Life Lessons

Talks about Mommy Ginger’s life lessons for Baby Zeeka.

Recently, I’ve been feeling a bit stressed with everything that has been happening at home at in our business. It’s mid-year and we need to give more effort and push more to get more clients for our business (Taxumo). For things at home, we need to make things work financially. As you know, my husband and I are “all in” in running the business that we have. We have freelancing gigs on the side, but we both don’t have day jobs and we are working with whatever we get from the business and from our side gigs.

Between this and being a parent, there’s a chance that we’ll go crazy anytime soon! It’s not easy (for both of us) to keep calm, stay strong and keep sane, but we have to. We need to be all of these things for our child and our employees (who we consider to be our other “kids”).

One day, I was invited to go to a Sanicare event. I thought it would just be another event. Amidst all of the things that I was thinking about, I decided that I needed a break from thinking and planning. Plus, I really wanted to have a Sanicare Play Day (#SanicarePlayDay) with my daughter. I decided a play day would be good for us. I missed spending quality time with her.

In the event, there were a lot of nice and really cool activities.

Sushi Making and Creating your own Headband Stand

Zeeka got a bunch of cotton, wrapped it on Nori-looking paper and decorated the top with cute designs! After creating “pretend” sushi, she created a headband stand. She has a lot of headbands at home and this DIY-headband stand will be great for keeping her accessories. After playing, she automatically got some Sanicare wet wipes to clean her hands.

Obstacle course and Playing at the Mini-Playground

This little girl loves exploring. We actually did all of the activities at the #SanicarePlayDay. There was a part with a wooden obstacle course and a wooden seesaw. She played happily in this area, as I watched and wondered on how big she has gotten! I still remember the time when she was still learning how to walk and talk. Now, she’s a brave little lady with her own mind, making her own decisions.

Playing with Sand in a Sandbox

We then played together with sand in the sandbox. I hid things under the sand and she would look for it. She loves treasure-hunting.

Singing in the Rain Photo wall and Frame your Hand Print

We then had our photo-taken and she also did the activity where you get to frame your hand print. She covered her palm and fingers with paint and pressed it against a Sanicare paper towel. It was then framed and we took it home as a keepsake. It was so cute! I loved this the best.

I also loved that all around the venue, there was an ample supply of wet wipes and paper towels to keep out little one’s hands clean.

While having our food, there was a program. I really thought that this was just another event for me until, I heard some things that struck me while Lea (Sanicare Marketing Communications Director) and Bianca Gonzales – Intal were talking. They were talking about Lea’s Sanicare story. She said that when they were kids, their mom would continuously hover over them and would go crazy chasing after them, so as to keep their hands clean while they play.

With Sanicare’s products, parents will have one less thing to worry about (#OneLessWorry) as they won’t need to stress over sanitary worries like these. Then I began to get emotional a bit and think about my situation now. Haha! I stopped myself as people would think that I’m crazy for sobbing in an event with wet wipes, toilet seat covers, paper towels and tissues (then again, there were boxes of tissue all over the place.. haha!).

I think we all just need time for ourselves. This is when clarity comes. We need time to keep sane. It’s nice to know that products like Sanicare go that extra mile to not only to create “functional” products, but also go to the extent of thinking of the situation of different moms and dads — thinking about how to help them keep sane. Being a parent is a huge responsibility. Imagine having that responsibility of forming a human so that they grow to up to be independent, smart, driven, generous, kind-hearted, God-fearing, loving, healthy, etc. It’s hard.

Then imagine having that responsibility and on-top of it all, the responsibility, too, to building up resources to make you capable of presenting that “bright future” to your little one. We, parents, work hard (be it to have a day job, or to build a business or to find clients for your freelancing career, or to grow your profession) in order to provide the best for our children. The “best that we can do” equates to the resources that we build to open up opportunities and to be able to make their dreams come true in the future.

This is what made this ordinary press event into a “not-so-ordinary” event. I went their with my daughter to have a Sanicare Play Day, but I came out stronger, knowing that there are people and brands cheering you on. The universe believes that WE can do it. We just have to trust. There’s something comforting about that fact that we all go through challenges and circumstances, and we know that we will all get through it! We just need to be there for each other.

So, to Sanicare, lots of love to you, too! We’ll be behind you, too, cheering on!

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Sanicare or Sanitary Care Products Asia (SCPA) Inc. went through different challenges from the Asian financial crisis in 1998, the burning down of their main factory in 2012, and the flooding of another facility in 2014. They’ve survived and they’re still standing strong! Read more about Sanicare’s story here: http://business.inquirer.net/217905/sanicare-weathers-storms-with-gods-grace

 

Faces. When I look at different faces — faces of loved ones, faces of friends, faces of acquaintances, faces of strangers, I think about the beauty and the mystery of life. Each face that I remembered tonight was seconds, minutes, hours or years of memories that made up my LIFE. How amazing is that? If you look at your life, how many faces have you seen? How many faces have actually taken up moments in your life?

