Wishes for 2008

I am sharing with you my wish list for 2008. Try making your own also — it’s fun to do and you just might surprise yourself with your entries. Write them down randomly in a notebook and remember to put a date when it has come to pass. One day, it will be nice to look through the pages; we are, after all, always on different levels of listening and wanting and doing.

This year I will/I want to:

• Put more plants inside the house.

• Reorganize all the bookshelves and be ruthless about pruning away books I know I should just pass on to others.

• Order at least one dish I have not tried in all my favorite restaurants (being a creature of habit, I always order the same dish all the time).

• Read as much of Peter Mayle’s work as I can.

• Read more books by local authors (Gilda Cordero Fernando, Barbara Gonzalez, Conrado de Quiros, Joann Maglipon — please, please write more books, novels even!).

• Continue to believe in happy endings.

• Visit a place that does not consciously top the list of places I want to visit (like Ankor Wat or the Amazon in Brazil).

• Join a writing class or take a short course.

• Eat more fruit, less meat.

• Eat more thin-crust pizza.

• Buy more Mongol pencils, Bic ballpoint pens, Faber Castel erasers.

• Delete all the junk mail and correspondence I do not need from as far back as 2004 from my computer and organize all my files into folders

• Take walks more often.

• Subscribe to a magazine I have never subscribed to.

• Buy a kneaded eraser.

• Get an organizer for the spools of ribbons I always collect.

• Draw more.

• Replace the Ford Expedition that I have loved for more than seven years.

• Keep all the handwritten notes I receive because, in this techie age, only a handful of people still write notes on beautiful stationery.

• Try out Singapore Airlines’ new A380 plane.

• Visit neighboring Asian countries.

• Buy more fresh flowers even when there are no guests coming, and no special occasion to celebrate.

• Plant a tree.

• Try to sleep earlier at night.

• Invest in a lucrative business; it does not have to be grand, it can start small, but because I understand it and believe in it I can dream and have every reason to believe it can only get bigger and better.

• Buy Ecuadorian roses often.

• Have a fully stocked sewing kit, with DMC threads in all the colors I think I need.

• Watch more good movies, either in the theater or on DVD.

• Learn to dance really well.

• Let go more, of things both big and small, and just surrender fully to God’s wisdom and direction in my life.

• Touch base with friends more often.

• Try not to overanalyze things too much.

• Try not to let my pet peeves peeve me too much.

• Accept people as they are.

• Always keep a bag of red kiamoy by my desk.

• To always be still, knowing that there is God.

• Get more Tempur pillows, and a Tempur mattress, too!

• Use more wonderful potpourri in all the rooms in the house.

• Be more thick-skinned and try to raise more funds for the machines we need at the Philippine National Red Cross and Project Brave Kids.

• Not do anything that I’m not at peace with. Kris loaded onto the iPod she gave me Joyce Meyer’s In Pursuit of Peace, and that is one nugget of wisdom that always resounds in my mind.

• Never act in anger, to always set my sights on the higher things even when I am provoked.

• Pray more, worry less.

• To pray for people who have wronged me and try to really feel good while doing that (admit it, that is hard to do especially when they are just downright mean for no reason at all).

• Remind myself that first impressions do not always hold true.

• Learn to say no if I really can’t do something; doing that works wonders in simplifying my life.

• Find more ways to save money (last year I changed 80 percent of our lights in the house from halogen to fluorescent, I installed more ceiling fans in the rooms, and our electric bill went down very significantly. Besides, it is friendlier to the environment and they now have warm white).

• Never run out of crackers and Zaragoza Spanish Sardines.

• Can somebody tell me where I can buy Ma-ling Egg Rolls, please? I cannot find them anymore!

• Allow myself to eat one little piece of chocolate every day instead of one whole bar/bag twice a week in one sitting.

• Go out on dates with my husband more often.

• Guiltlessly use all the pretty drawer liners I got as gifts the past two Christmases (what am I keeping them for anyway?).

