Life Logs: January 2022

February 06, 2022

What a month that was! For sure, we all collectively agree that that January felt so long it seemed to last for a year. A new year usually brings in new hope, but for this one, we were really challenged on how long we'll last in this on-going pandemic. Since I am still here, able to write this in retrospect, it just means that I have survived. πŸ’ͺ

πŸ’ƒ Experiences
  • Watching the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary Special. It was such a great way to start the year. I really felt like I was a child all over again as I watched these actors I have loved and as we revisited the Potter world again. It was the right decision to rewatch all the HP movies before seeing this special. Nostalgia is real. I was bawling as the movie ended. 😭I was planning to do a rewatch to just absorb the feels all over again, but I couldn't seem to do it. Once was enough. I was happy to relive these wonderful childhood HP memories again through the docu special, but sad also because I knew I can't go back to relive the magic again. I don't know, it just felt so bittersweet that I wasn't able to do a second run of the show. But I loved it. I absolutely loved it. ⚡
  • Indulging in retail therapy. We all know how stressful this month has been, right? I guess online shopping will always be one of my coping mechanisms in dealing with stress. I experienced receiving three parcel deliveries in a single day. 😲It felt a bit overwhelming, but I'm just so thankful that I get to purchase these things for myself. πŸ™✨
  • Receiving a bouquet of flowers (with chocolates!). πŸ’πŸ« I did a collaboration with Philfora and this is one of my favorites so far. I have never had a suitor in my life (so far 😘) that's why receiving flowers is such a foreign experience for me. I got to receive this wonderful bouquet from them and it was so beautiful! πŸ’– Just imagining it coming from someone I like is making my heart flutter. πŸ₯°

    I placed the flower on a vase with water. I very much enjoyed looking at the flowers each day. I missed going to the outside world and being immersed with nature, so seeing a piece of it inside my room was a joy.  

  • Witnessing life melting away, unintentionally. The realization of earning this lesson came as a soft blow for me, and I knew that this is a heavy lesson to carry, and it's just a bitter fact-of-life. We are mortals. We're all going to die eventually. We can approach this idea in two ways - think how morbid and cruel it is, and on the other hand, appreciate how precious life is, because it is fleeting. I got to experience this "rule of life" in two ways. First was through a kitten. One moment I was just holding this tiny little kitten, marveling on her fragile wiggling body. An hour or so later, I held that same kitten, this time it was not moving anymore. It was lifeless, but still warm. At that moment, I just realized how fragile life is. Being alive is a miracle. ✨

    The second one is through those flowers that I received. I looked at them everyday and I saw how it slowly wilted away.

