Day 94: Closure

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I am claiming my clearance today. The finality of everything is hitting me, and I could not be happier. I want nothing more than to move on from the pain, the anger, and the state of being stuck. It is unhealthy to hold on to these negative emotions, and it will only pull me back. I cannot afford to have bad vibes. I want to be open to better opportunities and there is no greater feeling than having closure. 

I will be wiser moving forward when it comes to jobhunting. I will make sure to ask questions and be stronger in standing my ground. I will continue being loyal to my loved ones and once there are questionable factors, I will discern whether they are worth fighting for. I am worth more than the heavy price of uncertainty. I am worth the closure.  

Day 91: Moving On

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I am currently moving on from a traumatic experience in my previous employer. While I promised myself that I will never look back in anger, I allowed my true feelings to surface and eventually, dissipate. After all, it is healthier to acknowledge one's true emotions rather than just let them kill me deep inside.

I spent my previous week working out and catching up on sleep. This week is a time for reading and more workouts. There is something about burning calories that puts things into perspective. I also like relating to the characters I read about. They make seem moving on possible because they have done so in beautiful prose.

A friend yesterday messaged me to encourage me to enjoy my break because as adults, we rarely get free days when we are tied up with work. I am grateful that she messaged me because it makes me see my unemployment in a new light. At the same time, A is telling me not to be desperate and that I am in charge of my own journey. I will keep moving on until I get to the place where movement is no longer a forced endeavor.

Day 74: Resilience

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It was not easy for me to get out of bed this morning. The air was cool. My sheets were inviting me to stay. The teddy bear given to me by A was seemingly beckoning me to hug him again.  

Ugh. Like many similar mornings, I had to make a stand. I chose to rise and shine. 

I got cracking and worked out. I started with my abs, then I threw in some cardio. I transitioned to a barre video and then ended my workout with a squat challenge. 

My body was on fire and I could barely catch my breath. Like most days, I questioned why I was doing this. But I did not answer myself. Instead, I focused on my breathing.  

Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale... 

And when I looked at myself in the mirror and took this photo, I got my response. I am doing this for myself. I am doing this because I am resilient. 

I am doing this because I can rise above hypothyroidism, one day at a time.

 

Day 73: Hangout

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I have been going through a tough week at work as I am transitioning and rendering my last few days prior to my departure. I am making sure that there are no loose ends left untied, no tasks left undone, and no files left in my computer. I am just glad that it is finally Friday. As usual, I commenced my day with a prayer and a workout. I hurriedly prepared for my day. I then carpooled with my dad to the office as he is also working early today. 

I enjoyed my breakfast while reading my crime novel. My cheesy eggdesal blended nicely with the twists of deceit. I drank my first cup of coffee as the plot thickened with adultery. And by the time I had my coffee refill, I was walking to Prom B, which my hangout way back in college.

A and I spent heaps of times here, and while we had our biggest fight here which eventually led to our "breakup" in 2007, I am spending my early morning here because it brings me zen. An empty study hall is a promising cradle for all my feels as I am slowly saying goodbye to my office and alma mater. No, I am not dwelling on my epic fight with A ten (!) years ago. In fact, I am grateful that we are together in the present and that quarrel is history. Rather, I am focusing on the moments I studied here when I was still a student. I believed so much in myself even when the world was challenging me to the core. I never listened to the negativity and focused on my tasks. My college self inspires me to trudge through my current mountain of deliverables and eventual farewell. I do not want to leave with bitterness. Rather, I want to think that this place cradled my idealism and belief in humanity. 

If I slayed it then, I am sure I can do it again in 2017. Push. 

Day 67: Consistency

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In an age where there are endless forms of distractions to derail me from being fit, I aim for consistency. It is a challenging journey, because it is also acceptable to just let go. But I am not giving in. Rather, I choose to go all out with my efforts. 

I start my day with my morning prayers. I go on with my workout even if I am so sleepy. I carry on even if my joints refuse to cooperate. I will them to obedience. I have been doing this since I refused to let hypothyroidism rule me. I have befriended coffee and promised myself to eat right for my condition. Eventually, my efforts have paid off.  

But I am not being complacent. I cannot afford that, as hypothyroidism is a chronic condition. I have to aim for consistency. 

This daily journey has to be a consistent one, and it is keeping me grounded. I hope that I will remain faithful to it, and may the fruits of my efforts inspire me to carry on each day. 

Day 66: Finding My Flow

The past few days have been challenging. I have been adjusting to my normal thyroxine dosage and it has been causing me to be drowsy, slugging, and moody. I have also experienced some challenges in another aspect of life. I wish I could just press pause on life, but it does not happen that way. The hurtful part about reality is that the world will not stop turning just because we are overwhelmed. We should just go with the flow.

I am finding my flow now by praying, managing my emotions, and finishing what I have to submit. I am also preventing stress from escalating to something I cannot control. I also read and reflect on what I can do better moving forward. 

Finding my flow is the best way to stay productive. Mindful living cannot be achieved without strength and the courage to carry on. Let me just breathe...and go with the flow.

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Day 63: Life Meaningfully Hacked

 "Whaaaaat? You have hypothyroidism? Aren't you supposed to be fat?" 

Lifehack #1: A microwaveable pillow helps my body temperature adjust to an airconditioned office after commuting. Hypothyroid patients are notorious for being sensitive to changing temperatures, so a heated pillow is a Godsend.

