• About

    Charmed Life
    Thank you for visiting this blog. I have recently transferred all my post in my new blog. I will not be blogging here anymore. I hope to see you there.
    Life’s a Charm!
    www.lifesacharm.net

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Reason, Season, or Lifetime

I am thankful for all the friendships I’ve had for a reason, season or a lifetime.

 

Reason, Season, or Lifetime
~ unknown

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you figure out which one it is,
you will know what to do for each person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty;
to provide you with guidance and support;
to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrongdoing on your part
or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something
to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met,
our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered
and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON,
because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person,
and put what you have learned to use
in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

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Veterans’ Stories

Years back, when I was working as an IT for Yokota Air Force Base in Japan, I worked with an almost 65-years old US Air Force Veteran. He is one of the Managers.

During the time in his active duty in the Air Force, he was a helicopter pilot during Vietnam war. He said his helicopter was gunned on and crashed a few times during his glory days. And his back is broken in a few locations. Seeing him active, walking, and joking around, you would never know that he has survived helicopter crashes and so many back surgeries after that.

We always have agreeable conversations. Actually, he is one of the few pleasant people I have worked with. One time, I don’t know how it came about, in one of our conversations, I asked him in a jokingly manner if he has killed anyone. His demeanor changed in a very curious way. He stopped to think, looked at me, and gave me this answer, “I’m sure I did, when I dropped those bombs.

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A Mother’s Day, The Stink and The Mess

Mark (12-months) and Matthew (4)

Mark (12-months) and Matthew (4)

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers and mothers-to-be out there, especially to my mother who has shown me how to be a good mother long before I became a mother!

Get to know Mama!

I was cleaning the kitchen days ago. I was scrubbing the sink, putting things in order, wiping the counters and spot-mopping the floor. Then I went to the living room putting things, toys mostly, in order; spraying and scrubbing the carpet a few times. I was not satisfied!

After all the cleaning, and spraying I did in the house, I still smell the awful pukey stink. The better part of the day I spent trying to find where that stink was coming from to NO success. It can’t be from the laundry room since, I have already tackled the laundry, and the last of my load that day is already in the dryer. I especially washed twice all the clothes that Mark puked on early that day and the rags I used to clean his puke. I can’t be from Mark since I gave him a bath after he puked and put on fresh clothes on him. And Matthew, he still have puke spells every now and then, but that day, it’s simply not from him.

Later on that day, on Mark’s nap, I had a chance to take a shower. On preparing for that shower, I realized that that pukey stink was coming from my shirt, from me! Sigh! I had been walking around the house really annoyed by that awful smell, and all those time, it was coming from me. Sigh! I thought I had gotten better at dodging Mark’s puke. Earlier that day, I actually DID dodge most of it, but my shirt still caught a few specks of his puke that I did not notice because of my busyness and annoyance. My shirt had enough puke to have it’s awful stink to linger around me.

Ironically, because of how much and how often I get puked on, and also change diapers, everyday, I should have gotten used to the stink and the mess by now. But in reality, there really is no getting used to them! It’s awful the first time, and still awful, each and every time I get puked on and have to clean up puke. And it’s awful to change diapers and see some messy surprises in it. Just awful! But, all these come with the joys of motherhood.

I can imagine and expect that as my babies grow bigger and older, their messes are going to be bigger and messier, too, and more serious. Sigh! I am bracing for that reality that they are going to create messes, maybe not the physical type, the kind of messes caused by mishaps, mistakes and wrong decisions that will break my heart and hopefully not but could turn their lives to the not-so-ideal direction!

I hope that as a mother, I’ll be like my mother. That I’ll learn to take the messes all in and persevere but to continue NOT to get used to the messes, so that I can continue to be motivated and not to give up on helping my kids and teaching them self-reliance and discernment, and how to clean up after themselves with integrity.

There’s a lot more to being a woman than being a mother, but there’s a hell a lot more to being a mother than most people suspect.” ~ Roseanne Barr

Dance and Hand-me-downs

There are short-cuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them. ~Vicki Baum

Can you tell he’s dancing?

What Baby Mark wants to do most these days are on the couch, just sitting up like a big boy, and bouncing up and down, that’s his dancing.

