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 58: There has to be a word

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1. There has to be a word for remembering to be thankful even when your day is not going so well. 

2. There has to be a word for sticking to one's diet even when you feel tired and entitled to a cheat meal

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3. There has to be a word for the oppression that you feel when commuting options are limited and traffic makes you late.

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4. There has to be a word for the anxiety that you feel when you are stuck in a bus that is not moving due to bumper-to-bumper traffic.

5. There has to be a word for the realization that you love your job enough to brave through roads and a clogged thoroughfare for it.

Day 56: Stretch

6:30am, MRT platform

6:30am, MRT platform

I woke up this morning to do my workout. I raised my heart rate during cardio, flexed my muscles, and brought everything back to normal during the cool down stage. I realized that stretching is something that I cannot always perfect. I am not naturally flexible, plus I also have scoliosis. I can only do my best, but I cannot force it all the way. 

The same goes with life. Right now I am upscaling my skills through classes, coaching, and mindful writing. There are limiting factors such as the fact that I am employed full-time, the difficult commute I have everyday, and hypothyroidism. However, I realized that I owe this to myself. I may not reach my toes but I can build my abs, so to speak. I even found my niche through my rallying cry, which is "wellness through mindfulness". 

I hope that you can join me in stretching myself while being careful in observing my limiting factors. It is not about fear, it is about prudence. Balance is key to achieving my goals this year, and I know it is possible to continue realizing my purpose through everyday mindfulness and blogging.  

Day 52: Small Wins

Cardio warrior 🏃🏻‍♀️

Cardio warrior 🏃🏻‍♀️

I have read that celebrating small wins is important. You may think that it is shallow to list down the little victories that get us through the day. I must admit that I was skeptical at first. However, I listed down my small wins anyway and I was determined to see positive results. After more than a month of doing so, I have observed that I was more focused. I was resourceful in completing tasks such as commuting and eating healthful meals. I thought out of the box and became more creative. 

All because I celebrated the small wins. 

My P2P ride this morning  

My P2P ride this morning  

I wrote down each time I worked out. I listed down each healthy meal. I diarized those times I drank a fresh fruit shake. I wrote about successful dates and quiet times with A. It was relaxing and meditative. 

In time, I looked forward to completing my tasks. I saw consistency even when my hypothyroidism was wearing me out. I exercised even when I was tired. I observed my diet even when I felt like doing the opposite. And I realized how short life truly is so I have to make the most out of it. 

My classmate Marvi passed away the other day. Back in grade school, she wore a headband everyday. I thought that was so badass of her and her style still inspires me today. I still wear headbands at present.

I was heartbroken to hear about her passing due to aneurysm. I am wearing a headband today in her memory, and hopefully to pass her cheerful personality on even if she is no longer with us.

Day 49: I Could Get Used To

I could get used to thinking of you the minute I wake up

I could get used to the skip in my step because I know that you love me

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I could get used to eating healthy because I know that you are also doing the same thing

I could get used to listening to music during my commute because the songs remind me of you

I could get used to hanging out with a steaming hot cuppa, because it reminds me of simple times

I could get used to driving and feeling independent, because I know that you keep me grounded

I could get used to half cups of rice, veggie subs, and taking the stairs, because I will eventually enjoy my cheat days with you  

I could get used to reading and writing in the morning, because I know these could help me converse with you

I could get used to having you in my life, because after ten years, it would be us after all

I could get used to all your messages, because eventually we will never have to say goodbye at the end of each day.  

DAY 45: ORTIGAS TO CUBAO

Last night, I walked from Ortigas to Cubao. The MRT is experiencing technical problems, leading to intermittent operations. Naturally, buses were overcrowded. The P2P had an unreasonably long queue. Grab and Uber had busy drivers, and at some point, Grab was even down. I was a ranting mess to A until I realized that nothing will happen if I do not start walking. So I did, and I walked all the way to Cubao. 

Our city lacks proper urban planning. Sidewalks and bus stops are too crowded and narrow.  

P2P Queue

P2P Queue

P2P queue

P2P queue

Ortigas station  

Ortigas station  

Robinsons Galleria bus stop  

Robinsons Galleria bus stop  

Having said that, our city still has lovely places, such as the People Power Monument. May this remind us all that amidst the oppressive realities around us, we are still innately powerful and free. 

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Day 37: Just Get Up and Work

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There are just days when I would rather hit the snooze button in the morning. I was tempted to do so earlier, but I immediately countered it by reciting the Prayer of Jabez:

New Living Translation
... "Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!" 

