Do Try and See What Happens

person on a lonely road

Did you try something because it is your choice or you have to? The consequences might be good or bad. The effects may be short-term or even a lifetime. Here are the 10 things I tried.

  1. I tried to say what was on my mind.

To say or not to say, that is the question. When you decide to express it, how you say it becomes important. I learned this the hard way.

  1. It feels so good to release what really is bothering you.
  2. You hurt someone close to you.
  3. You were able to correct someone’s assumption of you.
  4. Relationships become better or worse.
  5. You were able to say something that changed the way people think and behave.

No matter how good your intention is in stating it, if the delivery is too emotional, the communication is totally lost.  Both of you become defensive and listening with an open mind is impossible.

Photo by Michelle Phillips

Seriously… you said WHAT?!
  1. I tried to DIET and Exercise.

These are the two words every middle-aged mum will have to DO AND CONQUER.  Being a middle-aged mum, I know I am not getting any younger anymore and lifestyle changes are necessary.

Let us start with DIET. Articles I read stated that healthy eating means everything in moderation. You don’t have to starve or deprive yourself of food you really love. It is a healthy lifestyle that you can keep up without screaming at yourself that you had ENOUGH!

Photo by Markus Spiske

strawberry,raspberry and blueberry on a plate
Are you kidding me? Is this it?!

I posted on my blog an article about cravings. Craving for a comfort food during an emotional turmoil is a  weakness of many (including me). It really takes discipline to stop stress-eating.  I believe there is always a way. I am still in the process of finding the way.

There is a long list of benefits of exercise but remaining CONSISTENT in doing it is a struggle. I was able to do it and lost weight before my wedding. I gained it back after giving birth to three boys. Experts say do what you love and for me, dancing is one of them. Let’s see what happens in the future with this type of exercise. I SALUTE you if you can shed off the kilos permanently!

Photo by Chris Arock

woman touching her head
Mantra:  I can do this. No orders of cappuccino and a slice of cake.
  1. I tried to write a blog.

I have never taken a writing course or journalism but decided to try and start a blog.

The question WHAT IF is no longer in my head. This website is good for one year. I am writing to express my thoughts and feelings. Through this, I can

make someone happy,

let a reader ponder an idea,

share a concept or two and

even change me for the better.

I may not be the best writer but if I was able to touch someone’s life with the words I wrote, then I can say, I am glad I TRIED TO WRITE A BLOG. If I couldn’t maintain this website in the future, I can still say to myself, at least I became a mum blogger once in my lifetime! Thank you for reading.

Photo by Parker Byrd

typing on a laptop
Learning blogging as I go along.

 

  1. I tried to be a POSITIVE THINKER.

My line of thought was something might go wrong. I am Mrs. Worrier.

However, my thinking changed when I read the book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. It never occurred to me that one day the person who would improve my way of thinking is an Australian. Never in my wildest imagination that one day, my family and I will migrate to Australia.

Worrying is a part of a mum’s life but gradually having a positive mindset improves your coping skills. Pessimism will creep in when you are at your lowest point. It is crucial to be surrounded with people who remind you to stay positive. A person cheering that you will overcome the issue can boost your morale.

Photo by Jessica Bristow

thankful sign

  1. I tried to talk to a STRANGER while waiting.

There was a time when there was no wi-fi or smartphones and all you have to do is wait with other human beings. I tried to strike a conversation while waiting in line at the bus stop, in the hospital, in the restaurant and at school.

I tried to say:

“ What’s the time?”

“ It is so warm today, isn’t it?”

“ Hello, your face looks familiar. Do you live..”

“ Are you a Filipino?” and other conversation starters.  If the person has a short answer then the person is not in the mood to talk. If the person looks you in the eye and says more than you ask for then it’s a good start.

I had different experiences chatting with strangers.

Stranger 1:  The person wanted someone to talk to and was glad to have a company. I had a chat with an old woman on the bus and we were both going to the same hospital.She was battling cancer and she doesn’t know if she will still live the following year. We ended up hugging each other. It was my purpose to be her listening seatmate that day. I wished her well.

Stranger 2: The elderly mum gave advice on how to raise sons. I was waiting for my order and she sat in front of me. She told me it’s her 75th birthday and her son’s 50th birthday on that day and waiting for her salon appointment. She commented, “ Have TIME for your sons. Let them be active in sports so that their minds will not think of silly things.”

