Together & Set for Life!

Together & Set for Life!

Together

My soul mate, my best friend, my partner, my buddy, my sounding board, my supporter, my cheerleader, my go-to person, my kindred spirit, and most recent one, my business partner (LOL!), my beloved Husband!

A whole lot of loving & living as a Team! Always has been, 43 years of knowing each other since we were 16! Bonded in the holy sacrament of marriage for 36 years!  Up to this day, he still gallantly opens the door for me,  holds my chair and waits until I’m seated!

We’re content to be within close physical distance of each other, even if we’re not talking or interacting. We enjoy the simple pleasure of being in the same place. Usually the ground floor of our mini-townhome.  This the place where we work together, have our meals, watch movies, do ballroom dancing, etc.

He’s doing something else, e.g. reading news updates online, watching YouTube with his headphone, learning to design websites & eBook covers, reading up on technical & technology issues, etc. And I’m doing something else, reading, writing, doing household stuff, etc. and we’re peacefully & perfectly happy that way!

Words do not need to be spoken most of the times! Each one easily ‘gets it’. We’ve had an enormous share of highs & lows, stress or fights, with the good outweighing the bad. We understand each other so well, finishing each other’s sentences, thinking the very same thing simultaneously!

Oh, how we fight and argue quite often! We’re never passive, never give the silent treatment. We just force each other to actually talk through, with him at the end saying sorry for something he never, or will ever be guilty of! LOL! I do really say sorry of course, even when I don’t really want to! But with such a long journey, we know that we can always work through every fight & argument as in the past many years! There’s a solid foundation to fall back on!

He does small things that make my life just a little bit easier. Doing seemingly trivial things better for me, no matter how simple. He never gets tired of listening to me, we never stop talking to and laughing with each other, about anything and everything, e.g. trivial or insignificant, life-changing, etc.

Whether it’s cooking, doing the grocery, paying utility bills, both of us don’t mind doing as long as we are by each other’s side, every little moment in which we continuously share our lives together.  He asks permission in everything, e.g. who’s getting into the shower first, “am going to bed early, do you need anything”, etc.  Always willing to make sacrifices, no act is too small or too big for him to make me feel that “he’s always there for me”!

Now that I’m a ‘newbie’ in digital technology, e.g. social media, writing eBooks, navigating the blogosphere, he’s compelled (patiently, of course!) to teach me and train me to learn all those things. He created my Facebook accounts, set up, build-ups, tweaks my website and even designs my eBook covers! It’s a blessing that his forte is on the technical side! And when I’m confused about the intricacies of eBook writing (posting it on my website, self-publishing, etc.), who else do I bent all my frustrations! But my beloved husband with all the love in the world encourages & motivates me to face the challenges head on, believes with his whole heart that I can do it, to keep the faith and never, ever give up!

With God at the center of everything we do, we are together and set for life!

My ‘Toxic’ Boss and I!

My ‘Toxic’ Boss and I!Open-Minded

My ‘Toxic’ Boss and I!

For many years, I was in a work environment where my boss was the ‘toxic’ type: critical, temperamental, creates a hostile environment, frequently frustrated, close minded, very opinionated, negative attitude, and erratic mood swings!

I’ve been there, I experienced it for years! I know how it feels to be working with a hard-nosed, tough and demanding perfectionist who rules with intimidation, insists on getting his way, very manipulative, mood changes very quickly from reasonably nice to ‘toxic’.

I must say ‘though that my boss was very intelligent, academically & technically superior!  It was difficult to work with him but during his ‘fine, good mood’ moments, he listened to reason because he was all about doing the best job he can, wanting to make an excellent impression to his superior (the CEO himself!).

He also knew that talented people (at least he considered me as one (describing me as the “most brilliant senior office administrator” in the company) made things happen. As I was reporting directly to him, he kind of expected me to have the same intellectual capability that he has! But many times, he drove me nuts in trying to achieve ‘outstanding’ or at least ‘exceeding expectation’ performance.

For those who are currently in the same situation, if it’s any consolation, take comfort in knowing that you have more company than you can imagine. And the good news is that you are not powerless. Quite the contrary, you don’t need to passively accept a ‘toxic’ boss. If your boss is obnoxious and bullies you, you have a responsibility to do something! And more often than not, a brilliant boss would love to hear feedback from their employees, he wants to know if he’s right and how to be, and where else he can do better.

If changing job or seeking employment in another department or elsewhere is not possible and not your immediate option (it was never for me!), you should do everything in your capacity to resolve this kind of situation.