In 7 days, i’ll turn 37. 37 is actually not a bad age. I think it’s actually the perfect time to contemplate on past actions and on choices that I’ve made, and still have ample time to work on more things.

I know my life isn’t perfect. I am not perfect. And I know that behind the faces that we have are complex individuals that sometimes others may not expect or even comprehend. Sometimes, we can’t even understand our own actions. But behind these complexities, we all have the same objective. Our objective is to be the best version of ourselves for whatever we believe we may encounter in the future (whether it be a God that we believe in, a divine being, reincarnation, etc.). So whatever we believe will happen to us after our death, we’re prepared and we know that we have acted accordingly to reach that “goal” or acted in accordance to what we believe is true to our nature.

I wish that life was that easy.

I wish that life could be as simple as choosing what’s right and avoiding what’s wrong, choosing good over evil. The reality though is that life presents us with tough choices. Some of these choices may all be “good”, depending on who “sees” it or who’s affected by the decision. And some may be bad, but sometimes, different factors can even blur that line of an act being “bad or a sin”.

In the past year, I’ll start with two things that I learned from my own experiences and from what I have observed. Do you know what these are?

It’s that life is made out of several (let’s say) time components, and when you see a single part or a moment in a person’s life, you cannot judge nor draw conclusions. This is because, you haven’t seen all of the components. And another thing is that you only have control over your own actions and decisions. You cannot and should not think or event attempt to control another person’s life. These two points (I think) are the basic premises of respect.

So keeping this in mind, we should not punish ourselves for broken time components, because we know that we can do better and make the next components better. In doing good, we don’t need to brag, broadcast or tell the world about those amazing moments, because what really matters is that you enjoyed those moments, you were present and that you will forever remember them.

So there. Those are my thoughts on this night. Those are the thoughts that came to my mind while remembering the faces, the feelings and the random moments in my life. On this night, 7 days before my birthday, I wish all of you clarity, empathy and hope that would help you live the rest of your lives in happiness and love. 🙂

Discussions in the digital world about taxing robots have been brought up after Bill Gates suggested that idea. He said, “Right now, the human worker who does, say, $50,000 worth of work in a factory, that income is taxed and you get income tax, social security tax, all those things. If a robot comes in to do the same thing, you’d think that we’d tax the robot at a similar level.

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will screws screw you over?

Most of us are scared that with new technology (i.e. cars and trucks which drive themselves, when robots assemble gadgets, when robot lawyers defend people with parking tickets, etc.), we will be displaced from our work and livelihood. We will not have anything to do. We will be stripped from things that we have built and things that make us whole (well, at least from our perspective). And sad to say, we equate our worth and built that connection with the work that we do or with the career that we have. We often equate self-worth with our actual jobs and professions.

Hardly do we encounter people who dig deeper into what their life is all about. I’ve seen movies and TV series where successful businessmen allot time for meditation, from Axelrod in the series Billions to Gavin Belson in Silicon Valley. This was also an advice that I got from one of my mentors way back when I was a product manager. Meditation or looking inward makes us see things clearly and makes us focus on what is essential. I guess with the demands of daily life and the responsibilities that we need to do, we lose precious time to think about what we are really meant to do.

When we ask someone about what he or she does, we often tell them our position or designation. I’m the CEO of Manila Workshops or i’m the COO of Taxumo. Related to my previous point, telling them what they can absorb quickly and what we can explain in a concise way, makes sense in the fast-paced world that we live in. We hardly hear people say that they are great moms or great husbands. We also don’t say that we are helping increase the GDP of our country or we are promoting world peace and stopping world hunger. This is obviously something that we don’t share on the onset, because the other person will think that we’re some kind of a psycho or running for office (or both… haha!).  It’s okay not to be blunt about what our mission in life is. We just need to be clear on what our value is. If we are clear on what we can contribute, then there is nothing to be afraid of. And let me tell you this, all of us can contribute something.

Emotional Labor

One of the things that I think robots will not be able to do is emotional labor. Earlier today, I was listening to a podcast about this certain topic. Emotional labor is the process of managing feelings and expressions to fulfil the emotional requirements of a job. More specifically, workers are expected to regulate their emotions during interactions with customers, co-workers and superiors (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotional_labor). This is something that I think robots will have a hard time doing. Even when some robots or algorithms can actually read sentiments and analyze how people react, it will still be humans who will be able to determine and execute the best possible reaction to a particular sentiment. Managing emotions is complex, since there are a lot of factors to consider and it’s normally different from one individual to the other. This is just one of the things that makes humans valuable.

