The gift of today

Today, I woke up feeling much better than I have in the past few days. Thank you, God. I had a debilitating cough, but thanks to the ever-reliable Ascof, water therapy, pure lemon juice (one shot each in the morning and evening), and restful sleep, I am back on my feet, feeling brand-new. I like the natural remedies, no offense meant to those who choose to go the chemical route. That is just the probinsyana in me, I guess. Growing up, we bathed with guava leaves to heal scratches and bites, drank ginger tea, and gargled with rock salt and warm water to soothe a sore throat. Some things never change — and happily, they don’t have to.

Today I had a quick meeting with a very decent government official; decent in the sense that he treats people like real people, always returns calls, answers messages, and does not promise the heavens just to end a conversation or a meeting without following through. I appreciate his honesty, his transparency, and the way he is an action man. For a neophyte like me, it takes so much courage to actually call a Cabinet secretary, knowing how busy they always are and how many other people call them up for this or that, so I truly appreciate how human and real he always has been. May there be more like him.

Today I drank the prettiest tea — Taro milk tea from Bubble Tea that I took home, transferred into a cup that was part of a set of two that I received as a gift last Christmas, and sipped it while being made up for a TV interview. Gentle taste, pretty color, it was pleasure if in a very small dose. I liked it very much. I also like how time has taught me to appreciate things even as they sometimes come in bits instead of whole lots — whether they are short naps, a bite of chocolate, mismatched cups instead of a whole set, quick calls in lieu of long conversations. You take what’s there, and appreciate what is. Fragments of happiness, but happiness just the same.

Today I ate two little pieces of Patchi milk chocolate, wrapped in matte gold foil. I appreciate it even more because last week I met the second-generation owner, Oussama Choucair. Over dinner he told us how he grew up in the chocolate factory his father owned and operated. I asked him if he goes home every day from work smelling like chocolate. He does. Isn’t that wonderful? I’d love to step into a real chocolate factory one day.

Today I am very thankful for my Bench family, because not only are they such nice people, they have become such great friends, too. I am seeing them tomorrow for dinner, and I look forward to that. It’s always a pleasant, happy time with them, filled with laughs and stories.

Today, someone tried to pull my leg. And to save face I pretended I believed him totally. I’ll get over it. Besides, a year from now, will the petty thing he lied about still matter? It is just a peril of the job I’m in.

Today I wrote in my diary. Unlike the demand and pressure that a totally blank page poses, this one prompts me to answer just one random question that is posted at the top of the page, a different one each day. Today it asked what time I slept last night. Late, I wrote, much too late, as usual. My acupuncturist says the human body has to be in a state of deep sleep between 10 p.m. to 3 a.m., which is the magic window when the body regenerates. Yikes. I am so alive at 10 p.m. Does that mean my organs have not regenerated in years?

Today I developed a renewed respect for hot rollers. If only I can find a set that is 220 volts instead of 110.

Today I yearned for the Philips Air Fryer, as I saw it on the Chuvaness blog. The crisp without the oil! A wonder in itself! I love it already.

Today I took a shower while listening to the album “Billie Holiday for Lovers” and the music, together with the gorgeously scented potpourri from Santa Maria Novella, makes bathing an even more wonderful ritual than it already is.

Today, I woke up to find the most gorgeous eyes looking at me. Almost 14 years after I married him, I love my husband even more. He is so gentle and loving and indulgent. Thank you, God, for this wonderful man.

Today, I marveled at how beautiful Ben Chan’s house is! Designed by Miguel Pastor, there are all these little corners to discover with each visit made. A vignette here, a statement piece there, it is sleek but warm, rich in style and good taste. It is one thing to have excellent taste, but to have the resources to pursue what that taste dictates? It is a very potent combination.

Today Richard and I had dinner with my parents and Juliana and my brother Matt and our good friend, Pia, in a Japanese restaurant. So many wonderful things are falling into place, and I am thankful for the gift of a truly wonderful family to celebrate and embrace all that with.

Today I realized that the new lipstick I bought, with its gorgeous wine color, is actually quite tricky to wear. But I found a way to manage its thick pigment — rubbed onto my lips with my ring finger, it gives my lips that stained effect that is youthful and luscious at the same time.

Today I missed my appointment with Cherie, my facialist at the Belo Clinic, with my acupuncturist Sister Liu, and with my dance coach, Bong. But I had a productive meeting, a good afternoon meal at Jojoen (they have great food!), and enough time stuck in traffic to think and take a nap.

Today I realized again that so many of my little wishes have not come true yet. But on the other hand, so many of those I did not even dare dream for have come to pass! And on that note, really, what is there to complain about? So. I promised myself that when I chance upon a sad day or a sad moment I can always choose to remember instead all my answered prayers — and I have many!

Today, life is not perfect, as it never will be, but it is beautiful, as it always is.


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