They may not see you from afar or even heard your greeting. Greet them at arms-length just to be sure.
I will not see you from a distance so forgive me in advance if I don’t greet back. My friend once told me I have a serious face. Please bear with me. I am a work in progress in having a cheerful face. *giggling*
They are snobbish.
Some believe that they are better than the rest of humanity. They do not want to mingle with human beings they consider inferior.
Ouch. Sometimes, you meet interesting people at parties and other social events. When you try to greet them at a random place, they might be deliberating in their minds where they met you. If they see you as a stranger, it might be a wake-up call to improve your social skills.
The person just doesn’t like you.
You may encounter people who totally hate your guts. You are not doing anything wrong to them and yet every cell of their being is disgusted by your mere presence. Strolling in their space makes them cringe.
Some individuals are anxious when meeting new people. What others take for granted like greeting someone, can be a huge deal for them. The chance to interact was lost because he/she was reluctant to respond.
The individual was in a really awful mood.
Others may have a terrific poker face when angry. Some do not want people near them when they are furious because the closest person may become the poor victim of their wrath. They decided not to greet you.
They are not snooty. Some walk so fast, they don’t even have time to look left or right. The person was on a mission. You cannot bother him/her no matter what.
The person’s height can affect their view.
I know someone who is 6’4 feet (193.04cm) in height and is a friendly guy. Sometimes he sees me and smiles, sometimes he doesn’t. My height is 5 feet (152.4cm) so I usually get lost in a crowd of tall people.
One time I was in the shop and had to turn right in the corner but almost got my face flat on a guy’s broad chest. It was embarrassing for both of us because he had to dodge me. I could have bumped on him and landed on my bottom. *giggling again*
Give the man/woman the benefit of the doubt if they didn’t answer your gesture. Do not take it seriously. If they didn’t return your greeting and lovely smile, it’s okay. Yes, it might be awkward on your part but just keep smiling and saying hello to others. Friendships start that way.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
As a mum, you sometimes catch yourself staring into space, tears kept rolling down your face. You told yourself, I am tired of being strong. This is too much for me. You don’t understand your emotions anymore. Sob. Sob. And more weeping. You are now in the moment when you just feel like CRYING.
There are countless reasons why you are angry, frustrated, sad, anxious and tired. No matter how you try to reason out with yourself with common positive self-talk:
You can get through this.
It is just temporary.
You can overcome this.
Still, after all those affirmations, you end up CRYING.
Alarm bells will be heard around the household when they see their MUM weeping. Every family member is worried. Mum, the multitasker, the tough one that balances home and work, the troubleshooter of all sorts of problems of the family is WEEPING. Oh-uh. Something is terribly wrong. Even a toddler will feel your pain and may even hug you even though the child doesn’t understand what is going on.
It feels good when there is a trusted loved one who is available to comfort you during this time of struggle. However, what if you are alone? This is when the mums become different. The object that you grab or hold on to while you are crying causes the difference.
When you feel that the issue at hand is beyond your control, you might get:
Box of tissues – Ah, the classic box of tissues which is an alternative to the handkerchief. The latter is an extra part of the laundry but the former is just a throwaway in the bin. Tissues are way better. Blowing your nose until it becomes red, swollen eyelids and red eyes from non-stop crying, tissues are the silent witnesses to your dilemma.
Pillow – The pillow is the partner of the tissues because most of the time, the whining is usually done on the bed. Because no one is there to judge you, the cushion becomes the shock absorber of your tight hugs, punches and screams. Screaming on the pillow is a good free therapy.
Comfort food – My last blog discussed FOOD cravings. You might suddenly have the irresistible urge to grab an ice cream, cake, chocolate, salty food, savory food and other junk food that you can shove in your mouth.
I just hope you feel good afterward. This is also one of the reasons why most middle-age mums are overweight (including me). The food becomes the friend.
Alcoholic drink – For other mums, a drink makes them feel bolder while drowning in their own misery. All I can say is drink responsibly. You need healthy organs.
Remote control – Other mums do not want the silence in the room so they get hold of a remote control to watch something on TV or a movie. Even if the movie is not heavy drama, you still cry because a spoken word or a part of the movie is related to what’s going on in your life.
