Tuesday, June 26, 2012

To Be Ordinarily Extraordinary

Food for thought: There should be nothing "dakila" or extraordinary about being a good person. 

My Little People
It is what is naturally required of you as a decent human being to co-exist with your fellow creatures. It is supposed to be *the* normal. It is what you should be. Saying otherwise would imply that not being a good person is the norm and it takes extra effort to be good. Then again, as a sign of the times, being good is an extraordinary feat amidst all this negativity. That's so sad, isn't it? When we start out as pure innocent souls, we have to be exposed to what is bad, to "learn" to be good as we grow up. It turns out sometimes, that it's easier to be like everyone else than keep our inherent goodness intact. 

I think this is the biggest challenge as parents. When do we draw the line at teaching the kids what is not good while keeping their purity intact? You know, not giving them anything to need therapy for in the future. To risk potentially corrupting someone as innocent and trusting as a child just so you can be sure that they will survive in a cutthroat world...it really doesn't make sense. But it happens.

I really wish that the world we be a lot softer and full of round corners to minimize the bumps and scrapes. But we all know reality is just the opposite. We can only do our best, and then again only so much. Like I tell Oona, my four-year old little human, we can wish and wish for things we want but in the end, we have to do what we have to do!

I really can't shelter these girls from getting bumped and scraped as they navigate their growing up years, and I can't ensure that they'll only be surrounded by positive people and things all their lives. At the very least, I can do my best to equip them to deal with the bad stuff as best as possible. Let's face it, good people are getting harder and harder to come by and predators seem to be getting bolder and bolder. 

However, I'll *still* raise them as good people because that is what they should expect of themselves and others. That is what their normal should be. To still try to see the good, the bright, the beautiful, the sincere in everyone, in all situations, all the time. How to do that without falling into a pit of delusions, pretension and being taken for a rube is something I'll just have to hazard. Shifting gears at the drop of a hat shouldn't be too hard, I hope! 

For all else, I'll have them take up Aikido just so I can be sure they can land a good one should they ever be taken for dakilang fools that anyone can take advantage of. It's sad when just because you're nice makes you fair game.

Hay. Raising girls, so dang hard.

What do you guys think? Am I making sense or am I just a paranoid mom?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Thank God For My Little Girls

Whenever I feel depressed that the world seems to have forgotten my contributions to it and people I felt were my friends but end up betraying my faith, I am reminded that life isn't all that bad when my girls crowd me like they're doing now, in bed, sweetly sleeping.

Today I am a mother and a wife, but ten years ago, this was not the future I thought I would have. Having just come out from film school, I was working for my parents' advertising and production house. We made children's television programs but at first I was more involved with the advertising branch of the business. I really hadn't figured out what career direction I wanted to go and I was just in the middle of figuring out myself and owning my independence.

All I wanted then was to have a steady paycheck to pay rent and have something to put aside for weekend beach getaways, nights out and spas. Getting married was a nice romantic thought but we couldn't afford it yet. I don't think I was ready at that point either.

I think I was still hanging on to the great Art dream I had. I was reluctant to acknowledge that sometimes, talent had to be price-tagged properly (I never knew how to charge for freelance jobs) and marketing oneself, though sometimes distasteful to purists, is necessary for survival. So, I never really got anywhere much by status quo standards. No art show, no book, no film.

I did manage to accumulate a lot of geekiness by way of the post-production department though, where I ended up in. I edited, animated, did after-effects, sound, graphics and some directing. I even did voice overs for a pet show we produced. I was a one-woman post production team sometimes.

I was tired but I enjoyed myself. I was proud I could do what I did and I was mostly self taught.

Unwinding after three days of no sleep would find me at the bar where I would meet up with my best friend. At the time, she was still studying for her foreign service exams and us both being frazzled because of the stress, and broke because artist/entrepreneurs and government employees aren't paid much, we'd split a huge mug of discount beer and a pack of cigarettes, talking it out.

It seems a far cry from where I am now. But not one whit less fulfilling.

Where are you in your journey?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Insurance For Stay At Home Parents

Since the kids are growing up, I'm thinking it might be time to actually get life insurance policies. Especially since there are three of them now, I want to be sure that they'll be taken care of financially should anything untoward happens to me and/or RF.

Yes, me too, not just breadwinner hubby. Though hubby might have a bigger policy as the one who brings home the bacon, it's still advisable for stay-at-home me to have even a cheap term policy. Expenses and losses are still incurred when the primary caregiver (Me) unexpectedly ups and goes, right? And it would mean a great deal for me to know that I would still be able to provide a little comfort to the family I left behind.

So what to do? Research! The following are a few things I covered while reading up on life insurance. 

1. What coverage is applicable or preferable for me and my husband highly depends on our current status, health and other life factors affecting your decision.

2. How much or how big the policy we should take out depends on various factors like our age, the kids' ages, monthly expenses and other long-term variables like a college fund for the kids. I was lucky enough to find a good insurance calculator that can help flesh out just how much we need. I was pleasantly surprised that there's a lot of these online!

3. Insurance companies consider health factors. Being young and healthy gives a better payout. Giving up smoking and living a healthy lifestyle can give better rates.

4. Compare rates and policies pay off! Different insurance companies give different policies and not all offer the same things or prices. Some insurance policies can accommodate smokers, for example. Comparing rates through free quotations will give one a good idea about managing your budget along with the monthlies.

5. Read as much tips and ask as much questions as you can until you feel confident enough to make a decision. After all, nobody's in too much of a hurry. Making the wrong decision is as costly as having no policy at all!

I'm still not done studying our options and after we're done talking about it, we'll most probably go with a good, solid company to get our insurance from. As parents, we'll do anything to ensure our family's future, whether as a breadwinner or as the stay-at-home parent!