Win-win Situation

Most of my friends are still single and I must admit I miss being one sometimes. But being married is a whole new different thing, and I love every moment of it. Whether you’re single or married, that season of life is a win-win situation. The craziness of singlehood is exciting while the mystery of married life is pure bliss. You read it right, being married also has its mysteries as you continuously discover new things about your husband, your child, and even yourself! 🙂 Similarly, being single is like living a life of random discovery—with all the time in your hands, you have the leisure of acquiring a new hobby, learning a new skill, travelling to a new place, and the list goes on. I’m not saying that you can’t do this when you’re married. Of course you can! The only difference is SPONTANEITY. When you’re single, you can do all these things in a snap. When you’re married, you have to plan with your family, making sure that your new hobby/road trip with friends will not interfere with your quality time with your family. Prioritizing becomes big in your vocabulary and time management becomes your most coveted skill.

Freedom is a big issue among single and married people. I must say that I had a blast being single for 28 years. I enjoyed the freedom of having my own time and spending my own money. Being with friends and family is just plain awesome and often insane (in a good way, of course). Good times just keep rollin’ when you’re single! When I became Mrs. Guerrero I discovered that there is a certain kind of freedom that comes with exclusivity, and it’s beautiful. There is freedom in sharing things with your husband that only the two of you can understand—there is freedom in that level of vulnerability. There is freedom in being yourself and not fearing rejection when you’re with a person who loves you regardless if you have sleep marks or a sleep-inducing morning breath. There is freedom in precious uncontrollable laughter that you share with your lifetime partner. There is freedom in exploring new things with the new roles you play, which in my case, as a wife and as a mother. It’s just a different kind of freedom!

Fulfilment is another issue that single and married people grapple with. When you’re single, your sense of fulfilment most of the time comes from your career. Thus, when you’re husband tells you to give up your job when you get married, your tendency is to negotiate and compromise all because you feel that you’re losing that which gives you fulfilment. I’m not trying to sound preachy and all but I must say that I only found fulfilment with my relationship with God. Knowing that there’s a God who loves you, who knows you by name, who cares for you so much to send His Son to die for you so that you can be with Him till eternity—that gave me the security and fulfilment I need.  Knowing that the same God forgives me, accepts me for who I am, and helps me to change for the better makes all the difference at how I viewed fulfilment. Single or married, I believe fulfilment comes from within. Expecting other people, things, and circumstances to fulfil you ends up in futility and frustration most of the time.

Fun is probably the most constant aspect of singlehood and married life. It’s undeniably there! Being single is often synonymous to a fun, carefree life. It’s fun to have lots of “me” time when you’re single—whether it’s going out with friends from dusk till dawn or just spending one whole day alone reading. Let me tell you a trade secret, being married is just as fun! Singles, don’t listen to horror stories of married couples out there. Each story is unique and you as a lead character in that story can make yours either fun or merely functional. Got it? Some families/couples just run based on responsibilities mechanically assigned to each member. Is it functioning as a unit? Yes. But where’s the fun in that? Being married is fun magnified a hundred times if you allow it. When you give allowances for each other and not fret over little things, when you celebrate small victories, when you laugh at each other, when you enjoy doing things together, and when you keep God in the center of your relationship—fun and ultimately, joy will resonate effortlessly in your household.

Whatever season of life you’re in right now, it’s most definitely a win-win situation. You’re not on the losing side if you’re single and you won’t be on the losing side when you get married. Take it from me. I’ve been on both sides of the fence and it’s not true that the other side is greener. They may be poles apart in a lot of aspects but each side is uniquely beautiful and worth staying in. 🙂

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It’s the SUPERHERO year (part 1)

Half of the year is almost over and the three movies I’ve watched so far were all superhero movies. In fact, last year my husband and I were already planning our date nights based on the release dates of Thor, Green Lantern, X-Men First Class, Captain America, and Transformers 3. And yes, we went as far as 2012 for the much-awaited Avengers movie. I think the last movie review I made was for 300, which was like eons ago. I know it’s pathetic, tell me about it. So this time, I want to be more up to date thus I’ll be doing three reviews in one go. 🙂

