin to be “bored”, when there’s so much to do, so little time!  Gone are the days when boredom is actually welcomed, because it is closely related to self-control abilities, and tendencies for addiction and binge-eating. Says James Danckert in a recent study: The more self-control you have, the less likely you are to be bored.The urgency to combat boredom is now higher than ever.

When our children tell us, “we’re bored”, we stress with the need to fill the time gap with technological devices or structured activities. But we fail to give them something much more important: unstructured time, or the opportunity to imagine new worlds and expand their creative juices. This skill is vital to their development, as it teaches them to become more resourceful and mature in problem solving later on in life. Self-control is also developed during children’s downtime, as they learn to be more patient and wait for their turn.

Sometimes, it helps to learn also from children’s boredom. We can use the time not to feel anxious in doing “nothing”, but rather be grateful for the time to relax, keep calm and clear our thoughts.

Sometimes, we can even get around to writing a blog.

 

 

 

7 Habits of Highly Productive Moms

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“Once you become a parent, it always seems like there is “so much to do, so little time.”

This goes for all moms — whether you stay at home fulltime, work outside the home fulltime or part-time, or work at home. Suddenly, “busy” cannot even begin to describe how your day is.”

Sharing an article online, on productivity tips for busy and productive moms.

Full article here.

On Bended Knees

“In a single moment we can understand we are not just facing a knee pain, or our discouragement and our wishing the sitting would end, but that right in the moment of seeing that knee pain, we’re able to explore the teachings of the Buddha. What does it mean to have a painful experience? What does it mean to hate it, and to fear it?” ~ Sharon Salzberg

One day, while dressing for work, I took a (mis)step back and popped my knee out. I fell down while my ligaments thankfully popped them backed in. The surprise overcame the pain and numbness. After all, it has been a while since my knees popped out… fourteen years, to be exact.

They rushed me to the ER to do the standard x-ray tests, before recommending me to physical therapy. Since it’s my third time (officially), the surgery option’s in the table. No guarantees that it won’t happen again post-op, so I decided to go the conventional route— strengthen my muscles through rehab and wearing knee protective gear most, if not all the time. 


I’ve learned to accept my condition, now classified as congenital. But I worry for my work and most especially, my daughter. How do I carry her now that I cannot bear any more weight? How do I pursue my field work? How do I bear another child if pregnancy weight will put a strain on my knees again?

So many questions. For now, I’m still doing my leg raises and squats and stationary bike. Preventive measures calls for serious weight loss, especially in my upper body. Small steps, but hopefully this will give my the strength and confidence back to do all that I need to do, for my career and my family. 

Forget-Me-Not

“The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.” ~ Milan Kundera

Have you ever had an episode where you went to a room to get something, but when you go there, you completely forgot what you wanted to look for?

Or in a rush to go to the office, you forgot your laptop as soon as you stepped out of the parking lot, and had to go home again just to get it?

I’m guilty of all of these. Most of the time. 

Sometimes it’s funny, but it can get really frustrating. Especially when my forgetfulness takes up extra time to backtrack. Entering motherhood has given me more tasks, activities and to-do’s to remember than before. 

But I’ve learned how to manage though. Over the years, I’ve enlisted help from reminders and people to help me not be so forgetful:

  • I have extra charging cords, baby wipes, toiletries, clothes in the car trunk and in the office. Just in case I forget to bring them from home.
  • I have lists and reminders and alarms of my schedules in my phone and my email. Lists are actually therapeutic.
  • I align tasks with my husband, so we can share reminders with each other. I ask him sometimes to remind me about grocery lists, or passing by the gas station, and I do the same from him.
  • If there’s a trip, it helps to prepare things to bring the night before. We put these in the car or near the door, so we won’t forget anything the next morning when we’re moving in a rush.

Lately, scientists have researched about this particular state of forgetfulness for mothers, and clinical tests show that this may be the real deal. Read more about mumnesia here.

BER Months are Here!

“Finding the real joy of Christmas comes not in the hurrying and the scurrying to get more done, nor is it found in the purchasing of gifts. We find real joy when we make the Savior the focus of the season” ~ Thomas S. Monson

When September hits, Christmas starts in the Philippines. Jose Mari Chan’s classic Christmas melodies dominate mall music as shoppers scramble for gifts during the weekly midnight sales.

For me, Ber months are even crazier… sales targets are pushed for the last quarter, and balikbayans and old friends are squeezing in reunions for all weekends till January. It’s fun and hectic, and wills all your energy to make it to every meeting and gathering.

It’s only October now, but I’m already feeling the pressure. Our anniversary celebration coincides with a weekend workshop, and I have to juggle time with family and prep meetings with speakers. It’s nothing new, but everything seems to be on a bigger scale during Ber months. 

Keeping positive… even with the scheduling stress, I’m still grateful for the work that is never boring, and the family and friends’ never ending support. And of course, celebrating the true Reason for the Season. Here’s to enjoying and surviving the Ber Months! 

Laws of In-Laws

“You are a guest in their marriage and a guest in their home. You have to fold into their rules and their lives if you want to be welcome there.” ~ Dr. Phil 


My Father-in-Law is home for two weeks, and dutifully, we go home to my husband’s ancestral home in the province so our daughter can spend time with her grandpa.

Sounds ideal, but the whole scenario took several days of adjustments, weeks of discussions, and months of planning. Who brings which car? How do we do laundry, grocery, weekend playschool? There’s no perfect answer, but we managed to follow our own survival guide:

1. Manage Expectations

Not everything is the same as your house. Your child may also adjust to different meal times or bath times. It may be good to discuss these with your husband so you won’t find yourself out of place. You can also state essentials, such as important routines for your child that you can still work out together before going to her grandparents’ house.

2. Discuss Roles

This can get tricky, but the key is to discuss and plan things early on. Imagine your day-to-day activities, list them down, and try to see how this would apply to your in-laws’ house. Discuss who gets to do what with your spouse, including timings, so you can adjust accordingly. 

3. Respect the House

When in Rome, Do as the Romans do. In laws may have their own ways, but since it’s their house, you have to respect their rules while staying there.

I noticed that my mother-in-law likes having clean beds and clean garbage bins inside the house. So while staying there, I make it a point to fold all linens and empty waste cans at all times. It’s a sign of respect for their rules and for letting you stay at their house too. 

4. Enjoy 

Every house and every family has their own way of running things. The important key is to open your mind to new things and to make sure that your child still enjoys her time with their grandparents. Who knows, maybe you can also learn a new thing or two from them.