Stranger 3: The man told me about buying a house. We were renting that time. I didn’t see that guy anymore but while conversing with him, he made me realize that we had to save money if we decide to give a down payment when purchasing our first home.

Stranger 4: We talked to a stranger in the shops. He and his family became our friends since 2010.

For me, it is not a coincidence meeting random individuals. There is a reason.

Photo by Tobias Zils

people on the street
You’ll never know whom you’re going to meet that will change you.
  1. I tried to LISTEN.

An acquaintance once suggested to me to try to listen to my husband for 10 minutes without interrupting him and see what happens. I am a chatter-box and my husband is a listener. Even when we were dating, he was a man-of-few-words type of guy (or maybe he was just shy to interrupt haha).

After having two sons, I DID. (What?! You might say.)

I set the timer for 10 minutes and I gave my best not to interrupt him. At first, he didn’t know what to say because from the beginning he was the listener. He started telling me things that happened way back in his childhood. I tried to keep my mouth shut. It was hard because I am the type of person reacting within a few minutes in the discussion. After 10 minutes or more, his voice became hoarse due to non-stop talking.

Wow, what a revelation. I learned things about him he didn’t even mention in our first years of being married. Give guys the chance to talk and stop interrupting.Be patient.

Photo by rawpixel.com

woman listening to a man
Note to self: Listen more.
  1. I tried to VOLUNTEER.

It is quite scary for me when I volunteer for a task. However, one good thing I learned when volunteering is it broadens your mind. There are various people you meet whether it is in the church, school or community.

You learn through experience tasks like public speaking, serving other people and communicating with individuals with multi-cultural backgrounds. Volunteering improves your cultural awareness because it makes you see the other side of life that you usually are not exposed to. You understand more other people’s dilemma.

Photo by Alexandr Podvalny

woman and a boy talking
Connecting and reaching out NOT through social media
  1. I tried to pass the driving test.

We didn’t get to the bus stop on time and so the bus left without us. I felt like I was in a Hollywood movie screaming with outstretched arms “ NOOOOOO!” Getting an Australian driver’s license became a major goal for me.

Written exam- done and dusted! On the other hand, the driving test was a nerve-racking experience for me. I failed the first one because I drove 60kph in a 50kph speed limit road and other mistakes which if I was the examiner, I will not give a passing mark to myself.

I failed the second try and I cried while we were leaving the transportation office. The car windows were open and the guy standing on the footpath saw me. Looking back, I saw his reaction seeing me weep. He looked angry while staring at my husband. I guess he could be thinking “You jerk, why are you making the woman cry?”

Passing the driving test on my third try felt like winning the lottery. At last, I have the option not to ride the bus! When the examiner announced I passed the test, I hugged her because I couldn’t contain my joy! After 8 driving lessons and advice from my patient husband, I did it.

Lesson learned: Try and try until you succeed. Yes, it is a cliché but it is so true.

Photo by Alex Harvey

 old woman staring at you
It’s about time you passed that driving test! I thought I would never live to see it.
  1. I tried to study a course.

Trying to study while taking care of a family will test your GRIT as a mum. From what I wrote from my previous blog 10 things to think about before enrolling an online course, studying pushed me to my limits and out of my comfort zone.

Time management and setting priorities were life skills that helped me finish the course. It was not easy but I did it. Cheers to all middle-aged mums out there who are continuously studying and improving their craft. Keep up the good work!

Photo by Stefan Cosma

focus sign

  1. I tried to LOVE.

It has been the common plot of a love story in movies. A guy likes a girl but the girl likes another guy. The guy the girl loves is in love with someone else. It is the same story of unrequited love.

I remembered my classmate. She assumed that our male classmate was courting her because he visited her on weekends. She was so ecstatic telling me that he invited her to his hometown and will be introduced to his parents. To my surprise, the next time we met, she told me in between sobs that he introduced to her his girlfriend during the fiesta.

When you love somebody, it is not a guarantee that you will not get hurt. You will because there is too much emotional investment in it. You become vulnerable and gullible. However, it didn’t hinder me loving someone because it is a risk I had to take.

I am glad I did try to love or else I wouldn’t have three wonderful boys calling me mum.

How about you, my dear reader. Is there something that YOU DO WANT TO TRY? As long as it is not life-threatening or not breaking any laws, what is stopping you?

The question for you is WHY NOT?

