10 Recipes I Learned In London

Living in London for more than two years now had taught me a lot of things about myself and in life. I can say that this is really an independent living. It’s in a different country, different continent and away from my comfort zone. And this is one of the best decisions or experience I had made in my life so far. Living far away from my family has taught me a lot of things about life. It widens my perspective and exposed me to a lot of wonderful things at work, about managing people (as seen from my manager on how she handles her people) – one thing that inspires me and that what I’ll do when the time comes that I will need to go back to the Philippines.

Aside from budgeting, time management, knowing my priorities, doing household chores (like laundry, doing my grocery, cleaning my room, throwing my garbage, ironing my clothes, organizing my room) and setting aside one day during my days off to do all of them. Because the last thing I want to see after a tiring shift from the hospital is a messy, dirty and disorganized room. So I always dedicate one day to do all the household chores. And knowing me, I am a homebody. I like staying at home, reading books, writing blogs, shooting videos for my vlog and just relaxing in my room. That’s why a tidy room is really important to me.

Aside from becoming responsible in organizing my room, another thing that I learned from living independently in the UK is learning how to cook using the oven. Yes, 90% of the time I use the oven to cook my food. Because when cooking chicken, instead of adding oil to fry the chicken, when I roast it in the oven, the oil is being extracted from the chicken and pork and when I eat them, I separate the oil and discard it.

One more thing, the food is healthier, more delicious and so much cheaper when you cook it at home. Because one meal costs £5 (Php 354) in the hospital’s cafeteria, or if you will order a pizza in Domino’s, it will cost £12 (Php 828), if you will eat in a fine dining restaurant, it usually costs £30 (Php 2,070). I think of how much I could save if I do a grocery of £20  (Php 1,380) which will last me a week. That £20 grocery already has fruits, coffee, bread, milk, vegetables and meat/fish. I rarely buy chips or crisps, ice cream, dessert or sweet cakes, I only do when I crave but it’s very very rare. I do not buy chocolates because I’m not a fan of sweets. I only eat chocolates whenever a patient gives chocolates to the ward and if it’s opened in the nurse station, I grab one, or two or three pieces which gives me glucose during a tiring long day shift.

So these are the dishes that I was able to cook in the past 2 years and I am posting it here to remind myself, that if the time comes that I will feel lazy to cook or if I can’t think of anything to cook anymore, I can say, “Hey! You can cook. Try cooking them again!”

These are some of the dishes I cooked or I learned to cook here in the UK.

1.Chili garlic praws with asparagus – I brought this in the Hen Party (Bridal Shower) of my colleague 2 weeks ago. I got this recipe from the Youtube Channel of @HungreeCat, a Filipina Youtuber (please check out her Youtube Channel). This is very easy to cook and so healthy.

2. Chicken Tinola with Sweet Corn

Back in the Philippines, I have been cooking Tinola but when I watched the Youtube Channel of Judy Ann Santos, she added Sweet Corn in her Tinola and it complements with the soup, it’s so delicious. I used Spinach leaves for the greens. So nice to have this hot soup during winter season.

3. Roasted pork shoulder with vegetables

Not really a fan of pork meat because it’s not tender (not soft) to chew. But I used the pork after a day and cooked it with squash and beans. I made ginisang kalabasa with bagoong.

From this….

Into this…

I like eating vegetables.

3. Baked salmon, asparagus with mediterranean rice

I like salmon as it tastes so healthy to eat. I sprinkled salt, pepper, lemon juice and added olive oil to the salmon and baked it for 20 to 25 mins. Then I wrapped the asparagus with bacon / pancetta, sprinkled it with salt and pepper to taste and baked it on the same oven for 5 to 10 mins.

For the mediterranean rice, it’s pre-packed. I bought it in the grocery store, Aldi. It’s cooked, seasoned and a combination of wheat beans, quinoa and some seasonings. I just warm it in the microwave for 2 minutes. It’s so healthy.

4.Wrap ala Pret-A-Manger

This is inspired by the wrap that I ate in the cafe called, Pret-A-Manger. I searched online for the recipe and I found this. This isn’t exactly the cafe’s recipe but it tastes almost the same. I bought a wrap, then added baked chicken, cheese, red beans, corn, tomato sauce and coriander leaves. Then I folded the wrap into four. I grilled the wrap in my griller for 5 minutes just to warm it and eat it right away. It’s so delicious!

