Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Resolutions


Last day of the year. I remember a particular quote from someone famous, who said in high school people actually believed they can change the world, and later in life, we find out that we can only, in fact, change ourselves. I've been around for 29 years, and as the coming year marks a milestone for me, I really want to make some changes in my attitude- New Year's resolutions I actually want to keep. Since I'm making them public, feel free to remind me anytime if I begin to stray from these goals. Here they are:

1. Be more practical. You see, I rely more on instinct and emotions ("how I feel about certain things") rather than logic when deciding. My rationale before was that, since man is perpetually in search of happiness- then why not use your emotions as a barometer in deciding if you are going the right direction or not. The problem is that emotions are transient. They are no permanent than waves at the beach- and more often than not when one decides based on feelings either: 1) long term effects are not taken into account, and 2) one tends to be impractical and this leads to costly decisions.

2. Live within means. As a working guy from 2002-2006 and comparing that with living on allowance now (i.e. having no income on my own), one lesson definitely learned is that living within means is a life with less headaches and debt. Actually, it doesn't matter how much you earn- as I totaled my Net income for those years I worked, I did make my first million, so to speak. Only that by the time school started in 2006 I merely had more or less 30,000 in cash left. So where did the 400k per annum went? Rooftop apartment, clothes, accessories, gadgets, parties on weekends,trips to Bora, Sagada, Galera at least once every quarter. And when I started studying again- although I toned it down already, I was still in the habit of overspending. So my resolution is be less impulsive (stay away from shopping malls), keep tabs on daily spending, keep tabs on what is spent in the household which I have managed for the last four years, and not exactly the most thrifty I might add.

3. Be more patient, be more humble. I remember during our thesis we went to Leyte Normal University to see a statistician. The entire department, including their boss kept criticizing our work- why we did a pairing (Me: "Ma'am, we made the variables of gender and age constant because there are developmental considerations and gender differences which may affect the academic performance of these subjects. Head of department:"It is not necessary for you to pair them, you may have different numbers of students from the adequately nourished and and undernourished groups. Me: reasons out yet again, the transcript of this conversation would go on for hours) and other particulars and I explained each of those details. The following week, a friend from another group confided in me that our statistician said that I had a "superiority complex". This coming from a complete stranger I only met for a few hours, OMG it must be true! LOL I also do projects on the side and multi-task, so when I delegate tasks to my contemporaries I expect them to be done correctly. But of course considering that my batchmates are young, I need to keep in mind to make allowances. By nature, I have a short fuse. By 2010 I want to be mooooore patient, and humble enough so I can learn from others, and learn more. Though I want to accomplish a lot, I don't want to be a Nazi in the process- just be really mature about it.

4. Do tasks as scheduled, balanced with R & R. I don't think I have much problem in this area except for boring and tedious tasks like studying. With other tasks- I can more or less accomplish with minimal trouble. With rest and recreation- well, sometimes goes overboard. So there, study as scheduled, study as scheduled.

5. Focus on long term goals, and live life with meaning and balance. This is very broad, yet this encapsulates what I really want to see in me for the next year and beyond. Stay principled and grounded with Christian values, work on maintaining good relationship with family and friends. I have a lot to work on, and hopefully God gives me the strength to continue on and improve. One day I hope I fulfill what God intended me to be.

So that's pretty much it. I thank everyone who has been a part of my life, sorry to anyone I have ever offended, and I wish you the best for the years to come. To my blog readers, friends, family Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sage


My Dell laptop had seen more than its fair share viruses, worms, malwares, and careless physical handling. Four years ago my father bought me this INSPIRON B130 model which was my most reliable tool for school. Every time I look at its faded casing, I remember all those nursing care plans and other hospital duty requirements, countless papers, articles I've written and edited for the magazine,more than 500 posts in my blog, three manuscripts, layouts, spot maps, photographs perfected, a hundred movies and a thousand mp3s. I think at some point, it contained the most pertinent files and information- practically my life, in its humble 60 Gig hard drive. It is a "budget laptop" with an all-plastic casing, but its speaks volumes when it comes to sturdiness.

I've taken it to the beach- listening to music while on a bamboo raft, I've spilled Pepsi on its keyboard, the screen is practically encased in a layer of dust, and it had endured being bumped a number of times while on travel- and at one point I used my backpack as a pillow, forgetting the laptop inside. Through time, I've had to replace its cord twice, as well as its battery. I've seen what other laptops can do with their fancy Vista, awesome graphics, and sleek appearance, but this is the laptop for me.

