Wednesday, December 19, 2007
1. Start a compost. I don't have a yard, just a small front patio but I just read that you can even do it in your kitchen (which is also small). My county is giving out compost bins for free, so I will try them out first. A big plus is that this can be a project to do with Simone and my father, who is living at my house at the moment, will also be a big help.
2. I will walk/jog/yoga 3 times per week. In the last 3 years I have lost a some 20+ pounds and since Simone was born, close to 50. I was not gifted with thick firm skin and my years of vegetarianism have not helped either so I really need to do something about this. I am not having huge expectations other than enjoying myself and see the benefits in my body. Another big plus is at least a couple of evening walks with Simone.
3. I will stop eating dairy. I will not be a fanatic about this but I will not included in my daily diet. I have made great strides in this regard. I love dairy but I am not happy about the idea of dairy farming so I wish to limit this as much as possible. I also love soy milk and rice milk more each day.
4. I will get my LEED® AP accreditation.
5. I will start grad school, either environmental management or environmental policy with and emphasis on sustainable development.
6. I will volunteer for Habitat for Humanity.
7. I will be more disciplined about learning French. I will do it on my own in a set schedule or enroll in classes.
8. I will take a hotel vacation with Simone, preferably to Cozumel for some good snorkeling experience.
so it has taken me more than a month to finish...sadly I have not been really good at starting at many of these goals. Lovely Chantal will help me with #7 and I have started to listen to my French podcasts driving from work. I have worked out 2 times this year, that is not nearly as much as I wish to do it but it is more than what I did in the second half of '07. I have also been really good about cutting down on the dairy.....and so the list continues.
9. I will cut down dramatically on all refined carbs and sugars.....instead choosing to eat wholesome and healthy.
10. I will be powerful in words and actions. I will follow through at work and in my personal life, doing what I say I am going to do, when I say I am going to do it.
11. I will be gregarious and joyful. I have noticed in the past year that there are situations where I feel so shy that I am in panic inside. I may look normal outside but inside I want to run and hide...I breath myself through those moments. I also look at people who carelessly laugh and play and wish I could be there and do that. I think too much ALL THE TIME. I will be playful and fun.
12. I will go to 2 weddings and Europe this year. I want to go to 2 weddings in Colombia and I really want to visit some of the lovely friends I have in Europe and have not seen in ages...
13. I will give more love in my relationships. I will be more giving, I will be more thoughtful, I will give without thinking or expecting to receive.
14. I will be a mover and shaker at work at D&R and Uchuva.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Now we are just 20 days from the end of the year and truth be told, THIS IS MY YEAR. It was filled with lessons of growth and a million blessings and even more love. Today I am better than a year ago, I cannot think of one area of my life that stayed the same, I grew up. The funny thing about the phrase is that although I feel blessed to have had this year, it also manifested very differently than what I would have thought would be a great year. In my head great feels soft and rich and comfortable....this year felt more light a cold fresh shower and it was the best. Just a lesson in how little we know.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
I had many jobs that felt tedious. I was always to afraid to envision what I wanted and focused more on just making a living, in the process of course I felt as a complete under achiever and frustrated.
Now at 32 I am living what seems to be a complete circle. I writing this from my new office cubicle, my first job that has no attachment or consideration of my income, yet it is the highest paying job I have ever had. I chose it because it felt perfect; I am enamored with the company vision, with my quiet colleagues that type away all day and our collective dream of creating a more environmental friendly world. I love that reading green construction books and magazines are part of my job and that I am surrounded by people who dare to dream of a more greener possibility for all. Here, every single one of my past employment experiences and my education is valuable and appreciated; I even get to feel like an architect once again.
I accept my past mistakes and really only wish to have lived my life with more freedom. Part of the process of growing is having patience and knowing inside your heart that your wishes and dreams can come true regardless. They may come a bit different than you expected but at the perfect time when you truly can embrace them.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Last week I also got the job of my dreams. I was a little weary because my resume is crazy jumping from career to career and not much stability. Then comes along a company that is perfect for my potpourri experience, my degree in architecture and my wish to pursue a career in the environmental field. PERFECT in every sense of the word...when I got the call for the interview and went on the company site, I just cried. I felt home, I felt that God had brought me home.
