Monday, March 9, 2009

Artful Weekend

Weekends became sacred moments since I started working on a full time job again.

Last Saturday, I wanted to try my hand on sketching. Even before my eyes opened up to savor the warmth of the sunlight pouring through my windows, my thoughts were on where to find my sketch pad and those charcoal pencils that remained unused these past months.

For several hours I walked around the house, conferring with my muse on the best subject for my "art project". And while I was sitting there, waiting for my muse to make its final decision on what to do about my request, I started taking some pictures using the camera in my cellphone on anything that caught my interest inside the house.

I seldom explore the functions of my cellphone but this is one of those days when I am in my "daring" mood to make a few adjustments on the camera setting. And after uploading the pictures in the computer, I found out my muse had been working with me afterall.

Here's a "sketch" of Kim while busy writing her essay, which she had to submit that day in school.

And the two cats playing with the dust floating with the sunlight before it hit the floor.

Oppps, they look so sweet I can't help myself capturing these precious moments on cam.

Okay, maybe I can try working on my real sketch pad next weekend. Thank you my dear muse for these tips on how to go about my art project the next time around. :-)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Getting lost in transition

Changes, subtle changes seeped in without knocking
Physical fatigue though my office is just a 5-minute ride away
Cobwebs hanging on the edge of our ceiling,
Dust on the divider,
These are things I never noticed before.
So why am I seeing them now?

Warm conversations over dinner
Have started to exude the heat experienced during daytime
Parallel talks that don’t seem to meet
Messages that are not getting through
The invisible wall that’s dividing us now.

Being asked, “Why are you like that now, Mom?”
I had to hold back my tongue from asking this same question

For a few days I tried to keep still, look back, and simply observe
Myself rushing to get to work in the morning ...
And catching my breath when I get home late in the afternoon.

And slowly things became clearer

Changes that came with my decision
To take on a fulltime job began to unfold before my eyes.


For the past months, five months to be exact, I’ve been trying to find the “balance” in my life. Taking on a fulltime job is no easy task for working moms like me who used to be working at home, where I am able to partake in the household chores while at the same time, also able to attend to commitments made with clients.

Time then was something I was more in control of.

I was able to make time for things important to me, and do away with things that are not that important at all. I had my own routines, irregular they may seem, still they were regular routines that only freelancers can imagine.
But now there are several “important things” that have often been set aside:
  • No blog entries for the past months;
  • No walking around the block with my daughters;
  • No playtime with our pet cats and dogs;
  • No time to dig deeper in my journal entries, and
  • No space provided for my soulfulness to come out freely.
I even haven’t chatted with our neighbors who have been kind enough to sweep our front area and play with our pets, almost everyday.

Gosh, my daughter is so wise to ask me that question indeed. What’s happening to you now, Azl? Why are you like this now? These were the nagging questions that penetrated my mind and my being when I sat down one lazy Sunday afternoon a couple of weeks ago, with my notebook and pen on hand.

After a few minutes of sitting there, doing nothing at all, scenes slowly started to emerge in my mind-screen. I couldn’t write them down as they were all visuals fleeting so fast, screen after screen floating before my eyes, like a movie being played back to me.

Realizations came so fast, piercing through my senses, shaking my inmost being, and reminding me once again that there are more important things than having a neat and clean sink, and a well-organized cabinet and shelves at home. And these were slowly being set aside without my being aware of it.

But these mini-arguments we have over dinner,
The feeling of being misunderstood,
My irritation over cluttered that continue to pile up in every corner inside our house,
I began to realize now that these are merely reminders that I am “losing my path” once again.

I need to find my “reset button” before these routines and changes consume me.

First thing I did was to accept that there have been changes occurring in my life now. I had to recognize that I am not the only one affected by these changes; my two daughters are also going through their own challenges, too, with their school projects and assignments and exams coming one after another …

And in the same period, our pets had to be spayed and neutered, and they need our attention and affection as well. With medicines that need to be administered round the clock, and isolating them from our other pets. Whew, you can just imagine how chaotic our schedules had been these past five months.

And we managed well, I can see it now.

Second thing I tried to do was to find that precious “appreciative spirit” in us once again. I know I couldn’t have managed all these things without my daughters help, and they deserve a lot of hugs and warm understanding from me (instead of me nagging about the dirt on the sink, those unwashed dishes, and this fault-finding tone in my voice that seems to take over my senses the past few months … arrrggggghhh).

From here, I started writing in my journal once again. It’s nice to read back on my own reflections and how I am managing the changes happening in our lives nowadays. These are small steps actually of re-integrating back into my life whatever lessons I’ve learned for the past years.

Would like to share them in my next blog entries and I hope this article is also helpful to other working moms out there who are also struggling to find that amorphous “balance” in our lives.