The following clever essay is a guest post by one of my favorite new blogs, The Mommist. I love her take on things! Thanks, Len!
Who would’ve thought that the sleazy song that millions are foolishly dancing to has a deep and logical meaning fit for parenting — gangnam-style parenting, to be exact? No, not What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction. I’m talking about Gangnam Style!
The second most famous Korean contribution to the world after Kimchi (not related to Kim Jong-Il nor Kim Jong-Un), is reportedly about Psy’s revulsion towards the people of Gangnam’s (a district in Seoul, South Korea) opulent lifestyle.
Is it wrong to desire material things? Will an opulent lifestyle guarantee you a spot in hell?
I used to answer yes plus a scoff to the questions above years ago. I grew up thinking that wanting a lot of material things is sinful and evil. It was deeply hammered in my core. I loathed, despised, spat on materialism even though I was heavily into it. I fell into the traps of spending to fulfill my earthly desires guiltily…every time, all the time.
It took me more than fifteen years to realize that wanting more of whatever the universe can provide me – whether real or imaginary – is actually a good thing! The desire to have more is not bad; the act on how you acquire them is. This has now become my reasoning and philosophy, the thing that I teach my kids – materialism in moderation.
I teach them to be grateful first for whatever they have and whatever will come, but also to never settle and acquire good things in a good way. I don’t belittle their feelings of wanting more things, better things, bigger things, flashier things, everything.
Motivation is an essential tool in our lives, regardless of age. It is also very subjective and diverse. Some are motivated by a solitary life somewhere in the middle of a jungle, while others are motivated by a Richard Mille Tourbillon in Rose Gold. The backlash of motivation is what matters. It makes us get things done.
Propeller for Perseverance
The astounding effect of motivation is perseverance. Wanting something, especially of material nature, is the best propeller for perseverance and hard work.
Change of Habits
And because our kids will move heaven and earth to get what they want, their habits will change to attain that want. Same principle as when you bribe your kids for good grades or to fix their rooms. They will do all those things and create a good habit in the process in order to get them.
Encouraging your kids to dream for more things and eventually obtain them will most likely lead them to the right direction and make them stay there.
I couple the encouragement with teaching them the difference between buying things to feel superior over others (ex. post it on Facebook with the caption “I’m the king of the world!”) and buying things for personal gratification.
As long as they don’t step on others in getting what they want, we’re cool. My job is not to hamper their desires for better things and better lives. My job is to help them achieve those in a good way.
So, yeah, I can live with the knowledge that my kids might not be part of the unmaterialistic counterculture association of the world.
Now, please excuse me while I go dance! Eh…sexy lady…op op op op oppan Gangnam Style!
Len is the brains behind the blog, The Mommist. She is a mother of three little men (including her husband) and a miracle worker by profession. She is also slightly delusional and believes that she can save the world one blog at a time.
Connect with her here, too Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
So, here’s the deal. I’m one of five women bloggers vying for a chance to go on a Tuscan getaway. (Thank you, CalChews and the Lifestyle Network.) We’re each supposed to write about why we should be chosen as the lucky lady to go on this amazing trip. I am excited about this opportunity, but it’s taken me a while to finish this post. Why? Because I’ve got to give you all five reasons why I should be hopping on a plane to Italy! It’s a bit daunting; after all, I’m up against some of the most popular bloggers in the Philippines.
Still, I love a challenge. And I love writing about what I like; the blog is, after all, about “a mom’s bliss, blogged.”
And here’s my bliss… in five points.
1. I am ready for another journey.
My husband’s and my plan of going out of the country for our first anniversary never pushed through. That’s because something wonderful happened, just two months shy of that celebration: I was beginning a new journey. This journey wouldn’t take me out of the country, but it would take me on a new course in life, one of the best I’ve ever experienced. And even though my feet have been firmly planted here in Manila while I’ve been on this journey, I’ve been to more places and experiences than any trip around the world could give me.
