Wednesday, May 17, 2017

When Shit Makes You Stronger


For the last ten years, my husband and I practiced passiveness to a fault towards other people. We figured that since life was okay for us, we can afford to be nice to people regardless of their behaviour towards us. We even tipped servers who were total jerks to us in the spirit of kindness. We also didn’t know how to say no. If we could just let it pass, we just let it pass.

Our passiveness also extended towards life situations. When things went south, we just adjusted and accommodated instead of fighting for things to go north. We didn’t even ask for things to get better and instead we just tried to see the positive in our situation and took it as better.

But I guess God, in His infinite wisdom, decided that we needed to learn to fight for things that we wanted. But we will never do that unless my husband and I were pushed so far away from our comfort zone that there was no other choice but to fight. This year has been that year. When our landlord would not decrease our annual rent, we decided to look for another flat even if there was only 5 days left in our annual contract before we had no other choice but to renew it. That seemed mission impossible considering that we needed time to look and move. But on the same day that we searched, approximately in an hours time, we found a flat that fit our budget. We were able to move in 3 days and had some time to spare before our old contract expired. The documentation took an extra 4 days more but that itself was also a feat.

A day before moving in to the new flat, my husband found out that it was still dirty and unliveable. I called the real estate agent and coerced them to ready the flat that night. In less than 24 hours, they completed all the maintenance work and polished the flat until it was spic and span. All I had to do was ask and demand for things to be done.

God taught us through our newfound situation to ask for things we want even if the situation seemed impossible to give it. We no longer tolerate bad service and now ask for better ones. I also drew boundaries with toxic people and demanded the respect that I deserved in that relationship. When a situation says no, I pushed for other ways for it to say yes. I even demanded more in my prayers. I now unabashedly ask God for things that I want to happen in my life.  My husband and I shed our passiveness and relearned how to fight.

Sometimes God turns our life upside down and inside out because we still have some life lessons to learn. The key is trying to find that lesson and becoming good students so that our shit can literally make us stronger and better.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Perks of Moving to a Much Smaller House



Today I re-watched “Confessions of a Shopaholic.”  While watching her obsess over material stuff like Gucci and go gaga over sales, I was surprisingly repulsed. All I could think was that all those stuff were going to eat so much space.

When we moved to a much smaller house, space became a more valuable commodity over possessions. While I tried to fit everything we owned to a new space that was ¼ the size of our previous home, the sheer number of stuff suffocated me. I was seriously tempted to just give them all away just to have a comfortable living space. I have also realized that there were so many things I owned which I don’t actually use and can probably live without. If they can marinate in storage for a long period of time without being needed, I probably do not need them at all.

The extreme difficulty of finding a place for everything we owned traumatized us so much that stuff actually repulses me now. I received a lot of notifications of sales that were up to 90% off and all my mind could conjure was clutter. We even stopped buying groceries in bulk and preferred to buy as needed. All I want at the moment is enough liveable space.

So thank you smaller house! I am now less materialistic and I can probably save more money which is ideal in our current financial situation. Mother earth probably thanks you too because in some ways, although forced, I became an environmentalist by necessity.

But I still want chocolates.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Rod and Reproof

 

Today at Ikea, my husband and I just witnessed a well built and quite on the large side of a woman, with hands the size of a small child’s head, slap on the face a small scrawny girl of about of about 9 or 10 years old. She slapped the girl not only once but four times in between intervals of scolding. The girl apparently got lost in an overly crowded Ikea and made the “mistake” of moving and trying to find her parents instead of staying put. When the punishment seemed to escalate to a fifth slap, the father of the girl finally had to balls to remove her daughter from the situation and left the mother on her own.

In today’s time, a lot of parent’s still support physical discipline because the bible supports it-“the rod and reproof give wisdom but the child that is left to his own will bringeth his mother to shame.” But as child who survived a mother who liberally practiced her parental right to physical discipline, I support clearer and safer guidelines for the responsible use of the rod to give wisdom to avoid child abuse.

