Our Identity becomes our legacy

retirementSometime in October 2016, our company had a farewell party for a co-worker who has dedicated 38 years of her time in service to the very same company. She never married. She is very efficient with work, never complains. If there will be someone who knows the history of the institution, she would know. She worked under all the school deans in their department.

Typically on our farewell parties, selected individuals—usually directors, department heads or representative of the department—would appreciate one’s work and contribution to the school or department during their years of service. There will be farewell messages, responses, greetings, a trip down memory lane, and special feature—either in a form of dance, music, videos or photo slideshow.

Since she is the only one leaving at that time and it so happened to be her birthday, they did something very special for her. Her officemates requested video messages from her former bosses and faculty she worked with in the past. The messages seemed to be one and the same: she is an efficient and effective worker! She is someone they can truly depend on. When they don’t know what to do, she would be there to guide them even though her title is much smaller than theirs. All of them said, that without her they would not have been able to do their responsibilities well.

Their heartfelt and humble messages truly gave warm fuzzies, even to me who simply listened, it did warmed my heart. That was some legacy she is leaving behind. Her successor have big shoes to fill. I got inspired…38 years of dedicated service! I still in my 7th year and I already feel exhausted, disappointed and unhappy at times. I had moments…

Then it hit me. What legacy would I leave behind when I’m gone?

I tried to think of some good things that people could probably say about me and my work, my performance… i tried to think of my contributions to the very institution who provide me bread-and-butter…

I thought of some, but they are hardly significant. Not strong enough to leave as a legacy.

Then i thought of what am i known for. Surely, people noticed my graphics design work on campus, but most likely only the people who asked me to do the designs and layout would know that it was my work. I thought more, “what am i identified for on campus?” Then, all my hopeful and happy thoughts snuffed out.

Currently, I was known for my tardiness. I don’t go to work on time. When i say that, it means i’m always late for an hour or two, maybe more at times. I don’t attend staff worship. I’m behind my deadlines sometimes. In short, I was hardly an ideal worker.

I used to be someone they can depend on. I used to come on time. I work long and hard. I burn the midnight oil. I used to be productive and usually finish my projects before the deadlines. I would take a bullet for our institution. People used to be amazed of my dedication. I was known for so many other good things before, but things have changed.

My priorities have changed. My perspective in life changed. My health suffered. My creative juices ran dry. My motivation died down. My inspiration became zero. I got burned out. I’m tried and barely hanging on. It’s simply just getting by through the day.

But this is just what i think of me so far. Or at least few other employees, meaning the president, the HR, my boss, my officemate… they do notice my tardiness and point it out most of the time. I stopped caring, and i didn’t even know the intensity of this problem of mine until a colleague of mine said it on public. So public that even those who doesn’t know me heard of it.

I was invited to a wedding yesterday. The groom is a colleague of mine and he asked me to bake their wedding cake as well as the cupcakes and cookies in their sweet station. My sister-in-law and I came at the venue an hour before the wedding to setup. Everything went well. Then the time for acknowledgements came. I don’t mind if my name is not mentioned, i prefer it that way. My only concern if for my baked goods to be consumed and for people to be satisfied. That is enough of an acknowledgment i need.

But to my surprise in the middle of his speech, he said thanks to me and he added that everyone knows me to be always late. He said i don’t go to work at 7:30 am or at 8 am but instead i show up at 10 (that was partly untrue, it doesn’t always happen—most of the time, i show up for work at 9 am)…but don’t worry he didn’t mean it the bad way. He added that i was a very busy person, and i work hard and i go home at 2 am. And that in spite of my busyness i managed to design, layout and print their invitations.

I wasn’t embarrassed at the comment, it’s a fact, i know. But it bothered me. And i realized, i’m identified as a tardy person. Tardiness is my identity. Tardiness is my brand name. Yes he said i am hardworking but i’m known for tardiness than my expertise or my hardwork.

it haunted me all night…until i went to work, and there’s only one person i’ve ever shared about the public testimony. So unlikely of me.