• Start using eye cream religiously.

• Wear pretty dresses more often, even if it is just to go to the grocery or to pick up my daughter from school.

• Enroll in a painting class with Juliana.

• Do more origami with her.

• Join the tour in Intramuros that Carlos Celdran conducts.

• Continue to enjoy my coffee in a nice cup or mug.

• Visit Boracay again.

• Buy more comfortable flats; hopefully I’ll find something that beats my Melissa campagnas! I can walk, run, skip, hop, jump in them for days and my feet will not hurt one bit!

• Follow instructions strictly when I bake, and remember that sugar cooks in stages.

• Join the Chinatown tour, too!

• Buy more local cookbooks (I am enjoying Namit Gid! like crazy; the chicken inasal recipe is wonderful!).

• Buy OPM.

• Do things way before the deadline (should I start preparing for Christmas next month?).

• Make sure all gadgets/electronics are working and working well.

• Be less sentimental when weeding out stuff I know I no longer need (want is different from need; knowing the difference is an art).

• Temper passiveness with hopeful action and expectation. Anything forced is not of the Lord but the Lord did not say I should just sit around doing nothing!

• Always have a positive attitude, even when the content of the day says it is impossible to do and be so.

• Never judge a person by his looks, quirky mannerisms, or my first impression of him/her. I remember we once had a helper who arrived at our doorstep with orange hair and pointy maroon-painted toenails! She was hired by my sister to be Juliana’s yaya but I felt I could not entrust my then infant daughter to someone with orange hair, even if it sat on top of a kind face. She did not become Juliana’s yaya but she was one of the funniest (without her knowing it) and most trustworthy helpers we ever had. She stayed on with us for many, many years, until she found a husband and started a family of her own. Looks can be deceiving, trust me, and first impressions almost always don’t last.

• Buy shoes, bags and pretty little dresses in any other color except the safe, classic brown, black, navy shades.

• Stop buying lip gloss! Especially because I always end up buying the same colors anyway!

• Order more storage boxes to organize the little gifts I pick out and stock up the whole year round.

• Put a white board/magnetic board in the kitchen.

• Learn to make different knots.

• Visit Paris, Crans, Montana and London all over again. New York would be lovely, too.

• Keep only sharp scissors and nail cutters (what is the use if they are not?)

• Wear French tips.

• Be more tolerant of makulit people.

• Not feel guilty about opening more than just one bottle of perfume.

• Be as organized in real life as I am in my mind.

• Go on another cruise.

• Get more Evita Peroni hair accessories (they are not exactly inexpensive as hair accessories go but they are just so, so pretty, and they serve their purpose well. Definitely worth the money you spend).

• Learn to cook even just one dish (not dessert!) really well. Even if it’s just one, as long as I do it really well.

• Wake up one day to discover that I was wrong and that I have a green thumb after all (good luck to me on that!).

• Teach Juliana to make mango ice candy the way my sister and I used to make it.

• Find or have cute uniforms made for the househelp.

• Watch more sunsets on the beach.

• Eat more vegetables.

• Don’t take things personally.

• Crochet more. Not just a coaster, but a huge enough patch that can be part of a really nice bedspread someday.

• Rediscover the magic of enjoying a full morning (which can only happen if I do number 24).

• Try Pilates or yoga.

• Join my husband on one of his fishing trips.

• When in Japan, try the blowfish (in a licensed restaurant!).

• Forgive the most unforgivable person I know.

• Catch more shooting stars.

• Remove the songs I really do not like from my iPod, even if everybody else says it is “cool” or “nice” or “in” and I “must at least have it even if I don’t listen to it.”

• Really love a dog enough to hug and play with him/her regularly.

• Learn to drive (last time I tried I could only do abante, not atras).

• Give someone I am not very fond of a second chance.

• And lastly, for now at least, to always remember that where I am at any given moment is exactly where God wants me to be. It is a calming truth that puts everything in perspective, and it is a thought that gives me peace.