 Photo by Martin Shreder

Do what is great sign

 

15 Sneaky Reasons why we buy things we don’t need and their Solutions

shopping

Are you one of those individuals that buy something you do not need? I have a list of 15 tricky reasons and noteworthy solutions. Be aware of it.  You might be in denial at the moment. Awareness is the first step to finding a solution.

  1. It is on sale or better yet is half-price!

This is my weakness. When I see an item that is on sale, I feel my hands have a mind of their own. My weak right hand ( not really)  reaches out for the item which at that moment I do not even need.

Example: half-priced chocolate

I tried to ignore the chocolates and came home empty-handed. After dinner, I had a craving. I opened the pantry and lo and behold, no chocolates!  I opened the can of Milo and ate one spoonful of it. To my dismay, the boys saw me and I unintentionally introduced them to the path of eating a spoonful of powdered Milo. Guilty as charged! (Mugshot front view, mugshot side view). What have I done!

If you are not a chocolate lover, maybe your weakness is:

Photo by Jeremy Wong

SHOES! Are you pumped up?!

a. half-priced shoes?

b. on sale bags?

c. slashed prices of clothes?

d. super cheap home decor?

e. all of the above?

I am truly excited for you if you have found a bargain you need. However, if you have tons of clothes in the wardrobe still with tag prices, piles of shoes almost not worn at all, branded bags in the cabinet only used twice a year, then ask yourself, do you need it now?

Solution: “Do you really need it?” Your mind says “Yes! Yes!”  Bring along a disciplined and logical friend with you so he/she can stop you from what you’re going to do. Avoid junk mail and online updates of sales at all costs. If you can.

Photo by Evelyn Mostrom

I got your back, my friend.
  1. You don’t feel good.

Have you experienced those days when the moment you wake up, everything was set to make you have a bad mood? It is mid-day and your mind was racing with the idea “Oh, I hope this day ends soon.”  The day is over and you feel lousy. The shops are still open. Ha! You were just telling yourself, “I will just look around.” Nope. Before you went home, you bought something. It felt good, right? After a few days, you convince yourself, why did I buy that?

Solution: Be mindful of what you are doing when it’s a rotten day. What is your option that will make you feel good that is free and will not bust your budget? When the day is awful, I talk to a trustworthy loved one who is willing to listen to my dramas.

Photo by Kris Atomic

Guess what happened next sis? It will blow your mind …blah blah
  1. You are bored.

You do not want to stay home so you made up your mind to go window-shopping. Oh, the shopping center is begging you to come in and look around! Suddenly, your eyes fancy that item which for the sake of buying, you buy it. The promise of just window-shopping was thrown out of the window. The end

Solution: Stay at home if you do not have a goal or list of important things to buy. Sometimes,  I already have a list and yet still end up buying items, not on the list. What more if you do not have an objective for being there? Bored? What can you do for free at home?besides the shopping center? I watch movies/episodes and eat popcorn with the family.

Watching DRAGON BALL SUPER with the boys ( episodes you have to wait weekly)

 

  1. You are competitive.

Did you see the latest branded bag of the friend of a friend? Your chest quickly felt a pang of envy while observing her bag in a party. You whispered to yourself “I can afford that too.”  On you go to the Direct Factory Outlet of the brand you desperately want to have.

Envy is such a negative feeling to have. I met people having credit card problems because of all the shoes, bags and clothes they bought all in the name of keeping up with their so-called friends.

Solution: If the feeling of envy is your trigger, you will never be happy. Release it. There is freedom to it.

  1. You want it because it is interesting.

The item is so cute. The product will be an excellent collection of yours. It will be a hot topic of your party. Only you have it among friends and acquaintances. It is a unique item to behold for many years to come (what you believe) or just days to be realistic. After a month, it will start to collect dust or will be stored in a container to be forgotten.

Photo by Kukuh Himawan Samudro

store with different items
I got to have this! It is so cute!

Solution: I know the feeling of happiness for buying it but is it worth it when it is time to see your credit card bill? For me, a novelty item is valuable if you use it every day.

  1. You buy it out of curiosity.

Food lovers will relate to this. You are not that hungry but you saw a particular food that made you curious what could be its taste. As if the food is tempting you, “ Buy me, taste me, know what I taste like.”  After 5 minutes of swallowing your saliva while staring at the food, you buy it. Good for you if you discovered food worth eating again and again. Good luck when your verdict is never again will I buy this!