I realized, if i’m not going to do something to change my identity, to change my brand, it would forever remain that way. I would forever be known to be someone who works hard but always late. Not exactly a legacy to leave behind. Not exactly a good example. And definitely not a contribution.

So, if i would be gone—move away or die—anytime soon, i wont have a legacy to leave behind, only an identity, and worst…a negative one. It was an eye-opener, now i know how bad it was.

At least i’m still here. I still have a chance to work on a legacy that I can leave behind when i’m gone.

 

 

 

 

Sew Crazy: An (Almost) Comprehensive Concise Guide to Sewing Feet

Crafty Green Rabbit

Sewing feet, presser feet.
There are so many different types of sewing feet. . .and different names for the same type that it can be overwhelming for a sewing novice, like myself. I decided to compile all my research while gaining a better understanding and creating a reference for myself and others (plus, there were no other comprehensive guides out there).
Note: This guide does not cover basic feet that come standard with sewing machines; the all-purpose foot or satin stitch foot, but focuses on specialty sewing machine feet.

Many feet aid in creating a more polished consistent finish. Others help to incorporate basic components such as zippers, buttons and pipping. While others assist in adding decorative elements to fabric. Most feet are metal, though some feet are also available in a clear plastic for increased visibility.

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Chase the Sun

things i would love to do in my lifetime.

like reading on trains

I got a job but I’ve got a problem
‘Cause I eat too much and I can’t afford to solve it
When I’m savin’ up for that cruise to the Caymans
And I’m hittin’ the snooze so I can keep on dreamin’

Smashmouth is in my head.

Also, while one foot is in the office officially pounding away at the keyboard, the other is at home packing for the weekend. What do I plan to do? I will chase the sun.

  • Read a book
  • Dance like a maniac
  • Sing in the rain
  • Clean the room
  • Join a breakfast buffet
  • Convince friends to go on a road trip
  • Hop to the nearest island
  • Take the trains
  • Relax on a ferry
  • Ride a kalesa
  • Raid a friend’s room
  • Get lost in a book store or a book fair
  • Visit historical ruins
  • Stare in amazement at religious art in old churches and cathedrals

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Entertaining the devil

It’s so ironic how, I would have creeps whenever i mention the name of the enemy, how i would stutter when i have to say his name out loud, and when i have to reference Lucifer, satan, devil, etc. Because mentioning his name sounds like as if, at the instant he will come running towards you. We don’t want him around us. We don’t want to entertain by the mere mention of his name. But the truth is, we entertain him more than we thought we do.

  1. We entertain the devil through the music we listen to. Music is very entertaining and it gives you the boost you need when you feel a little sad and lonely, heartbroken and when you feel like dancing. But what kind of music? For me, i like the music when it sounds good, i dont really pay attention to the lyrics, then one time my colleague called me out for playing the song at work because she thinks it is scandalous and indeed she is right. I find my self singing the lyrics and trust me it sounds so wrong! And the saddest part is that it is so catchy, you cant stop your self from singing. Some of the lyrics of the songs i listen to suggests an idea, an action, and most of the themes are sex and drugs. If I continue to entertain these kind of music, then i’m entertaining the devil.
  2. Most of us crave for happy endings, fantasies, romance and inspiration in movies, because they satisfy an emotion—that feel-good sense of satisfaction, the awww; to satisfy an unmet need—feel loved even for a fleeting moment through relating to the characters in the movies; to cry a little, and to meet a dream—that fantasy of living in wealth and comfort, as if you are the one experiencing it. Well, movies are there to entertain. Movies by far has met my expectations and they’ve met their goals—to make their audience feel happy, satisfied and inspired. Sad thing is that many movies aren’t that pure even those that are wholesome, for instance the feel good movies. When you watch them, they still stir an emotion, i still shed a tear. Because there is something in my life that they have touched, probably refreshed a memory, awakened my longing heart or probably fueled a desire. Wholesome they may seem, but they still suggest something. They suggest romance which then leads to sex but implied, they encourage to dream, to aspire or to want something like finding the “perfect match” although i highly doubt there is. So if we entertain these thoughts and suggestions, then we entertain the devil.