The beginning of my journey as a mom
Since the start of this amazing journey known as motherhood, I’ve been on several adventures as a woman, wife and primary caregiver to my son. In the last two years and eight months, I’ve been able to care for, breastfeed (and wean!) and raise up a happy boy. As you know, one of my wishes before I turn 40 is to have another baby. But before that, I think I deserve my time alone, on a vacation away from my usual every day.
Isn’t it about time this momma picked up from where she left off?
2. I am a hopeless romantic.
Italy = romance. The word romance originated in Italy, after all. If I could escape to Italy — for any reason— I’d live out my girlishly giddy dream of diving into a romantic comedy of some sort. Knowing me, I’d pretend that I was Princess Ann from Willie Wyler’s 1953 classic (and my favorite Audrey Hepburn movie) Roman Holiday.
While I’m no princess, I’m the queen of my domain. As a work-at-home mom (and writer, at that), naturally, I’m home most of the time. And like Hepburn’s iconic heroine — who was cloistered by royal protocol— I’ve got a wanderlust, a desire to see and experiences things beyond my own little world. I just need the open door. (Or, in this case, a plane ticket.)
3. I’m a dreamer.
As a creative writer, I’m inclined to dream up scenes and stories in my head. As a mom, wife, and a woman, I too dream of several things. Of course, my foremost would be that my child(ren) grow up to be passionate, independent and successful individuals, and that my husband and I would be even more in love as we get older. I also dream of owning our own home, preferably a modest-sized house in a quiet neighborhood here in the city.
But, if I were to tell you about my out-of-this-world dreams, going to Italy would be on the top five of that list. Why? Because I’ve dreamed of going here…
The world-famous vineyards in the Chianti wine country in Tuscany (Source)
of seeing this…
El Duomo in Florence. It’s been my dream to see this since I was a little girl!) Source
… and (silly girl that I am) pretending I was in a movie, like this…
Diane Lane as Frances Mayes in Under the Tuscan Sun. (Source)
“Unthinkably good things can happen late in the game. It’s such a surprise.” — Frances Mayes (played by Diane Lane, Under the Tuscan Sun)
I love surprises. And for me, a trip like this would be a most pleasant, unexpected one.
4. I want a stamp on my passport that says “Italy” on it.
(By now, you should have picked up that I’m a rom-com type of movie girl.)
It’s as simple as that. Yes, like Lucy Moderatz in While You Were Sleeping: I want a stamp in my passport that says “Italy” on it. I love how she held on to that dream, especially when all the complications in her life started to unravel. Well, in the end, she got her passport stamped… and her life changed for good.
“Life doesn’t always turn out the way you expect it.” — Sandra Bullock, from While You Were Sleeping (Source)
I’ve gotten the “wife,” “mom” and “work at home mom” stamps in my passport called life. Don’t get me wrong: I love my life. As a work-at-home mom, I’ve got it good. I’m with my family 24/7; I get to stay at home, my favorite place to be; I get dibs on when to work and when to stop working. However, because I’m a romantic— shamelessly, hopelessly so— and I still dream of traveling, of engaging in adventures. I still want my silly, romantic aspirations to come true.
5. I don’t stop at something until I get what I want.
I’ve no claims about being the most deserving or the best among the women who are participating in this blogging challenge. But I know when I want something, and so, I won’t be shy with you: I want to win this trip. I mean, just look at my picture below. Doesn’t it just scream, “Pick ME to go to Italy! Pretty please?”
I’m a ham, didn’t I tell you? Please, CalChews me!
Going abroad on an Italian adventure and checking off one more item on my bucket list would be the perfect combination of this homebodied mom’s dream come true… just like a sweet and chewy piece of CalChews chewable calcium: A combination of everything that’s good for your bones, body and heart, in a dainty and rich candy chew.
