interweaving the strands


March 2014

12 Paths to Recovery from Stress

I realized that people fear a lot of things that is why they tend to ignore that problems do exist or make up their own version of story, the one that is appealing to them or that they want to accept. I felt that God gave us more courage to face the situations, remaining true to ourselves, in what we see and still considering other’s disposition. Somehow we have grown up and still learning. It’s with slowly letting go and not being affected by what they say or do to us that will help us move forward. Continue reading “12 Paths to Recovery from Stress”


Re-organize 1.0

Pulling in new furniture could be a positive move. We decided to replace two of our old Durabox which was from our old apartment to one drawer cabinet. As we searched the stores that sell furniture, we spotted one from Dimensione and surprisingly it’s much cheaper than the ones we saw from other stores, it is more spacious and looks sturdier.

The delivery came and now I am forced to organize my files and things that took up the space of the old Durabox. I did think of putting everything into one box and even told my cousin if only I could stack them all together and just burn them or throw them out (more environmental according to my sister, why contribute to the pollution?), that way I won’t have to sort them one by one. Right now, I have placed the important things inside our new drawer cabinet, and stacked the other stash of papers in a travel bag and a sack. I have yet to sift through those things and see what to save and what to get rid. I am the one with many things in the room that my sister and I share. The good thing is that I have learned from to give away the things that I don’t need, and that we do a regular clean-up and surveying what we can donate, recycle or trash. I’m glad that there are organizations and places that we can drop recyclable items regularly, so we do collect plastic bottles, glass bottles, newspapers, etc and give them for recycling every Monday. For some electronic wastes, I just drop them off at our school which has a bin for any e-waste.

Last week, our househelp and I started a spontaneous clean-up in the kitchen, organizing and weighing the things that should be kept and those that should be thrown away. The clean-up for the rooms started when we decided to clean and fix some things from our parent’s room. It is a tough challenge because we can’t decide for the things we don’t own. We didn’t touch much there, just threw away some unimportant things and expired or really old items. There were stash of plastic bags and paper bugs that took up a lot of space. Generally, we haven’t organized and cleaned much there. We had to cram before our parents arrive, so a huge part of it is remained unorganized. We should probably schedule a couple more rounds of cleaning and organizing.

My dad remarked that he found out there’s a lot more space he was able to make when he sorted his things. That’s true. Somehow, our move for clean-up and replacing our storage was fruitful, it somehow mobilized the entire household to do the same. They were interested with the containers we emptied out. Hopefully, we could find new homes for old stuffs that are left unused, sort the clutter and be able to create more room in our once spacious home. In our daily lives, we collect clutter and get too complacent or lazy to organize the things. They start to build up wherever and whenever we leave them be instead of putting them back to their original place.

Organizing is still a challenging task but somehow putting things in category will help set the urge to keep our belongings in order. I have a challenge to myself to overcome, to compress the notebooks and papers I have to Word documents and to finally de-clutter.

Adding Flavor

Spontaneous cooking could be fun and as you work through the recipes and available ingredients you have in the house, you’d realize you are able to improvise, be creative and resourceful. Making cooking a habit makes this activity fun and not the least of a bother. Of course, I won’t be able to do everything by myself without the help of our household cook, or my sister. But generally, we could accomplish all the dishes with an average of one hour. As we explore other styles of cooking, we are able to add more color and flavor to our daily meals as well as the inventory of our recipes. Even though nobody taught us how to cook, we learn every time we get to action, produce hearty meals and share them with family and friends. I do believe that I must have inherited some genes on the talent of cooking from my grandmother.

Sometimes, our meals can become monotonous so it would be nice to try something different than the usual. As we start cooking again, we search now for ingredients that we don’t have and add them to our stock. I think what’s important in cooking is working together, teaming up especially if there are people who can help you. We all learn in the process, one just have to brace the kitchen, pick-up the knife and start chopping. It is quite intimidating how they portray cooking on dramas where the output is always burned, too salty or too bland for someone who doesn’t cook, Then cooking shows came into the limelight, and celebrity chefs surfaced. There would be many cooking shows telling us how easy cooking is and how you can do them at home, those that you find in the menu of a restaurant and make them look very appetizing and encouraging too. There’s Jamie Oliver, Bobby Flay, Rachel Ray, etc. I am inspired when I watch the cooking shows on TV or when I read their blog posts or even seeing photographs of food. I am grateful for the posts we easily find on the internet, the recipes that people share and as we follow through the steps and improvise with the ingredients in the process, we are able to produce a really nice outcome. My sister and I are easily satisfied, after all, as we joked with our cousin, we could go out and eat, or cook and eat, the bottomline is EATING.  It is nice too when our family and friends appreciate the meal we prepared. It is a joyous feeling to be able to share a meal with people you love to spend time with.