5. Sweet Style Spaghetti

This is what the Filipinos like in a spaghetti, a sweet sauce. I used minced pork, sauteed it with onion and garlic, placed spaghetti sauce and added white sugar. Put it in a cooked al-dente spaghetti noodles and then topped with cheese. As easy as that.

6. Vegetable Okoy

One time, I bought a squash and I only used half of it. I wondered what to do with the remaining half. I searched on Youtube and found the recipe of Okoy. I’ve been craving of this dish at that time and for it to be dipped in a vinegar with chili sauce. I shredded the squash and because i like eating vegetables, I also added shredded green beans, I mixed flour, eggs and sprinkled with salt and pepper to taste. Fried it and it turned out to be vegetable okoy. I dipped it in vinegar with chili sauce, just how I wanted it to be.

7. Crab in Oyster Sauce

I now forgot how I cooked this. But what I can remember is that I boiled the crab using Sprite to make the crab taste sweet. Then I made the sauce. I sauteed garlic, onion, ginger, added oyster sauce, soy sauce and a little bit of salt, pepper, and sugar to neutralize the taste. I transferred the crab in the same pan and cooked for another 5 to 10 mins.

8. Chicken and mushroom casserole

I learned this dish from watching the Youtube Channel, Natasha’s kitchen. This is so creamy and delicious, something that you can bring to a friend’s party or serve during a special occasion at home.

For the step by step cooking, here’s the video in her Youtube Channel. Guys, try it. It’s very easy to make but absolutely delicious.

9. Baking a Banana Bread

I learned the easy recipe of a moist and easy Banana Bread of Sadia from Pick-Up Limes. Sadia is vegan, so all the ingredients from this banana bread is plant based. And it’s one of the most delicious banana bread I’ve eaten. If you want to know the recipe, check out Pick-up Limes in Youtube and searched Vegan Banana bread.

10. Baking a muffin

And so, I turned the banana bread into muffin. Yes, it’s the same exact recipe. The only difference is that I placed the mixture into the muffin mold.

These are some of the dishes I learned to cook here in London. Dishes that I don’t want to forget. I want to cook this for my family in the Philippines and for my future family. Home-cooked meal is still the best. The best bonding time with the family is eating delicious food at home.

As you noticed, I learned the majority of these recipes from watching Youtube. My favourite past time is watching Youtube videos about cooking, personal vlogs, inspirational and motivational talks. I have learned a lot from watching Youtube and I think Youtube is a great platform to share ideas like recipes, life experiences, to inspire, influence and motivate a person to learn something new that can be applied in real life.

More dishes to share in the part 2 of this blog post.

Have a great day! I need to rest now for I have work later, a night shift. Bye!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Joy of Being a Nurse

I came home today from a long day shift and it was a pretty good day. I will be back tomorrow so this is just a quick blog post.

I realised earlier that being a nurse in the UK is like being a mother to your patients. I don’t know but this is just my opinion. Eventhough these patients are way older and are considered elderly, I felt like during the shift, I was their mother. It’s because it is us, nurses, who are looking after their overall needs because family members are not allowed to stay overnight at the patient’s bedside. There’s just no space for them to stay in and the bedside is not designed for that. They are only allowed to stay in overnight if the patient is near the end of life.

For the rest of the patients, they are there alone and their family or friends only visit them during the day. So for most of the time, it is us whom they can ask for their needs. So earlier, I felt like I was the mother of my 8 patients, 8 gentlemen ageing from 50s to 90s. Me and the health care assistant that I work with were the ones prompting the patients to do their activities of daily living such as eating, taking medications, elimination and washing and dressing. What’s special with being a nurse in the ward is that you are the go-to person of the patients if they have problems, concerns or if somethings’s bothering them. Pretty much like a mother to her children isn’t?

And these patients are at their most vulnerable state. Imagine how it feels like to be unwell. We get emotional, we cry, we get scared, we feel anxious and think about it if your family member is not there to comfort you. So that is also one of our roles. We explore our patient’s feelings, we ask how they are doing, we ask if they are in pain, etc. These people are at their most raw state. They can be funny a lot of times, they can be grumpy, they get agitated, they get confused and delirious, different emotions and state and I think the key for us nurses to be able to cope with the stressors of our job is to have a strong mind and heart. Not in the sense that you harden your heart or yourself to be able to survive your day. It is about being calm and not losing yourself if you are having a bad day and yet, still maintaining your joyful and kind hearted personality for your patients.

