Let’s Pause for Gratitude

Let’s Pause for Gratitude

Dec 15, 2021

It is our second Christmas with covid. Last Christmas, all our parties were carried out in zoom fashion. This Christmas may still be the same or probably hybrid – together for those who are vaccinated and brave enough, and zoom for the rest.

Last Monday, we had our company review of 2021 plus planning for 2022 plus Christmas party. We started the day with a rapid test then proceeded with the activities with caution, still wearing masks.

Reviewing last year’s highlights was really a great reminder of the many things I am grateful for. The pandemic, with all its hardships and challenges, also came with gifts in the form of clients who engaged us, especially the repeat ones. Maraming salamat po.

With these pandemic blessings come the busyness due to the seeming ease of conducting different engagements and content creation. On top of the regular articles I write for my website, PhilStar, magazines namely Feast, Health & Home, Crossroads, talks can now be had in shorter intervals because they’re online. Then came regular online shows such as the live Kumu Money Lessons with FQ Mom & Sons, on top of the You tube videos and online show guestings. There’s also the solo podcast (after our 2-year Mom and Son Podcast) that we started this year for those who would rather consume the article while multi-tasking. Oh, and this year, we launched FQ Book 2 Why Financial Education Alone Does Not Work (a crash course in Behavioral Economics) back-to-back with The Psychology of Money. (click to see launch) And all of these activities really made me happy, productive, and super grateful.

But here’s the thing, good content creation needs regular creative pauses. In the first two weeks of June 2020, I had one of my most peaceful and still most productive periods in my life. I took a two-week hiatus – no emails, social media, etc.! During this time, I was able to finally complete the finishing touches of FQ Book 2 after years of writing. (I shared tips on how to design a hiatus in this article https://fqmom.com/designing-my-2-week-hiatus-to-achieve-a-goal-applicable-to-your-financial-goals/)

The hiatus was such a great experience that I thought of doing it every year. But things overtook me and my intended June hiatus didn’t happen. Then I thought of having it during my birthday month in September, didn’t happen. So, it is now pushed to the end of the year. I am taking a two-week break starting next week and will be back in 2022! My next article will be written next year. For the weekly show, I have asked my sons to take over. There will also be some unpublished videos that are scheduled during this period, so maybe you will still see a bit of me.

I don’t know if I will be unplugged during this time, but for sure I will take myself off the “work treadmill.” Maybe I will devote more time on our ongoing home renovation. I am still debating internally whether I should share this process and the lessons learned along the way or not. It’s quite a milestone because when we go back to the renovated home, it will just be The Honey and me for an honest-to-goodness empty nesting!

I will also devote time to prepare for an endeavor I will start next year, something that I will be doing for the first time, if it pushes through. And of course, there’s Christmas.

So, I’m pretty excited for this break and I will start it by further exercising my gratitude muscle. It is always good to start from a place of gratitude. I don’t know if it’s an old person thing, but I think it is easier for me to be grateful these days.

Here’s a short story that I experienced just last Sunday. We were already sleeping when my son knocked on the door non-stop. When he couldn’t get us to open the locked door, he started calling me on the phone. It was a good thing that I had not started one of my behavior change designs (I will buy myself a traditional alarm clock so I will not have an excuse to keep my phone away from me at night). When I answered my phone in my half-asleep voice, I heard a rather frantic Enrique telling me to get up and check our flooded bathroom! I got up and true enough I was already stepping on water right on our bedside! A pipe got busted in our bathroom and at 12 midnight, water has crawled out of our bedroom and into the hallway of the second floor, flowing down the stairs to the ground floor.

It was my son Martin who discovered this when he got out of his room to get water at midnight. He wondered why there was water on his feet and traced the “river” coming from our bedroom.

So, everyone was jerked up to help “put out” the water flow. One of the boys said, “This is our first experience of flood and ironically, water is coming from the second floor going to the ground floor. Baliktad!” It was an hour of getting rid not just of the water but also the wetness on the wooden floors and drying what needed to be dried.

Here’s the point of the story. Instead of being focused on the mess, the damage, the misfortune, I was telling myself, “Hay, buti na lang everybody at home is up and about helping out.”  There were other toilets to use while the water supply of our bathroom was closed. Then we were still able to sleep a few hours before our hectic Monday, and Monday turned out to be a great day.

Had I focused on the discomfort this incident brought us, I don’t think I could have slept well, and for sure our Monday would have been terrible.

We always hear that gratitude is the answer to most of our woes, and it’s true, but it is not easy to exercise your gratitude muscle when your basic needs are not met. It is difficult, if not impossible, to be grateful for the chirping of the birds, the cool breeze of December, or even just the fact that you’re still breathing, if you are worried about where to get money for your family’s next meal and other expenses.

So, my dear readers, here’s wishing you all a healthy financial condition so you can easily exercise your gratitude muscle. If you feel that you’re not yet in your dream financial condition, try to still exercise your gratitude muscle articulating all the good things that you already have. For sure, that attitude of gratitude will help you reach your dream financial condition. I wish to end this piece by sharing a short video on gratitude – Negative Christmas Triggers and Gratitude. Merry Christmas everyone and I’ll see you in 2022! Cheers to High FQ!


  1. Join us on Kumu show with Enrique Fausto and our guest Dan Quiaoit , Plantrepreneur of Gaan.

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This article is also published in Philstar.