I have only to pay attention to ONE THING: my body. I have been eating badly, not exercising enough. Some clothes aren't fitting and I have to pay attention and complete this perfect moment I am experiencing.
I am really happy, I am really thankful, I look forward to everyday. I see my life coming together beautifully. I am experiencing beauty!
Monday, October 22, 2007
So yesterday we had a great day! Simone signed up for a half mile run at school, she trained for a week and Jorge decided he would come and run the mile with her (he is a great dad!) His arrival was a whole ordeal which included his bags not arriving and him not being able to run with Simone. So I had to. I have always loved running despite of me being so lazy to be disciplined about it. After an almost sleepless night we got up and headed for the race. We took a few pictures and off we went. I am so proud she was able to do it, her training paid off so much! I was exhausted and Jorge cheered us on and met at at the last quarter mile and ran with us. Both of us holding Simone's hand, taking her to the finish - a bit of what life is like. She was really tired but sprinted to the end and the picture is her showing her medal. She is awesome.
The morning was beautiful because somehow we felt like a family. We are the two people that cherish Simone the most and we were spending this time with her, celebrating her. I didn't feel alone raising her. We have come to a point were we can share and talk kindly and be glad for each other's achievements. We were all happy. A great big part of me felt ok with things being the way they are and it felt right. We have a built this that we have now, we moved beyond guilt and pain to create a "family" for Simone. Truly life teaches us that blessings come is so many forms and colors, if we just have a little patience and faith.
Oh, I also realized that I REALLY WANT TO RUN A HALF MARATHON! So I declaring it, now I just have to start training...
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Everything is coming together just perfectly....
With all this experience though, I have learned:
- to surrender
- to have patience
- increased faith
- be diligent
- be the truth
- to receive (what a hard one!)
- to ask
- to feel good all the way through
- to be grateful
- to see blessings, whichever form they manifest
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
I am raw. I have chosen to let go of everything and follow the path I am supposed to follow in this life...my divine purpose. I have had moments of panic and despair, moments of fear...yet I find that in the path I discover myself. I have had to let go of my fear of being vulnerable, my fear of not being liked and my fear of disapproval, my fear of not having good credit, my fear of having to be everything for everybody even if it meant being nothing for myself.
I am in the process and the hardest part is learning to surrender and accepting the truth despite it all and being ok with whatever the present moment manifests. Sometimes I have felt that my prayers are not being heard, that my affirmations and my visualizations are not working yet there are tiny moments of intense clarity, moments where beyond my fears I can see how everything makes sense. How my life is falling into place and in a bit it will all be alright because despite it all I am still learning that money is just an illusion and that to have more we have to let it go.
I have also gotten many surprising and wonderful gifts, all unexpected that have shown me that prosperity is vast and unpredictable. That our dreams can go beyond our bank accounts and our pay checks.
So I have come to this point because 5 months ago I chose freedom and 3 years ago I chose truth. And only now that I wrote these words I realize that every challenge has been part of this road I chose, that I can't get where I want to go without going through this. It is the scariest gift I have received, the biggest challenge I have embarked on....I still have to learn to cherish and enjoy the opportunities that come with these challenging times, I have even had to accept to have fun and enjoy myself.
I wake up everyday with options and today as everyday I choose love, I choose joy, I choose happiness, I choose children, I choose art, I choose nature, I choose vegan, I choose words, I choose dreams, I choose fairies, I choose fruit, I choose the sea, I choose life, I choose nature, I choose books, I choose vast spaces filled with light and soft breeze with in my soul. Today I choose to be happy.
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Simone playing dress-up
So I am talking to Simone's teacher yesterday and one of the things we discussed was how Simone had not gotten a good behavior ticket in class. She said she had not realized she had not gotten one but that she in fact always behaved and tried her best. I told her that I appreciated it but that I was also trying to get Simone to understand that you don't always get awards and all the attention everywhere. Ms. Liu, her teacher tells me that Simone is a really sweet girl and that everybody loves her. I proceed to tell that I know that, that ever since she was born everybody loves her but that she had to understand that it was alright if things weren't that way and that she just could not expect to be the princess of the world all the time. To this Ms Liu replied "Well you know, with Simone's personality, she could always be the princess of the world!"
