Monday, July 12, 2010

Time Slots

Even though I've worked the equivalent of 2 work-weeks this past week, it's still my desire to make time for other things. Like a garden, every plant or flower must be tended to in a different way. This will determine how each will flourish or wilt.

With the few free hours that I had outside of work this weekend, I had dinner with Leo at one of our favorite spots, Shabuway in Mountain View. I watched a movie with my dad. I was able to catch up on resting and watched a few DVDs. On Saturday and Sunday, I worked both days, but I managed to get up extra early for 10k Jungle Run in Los Gatos with a friend. I was so happy to be outside with nature and in the sun. I saw geese, squirrels, and plenty of Goldens during the 10k walk.

No matter how busy or tired I feel sometimes, I have the need to diversify my time. Time is a limited resource. I don't want to invest all of my time in one place. Others find fulfillment in just their careers, but I find the most fulfillment with my relationships with people and my dog (of course). I find fulfillment in my hobbies.

I've always admired anyone who maintained an artistic outlet. It could be in photography, writing, music, painting, hair and make-up, and so on. I used to admire art because a person is able to create something from nothing. I don't think anything can be created from nothing, at least, not in our earthly realm. Even with writing, the tools are words, life experiences, spell check, and the works of other writers. And of course, the most important tool is the muse or the inspiration. With that spark of inspiration and followed up with passion, art is born from something.

I noticed that whenever I feel overwhelmed by school, work, or life that I tend to cook. It's the process of starting from raw materials such as the meat, vegetables, salt, and other seasonings to a finished product. Cooking is just very therapeutic. Cooking takes attention, so it's also a mini-vacation from other distractions. I cooked my favorite Filipino dish, Sinigang. It's a hot stew with meat, vegetables, and with a sour tamarind taste. I needed the comfort food to help me deal with the on-going stress at this time. I describe it as my favorite home cooked meal + nostalgia.

I made time to enter a word in Urban Dictionary and it got approved! The term is "slc" and it stands for silently laughing and crying. I saw a funny video of a man in awe of double rainbows and my reaction was "slc." It's one step closer to being a published writer. ;)

I just discovered that Dr. Seuss lived from 1904 to 1991. He wrote one of my favorite books Oh, the Places You'll Go in 1990. To know that he wrote this one year before his death, makes it even more inspiring to me. I have writing ideas, but no idea on the story. Authors like J.K Rowling and Stephanie Meyer pretty much knew in advance what their whole series would be like from start to finish.

How I've been applying my time is as varied as tonight's post. It's important to diversify our time, limit wasted time, and share our time with the important people in our lives. Jobs will never love us back or help us change a flat tire. However, at any given job, it deserves our time and attention to it as well. It may not be #1, #2, or #3 in our lives, but it's up there. Having a job adds to the meaning in our lives. It's like a seasoning in dish that you barely taste, but provides that extra umphf to make it better.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Friendship: Perception is sometimes a reflection of ourselves.

Words and labels sometimes get in the way of a friendship. Work Friend. High School Friend. College Friend. Best Friend. Childhood Friend. Gay Friend. Church Friend.

Granted some friendships are more meaningful than others, I've tried to eliminate the labels as much as possible. The core and heart of the relationship is that we've exchanged our thoughts, feelings, joys, and fears. We share a bond through life experience, common interests, and that ever-so-mysterious chemistry. Time and distance never really defines a real friendship, but that shared love of the other person's well-being and happiness. Less selfish and more selfless.

To be a good friend is to give time generously. Quality time feeds the soul of a friendship. An email. A Facebook post. A text message. Lunch. Dinner. Vacation. A birthday party. A phone call. It's only hard to manage a friendship when there is an obvious imbalance in the giving and the taking. Both sides must have a genuine interest in the friendship. Also, as much as we give, the expectation to receive should be significantly less, if at that, none. All the while, we don't tally or count.

Truthfulness also keeps a friendship healthy. If something is bothering you, let it out. But it's important to maintain the mutual respect and courtesy. Lies and deceit can easily be detected, so be forthcoming from the start.

Similar to people, friendships will also change over time. With marriage, children, careers, and other significant changes, this will also happen in relationships. Be patient and wait it out. If the friendship is that important, friendships will stand the test of time and the test of change.

Forgiveness may take moments or years. It's not healthy to carry a grudge. The cause of the grudge can be a complete misunderstanding. Sometimes forgiveness may not come in the form of forgiving the offender, but no longer holding the offender and the situation important. Over time, the wrongs should just be left in the past. There is no need to carry the burden any more. Life moves on.

I'm fortunate to maintain lifelong friends and create newer friendships along the way. Though it may come across as "work"to some, I don't consider friendships work at all. Friendships make for a more meaningful life because no matter what, at least two people are always better from it.