Life is…


When I was a teen, I used to say that life was one big mistake that couldn’t be erased. I even made a poster for it that my high school guidance counselor hung on her door.

I was right about not being able to erase it. I still don’t know how much of a mistake it is–there are certainly so many mistakes that humanity has made throughout its existence and those certainly can’t be erased.

What I have realized is that while my life could be a mistake, as many others might feel about theirs, I was learning from those mistakes. I know so many mistakes were made around me that affected me in so many negative ways. I know I made so many mistakes that have changed my life also in so many ways. But I know that, all my life, I had been seeing mistakes that would make me swear I would never ever do them.

I know now that ever since I could make decisions about things, I have been responsible for making my life what it is. I have been responsible for learning from the mistakes of others as well as from my mistakes. I know now that my life is what I make it and what I make of it.

Life in all its forms, the world included, is so sensitive that every little action makes its mark. Life reacts  by either succumbing to those actions or by overcoming them. Many times, life ends because it succumbs. Most of the time, life goes on because it overcomes. It adapts. It adjusts.

I have made mistakes, goodness knows how many. But I have overcome them. I have adapted. I have adjusted. I still make mistakes. But I have been learning from my past and the past of others around me. I know there will be some mistakes that I will no longer make.

I am on a new path now and that means I will, in all likelihood, make mistakes. But I know that I need to focus on overcoming rather than wallowing in self-pity every time I fall down , which is the easiest path to succumbing and, in some strange way, comforting. I will not wallow in self-pity because I don’t have all the time to indulge in negativism. I need to overcome that tendency and focus on what is needed, on what has to be done, on living my life to its fullest all the time! If that means sitting back and taking a deep breath once in a while, I will do it. If it means asking for help sometimes, I will do it–even if that is one of the hardest things for me to do. If it means drastically changing the way I do some things, I will do it.

I need to remind myself what I often tell my students — the moment you stop learning, you might as well be dead. I’ve been doing it, I just haven’t been paying attention. It’s what I told everyone when I was homeschooling my son — everything in life is a learning opportunity.

It has and always be my guiding principle. Life is Learning. Always.

one day at a time (poem)


I’m taking things

one day at a time

I can’t take more

sometimes I’d like to take less

but life keeps on coming at me

one day at a time

I need to see things

one day at a time

anything more

and I don’t see all I can

but I can’t see beyond what’s facing me

any more than

one day at a time


© Cindy Lapeña, 2012


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a jigsaw life (poem)


everyday is a piece in

the puzzle of life

small indecipherable parts

spots of color

innocuous shapes

making sense only

when joined together

irregular edges

each shape different

from the others

small scenes revealing themselves

as pieces come together

the picture never complete

until the last piece

the last day

is in place.


© Cindy Lapeña, 2012


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today my world stopped turning (poem)


today my world stopped turning

and everything was gone

i lost my home

a husband

my son

all familiar things were gone when

today my world stopped turning

and the burden of living bore down

crushing all hope

all dreams

all desire

all i was and all i wanted to be

gone because

today my world stopped turning

and the glacier in me began melting


until everything came


out in torrents that

drove away sleep

and rest

and all


and words

and feelings

washed out

leaving me







on the day

my world stopped turning

life began


© Cindy Lapeña, 2010


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