Photo by Mink Mingle

Mmmm.. That looks interesting to eat.

Solution:  Do not go to the shopping center hungry. Have your meals or snacks at home and then go shopping. Otherwise, you will spend more money with food than what you actually planned to. I am a food lover and to all food lovers out there, we can do this!

  1. You feel you deserve a reward.

You have worked hard for quite some time now.  Your quick eye saw the item and decided then and there, you deserve to be compensated with all the sacrifices you have done. Even if it is not on the budget, you purchase it. Even if you are spending money way beyond what you have, you still do it because you feel you need a gift for yourself.

Photo by Jakub Gorajek

YEAH! Traveling around the world! Wow, driving our brand new car!
After 2 years: UH, OH.

Solution:  It is so much rewarding when the gift to yourself will not give you sleepless nights and anxiety throughout the year. Choose a present that will give you joy, not temporary thrill. Live within your means.

  1. You are addicted to purchasing items.

Do you have that uncontrollable urge that you have to buy something no matter what?  Do you have the overwhelming desire to click online purchases or tap on your reliable smartphone items you do not necessarily need at the time? The items you are scanning are not priorities of your budget.

Photo by Luke Porter

OMG! It is so cheap! I must have it now!

Solution: Better get some help (personal and professional) from a sensible person or else you will end up in a huge pile of debt.

  1. You were deprived of the item in your childhood.

Parents who grew up in a deprived childhood will relate to this. Growing up poor, you didn’t experience the luxuries of life. Fast forward to the present and you have a family now. Your child wants a toy which triggered your emotions about your own childhood.  The toy is not in the family budget but still, you see yourself paying for it at the cashier.

Photo by Darren Bockman

toy train
I didn’t have that toy when I was young.

Solution: There is power with the word No especially with children. As a parent, I choose my battles. There were times I said yes and there were times I said no.  My son once stated, “Mum, when you say I will think about it, it means no.”  He knows me well.

  1. You want to be popular or a show-off.

Some people want to be popular and be topics of conversations. It is part of their need as an individual to bask in their glory, to be in the spotlight and display the item as their status symbol. I am happy for them if they can afford it.

Photo by NeONBRAND

man with a bike
Looking cool with my awesome bike

Solution:  Do not take the risk of going beyond what you can afford just for fame’s sake. There will always be new acquaintances who can buy better stuff than you.  Self-respect will remain popular across cultures.

  1. A friend, acquaintance or a store assistant convinced you to buy it.

Based on my experience, I do not know why the staff at the grocery store approaches me first and offers me a free taste of the food they are selling. Maybe, I have the aura of I-will-buy-anything-just-let-me-taste-it-first type of person. There are other people in the store but almost always, they approach or talk to me first rather than the other humans roaming around.

The boys had a free taste too and they always answered “Yes, we like it. Let’s buy it.” The case is closed. Give me what you are selling.

Conversations with friends and acquaintances can also trigger you buying their highly recommended purchases. They might need it in their lives but do you need it too?

Solution: Just say “ No, thank you” and move on.

  1. You got hooked on a tv ad or infomercial.

The power of sales talk conquered your views from a bystander to a buyer. Even at the comfort of your home, you might start calling on the phone and order the items from the infomercials or tv ads.

Even my sons were persuaded by it. “Mum, look at this! Buy it and you will have flat and toned abs!”

Good for you if you discovered an item that will help you in your everyday life or even your health issues. However, if it is not what you need, it might just end up still inside the package box and stored somewhere in a corner.

Solution: If you are that type of person that cannot control himself/herself buying on the spot without thinking of the consequences, turn off the tv or smart phone and do something productive to divert your thinking.

  1. You got so much extra money.

Spend. Spend.Spend. The debit card is having a workout.

Photo by Heidi Sandstrom.

shopping
So much shopping to do!

Solution: Please give me your money. I will spend it with the things I need.  Kidding aside, donating to charity or setting up a foundation to assist the less fortunate is money working for the common good.

  1. You love to hoard things.

Are you that kind of person who keeps buying things because you believe that you will need the items someday? The loved ones living with you are fed up with the things you keep buying. You don’t need them yet so you stock them somewhere you will soon forget and boxes occupy most of your home space. Good luck looking for it when you need it.