I consider its best quality- the integration of Norton Ghost into its hard drive in factory- to be the thing that saved it from becoming junk all these years. I once had a Toshiba- my first purchase back in 2002, which was rendered useless after it crashed. With my Dell, so many viruses and malwares had caused it to shut down- and with it precious files gone, but push of a few keys activates the Recovery Setup, and no matter how corrupt the files or the drive had been, Norton Ghost is always able to restore the laptop the very same settings as I had before the problem started.

To this day, I have never had a technician repair it. Although it sucks sometimes that some new files and programs which were installed after a specific recovery point gets lost- at least the restoration to its functioning level is guaranteed. As I have begun to back up all the important stuff in a 180GB Maxtor, this becomes less of a problem.

I'm just so amazed at its resilience. Anything that endures the wear and tear of something I constantly use deserves the mention, thought sadly I think they've long stoppped making my Dell laptop model- we found that out after trying to buy new batteries. Four years and counting- I promised I'd take better care of you. Thanks to my old man :-)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Much love, Thadie

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cindy

Our loyal Japanese Spitz died of old age today. We buried her in the yard. Farewell Cindy, thanks for the 8 years of companionship :-)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Nostalgia


“While he spoke these words, I drank from a bowl of the most extraordinary soup I’ve ever tasted; every briny sip was a kind of ecstasy. I began to feel that all the people I’d ever known who had died or left me had not in fact gone away, but continued to live on inside of me…The soup was filled with all that I cared for in my life; and while I drank it, this man spoke his words right into my heart.”
-Memoirs of a Geisha, Arthur Golden


I was half asleep on a bus, which sped through the dark road. My cheeks were ruddy from the cold, and the wind whipping my face roused me from my stupor. As we winded through San Juanico Bridge, with the faint rush of water below, I saw the breathtaking city lights at a distance. The cluster of lights looked like tiny galaxies against a crimson sky, alive and pulsating.

Something about its dark beauty put me in a pensive mood, and I got to thinking of my life’s trajectory. A sign of my impending 30th birthday next year perhaps? Sometimes I smile at myself when I hear of my classmate’s (who are ten years younger than I) antics like drinking vodka like there’s no tomorrow, sneaking out during school hours to watch New Moon, or hitching a ride from a random truck at dusk from a fiesta outside the city. In a way, I’m living my younger years through them, and I especially see myself in some of the young friends I’ve come to know the past four years of Nursing school. I’ve never seen so much eagerness in them as they celebrated the beginning of their twenties. I should know; I’ve made the most out of mine.

But of course things are different for me now, and not solely out of conscious choice. Sometimes you just grow out of certain things. You won’t see me in clubs every Saturday night, or maybe doing outrageous stunts (unless I’m drunk). I no longer see my favorite movies five times and never getting tired of it. It’s sometimes a point for argument between my beau and I- that I should act mature and not “one of the kids” when I’m with my mates, but hey I’d definitely say I’ve mellowed down. They should have seen me seven years ago.

Sometimes I think of how different things would have been if I never left for Diliman, or if I had the chance to migrate to the US with my family. Would we have been still together? Would Mama be still with us? I used to wait for the time the petition would be approved and I could work abroad, but I’ve stopped waiting. I can find my own happiness here, besides I wonder what kind of life I’ll be living elsewhere. Suburban streets, maple trees, and winters?

I’ve tried many things, and have never regretted the richness of my experience. My life was like a river, and it meandered, bled, and intertwined with the lives of people around me. Once, I had to return to UP to secure a document, and stepping off the ubiquitous Ikot jeep, I suddenly felt a wave of nostalgia, much like when the bus passed by the glass-and-steel RCBC Plaza along Ayala. It feels strange returning after all those years. Reminds me so much of the young man I’ve been, and how my days here formed me- every crevice, every nook, every mannerism I had, and even my tastes.

And it’s really true what they say, at a certain point in your life; you’d one day look for your niche. Settle down maybe, and inevitably age. As I took a last look at the bridge before the bend, I wondered where the strait flows to- somewhere unexpected perhaps, but it flows toward it with such fearlessness and certainty.

Moving, always moving.

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