Anna Santos
Few years ago, my life hits the rock-hard bottom. An avalanche of problems came snowballing one after the other, and I could not even talked about it, more so blogged it. I am perhaps too proud of success that made my pride got stuck up there refusing to bow down accepting defeat. My marriage, my kids, our finances, my parents and our properties, everything was a mess. Worst, I mess around too. The little rebel in me arises once again to wreck until I get what I want.

I don’t want to brag but I never had problems I can’t resolve in the past, everything had been spoon-fed. God's been good to me always. If to gauge the level of difficulty, the trials He had given me was easy, according to some. And I grumbled on the easy ones too; like not hitting the passing marks, or blocked from competing in the prestigious music festival, or heart broken by someone and thinking I’m going to die from heartache. Recalling those, I can't help laughing how shallow my tears were.

In this game of life, my challenges nowadays are two steps higher. But I never complained “why me?” There are more people who have greater problems than I have right now. Indeed it's strange to have lost the real laughter, or joke about the funny things in life, or call a friend anytime anywhere to just have fun with. It seems like I have no right for fun and laughter once I had decided to take responsibility. It has long deserted me and the world became stiff as mature problems came to face upfront. Problems you just can't run away from, not even running as far as Manila. We can’t remain as a child, now that we have children of my own.

When I dwell on these negative emotions and mortify myself inside my room, I am allowing the circumstances to pull me down. Hence, I've got to move on from this life’s harsher adversaries. No one knows I have come to this battle untrained, yet can I just retreat or quit? Nope. Quitting is  a far-fetched reality. As we grow, our challenges transform to deal with far heavy situations than grades, competitions and puppy love. Life is not a computer game where we press marriage ‘undo’ or the kids ‘delete’, nor change our parents when they have failed us.

Sometimes, it takes time to understand why I was given such difficult task, or why I have to meet and deal with difficult people. But I realized in time that everything happens for a reason. I don’t usually have those  “when it rains, it pours” moment, but I learned my lesson well. When God closes the door, the next one that opens is always much better and is worth the wait. It amazes me how things just fall into place right when I needed it. When I am at my wits end trying to meet all ends, an opportunity came knocking assuring me that everything will be alright. Suddenly I won’t have to play hard on myself anymore. Everything will be provided for if we believe.
Anna Santos
I met an old friend from 25 years ago. I have never heard of him since the time I left him crushed and upset. No closure. Nothing. I have chosen my academics over him without much explanation and transferred to a more prestigious catholic-run all-girls school. It was perhaps the most brutal way i have ever done to an innocent man who might believed of love. High school romance was said to be just puppy love, nothing but curiosity. I wondered how things was for him after I left.

When I was a teen-ager, I love being rescued from a tormented relationship, I waited for somebody to rescue me from pain deceit and jealousy, only to find out I’m on the same mess again that needs another rescuing. And it goes on and on till my knight in shining armor arrived to bring me to the altar of forevermore.

So its all about choices. In the end, what matters are the choices we made years back, and the change that made us a better and stronger person. Somehow have I hurt someone in the process of choosing to let go, I hope I am forgiven as I have now forgiven those who have hurt me and destroyed my belief in loving..
Anna Santos

           What's important in life is that we've met people along the way, enjoyed their company, made memories, and moved on. That when we grow old, reminiscing in our rocking chair, we smile and remember that we've touched each others lives one fine day and made us a better person. And that’s you to me.

Choices…options…alternatives… recourse…
Does it matter in the end?
Every now and then I am torn between two options.  Love versus career. Freedom versus commitment. Money versus family . Generalist versus specialist. And with this, every decision entails a sacrifice.

Why can’t I have both?.

Sounds childish, really. And selfish too. My friends think I seem to appear overindulge in that bratty side of me, though I’m not a spoiled bitch. They knew I am lucky to have a mom&dad-to-the-rescue type of family, but they also knew that sometimes luck is not just on my side. That’s how fair God is amid all the world’s biased disposition. He does not give most all at once, at least to me.

