Life Logs: January 2021

February 02, 2021

One month has passed since the new year. Wow. Sometimes I panic how fast the days are passing by. Ironically, I feel like I have been frozen in time. I had to really sort out my thoughts and feelings on what I really wanted to do from this point onwards. Remarkably, the Universe gave its answer to me in more ways than one. This is the reason why since the year-end break, I have been burying my nose in research about everything I needed to know and needed to do. I feel like I have tunnel vision in terms of this goal. There are moments when I feel my drive faltering, but as I have told myself multiple times, I really wanted to do this. I would spend the rest of my life thinking about the what-ifs if I don't (which was my major takeaway from The Midnight Library novel). 

While that goal is brewing well and good, I've been busy with a lot of things. I didn't want any kind of idle time to seep through (because I knew what kind of thoughts would flow in). I think this is by far my most productive month in recent memory.

💃 Experiences
  • Participating in Ali Abdaal's Live Co-working sessions. From Monday to Saturday, Ali holds a one-hour zoom session wherein he plays his Study With Me Spotify playlist for two Pomodoro rounds. I'm super enjoying these sessions. I have been doing work from home for around a year now, and I crave for the exchange of productive energy. This is exactly what these sessions give to me. Even though I don't know any of these people, seeing them all being productive gives me that same kind of drive to finish my own tasks.
  • Learning about Cryptocurrency and Stocks. Thanks to Discord chats and sharings from friends (Thanks Mai!), I got curious about these things. Now I'm trying to understand more about them to see if they would work for me.
  • Attending a Toastmasters session, and finally being able to participate in Table Topics. Thanks again to Mai, I was able to properly observe and participate in a Toastmaster's session. 

    Thanks Mai for this screenshot. 😁
    Even though it was just a virtual event, the familiar sensations of stage fright creeped into my system. I heard my voice quaver as I started to do my impromptu speech. I would have wanted to talk more about the topic, but I saw the signal from the timekeeper that I had to wrap up my speech in 30 seconds. The people gave such encouraging words to me after that. 💗 With just one session, I already learned a ton from these experienced speakers.
    In that moment, I felt that familiar rush of happiness of being able to conquer my fears. I feel like I have extended my comfort zone. I patted myself for this milestone and for showing up (even though I was in the middle of doing my weekly chores during that time). I also felt a rush of happiness. I then realized how much I missed interacting with people. I have always believed myself to be introvert, but I guess I have reached my limit. Now I'm craving for more human connection. This is the reason why I would like to pursue this path further. This would do wonders for my self-esteem for sure. 
  • Having a new fur baby. I'm still not sure if it's a he or a she (I kept looking behind the tail to see if there are balls LOL). I'll check again after a few weeks. 😅 We now have three indoor cats!

    What a cutiepie!!! 😻
⛰️ Accomplishments / Milestones
  • I created a full piano cover of a song. I always tend to do a song half-way but this time I was able to play one from start to finish. Thanks to music theory and some helpful techniques I picked up from YouTube. 
  • I am on top of my to-do list now. I finally was able to climb up that productivity slump that I experienced last year, and finally I was able to find a system that worked for me. I have been maintaining a to-do list since grade school (what a nerd 🤓). This is the first time in my life wherein I'm finally catching up with the tasks on my list. The answer was already handed to me months ago but it's only several weeks ago that I really got the hang of integrating that system in my life. Notably, my work tasks are showing the same trend also. The only downside here is that I think I'm becoming a workaholic. 😅 I'll be writing a separate post about this productivity process that really worked for me (well for two months now).
  • I am officially a JR Pass Affiliate! See the new banner ads? 😁 Thanks to the Tokyo travel posts that I created, they found my blog and invited me to be an affiliate. I know it would take years and years to get significant earnings from the ads (at the current stats of the site LOL), it means a lot to me when other people recognize this site. It just means I'm still reaching an audience in one way or another.
🧠Game Changers
  • Scented candles. I don't know why I only got to discover this recently, but it just really changed how I spend my night reading sessions forever.
  • Pomodoro sessions. I have also incorporated this in my work routine. I now divide my working hours in one-hour-hyper-focused sessions with five minute breaks in between (although sometimes it goes beyond that... but the point is I go on a break! 😝). There were times when I was so in the zone when the alarm for a break rings that I was tempted to skip a break. But I learned that having those breaks benefit me in the long run - I am consistently productive in the next hour and I feel less fatigued at the end of the day. During those breaks I do stretching to ease up my stiff muscles from sitting for too long.
  • Hot shower. I recently was able to appreciate how relaxing a hot shower is. I got to super enjoy it especially during those cold nights. Having a hot shower + doing my night reading sessions (with the scented candles!) is the best way for me to end the day. 🥰
  • Cat litter. Finally, I was able to figure out what the cats preferred. By far, they've been consistently pooping in the same box.
  • Unsubscribing from Spotify Premium. I figured this is one unnecessary expense in my list. I would just allot the budget to buy cat food and litter. Also, why pay if I would able to hear an ad of Taylor Swift promoting her evermore album? Also, I discovered a hack that would allow me to enjoy most of Spotify's premium features (hehe I hope they don't discover and fix those gaps 😅).
🎬 Movie / Series List  
Song Exploder 
That Thing Called Tadhana

 📚 Reading List
  • The Guest List (Lucy Foley) 
  • Trigger Warning (Neil Gaiman) 
  • From Blood and Ash (Jennifer Armentrout)
  • A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire (Jennifer Armentrout)

💡 Takeaways
- Love is for the brave (and I'm not one of them lol).
- Listen to your body. Don't ignore the signs. They will catch up eventually.
- Friendships can fade out (I had to undergo the five stages of grief, but I'm okay now...or am I...?).
- Learn to differentiate reality from imagination. Your own mind can trick you.

Thank you January for all the learning and experiences! 🙏

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