The princess of my world!
Thursday, September 27, 2007
He is a sweet soul who came to my life to teach and heal...and he has done a great job!
We don't know what the future holds, yet we do know that when all is love, it never hurts...there is only beauty.
Te quiero mucho mi Lindisimo...
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Yesterday was my mother's 60th birthday...it was low key day. Not many people involved, just her kids, grandkids and husband, last night we went all out to dinner at a yummy restaurant. We were having a good time, just enjoying the company when our lovely waitress came to us with some news:
"A very generous man saw you celebrating and decided to cover the bill for you all, he is already gone and just asked for you to keep the fold."
I just sat there in shock, waiting for her to let us know that it was a joke...Pili just started crying, Caro kept asking where the man was, my dad and Ivan where asking random questions, none of us really believing what had just happened.
After a few minutes we made a small prayer blessing that generous man and we all left the evening with full bellies and full hearts because we had received a gift, a lesson of love and a commitment to do something grand and selfless for 3 more people...
I guess that is one of the many ways miracles happen.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
So that was us 4 years ago...and maybe the happiest day we shared as a family. Simone was turning 2 and she can hardly remember it.
Two things have amazed me as an adult, pregnancy/motherhood and divorce. I have never understood how millions of people do this all the time, everyday and no one KNOWS how amazing and miraculous the first one is and how much like dying alive the second one is...you only truly know it until you have gone through both.
The end of a relationship you heal but the end of a family, I am not sure you can. I am a complete non-believer of divorce...I think I surrendered to that reality only when I saw that I was dying even more by staying than by leaving. I guess I chose to be happy and loved, even if it meant my daughter would always be carrying that pain in her heart.
I often wonder if it will ever make sense...if I left when there really was nothing more to do. Many around me would agree that I held out long enough. Nevertheless it kills me when my crying 6 year old asks me if I know that there is always sadness in her heart because her parents aren't together. When she asks what made us think it was OK to separate when she was only 3...or when she tells me, like she did tonight, that when she sees families she feels like that is a club she can't belong to.
I remember telling my ex-husband that as much as I loved my daughter I was only 29 and deserved to be loved and that I would not stay in the marriage for her. I have always been quick to criticize women who would put their children's happiness before there own and who would hold on to a marriage for their sake...now I am not so sure. Or maybe is just my ache for my daughter's broken heart that is not allowing me to see clearly. I know as woman that I have to be well in order to be a good mom and to teach my daughter determination and courage and self respect. Maybe she would have been the first to tell me to leave if she had been older...
My heart is full of doubt. I want to give her a family so bad, I would have more kids in a second. I somehow want to know that it was alright, that despite my mistakes and my responsibility for the end of my marriage I made the right choice when I left. That there was nothing else for me to do or give, I had given all of myself to such an extent that I was lost....maybe we were all just too wrong for each other and hanging unto a co-dependent relationship that enlarged our insecurities and fears rather then making us better people. At the same time I feel we owed it to Simone to have figured this out together and transformed ourselves and our relationship to build a home and family for her.
Maybe I will never have the answers, maybe I have always known the answers...maybe I just have to surrender to my story and continue to believe that there is a purpose for everything and that if I hold out long enough, never giving up on my faith and dreams I will experience a miracle larger than the pain I ever went through in the lesson. Now I just have to have the wisdom and love to teach this to my child....
Saturday, September 8, 2007
Friday, September 7, 2007
I can remember when she was about to turn 1 and all I kept thinking was how people made such a big deal about babies and really a baby only lasts about 10 months because that is the way she was, old and wise. Simone has always been her own person and very independent. She has always been able to hold a utensil perfectly, she has always known how to hold a pencil. She has decided the themes for her birthdays since her second birthday...she can do anything. When her dad and I separated she was only 3, yet she can remember everything and was very aware of what was going on. She is so strong and afraid of almost NOTHING. I look at her and wonder where this fearless bright child came from...
Her second week of school and I got her packet of work she has done, everything was perfect, I kept looking for a good somewhere. Her new project is a yard sale to raise funds for her school and poor kids in Colombia, she has visited our neighbors to make donations, she has theme sign a piece of paper and write what they donated. She wants to make signs and post them up and asked her grandmother to bake cookies for the buyers. Yesterday morning as she is giving out our assignments for the yard sale she screams out "Focus People, this is business!" All I kept thinking was, hello? You are 6!
