No bathtub? No problem!

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I grew up in a home in the Philippines where there was no shower or bathtub. Pail and dipper were part of my morning to take a bath. We didn’t have all the comforts in life like oven, air conditioned home, refrigerators, washer, etc. while growing. But I got used to live a life like that for over twenty years until I came over to America and be with my husband.

We just had our three-week vacation in the Philippines and our daughters experienced this kind of life.

We stayed at my grandmother’s small house in our town, Daet, it’s an eight-hour bus ride (without traffic) of southern Manila. My grandmother’s home has one tiny bedroom, a tiny kitchen, a tiny living room, and a tiny bathroom. Everything is tiny because she lives alone.

The night we arrived at her house the girls and I were tired, exhausted, and felt sticky. We need to take a bath, I told our daughters. I showed them where the bathroom was and they were hesitant to get inside because it’s completely different from what we have at home in America.

“Where’s the bathroom? Where’s the shower?” asked Marie, our oldest daughter.

What they saw was one big yellow plastic drum, one red pail, a dipper, a toilet without flush tank, and a tiny sink.

Let’s go girls you’ll take a bath, I told them.

“Where? Show me!” our youngest daughter, Olivia, asked.

I showed them again the bathroom. The light kept on blinking, there’s no bathtub, no shower. They just don’t want to go. Then they started crying.

Here we go. I didn’t listen to my husband to get a hotel room for the three of us so that our stay would be comfortable. I just want to stay with my grandmother’s house. Our girls will experience a lot of things and I’m sure they will never forget all of these especially right now that they’ve grown and can remember things—the tiny house, the tiny bathroom that has no bathtub, no shower, but with a blinking light.

I gave them a quick bath. I had both of them stand up while pouring water over their heads. They whined that the water is cold. Sorry no heater here, I told them. A few days later, the girls were excited to take a bath and I wondered why. The next thing I’d seen was they were inside the plastic drum, happy and didn’t want to leave.

It’s so much fun, Marie said!

It’s true they used gallons of water and half of it was wasted, but this kind of experience taught them how to say it’s okay to do this. It’s okay just to have this because a lot of people survive without things we’re accustomed to like a bathtub and a shower. There are more things to worry in life than these comforts. It will teach them how to appreciate life and be thankful for what they’ve got.

With or without a bathtub, as long as we can take a bath, right?

Hope your day is doing well!

Gladys

 

 

I should have time for internet surfing and checking my phone

fb picOne thing I promise myself a few days ago is to use my time productively. Right now I’m on it. I want to be productive and creative after quitting my job. I have goals for the next few months and deadlines are set. Since we came back from our trip from the Philippines, all I did was to sleep, procrastinate and surfing the internet and use my phone. Most of them are useless (like scrolling Facebook or watching some YouTube videos). It was a wasted time and I didn’t write much on my book editing. I always blame my jet lag for all of these.

I have a lot of terrible excuses!

But hey, people change and I want to change this bad habit. The most effective thing for me is to write down my time. When I see how I use my time for a day, it makes me think of my goals in life. No, I don’t want to end my day checking my Facebook or watching videos on YouTube because it eats my half day. I want to do something that will help my productivity. Writing, reading, spending time with the girls, enjoy the nature, learn new things, etc.

fb pic 2We started spending time outdoor. I stay home all day and I promise the girls that I will take them outside every afternoon to play or go for a walk or have a bike ride. Having a to-do list really helps when I start feeling procrastinating. I have so many things to do in my head and thinking about these nagging tasks makes me overwhelmed, but doing things one at a time makes life easier. Just like the other day, I got done unpacking our three suitcases we had when we went to the Philippines. It took me two weeks to unpack because of my lame excuses.

These are the productive things I got done a few days ago.

  • I’m about to finish rewriting two chapters of my book (we’re reorganizing and rewriting my manuscript) and hopefully I’m done at the end of the month.
  • I keep up with my laundry and I only have one basket of laundry to fold.
  • I’ve been cooking all the time. I made soup, pizza, baked chicken.
  • I’m good with our groceries for a week and a half. Imagine that!
  • Today, cleaning our bedrooms and bathroom is my productive goal.

Happy Wednesday!!!

Gladys

 

Things I’ll do more often while staying home

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Some of you who read my post a few days ago that I quit my day job as a janitor so that I can focus more on my book writing and my part-time job (local coordinator for exchange students). The day I had to get up and thinking I didn’t have to go to work was amazing. Will I ever go back to workforce? It depends whether our plans work out or not. For now I’m enjoying this feeling of life’s satisfaction and contentment. But here are the things I will do over and over again while I’m not doing a nine-to-five job (technically, mine wasn’t 9 to 5 job).

  • Quality time with our daughters. Since I had our daughters, I never spent long time with them one-on-one. I went back to work after only one month of maternity leave. Then they went back to daycare for a couple years then we kept them home, but my husband was the one who spent more time with them in the morning. I can’t wait to fix their hair every morning, dress them up and take them to school. The only time I dropped them off the school was during ‘the first day of school.’
  • Book editing. This is one of my main objectives at the moment. I have to reorganize my chapters and do more editing. We will turn my manuscript into an interesting book. Instead of telling more about my work experiences, I will be writing more about my immigration, adjustments, and more. This will demand great focus and time.
  • Exchange students. When I decided to quit my cleaning job, I have a backup plan of keeping this as part-time. I just love working with exchange students because it challenged me from the very beginning.
  • Cooking. Although there’s a slight change in our income, I have to find ways on saving more money. Cooking is one way of doing it. We’re not big on eating out, though, but I’ll be preparing home cooked  meals everyday. Just like this morning I made pancakes for breakfast. Saving money on groceries is my lifetime goal, too!
  • Reading. I want to read at least two books a month. My plan is to finish reading one book within two weeks. Right now I’m reading a memoir, ‘Tis by Frank McCourt.
  • Outdoor/Exercising. Spending at least half an hour outside to do yardwork, playing with the girls, or walking is something I will enjoy doing. I walk four miles a day and if it’s raining, I’ll use our stationary bike at the basement. Staying inside the house all day is not something I’m committed to. Outdoor and exercising work together. So having some fresh air and appreciating nature are some things I will love doing.
  • Blogging. I love to write and read other blogs. My goal is to write at least three posts every week.
  • Cleaning. I want to help my husband to clean the house. Honestly, I’ve been putting off this task for so long but since I have time now in my hands, cleaning and home organizing are ideal goals.