You can dance anywhere, even if only in your heart. ~ Anonymous

In these photos, he wears an still over sized for him long-sleeved onesie, handed-down from his big brother, Matthew. I just love hand-me-down clothes especially those of Matthew’s that I’ve kept when he outgrew them. Digging up Matthew’s old clothes makes me feel nostalgic, remembering those times when Matthew was a baby. At the same time, it makes me glad that my other baby, my baby now – Mark, is able to wear these little treasures, too. Somehow, these hand-me-downs, these little treasures become a testament of the continuity of our growing family. I’m sure when Mark is no longer a baby, he’ll not want to wear hand-me-down clothes even the good ones from his big brother, but until then, Mommy rules.

The Path We Have Taken

Originally published on Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008.

From the book, The Gifts of Life and Love by Ben Zion Bokser.

The Path We Have Taken

An innate conservatism often holds us back from embarking on new adventures. Sometimes this is a brake on progress. Yet in its own way it makes a contribution to our happiness.

The world is rich in endless possibilities. Each is a path that might be pursued, that would offer many fulfillment to one who will embark on it. But if we followed the call of every possibility, we would be forever on the go. We would dissipate our strength by trying the impossible, to go in many directions at the same time, or to continue shifting from direction to direction.

Life demands that we concentrate on a given path, that we pursue it till we reach its final end. We cannot know what a given path has to offer unless we pursue it for some time, resisting the call to embark on new adventures as a diversion from the task before us.

There are times when the path we have chosen has disclosed its defects, and it becomes necessary to leave it in favor of a new path. Then it is time to abandon the promptings of a conservative disposition with its call to caution. But it is good that human nature tends to surround what we have with an aura of love, and to defend it against the disrupting pressures of a changing world.

Life is full of possibilities. Often, we face the dilemma to choose which direction to take and to be happy and content with the choices we have made. If we could only split ourselves, live different realities at the same time and could somehow go back where we have started, it would be easier and life would be a life without regret. But to live life, we are only given a one-way ticket, one chance. There is no going back and time is forever lost.

In the road of life, a light illuminates but only a part of the way. With religion, tradition, custom of society or laws of the land, or with whatever that tells us what is right and what direction to follow, the course will still be walked with uncertain steps. For all this is only a partial light and it does not clearly indicate what path that must be taken. It is for this reason that every choices made based on certain facts and circumstances are fallible and short-sighted. Thus, our mind must be open to new knowledge and wisdom which time will hopefully bring. In light of the new knowledge and wisdom, we must continually, carefully review and reassess the choices we have made.

However, our innate conservatism prevents us from taking new direction even when the path we have taken is in its dead-end or deviates from our life’s goals, happiness or betterment of living. This conservative disposition calls upon caution as its main reason. It also asserts fondness towards familiarity and resistance to the pressure of change. But sometimes, it is a mask of fear – fear of the unknown, fear of change, fear of another possibility of dead-end and failure.

But whatever is behind our conservative disposition, do not lose sight of the goal. With faculties intact, knowledge, wisdom and a dose of courage, it is important to move forward following the direction of our life’s goals and to be not held at a stand still, for in the road of life, we move backwards by standing still in this fast moving world.

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Fall

Fall 2010

The stripped and shapely Maple grieves
The ghosts of her Departed leaves.
The ground is hard, As hard as stone.
The year is old, The birds are flown.
And yet the world, In its distress,
Displays a certain Loveliness
– A Child’s Calendar, November by John Updike

I just love Fall ! I love the coolness, the colors and the gloomy feel in the air. It’s almost poetic.

A few days ago, my babies and I were walking around the campus. We enjoyed the cool air, listened to the crunch and rustle of leaves with each step, and marveled at the beauty of the colorful trees. I took some pictures, of course , and was very happy with the results even though Baby Mark was less enthusiastic and Matthew, well, he had other things in mind like running around rather than posing for mommy.

More Fall 2010 Photos

But seeing all the fallen leaves around the house, I felt how Fall is depressing – all the deadness, dead leaves on the ground! There are so many trees surrounding us. Sometimes we could hear tree stuffs falling on the roof.

I am so looking forward to the later part of Fall, not to the colder weather, but to the festivities of Thanksgiving. When all these depressing things are overshadowed by the bountiful meal and the family gathering.

We live for the bounties of Fall… but the harvest of friendship is blessed above all. – Author Unknown

Love Quotes

Originally posted on Thursday, June 7th, 2007.

