These past couple of weeks have seen me come and go from the front of this computer. packing and keeping track of your stuff is bearable but it definitely isn’t fun, especially when all I want to do is eat good food and write my heart out. The week went by so quickly though, so here are two posts that are overdue.
Another week of the Partner Challenge under my belt, and I’m feeling really good about it. This week was Undas week in the Philippines. Undas, or All Saints’ Day, is a BIG DEAL when you’re a Filipino. If it falls near a weekend, prepare for mid-week traffic. This whole shebang starts on the 31st of October, which is a half-day off already. If you don’t get ahead of the crowd, you’ll be stuck in it. Everyone does their best to go back to the provinces, or to wherever their dear departed are resting
at the moment, so they can be with them and honor them the way we know best: by throwing a feast! Make way for the lechon and Tanduay rum!
At the cemetery.
I personally do not like this tradition because I hate crowds. I hate small spaces and the smell of other people’s everything. I hate getting shoved or leaning out of the way of cigarette smoke or being mindful of my head because you never know when a guitar is going to be swung into action over the headstones. Add to that a teensy baby, and I’m all kinds of hell no.
But still, off to the province we go. Not to the graves, but to the set of apartments where my Grandma lives and my Grandpa rests in snug cremated repose. It’s great because we get to spend time with my younger cousins, who are growing like weeds, and they get to coo and cuddle Houdini. It was so adorable seeing them work their Aunt and Uncle-ness for the first time. Of course, all my aunts and uncles had nothing but advice and questions, such as “Why do you bathe her at night? Mapapasma yan.”
Pasma is one of those cultural words you can’t define. It’s a medical term for Filipinos, which can mean either ‘sweat’ or ‘tremors’. I’ve only heard it to describe people with sweaty palms. Saying that Houdini will grow up with over-active sweat glands and tremors because her bathtime is at night is like saying a person going to bed with wet hair is going to wake up blind (my mom loved scaring me with that one). What’s the connection?
They also like to ask me when my painstakingly breastfed Houdini’s going to start solids so that she can start formula too…
Four days of this. The road to madness, amirite?
Through all of this, my one rock of sanity was my husband. I never really understood how much he supported me until this week. I feel judged on all sides, except for when he’s talking to me. He takes all my wants in stride, and he does his best to make sure I can achieve them. He’s the only one in my family that I even feel confident about telling to read my blog. When we got home yesterday, he even asked me if I had written any posts!
Shamefully enough, I didn’t even get a chance to check my blog during Undas, which means Blogging201 blew past me like a ninja tumbleweed. I did learn one thing though, and that is to check your stats. It gives you some happy, happy feels to see how much your readership has grown. When you check the summaries and calculate it by the day of the week, you can start to see a pattern in that readership.
If I could only learn one thing, it would be that: Check Your Stats.
But that’s just one lesson. If you took Blogging201, what do you think was the most important lesson? If not, do you ever plan to take the course?