Change in Perspective

Robots are not our enemies. We have to view new technology as something that will help make our work easier, so that we can concentrate on things that we enjoy. We can focus on things that we love. We can focus on building relationships. We can focus more on self-development and loving life.

I don’t think these screws will screw us over. I think what will screw with us is our own perception of who we are. If we feel that we will not be of any value 10 years or 20 years from now, then we’re screwed.

 

 

 

 

Life is complicated. That’s a reality that each one of us needs to accept. My life is not perfect, and it may seem to be, but under the scrutinizing eyes of of someone more mature, they may be able pick out a lot of flaws and imperfections. No matter how much we strive to make our lives perfect, it will never be.

internet-tea-time

So, do we just throw in the towel, and live life miserably. No! Of course, not. What makes life exciting and worth living is practically that. We go through life wanting to live it to the fullest (may be not perfect). Each and every breath leads us to things that are new, ideas that haven’t been uncovered, decisions we make that surprise even ourselves.

I was talking to a company last week that mentioned their goal (it was a really great goal), which was to help people achieve success. It truly is wonderful to see a company that aims to achieve that. It was refreshing to see a company go beyond products and services, and to have its main motivation to make it a point that me, their consumer, achieves success. But it got me thinking, do we really know what our own definition of success is.

For the businesses that we create, it may be easier to define. Having a sustainable, profitable business may be it. And to add to that, some of us may even add a higher purpose to what our business is all about. But this is for our business. What about us? We often attach ourselves too much to the business that we have (it’s really hard to separate and some may even say that it’s not really a business but a passion, so it will never be separated), but is the business’ success your own definition of success?

I personally see businesses as a tool to get you to your own definition of success — a means to an end. Some may see traveling the world as their own “end”; being a simple nomad and an advocate of discovery. Others may see living a simple life with no worries surrounded by loved ones as their ultimate dream. Others see that their ultimate “end” is having no end to what they are currently doing, since it’s their passion. It’s something to think about. What is your end? What is your definition of success?

Never forget that what ultimately matters is your own success. Success for me when you are happy with yourself, your choices and how you lived your life. When you are contented with your life, you are successful. You cannot compare your own success with other people, because we all live different lives. You cannot let competition drive you. You have to be your own worst enemy and your own best friend. Motivation will come from no one els, but you.

This is the reason why YOU is the most important thing in this world. Look inside and you’ll find clarity.

Happy February, everyone! My next favorite month to December, and oh, October (since that’s my birth month), is February. I love February, because during this month, you can clearly see the honest-to-goodness feelings of people. A lot of extreme emotions this month will come into play. There will be a lot of love, lust (yup, just had to say that…haha!), pain, loneliness (love even when it hurts), finding new love, longing for past loves, and a whole lot more!

We have all expressed and felt all of these different emotions. When we were young and care-free, we couldn’t care less. We would love whoever we want to love and we would break-up with whoever we want to break-up with. Most of us didn’t see the “bigger picture”. We didn’t see who it was that we were hurting, because of our actions. We often didn’t see the repercussions of  the great love that we wanted to express. And love to us when we were young, was confined into that realm of romantic love.

blog-topic-love

But now that we are all #adulting, we see different kinds of love. We see that love isn’t just about the love that you have for one special human being, whom you consider your soulmate. Love can mean love for one’s self. Love can mean loving your parents. Love can mean loving your sibling, relatives, a son, a daughter. Love can mean loving a friend, a business partner, a mentor, a co-worker. Love can also mean loving someone whom you have lost, or literally someone who is no longer with us.

Understanding love isn’t confined to the people to whom it is given. How it is given, when it is given, in what form it is given are interesting to see and look at, too. There are some people who find love and are lucky to have found them. There are some who give love, and feel great pain when they lose it. But we should love even when it hurts.

Why? Because…

Love helps you understand yourself more.

When you get to experience truly loving someone, it inspires you to go beyond what you are usually capable of. Sometimes, you might even surprise yourself.

Love makes you stronger.

You know that ultimately, everything will be okay. You have gone lengths to express and give love. Even if unreciprocated, you know that at least on your end, you have shown how valuable the other person is. You know that you’re not on the losing end.

Love fuels everything, even if it’s not explicitly mentioned or seen.

The decisions that we make, as we normally say, is for someone else’s good or for your own good. That decision is fueled by love for others or love for yourself. Love is the flame that lights the world on fire.

There are more reasons why you should love even when it hurts. Hope you can share your thoughts on this!

I end this article with a quote:

Love myself I do. Not everything, but I love the good as well as the bad. I love my crazy lifestyle, and I love my hard discipline. I love my freedom of speech and the way my eyes get dark when I’m tired. I love that I have learned to trust people with my heart, even if it will get broken. I am proud of everything that I am and will become.

– Johnny Weir

This month is about all forms and types of love. Keep on loving!