Do not ever complain about your boss to any of your colleagues or worse, go to HR Dept. This could backfire on you and make matters worse.

Please bear in mind that clever & successful employees know how to make the most of a bad situation. A ‘toxic’ boss does not intimidate them!  Yes, they are coerced during sudden outbursts of nastiness & meanness!  But they easily bounce back, regain their footing and deal with the situation head-on.

They are smart enough to be resourceful and do their own discrete research so as to fully understand their ‘toxic’ boss. They use their personal observations and gathered information to gain leverage to neutralize the ‘toxic’ behavior.

It’s how you triumph or overcome those things and not focusing on what you’re going through at the moment, but rising above it and seeing how you can grow stronger.

While working with a ‘toxic’ boss is full of challenges and can be overwhelming, the positive side was I became more empowered, boldly confident, my communications and time management skills are unparalleled, and my overall self-image and worth are notched higher. The key is having excellent work ethics, shunning mediocrity, learning how to manage up this type of boss and work the negatives to your advantage.

The most important thing I did was choosing my battles wisely, widening my perspective and course of actions. As the saying goes, “it is wiser to be a master of your destiny than a victim of your history”!

You might say what I’ve written here are easily said than done. It can be hard and overwhelming but if you want to keep a highly paying job, like mine with a free high-end apartment, free utilities, children’s educational assistance (my kids studied overseas), you have no other option but to do it.

I look at it in a positive way that there is always a lesson to learn from everything and everyone. Nothing happens by accident.

If worst comes to worst, after repeated efforts for cooperation, still nothing happens and your whole well-being is undermined to the point of becoming a nervous wreck, it may be best for you to look for another job elsewhere. You have to decide how much stress & pressure you can handle.

With my experience working with a ‘toxic’ boss, nothing rattles me anymore! I can hold my own in any turf. I was promoted to the highest grade of my position with a much higher salary & more benefits. I ‘travelled the world’ to say the least. It couldn’t have been possible had I not been open-minded and judged my ‘toxic’ boss unnecessarily!

In summary, I reaped the rewards and coped with the challenges by being not judgmental. With an open-minded attitude, I thrived and flourished in a hostile work environment by:

  • Effectively navigating a negative situation to work in my favor.
  • I used time-tested strategies that successful people adapt to work effectively with their ‘toxic’ bosses.
  • I applied self-defense mechanisms which kept my dignity, sense of empowerment and self-respect intact.
  • I fostered a good relationship with my boss, toxic he maybe notwithstanding and why it was important to do that.
  • I made myself, my toxic boss and co-workers around me happier by creating an impact to change our work environment into a better place.

My experience became an incredible learning process. I discovered how working with this ‘toxic’ personality type of boss could serve me long-term and ultimately I grew from the process.

The Color of White!

Outer Layers

Outer Layers – One day at a time

I love wearing white. I love the freshness and crispness of a good white blouse, skirts, pants or dress. Whether it is spring, summer, fall or winter, it’s still all white for me! It all started 24 years ago when I decided to forgo my sense of style. I used to be a fastidious dresser, with expensive taste in clothes, bags & shoes.

When I made the decision to wear only white, it was liberating, some kind of freedom! No longer had I to spend time choosing my outfit for the day, what color to match with this & that shoes or bag! I found it such a fresh and easy way, no complication, it is as simple as that! Even if wearing white makes me look bigger, I don’t mind it at all. It’s a versatile color!

During inclement weather or in winter, it’s still all white for me underneath my jackets or sweaters! Although I must say, white winter wear in heavier fabrics are now available, and it definitely makes a difference in bringing out the warm weather favorite out the in the cold. Even if white easily show stains or water drenched! Any time of the year, it is white, white for me!

Wearing white is a personal choice. All my whites are made from cotton. It is natural fiber which acts as channels of positive energy. The cotton fibers interact with the surroundings giving in positive energy and filtering out anything negative. I find wearing white chic, cool and refreshing. White reflects on my face, it reflects light and absorbs perspiration, so it gives cool and collected aura, even if the temperature soars to the hottest!

The color white is cleanliness, innocence and wholeness personified! It is the ultimate in purity. White is the color of new beginnings, wiping the slate clean. For me, wearing white is dressing with a dignified look, grace, modesty and understated elegance. With a clutter-free look, white strengthens my character and personality. I feel it expands my sense of well-being, completely aware of what my purpose in life is!

Wearing white is constant thinking about the Almighty God, offering all my thoughts and everything that I do to the creator of the whole universe.  White creates a strong interaction between me and my God, my environment and with everybody around me. White cleanses my inner self and purifies my thoughts, emotions, and my spirit. It refreshes and strengthens my entire body & soul. 