During the peak of popularity of garage sales for me way back in 2010-2011, I was a hoarder and loved buying cheap second-hand goods. I ended up having more than what I bargained for – lots of clutter.

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo

different boxes
Where did I put that item I bought? Hmm

Solution: STOP buying it. Remove the mess.  I am a work in progress with removing the clutter but I am getting there… soon or maybe in a distant future. It felt good to see more space at home. True story!

  1. You want someone you love to be happy.

“Love is an ocean of emotions entirely surrounded by expenses.” –Thomas Dewar

You know deep inside, when you buy that particular item, the person you love will be ecstatic or delighted to have it at long last. Even if you don’t need it, you will sacrifice your own needs and wants and grab the item and pay before you change your mind!

Buying an expensive but reasonable gift for someone you love is great on rare occasions and within your means. Still, it is not a guarantee that the person will appreciate it.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez

man and woman sitting on the grass
Having a belly laugh together is time well spent.

Solution: There are other ways of proving your love. The best one is giving your precious time and undivided attention to loved ones.  In addition, show love by helping with the laundry, doing the dishes, hugs, kisses, eating home-cooked meals at picnics and not looking at updates on your phone constantly while talking to them are my suggestions.

 

To sum up, if you become aware of your personal trigger, then you begin to be conscious of your actions, possibly get help or control your desire. We all purchase things for all the wrong reasons. My intention for you, my dear reader, is to take charge of your emotions and your purchases. We can handle it.

I now live on a road where they don’t deliver junk mail. Hence, no temptations for me this time.

Photo by Martin Sattler

man with a flashlight
A way will be made.

 

Alternatively, what are your own solutions that made you buy only what you need?

Leave a comment below. I love to learn from my readers.

Share this article with someone you know who loves to go shopping.

 

 

 

What are the 10 Lessons Learned in a Funeral? Are you ready?

cemetery

Attending a funeral is personal and emotional. Experiencing it in Australia gave me 10 lessons worth pondering about. It was a wakeup call for me.

  1. Friends come and go.

The woman delivered a touching eulogy about our family friend about how they met and became friends. She was calm and composed. To my surprise, she took a seat near me, covered her face with her hands and silently wept. I felt her pain.  The sadness is intensified when a friend who loved you for 25 years passed away. I have known Nanay Lena ( Mother Lena)  for more than 4 years but I had a heavy heart during the funeral. She was our second mother here in Australia.

  1. Your own funeral shows how much you have loved in your lifetime.

It was my first time to attend a funeral in Australia. I was amazed to see a lot of people who came to pay their last respects. It looked like a multicultural gathering. The chapel was fully packed and there were people standing outside. Love given is much appreciated across cultures.

two hands reaching a rose
Just be there.
  1. People will find the time or make time for someone they consider important.

The funeral was a weekday. The attendees could have been working on their day jobs or attending meetings or handling transactions. No. All of us were there.

  1. The unity and support of family and friends are essential.

Dying overseas has a disadvantage. The relatives can’t attend the funeral especially if the country where you came from is far away. Migrants who live with relatives are fortunate. In times of grief, the emotional burden becomes bearable when there are available family and friends offering assistance.

  1. Observing a funeral makes you think about your own death.

Death is certain. It will come to all of us. Questions will start pouring out. What will I choose: cremation or burial? Am I ready to die? What will happen to my family if I die young? Are my finances sorted out when I die? Sad to say, I am not prepared. I should be.

watch
Time is up!
  1. You will never know when your time is up.

I am turning 40 next year and I am thankful I reached my late 30s. My childhood friend died of leukemia at age 7. My grandmother (mother’ side) died of cancer at age 43. Our college school mate gave me a doughnut before his tragic car accident.He passed away at age 21. My grandparents (father’s side) lived up to their early 80s.

A funeral gives you a subtle reminder that you will never know when your time is up. Better LIVE your life to the fullest!

  1. Crying is the best way to release your pent-up emotions during a funeral.

The request of Nanay Lena before she died was no one should cry at her funeral. I admit. I couldn’t do it. My other friend and I hugged the bereaved daughter and sobbed our hearts out. I tried not to cry but tears kept rolling on my cheeks.

Crying for me is one way of:

  1. coping or accepting the fact
  2. gathering the strength to move on with life without her.
a family friend and my son
She bought a cake for my son during the time we couldn’t afford to buy an expensive cake.
  1. Appreciate the presence of a loved one while they are still alive.