    I came face-to-face with one of my fears in life. "I'd rather be a ticking bomb than a fading light". That was my mindset years ago. But looking at the withered flowers, I found a different kind of beauty with it. I found myself looking at a different kind of charm and elegance, somewhat similar to a performer taking his final bow in front of an applauding audience. I guess I'm interpreting the message as this: we're all going to grow and die someday, but it's in our duty to live a life well-spent, a life with purpose, a life with meaning. And that is exactly what I will be doing moving forward. ✨
  • Hearing everyone around me confirmed to have COVID. If the pandemic was a tsunami, this was the month that it hit me with the surge. 🌊I'll never forget the stress I felt during this time. Several of my officemates have shared that they tested positive. Those teammates that suddenly went on a long unplanned PTO I just assumed that they got directly affected with the virus. There was a shortage of paracetamol and almost everyone I know was down with a flu. The number of cases skyrocketed and broke a new record-high each day. It was so stressful. 😨December felt like the calm before the storm this month. As of this writing, the cases are constantly declining, and I really hope it continues until we won't hear of COVID ever again and we go back to living, not worrying about the virus everyday. Please, two years is enough. πŸ™
  • Exercising empathy. In the midst of the virus paranoia during this month, my sister decides to push her plans to fly domestically to attend a wedding of a person she doesn't know at all, with the cost of getting the virus and bringing it back home to my senior parents. πŸ˜”πŸ˜±πŸ˜­πŸ˜‘ During those times, a lot of emotions went through me. I allowed myself to feel them, but I also gave myself a chance to reevaluate the situation. I reflected on how she might be seeing the situation. I tried to find her reasoning, where she's coming from, making these kinds of decisions. Maybe she was just in this kind of headspace that a deadly virus doesn't scare her. Since I cannot really control her movements and actions, I thought of the things that were still within my control. I bought K94 masks. When they finally arrived from the airport, I helped so that their contact would be minimal. We decided to wear masks while she "isolated" in her room (which was totally another issue for me because I don't think isolation involves still going out and meeting people, right? πŸ™„). I have accepted the fact that she will always be the senyorita of the family who doesn't help much at home and just locks herself in her room. She's on a journey of her own, and it's her lessons to learn. I have learned that it's not up to me to judge and to execute her for not doing the things that I think are right. This reminded me of something I read from a book (I just don't remember which one), and this in paraphrase: people clash because they have different concepts of what is right and what is wrong for them. And this situation is exactly that. 
  • Getting sick, and not knowing if it was the virus or just the seasonal flu. πŸ˜· Yes, I did get sick this month, but just for a few days. First I felt tired, then I had a runny nose, and a cough. Most of the household were also not feeling well. Good thing we had a stock of medicines. After a few days, I felt better. Sometimes I still have an itchy throat, that's why we stocked up on ginger and turmeric brew, honey, and Strepsils.
  • Being called a "Buddhist" by my brother. He mentioned it in passing, and somehow it struck me in an amusing way. Well, I have a large Himalayan salt lamp in my room, and I always wear stone bracelets because for me they bring good luck and invite positive energy. I think what really solidified this impression was when I lit some sandalwood and walked around the house during the new year. The whole family was complete at that time and it was the first time for them to see me do it. I have been doing that ritual since NY 2020 and I do believe in this cleansing practice. Wait 'til they hear that I do card readings (via Clow Cards!) and that I believe in angels and reincarnation. They'll really see me as this weirdo in the family. πŸ˜…
  • Experiencing failures. I can't elaborate further, but this experience made me feel discouraged. But yet again, I allowed myself to reevaluate and I transformed this energy into a positive one, by feeling motivated to become a better person. And that's what I did! I believe I have learned a lot from that experience, and I will continue this learning process until I improve and become better. ✨πŸ’ͺ
  • Receiving the biggest prize in an event. I felt so happy and blessed, during that time, and I guess the Universe just returned back that same energy. Thank you. πŸ™
  • Being seen by one of my favorite artists. This was something unexpected, and most would think this is something shallow... but this really made me happy. THE Jacob Collier viewed my IG story!!! 😍😍😍

