Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hurry hurry, slow down, hurry hurry!

That has to be the slogan/mantra/life philosophy of this country: speed up to slow down to speed up. The one thing I learned to appreciate in the Philippines was the pace of life, how despite the enormous burdens and incredibly taxing physical work and living conditions that most people there live with, they don't do anything at a very fast pace and thus experience some happiness and still seem to have a good time despite it all. Like my auntie, who has twelve children and five grand-children, worked hard all her life and has the leathered skin and tough hands to prove it, but still manages to be one of the sweetest, most serene people I know.

Things have been crazy for me and H. lately: car troubles; a not-serious (at least for us) accident we were 'involved' in the other night (I say 'involved' because I don't think we were at fault and we didn't even hit anything); I just got done helping to coordinate this event for a group I'm on the board of; work has given me a crapload of deadlines (including an unanticipated one this week that I'm miraculously going to be able to meet). Now that most of the craziness is dying down, I find myself moving into the 'slow down' mode of our national 'culture', if you can call it that. Really, I think it's a national sickness.

I want to learn how to be serene and calm and grounded despite all the madness that life throws at me. I'm tired of hurrying up to slow down, despite my addiction to activity and work and deadlines. I need to sit still. Of course, my meditation cushions have been steadily gathering dust in my closet for many months now, and there's a people of color sit I've been wanting to get to in Oakland, just a few blocks from my job! So there's something strong pulling me to resist the urge to sit, just sit, and be still. I need to move through that resistance and just do it. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Hobbies I've Had, Never Had

In my lifetime thusfar, I've had plenty of hobbies, some that may seem odd or ill-fitting my personality. Here are a few hobbies or interests I've had, many of which I no longer pursue:

-Kali (Filipino martial art)
-Meditation (always struggling to sit)
-Fiction writing
-Sticker-collecting (when I was a young girl)
-Bead-stringing and jewelry-making (when I worked at a bead store, I still have a crapload of beads)
-Salsa dancing (one of my favorite ways to release and relax)
-Hiking (I still try to go at least once a month)
-Jazz, ballet, tap, modern dance
-Gardening (in containers)
-Playing piano and guitar
-Yoga (still do it almost every day)

Then there are the hobbies and interests that I've kept waiting in the wings, so to speak, the things that I've always wanted to 'get into' but haven't gotten around to making part of my life. Not a coincidence, I don't think, that these are some of the more adventurous, outdoorsy, require-more-time-and-money-investment hobbies:

-Hang gliding
-Sea kayaking
-Playing electric bass

Someday, someday, I will get to one or all of these other as-yet-untouched hobbies. Just blogging to remind myself that they're just there, waiting for me, like promises.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Yes, We're Gettin' Hitched

Well, the truth is we're already more 'hitched' than many married couples...H. and I have been together for more than five years, have lived together for more than three of those years, and although we haven't gone to couples counseling or been officially married at City Hall, a chapel in Las Vegas or a nearby beach we've gone through a lot more ups, downs and life-changing moments than many couples who've made it to the altar already.

Maybe that's why when we first announced our plans to get married next year to family and friends, I wasn't super-thrilled about the news, didn't blush with that bride-to-be enthusiasm that so many people seemed to expect me to have. It's not that I'm not thrilled to be commemorating my love for H. with a ceremony and a party with all our friends and family. It's only partially because I feel ambivalent about marriage as an institution, fraught as it is with so many generations' worth of cultural baggage and strange societal expectations that have nothing to do with love and everything to do with perpetuating an insane economic and social system that I don't believe in. I think the real reason that I wasn't overenthused about our 'news' is that, in many ways, I feel married to H. already.

He is my best friend, closest confidante, and favorite person to be around, hands down. He has taught me so much about life and love and friendship and I know I've done the same for him. It sounds cliche, but it's true, he's helped me become a better person, and I know that I'm not the only person who's noticed this. I've never felt more spiritually and emotionally close to someone, although don't get me wrong, we have our 'off' moments to be sure. We fight, we threaten to leave (well, I do, I guess), we have our doubts about whether this relationship is going to work. But after all that, we always come back to each other, realizing how our fears and insecurities have gotten in the way of us recognizing what's really important: that we want to build a life and a family together that will carry both of us as well as our children-to-be, our respective families (soon-to-be one family) and our community of friends forward into a better and happier future.

We've been on that road for some time already, and I see our 'engagement' (it feels funny to say that word, especially since he didn't officially propose, we just decided as a couple to do this) and our upcoming wedding as just a ceremonial way to mark that H. and I have chosen this path together.

Lastly, I've finally gotten juiced about planning the big day--as some of you know I've organized my fair share of fundraising and other big events in recent years--so I'm feeling like the momentum is really starting to build. Wish us luck finding a ceremony and reception site, and let me know if you have any ideas about nice places.