Goodbye 2020, Welcome 2021

As I have been doing for the past few years, I thank and say goodbye to the old year and welcome the new one.  2020 was a crazily unexpected year to say the least.  The Pandemic COVID-19 took over and the whole world was affected.  I am among the group of people who lost her job.  Yet in the middle of the chaos, I sought God more than ever.   I prayed and prayed for the whole world, for my family and for all the people around the world. 

There was a lot of uncertainty and to me the only thing certain is that no matter what, God is still in control.  God is always in control.  As the days passed by, I started to feel more at ease, and I started trusting God even more.  I saw my beloved New York City, the city where I have been working most of my career life, deserted.  Time Square did not look like Time Square.  I prayed for New York City, the city I fell in love with when I started working there in 2010.

My three-year-old, soon to be four, also loves New York City.  Once it was ok to go outside with the mask, my toddler Isaac and I made a few trips to the City.  For us going to the city is just a 25-minute ride as we live across the Hudson river in Jersey.  I like working in the city and living in Jersey.  Isaac, my child did not go out of the house for about three months during the quarantine.  When we finally started going out, I was surprised at how quickly he got used to the face mask, although he would ask me to remove it from time to time. 

Isaac loves taking the public NJ Transit bus, the MTA bus and the subway (he loves trains and riding them), so I started doing trips, with safety precautions, to NYC.  2020 was the year, where Isaac was going to start going to pre-k school for the first time.  Due to the Pandemic, school became virtual even for kids that young.  I decided not to proceed with the school enrollment.  Instead, I continue teaching him at home as I had already been doing. 

Given the circumstances, not all was bad in 2020.  I was able to spend more time with my child.  Initially, when the pandemic started, the church service was being streamed online.  Once we had the ok to go back to church, I was able to go on Sundays, every Sunday with my family, something I had not been able to do for a long time due to my work schedule. 

2021 is a new Year and as I write this, we already are in the middle of February (Time flies).  COVID-19 has not yet been fully eradicated but just the fact it is a new year brings also new hope. 

I pray to God that this year will be a year of healing and a year where we close the gap on physical distance and are able to come close together again.  And while we may not be able to come physically close just yet, we are able to come spiritually close.  So, I pray that regardless of how distant we physically are, that we get spiritually closer than ever before.  I hope that we love one another more than ever.  I hope that we stop judging one another and embrace ourselves, because however different we may be, we have a lot more in common than we have uncommon.  We may be of different race, ethnicity or background,  but we are ONE specie.  The human specie is only one specie.  Let’s live and spread love.  When there is love, there cannot be hatred.  Let’s choose love, where there is love, there is compassion.  Where there is love, there is forgiveness.  Where there is love, there is God.  Everything is possible with God.

2021 Welcome

God bless you, with love,

 Querin

Who Has The Best Mom In The World? I do

“As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you;”

~Isaiah 66:13

Happy Mother’s day to all moms.  I’ll repeat it again.  Happy Mother’s day to all moms.  Today is mother’s day here in the US.  A thought suddenly came to my mind; Mother’s day is celebrated more than father’s day. This of course is no surprise to anyone, and this is not to say that father’s day should not be celebrated.  There are fathers who are awesome, but moms are usually the ones who really carry the responsibility of raising their children. 

First of all, moms start taking care of us from the very beginning.  Dad just plants the seed and goes about his business as usual; but that’s not the case for the mom.  Mom’s body starts changing right away.  For some moms, this is more obvious and more symptomatic than for other moms, but regardless moms are the ones taking care of us from the get go.  Dad only deposits the sperms (millions of them) and then the race starts for who is going to get to mom’s egg first.  That brings me to the next fact of life; you are already a winner.  If all your life you have felt as a looser, that is no true.  You won a race, way before you saw the light of this world.  You are a winner. 

Ok, let’s get back on topic…So now the egg has been fertilized.  Mom doesn’t know anything yet, but she starts feeling a little more tired than usual.  She stars feeling more sleepy (disclaimer: all moms are different.  Their symptoms differ).  Mom then gets confirmation that she has a new organism that is growing inside of her.  This news comes to moms in different forms:  Some are supper happy.  Some are scared. Some are surprised.  Some believe (and know) it’s a miracle.  The mom knows first.  Some dads never even know.  The mom is the first one to have that intimate connection with her child.  The mom’s life changes forever.  The mom is the one who makes the major sacrifice without expecting anything in return.  Some moms are lucky to have a supporting husband by their side (a supportive dad who also becomes an amazing dad), but the truth is that is not always the case, so back to mom. 

The mom is the one with the body where that child’s life can be sustained until she/he is ready to come out to the world.  Jus think for a moment about all a mom has to go thru to protect her child even before that child is out in the world.  She has to be in the right state of mind.  She has to be courageous.  She has to have faith.  So much a mom goes thru and the crazy thing is that we almost take this for granted.  Back in the days, when medicine and technology was not that advanced, the number of women who died in childbirth was staggering. 