Because as a patient, having an unkind nurse is the last thing that you want to have. When a patient got angry or when you are shouted at, you shouldn’t take it personally but understand that maybe that patient is going through a hard time coping up with his condition. Othertimes, when you appear foolish in front of a doctor or a patient because you failed to read what’s on the documentation. That’s okay… The next time, you will make it a habit to read notes and you won’t assume anymore.

For the longest time, I have been thinking why I took up nursing as my course in college. Aside from the fact that it was suggested by my mother as I cannot decide which course to take when I was in high school, I’ve no other reason why I just did it. I followed the suggestion of my mother because I respect and honor her. It was hard during the years I was in college as I was struggling to pass this course. In the beginning, I have doubted if this is really the career that is meant for me.

Looking back, I am so glad I have chosen this course and that I have followed the advice of my mother. Truly, mother knows best. I couldn’t imagine myself doing any other job in the world. Maybe I can teach in the future, but I love that my foundation was based in nursing. I had tried to work in a fast food chain, call center, insurance and bank industry in the past but working as a nurse has been my most enjoyable and most fulfilling job so far. I am enjoying every shift and I look forward to going to work.

Here is a picture with my mother when I graduated nursing back in 2010. Young people, it pays to listen to our parents because we need their guidance as we go through life eventhough we are now young adults. They only want the best for us and by persevering in our studies or work means that we are looking at the bigger picture. When you look back at life you will say, “I am so glad I have followed my parents, I am so glad I waited, I am so glad I did not give up.” You will have less or no regrets at all.

 

 

Just want to express my thoughts

Hi! I just wanna do a quick blog post. I arrived in my flat at around 8pm from a long day shift and I was the nurse-in-charge of that shift. Right now, I was still absorbing what has happened earlier with all the queries from the relatives. They want to speak to the doctors, which is hard because we do not have the team of doctors and consultants in the ward during weekends, what we have are on-call doctors, the Discharge Registrar who are only seeing the patients that are for discharge and the Senior House Officer who are reviewing patients that are on their list. So for other patients, they won’t be seen unless they become unwell.

Being in-charge means you get to receive all complaints from the patients, relatives and you receive the order from the doctors, orders that need to be urgently done. You need to know everything that is happening in the ward.

I suddenly compare this present self of mine to my previous self back when I was in the Philippines. I can say that I became more patient, more understanding, more compassionate and I guess a kinder, better person that I was before? Do you agree?

Being a nurse in the UK entails a lot of work dealing not only with the medical and nursing intervention but also with the social issues of the patients. For example, if there’s a vulnerable adult patient that is living with an abusive family member, we cannot just discharge the patient home if she becomes medically fit for discharge. We need to raise a safeguarding case and alert the social worker in the community and we cannot go ahead with the discharge unless the safeguarding case has been closed or has already been sorted out.

You cannot judge the patient if he is making an unwise decision regarding his treatment if the patient has been proven to have a capacity to make a decision for himself. We can only understand where they are coming from, we think about their situation.

I’ve done a lot of conversation with the patient’s relatives today. I took the guts to speak to them eventhough I don’t know what to say or what to respond. I realised that sometimes, they only want to express their feelings about the treatment and they want someone to talk to, to listen to and someone who will escalate their concerns if it have to.

Back to my old self in the Philippines, this is something I never thought I can do. To finally have the courage to take on the role that entails a lot of talking, and conversing, relaying, not in my primary language but in my second language which is English. It’s a reality that I had to face when I decided to courageously apply as a nurse in the UK.

I’ve done it in my neutral accent. I don’t have a British accent because it’s so hard and it takes a lot of effort and it’s so awkward to sound like it. Speaking in English is already an effort, speaking with a British accent adds more to it. So no, I am using and speaking English in my neutral Filipino accent.

Sometimes I stutter, have incorrect grammar, ran out of words to say and cannot express thoughts into words. It takes times though. But what’s amazing with the British is that if you cannot express your thoughts into words and you’re still thinking of how to translate your concerns into words, sometimes they get what you mean right away and they are the one who says what it is. You just have to clarify and add more of what you want to tell them. Grammar and spelling don’t need to be superb, for as long as you are able to express your ideas and are able to converse, it’s fine.

One of the character traits that I admire to my British colleagues is that they are very polite. They are very professional to talk to and I haven’t seen any of them getting angry and raising their voice.

But the flipside is, I guess working in the hospital anywhere in the UK is really a hard work. It is so busy and there’s a lot of pressure in our job.

