Is it tomorrow yet?

By Charm Moreto Damon

 

Is it tomorrow yet?

Because today, I am flabbergasted by the inexplicably terrible news,

News that I only think occurs in someone’s imagination,

But I was wrong, because all of this is true, the country has lost many lives too soon.

 

I am angry, I am confused, I am sad, and I have cried,

Because today, I am flabbergasted by the inexplicably terrible news,

I am a parent, but not of the angels that were taken from theirs,

So I could only imagine what they feel and think, if someone so distant like me could feel so hurt and lost.

 

They were our children, and they were our teachers, no less,

But today, I am flabbergasted by the inexplicably terrible news,

How, oh why, could anyone think that taking others and himself is the answer to his pain?

And I could only imagine what his parents feel and think, if someone so distant like me could also feel so hurt and lost.

 

Is it tomorrow yet?

Because today, the country is mourning,

The country and every heart is mourning,

Because maybe tomorrow there is less pain and crying.

 

But tomorrow is too far away,

Today is another day, another day to mourn, to smile, to hug and to forgive,

Today, we can choose what the day will be, to choose to celebrate lives,

Lives that were lost, and lives that still are.

 

Tomorrow and today, we will not forget the angels and heroes taken from us,

And today and tomorrow, let us celebrate the angels and heroes that are still here with us,

Because waiting for tomorrow may be one second too late,

To let our loved ones and ourselves know that they are loved,

That we are loved.

That you are loved.

 

About the Author: Charm Moreto Damon is a mother, a TESOL professional and a freelance editor.  She graduated from the University of the Philippines, and pursued graduate studies at the Ohio State University, where she also taught academic writing and research to international students.  She is currently a stay-at-home-mom, and keeps herself busy with family, friends, and editorial work.   She writes for amsdaily.net regularly. She may be contacted at charm.damon@gmail.com.

Look at the bright side?

By Charm Moreto Damon

 

“Look at the bright side” – easy to say, hard to obey, as they say.

 

But for at least one day this month, maybe we could all join forces in seeing the beauty in no-too-encouraging events and people in our lives today. Who would have thought that there is actually a “Look At The Bright Side Day” celebrated every 21st of December? I, for one, was not aware of this day dedicated to optimism.  Potentially, December could very well be the month when individuals become exponentially stressed as the Holiday season begins, the year ends, but many concerns are not necessarily addressed.

 

December also seems to be the time when many of us, with a day or two away from our daily routines, are able to reflect on how the current year has been to us, and vice versa, and sometimes we realize that certain personal goals that we set in January have only been partially met or not at all.  And for some of us, we might have listed a few expectations that we’d like others to have met during the year, but still have not been met.  And the list of stress-inducers at year-end continues…

 

However, if we do look at the bright side of things, we may come to realize that we are not the only ones being stressed out about a million things today – others are too, and that their concerns may in fact be bigger than ours.  Most importantly, at least I’d like to believe so, little and big concerns sort themselves out, in their own time.  This is not to say, however, that we should just sit and watch things happen to us, but that we just need to let life live, cherish people and experiences (not possessions), and not rush things, even if we live among a plethora of “instants” surrounding us today.

 

So moving on with looking at the bright side of things, I pledge to ignore concerns and fears that I have today, and instead look forward to cherishing:

  1. Afternoon snack time with my children when they wake up from their nap today.
  2. My 4th wedding anniversary dinner date with my ever so loving, supportive and funny husband.
  3. Christmas Eve family party on the 24th.
  4. The smiles, oohhhs and ahhhs as my children open presents from our many, many Santas.
  5. Another year of reading and writing for amsdaily.net, and more actively connecting with its contributors and readers.

 

And did I say I needed to limit myself to 5, only because I know I could list a hundred more now that I’ve put on my optimism hat? Why not try it tonight, tomorrow or just on the 21st? I bet you’ll have a few more, as we all look at the brighter side of things.

 

Happy “Optimisting!”

 

About the Author: Charm Moreto Damon is a mother, a TESOL professional and a freelance editor.  She graduated from the University of the Philippines, and pursued graduate studies at the Ohio State University, where she also taught academic writing and research to international students.  She is currently a stay-at-home-mom, and keeps herself busy with family, friends, and editorial work.   She writes for amsdaily.net regularly. She may be contacted at charm.damon@gmail.com.

Awaiting Christmas with German Liege Waffles

By Charm Moreto Damon

Giving thanks day is over (although gratitude is year round), and many of us are now excitedly preparing for Christmas in our own special ways.  Today, I woke up to three big smiles and:

 

2 cups all purpose flour

1 ½ cups whole-wheat flour

1 packet active rise dry yeast

1/3 cup milk

2 eggs

1 cup pearl OR granulated sugar

2  teaspoons vanilla

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon (add more or less for desired taste)

½ teaspoon ground all spice (add more or less for desired taste)

a dash of ground nutmeg and

a half can pureed pumpkin

½ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

These are German liege waffle ingredients I used for a special fall waffle recipe I tried for the first time as part of our family’s Christmas countdown tradition.  I’ve always made regular liege waffles, but to welcome the official Christmas celebration in our household, I thought I’d try adding pumpkin to the traditional recipe.