These two are just but some of the channels where the devil enter into our lives. Music and movies can also be avenues for learning and inspiration, but we must filter. While it is very easy to get carried away and difficult to resist the temptations, there are ways we can shield our selves from him.  We can guard ourselves through constant (daily) communion with God and by remembering and living His laws. This will never give the devil a chance to enter in our lives again.

They are Changing Me!

Early this year, I found myself changing to a phlegmatic person. I seem to not care about what’s happening around me. I feel hollow and empty. Not finding any passion for something. Why i became like will be on another chapter of this blog. What i want to write now is how i find myself changing from not caring to caring again. I’m not saying i’m full of it, but i’m learning to care.

About 7 or 8 weeks ago, i babysat my nephews, joined them in their Sabbath School class, and i have observed that the teacher seems not to be following a curriculum in teaching the students. A week after that i had to babysit the boys again, and i have observed the same thing. I wondered why, but i couldnt dare talk to the teacher as i do not want to offend her. So i asked a leader friend if it was really the practice and why. She told me that they dont really have curriculum nor the money to buy the materials for that. I felt a strong calling that, maybe, just maybe, i could help in providing the materials. Gracelink is such a beautiful curriculum i do not want to go to waste and also so that the children will benefit from it. It turned out that she needed more than just materials. She expressed her challenges and requested if i could teach as well. Well, i couldnt resist, i do not know why, but the kids seem to have a pull for me. So i helped and for the past months, things are starting to shape up in Sabbath School.

I love pens and stationeries, and i’m a possessive of them. I like to keep them intact as much as possible. But you see, when you teach children, you cant avoid some pieces to go missing or broken. At first, i was skeptic, but these children taught me not to. They showed me that people matter more than material things. Later on, i have learned to let go of some things. I started to feel things—empathy, sympathy, concern, sharing, and a whole lot more. i realized, THE CHILDREN ARE CHANGING ME. And today, my co-teacher informed me that one of our students’ mother passed away. She was raped and when she recognized who was raping her, the rapist stabbed her head with an ice pick. One of the church elder said that she was able to whisper the rapist’s name just before her last breath. She was on her way to buy food for the family when it happened. Their family is one of those who struggles daily and my parents said they only drink coffee for breakfast and sometimes none. She is 4 months pregnant and has 6 children (that i know of, my student, her son, told me, i just couldnt remember how many they are exactly in the family). Her youngest child is a year old. I intend to know my students and their families better, i havent just done that yet. I’m still trying to memorize all of my students name at the moment.

When i found out what happened, i was in shock! and for the past 12 hours, since i heard the news, all i could think of is “What will happen to the children?” The lady was asking my mom to adopt her 3rd to the last child, a girl of about 3 years old. And that happened. These kids’ lives are changed permanently and drastically. What will happen now. I also heard that their father would beat his wife occasionally. What life will my students have? How can i help them to make their situation better? For their lives to change in spite of losing one parent. What more can i do, not just as a teacher but someone that they can lean on to. I find myself not having an answer. I am really affected. These children has changed me.

Before, i would just probably feel sorry, but wont do anything to help. Now, i really want to help, but not finding ways to help. What can i offer them? An adoption crossed my mind, but how? I’m not financially able to, and my lifestyle is so bad, i wont be able to take care of a child. I know God will provide, but am i ready to be a parent? sending them to orphanage is another thing, but would that make their lives better?

I plan to visit the family on friday, bring some food preferably and find out more about the situation. God help. Show me the way. Lord, if this is the ministry You want me to be involved, equip me.