Day 72: Awakening

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One of the the biggest challenges with hypothyroidism is that I am always sleepy. Like really sleepy. I'm not just drowsy, I am sluggish, tired and exhausted even in the morning. The lack of thyroxine contributes to this constant state. With that being said, I make sure that it does not interfere with work. I noticed that praying first thing in the morning works wonders. Aligning myself with a Power greater than myself is not only humbling, it is also awakening. There is also no greater alarm clock than knowing that I was promted to wake up for a reason, and that I have something better to do with my time than lie in bed all day. 

I workout thereafter and make sure that incorporate cardio to burn calories. I like taking a cold shower to jolt me awake because there are times when a quick run cannot even keep me up. I then get dressed and prepare for my day. The drive and commute to work is not bad, but when I do feel like snoozing, I reach for some entertainment. I enjoy reading if I am in the MRT, and of course, I always drown the noise with my earphones. I discovered that I never get tired of The Beatles and classical music, so I am pretty much married to these sounds.  

By the time it is time for breakfast, I drink coffee like it is no one's business. I always clean my email inbox in the morning because it keeps me up to date with my job. If I am not in the office, my emails and social networks also get checked and updated first thing in the AM. I really have to know what is going at the start of my day because it wakes me up. It was a tactic that has helped me ever since I was dependent on the internet to communicate, and if it has managed to energize me, then I am sure it can keep you up too.  

What do you like doing to stay awake? I am on the lookout for life hacks for keeping energized and I am glad that with the improving awareness on hypothyroidism, people are not branding those with my condition as being lazy or worse, slackers. Before you judge people, make sure you know what they are going through. That way, you can be more compassionate and even more awakened. 

Day 64: Little Happy Things

Yesterday, I was feeling tired and stressed. My thyroxine dosage has recently been changed and brought back to my normal prescription, but my body is still adjusting to it. I was feeling the slump when I decided to snap out of it by buying handmade accessories in this season's color, millennial pink!

I always support handmade because there is so much heart and artistry that goes into each piece. I also buy local because it is my advocacy to support Filipino-made goods which are world-class. I think it is time that we perceive local goods to be at par with imported items. 

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Having said that, I heard that Craft Central already has branches at SM North The Block and Vertis North. I dropped by both spots last night. Their Vertis North branch will have an in-house cafe and for now, it is just a kiosk with mostly calligraphy items on hand. Meanwhile, their The Block store is huge! If you have been to their Greenbelt branch, you will want to cry with all that space. It is airy, bright, and well-stocked with more brands. 

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I bought these tassel earrings and rose quartz bracelet, which are handmade by Bedazzled Accessories. They are both in millennial pink and I am keen to attract lovely vibes and self-affirmation! I am eager to see how I can embrace the magic of rose quartz. 

I think it is important to have little happy things to make adulting more fun. They do not have to break the bank. And while you're at it, do support handmade and local! You will not regret it.  

Day 55: My Work Journey

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My name is Sam. I have worked in an Australian BPO for five years as a Senior Risk Officer and Sales Support Officer. I have also handled PR and newsletter publication. Wearing different hats was challenging, but it has thickened my skin and sparked the idea that I could be more than just a typical BPO worker. When my employer underwent a change in management which was not pro-people, I resigned and gave myself a break.

BPO's are notorious for not providing adequate leave credits to their employees. I only had ten leave credits a year. Ten. My lunch and washroom breaks were also strictly regulated by our online system, so I was not able to do much during my employment. Resigning felt like freedom, and I was determined to never work for a BPO again.

Job hunting proved to be challenging. I was receiving calls from mostly BPO's because I was in demand for that industry. I must admit that I was tempted to accept some invitations. In fact, I even went to some interviews, but I did not like what I experienced because I was given a lot of uncertain terms like "shifting", "rotation", "bond", and "contractual". I did not care if the company seemed well-known or multinational. I was determined to brave uncharted territory, reject BPO's and contractual positions, and wait it out. While doing so, I worked out everyday, which was not easy because I have hypothyroidism. I regained my energy which was lost in the daily grind of handling other people's complaints and arrears. I read voraciously and ate healthfully. In time, I found employment in my alma mater.