As I sit here typing up the conclusion to this post, I’m nibbling on my second CalChews for the day. (I recommend the caramel. Yum! What’s great is that I get to eat two a day, for my daily calcium needs.) I just had a busy day: a morning on a storytelling drive for public school kids; mid-morning doing grocery runs, and prepping lunch for my family, and now, an afternoon of working and writing. I need a bit of bone-strengthening, immune-boosting, heart-healthy goodness! And as much as I’ll need CalChews as my daily companion on this wish-upon-a-star-chance of a Tuscan adventure, I’ll also need it as I go through my day-to-day as a busy mom.
Whatever happens — whether I’m on a plane to Italy in a few weeks, or I stay here, happily continuing my life as a happy WAHM (work at home mom) — I’ll have sweet companions to get me through it all: CalChews, and my stash of dreams.
This entry, “CalChewsMe – The CalChews Choice,” is part two of my entry into the CalChews Tuscan Blogger Adventure blogger challenge. For more about CalChews, the first chewable calcium supplement, visit http://www.CalChews.com.ph. Make sure to “LIKE” them as well ( CalChews on Facebook ) and follow them on Twitter.
I’m 33 as I write this. For me, 40 seems like such a long way off. So when CalChews called me last week asking me to write about my “4 Before 40” (or the top 4 things I wanted to do before I turned 40), it got me thinking: What would I do in the next seven years before I hit that age? I’m big on creating my own bliss, carving out a life that works for me. That’s is why I absolutely LOVED the idea of coming out with a life list for the next few years. After all, you’re only 40 once.
I started to really think about what I wanted — they were a lot. But, if I had to narrow down that list to just four, these would be at the very top.
1. Have a baby girl.
Sugar and spice and everything nice; that’s what little girls are made of. [from the Roud Folk Song Index]
My husband and I have always wanted to have more than one kid. Our son, Vito, is now two years old, and ever since he weaned, I’ve had a lingering, somewhat longing feeling to have another child! Well, my wish is that my next baby would be a girl. I can just imagine a mini version of me, a little lady whom I could cuddle and squeezeinto pink and brown clothes (such as this adorable sweater).
Just the other night, my husband and I decided we were ready to try for another baby in the next few months. I’ve always been intentional about pregnancy and getting my body ready for the change that is “the next 9.” (Just to be clear: NO, I am not pregnant yet!) If and when we do get pregnant, I do hope (God-willing) it’s a little princess.
2. Circumnavigate the globe with my hubby for our 10th anniversary.
Just remember, once you’re over the hill you begin to pick up speed. – Charles M. Schultz
My 40th year on this earth will be my 10th year as a happily married woman. For our 10th anniversary (or even before that), I want to go on a trip around the world with my husband. I’ve always dreamed of traveling with him across all the continents! See, one of our hobbies is watching Discovery Travel and Living on cable TV, especially the travel shows with Ian Wright (my hubby’s fave) and Samantha Brown (I wish I had her job!). We often talk about where we’d go and what we’d do if ever we had the chance to travel to distant locations such as Morocco, Russia and the Seychelles.
Right now, my passport is blank. I only got my “married name” passport last year, when my old passport expired. This one’s empty, just waiting to get stamped with a dreamy location, like Florence, Verona, or Tuscany, or perhaps another stamp to Paris and Germany, which I had in my old passport as a single girl. I love the romance of it all, come to think of it: a blank passport, just waiting to be stamped with possibilities I have only dreamed about. It would be awesome to finally travel internationally with my husband, as we never got the chance to.
3. Write a book.
“When I am writing, I am doing the thing I was meant to do.” – Anne Sexton
I’ve been writing since… forever. Well, since I was eight or nine, to be exact. As a child, I kept notebooks upon notebooks of stories that swirled around in my head. I won our weekly “Star of the Week” competitions in primary school more often than anyone, mostly when the topic was poetry or narrative writing. In my preteen years, I even started writing my own hybrid version of Sweet Valley+Pen Pals+The Baby Sitters Club; my brothers know this, because they once nosily poked around my room and laughed at my mini novels, one of which was an entire anthology involving 90s teen idols Jonathan Brandis and Luke Perry. (I have no idea where those embarrassing notebooks ended up.)