White blends with the energy of all colors which support and enhance the aura of white. I feel that white reflects what is inside of me, which is the pure love of God. This radiates to other people around me and to my surroundings.

An elegant white dress provides instant visibility to people. White gives impact and projection. People easily remember me as the ‘lady in white’! The only way we can connect with others, for them to remember us is if we make an impact with the way we project ourselves. Dressing in white makes a difference, it can expand our projection and energy, much, much more than when we dress like everyone else.

White connotes simplicity, innocence, cleanliness, equality, complete and whole, immaculate, neat and pristine. However, it can also mean sterile (as in hospitals/clinics), empty, isolated, cautious, plain, distant, unimaginative, critical and boring.

Scrawls of an Idle Mind: A Writer’s Thoughts on Setting Up a New Website

Scrawls of an Idle Mind: A Writer’s Thoughts on Setting Up a New Website

I’m a newbie eBook writer; after self-publishing 2 eBooks, only then I realized the enormous importance of having my own website! Thank you, WordPress! You’re an inspiration!

Discover

We love to highlight established blogs and websites to show how you can use WordPress.com to tell your own stories, but we also think you’ll find inspiration from new sites and fresh voices. Meet Nicholas Rinth, the writer at Scrawls of an Idle Mind, who was kind enough to chat with us about setting up his website.


You could choose from numerous platforms to publish your work online. Why did you go with WordPress.com?

I found quite a few centered on poetry, short stories, and fantasy and realized most were powered by WordPress.com.

The decision wasn’t easy. I stayed up all night reading articles titled “The 15 Best Blogging Sites” and “Excellent Digital Publishing Platforms for Serious Writers,” or something along those lines. It was like a series of ads trying to sell you their product by describing the same features over and over again (yes, I choose you, Geico).

In…

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“I Am Interested in Human Stories”: Iain Akerman on the Alternative Scenes of the Middle East

“I Am Interested in Human Stories”: Iain Akerman on the Alternative Scenes of the Middle East

My family lived & worked in the Middle East for 35 years! The mainstream media (newspapers, TV, etc.), mobile & social networks (FB, YouTube, Instagram which currently “shape” journalism are inundated with stories of intolerance and factionalism on a daily basis. But always remember that the people of Middle East have the same needs and desires as most of us, which is to live in safety and peace with our fellow human beings.

Discover

Journalist and editor Iain Akerman has spent many years covering the culture and politics of the Middle East — focusing on the region’s underground movements and the people who animate them.

Iain’s pieces on street art in Beirut, parkour in Gaza, and Dubai’s emerging club culture (among many other topics) have appeared in magazines across the Middle East and Europe, as well as on his blog. Here, we chat about freelance writing, the challenges of creating art in places like Syria and Palestine, and his knack for finding fresh angles from which to cover an often-misunderstood region.


You’ve been dividing your time between Dubai, Beirut, and London. What path led you to this split existence?

IainAddis (1)

A mix of practicalities and a love of the Middle East, I guess. I lived in Dubai for nine years, using it as a base for work as a journalist, but also as a hub for travel across the Levant, Iran, Yemen…

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Finally they’re out!

This eBook is our tribute to all past & present OFWs who have to endure unparalleled sacrifices, seemingly unbearable loneliness and insurmountable challenges, if only to give a better life for their families.

1st eBook : OFW Momma Says … 16 Tips Ways to Live & Works Successfully in the Middle East
Please purchase / read / review our eBooks. US$2.99

Your kind support is deeply appreciated. Be blessed always!

ofw-book-image

33 Verses to Remind Us – We Do Not Have to Fear:

We might still feel afraid, but we can believe that God is with us. We may not be in control, but we can trust the One who is. We may not know the future, but we can know the God who does.