Like the little girl in Ikea, I also endured countless knock-the-wind-out-of-your-lungs face slapping both in public and private spaces. The slaps were so powerful that sometimes darkness engulfed my vision for moments at a time. But unlike the little girl, I did not have the fortunate presence of a father or another adult who could protect me when the physical discipline escalated to physical abuse. My mother was a single parent who isolated herself from all relatives for most of her parenting years.

I believe in these instances, clearer and well defined guidelines to a parent’s” right” to physical discipline is imperative to protect children from harm.

For one, I think parents should be required to take a license before they can practice physical discipline. The acquisition of a license should require extensive psychological testing to determine that the parent do not in any way suffer from any mental ailment such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia etc. A parent is already three to four times bigger and more physically powerful than a child and that power to inflict pain should be tethered to a sound and responsible mind most especially since a mentally unsound person can increase his or her physical force when in a fit of uncontrollable rage. If prison officials and the police force require a standard for psychological soundness before they dispense punishment towards criminals, it is only within the limits of logic and reason to require a parent to meet the same standards before practicing physical discipline towards children.

Second, a comprehensive training on physical discipline should also be attended by the parent. The comprehensive training should discuss the definition of physical discipline so that it would not be interchangeable with physical beatings. Hair pulling, slapping, strangulation, dragging, punching and use of hard props or implements should be disallowed. The training should also define and restrict body specific areas that can be be used for physical discipline. Bony areas and important body parts such as the head and vital organs should be strictly disallowed and should constitute some legal punishment from the government in cases of deliberate parental lapses. If the physical method can be used by a wife as a defence for domestic violence against her husband who is of her equal in age and physical strength, then logically the same methods should not be used on a child. Surprisingly and unfortunately, a lot of parents failed to see that logic including mine. Some parents believe that since they gave birth to their children, they have absolute rights to do whatever they please with their children and that includes relentless physical discipline with no boundaries.

The comprehensive training should also define and set a standard on the duration and intensity of the punishment depending on the weight and age of the child. In countries which serve corporeal punishment such as lashings to criminals, definite numbers of lashings with a definite controlled intensity are administered to criminals and there is always a doctor on stand-by to administer first aid in case of excess. The implementer of the punishment is also emotionally detached from the situation so that there is no fluctuation on the intensity of the lashings and that no undue damage can be inflicted on the criminal. The same rights to a controlled and safe physical punishment should also be given to children so that he or she should not suffer indefinite physical beatings with emotion driven intensity which can cause undue damage. I know this should be common sense but apparently not so common since a ton of parents discipline with untethered emotions that translates to an intensity of punishment which is not suited for children. In truth, a criminal is really getting a better bargain because his rights are more or less defined and protected by the law.

Furthermore, excessive physical pain can negate the objective of physical discipline which is learning and supposedly wisdom. I remember as a child, in order to endure the pain, I often mentally and emotionally detached from my physical experience and went to my imaginary happy place. I zoned out the beatings and everything in connection with the beatings including the supposed lesson. Even at a young age, I recognized that it was dangerous to zone out when being meted out with physical discipline most especially since my mother had zero control over her emotions nor the intensity of her punishments. I often get my head banged on the wall and I also neglected to protect vital organs, but when there is presence of so much uninterrupted pain, enduring becomes more important than protection. So if your child is no longer using her reflexes to avoid being hit, the parent’s force is definitely excessive and the objective of discipline and learning are already lost because your child has already zoned you out.

I also think that physical discipline should not be intertwined with public humiliation. There is a place and time for everything and that includes “wisdom” giving. If you hit your child in front of everyone, you are not only hurting his or her body, but also her soul. From a child’s point of view, you just gave everyone in that room the license to mock her/him and ridicule her/him.  You have stripped him/her the rights to people’s respect by showcasing him/her in his/her lowest form. As a constant recipient of discipline by public humiliation, I did not grow up spoiled but I grew up with a severe lack of self-respect, very low self-esteem and a non-existent self-confidence. I often saw myself as lesser than everyone else and I also developed anxiety that sometimes bordered on paranoia. As an adult, I often avoid public conflict and confrontation with anyone even when I’ m right because it reminded me of my traumatic childhood experiences of having everyone’s eyes on you. Your child might be more resilient than I am and might not suffer the same consequences but that is a risk you willingly make. Besides, if public punishments for criminals have long been abolished in civilized society, why should public punishment for children still remain?

