“Life always has different chapters. You just can’t be in the same chapter forever. You’ll get stuck.” ~ @WilzKanadi
This quote jumped out at me as I was checking my Twitter timeline. I did not exactly think of my life in terms of chapters but when I look back, I can indeed see the “chapters” and how they have led me to where I am now and what I will be doing down the road.
Chapter 1 – The Driven Life of a Type A Person
In this article, it says “Type A personalities experience a constant sense of urgency: Type A people seem to be in a constant struggle against the clock. Often, they quickly become impatient with delays and unproductive time, schedule commitments too tightly, and try to do more than one thing at a time, such as reading while eating or watching television.”
That pretty much summed me up during my growing up and early corporate years. I lead a very academic- and career-oriented life. Graduating at the top of my class in high school and college were the fruits of that labor. I was just as driven when I joined SGV (over 15 years) where I was exposed to financial audits, research, lectures and training, computer audits and IT consultancy.
In between projects abroad and local work, I also took a 2-year hiatus and went to Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania where I earned my MBA degree under a scholarship from SGV.
Chapter 2 – Uprooting and Leaving a Comfort Zone
In the early 1990s, I felt it was time to strike out in a different direction and spread my wings further. I joined a commercial bank as Vice President and Head of its Corporate Planning Division. One major project I was personally involved with for the bank was a joint venture with an American company. It was challenging. It was just my boss and I doing the financial due diligence review, negotiating continuously for a fair partnership arrangement with the Americans, and reviewing mounds of legal contracts with our corporate lawyers. What I did not realize then was that it was going to take a toll on me.
I was pregnant with our 4th child and the hours I kept as well as the stress of the joint venture negotiations led to a threatened abortion. It was forced bed rest for several weeks. Our child survived but I knew it was time to close another chapter and rethink the rest of my life.
Chapter 3 – SAHM-hood
With prayers and a heart filled with peace, I opted to completely leave the bank (despite opportunities presenting themselves) to become a stay-at-home Mom (SAHM).
The decision was met with skepticism from some good friends who knew my history as a driven corporate woman. But those were some of the most precious years in my life. My kids grew up seeing me often in their schools. I was a parent officer, went with them on field trips, attended parent-teacher conferences and….you know the drill. You can imagine what life was like managing 4 kids, their academic requirements, weekend activities and more. My planner had 4 different pen ink colors – one for each child.
Chapter 4 – The Joys of Blogging Discovered
The busyness, however, lessened when they moved from high school to college. One day in 2006, I stumbled upon one child who was blogging and curiosity bit me to the point where I decided I’d open up my own personal blog, this one. Around that time, I also began attending yoga classes and eventually opened a yoga blog, The Yogini from Manila, to record my own journey and eventually, wellness. Much later, The Philippine Beat was added as a lifestyle blog, followed by Apps and Gadgets which continued to fuel the geek in me.
Chapter 5 – Advocacies and Social Media
In late 2009, my mommy blogger friend Noemi (@momblogger) asked if I’d like to join her and do voter education before the 2010 Presidential elections. Being moms with kids, we felt strongly that we wanted to try things that could possible effect change so that our kids and their kids would grow up in a better country.
Together with other blogger friends, we formed Blog Watch. While it has been, and still is, an uphill battle, today, Blog Watch and many more netizen advocates are visible on social media, participating in societal, economic, political, and cultural issues and continue to work for social change and social good.
Around 2012, my husband fell ill and had to undergo many challenging medical procedures. We started out with conventional medicine but it did not agree with him at some point and we began investigating alternative medicine and other healing modalities. Today, my husband is so much better and has made changes in his diet and lifestyle but as a result of that and my initial introduction to wellness awareness when I started yoga, I am studying more about wellness, nutrition and healthy lifestyles.
Chapter 6 – Coming Full Circle
I’ve always read about people in their 40s and 50s suddenly thinking more about the meaning of their lives and suddenly making that 180-degree shift. But it floored me when it began happening to me. It was almost shocking to see what life was in Chapter 1 compared to Chapter 5. What a change! From corporate slave to full-time mom and yogini; from writing reports to blogging; from indifferent citizen to advocate.
Every so often, Noemi and I would talk about our golden years, our kids, our dreams for ourselves and the country and how we wanted to continue doing advocacy work while still helping in some way and contribute to the household income. After all, even our breadwinner husbands were aging too and income generation and opportunities were not as readily available as it was in our 20s and 30s.
We began assessing our stock knowledge, skill sets and experience in many areas — decades of parenting experience that include successes and challenges, reinventing ourselves over the decades, our personal experiences as social media people and citizen advocates. We had been interviewed by networks, guested on talk shows on TV, consulted about social media trends, and invited as panelists at various forums. That was when we realized that we could put all of what we went through and knew, from 5 decades of wearing different hats, into a form that we could share with entities, groups and individuals.
When I left the corporate world, I also left behind my consultancy as well as lecture and training stints. But now, as Noemi and I step out and join forces and experiences, we are both coming back into consultancy and speaking engagements but this time armed with a different set of experiences and know-how. I’m coming full circle!!!
Whether Chapter 6 is the last chapter or there will be a Chapter 7, who knows? For now, I’m just enjoying the present moment and making it as meaningful and productive as possible.
Just to give you a flavor of what Noemi and I are offering up beginning 2014, here is a general list.
1. Social Business Consultancy – Social media presence is no longer a “nice to have” feature of your business. It is a “must have” to be present on social media and give personality and better customer service to your customers and clients. We can help you align your business goals with social media engagement. Applying a new philosophy and methodology to your digital approach will naturally make your business and your overall strategy…meaningful and social.
2. Social Media Resource Speaker
– Personal branding
– Brand advocacy
– Social media content
– Developing a crisis communication plan
– How to develop social-media enabled leaders in their spheres of influence
– Using social media to advocate for social good (company advocacy work, disaster risk reduction)
3. Pro-active Parenting
– A safe school program to prevent bullying, abuses and discrimination
– How to establish a digital trust fund for your children
– Teenagers: Why they Should Care About their Digital Footprint
– Parenting in a digital landscape
4. Reinventing One’s Life
– Rediscovering Passion in One’s Prime
– Learn the power of forgiving and letting go
– Loving and taking care of yourself
– Finding purpose and meaning in one’s prime
– Developing a wellness mindset
Noemi and I may be golden girls but that is not stopping us from harnessing everything we’ve learned over the decades for social good, family life and personal fulfillment and development. We are happy to have found a new purpose in life, new dreams, new possibilities. And we are excited to share what we know with you.
Want to contact Noemi and Jane? Please leave us a message using the contact form below. We’d love to sit down with you and see how we can be of help.