Sorry, I am now blabbering. I jump from one topic to another. I need to sleep now, it’s 23:46. Tomorrow’s Sunday, I will attend the mass in St. Joseph’s Church at 9.30am and take a rest physically and mentally. Life’s not just work.

On my pajamas now. Good night!

A day in my life

Happy Tuesday!

Today is my day off, I get up from the bed before 11am. Not really what I was planning to do the night before as I plan to wake up at 8am. But I told myself, I shouldn’t be too harsh on myself because it’s my day off, I allowed myself to snooze for another 2 hours. But there’s another side of me that wants this day to be productive that’s why I was aiming to get up at 8am. Next time, I’ll try to sleep early so that I can wake up early on my day off.

I was excited to wake up because I want to prepare an English breakfast. Having the braces for 9 months now, there were many food that I was not able to eat and those are the hard textured fried and crispy chicken and pork, etc. Since it’s my day off, I plan to eat my most favourite meal of the day and take time to eat without rushing. And this is what I cooked. Personally, I love English breakfast. From time to time, I indulge myself to this. However, when I have work my breakfast is either porridge with banana, peanut butter, honey and milk with coffee, or avocado in toast with coffee.

After eating my branch (breakfast / lunch) at 12.00, I read a book about baking and I thought why did I stop learning and trying to bake. When I was reading the book, I realised the ingredients aren’t a lot and most of them I have already. There’s the sponge cake with fresh fruits that I’ve been planning to bake eversince and I found it on the book and it doesn’t look hard to make. I think I should try to bake again and take advantage of the oven in our kitchen.

I have a scheduled training in the afternoon from 15.00 to 16.00 about Clinical Fire Safety which is a yearly training conducted to refresh us employees on how we can prevent fire in the workplace and home as well and what to do in case of fire. It’s a very helpful training as it gives us clear instructions on what to do and the importance of fire doors and compartmentalizing the fire to prevent the fire to spread.

After the training in the Education Centre, I headed to Stenhouse library (the library in our hospital) and returned the book that I borrowed weeks before. The title of the book is “Less is More” by Dominique Bertolucci. This is one of my favourite books that I borrowed from the hospital’s library which is in the Mental health and Well being section. Our hospital nourishes our mental health and well being by creating a section of this in the library and by offering workshops. The book displays a quote about a principle or a way to live a simple life on the left page and gives a short description about that on the right page. One of the points I like is about decluttering and getting rid of the things that doesn’t give us joy. Following this does not only clears the space of unwanted things but it also clears our mind. I really love this book and how the author discussed that we don’t really need a lot of things in life to be happy.

After the training, I just stayed at home and washed the uniform that I will be wearing for tomorrow’s shift. I rested, printed pictures of the places and countries that I visited and compiled them in my photo album. I feel so blessed to be given this opportunity, to be contented with myself and my life and for the relationship that I have with the Lord, which is the greatest blessing I had at the start of 2019.

This is me cozying in my most favourite place in the world, my room. I can stay here for days and not get bored.

Happy Sunday!

Today is Sunday night. I came from night shift and I will be back to work tomorrow long day. It’s almost 23.00 and I don’t feel sleepy at all. The reason why I prefer day shift over night shift is that the latter changes my eating, sleeping and elimination pattern. Shifting schedules is part of my job and there’s nothing I can do about that. However on my part, what I can do is to eat healthy, exercise and have an active lifestyle.

Few thoughts…

Firstly, I booked a bank shift (OT or overtime) for tomorrow in an elderly ward. I can say that I still enjoy my job (or I am enjoying my job) because I prefer to work in a day shift weekday and I look forward to the shift and the things I will experience and learn from my work. I was actually looking earlier for available bank shifts long day in my ward because I want to work in my 2 days off. Maybe I’ll just book a shift for 1 day then rest on the 2nd day. And yes, I found a bank shift on my ward. So yeah, I am looking forward to work. But don’t get me wrong, I’m not a super motivated employee. No, I’m not. There were days when I hate the circumstances that happen in my job, the times when it gets extremely busy and stressful. But oftentimes I enjoy if it’s busy because the 12.5 hour-shift goes by so fast and I feel productive and fulfilled that day. Do I love my job? Yes.