Paper and pen – There are countless swear words you want to say over and over while you are crying but for other mums, they prefer it in written form. They will start writing about their feelings or what they want to say to someone without offending anybody as long as that paper is burned or shredded.
I tried this once. I read what I wrote the next day. It gave me a perspective on what was going on in my mind. It was as if I was reading another person’s letter. I made sure no one read it because I burned it.
A glass of water – You can’t breathe anymore in the middle of your sobs so you seize a glass of water for rehydration. A half an hour of weeping is exhausting and drinking water is a must or else you get dehydrated. After a long session of crying, it feels like you went on a hike.
Cleaning tools – Crying out of frustration is put to good use by scrubbing away the dirt in the kitchen, the bathroom, the toilet. The good news is after you finished crying, the house is immaculately clean!
Knife – Don’t get me wrong. I am talking about cutting the ingredients for cooking. Vent your despair by chopping, mincing and slicing the meat and vegetables on the chopping boards. Good thing, the ingredients don’t have feelings. Moreover, there is already a dinner for the family.
Sewing or knitting materials – At the end of your weeping, a creation is made like a blanket or a dress. Your hands were so busy that you didn’t realize you produced a masterpiece. Sometimes, the mind is busy thinking that you stop crying without knowing it.
Pet – The ever loyal pet dog or cat is by your side when no humans are around. Patting their fur while a tsunami of doubts and fears in your mind create a calming effect.
I have nothing against crying. It feels good to release the pent-up emotions. It is challenging being a mum but I wouldn’t exchange my place with someone else’s.
After you STOP CRYING is a game changer because you might be thinking of a plan. What are you going to do afterward? Mums may either:
Do nothing about it because why bother when you cannot change it?
Determined to work things out no matter what and try other options.
Feel you are the victim of the situation and cry repeatedly.
Change the way you think and how you feel about it because life is too short to be miserable.
If you feel that you cry more often than before then I suggest you seek help from a trustworthy family, friend or a psychologist.
Whatever you are going through now, I just hope and pray that you will surpass it and come out of it stronger and wiser. Do not be too hard on yourself. Do not bully yourself by being your worst critic. Cry and move on my dear reader. It is SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS to be alive! it just means terrific.
When you have cravings, there are emotions attached to it.
Suddenly craving for an ice cream? Everything fell into place and you want to celebrate!
Dying to eat chocolate? You just want to shove the piece in your mouth because you are upset.
Angry at someone? You see yourself getting the potato chips in your pantry because you want to release stress.
Feeling bored? There is a bottle of wine somewhere…
There are various reasons why we crave a particular food or drink. I will not discuss alcoholic drinks, coffee or soft drinks.
I want to focus more on FOOD.
CAKE – This is always present on special occasions: birthdays, anniversaries, mother’s day and other special days. In spite of that, when you feel you are an actor in a drama series, the cake is one of the options for stress eating. I could already hear the song “All By Myself”.
There was one night when I craved for Ube Cake. It is a purple yam cake with macapuno (coconut sport) in it. Oh, it was one of those nights I couldn’t do anything about it! I do not know how to bake it or if the ingredients are available at the Asian store. I only see it when a talented guest shares this treat in the party.
ICE CREAM – There is something about ice cream that makes you want to eat more. I couldn’t sleep one night and went to the freezer to get two scoops of Rocky Road ice cream. I asked myself, WHY AM I DOING THIS? My mind didn’t even bother to answer and just gave in to temptation.
What is your tempting ice cream treat? Vanilla? Strawberry? Chocolate? Special flavors like pistachio ice cream perhaps? It even tastes better with an ice cream cone, just like the good old days of childhood. Yum.
CHICKEN – There are two types of chicken I CRAVE: Chickenjoy from the Filipino fast-food chain JOLLIBEE and the spicy chicken from KFC. At the moment, I could not eat chickenjoy here in Australia because it does not have a Jollibee branch yet. However, I see myself most Tuesdays falling in line at a KFC branch ordering the Cheap Tuesday option.
