Monday, November 8, 2010


Oh but I always do have them close -- my mainstays -- right there inside my tote bag. My life is quite ordinary and humdrum but it always leaves room for surprises, wonderful surprises. I look forward to see-touch-smell-feel-experience it each day -- helped along by my mainstays without fail.

Well, are they big surprises? Yes and no. Times that they come wrapped in mundane and ordinary your-everyday-things which one never ever notices usually. Things normally taken for granted. And times they come huge and packed in a big Wow! Well, I've learned to pay more attention because Mom would always chide me if I failed to. She'd always say -- "Don't let a thing pass you by.. ever.. cause it may not come your way again."

So okay, let's get down to my list of 10 Must-Haves inside my tote bag.

1. A shawl
Have about 5 or 6 shawls in my closet in assorted colors and style. Mostly gifts from my daughters. Simple light and airy but works well for warmth. Am not too comfy with very cold weather or an air-conditioned room turned-on on super high. A shawl just does the wonderful trick of keeping me instantly warm whenever daughters spring a surprise for a nice resto dinner date or a terrific movie to watch downtown. Too works as an instant umbrella under a sudden downpour... at least for the first few minutes until it gets soaked wet. Enough time to dash quickly from a cab to the building.

2. Cellphone
Am a huge fan of this technology but who wouldn't be if one thrives on communication. This goes back and forth with my daughters and close friends. Big thrill it is when suddenly my phone rings and lo! out of the blue an old-long-time friend saying 'Hi!'. That makes my day. One simple delight perhaps in what would have been a mundane or ordinary day.

3. Pocketbook
It could be anything, a best seller or one that nobody has ever heard of. Or it could be a book that I keep reading for the __th time. Funny and surprisingly, there are books which grow on you and books which get better and better each time, how-I-don't-know. Perhaps it's in finding lines or phrases or thoughts within those pages which finally finds its right time in my life, hour, or day. Like a 'eureka' moment.

4. Notebook & Pen
It is in odd times of the day and everywhere that an idea or thought strikes. Sometimes a dozen ideas one after the other. So that means that responding to such sudden bursts of inspiration would have to be just as quick. So before losing it to the winds, with pen in hand it all goes down pronto into my tiny notebook. But it's not always meant for the writing or blogging that it happens. Sometimes bits of knowledge, info, observation, perception come across for my own learning. And that just as well goes straight to the old reliable notebook for some meditation or reflection at some proper time.

5. A make-up kit
Well, am a girl and have never stopped being one, age or not. A hair brush to comb loose strands in place. A lipstick or two for color on some not-so-vibrant days. A lip gloss when choosing not to have color on my lips. Powder to pat away shine spots on the T-zone area of the face. What do I take out often? It's the mirror in my powder case.. to check for salad, fruit, meat, or fish stuck between my teeth somewhere there after a hearty meal.

6. Utility pouch hold mini bottles of moisturizer & alcohol, pocket tissues, mini pack of wet towels to wipe away dirt when water is nowhere to be found nearby, a mini nail cutter to clip away chipped nails, safety pins to tuck away loose hems. Happy surprise that these get to be useful serving others too in ways where and when the urgent need arises.

7. Medicine pouch
Aside from regular doctor-prescribed pills, I've slipped in a few for ordinary headaches, dizziness, cold tablets, and one or two for diarrhea. This comes in quite handy when anyone inside my line of vision or space suddenly aches from this or that at unexpected or odd times. Delighted to have this standby med kit coming to the rescue every time without fail.

8. Wallet
It's not just money that's in there, more or little of it. So is a credit card, health card, atm card, family pictures, calling cards of people I know, identification cards, and a prayer card. Am happy with this wallet (a gift from my youngest daughter) although it has seen better times. Its color (avocado green) is now faded at the edges. Other than blue, green and its other color variants is also a favorite. It may get replaced one day but not today, not yet anyway. It has been blessed immensely on several occasions.... blessings which extended and spread itself all around. And that is its work and mission until it wears itself out.

9. Reading glasses/shades

Like it or not, can't go anywhere without this. That's what I miss most about being 20-something -- a 20-20 vision. :-) While shades are fantastic for its apparent use and for people-watching.. unnoticed. :-)

10. A fan
The origin of the fan goes back to the ages and even before that when in prehistoric times humans discovered fire and would use any kind of object to blow air and keep it alive. It then evolved through time into other artistic representations as used by the Egyptians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Chinese, Japanese, and everywhere else around the globe.

My fan more functional than fancy is small cheap yet a precious aid saving me on countless occasions from the piercing summer heat, a hot crowded public vehicle, stalled in traffic on a hot summer day, a windless day, a sudden light rain shower, much needed air when feeling a faint coming, blowing away insects ... and other uses I have yet to discover and will. But best of all it also serves others for those very same reasons mentioned.

Yeah, my tote bag is its permanent home. Mom told me long ago that to know a person better, just peek into his or her bag and see what's inside --- it usually tells and says something about that person.

Oh there are countless other things one can put down in a 10 Must-Have List... stuff inside one's bedroom, home, kitchen, travel, vacation, ideal man or woman, relationships, work desk, tool box, birthdays, Christmas. Every bit is part of you, every piece has a story to tell about you. It defines you as a person -- who you are in caring for self, or for the world around you, or how you live life. And yeah, the surprises do come and if you're lucky sometimes you become that pleasant welcome surprise for another person in need of one.

What's your 10 Must-Haves List? :-)


  1. Nice one :)
    10 Must-Haves on My list:

    1. Cell-phone
    2. Wallet containing money and my credit/debit cards
    3. A comb
    4. A lip balm
    5. A Pen
    6. Tissues
    7. The book I am currently reading...
    8. Keys to my house
    9. Chocolate wrappers!! I never seem to find a dust-bin to throw them and I do not like littering!!
    10. Chocolates - there can be no chocolate wrappers without any!!

  2. A nice subject very well dealt with.

    I would have all these except the make up pouch, the shawl,the fan and the book.But I will carry a small prayer book.a few visiting cards and band aids

  3. Wow, Sapphire.. chocolates!! But of course, I would too if only I could. (Shhh.. don't tell my doc.).. :-) Dark chocolates, especially. Chocolate wrappers?? hahahah.... now I know you are a tidy freak LOLS!! Welcome to the club! There's plenty of us out there. :-) Thanks for your lovely visit. I like your list. Have a blessed day!

  4. But of course, KP -- band aids!! That would come in handy for a bruise earned while walking around in new shoes. Lols! Now I'm adding that to my utility pouch. :-) You have to tell me more about a 'visiting card' tho. Thanks for coming by. Hope you have a lovely day!


:-) Here's where I warmly welcome you and where you leave your footprints behind with fond memories attached to it of wonderful chats and friendships. Thank you for your comments. Or send your comments to Will be seeing you in your blog too. God bless you!