Secondly, I’ve been craving for fresh strawberries and other fruits that’s why after I woke up from sleeping after a night shift, at 14.00, I went to Kingston Market Place. First I ate lunch, I bought Chicken Tikka with rice topped with yogurt mint sauce, it’s so delicious! I finished everything! I enjoyed every bite, taking time to enjoy chewing all the flavour with the combination of roasted chicken, green rice, cabbage and the yogurt spicy sauce. My mind was wandering while eating. I thought, maybe I can make this as a business in the Philippines ’cause I don’t know any restaurant serving chicken tikka in Manila. Haha.. Just one of my wild imagination. But no, not yet, not now. Currently it’s not on my list of  priorities for the next 5 years. I know it takes a lot of guts, effort, time and heart to be able to establish a successful food business in the Philippines. After eating, I bought 2 packs of fresh strawberries, lemons, blood oranges, avocado and healthy French bread. Oh, I love buying fresh picks from the market. Then I went to Waitrose to buy ingredients because I would like to cook Tuna Pasta. I went home after then ate 1 pack of strawberries. I dipped the fresh strawberries in a small amount of salt. I love the taste of sour and salty. I prepared to attend the evening mass after.

Thirdly, I went to the mass in St. Joseph’s Church at 17.30 and this is my takeaway. Being a Christian doesn’t change the fact that situations may happen in our lives. I may lose my job, experience a death of a loved one, etc. We are not immune of the realities of life. Then the priest asked, “As a Christian, are you ready?” The answer lies in the the first reading…

“A blessing on the man who puts his trust in the Lord,

with the Lord for his hope.

He is like a tree by the waterside

that thrusts its roots to the stream:

when the heat comes it feels no alarm,

its foliage stays green;

it has no worries in a year of drought,

and never ceases to bear fruit.”

I have one more realisation. I was inspired of the love story of Moira dela-Torre and her now husband, Jayson. I now know what I want in a relationship. I want a God-centered relationship in the future with a man that God has prepared for me. A relationship that honors God. And with that, I will wait. A man who loves God more than anything or anyone.

My Valentine’s Day

Hello guys! Happy Valentine’s day!

Today is my day off. It’s the day of the lovers but since I am single, I did not celebrate this day with someone. I stayed in the flat, in my room with the company of myself. I’m trying to rest my body because I still have my bad cough. Going outside in a cold weather may not be beneficial to get rid of this cough that’s why I decided to stay at home. And I did enjoy my company. I didn’t feel sad or lonely. Maybe a bit, but it was fine. I’d rather spend this day alone than to go out or find a date just to say that I celebrated Valentine’s day with someone else.

The truth is, I want to wait for the right man. If marriage is the path that God wants for me, then I will surrender to His will and wait for the man that He has prepared for me. This waiting may indicate that I would have to spend Valentine’s day alone, then so be it. I am willing to wait. Staying in my flat on Valentine’s day alone may not have an impact in my life at present but I know in the long run, I will benefit from this and that I will reap what I sow.

I don’t mind getting married on my mid 30s or late 30s, for as long as it is the right time and that I will be marrying the right person. I know if it’s God’s timing, I will be in the right disposition in life in a way that I can give my full time and attention to my future family.  When I get married, family with be my number one priority next to enriching my relationship to God. Because without God, all are nothing. Family over work, over friends, over travels, over leisure and all the luxuries in life. Family commitment is important. I do not want to shy away from my real goal just because I am here in London.

Quick update from me.

I have this bad cough for 4 weeks now. The thing is, whenever I have a cough even when I was still in the Philippines, it takes a month or more before it will be completely gone and the same thing happens here in London. It’s just not a nice feeling to have crackly cough and cough when I’m in the training or at work. I wanted to have a doctor checked this but I am unable to get an appointment to my GP (General Practitioner) as the appointment is always full everyday. So when I went to our ward to attend my Tracheostomy training, I have told my ward manager about my cough and that I couldn’t get an appointment with my GP. She told me that I could ask the Respiratory Registrar in our ward to examine me ’cause she has a clinic and if ever I need medications, she can give me a prescription. So she called the Registrar, her name is Iris (she’s so lovely, soft spoken and very kind, I know her because I’ve been working with her in the ward). We went inside the Sister’s office so she can auscultate my chest and breath sounds. She said that my lungs are clear and it could probably be a viral infection. According to her, she can prescribe an inhaler for me, or if I want, I can monitor my cough (because she really wants me to cough it out and not to suppress the cough) and if it gets worse, I will need to see her in the clinic next week. It gave me a reassurance that there’s nothing to worry about and that my cough will clear up eventually. ‘Cause I wouldn’t want this cough to develop into chest infection or pneumonia if I didn’t have myself checked by a doctor.

