A Lesson on Honks

On our way to the dentist, a motorcycle from another lane suddenly made a sharp u-turn in a restricted area, cutting us off.

The husband did his favorite extended “honk“, his way of saying, “Dude! Not cool!”.

Not surprisingly, the motorcycle made an equally extended, if not longer, “honk“. It was probably his way of saying, “What now, arrogant person?”.

Curiously, I asked: “Does it work? Would he know he’s wrong?”

He answered, “At least you did something. Maybe he’ll think about it later and realize it.”

These are just a few things where our line of thinking differs. For me, someone who deliberately disregards rules would not shed a single minute of his day thinking about the wrong thing that he did. Chances are, he would celebrate how he evaded the traffic, with total disregard of the other drivers on the road. Worse, he’s probably laughing at the rule-abiding-goody-two-shoes who he thinks are just not “street smart” enough. So what’s the use?

But my husband thinks not the same. Where I am the “choose your battles” type of person, he’s the “fight the good fight” kind, you know? Sometimes, I notice that it’s slowly rubbing on me. It’s annoying but quite comforting, I would say.

 

Wakeup Call

Today marks the third day of me waking up early in the morning without the help of my alarm. The past two days, I just spent my extra waking hours just lounging on the bed and trying to get more sleep.

Today, I decided to just get up and hit the gym. It’s been a while since I exercised. And we all know that when you hit a rut on exercising, it’s really hard to bounce back.

While on the treadmill, I listened to a podcast channel that I used to listen to every single day. I remember it was one of the things that kept me motivated while I was training for my half-marathon, at work, and life in general.

And it made me realize one thing: I did not just hit an exercise rut. I hit a life rut.

Sure, things are busy at work, I haven’t had a crying spell for no particular reason in months, I’ve been going out with friends… But something’s amiss…

I don’t feel motivated. I’m doing things just because I have to do them, not because I want to do them.  I don’t have my happy hormones because I haven’t been working out.

The universe is not yet done. The podcast that I listened to today talked about The Time is Now, which hit me quite hard:

When are you going to change?

When are you going to stop making excuses?

When are you going to stop acting like it’s somebody else’s fault?

When will you finally start doing what it is that you want to do? Or stop doing the things that you don’t want to do anymore?

Benjamin Franklin said, “Most people die at 25, but they’re not buried until they’re 75.” In most ways, it’s true. We say adulting is really hard so we just let the life motions control us, instead of us taking charge.

Why don’t I reverse it? If I’m not going to do anything today, I’ll never gonna do it.

So I did. And I don’t plan to stop.

Again.

Karaoke Hits

Dear Sister,

Let me tell you about that one Christmas when our Mother cried because of a karaoke. You know that one baby picture that you keep in your phone? The one with you on a shiny, pink dress with a black karaoke behind you? Yes, that’s the one. Well, not quite, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

As you know, we had a very simple life growing up. So “normal” household things like karaokes is not something that we naturally had.

Mommy was teaching at an elementary private school at that time and preparing for her classroom Christmas party. She wanted the party to be livelier for the kids but our ancient dial radio won’t do. It does not even have a fully working speaker and cassette tape jack.

And so, she decided to borrow our neighbor’s karaoke. He agreed right away. It was just for a day, anyway.

But this story is not that simple.

On the day of the party, Mommy went to the neighbor’s to pick up the karaoke. But it was his sister who answered and, apparently, she’s not aware of his brother’s deal with Mommy. So she said some things which hurt our mother deeply.

She went back to the house in tears; half-hurt, half-self pity. I really don’t know. She didn’t say much. Even when the boy neighbor went to our house and was offering to lend their karaoke again. He apparently forgot to inform his big sister. She probably didn’t mean to sound mean.

But our Mother wouldn’t take it. I guess when you have not much material things in life, your pride is the only thing you hold on to.

The world did not stop. The day went by. The party was over. And Mommy went home, happier than when she left. She said that her co-teacher in the next room just blasted her karaoke so it can be heard in Mommy’s room. When you have a roomful of gifts and Christmas decors, the kids won’t really mind if you don’t have your own music in the room.

In the evening, there was another party in our baranggay. There was a raffle and Mommy dropped entries equally under our names. Kuya, me, and you – a tiny baby without a care in her world.

Perhaps the middle child syndrome is so strong that it resonated even in mundane things such as raffle draws. Kuya won something; I can no longer remember. I did not.

And you, little sister, won the grand price. A brand new karaoke!

The moment it was announced, Kuya and I ran back home. Kuya shouting,

“Mommy, di ka na mang-uuram kina bleep!”

“Mommy you no longer have to borrow from the neighbors!”

Mom got teary eyed again. But this time, out of happiness.