My desk, i.e. the place of eternal key-pounding
Now, as a work at homemaker and blogger, I write every day. I’ve edited and copy edited several books for other people. I’ve even conceptualized a magazine, and manned the editorial management team of a website. I’ve held every job in the editorial niche except that of an author. I imagine there’s nothing quite like the feeling of holding a manuscript in your hand, knowing that one day it will be a hardbound edition at your local bookstore. It’s a delicious anticipation I’ve dreamed of feeling my whole life… and I have the next seven years to make that happen.
4. See with 20/20 vision again.
Life begins at 40 – but so do fallen arches, rheumatism, faulty eyesight, and the tendency to tell a story to the same person, three or four times. – Helen Rowland
I have been wearing specs since I was 12 years old. I got contacts when I was 17. Since then, I’ve often dreamt about what it would feel like to see perfectly, because I can’t even remember what that feels like. After having worn glasses and contacts for the past 21 years, perfect vision is not even a memory to me, it’s a never was.
I remember how, a few years ago, my mom got eye surgery and stopped wearing glasses altogether. Ever since then, I’ve wanted the same for myself. Modern advancements have made this possible, and it’s only a matter of time before I’m able to afford eye surgery for myself. Being a writer and having to sit in front of the computer for most of the day, my eyes are my most precious commodity. To be able to live with good eyesight will not just give me a physicality boost: It will — literally — change the way I perceive life.
Get the best of both worlds
If life really begins on your 40th birthday, it’s because that’s when women finally get it… the guts to take back their lives. – Laura Randolph
I couldn’t agree more with Ms. Randolph up there: Now is the time when we women should be making our life lists, blazing towards 40 in a way that says “Hey, I’m living the life I was meant to live!” I don’t know about you, but when I hit 40 (in seven years — woot!) I want to be able to say I’m having my cake and eating it, too.
My 4 before 40 life list is a declaration of hope for the future. Maybe it is ambitious; but on this blog, I’ve always been all about creating my bliss, haven’t I? Whether it’s about family, work, homemaking or health, I firmly believe that every woman has the right to give herself what she wants. For me, that’s being able to work from home, be present with my kid (eventually, homeschool!), and to create a lifestyle that’s not perfect or ideal, but happy and fulfilling. You know, like the feeling of biting into that perfect chocolate cake. Because sometimes, I wants me something chocolatey or caramely… like this:
Wasn’t it Forrest Gump’s mom who said “life is like a box of chocolates?” Well now, I believe there’s truth in that! There’s just something about women and chocolates: We’re meant to be together. That’s why I love that CalChews, a groundbreaking calcium supplement, has combined a woman’s health needs and her love for all things sweet, in a unique form.
CalChews comes in chewy, chocolate or caramel candy form. (Yes, after a woman’s own heart!) There’s Vitamin D3 and Vitamin K1 goodness in each piece, which are both essential for optimum bone health and heart health, too. Trust me, as a scoliosis sufferer (with a history of hypertension in my blood line), having a calcium-vitamin-D-vitamin-K supplement in chocolate and caramel form is like… kismet. It was meant to be.
Choose to chew!
Two of my favorite things, caramel and chocolate, individually wrapped, each with a power dose of immune-boosting, heart-healthy and antioxidant goodness of calcium. It’s just like candy! I’ve tried both flavors (Caramel and Chocolate) and both are yummy! I can’t decide which one I like better… much like the things on my life list.
All I can say is, with a “4 before 40” list like mine, I’m definitely going to need the extra strength, both in my bones and for my heart. At least now, I can confidently pursue my life-list for the next 7 years, knowing that I’ve got my body’s daily calcium needs with one pop of rich, creamy CalChews.
That, and a heart full of hope.
Want to create your own list? Just use the hashtags #4B440 and #CalChews on Twitter to shout out to the world about YOUR top 4 to-dos before you hit 40! Visit CalChews.com.ph to find out more about making your daily calcium intake an enjoyable experience. “LIKE” CalChews on Facebook, and Tweet your sweet stories of success on Twitter @CalChews