I got up, worked out with my YouTube exercise videos, and took a quick shower. I got dressed, drove to my parking space, and took the train to the office. I am transitioning to dieting on my own (I am no longer enlisting the help of my diet delivery service), so cafeteria breakfast consisted of half a cup of rice and a fried egg. I also had a 120z Americano. It was filling, and it is proof that it is possible to eat healthful meals without resorting to expensive diet plans. Of course, I have had three years of experience with my diet provider, so I already got used to the proper servings and I am already educated on portion control. I am keen on continuing my diet as it is one of the important factors to minimize the health risks of my hypothyroidism.

I have been dreading this day due to some recent events. However, I also pushed myself to work and put my game face on. I prayed the rosary in front of the Blessed Sacrament, and I felt that I am not alone. There is no use to feel discouraged then. 

I will live through today!

Day 32: Daily WROTEin

Werking it even with sore throat!

Werking it even with sore throat!

I'm celebrating my second monthsary at work today! Being an alumna of the university where I work definitely has its perks, such as knowing the layout of the libraries by heart and knowing where to buy awesome brewed coffee based on my budget. However, my homecoming is not a single event. It is a daily routine which I am surviving thanks to willpower and prayer. 

The best part of my day is when I wake up. I get to thank my Creator for a new morning and say the The Prayer of Jabez, 1 Chronicles 4:10 : “...Oh that You would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.”  This prayer has kept me grounded and blessed since I discovered it in 2006. I then wash up and workout for at least thirty minutes. Exercise is a must as I have hypothyroidism. I mix it up with different routines so I will never be bored. 

I take a shower, take my prescribed thyroxine dosage, and drive to my parking space. I cannot eat breakfast until forty-five minutes have elapsed since I took my medicine. I usually eat in the car, after it is already parked. I take the MRT or P2P to my stop, then walk to work.

My first stop in the office is always the chapel. It always fills me with awe that I am able to work and live a normal life despite my health condition. I then unwind with a cup of coffee and my morning snack. There is nothing more rewarding than a cuppa, which wakes me up while calming me down. It is a paradox which has never ceased to intrigue me. I randomly count my blessings, check my social networks, and respond to emails. If I still have time to spare, I return to the chapel to pray the rosary.

My work day usually goes by quickly. I like being organized, and I keep an analogue planner to take down notes and tasks. I listen to music while working, using a cheap radio and earphones which I regularly replace. I switch between pop and classical stations. During my downtime, I also update my blog and chat with my boyfriend. Lunch and coffee breaks are healthy yet filling. I am always focused on my fitness goals, and I know which food to eat and avoid. I also stay away from frappuccinos and calorie-rich desserts.

My commute home is a reversal of my trip to work. I enjoy light dinners, to help me sleep earlier and lessen bloating. I also stop by our nearby park to buy fresh coconut water. It aids in detox and re-hydrating me after a long day.

I end my day by writing on my Five Year Journal, a prayer, and a book until I drift to sleep. The next day is the same cycle, with the same willpower and attitude.

I will never be able to pull this off without the support of my family and boyfriend. I may not be earning much, but I have enough and that is what matters. I look forward to having a more abundant life and eventually, the chance to settle down.

 

Day 15: Writing Chuva

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I am a fan of Chuvaness because I dig her acerbic wit. She is lifestyle blogger with a Japanese street style aesthetic and an obsession with immaculate bathrooms. Reading her blog for years has given me a good grasp of her voice. For today's Writing Room assignment, I was tasked to compose an entry using another blogger's voice. I did not have to think twice and chose Chuvaness as my reference. 

 Chuva Commute

My car broke down today and my driver is on leave. It was a last-minute pandemonium. I had no choice but to take the MRT to my meeting in Quezon City. Those who know me well can attest to the fact that I consider anything north of Megamall to be out of town. Good thing my meeting was set for lunchtime so I had the luxury of skipping the rush hour crowd. 

My optimism was dashed the moment my Uber driver dropped me off at Ortigas station. The sidewalk was so narrowly barricaded that only one person can pass through it at a time. The elevator was not working as well so I had to take a gazillion steps to the top. By the time I reached the ticketing area, I was met by an intense queue. The people looked exhausted and I immediately felt the same way. It was hot and not well-ventilated. This was already 11am, but the crowd is still major. My Margielic ensemble could not handle the heat, the inefficient ticketing system which mixed both Beep card top-ups and single journey purchases, and the telenovela  running on the TV screens. I mean, why? It did not even have subtitles. Is this a reference to the daily drama at the MRT?