One of the fun activity associated with cooking is taking photographs of the outcome, and also posting them to my Instagram. Some of the fruits of our trials are below:

IMG_20140127_205656 IMG_20140220_202239 IMG_20140223_201702 IMG_20140224_201851

On moving

Change is inevitable but we have to undergo it. It may not always be pleasant but we gain something precious out of it (and get rid of unwanted clutter in our life). Our department offices moved to a different building. We had to undergo sorting, packing, throwing away documents and other things, some have been untouched for 20 years as I have been informed. They haven’t moved for a long time and things kept piling up. Suddenly, they were asked to move and that felt like organizing your whole life. The positive thing about this is forced de-cluttering. Every year or better if we do it frequently to survey the things we have, then sort those that we need and those that we no longer want. This way, we will have better opportunities for new things to come, we will be able to create more space. In the process of organizing, our senior professors even found submissions in betamax or VHS tapes when nowadays it is CDs, USBs, and even uploading online. They found piles of research papers, old theses, project submissions that took up a lot of space but end up not receiving any attention over the years. They threw out a lot of things but there were a lot that ended up in boxes that would be sorted if they “find the time” and remember where they stocked the items. As always, moving entails starting anew with the new space we are given. It is challenging to sift, sort and organize ALL the things that you accumulated over the years and hopefully the new space won’t become like the old one. It also requires a little getting used to; just that, most of the time the space is being filled up quite easily. Moving could be exhausting but can also be rewarding. It does involve a lot of physical work, could be time consuming and stressful all at the same time. After the move, we’d take a step back to uncover the things that are hidden for a long time now, finally deal with them and eventually find new things to replace the old ones. The new environment gives us chance to organize, re-decorate and maintain the order. It is fun and refreshing too.

Shoe Track

Before buying another pair of shoes, I started to recount the shoes that I have. If I don’t need something, I won’t go out my way to buy it. If I have another pair of walkable shoes, that’s good enough for me. But this time, it’s quite necessary. One pair for all occasions – I know this is not the way to go because there are appropriate footwear for respective attires as well as events. That is why I try to find a neutral shoes that I can use everyday. I do have more than a pair of footwear: a pair of rubber shoes remaining, since I gave away the one that was already quite small for me. The current pair I’m wearing was from my sister but didn’t fit her which was really comfortable for walking. I have a silver step-in that I bought when I became part of the entourage of a relative’s wedding. It is comfortable heeled shoes that I use when attending parties or receptions (I’m glad my sister spotted it when we were scouting for one at a department store). I have two pairs of boot, one was given to me that I used for a winter trip, and the other from Payless, which was what I initially was going to wear that time. I have one more pair of black Hush Puppies but my feet get swollen in the ankle when I wear it. Then I have a Rusty Lopez open-toe heels that I personally bought for less than 1K pesos when we passed by their store years back. My sister and I share a pair of Hush Puppies sneakers which we gave to our mom now. My second to the latest buy would be a pair of heeled shoes from Payless, something that I can wear casually and for attending events. All in all, I’ve got about 10 pairs of shoes. It’s a lot for me because I’m used to using just about two pairs of shoes. Surveying my shoes, I might dispose some of them eventually and stick with the ones I’m really using.

I got rid of my light blue shoes that I’ve used for a long time now because it has become hazardous to my feet. I was able to buy Malu shoes yesterday with my sister. This will hopefully replace my light blue shoes and become my walking shoes.

I did possess a heeled boots that I gave away after slipping on it which was from a cousin’s wedding that I wore even years after. I also had a velvet-surfaced heel that you just slide in your foot with no buckle; two pairs of already worn-out Payless flat shoes, and one pair of flat shoes from mom. During college days, I would usually wear just a pair of Converse or some rubber shoes for going to school except for presentations or reporting. All these have been put away now.

The Hoarder Sentiment 2.0

The elders in our family have been deeply rooted in qualities of conservation and thriftiness. I have learned to conserve and reuse the things that we can. We see tin cans, boxes, plastic bottles and glasses being kept to store other things. I once (or not just one instance) told my parents about how nice these collections would be if they were put into order such as similar containers containing packs of sugar, teabags, and other items. I understand that when you’re busy, it is easy to put off things for later, tomorrow or probably never. That is why I tried helping out before, sorting their things, cleaning up and making more space. But after that, just give a day or two and the spaces will be filled up. Even back in our old apartment, I would set aside some time to clean up my parent’s room, but in time, clutter would build up once again. This does not stop me from scheduling another time but after a long time. It is discouraging though to repeat the complicated process of organizing again. Right now, when we see containers from gifts or products we buy, we begin to worry that they would be stacked up along with the other containers because that is what happens.

We just recently changed our box-type TV to and LED TV. My sister’s friend said that it is actually a good timing because we were able to skip the shift from Plasma TVs, LCD TVs and then to HD TVs. The price of television is much cheaper now than before with already a good quality. We enjoy watching DVD concerts here and other shows. We used to say that our box-type TV is flat screen when asked how come we’re still not changing to flat screen TV, only that it really consumes a lot of space. What moved us to change our TV is when in a couple of occasions we heard our TV pop some loud sounds that we feared it will combust.

There’s also this trend in our house that our old appliances get stored in our living room or any space where it can fit. So right now, our old TV rests in our living room. I have yet to schedule another round of clean-up and sorting since clutter begins to wind up there again.

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