Looking back, I am pleased I found time to attend all the get-together parties my friend had set up. Nanay Lena was the coordinator that connected us all. She attended the last ladies night out I hosted at home. Even if she was not feeling well, she took the time to mingle with my new-found friends. Catching up with friends is a great way to strengthen the bond of friendship. Time is NOT wasted when we enjoy each other’s company with laughter and drama.

I am glad my family and I took the time to visit her in the hospital or called her on special occasions. If I didn’t, it could have been one of my regrets.

  1. Money and emotional stability are needed for the funeral services and reception.

Funeral insurance seems a good idea. I should get my act together and start planning for this. Cremation or burial services are not cheap.

Losing a loved one is tough. Grieving for the loss but still have to do the paper work and make phone calls force you to control your emotions and have the utmost presence of mind. Though it was a difficult time, the bereaved spouse and daughter were brave to go through it all.

  1. The reception after the funeral made me realize that whatever you did in your lifetime, it will come back to you even after death.

Nanay Lena was an excellent cook. She cooked for me when I hosted parties or shared a dish worth drooling for. She even invited us when she had some special food prepared.

During the reception, there were two long tables filled with different types of food all shared by the attendees of the funeral. The home cooked dishes were their best recipes and all had a good meal. As if my friend was there overlooking the get-together of friends just like the good old days.

 

pug on a floor
Missing you

In addition, I miss her especially when Facebook shows the photos of the good times we had when she was still with us. I forced back the tears because I saw those photos while riding a bus. My seatmates might think I was going crazy.

Overall, let us make an effort not to take family and friends for granted. It is so easy to say ” I am busy now.” Do not create a lingering regret in the future that is difficult to live with.  LOVE while we still have the TIME. Are you ready?

Share this article with someone who needs a WAKEUP CALL.

 

Dirty Laundry Lessons

Ah, this is the life! Dirty laundry in the hamper is waiting for me. It is inevitable and time-consuming. It is a chore that makes you say “ This will never end!” It’s a lifetime task. Let me share the lessons I learned with my dirty laundry.

  1. It is a never-ending cycle.

I feel accomplished when I look at an empty hamper. All the washing is done. However, the feel-good moment is just fleeting. When the children come home from school,  fresh supply of dirty uniforms particularly smelly socks are dumped in the hamper. Inhale.. exhale. It’s a part of life. Endurance is a virtue being perfected here.

laundry basket
The second basket was done! 5,000 more baskets to go!
  1. Doing the laundry is exercise.

Machine wash or hand wash, check! Carry the hampers outside the backyard, check! Hang the clothes to dry, check! When the clothes are dry, get them for folding, check!This is hard work. I am burning calories!

  1. The missing sock will remain a mystery.

 I collected more than 10 socks with missing pairs. Is the washing machine taking it? Is there a sock fairy who gets them from the clothesline for fun? My friend suggested buying a dozen pairs of socks with only one color. That way, I will never have the issue of looking for its pair.  The tip helped me.

jeans on the clothesline
Job: The pocket checker
  1. The pockets should always be checked.

Have you experienced getting the clothes out of the washing machine just to see tiny white pieces of tissue stuck on the clothes? To my horror, I traced it to the pockets of the jeans. It was a moment for me to keep calm and control the Hulk Mum.

Have you experienced discovering coins or paper money hidden in the pockets? It makes you feel rich, right?

  1. Vinegar can remove stains on white garments.

Red stains were on 3 white inner shirts. The culprit was a small red face towel accidentally thrown with the pile. My husband remembered the advice of my mother-in-law. Soak the white clothes in water with vinegar. After two days, he showed to me the red stains were gone.

For me, flowers are good but helping with the laundry is better. www.daysofmum.com

  1. Helping with the laundry = LOVE.

It is really a big deal when a loved one helps with the laundry. The burden is lessened.  For me, flowers are good but assisting me with the laundry is better.

  1. Families who have excellent house helpers are lucky.

Once upon a time, I had the privilege to have a house help. I didn’t bother back then about the hand washing, bleaching and separating the white from the colored clothes. Washing clothes for a family every week is NOT an easy task. Having an amazing trustworthy house help for years is truly a blessing.

  1. Appreciate the clothes you have.

Clothes are basic needs of man and yet some are deprived of it.  When I see the hamper piling up with dirty laundry, I tell myself, “ Don’t complain. Be thankful you have clothes.”