When life becomes hard and void of bright promises, we need inspiring quotations from brilliant minds to enlighten and push us to move forward. Here are some words that can brighten the world around us and send us motivated, more determined and feeling victorious again.

Life is an echo, it gives you back everything you say or do. Life is a reflection of your actions. If you want more love in the world, create more love in your heart. – unknown

Sometimes we must be hurt in order to grow, fail in order to know, lose in order to gain, and sometimes we have to be broken so we can be whole again. – unknown

The greatest happiness in life is the conviction that we are loved,
loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.
– unknown

And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.’ – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Not Fail

What would you attempt to do if you knew you would not fail?
-Dr. Robert Schuller

Somehow, knowing you would not fail makes it a little bit harder to pick that one thing to do. I would …

… write a song that will inspire people to be better than themselves;

… or, write a speech that will move everyone to end wars and world conflicts;

… or, start a business!

… or I may just continue what I am doing right now, raising my 2 boys into good happy boys to grow up into gentlemen and productive citizens of the world, but I’d do less trying hard and have more fun with it.

My Deepest Hope, Strength of Heart

The world breaks everyone. Then we become strong at the broken places. – Ernest Hemingway

How ironic that this profound quote is written by someone whose life was taken by his own hands.

So many suicide by children and young adults on the news these days. These promising young people, victims of bullying and cruelty, cut their own lives short so senselessly. So heartbreaking! In deep sympathy, my heart goes out for them and the loved ones they left behind.

The world is cruel. It is because of this that as a parent, I am scared for my little ones. I am scared that, in living and coping in the cruel world, they will fall under being bullied or the bullies themselves.

At home our kids have a safe haven. They are loved and accepted for who and what they are. But what happens when they step outside and be amongst their peers? Will the love and acceptance they receive from home radiate in their interaction with their peers and other people? When a bully tramples their spirit, will they value these love and acceptance from home, and contemplate on them rather than contemplate on the easy way out?

That which does not kill us will only make us stronger. – Anonymous

Nobody should be ridiculed for who they are and what they are, especially about the things that they can not help themselves. Nobody should be laughed at or hated for the things that they can not change about themselves. But in life, cruelty happens.

If only, I, as a mom, can shield all the helpless kids out there who are being bullied. If only I can fight the battle for them. If only I could I would. But I would be taking away an opportunity for them to feel and grow and strengthen their little hearts.

As I look at my 2 boys, one is 4 years old and the other is 6 months old, I so deeply hope that they will never be bullied in any manner. And if they do, I really hope that they will be able to stand up for themselves, protect and defend themselves, without getting into trouble! I hope they find the courage to seek help from the right places. I hope that they realize that they have a safe haven with me and their daddy; that they have us to pour their heart out without judgments. And most importantly, I hope that they the strength of heart to just let it pass and move on, to overcome the difficulties they have to face.

There is only one-way in which one can endure man’s inhumanity to man and that is to try, in one’s own life, to exemplify man’s humanity to man. – Alan Paton

As I look at my 2 boys, I so deeply hope, that they will become nice, compassionate, humble and respectful kids who will grow up to be productive citizens of the world.

I so deeply hope that in coping with the cruel world, they will never resort to cruelty, never inflict pain to others, never be bullies themselves, especially these days, when what’s least needed is a few keyboard strokes and a click on the mouse. They don’t even have to face their victims and see their reactions.

I hope that they will know how to give, not only compassion but most especially humility and respect. I hope that they will never use their gifts and resources to demean others. Never think of themselves as superiors, rather think that we are all unique but equals. And that with what they are and what they have, they will aim at improving themselves, becoming better people and helping others.

I hope for them the same strength of heart to stand up for what is right, for good values and not for what may be cool and trendy but is wrong.

To deal with yourself, use your head;
To deal with others, use your heart.
– Anonymous

I hope I have all it takes to teach them all these. To teach them that – it is nice to be important but it’s more important to be nice, because life has a funny way of getting back at us for the things we do, both the good and the bad.

Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself. – Chief Seattle

August 23 for the Philippines

This is current events but maybe not too current anymore!

On Monday August 23, a disgruntled former senior inspector from the Manila Police District hijacked a tour bus carrying 25 tourists from Hong Kong in an attempt to get his job back. He said that he was summarily dismissed without the opportunity to properly defend himself, and that all he wanted was a fair hearing.

