On Loving, Living, and Learning: Cat Arambulo-Antonio Shares Reflections
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On Loving, Living, and Learning

On Loving, Living, and Learning

Parenting | September 24, 2020
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This lockdown has been filled with learnings for my family and I. The past few months have been the toughest months of my life, I won’t deny that, but I believe that whatever was meant to harm me, He would definitely use it for good. So, despite the booboo I made, which I am truly sorry for, God still gave me the chance to reflect on myself, learn and do better. In those moments, by His grace, I was able to discover a few hidden gems that I have been dying to share with you. Here are a few:

1. Family Meal Time is Sacred

We rarely had REAL quality family time before this pandemic. It was quite an unusual set-up as our meals as a family was only dinner and weekends–and those meals were very much dependent on our travel schedule and social calendar. But now, with no outside work and other obligations to attend to, I have found myself sharing meal after meal after meal with my whole family. With all our gadgets turned off, we would gather around the table and take our time to eat. Sometimes I would just stare at them, bask in the beautiful noise from my kids’ overlapping stories, and tell myself, “Life is short, we should’ve done this sooner.” But then again, it’s never too late to make a family meal time sacred, right? I just started and you can intentionally do it, too.

Now, my kids won’t stop talking during meal time. We even have a “speaking bell” which  signifies whose turn it is to talk. It’s crazy but I wouldn’t trade this for anything in the world.

2. You Can Have Fun Without Technology and Gadgets

Since we were always together, I took my kids down the memory lane. Our very own Yaya V treated us to a crash course on classic Pinoy games such as patintero, agawan-base and piko. Meanwhile, my husband and I played Scrabble, Monopoly, and Snakes & Ladders with the kids indoors.

I’ve been telling my kids that these are the things you cannot learn with a tablet or a cellphone in hand so it won’t hurt to set them aside once in a while. I’m glad they listened and now they are looking forward to the weekends, because that’s when we usually bond and do exciting activities as a family all day. Carlo, my husband, is having a blast teaching the kids how to ride a bike. Danielle and Asher have figured it out after a few tries and Alana, my youngest, is going to follow soon.

3. You Cannot Give What You Do Not Have

One important thing I’ve discovered is that in order for me to be able to give the love and good energy that I have always been very vocal about meaning to share with everyone, I need to have it within myself. So, I started getting rid of all the negativity from every inch of my being, bit by bit, and replaced it with light that I found within myself during Yoga Teacher Training and love that’s from God. I’m channeling all of my energy to only positive and/or constructive thoughts, surrounding myself, and connecting with people that uplift me makes all the difference.

I also allowed myself to be a student, make mistakes, and learn everything that I could get my hands on. I learned how to cook, bake, cut my family’s hair, and currently taking voice lessons to improve my communication skills! I also learned how to clean our aircon filters and our roof drains. I finished my 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training and currently an apprentice to become a certified Kids Yoga Teacher. I am treating myself with so much love and attention that I didn’t realize it has already overpowered all the negativity I once had. Now, I can give and share the love that I have.

4. Kids Are Smarter Than You Think

I have spent so much time inside our home and with our kids that I was able to closely see and fully experience how they act and react in their everyday lives. At the heat of the Instagram story issue, Danielle was the level-headed one. Between the two of us, she exuded more maturity than I did because I was panicking while she was simply chill. She even advised and asked me if she could help me make a new apology IG note, but I never let her do it when I should’ve. She was right! So, you see, we should keep an open   mind and be humble enough to accept the fact that we are all a work in progress and that, despite the age gap, we can learn from our kids, too!

5. Your Best Life Won’t Seek Any Kind of Validation

My life has always been an open book, or should I say a series of public Instagram stories. Before the lockdown happened, I spent a huge amount of time documenting my everyday life on social media. But, since the lockdown and the issue happened, I was forced to stay out of social media (Facebook, Instagram, blog) for my own sanity and to focus on improving myself. In my moments of isolation, it was just me and God. He made me realize that it’s only Him that I need to please. No one else but the audience of one. Focusing on one’s self and working on yourself is the best thing you can do. When you compete against yourself–you will always win!

6. In Order to Fully Live, You Have to be Vulnerable

We have one life, live it well. I can always choose to curate and edit out every single thought that I’ve been sharing with my friends and followers on social media so I could appear more pleasant and so more people would like me. I can always shut comments and suggestions out just because I don’t want to hear them. I would be doing a huge disservice to myself if I do that. I would rather be hated for who I am than be loved for who I am not.

I have learned that in order for me to fully experience life, I need to be humble and vulnerable. It isn’t the same as being gullible, but vulnerable in a way that I would set aside my ego and not let the fear of being judged and disrespected get in the way of establishing real connections with other human beings, flaws and all. Speak the truth and live your truth!

7. Less is Always More

As you might have noticed on my Instagram stories, since I never go out anymore, I don’t have any reasons to go glam. This made me realize that hey, I can even last long months of simply being in my work-out outfit aka pambahay, with holes and all, and still feel happy and content. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been! Although, I do wish I could go out to at least get a manicure and pedicure.

I’ve been telling my kids that titles and all material things in this world mean nothing if they don’t feel joy from within. When you know your true self and have faith in God, you can be stripped of all the luxuries in this world and bounce back, effortlessly.

I sincerely pray that you have picked up a gem or two from my learnings. These lessons I’ve learned through my personal ordeal are yours to take home and hopefully be guided by. Again, I am still a work in progress, we all are, but always take to heart that we’re on this journey together.

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Between her unfiltered thoughts and unpredictable nature, Cat Arambulo-Antonio’s charm lies in the fact that she never does anything uninspired. She is admittedly intense, extreme but currently working towards finding her balance through yoga and meditation—which is basically all the reasons why we can totally relate to her.
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