By the time I passed through the turnstiles, I did not feel like a worldly, efficient commuter anymore. I felt tired. I walked to the far end of the platform to reach the designated area for women, children, expectant moms, and seniors. I stayed in the women-only area and ignored the people around me who did not seem to understand the system of properly queueing for their turn to ride the train. The platform was hot and humid. Not Chuva-approved. 

The train arrived after an eternity, and it was just timely that the air condition was down. Great. This is summer and Manila. The train moved excruciatingly slow. I prayed the rosary to Trinoma. I asked for patience. And a miracle for Manila. 

Day 12: Writing Efficiently

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Once again, my Writing Room class has taken me out of my comfort zone. Writing efficiently is easier said than done for me, since I love being detailed to a fault.  Here are the shortened versions of my mini stories on feelings. They have been scaled down to ten words or less. 

He hugged me longer than usual and held my hand.

He hugged me longer than usual and held my hand.

I kissed him goodbye, then I alighted the bus.

I kissed him goodbye, then I alighted the bus.

They sipped lattes as their parents worked in cramped cubicles.

They sipped lattes as their parents worked in cramped cubicles.

A vial of blood could make or break my summer.

A vial of blood could make or break my summer.

The MRT had insufficient trains for the rush of humanity.

The MRT had insufficient trains for the rush of humanity.

In closing, I was also assigned to edit my first entry for this class and rewrite it in a concise manner.

WRITING IS MY HOME

Writing never felt like a chore to me because I have befriended words early on in my life. I learned how to read at the age of two and this led to a lifelong love for reading. I eventually developed a love for writing, and I contributed for our school paper and occasionally, for
national broadsheets. I also became a public speaker.

Blogging became a natural hobby as I became a habitual writer in university. I have recently started blogging again after joining The 15 Days of Writing True e-course and beginning my 100 Days Project, which integrates my output for another class I am taking, the Writing Room.

Day 11: Feels

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My Writing Room classes continue to challenge me by assigning a one-line story for each of the five emotions: joy, sadness, disgust, fear, and anger.

I chose personal topics for my mini stories. For joy, I am talking about the second time I had coffee with my now-boyfriend Allan. For sadness, I wrote about a bus ride we have shared before. I then speak about students who waste their parents' hard-earned money in disgust. For fear, I describe my state of being before each check-up with my endocrinologist (I have hypothyroidism). Lastly, I describe my daily ordeal at the MRT for anger.

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In closing, I was asked to write about the last time I felt sad...

Longing for Ella

Hear me roar! Errr, yawwwwn!

Hear me roar! Errr, yawwwwn!

There are many dogs in Barkin' Blends, my favorite dog cafe. I can only have one favorite, and Ella will always have a special place in my heart. She is a black chiweenie, a curious mix between a dachshund and a chihuahua. I fell in love with this girl because 1) she is small enough to sit comfortably on my lap, 2) she lets me read and sip on my milk tea as she takes a nap, 3) she lickes me a lot and chooses me among the other humans, and 4) she's sweet and always recognizes me whenever I visit.

I am only allowed to stay in the cafe for a couple of hours at a time, and every time I have to conclude my session there, it is always difficult to say goodbye to Ella. I cling to her sleeping, furry body until it's time to go. I wake her up, kiss her head and tell her that I will be back soon. I then hand her back to the staff and go home to my family, who are all allergic to dogs.

I will just have to visit Ella again.

DAY 6: Commuting Is Tough

This morning, I had to cross EDSA via three footbridges to reach the P2P bus station. The MRT was not working to its full capacity and the commuter buses were all crowded. Grab and Uber were cancelling my trips because my office is not the most accessible building there is. Hence, my decision to take the P2P was already the most viable option.  

The queue to the P2P was longer than usual.  

The queue to the P2P was longer than usual.  

By the time I reached Megamall, I only had fifteen minutes to spare. My office was several blocks away, so I did not think twice anymore. I ran

I ran like my job depended on it (it was, as my employer puts a premium on punctuality). I ran without considering my disheveled appearance. I ran because time is more valuable than my comfort zone. I ran because I was escaping from mediocrity.  

I reached my workplace five minutes before the commencement of my shift. I walked to the chapel. It was time to give thanks.