As a survivor of physical discipline, I cannot, with good conscience, advocate the rod for giving wisdom. The mere fact that I refer to myself as a survivor is a testament to my sentiment towards this parenting practice. I remember thinking while growing up, that the soonest that I can get out of the house, the soonest I can be free from pain. There were also times when I wished that somebody will save me sooner. I really think that there are far better ways to impart wisdom towards our children. But I cannot impose my personal belief on other parents who believe with conviction that the rod is the best form of child discipline. However, I want to give a voice to children who deem their life a living prison from parents who have crossed the very fine line between physical discipline and physical abuse.

For parents who practice this form of discipline, standards and regulations must be strictly imposed to protect vulnerable children from parental excessiveness. At the very least, if there is no strict institution to strictly regulate the practice, the parents should be prudent enough to self- regulate. I think it is best for parents to desist from thinking themselves as infallible sources of wisdom with an unlimited divine authority to impose these wisdoms to their children at whatever cost or means. Parents are human beings and therefore are prone to the flaws of being human. They should exercise due prudence in checking and re-checking themselves in the practice of physical discipline in order that they can avoid crossing the line towards physical abuse.

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Paring our Life Down to the Essentials


Due to recent changes in our financial situation, we had to look for more affordable dwelling situations. We seriously thought about moving into a studio flat but unfortunately in order for my husband to continue sponsoring visas for me and our kids, we were required to have a one bedroom flat.

Thus began our quest to look for a one bedroom flat with the same price as a studio flat. The search disheartened us at best. Some of the buildings were so old with tiny creaky elevators that could possible substitute for a death trap. The house fixtures were so broken down and rusty, I wondered if they will last for a year. Another option was in a nicer building with a well maintained elevator but the flat was on the 15th floor and had only one postage stamp window. You literally felt trapped at 15 floors up.

Finally we found a one bedroom flat in a building that looked old on the outside but was very well maintained on the inside. The place was fairly decent in comparison to the previous choices and the price was within our range. Although still small, it seemed to be our best possible option at the moment.

But as to how small, we finally found out on moving day. When we tried to fit our furniture, we realized that our new living room was not even ¼ the size of our old living room. The kitchen was also so small and could not accommodate our fridge; it would have to find a way to fit in the living room. The new bedroom was also half the size of our old bedroom. I think it was safe to say that the WHOLE of our new house was just the size of our old living room.

Truthfully, my heart broke. This was reality 101 and we were definitely downsizing. Since I was a little bit overdramatic, I confess that my heart was full and heavy with a lot of unshed tears.  I mourned the loss of our spacious old house.

But I decided to count my blessings. I have two of the best person in the world, with a third one coming soon, to share this tiny dwelling. They make my heart full with their love and laughter. If destiny pares down my life to the essentials, it would still be complete for as long as I have my husband and children in my life.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Easter Brunch at The Talk Movenpick Jumeirah Beach Hotel