Okay, let me make this clear first, I AM A CAPTIVE AUDIENCE BY DESIGN. I get easily entertained. God just made me the easiest person to please, so to speak. On that note, it means a lot to me when I say that I wasn’t entertained by a certain movie. By now, you would’ve guessed which movie I’m talking about. Yes, it’s the overly hyped GREEN LANTERN movie. Man, talk about bland. Fine, I admit I was still entertained by Ryan Reynold’s funny lines and all but he’s the only one entertaining there! I think I can come up with a revised Green Lantern Oath based on the movie’s performance:

In worldwide release day, in box office night

No critic shall escape its sight

Let those who watch continuously writhe

Beware the failure of Green Lantern’s light

Can I cry now? 😦 After seeing Thor (which I will discuss in the next blog), my expectations for Green Lantern reached an all-time high. I mean, if Thor can be that good—for a character that’s not as popular—how much better can Green Lantern be, right? It should be excellent. Yes, DC, it should’ve been excellent but it was a far cry from that. For someone who has very little background of who Hal Jordan is, all I really wanted was to be entertained. While watching the movie, I find myself enjoying the popcorn more than the movie itself. It was a slow kill—slowly disappointing me as the movie dragged on. It spent 70% of the time dwelling on Hal’s human story than his superhero transformation and character progression. If I was disappointed, my husband was overwrought. He is a certified Green Lantern fan and a Geoff Johns (writer) follower. So he knows the storyline and all. He is like my personal graphic novel guru. He gave me a Green Lantern 101 crash course before the movie, which made me all the more excited. I guess I shouldn’t have asked hubby for that crash course, it made me expect a wild ride not a sickening boat ride. Oh well, on the bright side, I am more motivated now to read Green Lantern’s graphic novels and be really entertained! 🙂

So, what do I typically expect from a superhero movie? Lots of action (Green Lantern just made it to bare minimum), really cool special effects and CGI (average; Oa looks very dark; if the scene was taking place in the universe it should at least look grand but it was futuristically bland), noteworthy lines befitting superheroes reminiscent of Dark Knight (except for the oath, I didn’t catch anything memorable), a very effective antagonist (Parallax was merely a scary smoke; now I miss Casper, at least he’s cute), and a strong supporting cast (aside from Sinestro there’s no one else to complement Hal; the aliens were just too many and I wish they did more than just stand in a group and chant). Too bad, I really liked Ryan Reynolds for the role but he lacked the “attitude”. On the other hand, Blake Lively turned from a tough fighter pilot chick to a damsel in distress because she merely became a helpless love interest from the middle of the film up to the end. Although, I liked the part when she discovered that Green Lantern was Hal Jordan. Haha! Very natural acting on that one, Ms. Carol Ferris! It pains me to give a rating for this film. I guess I’ll give it 5 out of 10—for the effort, for the effective marketing hype, for Ryan Reynolds, and for the Krispy Kreme special doughnut that bore out of it.

Patient-Doctor Relationship: A Trust Issue

I visited my doctor the other day for my routine check up. As I entered her clinic, I was received with a familiar smile that made me feel at ease. It’s like I’m seeing a family member again. That’s what TRUST does to you. It makes you comfortable and safe with the person you trust.

Being under her care for 10 years, I’ve learned to trust her and the decisions she makes regarding my health. She also trusts me in a way that she expects me to follow her instructions—taking the right doses of medicine, having my laboratory tests done, showing up for follow-up check up, eating healthy, avoiding the sun, and the list goes on. It’s not easy taking care of a Lupus patient more so treating it. Just ask my husband and my mom. 🙂 It’s a complicated illness because it mimics other diseases. Very cunning, I must say. Just when you thought you’re healthy, your immune system attacks your organs. One book said that Lupus is simply “the body against itself”. In my own interpretation, my immune system is simply schizophrenic. It cannot distinguish reality from fantasy. The reality being that it should protect me instead of the fantasy that it should destroy me. With a complex illness like that, I have no choice but to trust the expertise of my doctor. She’s not perfect though. She made mistakes and some decisions that were not supposed to be done. But these mistakes made her even better in her management of my illness as the years go by.