Working in my university as a Program Officer is not easy, as I have major adjustments to make. I am an independent worker, as I have handled a senior role for half a decade. Working within a small department is not always easy because their work ethic is different. After two months of working there, I have somehow adapted. Since my job comes with significant free time and internet access, I have decided to improve my circumstances by immersing myself in knowledge. I have enrolled in online courses to improve my writing. After finishing two classes, I was able to put up this blog on my own. I met friends in the interwebs with similar interests, and I was able to see the status quo as a journey and not the end. I am enjoying it so much that I have enrolled in a purposeful branding e-course which is going to run until September 2017. I am turning thirty-one in August, so this is the best gift I could give to myself. I am learning so much and I know that my skills in project management, risk management, branding, and writing can help my community.

I am also passionate about social entrepreneurship and supporting local and handmade. When I am not writing on my blog, I eat out with A, practice creative journaling, and workout. I am also living a healthy life as hypothyroidism is already a constant variable. 

I hope that I will also hear your stories soon. Let us support each other! 

Day 54: Rising Above Failure

I have a passion for rising from failure. This has stemmed from my exposure to risk management, which was quite early in my life as my father worked in the industry all my life. I think it is beautiful that major corporations and institutions value failure and document them to calculate future probabilities. On a personal level, I believe that taking risks is crucial for growth. Whether it is our skin, our immune system, and our major organs, we all have cellular foundations that work hard to facilitate growth in all aspects to achieve optimal health. When it comes to our lives, growth only happens when we get rejected, when we fail, and when we experience pain. Failure is important because they can teach us to see what went wrong as stepping stones to achieve success in the next attempt. 

Zero turnout. Immeasurable personal growth.  

Zero turnout. Immeasurable personal growth.  

Recently, I have seen this at work. We hosted an event wherein nobody showed up. It was a rainy night and in Manila, and we all know that this means insane traffic, a surge in ride sharing prices, and close to impossible public transport options. I was initially hurt, because I hustled to get this approved, organized, and marketed. But after eating the catered dinner and receiving a hug from A, I realized that I did not do anything wrong. It was simply a series of uncontrollable circumstances which led to zero turnout. 

I have learned that often times, we blame ourselves for things which are not even our fault. We should focus more on what we really did wrong instead and reflect on how we can improve in the future. In this day and age where social media is prevalent, it is easier to gain support and resources online to better ourselves. In fact, I am currently taking a Purporse-Driven Branding Workshop online with Arriane Serafico to develop the way I carry myself both on the interwebs and in real life. I think it is important to be coherent with our personal branding in order to realize our full potential and grow as effective individuals. It is important to channel the lessons we have gained from failure to propel ourselves forward. 

Indeed, it is essential to rewind before we can move forward. What failures have inspired you to be who you are today? Use the lessons you have gained to inspire you to grow and realize your full potential. It is never too late to be your best YOU. 

Day 35: 10 Years with World Vision!

I rode the P2P earlier this morning and I had a restful commute. I realized that the past few days have been eventful, but I am still thriving! Not bad for someone who tends to worry and over analyze everything.

Proud Child Sponsor! 

Proud Child Sponsor! 

I recently celebrated my tenth year as a World Vision sponsor. I registered a few days after my pseudo-relationship and friendship with A fizzled in 2007. I felt the need to do something right after that, so I chose a girl from Cebu to be my kid. At first, it was just about sending money every month, and back then I was solely dependent on my allowance. The game changer to my sponsorship journey were my letters. I started writing to her, asking her about her life, and sharing a bit about mine. Receiving letters from her gave me life. Eventually, her family transferred to another province, so I was given another girl to sponsor. She's from Antique, and we have also been corresponding regularly. I have continued my support even when times were hard, like when I was jobless or struggling financially. My kid was and still is a non-negotiable part of my priorities. To my surprise, I am already on my tenth year of sponsorship and I am overwhelmed with the joy and fulfillment I get from this advocacy. 