I have never been lucky in raffles, mall competitions, or any other luck based contest that gives out prizes. So when I chanced upon Movenpick’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Easter themed brunch contest on my Facebook newsfeed, I joined with nary a thought or hope of winning. I sincerely thought that I was wasting my time (about 180 seconds to be exact) in joining a contest which I would never win anyway.
But to my surprise, I actually won! I received a Facebook notification on my phone from Movenpick replying on my comment on their contest post. The reply was an amazing “Congratulations, you have won a brunch for four on Easter Sunday” or something to that effect. I think my heart stopped for a moment. This was the first time ever in the history of my existence that I have won something in a legitimate raffle if you don’t count the USB which I won in my son’s family day raffle about 4 years ago. I was ecstatic, never mind that a few seconds later, my phone decided to die because a few minutes before, my son soaked it with his water drenched hands. Nothing was going to rain on my parade, not even the death of my one and only phone.
Although I have never been to The Talk and Movenpick Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Movenpick  Bur Dubai was always one of my favourite places to go for brunch. They never disappointed. The price point was always right and the food was always delicious. But the best part of Movenpick was always the service. If you want to feel like a V.I.P. regardless of your race, gender, appearance or financial category, go to Movenpick. They treat everyone like royalty without distinction. From the servers to the managers, they all go over and above the call of duty in friendliness and service to the point you might actually want to melt on the floor in embarrassment because you have no idea what you did to deserve such a star treatment. They give you all the 5 star treatment without the snottiness and snobbery. I was assuming that the same policy applies to all their branches so I was terribly excited to go the The Talk in Movenpick Jumeirah Beach Hotel.
The Fa├žade of the hotel was beautiful and had an exciting beach vibe because it was right across the Jumeirah beach. Of course, my son and I could not resist the photo opportunity.




They had a beautiful lobby which my handy photographer/husband forgot to photograph because we were all hopping excited to go for brunch. The men in suits, who were probably the managers, were standing in the lobby right next to the Easter Bunny to welcome all Easter merry makers. They sort of looked comedic in a nice kind of way because the Easter Bunny looked so casual and quite goofy right next to the impeccably dressed men in suits. But regardless in the stark difference in outfits, they were all welcoming and smiling.


The brunch proper was at The Talk which was at the second floor of the hotel area. It was right next to another restaurant, The Soul. Apparently, they love adding THE to their restaurant names because one of my favourite restaurant in Movenpick Bur Dubai is THE Fountain. 



My ravenously hungry companions were so excited when they saw the extensive buffet spread. Not to disappoint, their international menu included Chinese, Japanese, British, Indian, seafood, some possible French, a little Arabic, Italian and Mexican. One might think that their menu might be spread too thinly and might not be as expertly done if they were serving a more limited fare but the food were all delicious most especially the Japanese and Chinese cuisine.

In fact, when my family thinks of a Movenpick Buffet, we think delicious Chinese dumplings and Japanese food so we made a beeline for those right away. 




They had 3 variants of the Chinese Dumplings: chicken, vegetarian and shrimp. Aside from being overly delicious which was quite surprising because good dumplings were really hard to find in the U.A.E., all of them had a melt in your mouth texture especially the vegetarian dumpling.  They were very light and airy. The chicken dumpling was a little heavier and you need two bites to finish one off but the vegetarian and shrimp were definitely one bite dumplings. My son ate around 7 pieces of each dumpling and my husband probably even more. Sorry The Talk. They were really ravenous and they hadn’t had a proper breakfast.

The next stop was the Japanese food station. They had all kinds of sushi, maki and nigiri. My husband’s favourite was the sashimi station because the salmon and tuna were really sweet and fresh. You could taste the brightness and high quality of the fish. Three to four servings alone of their sashimi could cover the price of your buffet. We once ate at buffet restaurant in a 5 store hotel which exclusively served Japanese food and I could say with confidence that the Japanese Food station at the Talk served better and fresher Japanese food most especially in the sashimi department. Quality ingredient was probably the key.


They also had some beautifully laid out appetizers. There were also selection of Arabic mezze and salads. At other times, I would have probably sampled them because based from previous experiences, Movenpick’s appetizer were a taste explosion. However since I am pregnant and I have only a little room for food, I decided to skip this one out. I think my husband and son also skipped this part for fear of missing out on important food space inside their stomach.




