Life Skills You Learn from Minecraft

I was never a hardcore gamer and would conservatively call myself a casual one at that. The only gaming accomplishment I’m most proud of is completing Diablo II in PSP a looooong time ago. Well, aside from getting 5 stars in Just Dance. Haha.

With this I would say that Yui’s Minecraft addiction and gaming skills didn’t come from me. But as a supportive mom, I’ve grown to love the game as well and by watching her play, I came to realize that there are actually life skills you can get from playing Minecraft.

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The Continuing Saga Called Life

I was there at the back of the boat looking far into the horizon, the sun beginning to set on that late afternoon. I was staring blankly at the waves when it suddenly hit me. Here I am, spending a day in a far away island with friends old and new, still alive and enjoying life. It’s been almost two years since the day that he went away. September 22nd, Sunday twenty five after nine. In the doorway with his case, no longer shouting at each other there tears on my face. We were letting go of something special… (okay, enough with the M2M pun) 😂

I’ve spent the last two years trying to rebuild my life and building a new one without that someone I thought would be here for forever. Well, walang forever so anong nakakagulat? Haha! Anyway, it is a very educational experience. I needed to spend time to reflect on what was, what is and what will be. It was hard, very hard. But slowly I found myself smiling again, then laughing again. With the help of my family and friends, I’m here alive and kickin’.

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The Journey to a Happier Me

As the proverb says, “fall down seven times, stand up eight.” This has been the mantra that kept me going the past months. Despite all the challenges, there was always a reason to stand up and fight another day. Thus, I stood up.

The past year has been challenging, to say it simply. It has taught me a lot of life lessons that I didn’t even fathom before. It’s showed me the harsh reality of life but at the same time it’s showed me that life is still bearable and eventually, beautiful despite these obstacles. Honestly, although I’ve known these all along, it’s different when you’re the one that’s actually there. When life kicks someone we know in the butt, it’s easy for us to offer our advices but if you’re the one in that situation, it’s very difficult to follow a sound advice. Now I know why my friends seem to never listen. Because it’s hard to.

I’ve been kicked, pushed and strangled by life and sadly the bubble I was living in was burst in an instant. I was in a deep, deep hole. And when I thought I couldn’t go up, I remembered the proverb. Slowly, I stood up. Slowly, I regained the “old me”. Slowly, I started the journey to a happier me. It wasn’t easy, but with help, I eventually found it. I know life is a roller coaster so this moment I am in will soon fade and I would find myself at the bottom again but with what I learned the past year, I know I can stand up.

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Things I Learned in 2013

As the year 2013 comes to a close, I see a lot of posts in my facebook timeline of friends highlighting their 2013. Most have this year as their best yet while a few had some challenges and can’t wait to meet 2014. Personally, this year has been the roughest, toughest and darkest for me.

It started out peacefully and although met with some challenges, I believed that we were overcoming the issues. Or so I thought. Towards the middle of the year, the little bumps became more frequent and slowly became harder and harder. Until it all blew in my face. To say that I was blindsided is an understatement.

It was like being on the edge of the cliff with gravity instantly pulling me in. It was like falling into a deep darkness where no help came. It was like a huge part of me died. And the saddest part is knowing that it will never live again.

Despite everything that has happened though, I’m still thankful to be alive. I had a lot of lessons learned as I tried to move forward. And as I welcome 2014, I would like to share some of the things I learned this year:

1. Not everyone who smiles at you is a friend.

Even if you meet people who you think are friends, there are those who will betray you. As it turns out, no amount of kindness can prevent someone from taking the most important thing in your life from you.

2. No matter how honestly you live your life, there are really others who are not. And some are much closer to home than you think.

3. It’s true that there are people who have lost their values and have a twisted belief of self-righteousness.

As the saying goes, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” You would think that people who grew up in good families and went to the best schools will grow up to be responsible and honest adults. But there are really those who only think about themselves and their happiness even if they will throw all decency and morals out the window. No amount of training or curriculum can ever prepare you for it.

4. Life is not fair. And Shit Happens.

True story.

5. At the end of the day, your family and true friends will stand by you, push you to move forward and make you realize that life does not end when you lost love.

I am one of those who can’t wait for 2014. I look forward to a better year and hopes that peace will finally make its way to my life. If not, I can always refer back to #5. So 2014, bring it on!

Frantic Feedback

The last month has been a pity. One blog post. Nothing else. Although my blog life was severely in drought, real life was something else.

Weekdays have been 16 average hours in the office and weekdays were quality time with the family. There are a lot of blog-worthy experiences and places I’d like to share in my blog but the farthest they reached was on my to-do list.

