Dear readers,  after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in September 2017, I began my CBM Program.  I chose this acronym because it was the perfect fit for what I wanted to accomplish for myself, and I could easily be reminded during the day that CBM was crucial at my age.

I had just turned 50 at the beginning of the year and I was concerned about some things in my life. So, I thought,  “If I want to make it to the other half of my life, I really need to deal with some serious shit that I have going on right now. ”

Questions popped in and out of my head,  some with quick responses and others with a huge question mark.

Then I experienced what catastrophe looked like in the aftermath of a category five hurricane leaving darkness and the creeping feeling of being desolate in the midst of it all.

When the government announced that our power would be down for the foreseen future and in remote places (like where I live) it could take up to six months to get it restored.

That night I picked up a journal that my daughter had  began for me as she introduced me to bullet journaling.  I went on and numbered a blank page from one to twenty-six.

Each number represented one week.  Week number one would  run from September 20 to the 27th.  The very first one after the hurricane.  It was quiet and dark outside and with a candle I tried to plan out my next twenty six weeks.

That seemed a decent amount of time for transforming myself into someone worthy of having lived fifty years.

As a manic planner, I began pondering about what would I do with them.

This is when…….. (explosion sound effects) CBM was born.

If your still there, and think I actually completed the program. I’m sorry to inform you that I DID NOT COMPLETE THE PROGRAM.

The program itself shifted a little bit, and was extended, I would say, to have no end date. In order for it to survive I changed the premises it had at the beginning, when it was first born in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

Right now, I’m in the middle of week number one hundred thirty six.

Looking back I ask myself, “Darling, what were you thinking ?”. How could you possibly think twenty five weeks would be enough time for an overhaul?

What began as a plan for twenty four weeks or so became an ongoing  thirst for transformation.  But not at the superficial stuff,  I thought that stopping and working on some lousy habits and very bad relationships with those I have very close to my heart would fix me.

The first thing I figured out was that I don’t need to be fixed, I’m just me. With all the good and bad. I just have to water the good seeds and pull out the weeds that grow inside my heart once in a while.

CBM made me acknowledge that.

Even though I still bingy eat at night, (my love for midnight snacks, has not dwindled), I no longer think it’s that important to have a food journal, or designate days for fasting, or choosing low sodium products, or figuring out the perfect portion of food. CBM has taught me to be grateful of the food I get to eat each day.

Or try to be the almost perfect daughter (believe me fellas when your mom and dad deliver the anxiety my folks do, you’ll probably think of giving up on them all together). CBM taught me not to judge them.  I am no longer a defenseless child anymore and I am more than capable of taking care of myself, and I have long forgave them for all the sufferings they caused me.

Or mom (I gather my kids love me just the way I am, I don’t really have to try too much there), their love is not conditioned to this or that. Their presence in my life as adults are a testament that I didn’t screw that up too much.  I did the best I could, with the resources I had.

Or wife, my life long buddy is the greatest human being to grow old with.  His love is everlasting and never conditioned to anything.

On the other hand, my role as a sister is complicated, CBM has helped me navigate the turbulent waters of expectations and wants.  It’s hard to have a distanced relationship with the only sibling you have.  We suffered many things together as children and maybe just being part of one another’s life just brings all that suffering back.  I am far away from perfection, and my heart is heavy and divided. I’ve come to understand that the family I knew as a child is just broken.  Forgiving my parents, my brother and ultimately myself is the best way to love and free myself from that burden.  I love my brother dearly, but we’re as just to to far away to bridge all the years he’s missed out of my life and I’ve missed out of his.

Or try to be a so called “good” Christian.  CBM has opened my eyes to a living Christ. To live generating love and compassion for all. Free of judgment or perceptions.  Jesus was still, he was very much present in his community.  Giving, never taking; loving deeply; always trying to understand; and, most of all he had endless compassion towards all. Give me a church with all these jewels, and I will certainly be sitting in it’s pews.

Bottom line, CREATING A BETTER ME, has nothing to do with all the outside stuff, but with the inside, what’s in our heads, our thoughts are the most powerful thing ever. So now a days, I just smile at myself and I take care of my heart the best I can.

I really hope you guys can also work on your CBM program, and remember reaching and connecting with yourself, is the best way to get ready for ANYTHING that’s coming our way.

My CBM is still full throttle ahead and probably will stop the day I breathe my last breath.

Where I will breathe in, and listen carefully to my breath, treasuring it’s qualities, knowing it will be my last, and as I breathe out,  I will know I’m going home, leaving only the result of my thoughts, feelings and deeds to those who will come after me.

Hopefully making things better for them. Taking with me the anxiety that was relayed to me by my father and his father, but at the same passing of the resilience and strength I inherited from my beloved Papito, Mamita and Mama Querida.

Hasta pronto, and thanks for stopping by this silly blog. Go ahead and CBY not only for you, but for all who you get to meet in this wonderful everchanging world we live in today.


Hurricane Maria

128 Days

It’s taken a while, but finally I’ve gotten around writing about Hurricane María.

Today it’s been 128 days since María hit Puerto Rico and the same amount of days we were out of power where I live with my family on the west coast.

In the early days after Maria the immediate future seemed dreadful and full of uncertainties. Rumors spread as lethal as an aggressive form of cancer and it was easy to fall into believing mainly because it seemed we had been sucked in by a black hole.

Our banking and communication systems were down. Nothing seemed to work properly.  Things we had taken for granted for so many years now seemed like part of another time, another life.

Being out of power is a “part of your life” kind of thing here due to the precarious state in which our power system was, so emergency power generators are part of the appliances of our households.  However, it’s a totally different thing when you see all that system on the floor, basically broken to the core.

The sensation of “now we’re in deep trouble” creeped up on me and took me to a totally different level of pure undisguised freight.

To remain with  some form of sanity,  I needed to focus on something,  that something would be the countdown for the day finally our power would be restored.

I had been putting down finishing my journal for some time.  Never found the time (which is by the way an excuse) to get it done.  You know what, suddenly I had all the time in the world.

I would devote a complete section of it to Maria.

I made a list from 1 to 26, these would be the weeks projected for our power to be restored, hence our government was saying to us.  Each week began Tuesday and ended on Wednesday, week number one ended on September 27th, an exact week from the hurricane.


Finally, my count came to an end on week 18.

Power was restored, we are no longer forcibly off the grid.

Now it’s time to face all the questions without answers,

the trauma of thinking food was becoming scarce as I waited in a line outside a supermarket with a list scribbled on a paper thinking about my elderly parents and a six year old waiting for me at home,

the fact that the roads that give us access to the more urban part of the Island were gone,

the fact that gasoline was not available to move those generators and all the other appliances we had,

all our communication systems (land lines, cellular and internet) were also gonners,

and finally having money in the bank meant nothing because there was absolutely no access to it.

It’s time to heal and to move forward and share a thought or two about all that has happened.

But, that’s for another day.