Nevertheless my husband did take advantage of their awesome seafood selection. They had raw oysters, smoked salmon, raw tuna, raw salmon, prawns and other creatures from the sea. But my husband feasted mostly on the raw oysters. I couldn’t really partake in his enthusiasm for oysters since I’m pregnant but aside from that, I really could not understand the fascination. If you ask me, raw oysters are really gross. They honestly taste like salty fishy slime. But I guess it is an acquired taste that can take root in such an addicted way. But for people like me who like their seafood mostly cooked, The Talk also has a wide variety of seafood selections that can be grilled at their outdoor area.





There were still other food stations at The Talk but we were so excited by the food that we forgot to take photos of them. True story! There was a pasta station which cooked whatever kind of pasta. Parents with kids who are picky eaters will love this because you can probably request just a plain mac and cheese. Another plus for the kids was the pizza station which served gorgeous authentic style pizza in pepperoni and margherita. There was a build your own tacos station if you are hankering for some Mexican food. There was the British food station which served steaks, lambs, all kinds of cold cuts which you will probably be hard pressed to find in your local stores, wellingtons and roast potatoes. The roast potatoes were particularly delicious. I never thought that I could be blown away by a simple roast potato but this one was so soft on the inside, crispy on the outside and amazingly sweet. I actually went back for second helpings. There was a cheese and bread station which I didn’t visit because my pregnant nose was very sensitive to the cheesy smell. Last but not the least was the main course station which served a variety of food from oriental to western. They also had a special section of main courses for their around the world in 80 days theme. One of the cuisine was duck cooked in chocolate sauce which I did not have the nerve to taste.


One of the unique things about The Talk’s buffet was that they have a menu of food you can order fresh from the kitchen. Amazing right? One would say a tad bit excessive since you can already probably drown from their already extensive buffet selection. Then again, Movenpick’s motto is probably, “Let us do it better than everyone else!”



For this particular day, their fresh from the kitchen menu included foie gras terrine with brioche and apple compote, dynamite prawn cocktail and steamed bao buns with hoisin duck. Hands down, the bao buns was the star of the show. The buns were pillowy soft and sweet and the duck was perfection. If I order this ala carte somewhere else, I will probably be paying through the nose. It was that good. However, I wish they would remove the dab of yellow hollandaise. It overpowers the taste of the bun and duck and I had no other choice but to remove all signs of it. 


Because I’m a sweets addict, the best part of the buffet for me was none other than the Desert station! I am particularly in love with Movenpick’s ice cream selection. For all the times I ate in their buffets, it was always the ice cream which haunted my taste buds. The texture was very creamy and dense. I have never encountered the same texture with other store bought ice cream or any ice cream in other restaurants or establishments. If there is one brand I can compare Movenpick’s ice cream, I would say they are at par or even better than Haagen Daaz. They have different flavours ranging from sorbet and to the more chocolatey ones. You can taste the freshness and quality of the ingredients with every bite. If the flavour was chocolate, expect a chocolate explosion inside your mouth. If the flavour was raspberry sorbet, expect a fresh raspberry explosion. The ice cream station also served pancakes and gelatin gummies for the kids and kids at heart.


But of course the deserts do not end in the ice cream station. As part of their Easter Brunch theme, The Talk laid out a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Desert Spread. The desert selections were mostly chocolate and candy themed. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to take individual names since when presented with sweets; I usually just divide and conquer. But rest assured that they were all delicious. The Talk beautifully decorated their desert table just like the factory in the movie. In fact, at the back of the table, there was fully functioning chocolate fountain and river. I was tempted to dip something in the chocolate river but the adult in me was too embarrassed.


At around halfway of the brunch, the Easter Bunny appeared to give out Easter goodies to all the kids at the brunch. Of course, the 9 year old boy could not resist having his picture taken with the Easter Bunny. Even at this age, his is still a true blue kid at heart who finds excitement and appreciation with everything.


Afterwards, in line with their Charlie and the Chocolate Factory theme, the servers gave out chocolate cupcakes. One of the cupcakes contained a golden ticket which would entitle the holder to a two night stay in an executive suite for two at the Movenpick Jumeirah Hotel with breakfast. 