God uses the woman, the mom for that amazing miracle to bring life to the world.  If you as a woman decided you do not want to have kids (hey, I don’t blame you) because you want to focus on your career growth, developing your life, or because you think this world is overpopulated, or too messed up to keep bringing babies, whatever your opinion is, I respect it. And yet, I give thanks to God for all moms. 

Thank you all moms for putting up with us.  Thank you God for moms.  Thank you God for moms (This is not a typo).  Men take credit for many things, but there is one thing they cannot take credit for…for being a mom (although some do come very close to it). 

Thank you Mom for your love.  Thank you Mom for doing the best you could with the resources you had.  I love you like you cannot imagine, but however much that love is, I know you love me so much more. 

Thank you God for my mom.  I love you mom

“As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you;”

~Isaiah 66:13

God bless you, with love,

Querin

Be A Friend To Someone In Need

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”

~Proverbs 17:17

This pic. was taken on February 22, 2020 ,on Isaac’s Birthday. The two people I’m pointing with the green arrows were of great support to me during my child’s pregnancy. I am forever grateful for their love and support when I was most vulnerable.

During this time of great distress for the world, there are many who need a supporting hand.  I believe that God works thru us.  I believe that God uses us to help others.  Be a helping hand to someone in need or in distress if you are able to do so. 

This COVID-19 pandemic is affecting people differently.  If you are in a position where you feel mentally well and stable to be a support system to someone who is in a less desirable situation than you are, be that support system.  It can be something as simple as doing daily check-in calls to check up on that one person.  It doesn’t have to be a long lasting conversation.  It can be a daily five to fifteen-minute call.  Doing this, of course, should not create an unsafe situation for you. 

So if you do it once and you think that it will not work for you, than don’t feel guilty.  Maybe you can send a daily text message instead.  Find something that works for you and that brings comfort to the other person.  If you do decide to do the daily call,  you can have supporting conversations, pray together (over the phone I mean), laugh, cry, empathized.  Believe it or not, this may bring tremendous emotional comfort to the person in distress (and to YOU).  They will feel the love, the compassion, and the push to keep on going.  And that’s what God is all about. 

If you are taking care of someone who is sick or in distress, THANK YOU, thank you for all you are doing.  You are so amazing.  You are not alone.  Thank you for providing that emotional support and love.  I’m with you.  We are in this together.  God bless you!

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”

~Proverbs 17:17

God bless you & with lots of love for you and for the whole world,

Querin

Sleep Well

“When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.”

~ Proverbs 3:24

My child taking a nap

For the past week or so, I had been going to sleep pretty late.  I was doing the opposite of what I wanted.  I was going to sleep late every night and as a result, I was waking up late.  Two days ago, I decided to change that.  I went to sleep still somewhat late but I set my alarm to wake up at 7:00 am.  I was a little tired but I still did wake up.  At around 5:00 pm, I started feeling a slight headache.  I was feeling a little tired but I decided that I was not going to take a nap at that time, otherwise I would not be able to go to sleep early.  So I stayed Up and by 9:00 pm I was so sleepy I could no longer keep my eyelids open.  The nice thing is that my child also fell asleep with me. I was able to reset my sleeping time, although I had to force myself to stay up when I wanted to take a nap. 

I understand some people are night owls while others are early risers.  For me waking up early works best.  I get more things done and I enjoy the first hours of the morning to myself before the sun rises.   My goal is to go to bed by 9:00 pm and wake up at 5:00 am.  This will allow me to have the first couple of hours of the morning to myself and to do my writing. 

Why I’m I writing about sleeping well?  Because sleeping well is essential for your health.  Years ago, I used to think that sleeping was not that important.  I used to cut on sleep all the time so that I could have time to do other things.  I even used to think that sleeping for eight hours was a sign of laziness.  So whenever I would sleep eight hours or more, my body felt physically good, but I felt guilty for sleeping that many hours. 

Little did I know at the time, that sleeping as much as your body needs, would make you a better performer at everything you do during the hours that you are awake.  Then I came across Arianna Huffington’s book called Thrive.  In her book she talks about the importance of sleeping and what being sleep deprived did to her.  She also shared stories of top CEOs and high performers who were getting sick due to being sleep deprived.  This was not only eye opening to me, but it made perfect sense.  How the heck did I think I could go on sleeping only 2, 3, 4 hours a day.  It was only a matter of time before my body gave up just like it happened to Arianna when she collapsed while working at her desk and broke her jaw.  I was already giving major signs of being super sleep deprived.  I would fall asleep when watching a movie.  I would fall asleep on the bus.  Even on the subway train, I would fall asleep and if you are a New Yorker, you know you should not fall asleep on the subway train. 