    It was a post wherein I also tagged TwoSet Violin, requesting them to do a collab. Maybe he (or his PR team) just accidentally pressed something, but I'm still happy his account appeared in my viewers list. This really made up my day. 😁
  • Having a not-sober romance movie night. 🍷It was a one-of-a-kind experience that I needed to mention that in this month's log. It was a Friday night, and I just wanted to celebrate the weekend. I still had some of the red wine that I bought for New Year's (I'm the only one drinking it anyway LOL) so I poured all the remaining contents in my favorite cup, and started watching "Notting Hill." And wow, the feels hit differently because I was not sober. I got so hooked with this warm fuzzy feeling that I watched "Pride and Prejudice" next. And again, I was intensely moved by the film. Maybe it was because of the wine, but I really enjoyed watching those two movies back-to-back. Now I have started to read the Jane Austen novel so as to have more of my Mr. Darcy moments. 😘
⛰️ Accomplishments / Milestones
  • My parents received their boosters. πŸ™✨
  • We had our kick-off meeting with this event I'm leading. It was so nice to virtually meet and talk with people online. I'm very excited with the culmination of this event next month!
  • I went through an intense Toastmasters pocket meeting, as practice for the Table Topics contest. I won the club level last month and so the club helped me, and the other contestants in other categories, to prepare for the contest. It was such a fierce session (even more stressful than the contest itself looking back LOL) because I was thrown three questions, and they all gave me constructive criticisms. Well all of that paid off (including my friend Mai's training session) because guess what... 
  • I won first place again in the Table Topics contest, Area level! Woohoo! Initially I had mixed emotions because I was already happy with my journey and learnings thus far. I was the first contestant that went in, and after my speech, I knew in myself that I did my best and I felt satisfied with my performance. I was able to hear the other contestants'' speeches, and I learned a lot from listening to them. After our category finished for that session, I felt tired but satisfied all the same. So during the announcement of the winners, when I heard that I placed first, I felt thankful, but at the same time dreadful, because I would be undergoing another round of stress, on a new level because now we are going up the District level this time! However, I very well know that this is a great learning opportunity, and I am just all for going out of my comfort zone and improving and growing, so let's do this! Go for the gold! πŸŽ–️
  • I was able to participate in this month's Piano Jam over at the piano subreddit! It's so nice to be back playing and creating music. After completing my submission, I went straight to learning another piece called Through the Kaleidoscope by Steven Cravis. I'm aiming to finish that next month! 🎹
🧠Game Changers
  • BDJ Planner. I bought the "Everything is Possible" planner last year and of course I have started filling the pages when the year changed. And wow, I didn't know I needed one. The planner is working very well for me, especially since I'm really into daily to-do lists. Before, using my blank journal, I would manually write the month and day pages regularly to be able to plot my tasks. This time, I got to save a lot of effort because the days are all already laid out in the planner! All I had to do was write my tasks for the day! I can now even plot tasks as far as March unlike before because I needed to plot the pages from scratch. I'm so happy I'm experiencing the efficiency of having a planner! I'm afraid this has become an indispensable part of my life. πŸ₯°

    On top of that, the writing exercises in this specific BDJ planner helped me evaluate the previous year and also guided me in plotting my goals for the year. The process complemented well with the goal-setting activity that I was already doing through this blog.
  • Freshly Ground Coffee. ☕Courtesy to the coffee grinder + moka pot set that I bought at BeautyMNL last year, I'm now enjoying the best-tasting coffee every morning. I love those early-morning moments wherein I feel the gentle breeze of the cold morning, mixed with the fresh aroma of the coffee brewing from the moka pot. Those times are priceless.
  • Shampoo Bar for Dandruff. My dandruff situation was not improving (for the better) and so I decided to switch my shampoo. I was scrolling on BeautyMNL when I stumbled on this product specially made to treat dandruff -- and it's a bar! Using it felt weird at first, because of course I'm so used to lathering shampoo into my scalp, but eventually I got used to it. After around a month of use, I think the itching has lessened, for sure... but the dandruff part is still a problem to be solved. I will just continue using this, and hopefully things improve over time.
  • Complete Music Reading Trainer. As part of my goal in learning my chosen piece for the Piano Jam, I searched for an app that will help me train my sight-reading skills. This is how I found this app. What I really loved about this (which made me pay for the premium version) is its functionality to receive MIDI as input! It became possible for me to check if I read the right note by pressing the note on my keyboard itself using the 'phone + usb c adapter + midi cable + keyboard' setup. I was so pleased with this new discovery. The sight-reading trainer app really helped in studying the Piano Jam piece. It's a great brain exercise also! 🧠
  • Wordles. At this point, who doesn't know about this game?
  • More Stone Bracelets from IndigoCrystals. For weeks, images of a rose quartz bracelet filled my thoughts. I always wanted to have one, but the pull was not enough to make me buy one. Well, not this time. I found myself browsing IndigoCrystal's website intermittently for days until finally I decided to buy one (plus a tiger eye stone bracelet 🐯) . I ended up having an additional amethyst bracelet as a thank you token (thank you Ira!). I read that the rose quartz stone is a good sleeping crystal and so I wear the bracelet while sleeping.