My 9 year old son was super excited because he does want to win a hotel stay. Sadly our cupcake did not contain the golden ticket. But that was okay because I guess it was too much to ask from the fairies of competition to ask for two wins in one event. We had a grand time with our free Easter Brunch and I think it was only fair to share the happiness and luck with someone else.

Overall, we had a fantastic Easter Day experience thanks to The Talk Movenpick Jumeirah Beach Hotel. For all those who are interested to try their weekend brunch, the price is at 289 dirhams inclusive of soft beverages. They also had an option for unlimited hard beverages but I’m not quite sure how much that costs. You can give them a call at 04-4498888 or you can drop by their website at http://www.movenpick.com/en/middle-east/uae/dubai/hotel-dubai-jumeirah-beach/restaurants/restaurants-bars/the-talk-restaurant/ . They also have a facebook page https://www.facebook.com/MovenpickJBR/ which you can check out. 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Lottery


 
Nope, we did not win the lottery. So calm your hopes down because there is still no extra perks of being my friend or relative. In fact, if I did win the lottery, blogging will be the least of my priorities. I will probably be off to Europe enjoying the ancient architecture or probably at Disneyland Florida.

Winning the lottery has been one of my husband’s silent wishes. Although he never did actively participate with lottery betting since lottery is currently not available where we reside, he often placed his hopes on shopping festivals where a minimum purchase will entitle you to win thousand’s worth of showcase. He also invested in a no interest deposit which will allow your money to participate in a quarterly raffle to win a million dirhams. Every time we would talk about our hopes and aspiration, winning tons of money in a raffle was always a part of his conversation end.

I, on the other hand, do not put much faith in lottery winnings. I often tell him that in some sort of way, we have already won the lottery of life because we are healthy and he has a job that allows us to have a comfortable life. Of course, he often accuses me of being unsupportive but insists that if he did win, he will still share the winnings with me. But he also said that the reason why he probably hasn’t won yet was because I keep jinxing his chances with all my talk of negativity. I often agree with him much to his chagrin.

But recently, Mr. I-Love-to-win-a-lottery had a complete change of heart. One day he just arrived home and told me that he does not want to win mountains of money from any lottery anymore. I fell of my seat because this was the man who was harping about lottery winnings for the last 12 years of our marriage. I thought that my husband was probably sick or got into an accident and hit his head on something really really hard. Worse, he might have actually won but he doesn’t want to share his winnings so his was working on conditioning my mind. He probably stashed the money somewhere secret like the Bahamas since all gangsta seem to hide their ill-gotten wealth there.

But apparently, while he was accompanying a friend to a car repair shop, they had a talk about the misfortunes which often befell lottery winners. One guy who won more than 10 lexus cars in a shopping festival got shot 6 months after in his home country. The motive for the guy’s murder was money. Another guy won half of a million dollars with another guy. 3 months later, he died from cancer. He told me another story which my hormone addled brain cannot remember now but I am quite certain that the story also ended in death or some other form of tragedy. Basically, my husband was scared to death. (hehehehehehe). He now believes with absolute conviction that winning in lottery is nothing more but a pact with death in exchange for the money. Tit for tat. In this case, cash for life.

The sweetest thing though is that he now has a new silent wish. He no longer wants to win instant tons of cash but instead wishes for a long life to spend with his love ones even if that life will be spent in normal amounts of cash or even in poverty. According to his new found wisdom, no amounts of money can equal to the life of your loved ones. He now officially renounces lottery because that seems to be a sure way to take quality time away from the more important things in life. In fact, he said that if he did accidentally win, he will most likely not accept the winnings or just give them almost all away.