Apart from that, another thing that I look forward to is studying again for a Respiratory course. I applied for another course which is Chronic Respiratory Disease Management in London South Bank University, Havering campus. The senior nurse in our ward, Ate Lottie, was accepted on this course and she asked me if I also want to apply so we can take the course together. I told her, yes, I would love to attend trainings and courses related to our ward because there’s still a lot of things that I need to learn. First, I asked for permission from our ward manager, Katherine.  She replied on my message saying that she had asked our Matron, Diane and they would both support my application. Katherine is the kindest and she always supports us whenever we want to enroll in a course that can benefit us in our work.

On February 12, I participated in the Common Medical and Surgical Emergencies with the FY1 doctors and 3 nurses and we did simulation of some emergency situations. The FY1 doctors were so nice, as well as the A&E consultant and ITU consultant, and the instructor, Gareth who facilitated the training. When you’re wrong, they don’t say you’re wrong, they offer alternatives and what could have done better.

February 13, I went to the Moving and Handling training in the morning which is an update on our knowledge on how we can maximize the use of the different Moving and Handling equipment like sliding sheets, hoist and sara steady. Ruben was our instructor and he discussed scenarios on how we can properly use equipment to move the patients without compromising our back or our safety and the patient’s safety. In the afternoon, I attended the Tracheostomy training of Jonathan. I’ve handled a lot tracheostomy patients in our ward and after the training, I’ve got clearer understanding about tracheostomy, laryngectomy and how to care for these patients. And also not to forget, I also took the Preceptorship Training on February 4 because I am the Preceptor of a newly qualified nurse in ward. So basically, I will be supporting this colleague of mine on how to be able to transition to the new role and adapt in the ward.

So yeah, I’ve been absorbing a lot of information lately but I embrace it because I am able to discover new things about myself, my faith and my profession. It hasn’t been easy but everytime I become unmotivated, I ask for forgiveness from God, I forgive myself (I try not to be too harsh on myself), keeping in mind that every challenges is a learning opportunity.

I am owning this season of my life, single and waiting and enjoying and learning a lot until such time when life enters a new chapter. When? I do not know. I leave everything in God’s perfect time.

Will you forgive me?

Found this on my writing pad that I usually place in my bedside table. I always have a writing pad at the bedside because if I have ideas before I sleep or any ideas that pop into my mind (anything and everything under the sun), I can easily write and not forget them. This is true. Once it’s not written, it is forgotten. Do not trust your memory.

And I quote,

There are days when you are very confident, that whatever unfortunate things that happen to you on a day, you can easily brush if off. But there are also days when your self-esteem is at its lowest. You just wanna feel okay by telling yourself, “Everything will make sense in the future, in time.” Count your blessings. Be grateful for the simple needs (basic needs) that you have right now. Don’t compare yourself with other people. You will be fine. This heartbreak will pass.

*******

I’ve written this a long time ago. I can’t remember when. I’ve learned a lot and I can say that I am a better person now than I was before. Through this experience, I have come to know more of the Lord and strengthen my relationship to Him. I have one thing that I pray every night. I pray for forgiveness. I know that I have forgiven myself and I have forgiven Ryan, but if there’s still hurt or regret that lies deep within our hearts, I pray that the Lord will take that away. I pray that Ryan will forgive himself, and that he will forgive me too. That he will forgive the two of us. He didn’t hurt me, neither was I to him. It’s just the timing of our relationship. He really is a good man and I wish him well. Asking for forgiveness not in a sense of getting back together. It means recognising and being grateful for the wonderful memories you have shared with another person even if you didn’t end up together.

Forgiveness is the most powerful tool for us to be at peace within ourselves. Because if God has forgiven me from all my sins, who am I not to forgive. That’s why I pray everyday to always forgive and not hold grudge to anyone. And that I will also be forgiven by the people I hurt in the past and those that I hurt unknowingly.

Time to sleep now. Good night.:)

My heart melted….

Hello! Just a quick blog post. It’s already 23:06, I had my long day shift earlier. I came home at around 20:30 and cooked chinese-style fried chicken inspired from the the Chinese food takeaway I had on Sunday. It was delicious.