It only takes a matter of time to realize why things don’t turn out the way we wished for. Or why prayers have been left unanswered or delayed. And only to find out later that it is essential in sharpening our skills hence becoming a better person. We have been so hard on ourselves, trying over and over, just to be the best of the best. We have been chasing this race longer than we think,  always competing for recognition and prestige, which only matters to those who control the standard.

Honestly, I might grow tired of this forward-always-onward pace. Was it really worth it working our buts off upgrading to obtain peer acceptance into a certain society? Career-wise perhaps yes, but its never an assurance. We are always slaves of time and circumstances. There’s no easy way to success, no short cut.

In the end, ruminating in our twilight years,  as quoted by many, what matters is how well we lived our lives. It is not measured by how popular we are, how many titles we had, and how many sub-specialties we placed on our wall board. It is suffice to say that life would  have better meaning if we partake in someone's struggles along the way, put a smile in their faces, and touched their lives.  And lastly, to me, what matters in the end is how well my children have become, how good I am as a wife to my husband, how well my husband loved me, how I am as a sister, a daughter and a friend.

Our short stay in this world is a reflection of ourselves, not of how far we have achieved, but of how less we have regrets in our life, in the end.
Anna Santos
New folder

It’s different this time, I said to myself. I have to bear my weight upon rising from my bed, wary of that cramps that goes along with these stretching muscles, slowly walking, gasping a breath every time, blood sugar rising.  What had just happened? Perhaps age has come to terms with reality, complications suddenly appear when you least expect it. And no matter how I tried to conceal, it’s already here. My standing mirror announced I'm a hippo, lazy and big. I was feeling grouchy that morning after the sonogram confirmation. I am pregnant. And yes, it’s a baby boy, still a boy, XY.  No matter how much I insisted with my OB-sonologist that this might be a girl, he would always say he's 97% sure and never been wrong so far.

I thought another baby will do, but seriously, three boys?? Sooner than a flash of lighting, anxiety hits me. I went from a happy pregnant into an anxious preggy. A sudden shift of hormones momentarily after gender identification. My two handsome sons are uniquely mischievous that I’ve tried many ways to neutralize their playful naughtiness.Why wouldn't I be anxious? Boxing and wrestling are their favorite game, bruises and head bumps as the usual endpoint for crying, ice packs as our main first-aid rescue, and the most overused cry for help is "Mamaaaaaaa!". With my little boys, they stormed our house from their rough play,  toys destroyed soon after playthings landed into their hands, furniture acquiring multiple stab wounds, TV screens with lacerations and walls doodled with crayons guiltless and proud of their undefined graffiti. Our home decors and interior designs  became fully revised and redecorated.

And yet, our house will never be a home without my sons. I will not exchange the glory of their laughter, nor the awesomeness of their unique talents, over classy unscathed furniture.  Material things can never replace the happiness I see over their twinkling eyes as they grow and venture in their own way. It’s a place of bliss at the epicenter of a cluttered messy home. It’s a heavenly feeling that belonged to me in a paradise that I can never explain to those who cannot bear a child.

I know I’m just creating my own dilemma by worrying how to raise boys. But who wouldn't be? Drugs, guns and sex looms from highly acceptable immorality  in this changing norms of the present society . So I told myself quite positively, to stop worrying and whining, self-convincing that I'll be fine raising these three boys into responsible adults. The strength of prayers combined with a mother’s will drives a power to guide kids into the proper direction. Patting my back, I repeatedly muttered, "I can do this".

Of course, this wouldn't be possible without my husband's encouraging and optimistic aura, the one responsible for these boys to appear in our lives. He bragged that moms who raised boys looked younger than their spouse, because sons tend to love their mom so much. And so whenever I get cranky looking over my inflated body after months of sticking it out literally, I asked him "Nakakita ka na ba ng seksing buntis?" (Had you ever seen a sexy pregnant lady?), he simply replied "I see her everyday".

Smiling to myself, I know some women are envious out there. Wouldn't it be nice to be surrounded and loved by boys?

Hence, starting at that moment, I prefer to be grateful. If this is 97% boy, I’ll let go of that 3% chance.  Our contentment and happiness depends on how we see and bear the challenges that God gave us. That's how I should be living my life.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed.





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