Silver linings

Silver linings can be odd sometimes.

Today my honey and I ventured out of our home in southern Metro Manila to drive to Intramuros (meaning “inside the walls), one of the oldest areas within Manila. Our mission was to pick up our renewed residency cards at the main immigration office.

We felt lucky that the excursion took less than three and a half hours, even though the round trip was under 40 km (25 mi), with only a relative quick 20 mins inside the office building.

The added silver lining was that there was a separate entry for seniors, so we sidestepped having to stand in a looong line-up of people waiting in the drizzling rain to get inside. I’m guessing they were controlling the number of people in the building to follow social-distancing rules as much as possible, and yet there was no distancing at all in the line-up itself. With my potentially compromised immunity, I’d have felt more than a little uncomfortable to stand in that line, for who knows how long. Anyway, we didn’t have to, and not many were there to pick up residency cards, so not much of a wait once we got inside, either. All good.

It made me think of another—bigger—silver lining.

The breast cancer could have popped up at any time in my life. Yet it waited for this time when I have no pressing project to focus on. I don’t know what I’d have done, for instance, if the tumor had shown up while I was crazy busy building a social enterprise for migrant services and leading a team of 16 in Moldova just a few years ago!

Now, as a solopreneur, I have the luxury of clearing my plate of as much work as I want.

And so, here’s the odd (and admittedly sad) part of this silver lining. This pandemic that started 20 months ago with its continual lockdown for us in the Philippines over the entire period has in effect made things easier for me. Not overlooking (at all!) the disruption to so many lives and businesses, for me, the pandemic has simplified life.

It has slowed me right down; moderated my urge to hustle. It’s honed my patience.

This in turn helped me considerably in being able to nimbly pivot my main focus from my business building to healing.

I can also say that it came as a surprise to me that for the first time in my life, my itchy feet are calm. I have no desire to travel right now. Yet I am thankful for the photo memories of the past decades of travels that my hard disk holds; they give me the daily delicious eye-candy I crave.

Silver linings, indeed.

I have three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.

Lao Tzu

What’s your silver lining today?

Physical update: I’m feeling a bit more tired today, but that could just be because we got up earlier than usual. And, it seems my first chemo side-effects are showing up: a bit of soreness inside my mouth and feeling achy muscles. Still completely bearable.

On-going gratitude to friends checking in on me, my prayer warriors, my generous techie friend Amanda helping me with the set-up and glitches on this site, and my nurturing honey.


  • […] As well, the on-going pandemic lockdown (soon starting our 22nd month) I see as a partial liability. At least it’s a hindrance to doing what I’d rather be doing and a reduction in my safety while my immune-system is vulnerable and compromised, and this even as I continue to appreciate that otherwise not being free to move around much has been a silver lining. […]

  • Golly I LOVE being part of this…your writing makes me feel like I’m with you and what you right is grounding and peace-giving.

    I’m so glad you’re good with the timing of all this: and that you’re feeling so good.

    • Lovely encouraging feedback, Joan. Your being with me definitely makes me feel seen, even as you are on the other side of the globe. 🙂

      Interesting to see that having given your website URL, your name now shows as red and is linked to it. Cool.

      • <3 Interesting the tweaks made a difference – it showed up differently that last time that I made a comment asking for my name, addie and URL – but that doesn't, and doesn't need to show up, so I wonder why they ask?

        I haven't seen an email notifying of your response…that doesn't make sense and I hope it's a blip that only happens the once. I only knew you replied because you told me!


        • Joan, I think how it works is that if you leave a www then it links to your name. Only a name and email are required to post a comment. And yes, still working on how to set the option to get notified of a response to a comment (instead of, or in addition to, new posts).

  • To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven. So glad you have the perfect season to heal and focus on what you need to do. You have spent so much of your life focusing on what others need from you. Now what we all need from you, dear friend, is that you focus on your own needs, your own healing, your own comfort. This is the season of Francisca, and we rejoice in your taking care to make your body a less hospitable place for any recurrence of the cancer.

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