My fried chicken, it was delicious as well. I watched a video from Youtube on how to cook the recipe and now I know how to properly fry the chicken without too much oil outside. And the secret is not to use any breading. You just marinade the chicken, dry the chicken using paper towels before deep frying.

Well, the reason why I blog today is because I want to share what happened earlier in my shift. I was feeling bad in the shift because I knew that my communication skills (especially speaking or conversing or communicating) was not superb. It was just okay. I find it hard to communicate (in English) with my patients, patient’s relatives, doctors and co-workers what I was thinking. It happens to me, when I am physically tired, I become mentally tired also that speaking English becomes an effort.

English is my second language and this is what I use for this work. I can speak and understand English. But sometimes, I am unable to express the bits and pieces because of exhaustion. I can’t think of the right words anymore. Those were the times that I realised that speaking a second language is really an effort.

But it made my day when my health care assistant (HCA) thanked me for a fantastic shift and said, “If I will become a nurse, I wanna be like you.”

My heart melted. I smiled and replied, “Aw… Thank you.” It warmed my heart.

Earlier in the day, I was disappointed with myself thinking I could have done better in communicating and explaining what’s happening in the plan of care for the patients. But I think it’s just me. On my part, I take time to listen to my patients, allow them to verbalise their concerns and as much as possible, to respond appropriately and therapeutically even if it takes effort to put ideas into words. I shouldn’t have been too harsh on myself and I know that everyday, I am doing my best for my work and that is the most important.

“Always do you best.”

This is the Fourth Agreement in the book of Don Miguel Ruiz, “The Four Agreements”. According to him, always do your best. Your best may change from time to time. It may change when you are sick or when you are healthy. In every circumstance, always do your best. And in my case, still doing my best when feeling tired as well as when feeling refreshed and new.

I need to sleep now because I have another long day shift tomorrow. Good night!

P.S.

This post was written on 14/01/2019 but unable to post because I have no time and strength to figure out how to use the new Block editor of WordPress. It’s my off today that’s why I was able to watch videos from Youtube on how to disable the new editor and use the classic editor instead.

Have a great day, everyone! 🙂

 

 

 

Why let go?

“I am so heartbroken right now. I thought love is greater than distance (Love > Distance). But distance changed everything. Distance broke us apart. Upon knowing, there was no problem in the first place. I thought love conquers all. But our love is not enough. Now the best thing to do is to just let go. We didn’t survive the long distance relationship. I thought we would. When I left the Philippines, I have high hopes that we will make it. It’s not about choosing career over love or vice versa.” -Written on April 2018

-That beginning of a blog post has remained in my draft folder for 7 months. I needed an outlet that’s why I typed those words but had completely forgotten about them.

After 8 months, I am better. Less is the pain and there’s so much hope for the future.

How did I survive the breakup? When I had to decide on this, I lifted up everything to God. I completely held onto Him. I told God probably why the situation is very difficult for us is because maybe we are not meant for each other. And even if I do love the other person so much, I let go. No matter how painful the decision was, I let go. And firmly believed that everything happens for a reason. That I may not know then why we didn’t end up together, but hoping in the future, I will understand.

And how did I manage to maintain the no-contact-phase to be able to move on?  I was hoping the break will make us better individuals. That what we need is to grow apart. With a belief that if we are really meant to be, God will bring us back together. That’s why I let go and just let God.

As of this time, I haven’t completely moved on but I’m getting there. The fact that I’m in the Philippines doesn’t help in the situation. Still, I am letting go. And letting God. I realised that if I will exercise my ways, I might stumble again. “Na baka ako na lang pala ang may gusto. Baka hindi na pala gusto ni Lord.” My way is different from God’s ways that’s why I am letting go. I haven’t been so close to God ever and I think what I’m going through is God’s way to bring me closer to Him. I told myself to live my life in accordance to biblical ways and not on wordly standards anymore.

I want to have a deeper relationship with the Lord first before entering into another relationship. Hoping that I will end up with a Godly man in the future. I am now reading the bible and I can now understand the message unlike before that I couldn’t absorb what I was reading.

Leaving you with this bible verse.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you.” – Matthew 6:33

 

What is your “REASON”?

My father is an OFW for the longest time. In the past, he was always away working abroad to provide the financial needs of our family. His absence made a significant impact on myself and why I became the person that I am today. Growing up, I yearned for my parents to get to know me on a deeper level, but since they were very busy to provide for me along with my 5 other siblings our needs, it became almost impossible.