Last Sunday she got all dressed up to dance for us, with her cumbiambera dress that she got my aunt to send to her from Colombia...she looked beautiful and so proud of her heritage. She challenges me a lot because I have always been shy, maybe even tried to be invisible...and here comes this girl whose light shines so bright and energy is so strong there is no way but to follow her way and learn from her marvelous gifts.
Sunday, September 2, 2007
You know at night, when you are alone and it's all quite; when there is nowhere to hide and pretend...when all there is, is simply you...when no matter what external circumstances appear to be your essence is unchanged, your happiness intact. When the only thing in life that can move you to tears is love itself...that is where I am, that is simply me.
Saturday, September 1, 2007
Then the year was full of marvelous surprises and I felt so ready for first grade, then last Monday came and we were both so excited to get to school...then I left you there after taking pictures and being the only mom in first grade taking pictures with my eyes full of tears...I felt like I was loosing you once again. I wondered during the whole time if that was the way it was going to be every first day of school. I felt sad to let you go once again and felt sad to be living that moment alone...then I felt so privileged and blessed to be able to be there, to be able to be with you every first day of all your school years. YOU are so marvelous, so wonderful to love, and smell and share my life with, you are such a wonderful human being that I am certain that just the act of being there and experiencing life along your side its a blessing in itself; even if it means doing it alone.
Friday, August 24, 2007
So the blessings of my day...well first my dad had a really bad virus in his computer and we were able to fix it so easily. We had tried to hook him up to the internet at my house and couldn't find the CD and we found it. In the afternoon Simone had her back to school day and we saw her new classroom and met her wonderful new teacher, Ms Liu. Simone was so excited because this year she has a math book and a social studies book and a journal. After visiting the school we went to buy her school supplies and we found everything and had a lovely time together. It was one of those special bonding parenting experiences. I had mentioned to Simone that my favorite teacher in elementary school had been Mr Liu and that I was so excited her teacher had the same name, when we got home I went to look for something and in the box I find a picture of my dear friend Debi, Mr Liu and me, I had not seen that picture in ages and now I could show it to Simone. In the evening I had a wonderful conversation with my ex-husband. The end of our marriage was not a pretty one but we have now built a very nice friendship and I always enjoy talking to him about Simone and how AMAZING she is. Anyway, finally I went down to meet Jimmy...I had planned a evening at home, cooking, watching a movie and just enjoying each others company yet he had something totally different in mind. He was so happy to see me and have me all to himself. He took me to a gorgeous Peruvian restaurant in Adams Morgan...walking in the city, holding hands, candle-lit dinner, a nice bottle of Chilean wine....yummy dinner, yummy dessert....yummy everything.
All during dinner I kept thinking how blessed I am, how loved I am. It was all perfect, every moment of that day was perfect and I had been blue, not living the now, not seeing the blessings. I was happy that I was able to really see before the day ended. I was happy to realize that although the day was gray my life was GLOWING.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
is what we see what truly is...will the grass always look greener on the other side?
just trying to make a sense of random thoughts...perhaps i simply need to fly.
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Very humbling really, so humbling in fact that it brought me to tears. Here I am worried about the most mundane things, designer glasses, designer purse, hybrid car, a bigger house, a luxurious vacation, more clothes, not making enough money, working too much, the $1 million client, bills, not enough education, wrinkles, botox, cellulite, plastic surgery, under achiever, not speaking enough languages, not traveling enough, I am a single mom and it is hard....and really, truly, it is all a waste of time. A waste of thought, a waste of energy, a waste of our minds and our souls a waste of Us. Of me.
My friend Alexandra's brother is an Investigative Producer/Journalist for Pirry a very well known Colombian journalist that has a show somewhat like 20/20 here, but uses street language and tells it like it is, crudely. He recently did a show about Cartagena. A Colombian jewel, an enchanting city that has thousands of tourist visit each year, but that beyond the colonial city, the beaches, luxurious hotels and the million dollar homes and condos lies another reality of poverty and despair. So here it is: Los Fantasmas de la Ciudad de Piedra.
