By Carolina S. Ruiz Austria

The word "Heresy"

was used by Irenaeus in Contra Haereses to discredit his opponents in the early Christian Church. It has no purely objective meaning without an authoritative system of dogma.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Catching Up on Slowing Down

This is a picture of my family's favorite dish. Well, at least, one of our favorites. It's To's version of something he saw on TV, Penne tossed in fresh pesto and asparagus, served on a bed of spinach and topped with cottage cheese!

Once in a while, I get curious (or self-conscious, take your pick) about the generation and techcnological gap between myself and a younger generation of bloggers. I mentioned before that at a forum on BLOGGING, I pointed out to college students how each of us (particularly, people of different generations) relate to the new media (Internet etc.). I knew they would find it amusing if I mentioned how I pre-edited my posts (especially longer articles, treatises really) on word before I posted them but come to think of it, I never really expected them to laugh as hard as they did, when they did. ;-)

So now I'm trying it "their way" and I am writing as I think. OK so maybe I still pause more often than your Gen-Y (or is it Z?) Blogger (I hate typos and even lapses in subject/verb agreement even more!) and maybe there really isn't any possible comparison. I wanted to write about life in general (hopefully no longer in the abstract as I have been so wont to do in my last few posts) and how I have learned to appreciate those "spaces" (READ: free time) which I used to dread when I was a" 3-4 cups a day caffeinated, double-booking, triple meeting, countless deadlines sort of Women's NGO Executive Director person" of only a year ago.

This morning over breakfast with a friend, I laughed about how in the early days of my "new freedom," I felt quite helpless and literally LOST. I actually carried a laptop around as a sort of "security blanket," since after my term as Executive Director, I actually had no place to call as an "office," outside that of my home office/library. I dreaded the LONG hours of not having as much to do as I did before, even when I actually still had a LOT to do relatively speaking, since I had consultancy projects.

But having to deal with projects one at a time was certainly new to me as a former Executive Director so gradually I found other things to do. I started a website, a blog, and read a lot of books I never had the time to read or finish before. I had my nails done (although I'm really not the type to have them done regularly. I just want them clean) and I took on the task of picking up my daughter from her class at least 3-4 times a week (when I never used to or had to since it has always been my husband's job!)

I took up baking. Now this is an area of raging controversy. I exaggerate of course. Its more like a contestation of notions, that is about what is edible, tasty or passable, "laman tiyan," (literally: stomach filling). I always tell friends about the therapeutic nature of baking, especially when you are a recovering micro-managing institution chief or head of operations. Baking is so exacting (it requires accurate measurements) that it literally set my soul singing when I first tried and failed, and failed, and tried, and finally baked something my labrador liked a lot and eagerly gobbled up. Of course much later, my family also ate what I baked and now I think, I can bake a few basic stuff without disastrous consequences. My little girl actually compared my past baking disasters to a Chevy Chase movie (this is my own fault for letting her watch HBO). My worst baking disaster was when a pyrex baking dish exploded when I took it out of the oven and laid it down on a cold marble countertop. Nobody was hurt (except of course my ego because it was Christmas Eve) and the countertop had a minor burn mark (you can't even see it now).

Now I realize, after all these months and within a year, I have gone a long way from that sense of having lost out on a life "full" of overlapping schedules and "important" events. I no longer carry a heavy laptop (which is the kind I have anyway) and I have comfortably settled into my "new office," which is anywhere in UP in the areas of the UP shopping Center (internet shops), the Chocolate Kiss Cafe (for both social and work related meetings), the UP College of Law Library (Faculty lounge), the UP CSWCD Library, and of course, the CCCC grounds where I also had an opportunity to meet with and get to know a few other Moms like myself. (At one time, when word got out I was a lawyer, I ended up giving legal counseling to a few Moms who were interested in legal advice).

Once in a while I do still get busy because of projects and work but it doesn't compare to what my life was like only a year ago and for five years, that is since co-founding Womenlead in 2000. No, those were good days (and there were undoubtedly bad days too) but I'm happy with it being in the past because I have learned to like the present a great deal.


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