Financially, my parents were able to provide the basic needs of us and even sent us, their 6 children to good schools until college. Yes, we do have good jobs now but emotionally, something is lacking in us. Inside, we are broken.

I have felt that brokenness even when I was young. When I was a teenager, I made a promise to myself that if I will have my own family in the future, we will stay physically together in richer and poorer, in sickness and in health. Hence, I told myself that I’m not gonna settle abroad and in the Philippines is where I want to live. What the Youtuber Arvin Orubia has told in his vlog is true, he said, “I did not choose to be in this situation, but the situation chose me.” So I shouldn’t ignore this. If I will shut off this feeling, I will just continue to lie on myself.

Growing up, I have my cousins whose parents had stayed together in the country and seeing them, their parents were able to provide their needs and good education, and not only that, as a family, they are happy.

That is my “REASON” why I want to go back to the Philippines and settle there for good –why I only want simple things in life. Being a simple person that I am now, I do not long for material things. I dream of having my own family in the future, settling in the Philippines and to be physically there for them in every milestones in life.

Thus, on 2015, I found myself applying for an employment in London, England and was offered a job in nursing for a 3-year contract. After the 3-year contract, we have a choice if we would like to renew the contract for another 3 years and by the end of 2 contracts, we can already apply for a permanent residency in the UK.

My other colleagues are aiming for a permanent residency in the UK, but not me. My contract in the hospital will end on October 2019 and I have to think long and hard if I would want to renew it or not. I already have made my decision and it’s something that I want to keep to myself. Anyway, I still have 10 months to go before my contract ends.

Working abroad at the expense of being away from my family is no way of living for me. As what the life coach Chinkee Tan has said in his vlog, “No amount of success in your profession and career can compensate to a failure in your family.” I have to invest and prepare now for my future family.

If I will go back to the Philippines, people will raise their eyebrows once they hear about this decision. They will say, “Sayang naman. Ang daming tao sa Pilipinas na gusto mapunta sa position mo na yan, tapos ikaw, nandyan ka na, iiwan mo pa.”

Luckily, the only opinion that matters are my parents’ and they are 100% accepting of my decision. I did not hear of any panghihinayang from them.

In taking a big leap in life, people always have 2 fears.

  1. Fear of failure
  2. Fear of what other people will say

I learned about this by watching the vlog of Bianca Gonzalez. As you noticed, one of my hobbies is watching inspirational vlogs.

I love the answer of Catriona Gray (Miss Philippines Universe 2018) in Bianca Gonzalez’ question on how to deal with fear of what other people will say.

She said, “I always reason with myself that, not everyone knows the length and depth of your personal journey, no one knows what you’ve been through, your experiences, so their judgement cast upon you, it’s just a shallow perspective, they don’t know what you’re fully capable of, so why would you take their judgment to define everything that you are.”

Working in the UK has provided me with big salary, the opportunity to travel, watch West End musicals, eat in the fancy restaurants and hotels and an opportunity for career growth. I know I don’t have my own family yet and that I should enjoy moments like these especially now that I’m still single but I think I am already past that stage of my life.

I am not a wanderlust, I do not wish to travel the world. Just a few countries and when I feel that I’m already happy and contented, I stop. Remember when I traveled to Australia on 2014 with my classmates, I did really enjoy that. I know my priorities now, and traveling is not my priority anymore but saving for my future is. As with one of my favourite bible verses, Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, “There is a time”. -For every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heaven.

Family commitment is real. At this age of mine, I can trade all those luxuries for family commitment. I remember, there were days of travel wherein I did not fully enjoy the experience because it is only me who can see the beautiful tourist spots. I told myself back then, I wish my loved ones are here so they can also see the wonderful sights that I was seeing.

Careerwise, I am already happy with what I’ve accomplished and I was able to reach my financial goals by working in England. The fears of other OFWs on why they haven’t decided to settle for good in the Philippines is because they are not yet ready financially.

But how much is enough?

As for me, it’s not much but I know it is enough. I also worry about the future, what will be my work after coming home, and how will I be able to pay the bills in the future, but there’s a strong voice deep in my heart that says, I will be fine.

God will provide. Eventhough the future is uncertain and scary, with my unshakeable faith to my Father in Heaven, I know I will be okay.

No matter what failure, heartbreak and mistakes I will encounter in life, knowing that I have an eternal Father in heaven who accepts me and has an unconditional love for me, I have nothing to worry.

You my readers, what is the REASON for doing what you are doing now? Please comment below.