A and S

A and S

I am also happy that I attended the Loyal Donor Appreciation Dinner for child sponsors celebrating important milestones. I was one of many ten-year awardees. Not only that, but I also brought A as my date. The very reason why I sponsored a child was there to commemorate this journey with me, and that moment meant everything to me. 

I am honored to be part of World Vision. Now that I am working in the academe, I personally experience how education changes lives in all walks of life. I am determined to continue being a child sponsor, and I am also happy to be blessed to do so. I was also reunited with A, and we are happier than ever as a couple. Thanks World Vision!

 Please consider sponsoring a child and watch your blessings multiply. Visit www.worldvision.org.ph for more details. 

Day 31: Living Mindfully and Helping Others

Beautiful handmade rosary by an inmate in Bilibid Prison.

Beautiful handmade rosary by an inmate in Bilibid Prison.

I prayed the rosary again after a long time. I used to pray with it everyday during my previous job. My old building was adjoined to a mall, which is a stone's throw away from a church with a quiet adoration chapel. My previous job was stressful, and this ritual calmed me down during my lunch breaks. I enjoyed meditating on the mysteries, and I never lied about going to the adoration chapel whenever I was asked regarding my whereabouts. I have always been proud about my faith, and this motivates me to look for ways to integrate my passion for prayer in my other love, which is social enterprise.

I have previously used cheap plastic rosaries and jewelry-type ones from pilgrimage sites such as the Vatican and Lourdes. All of them were easily broken due to daily wear and tear. I have never been dainty, so these rosaries never appealed to me. I only used them out of necessity and because they were presents and purchases from important places of prayer. I have constantly been on the lookout for a durable rosary, because I believe that prayer is a tactile experience. I depend on rosary beads to guide me along the way. If the beads are too small and the gaps between them are practically non-existent, then it will make prayer less of the soothing ritual which it was meant to be. Thus, I have been accustomed to replacing my rosary annually, which became a pain because I do get attached to things especially if they have memories connected to them. 

Usually, the crucifixes are the first ones to break. The cheap plastic ones cannot withstand the pressure of daily commuting, which is not pleasant because I do not enjoy seeing the representative image of Christ cut into half. For those with metal links, the chains would get disconnected. Having them repaired is an obvious choice since I do have experience in bead work, but it already dampens the enjoyment of prayer. As the years have gone by and the handmade movement grew along with the internet, I have discovered options which finally meant having sturdy rosaries for less heartbreak.

I bought a chotki rosary from Caritas Manila a couple of years ago, and it has served me well. It was handmade by an inmate from Bilibid Prison. It is sturdier than most rosaries I have owned, and it still works until today. It has began fraying though, as the string they have used is fibrous, so I am already seeing the signs of wear and tear on several areas. I will still recommend this though, for it is a good conversation starter and it is for a good cause.

This has then led me to the search for a new rosary. My boyfriend and I are going through challenging times in our personal lives, so we need a spiritual weapon to inspire us to renew our faith and pray more often. I have ordered four rosaries from Rugged Rosaries, an artisanal social enterprise in California. They make rosaries by hand using military-grade paracord, beads, and components. The two full-size five decade rosaries have been carefully selected to represent our personal faith journeys, while the two one decade clip-on rosaries are for everyday use and commuting. I am excited to receive them and road test them once they arrive from the US! I am also happy that part of the proceeds from my purchase supports a team of artisans who promulgate the faith through beautiful rosaries in America, and provide rosaries and MP3 New Testament Bible players to the troops.

My faith has led me to support social enterprises and the handmade movement. My advocacy is my biggest means to help others, and I look forward to doing so by shopping meaningfully, sharing the products on my blog, and living mindfully. I also want to keep on praying, because it is a meditative practice which lets me focus on the positive.

I hope that your passion will lead you to support an advocacy with minimal effort and true joy!