    Interestingly, I have been having vivid dreams since, most of the time involving my past unrequited crushes. I think my dreams are tapping my deep buried memories because I get surprised that I dreamed of this guy that I haven't thought of for the longest time. I'm interpreting it as the crystal's way of purging those unresolved emotions that I have been carrying all this time so that I will be ready when my mate comes into the scene of my life (I'm manifesting this. Let's go Universe! ✨✨✨). I know all of these can be interpreted as mumbo jumbo stuff by most people, but for me I'm more of a believer of the power of the mind versus the "magic" of these crystals. Wearing these bracelets and associating those positive feelings with each of them is the same thing as the mindset shift of tying a red string on your pinky to remind yourself of something. It's me having the same effect as Ron during the Quidditch match when he thought Harry poured some Felix Felicis potion in his juice. Believing in one's self is a kind of powerful magic too, right? πŸͺ„In one of my dreams, I also saw myself in another place, driving a car. I am manifesting that too! πŸͺ„πŸ™
  • Toastmasters. My membership anniversary is nearing, and I must say: this one year of being involved in Toastmasters has really changed my life. I feel more confident now with myself, and I am willing to volunteer and challenge myself in doing things that are out of my comfort zone. I'm seeing the results in my work and in my daily life. My dad  even has told me that he's hearing improvements in my speaking skills (apparently he can overhear me from my room when I host work meetings LOL). I feel like I'm becoming my old self, that young confident self that I was during my student years.

    Imagine that one student who always shoots her hands up first during class when everyone is silent. Imagine that student the teacher doesn't want to call anymore even though she's the only one raising a hand. Imagine that student to be me.

    I vividly remember being that bibo student who always recites in class, always volunteers in talent shows even if she doesn't know how to dance. I was that student who really didn't care what others thought, as long as she knew she was having fun performing.

    Looking back, I now understand my story. I can now tell when and why my shyness started. I slowly withdrew from the world. It came to a point that I had a hard time expressing myself, and I got scolded by a teacher in high school because she couldn't hear a word I was saying during a recitation session. Those are some of my core memories, and now I feel like I have been finally disentangled from the trauma of my past. I'm slowly regaining my old confident self.

    Thanks to Toastmasters for giving me this confidence, for helping me discover my potential and guiding me in working on it. I can go on and on and on with how this changed my life, thus far. I'm just happy I got this opportunity to be better. I want to give back, and so I mention Toastmasters to my friends whenever I have the opportunity. I have not convinced them enough, but at least the idea has been planted, and I hope my friends will also feel the pull to be more involved, and for sure I will be happy to assist them along the way. 😁
🎬 Movie / Series List 
Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts
The Door Into the Summer
The House
Notting Hill
Pride and Prejudice
Theory of Everything

πŸ“š Reading List
Money Hacks (Lisa Rowan)
Quidditch Through the Ages (Kennilworthy Whisp)
Self-Love Workbook for Women (Megan Logan)
Working Effectively with Legacy Code (Michael Feathers)

πŸ‘©‍πŸ’Ό Career - 30% In Progress
πŸ’° Financial - 0% Not Started 😲
πŸ’‘ Personal Development - 50% In Progress
🧘‍♀️ Spiritual - 100% Completed πŸ†
πŸŽ“ Educational - 0% Not Started 😲
❤️ Relationship - 100% Completed πŸ†
πŸ‹️‍♀️ Physical and Health - On Track ✅

πŸ’‘ Takeaways
  • I can accomplish great things if I really focus on it. Everything is possible!
  • Enjoy the process. πŸ™‚
  • “It’s never what you are, but what you do.”
  • To have a more effective goal setting, it's more effective to aim for a tangible output, and the skills that you want to learn will just be part of creating that output. (I'll be able to fully integrate this concept with my goals next quarter).
  • Breathe before speaking (applicable in more situations than I thought). πŸ˜‰

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