CHOCOLATE – This is my weakness, is it yours too? There are days I do not even look for it in the pantry or not even eat it for days even if it is just within my grasp. When the craving starts, as if I am a little child coming back to the pantry eating a part bit by bit.
MEAT: BEEF? PORK? MUTTON? This is not much of a craving for me but other people are craving for these. Do you want it grilled or barbecued? Fried? Baked? Stewed? Eat the jiggly fats that come with it? Mmmmm…
POTATO CHIPS – You are not much of a fan of sweet food but you suddenly get uneasy when you crave for something SALTY. Disgust fills your mind when you open the cupboards or the pantry without potato chips. You promised yourself in the grocery store that you will start a healthy life by not buying potato chips. You breathe in and breathe out and close the pantry.
Stop it. Hold it. I could go on and on with the other food cravings. Don’t make me start with pizza. Let’s go a bit deeper with this. Something familiar.
Furthermore, there is another cause why we desire a particular food: HOMESICKNESS.
– It was part of your childhood.
– Father or mother used to cook it for you.
– You associate it with a friend back then.
– It is the food that you devoured during a special occasion in the past.
– Foodstuff that reminds you of home miles and miles away.
Good for you if you can buy it in the shops or the ingredients are available and you can cook it from scratch. Other times, you just have to grin and bear it. Wait for the chance to visit your country of origin and eat it all you want until you can’t take it anymore.
Taho – I grew up eating this for breakfast during my childhood years. It is made up of soft tofu with caramel and sago pearls. Most of the time, the peddler shouted TAHOin front of our house so I asked my grandmother to buy some for me. The answer was always yes. *grinning*
I ate this in front of the house with my childhood friend who was still wearing her pajamas. We didn’t even wash our faces or combed our hair but we were already outside eating taho for breakfast.
Philippine Mangoes – I already ate different types of mangoes but my heart still craves for Philippine mangoes. Maybe, it is the taste I grew up with or the special memories associated while eating it. Looking back, I always ate mangoes with my loved ones.
Lumpiang sariwa / Fresh spring rolls – The fresh spring rolls prepared by the experts will make you forget your diet. Different vegetables are wrapped in a soft white wrapper then topping it with sweet sauce and peanuts. The secret here why it is so delicious is the sauce that comes with it
Banana cue – This was my afternoon snack growing up. Deep fried bananaplantains with brown sugar are the best! My friends and I devoured it while drinking coconut juice.
Chicharon/ Pork crackling – Dipping this in vinegar and stopping yourself finish the pack is an effort. Hearing the crunch of the pork crackling in every bite and catching up with friends is a match wherever you are.
Balut – fertilized duck egg. Do I have to say more? It is best to eat it with salt or vinegar. It is not for the faint of heart. Legend has it that even the most adventurous, thrill-seeking food lovers have said NO THANK YOU to this.
Dinuguan – is pork blood stew. I do not know how to cook this but every time I see it in parties, I always taste it initially. When my son first saw me with this, he exclaimed: “ Mum, you are eating dirty food!” NO, I AM NOT.
Pandesal – It is a part of breakfast of every Filipino family. You buy it in a bakery early in the morning then fill it with your favorite peanut butter, margarine or cheese. When I was young, the pandesal was bigger. Nowadays, it became smaller and more expensive.
Leche flan and polvoron – My mother rarely prepared these special treats so when she did, I was in sweets heaven.Leche flan needs 10 egg yolks, condensed milk and evaporated milk. These ingredients are expensive for simple folks. I controlled myself eating the whole serving so I could eat it for days.
Polvoron is another one. Mama didn’t bother anymore wrapping the treat. She just put it in a big container and gave me a spoon. How I loved eating polvoronwhile watching my favorite cartoons! Be careful eating it or else you might cough and scatter the powder all over the place.
Halo-halo – It is a Filipino dessert with shaved ice, evaporated milk, sweet beans and bananas, jelly, leche flan and other ingredients. Halo-halo becomes special because of the other ingredients you decide to mix.
Example, other people put macapuno (coconut sport) in it or vanilla ice cream on top or jackfruit. It depends upon the preparation and available ingredients. Delicious!