  1. There is always a surprise lurking on the clothes.

Before washing: What is this I see? A sticky, smelly substance … eww. Enough said. Hand washing is a must.

After washing: What is this I see? Bird poop?! Wiping it off was useless. I have to wash it again!

clothes and bedsheets hanging on the clothesline
Wait a minute… Oh no!
  1. Check the clothesline for maintenance.

I was proud of myself finishing the washing. Then suddenly, all the clothes fell down on the muddy ground. I wanted to scream! The event was the epitome of frustration!Repeating the washing was an idea my brain couldn’t handle. With a sad face, I picked up the clothes to do the task, again.

  1. It instills responsibility with the children.

Put the dirty garments in the correct laundry basket. Help mum by carrying the hampers in the backyard. Assist mum in folding the clothes.

I told my boys “ I am not your slave. I am your mother.” 

One good thing about the boys helping me fold the clothes is they start discussing topics which most of the time made me laugh.

  1. When in doubt, hang the clothes to dry in a shaded area.

The forecast is sunny, it suddenly rains. I am miles away from home. At the back of my mind, I was thinking about the clothes.  It was annoying.

Are you too tired coming home from work? Hang the garments under a covered area. The clothes will dry by themselves, rain or shine, winter or not, you forgot them or not.  The only issue here is the odor of the clothes. Solution: Invest in sweet-smelling fabric conditioner. If you have extra money, have a clothes dryer.

 

What lessons have you learned with your laundry?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Open Colleges:Ten things to think about before enrolling an online course based from my experience as a mother

laptop and notebook on a table

 

I will give you my Top Ten things to think about before enrolling an online course.  These are based on my experience as a middle-aged mother. I enrolled at Open Colleges.

1.There are various ways to pay.

There are options like paying in full or monthly payments. I chose to pay the full amount because, in the long run, it will be cheaper.

white light covering the hair
Downloading tons of information

2. Starting to study is the hard part.

Studying all over again made my head hurt literally. Imagine, reading, writing and submitting assessments again! The good news was my middle-aged working mind gained momentum after a month.

3.It takes discipline to make time to study.

The family is watching television or enjoying a movie marathon. There I was sitting in the lounge desperately telling myself to stand up and go to your laptop. Submit the tasks!

The temptation to procrastinate is great. Sometimes, I gave in to the temptation and had a marvelous bonding time with family. Other times, I suffered the consequences of sleep deprivation. Your choice.

tired mother with two boys

4.I felt isolated.

There is a study buddy online where I could connect with other students near my area. I didn’t choose that. I rather surf the internet than connecting to someone whose profile picture is blank.

It took a heavy toll on me. I grew up in a traditional classroom where I could talk to real people. I missed that. I studied in front of a laptop while my boys were at school and my husband was at work. I had to leave the house just to relax and talk to people.

5. Sometimes, staying in front of the computer for hours is necessary.

In the real world of mothers, everything changes when a child gets sick or the husband had to stay longer at work. The only option was to do all the tasks for submission in one weekend. That means sitting all day in front of the computer. Managing time is essential.

macbook and phone
I need to send this NOW.

6. I learned a lot.

Submitting assessments made me read books and surf the internet for reliable information.  What made it difficult was to find the right answer to the question which means skimming and scanning websites. Through it all, it opened my mind to issues  I didn’t know existed. It broadened my understanding.

stepping on a see through floor
Going beyond

7. It pushed me to my limits and let me out of my comfort zone.

There were times I wanted to give up. What made me held on was I already paid the tuition fee in full haha!  On the serious side, I have a strong belief in this When I start something, I want to finish it. No excuses.

8. Feedbacks from instructors during the last assessment were nail-biting.

I had a lovely opportunity chatting with the instructors for questions and comments during my study. All of them were kind and accommodating.  However, the last assessments caused me sleepless nights. Were they good enough?

lots of balloons in the sky
I DID IT!

 9. It gave a feeling of accomplishment.

When I read the word PASS with my final assessments, I jumped for joy! Yes! I finally finished my course! After all the hard work and dedication to do it, I finally made it. It was an achievement itself taking care of a family and studying online at the same time.

10. Finish your course as soon as you can because sometimes the curriculum changes.

At the middle of my studies, the curriculum suddenly changed. If you do not want to have more assessments or retake exams, better finish it in one year.