It is a story so sad and unreal to most of us that it makes us really appreciate the beauty in our lives, it allows us to see that there is so much beyond the "needs" society imposes on us. That there are people out there that really struggle, that really have needs and pains and have no hope. No way out other then violence, prostitution, drugs, or death.
It also made me think that there must be a bigger purpose in our lives than self satisfaction...there is only so much joy that material things will bring. Maybe our lives' work must mean more than just a paycheck and a good retirement account. There is a lot to be done for so many people, so many women, so many children. It all made me want to go back home, try to help somehow, coach these women and empower them, shed some light in there life. Then again who am I to think that I could make a difference, that I could teach them something, after all, I probably have a world to learn from them.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
In 1999 I moved back to the US, my brothers and sister quickly followed. Since 1989 when we moved back to Colombia my father had never returned, he was allergic to the country somehow and avoided all our efforts to get him up here. Then since miracles do happen, all of a sudden a few months back he decided it was time to return, to be part of his kids' daily adult lives and enjoy his growing grandkids. He arrived last Friday to Miami, tomorrow he's arriving in DC, along with Carlos and Sophie. We have a busy weekend ahead of us, Kokelita is inviting us for dinner at her place tomorrow night, Saturday noon is Simone's birthday party, Saturday night a barbecue at Ivan's......72 hours of none stop togetherness!!! Monday morning Carlos and Sophie are heading back to Miami since Sophie is flying to Bogota Tuesday. It will be such a joy to be together and share, last time, only Maria Jose was around, and the rest of us were still single. We were really just kids.
This is a lesson, of the gift of each moment that is presented to us. Had we known last time we were all together that it would be almost 10 years before we got to spend such a blessed moment, maybe, just maybe we would have lived it differently...maybe appreciated much more the Gift we were living. And that is a lesson in so many moments in our lives, the last kiss, the last conversation, the last hug...
The day I finally left my ex-husband, we had a really good morning. We talked, had a yummy lunch and hugged to and from the car...then a whole lot happened I left and it was over, forever. And I always wondered if I had known that those moments were our very last would we have lived them differently? Will we ever sit and chat and share a meal like friends...do we ever get back moments we took for granted? I don't know...I do know that this weekend I will savor each second and take lots of pictures and remember old road trips and old jokes and just be happy to share with my family.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
You are now sleeping late, swimming a whole lot, in love with the Disney Channel, changing schools for the fall, reading a little bit on your own, about to lose your first 2 teeth and very afraid of losing your teeth, you have traveled on your own many times already and make friends with the whole plane, you are fascinated with everything Asian and want to celebrate your next birthday in China, you can say Hello in 7 languages, you love to dance, you love makeup, you love to wash your hair, you want your own laptop, you still suck your thumb and use a satin blankie to sleep, you talk and talk and talk, you are very confident and can start a conversation with just about anyone, you are brave, you love movies, you love Colombia, feel Colombian and would love to live there, you love being my baby and having me take care of you, you love to cry for just about any reason, you are friends with all our neighbors, you love to dance, you love to draw and paint and do crafts, you are very fluent in English and Spanish, you love clothes, shopping and purses, you want to travel the world, you are simply magnificent.
Tonight is like 6 years ago, a sleepless night. I was 195lbs and nights were endless...you were quite comfortable inside my tummy and had no desire to come out. We were told that if nothing happened the birth would be induced Friday morning (Yehh, this is the first year your birthday falls on the day you were born). So we were just waiting, so excited to know you would be coming home soon. The day of your birth, we were scheduled to arrive at the hospital at 6 am. Daddy was working at a bar and came home at about 4:30 am with some 30 balloons, of every color of the rainbow, for me...for Us. It was so sweet and surprising... Your birth was rather quick, you came out squinting your eyes just looking at me. I was crying as you were looking at me like "hi Mom". You were so tiny that when I picked you up you would not reach my belly button and I always wondered for how long I would be able to carry you. I am proud to say I still can, even with one arm and with you weighing a bit over 50lbs. Sad to say though I am getting close to my limit, you are densely built... but then again moms get this super natural strength that sustain us through the greatest of challenges or help us pick our child as if they were still babies.