As a result of the ten-hour siege, the ensuing shootout, and a botched rescue attempt by Philippine national police watched by millions on live television news, eight of the hostages died and nine other people were injured. [Read more.]

I’m really a true Filipino by heart. I am so embarrassed and disheartened by an event like this, that puts the Philippines in bad light. I’m so sad with what happened, how tragic it ended.

The mistakes done by those who were supposed in-charge of the situation were overwhelmingly so obvious, and SO DUMB! It was a BIG show of arrogance, disorganization and ineffectiveness of the Philippine Government and Philippine National Police; and of how obscenely irresponsible and abusive the local media had become.

Not to mention, the event further exposed the underlying corruption in the Philippines and how slow the Philippine System is! Sigh! It’s so frustrating.

No matter how the government and the police justify themselves by saying they did all they could do, their actions will always be evaluated by the terrible outcome. And the media, there will never be any justification for their irresponsible sensationalized programming.

I can only hope that time will heal all wounds of the surviving victims especially and the loved-ones of those who died; And that the Philippines will rise up from this major, major embarrassment.

On a lighter note, later on the day of the hostage crisis, an upset for Miss Philippines in the Miss Universe 2010 Pageant in Las Vegas.

If not for the unfair question of “What is the biggest mistake that you’ve ever made in your life and what did you do to make it right?”, she could have stolen the Miss Universe Crown.

How exactly do you answer that question? The first part of the question is not even a matter of opinion. It needs serious pondering and soul searching. I don’t think anyone can ever have an effective answer by pondering on a mistake, a negative subject, in their entire lives in a whopping 3-seconds, especially after an exciting, very positive moment – being called in as one of the Top-5, in front of up roaring crowd. However, if she have focus more on the second part of the question instead by answering it in general, she’d probably have a better answer.

Congratulation to Miss Philippines, Venus Raj, for winning 4th Runner up Miss Universe 2010.

After Omphaloskepsis

This is in response to a friend’s blog post, After Omphaloskepsis. I tried commenting but it became too long that I thought I’d just link it up in my blog.

To Stephen and all,

1 –

From the time I knew you, I never thought of you as an underdog! You just don’t reflect that, or maybe you are just not that – an underdog, a doormat, etc …

I perceive myself neither as an underdog, nor as a champion. I am anti-popular!

2 –

I don’t dream much of a paradise, but I do dream of winning the lottery!

Your dream of a paradise in a quiet beach, all by yourself, etc.- That’s easy! Just isolate yourself and you’ll have it.

My dream is harder. Although, I buy lottery tickets, I still have to beat the odds! If only that is something I can plan.

3 –

The truth is – nobody likes a 2nd-rate performance! Even if you are a genius or truly talented and the work you do is maybe above standard, and even if you get the approval and applause of your peers, if you didn’t put it all your best, you can never be truly happy with yourself no matter which path you have taken – whether you have pursued your dreams or whether you have placed your dreams aside and braved a real job.

Just like on anything else in life, the best way into putting all your best is to constantly choose to, to make a conscious decision to do so and act on it.

4 –

Although I do not blog everything in my life, it doesn’t mean I am less truthful about the things that I do blog about. But you are right! Writing about the ‘glass being half full’ makes me internalize it more and keeps my sanity in check, as what blogging has always been to me.

About the ‘glass being half empty’ – although, sometimes it makes a good blog post, most of the time I feel that it too shall pass and doesn’t need any more attention. I call that – staying at the bright side of life, optimism … and not lingering on the negatives.

5 –

And no, I don’t think I have ever meditated on my belly button or navel area before while I wasn’t pregnant. I’m sure meditating on a pregnant belly is another matter …

Words to Live By

The kindest word in all the world is the unkind word unsaid. -Anonymous

I appreciate people who are thoughtful in their words; those who wouldn’t let unkind word slip through their tongues. I appreciate more those who have to gift of saying the right words – words that matter, words that help, uplifting words without being preachy, at exactly the right moment.

Words unsaid burns in the heart. Words unheard scars the soul. -Anonymous

I think it’s easier to shut up when there’s nothing good to say. The struggle has always been – saying what we mean in a manner that conveys our good intentions, especially when a criticism is involved; or when saying what we mean means a little bit of self exposure is needed or if it means risking self preservation or appearing silly and becoming vulnerable.