As I am writing this, I have a couple of friends having trust issues with their doctors. One is actually a mom of a co-patient. Her daughter’s lab results are normal but she’s experiencing aches and pains. She’s questioning our doctor’s ability to diagnose. My other friend is facing a decision if she should have her leg amputated or not after having a major car accident. The doctor said that it should be done as soon as possible but as of the moment she’s still thinking about it.

I’ve always believed that our doctors are assigned by divine appointment. God equipped them to attend to our needs and bring healing through their competency in the field of medicine. I must say though that I didn’t have the best experience with doctors all the time. In my recent confinement last December, the doctor assigned to me was steroid happy. Meaning, she wanted to give me high doses of steroids immediately. It would’ve been okay if I wasn’t pregnant at that time. My real doctor was not affiliated to the hospital I was in so I was referred to a new one. Do I still think that it was divine appointment that I had that new doctor? Yes. Her aggressiveness in treating me made us consult another specialist who attended to my needs and balanced her impulsive prescriptions. That specialist even monitored my kidney after the operation. If not for her, we wouldn’t know that my real doctor has a colleague in the said hospital. I was able to transfer to his care with her permission. At the end of the day, things still fell in their proper places. God was still in full control of my situation.

I think the main issue about trust is the object of our trust. We can easily give trust but the question is who do we give it to? Entrusting your health to a stranger can be tough. I understand why the mom of my co-patient is having difficulty trusting our doctor. It’s her daughter that’s at stake and not some bystander. I understand my friend taking her time to mull things over. It’s her leg that’s at stake and not somebody else’s. If the object of our trust is someone who has a record of 100% success rate then trusting that person would be a piece of cake. But if we look at the limitations of our doctors then a lot of doubts will cloud our judgment.

We may come from different belief systems but in my personal experience TRUSTING GOD has been the best decision I made most especially regarding my health. Among all the areas in my life, my health has been the most unpredictable and life threatening. This is the reason why I needed to trust someone who is immovable, strong, unchanging, secure, and by all means perfect. That person is God and no one else. As I look back the past 13 years of my journey with Lupus, with 4 major relapses and minor ones in between, there were only two things that were constant—the imperfect me and my perfect God. He was and still is the sovereign, all-knowing Healer who faithfully sustains me. He gives me peace when doubts start looming in. He gives me strength as I undergo treatments. He sustains me while I’m under remission. He gives me courage to trust my doctors. He is the rock I lean on. He is the steadfast God that I trust completely.

A patient-doctor relationship is most certainly a trust issue. I may be a forever patient with an incurable disease but my relationship with my Doctor is one that is founded on trust that gets stronger as we face this journey together until such time that I am a patient no more. 🙂

I need to write

I’ve always wanted to have my own blog mainly because I NEED TO WRITE. I need to write regularly. I need to write spontaneously. I need to write freely.

I do keep a journal though but I think it’s not enough. There are so many words that need to be written, experiences that need to be shared, and thoughts that need to be expressed.

I’ve actually started a couple of blogs but I’ve been delinquent in maintaining them. I guess because I made those blogs all too specific. I created each blog for a particular area of my life. So in a way, I limited myself. Perhaps what I really need is a venue where I can write about anything and everything! From family to favorites to other frivolities, I need to write them all in one place at any given time.

So here it is! A blog that I can call my EVERY NOOK AND CRANNY. A blog about EVERYTHING I want to write about! I’m getting all too excited right now just thinking about the varied topics I can write here! 🙂 Ahh, I miss this. I miss writing. I miss expressing myself in words.

After taking a leave from writing for a long while, I realized that I need to put these thoughts back to life, black and white, in whatever form or genre. I think I’m off to a good start with this and I’m hoping to get this running for a very long time. 🙂

Ivy, it’s time to let the words flow, again. 🙂