Kakanin – Filipino delicacies or rice treats
To prepare these treats, patience is needed because there is a lot of mixing involved. I am still a work in progress in cooking. The last time I made one, it got burnt. I rather eat the food prepared by someone who knows what they are doing. If you are interested to cook Filipino kakanin then here is the website for you. Click here.
Tamales or Bobotu to Kapampangans- There is the feeling of anticipation every time I remove the banana leaf wrapper from the tamales. Will the tamales be huge like the wrapper or is it small? My father loves tamales and I love it too.
Street food – OH YESSS. Air pollution from the public vehicles didn’t stop me from eating street food. I only ate siomai (dim sum dumplings) and quail eggs. I was not adventurous enough to eat the grilled organs of the pig.
Pancit Malabon – Savory noodles with toppings like smoked fish, eggs and sea food ( shrimp, oysters, mussels)
Reno – It is a canned good of liver spread. Yes, we do love this and we put it in Caldereta or Beef stew.
To sum it up, there will always be a time that you start to crave for something. Sometimes it is okay to give in to the temptation. Just have the discipline to STOP yourself when you know enough is enough. My enough is when my belt needs to get loose. *giggling*
A friend once told me ” JUST BUY A BIGGER T-SHIRT if you don’t fit in it anymore.” Funny yes. In the long run, it will not be.
There you have it, folks. At the moment, I am craving for BALUT. How about you? What are you craving for?
Homesickness trigger scenario: I locked the door. The morning rush is over. My husband went to work and the boys are at school. The chores are all staring at me. Clean me! Wash me! Iron me! As if all the appliances are screaming at me for attention. What to do? What to do?
I saw myself sitting in the hallway trying to stop myself from crying. I felt hopeless. I couldn’t think straight. My mind is telling me Snap out of it! You are better than this! Why are you so sad? There are more people who are suffering more than you so stop crying!
I didn’t. Cries turned into loud sobs. It was the moment that I do not like thinking about. It creates a feeling of despair, a sudden rush of sadness and feeling of isolation. I was homesick.
There are times when homesickness is triggered by someone or something. It sometimes hit me without preparation. I saw an old couple holding hands while crossing the street. It reminded me of my parents in the Philippines. I saw a plane while I was hanging clothes in the backyard. I felt lonely because I wanted to ride a plane and visit my loved ones. I craved for the food I could only buy in the Philippines.
I sometimes envy the mums going to school who have their mothers assisting them with a pram or a toddler. They have with them their mums for support and guidance. I am a middle-aged mum who understands more now why mama and papa were behaving that way in the past. It was so easy back then to be stubborn and believe that my way was better. Listening to them is important to me now. We talk over the phone or have a video chat. Sometimes it is enough to get me by.
However, there are moments that I badly need a hug or a kiss from mama. Living overseas is both joy and a challenge as a mother. I cannot be tough all the time. I sometimes break down. This is where the tricky part comes in. What do I say to myself?
Just keep crying Shirin. Let it all out. Cry… cry… You have a loving family who supports you. You have friends who accept you for who you are. You have food in the pantry. You have clothes and shelter. Life in Australia gave you the chance to experience events you only dreamt of before.
After finishing a bucket of tissues later, I realized that I forgot to appreciate what I have in the first place. Why am I focusing on the loneliness when I could focus on the life I have now. I do not have issues that are life threatening. I am alive which is GOOD! I should be mentally aware when this toxic feeling suddenly comes again.
When the feeling suddenly comes, positive self-talk is essential. Today, I choose joy! Yes… I am feeling sad right now but being miserable today is doing more harm than good! I believe there is a way of going out of this. I can handle this!
However, don’t get me wrong. I believe a good cry can also do wonders for my health and sanity. It gives me a feeling of release. It gives me a new perspective. Okay, I already cried. Now what?
Homesickness is a toxic feeling every migrant, overseas worker, traveler, and refugee will feel. Wherever you are, I feel you. I am with you in this battle. My intention is for you to be able to have coping strategies for it. Mine is positive self-talk. How about you?