April is one of the busiest months at work as it is our performance feedback season. This year the deadlines were so tight so I had to make ends meet to finish the 28 feedback requests I received from my team. And this is on top of my normal work. I spent zombie nights working/sleeping/eating in the kitchen just to finish all those feedback. It was painful work but the importance of it pushed me to the finish line. Buzzer beater. But at least it’s done! 🙂

Now that it’s over and a new month is in, I’m back with a vengeance! This is my month. So I’m gonna make it count. 🙂

I’ll start with the life lessons I’ve learned from all those frantic feedback nights.

Life is good
Life is good. Leave your worries behind.

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Choosing Your Battles

Whoever said that parenting is tough is spot on target. It’s a fulfilling job but it ain’t easy. Raising a child takes a lot of patience and requires some sense of humor through the process. With all the things that we need to teach our child such as independence, values, etc. I learned that it helps to choose our battles.

When faced with a head on collision with Yui and I feel that I’m about to lose it, I consider these three things:

1. Will she learn from this experience?

2. Won’t she hurt herself or others?

3. Won’t this conflict with other things we’re teaching her?

Sometimes it can be tricky but if the answer to all three questions is YES, then I’ll let her have that round. There were times when I’ve applied this to her:

When we went on a trip to Singapore, I had our clothes planned out carefully since we only have limited supply. The morning that we’re preparing for Universal Studios, Yui insisted to wear her pajamas. Since this will not hurt her and we even saved one clean outfit, I let her have it. She also learned that in this family it’s okay to make your own choices as long as you live with it. Besides, it was a Kai lan pajama and didn’t really look much like pjs at all.

Grocery shopping is really stressful for us since our very hyper daughter loves to run around. When she refuses to listen and is becoming very difficult to deal with, we bring her home immediately. There are times though that giving her options and allowing her to make decisions make the trip more bearable. When she wanted Fruit Loops but we wanted the local version Fruity Loops instead, we make her choose between the Fruit Loops’ bird or Fruity Loops’ monkey (the designs in the packages). That way we see it as a win-win situation. She got her cereal and we got to have a somewhat peaceful trip and the cheaper cereal alternative.

Sometimes it helps to have different tactics on hand when you go on (grocery) battle. Through these trips I learned when to fight it with her, when to be more gentle and when to be firm even if it means cutting our trip short.

Of Dogs and Dragons

I’ve heard a lot of feedback from fellow dog officemates that 2012 is not a good year for us because dogs clash with the dragons. I’m not really a believer of feng shui but with all the things happening to me the past weeks, I’m amazed at how these predictions seem to fit. The start of the year has been such as rollercoaster ride for me and with too much stuff happening and emotional ups and downs, I can barely sit down and blog. Okay, that’s probably a sad excuse for my absence but I’ve got to blame my laziness on something, right? 2012 is just starting but I’ve experienced and learned so much in the past few days to probably get me through this lifetime.

Here are some of the things I’ve learned recently:

1. If you keep something inside you for so long, chances are you’re going to blow off pretty soon.

True, not just in your digestive system but also in relationships. If something bothers us and just keep mum about it, every small detail will annoy and disappoint us causing too much stress and an eventual emotional breakdown.

2. Misery loves company.

When everything was just going haywire, it seems that people around you are just having a lot of issues themselves. The good thing about this though is that by listening to other people’s experiences, you tend to put yours into perspective and see how important or miniscule your problem is. In the process, you not only help someone by being there for them, you also help yourself move on. As they say, happiness shared is happiness multiplied. Sadness shared is sadness divided.

3. Communication is key to every relationship.

As plants need water and sunshine to grow, relationships need communication and an open mind. No matter how tough it may be for any relationship, you’re sure to overcome every misunderstanding and issue with an open mind and an open discussion. If you are honest with your feelings and convey it in a respectful way, you are sure to get what you want out of the conversation. Be it all the hurtful details or an acceptable compromise to a situation, it will help you move forward. Open communication does not only mean a serious closed-door meeting with someone, it can also mean having a light talk on sensitive topics ensuring that you say what you feel and not jump into assumptions or conclusions.

4.  Life sucks. Shit happens. Move on.

That’s just the reality of it so instead of harboring ill feelings, we should just take life in stride and look into a bright future ahead. There are far too many pleasant things that is bound to happen in our life, so one pitfall doesn’t mean the end of us.

5. Two is better than one.

In the end, no matter how hard life can be or no matter how many stones they throw at you, life will be so much bearable if you have someone to get through it. Someone to laugh at all these shit while you grumble. Someone to prepare your meal while you wallow in pain. And just someone to hold your hand while you go through hell.

One of my favorite quotes from my mom is “Life is how you make it.” So no matter how awful my 2012 predictions are, I’m still looking forward to changing all that and making it awesome-r than 2011. I will make it happen. I will make it happy. I will make it successful. I just will. Watch me 🙂