November 3, 2005

Simple Abundance

Earlier this evening I got to thinking about how blessed I so many countless ways. I kinda realized that I've been complaining and whining too much in this particular blog I've been keeping! I'm not usually like this, but I guess the total anonymity of blogging is comforting that I just started ticking away. With my other blog, I know who are reading them. Here, I didn't really think much of it! Anyways, I decided to post a piece I wrote a couple of weeks ago. This is what I'm made of...not just angst and all! I was really glad when my friend Cookie told me that it helped her make a big change in her life.

Tonight I was watching the Oprah show and I was once again reminded that despite all the things I don't have, I am SO BLESSED. I often complain about not having enough money for the things I want or the things I think I need. I whine and bitch about how much better I'd feel "if only i had this".
Then I realized, I do have enough. Actually, more than enough. In tonights episode, Oprah and her staff talked about memorable episodes and one of them talked about their trip to South Africa where they met a woman who was dying of AIDS and was not being treated for it because they did not have the drugs needed to cure her. Even though I see this everyday (children in the street begging, families sleeping in the streets, etc.), it hit a chord in me today.

I have so much to be thankful for...and yes, it is often so much easier to complain about the things I don't have than to be grateful for what I have. But I'm lucky I don't have to worry about the "big" things --- what I'm gonna eat, where I'm gonna sleep, if I'm gonna have the things I need for survival. I do worry about what I'm gonna wear but it's not like it's a matter of life or death!

Lately I've been thinking of my financial future and all, which is probably why the show hit me the way it did. My cousins and I have long been discussing choices in terms of career and financial stability, especially when my sister left for the US. I will admit that as much as I love being an educator, I can't help but feel so small beside my cousins (as well as friends) who are in the corporate world or in business and have sizable bank accounts to show their worth. I have thought many times about just giving up teaching and going in to business, particularly since I am said to have a knack for sales, but I just can't. I do think about how with one sale of real estate I can make a huge commission that equates to years of my salaries put together, but I have to ask myself if I can actually do it. Sometimes I think of just joining all my friends in the call center industry and rake in the money but even though I know a career change is going to be a financially wise decision, I still chose to teach. I used to think it was because of the fact that I am already so comfortable with what I do that I choose not to try new things, but I now beg to disagree. Even though people keep telling me that teachers (and therapists) are in big demand in the States and that I wouldn't have a problem getting in if I wanted to, I don't want to leave. Heck, I gave up my greencard and chose to remain in the Philippines despite the financial instability and bleak future! It's not that I'm being selfless or a martyr or whatever, but I just am so blessed to do the work I do. I love my profession and I am proud to be an educator! When I really think about it, I can honestly say that I love my job! I may complain about having to wake up so early in the morning after a night of partying or whatever, but I don't wake up saying "oh shit! I gotta go to work today!!!".

I think my cousin Guita summed it up really well during one of our family conferences. We were all seated at our dining table after yet another one of her promotions and our titas were encouraging me and our other cousin Andy to consider going into real estate as well. Though she could not technically hire us to work for her, with Guits at the helm, she definitely would lead us to the right people so we can also find our way up to success. All of a sudden she said, "...pero si Ri, hindi ko na pipilitin to change jobs. Not everyone can teach and if I could, I would. Taas kamay ako with what she does". Those may not be her exact words but that's what really made me finally be proud of my job. That came from our most successful cousin and one of the most powerful women I personally know. I have many times wished I was as successful as her and that I, too, could have a salary with so many zeros I'd probably forget how to read the figure right (alam naman nating palpak ako sa math, hehehe). But with her comment, I felt like I had won the career lotto. And finally, I felt like I, too, had made a wise career choice.

I guess even if my bank account is next to nothing and my monthly paycheck has just enough zeros for simple reading, my net worth is so much more than the peso value. As much as money is admittedly important and undoubtedly great to have, I am lucky to have so much despite having a little. I might not be an heiress but I'm comfortable. I can do a lot of things others can only dream of, and I have things that I can live without. Not everyone can say that...

As I end this tonight and head to my bed to lay my head on a pillow, I say thank you for my abundant blessings, simple as they may be. For me, I have what I need and more. I'm not just living a subsistent life. Whatever more comes is not anymore the "cake" of my survival; rather, all these Bayo and Kamiseta outfits, trips to Boracay, my car, my jobs and everything else, is the icing to a cake I am so blessed and honored to have.

3 stars twinkling:

Puffstitch 11/04/2005 06:09:00 AM  

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading all of your insightful postings! It is refreshing to read someone's true feelings, aspirations and thought processes enough to appreciate the humanity that resides in each of us, binding us together whether we're aware of it or not. Thank you. If I may continue to visit your heart, and share your dreams, I will.... Oh, by the way, I am the other (doubleknot) commentor's sister, and I grew up in Kawit Cavite from the age of 8 through 17. A St. Joseph College High School graduate of 1975. I can speak the language, tagalog, and have translated some of your posts for my sister via email.

doubleknot 11/04/2005 07:41:00 PM  

Thank you. Your words are so true - so many of us are blessed with so much - when I think I need something that is out of my reach I think of all I do have. All we have to do is look around and open our eyes to see people who are much worse off then us.
Don't feel bad about getting down once in a while even if you are a teacher who leads - I have been in therapy for years - my old theripist used to say I was her only honest patient because I would call and say I had to 'dump' on her - say all those things that build up that you can't say to anyone else and she would tell me she also has a theripist that she goes to so she can air out the things she hears from others. Isn't it wonderful there are people like you who are dedicated to what they do.
I used to keep a journal when I was working and one day I was rereading some of what I had written and realized for a long time it had just been complaining and whining. Now I keep a blessing notebook and even if it is just to say it was a nice day I try to put down on paper something positive. I love these blogs. I don't know if too many people read mine but that's OK - I enjoy writing and it helps when I feel down.
I was telling my sister about your blog and how I didn't even notice you were in the Philippines till the second time I visited - I think she read your latest entry before I did and left you a comment. She is a wonderful person who has helped me a lot with her calming ways.

doubleknot 11/07/2005 11:39:00 PM  

Blessing revisited. Some people don't have as much as others - I have always believed that life is teaching us lessons and some times it takes longer to learn them. The farmer you mentioned with the twelve children - you do wonder what were they thinking having so many children but maybe that is their burden to bare. I have enough burdens do bare myself.

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