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Postcard: Felicity

The Moringa Kitchen

This is my screen saver.

It’s a reminder for me to live with gratitude always.

Somehow we can feel the hand that brought us here, and we are in a good place. Many years ago, our young family was holed up in the big city. My husband and I were among the thousands of corporate rats in the capital who toiled for eight or more hours a day before we embarked on our own venture.

Sometime after the third baby arrived, I reached a difficult junction. I realized that the work-life balance in the work place was a delusion. I'm not very sure if the people who tout the mantra really understand it. While I was confronted with a seemingly difficult choice, I remembered the funny advice of a college professor. He said, "There is nothing more to the glorified corporate rat race. It’s a race that belongs to rats....are you a rat?”

Later, fate would have it that both of us would close our doors to corporate life and nurture a start-up. The days and years of a start-up can be very harrowing. But working for others would have made it impossible for us to have our kind of family life.

I felt too that I’ve become an overstaying selkie in Manila. The harshness of the city, finally caught up with me. I needed to heal.

One day in 2010, our eldest daughter came to me and said, “Why don’t we live in Cebu? We really like it there.” It was like she read my heart. I was dying to go back to the places of my childhood and take in the sea water. The children have not discovered yet my mermaid tendencies. I’ve almost forgotten the seaside life that I grew up with. So we made the big move. Although it was impossible to find a house by the sea to fit the needs of family & work, we are close to it as could be.

What is happiness? 

Is there a genetic disposition for one to possess it?

Is it contentment?

There is a blog called - And the Pursuit of Happiness by Maira Kalman. I’m such a big fan of her writing and her art. She ponders the question on happiness.

The latest story about understanding happiness is the Harvard study led by Robert Waldinger.

It's one question that bugs the minds of many moms who struggle to achieve balance in a fast-paced modern culture. We sort of coil in grief when we are not truthfully answering the calling of motherhood, when we are not truly present in the lives of our children. Many working moms would give everything to distance themselves from corporate life for family, but not all have the option to walk away freely when they also share the responsibility of bringing home the family income.

At least Kalman has one definite answer on happiness.

“To savor the moment.”

Is it?

Does it constitute happiness?

I think so.

There is a thing too called Divine Providence. You can leave everything there because you cannot have everything all at once. Leave everything there, nothing else matters, and happiness will find you.

I think so.

I believe so, with all my heart.