So in case we win folks, you know it is going to be raining money.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Marriage Rebirth


 
Fact 1: My husband is a great husband and can probably hold a candle against the best husband in the world.
Fact 2: My husband can also be a jerk (I would have loved to use a stronger word but my in-laws are very supportive and actually read my blog)

Fact 3: I am not the greatest wife in the world but I am a great wife
Fact 4: I can also be the world’s greatest bitch.
Because we were a great husband and wife to each other, we essentially have a great marriage. We were both faithful, we were great parents to our son, we equally contributed and sacrificed for our small family and we never took advantage of each other. We also loved each other very much as far as we know.
But what we did not know was that for the past 12 years, our marriage was slowly dying. Although I was a great wife and he was great husband, I was still essentially a bitch and he was essentially still a jerk. We took our turns in hurting each other in small unnoticeable ways. We did not resort to grand schemes of marital revenge because a great wife and a great husband do not stoop that low just in case our crown becomes in peril of being taken away from us.

Since the hurts were small and can be construed as imagined and a by–product of paranoia, our pride did not dare acknowledge their existence. Why complain about a stellar husband who is almost perfect? Why complain about a wife who sacrifices much for her family? But a wise woman told me once that marriages are destroyed not by earth shattering mistakes from any of the married parties but by years of compiled hurt and neglect of one another. One day you wake up and this small hurts have banded together and becomes a monstrous being that has eaten most, if not all, of your marriage away. Sometimes, the realization even comes way too late that there is nothing left to save at all.
A few days back, the same monster reared its ugly head and made itself known in my very own marriage. My husband and I were taken aback by the massiveness of the giant that we have apparently fed over the years. We were so preoccupied in fulfilling the prerequisites and obligations of a great marriage that we neglected the small things that make a marriage fun and worthwhile. We no longer held hands when we walk. We no longer hugged for no reason. When we do hugged, it was detached and disaffected, mostly obligatory in nature. We no longer randomly kissed to show burst of affection. When we talked, there was no longer any enthused fire in our eyes but only of annoyance. We were the closest things to each other from anyone in this planet but at the same time we were the most far apart.

Our marriage was dying and very close to death. It was only our strong sense of obligation that allowed it to survive for so many years. I’ve never realized that I carried a substantial amount of pain and hurt that has left me ragged and mostly broken. The same can be said of my husband of 12 years who has endured as much pain and suffering as he had given. We were both bloodied and messed up from the small pricks of daily unnoticeable stabs that we have inflicted on one another.
We laid bare our pain to each other; unable to believe that we have caused so much brokenness to someone we supposedly most loved. I cried for myself and I cried for him. He cried for himself and he cried for me. We cried for the marriage we thought was thriving but in fact was gasping for its last breath. We were the two people who supposedly loved each other so much at the wake of their own marriage.
But sometimes, some things have to die in order to be reborn to something better. Like a phoenix rising out its ashes, our marriage took on a second better stride. These past few days, I felt like I see and look at my husband for the first time again. I noticed every tiny thing. I see and hear his voice more clearly; I listen to his stories more closely. I removed the monotony and instinctiveness to my actions and affections and I now move purposely towards him. In turn he does the same. We travelled back in time to 14 years back when we first held each other hands and found love in each other’s arms. Our marriage is reborn from the ashes of our pain and hurt.
At the second chance in love, these are my vows to my husband:
I Vow
I vow to hold your hand as if I was holding it for the first time
with the excitement of touch of one who is in love
I vow to kiss you each and every day with the tenderness

of lovers who only found the power of a first kiss

 
I vow to look at your eyes every time you talk

to listen carefully to every word that you say

and reply always with love to your stories

and engage to your thoughts with my whole presence

 
I vow to always be on your side

on the road when you are cranky as you drive

no matter if it was you on the wrong

I will just keep quiet and maybe even cheer you on

 
I vow to always say thank you

even over the smallest things that you do for me

I will always acknowledge your actions of love

 with affection and hold them closely to my heart
 

I vow to always be polite and gracious to you

I sometimes get comfortable

Knowing that you love me no matter what I do

I forget that you get hurt when I’m not at my best too
 

There are so many things I want to promise

There are so many things I want to say

I feel like I wasted the last 12 years

Loving instinctively instead of purposely

 
So instead of words, I vow in action

in the coming years of being your wife

I will always give you the very best of me

and move towards you in love purposely