Many people say you are the way you are because of the way I have raised you...maybe so but I truly think I can't take all the credit. A lot of it is you, you are an old soul in a little girl's body. I believe we pick our parents to guide us on the journey of our lives. Somehow you looked down and picked me and for this I really just have to say Thank You. You have brighten my life more then I could have imagined, you have allowed me to overcome many fears, you teach me so much everyday with your wisdom. You are my biggest blessing and raising you is my masterpiece.
Happy Birthday mi Nena Hermosa. I love you.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
So I am at a cross road, back to a place where I have been before but experiencing it in completely different terms this time around. I decided a couple of weeks back that if the circumstances don't change, or do but continue to return then I am the one that has to change and maybe just then will true TRANSFORMATION come to be.
So I have...I am at peace, in constant prayer in my heart. So at peace that last night I wondered if I was in denial. I decided that I am not, I am committed although not attached to the outcome. What will be will be...all I ask is for continued growth, a million opportunities, lot's of ideas, creativity, prosperity, time for Simone and I and the chance to make a difference however small. That all that may be only the beginning of something much larger. This time around I truly BELIEVE.
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
So in less than 10 hours you will be home! It had been quite a while since we had been apart for so long and I miss you so. Sometimes I worry because Dad is the fun parent, he doesn't have to do the daily raising but the fun vacation, let's go shopping times. I sometimes worry that in your mind I will be everything but fun but 2 nights ago you said "Mami ya quiero estar en nuestra casita" and my heart smiled because in these past 3 years we have become a team. It is always the 2 of us, everyday and we have other people we love and like sharing with but "you and I", we are home.
On the other hand this time has bee really interesting because you really had a wonderful chance to be part of your dad's family. My family has always been a stronger presence and always around. These 2 weeks were really a chance for you to feel complete with your relationship with your dad and his world.
I just finished fixing your room, having everything ready for your welcome home. I am so happy to have you back, it is summer and there is so much to do together!
Saturday, June 30, 2007
El caminaba a pasos firmes pero nostalgicos, sabia que la noche lo miraba como la soledad y el no queria estar solo. Queria estar con su amada, en el fondo era la unica que podia descifrar su feliz pero tormentosa vida. Ya ella no trataba de buscarlas explicaciones del porque no tenerlo a su manera si no al contrario, casi instintivamente lo dejaba seguir volando y sonando que era lo que el amaba. Esa libertad que lo tenia ahora mas cerca de ella....pero a pasos firmes y tristes el se alejaba. Solo lo consolaba ver dibujada en su mente su eterna sonrisa y saber que noches...si noches habran muchas para amarla en noches como esta.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Hoy estas en casa de Papa. Viajaste hace una semana y estas feliz. Ademas estas triste de pensar en la eminente despedida...como culparte si con casi 6 anos ya llevas la mitad de tu vida sin el. Tal vez no lo entiendas hasta que tengas hijos pero siendo mama me dan ganas de pintar tu mundo entero de rosa y que nada te falta o te duela. Sin embargo se que el dolor de no tener una familia con papa y mama es el resultado de muchos errores que cometimos los dos. Los ultimos tiempos nos han llevado a mejorar la relacion entre tu papa y yo. Yo me siento sana, el me ve con otros ojos y los dos estamos absolutamente enamorados de ti. Te juro hija que si dentro de mi hubiera la mas minima idea o esperanza de que podria construir una linda familia para ti ahora lo haria. Si hubiera sabido entonces lo que se ahora seguramente tendrias una familia...sin embargo cada uno nace con una historia que tiene que vivir y de alguna manera a ti te toco esta. Una vida diaria al lado de mama, y un papa que te ve a menudo pero esta lejos; unos padres que te aman. Eres lo mas grande de mi vida, tu luz es mi razon y tu sonrisa es mi esperanza. Te amo y te extrano.
Monday, June 11, 2007
I have been wanting to write for a while...not a lot but just thoughts on this interesting journey called life. I just turned 32! I have never before felt so complete and excited about a birthday...never did I think about me getting older, I was just focused on how I feel so good. So happy! How all my work has paid off and I have healed in so many aspects of my life. I am really happy for this new year in which I get to create an even better one than the last.