As I started feeling my energy level go down, I still was not associating that it could be due not sleeping enough hours for my body to restore, detoxify and to regenerate its cells.  Yes, eating well is very important, but sleeping well is also very important.  Lately, there are a lot of studies being done about the importance of sleeping well.  As I started to listen to my body, I started paying attention to my sleeping habits.  They were horrible.  I knew that sleeping well was something I needed to work on. 

It improved and then when I had my child and I went back to work, my sleeping patterns got messy again.  At the time, I was in a job where my schedule used to rotate every three months.  Before, having a child, I used to pay little attention to my schedule, but when I became a parent, time really became of the essence. 

I decided that I would not longer continue a rotational schedule where three months I would go to bed about two or three in the morning and three months I would have to wake up at 4:00 in the morning.  That was not conducive for my health and my family.  So I made the decision to leave that job.  Fast forward, I work only the morning shift.  My sleeping habits have improved tremendously but I had to make a conscious decision to make sleeping-well a priority. 

Now, this is not to say that my sleep is perfect all the time.  I have mad tremendous improvement to my sleep but it is not perfect.  During this time that we are in quarantine at home, to my surprise, my sleep got disrupted for the first week that I have been at home.  However, I was able to recognize that and I decided to course correct.  I was falling on the trap of going to sleep very late at night and waking up late.  Sleeping late and waking up late doesn’t work for me.  I want to be up before my child is up.  I also want do my writing early in the morning.  And once the quarantine is over and I have to go back to work, I will just continue waking up early to go to work. 

So since I found myself getting sidetracked with my sleep, I made a conscious assessment about it. Going to bed early and waking up early is sustainable for me; going to bed late and waking up late is not. 

What works for you?  If going to bed early is what works then you know what to do.  If going to bed late is what works, you know what to do.  If you do not know what works best for you, do your own experiment.  Test out going to bed early and waking up early, and going to bed late and waking up late.  Make an assessment of how you feel on either case, then decide which one works best for you. 

This is not about being perfect but about making progress.  My goal is to go to bed by 9:00 pm every night.  I know that being in bed by 9:00 pm every single night may not happen every single night.  But being aware that this is my goal will allow me to make yes or no decisions about events that may have to keep me up past 9:00 pm.  Are they that important that the sleeping pattern that I am creating may be disrupted?  And think about it, it’s not just about a sleeping pattern; this is about living as healthy and well as we can.

I understand that sometimes we have schedules that don’t go in line with our ideal sleeping patterns.  For example when I used to work a rotational schedule, I used to crave a regular day schedule.  As much as I wanted to go to bed early and wake up early consistently, I could not because of my working schedule.  I did not beat myself over it and I did not do anything about it until I had my child.  If I new better at the time, I would not have waited until having my child to make sleeping-well a priority. 

When I had my child, I left my rotational schedule because it was not working with my new lifestyle.  Before my baby, I could sleep until late.  When I had my baby even if I went to sleep late, I had to be up by a certain time; so it’s needless to say that I felt tired when I was supposed to be fully present and energized for my child and my family.  

Find what works for you and adjust your time to it.  If you are in a position that you cannot adjust your time to sleep during the hours that will work best for you, make a plan to change that.  If you have people in your life that play an active and important role in your lifestyle, talk to them about how important sleeping well is for you and share all the benefits that sleeping well will produce in your life (your own life as an individual and your own life as a group).  Do some research of the benefits of sleeping well and have a list of all the benefits to share with the people in your life who will also be impacted by your sleep.    So here is to sleeping well and staying well. 

Sleeping well is not a luxury; it’s a must, if you want to thrive in life.  Don’t worry about being perfect on this, focus on making progress on this.  Find what works for you. 

“When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.”

~ Proverbs 3:24

God bless you & with love,

Querin

Happy Birthday Mom

Wow, my mom was laughing so hard that it made me start laughing too. Happiness is contagious.  She turned another year young. I was so happy to see her laughing with abandon. We went out for dinner at Joe’s Crab Shack. My oldest niece who went with us was also cracking up. Really, everyone on the table was just laughing and having fun.

It had been a while since I saw her laughing the way she did.  It made me ask myself this question: How can we create more moments like this on a regular basis? Let me know below any ideas you have on little simple things we can do to create more laughter in our daily living.

With lots of love!

Querin

 

P.S.  Find ways to laugh today (and every day)…not just smile.  Laughter is great for your health.

4th of July

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for.  Keep on seeking, and you will find.  Keep on Knocking, and the door will be opened to you.”

~ Luke 11:9 NLT

So what did we do on the 4th of July?  My husband’s sister came to visit with her husband.  It was very nice to have them over.  We cooked and and after lunch we headed to a park near us.  Isaac had a really good time spending time with family.