With two extra helping hands from my son as he stood on a step stool to reach the kitchen counter, here are the steps to some delicious pumpkin liege waffles:

 

  1. Warm milk and dilute yeast in it.
  2. Combine milk and yeast mixture with all ingredients except sugar until mixed well.
  3. Let dough rise for 30-45 minutes. I particularly used this time to clean up my flour covered son and kitchen floor. J
  4. After the dough has risen, combine with sugar (and optional chocolate chips).
  5. Cook in a waffle maker for approximately 2-3 minutes.
  6. Enjoy with family and friends, whipped cream (syrup optional), coffee or tea, and lots of milk and napkins for the little ones if you add chocolate chips. 

 

What other special Christmas countdown family traditions do you have?  It may be getting a fresh tree and decorating it, eating brunch at your favorite diner, shopping for presents on Black Friday, or watching Christmas movie marathons, what matters is you are able to spend them with loved ones and realizing in your own way the meaning of Christmas and the holiday season.

 

 

Specific Gratitudes – iVersion

 


By Charm M. Damon

 

Last week, I wrote about a daily gratitude exercise, and I am hoping that my article has encouraged you to dedicate a few moments each day to make a short or long list ofgratitudes.” As I make a mental list each day, I noticed that I’ve been listing more and more specific gratitudesinstead of simply being thankful for general and abstract needs such as health, family, happiness, etc.  It is not to say that gratitude for these basic needs is not important, but just like prayers, I realized, gratitudes should also be specific.  Here are some of the specific things I was grateful for the past week.

 

1.

A warm shower especially as the weather starts getting cold.

2.

The ability to walk up and down the stairs with a 22 pound toddler on my hip multiple times a day in our new home.

3.

The quiet and the chance to reflect and rest while my two kids nap.

4.

The sound of the garage door going up at 5 o’clock, knowing that my husband has arrived home safely from work.

5.

The ability to help and provide a new friend with information she needed.

 

And the list goes on.  

 

As I reflect on specific gratitudes, I am also reminded ofhow children utter them more often than I realize.  I can’t remember the last time I’ve heard a child say he is thankful for good health and nourishment. I could say, though, that early this week, I heard my son saying that his cough will get better because he has been to the doctor’s, and that he loved that we had lunch at Chic-fil-A, his favorite place to eat.  Hencesometimes utteringspecific gratitudes don’t necessarily have to be explicit proclamations of things and people we are thankful for, but they could also just be positive acknowledgement of what we have, and how they make our lives better.

 

What’s more important is our ability and willingness to take the time to recognize small and big gifts that come our way, and utter our own versions of specific gratitudesto remind us that we are blessed in so many, many ways.And whatever approach to thankfulness you take is what will help you create a lifestyle of gratitude, the lifestyle, as I mentioned last week, that helps you attract even more blessings everyday.

 

This weekend, as you continue our gratitude exercise,what’s your specific gratitude “iVersion?”

Thank you! Salamat Po! Danke! Kub Khun Kha! Arigato! Merci!

Photo of Shem-shem Pablo

By Charm Moreto Damon

 

Halloween is over, and it is now November.  As we all await the next big holiday this month, Thanksgiving, I first want to say “Thank you, thank you!” to all of you for supporting amsdaily.net, and reading the articles I share with you on Fridays.  I also appreciate the wonderful and encouraging comments from many of you.

Second, I thought today might be the perfect day to begin reflecting about the people and things we are grateful for in life instead of just doing so on Thanksgiving Day or eve. I am sure this is not the first time anyone is doing this, but I’d like to request that you join me beginning today in celebrating the gratitude month of November by proclaiming (aloud or silently) daily one or two things, big and small, you are thankful for in life.

The main goal of this exercise is to remind ourselves, especially on trying days, that we are showered with endless blessings, and that we are equipped with hope and chance each day we wake up to create better versions of ourselves.  And on days that you just can’t find a single “gratitude,” remember that you, yourself, are a blessing to someone.

 

I’ll start.

Today, I am especially grateful for:

  1. 1.       Moving boxes and
  2. 2.       Edy’s Rocky Road ice cream

These may be mundane “gratitudes” for others, but for me, with today’s demands, these are what helped me perform my duties as a wife, a mom and a friend with love and a smile. 

 

So, today and each day of the month, why not try to reflect on (and maybe share with us) what you are grateful for? And as we become used to proclaiming daily “gratitudes,” such proclamations might actually become part of our life – a lifestyle that not only reminds us of good things in life, but also one that attracts the greatest blessings and individuals we could ever imagine.

 

 About the Author: Charm Moreto Damon is a mother, a TESOL professional and a freelance editor.  She graduated from the University of the Philippines, and pursued graduate studies at the Ohio State University, where she also taught academic writing and research to international students.  She is currently a stay-at-home-mom, and keeps herself busy with family, friends, and editorial work.   She may be contacted at charm.damon@gmail.com.