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365 to 50 : Happy. Simple Life.

Happy. Simple. Life.

As I turn a new chapter (which for me is every morning), there are a lot of things I am truly thankful for.

From an awkward, shy and tomboyish girl from Paranaque who wanted to be a Benedictine nun to a blessed mother of four wonderful children, married to a very thoughtful man who loves me more than anything in the world;

Interesting. I was prepared to list down all the blessings I had in the past 10 years but my family seems to be the one important gift that drove everything I do. Nothing else mattered.

I'm lucky to be born to a family who would stop at anything to help one another.
I'm lucky to be married to a family who loves me no matter what.

Lucky. Something I never thought I was. But despite the challenges my family had been through, I am definitely thankful for being me.

Turning 49 drives people to review the past decade. Just like what I did 10 years ago, when I turned 39 (duh!)

So in that tradition, here's a recap:

  • Live a healthy life. I didn't turn totally organic, but I started reading the ingredients. Well, it's actually my husband who made sure I read the ingredients.

  • Exercise. I completed Tony Horton's Power 90 ( Regular and P90x series), Shaun T's Insanity workout, Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. An occasional yogini if there's such a thing.   Didn't get totally ripped but gave me enough confidence to own a few two piece bikini.  (Although I didn't really work out this past year, I just learned to embrace my flaws.)

  • Play. Bungee Jumped inside Manila Ocean Park. Ran the 5 mile race  in Long Branch's Beauty and the Beach. Braved the heights with NY Flying Trapeze. Had fun with pole dancing class. Hiked Vermont's Mt. Mansfield twice. Got over my fear of skiing (not totally, but getting better). Danced in the rain ( been doing that since I was a kid). Got recently hooked on Grey's Anatomy (started watching Season 1 a few weeks ago, and I'm now on Season 7).

  • Crumbcatchers. Two of my children graduated from College. The third attending Columbia University in the Fall and my youngest headed to  7th grade.

  • Faith. Not a regular participant at church, but everyday I thank God, knowing that He's got my back covered. I actually learned a lot from His Love. I can try to ignore Him, get mad, question life's detours and yet He will always love me.

  • Relationships. Met new friends, and it all started with a smile and a hello and friendships grow stronger because we all make time. I even got a hug from Amma, the hugging Saint!
  • Out of the box. Became a published author, conquered my  fear of speaking -- in public or in private, became very involved in a non-profit organization that supports equal access to justice, an "angel" to a few people, and a TV talk show host ( who knew?)

But as I approach the golden era, with it came hormonal changes. (yikes!)

Been on "Men on Pause" for 3 years: Failed the memory test which caused a short "brain tumor" and Alzheimer's scare, body changed from size 0 to size 4-6 depending on the month, happy Jen was turning into grumpy Jen.

With those very noticeable changes, my own Research Team (aka my husband), is finding ways to turn grumpy Jen to happy Jen.  Suzanne Somers' book, "Breakthrough" provides some guidance and the past couple of weeks have made a big difference. And of course, any breakthrough on my part will be shared on this blog! (so stay tuned!)

So what's next?

Wake up every morning with a smile.

Be thankful.

Let it be.

Continue to live a happy, simple life.

 Dream BIG and keep smiling. (Remember, BIG is a relative term. Only you can define your version of BIG)


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