How’s your week so far? 🙂
Lately, I’ve been inspired by stories of ordinary people who are living meaningfully. So I thought of introducing a new section on my blog where you can read about inspiring people who live simple, but extraordinary lives. These people are passionate about self-care, pursuing their dreams, meaningful living and encouraging others.
Does that sound interesting?
I hope their stories will move you towards achieving the life you desire – where you feel whole & joyful ; where you are able to fulfill your goals and eventually inspire others.
The first one on my list is “Cath” – a good friend and former office mate. Cath’s story exemplified strength, hope and faith. She is 34, and now a full-time work-at-home mom to a 15 month old boy. She spends most of her days working with clients as a marketing consultant, doing mommy duties, and exercising. (her favorite “me” time!)
Read more about Cath and how she recovered from sickness, first-time mommy woes and eventually become a successful freelance business owner.
- What is the best thing about being in your 30’s that you didn’t have in your 20’s?
I have a better appreciation of life now. Looking back, I just laugh at the petty things that easily upset me. Life is so beautiful! At present, no amount of money or material things can equate having a family of my own.
- What do you usually do during your free time? What are the things you enjoy doing?
Back in 2011, I was diagnosed of a medical condition called Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) which left me temporarily paralyzed and caused my legs and feet to weaken. But in God’s grace, I recovered and have adjusted to the changes GBS brought into my life. Even though I spend most of my days at home because of mobility issues, (I can’t drive per my doctor’s advice; I need a companion when I commute) I learned to enjoy and find leisure at home – I appreciated deliveries, home services & online shopping! My favorites are home nail treatments, home massages and personal trainings.
- Can you share a significant moment in your life that changed you?
This photo is a reminder that I should make the best out of my second chance in life. Having battled GBS, I did not make my sickness an excuse not to pursue my dreams. Instead, I took this opportunity to explore more of what I can do. It is during this time that I came across freelancing & online jobs. Eventually, I was able to put up my own freelancing business.
- What brings so much joy in your life every day?
My son, Ethan – his antics and first milestones! Having a son changed my life. We had a tough start while getting to know each other. I even went through post-partum disorder – there are times when I would always cry and have self-doubts about being a mother. But eventually, these doubts were replaced by a new-found joy that I didn’t know existed in my heart.
- What are some of the life lessons you live by?
Celebrate everyday and live life as if it’s your last. 🙂
- How important is self-care to you?
I’ve only realized the importance of self-care recently. My world revolved around my son after giving birth last year. It didn’t matter whether I’d eat on time, or just have a few hours of sleep. I would take showers only when my son is finally asleep at night. Trips to the bathroom even became a luxury! I had no time for myself…and for me, that was okay. As long as he’s comfortable and well-fed, I’m good.
However at one point, I saw a picture of me and was appalled with what I saw. I told myself, “Is that me?! I gained so much weight!” It’s as if I was still pregnant. At that time, my son is turning one in a couple of months.
Even my mom noticed and told me to start taking care of myself again. I remember, I didn’t want to meet up with friends or share my photos online for fear that I would get “ang taba mo!” remarks. My self-esteem went down. One day, I finally decided to make time to work-out and eat healthier.
At the beginning of the year, I started exercising regularly and lost 6 lbs. But I got sick, lost my momentum for a time, but I went back again last May. Ever since then, I committed myself to the process and pushed myself to the limits. I was able to improve the way I look and feel about myself by allocating only 30 minutes to an hour per day. Gradually, I saw the results physically and within. I started feeling good. So yes, self-care is very important for me so I can be there for my love ones more.
- How do you make time for yourself?
I read from Erwan Heussaff’s blog that one should treat exercise as a business meeting. And I took this seriously. Before, working-out is just optional for me – it depends on my energy level after work. But now, I found the right exercise schedule and strictly followed it. I end work around 4-5pm and exercise afterwards. I’m proud to say I haven’t missed a work-out since May!
- What are your top 3 “Me” time favorites that don’t cost you anything?
2. Reading blogs
3. Play time with my baby
- What is your favorite indulgence?
A good massage! My ultimate stress reliever. Oh and coffee. Caffe Latte sans the sugar 🙂
- If you can take a vacation now, what do you like to do or where do you want to go?
I love the beach! Year 2012 was the last time I’ve been there. So yeah, time to plan for the next beach getaway. Maldives or Amanpulo is my dream destination. Who wouldn’t love a good book, luscious fresh fruit shake, a good swim and a massage at the beach? 🙂
- Any advice you can give women on how to live a joyful and meaningful life?
I read a blog that says, “you are a wife first and a mother second”. I think what’s missing in this line is ‘me’. Regardless of order, I believe we should give equal importance to “me” and the different hats we wear. Although I learned the hard way, learning to love myself (accepting my flaws and embracing my strengths) allowed me to be there for my love ones even more.
I also highly suggest you exercise. Make time for it. Believe me, it’s one way you can address your physical, mental and emotional issues in life.
This was me before…
And this is me now.
A happier and better version of me.
If you’re interested to know about my fitness routine, feel free to email me and I’d be glad to share my workout calendar with you. Totally free!
Cheers to all women!
Find me on Twitter – @MarketingCath or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org