  1. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
  2. “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Psalm 56:3
  3. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
  4. “Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.” John 14:27
  5. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
  6. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18
  7. “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.” Psalm 94:19
  8. “But now, this is what the Lord says…Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1
  9. “An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” Proverbs 12:25
  10. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4
  11. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
  12. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34
  13. “Humble yourselves, then, under God’s mighty hand, so that he will lift you up in his own good time. Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7
  14. “Tell everyone who is discouraged, Be strong and don’t be afraid! God is coming to your rescue…” Isaiah 35:4
  15. “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?  Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” Luke 12:22-26
  16. “The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1
  17. “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.” Psalm 55:22
  18. “Immediately he spoke to them and said, ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’” Mark 6:50
  19. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
  20. “’For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Do not be afraid, for I myself will help you,’ declares the Lord, your Redeemer, and the Holy One of Israel.” Isaiah 41:13-14
  21. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
  22. “The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? The Lord is with me; he is my helper.” Psalm 118:6-7
  23. “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” Proverbs 29:25
  24. “He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” Mark 4:39-40
  25. “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.” Psalm 34:7
  26. “But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats.” 1 Peter 3:14
  27. “I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4
  28. “Do not be afraid of them; the Lord your God himself will fight for you.” Deuteronomy 3:22
  29. “Then he placed his right hand on me and said: ‘Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.’” Revelation 1:17
  30. “Jesus told him, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe.’” Mark 5:36
  31. “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.” Romans 8:38-39
  32. “The Lord your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.” Zephaniah 3:17
  33. “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”…He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.  A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you…For he will command his angels concerning you, to guard you in all your ways…“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.  He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him…” from Psalm 91:1-16

Be assured, He is with you in whatever you face, in the turmoil and struggles, amidst the anxious thoughts and the worries of life. He is there, strengthening, helping, and He holds you in His hands.

God is greater. He gives us the power to live courageously, boldly, fearlessly in this life, when many things that surround us would tell us to be afraid. His truth whispers strong and sure to the deepest core of our spirits.

“Do not fear.”

All of that stuff on your mind? Give it to Him – again. Replace those fearful thoughts with His words of truth. And sleep in peace tonight. He knows what concerns you, He’s got you covered.

Peace.

Debbie McDaniel is a writer, pastor’s wife, mom to three amazing kids (and a lot of pets). Join her each morning on Fresh Day Ahead’s facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/DebbieWebbMcDaniel, for daily encouragement in living strong, free, hope-filled lives.
Find her also at http://www.debbiemcdaniel.com and http://twitter.com/debbmcdaniel

We are set for life!

My soul mate, my best friend, my partner, my buddy, my sounding board, my supporter, my cheerleader, my go-to person, my kindred spirit, and most recent one, my business partner (LOL!), my beloved Husband!

A whole lot of loving & living as a Team! Always has been, 43 years of knowing each other since we were 16! Bonded in the holy sacrament of marriage for 36 years)!

We’re content to be within close physical distance of each other, even if we’re not talking or interacting. We enjoy the simple pleasure of being in the same place (ground floor of our mini-townhome). Where we work together, sleep on our sofa bed, have our meals, watch movies, etc. He’s doing something else, e.g. reading news updates online, watching YouTube with his headphone, learning to design websites & eBook covers, reading up on technical & technology issues, etc. And I’m doing something else, reading, writing, ironing, stitching, cooking, washing dishes, and we’re peacefully & perfectly happy that way!

Words do not need to be spoken most of the times! Each one easily ‘gets it’. We’ve had an enormous share of highs & lows, stressed out or fighting a lot, with the good outweighing the bad. We understand each other so well, finishing each other’s sentences, thinking the very same thing simultaneously! There’s a solid foundation to fall back on!

Oh, how we fight and argue quite often! We’re never passive, never give silent treatment. We just force each other to actually talk through, with him at the end saying sorry for something he is never or will ever be guilty of! LOL! I do really say sorry of course, even when I don’t really want to! But with such a long history, we know that we can always work through every fight & argument as in past many years!

He does small things that makes my life just a little bit easier. Doing seemingly trivial things better for me, no matter how simple. He never gets tired of listening to me, we never stop talking to each other, about anything and everything, e.g. trivial or insignificant, life-changing, etc.
Whether it’s cooking, doing the grocery, paying utility bills, both of us don’t mind doing as long as we are by each other’s side, every little moment in which we continuously share our lives together.

He asks permission in everything, e.g. who’s getting into the shower first, “am going to bed now, do you need anything”, etc. Always willing to make sacrifices, no act is too small or too big for him to make me feel that he truly loves me!

With God at the center of everything we do, we are set for life!

First blog post

First blog post

My communication skills (both oral & writing) have given enormous blessings and golden opportunities not only for my family but enabled me to serve other Filipinos in need as well. Writing persuasively comes easy and naturally for me.

Writing eBooks is a new skill and interest! Why am I doing it now at age 62 or how I do it might inspire the younger generation, help and encourage other ex-OFWs, retirees, and senior citizens to try something new for themselves! I do not allow age become a stumbling block. Instead, I use my wisdom and experience as a stepping stone to continue being productive in my retirement years!