Lifehack #1: A microwaveable pillow helps my body temperature adjust to an airconditioned office after commuting. Hypothyroid patients are notorious for being sensitive to changing temperatures, so a heated pillow is a Godsend.

This is the usual reaction I get from people every time I tell them I have hypothyroidism. It is sad that in the Philippines, hypothyroid patients are popularly perceived to be predestined to be overweight. The condition is widely covered by mainstream media, and not many people talk about it online. The lack of awareness causes the condition to be shrouded in mystery and misinformation. 

Yes, hypothyroidism can cause the patient to be overweight. But I am not letting this happen to me. Just because I have this condition does not mean that I will let it define my weight, my mind, and my sense of being. To counter the tendency to be overweight, I workout everyday and watch my food portions. I also include as much exercise as I can in my day, such as walking to the MRT station, and taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Regarding the natural tendency for hypothyroid patients to be sluggish and drowsy, I fight the lack of energy by drinking coffee after each meal, taking walks, and really, willing myself to keep up with life. I cannot afford to drift away and lose myself in the tiredness, and I can tell you first-hand that this is not easy. The lack of energy can really make me feel sleepy even in the middle of meetings. But I try my best to psyche myself up so I will not snooze at every onset of drowsiness.

Lifehack #2: Taking a selfie before boarding the MRT strangely prevents me from dozing off during the trip. Yes, I have snoozed even in a SRO train!

Lifehack #2: Taking a selfie before boarding the MRT strangely prevents me from dozing off during the trip. Yes, I have snoozed even in a SRO train!

This is why I strongly believe that defying hypothyroidism is more willpower than anything else. Mindfulness is my secret weapon, and my thinking is that I should believe in my own ability to fight the symptoms of my condition. Every time I feel discouraged or moody, I workout. I read. I listen to music a lot while working. I go on a coffee run. These life hacks help me go through life, and just plain awake.

Source: Oxford Living Dictionaries

Source: Oxford Living Dictionaries

I once suggested to a teacher to share life hacks but I was told that systems work better because it is not wise to hack through life. I strongly disagree to this because as a hypothyroid patient, I have been working smarter to make it through each day, each week, each month, and each year. I have followed forums and groups online to know how to hack through each hour of my day, because trust me, having hypothyroidism is not a piece of cake. Systems are useful, but hacks are help me survive when I am battling drowsiness, hunger (because I am controlling my portions), and moodiness (yes, hormonal imbalance does this to you).

How can I even maximize systems without life hacks? They are efficient steps to productivity, and in purposeful living, getting things done is key. Here are some life hacks that help me everyday (see photo captions). I know that they are useful not just to hypothyroid patients like myself, but for everyone. 

Processes can work if there are efficient steps along the way. I have embraced these life hacks which I have discovered as I have lived each day because they keep me productive, awake, and thriving. If I am thriving, then I am really maximizing my time, resources, and creativity. And yes, life hacks help me live meaningfully and defy hypothyroidism.

What are your life hacks? How do you integrate them into your processes and systems? Let me know so we could exchange ideas!

 

Lifehack #3: Workout, workout, workout. Burn calories, release endorphins, and improve your mood!

Lifehack #3: Workout, workout, workout. Burn calories, release endorphins, and improve your mood!

This morning's selfie before the MRT started moving southbound. Yes to staying awake during the whole trip!

This morning's selfie before the MRT started moving southbound. Yes to staying awake during the whole trip!

A good breakfast is never complete without coffee. Lifehack #4: COFFEE HELPS!

A good breakfast is never complete without coffee. Lifehack #4: COFFEE HELPS!

Lifehack #5: Online classes, books, Tedtalks...Always look for opportunities to learn and grow. Feeding the mind is just as important as nourishing the body. 

Lifehack #5: Online classes, books, Tedtalks...Always look for opportunities to learn and grow. Feeding the mind is just as important as nourishing the body. 

Day 62: Quarterly Review

#nofilter #nomakeup

#nofilter #nomakeup

Today, I am celebrating my third monthsary at work. This is a big deal for me because I have not just started in this new job, but I have also switched careers and industries with this new role. You see, I have worked in an Australian BPO for five years. That is half a decade of my life doing Risk Management for a country I have only visited once in my existence.  When a change in management prompted me to resign, I felt that I was doing the right thing. And by implementing change, I meant doing it in a big and bold way: no more BPO's, ever. 

I do not want to sound ungrateful because outsourcing has really taught me a lot. I felt that I grew up as a worker. Fixing other people's arrears does that to you, as well as understanding and speaking in an accent which is totally foreign-sounding to you. However, I think that work should be people-centered. If other things get in the way of caring for the welfare of your employees, then that is not dignified work for me. Also, I am already thirty years old. I need to find a more stable company with corporate ideals so I can also develop wholistically. Having monthly socials in bowling alleys and arcades can be fun for employees, but this does not foster growth. Learning does. And now that I am working in my alma mater as a Program Officer, I can say that this learning is a daily norm for me.  

Having free access to our well-equipped libraries is important to me. I am not only a voracious reader, I am also innately a researcher. When I feel the need to learn something new, I tend to read books to supplement whatever I can Google. Also, working in the academe means that I have a lot of time to work on my personal goals. I have used the school's fast internet connection to enroll in online classes on personal system implementation, writing, and purpose-driven branding. I am still taking the last class, and this will last until September, so I am definitely going to have an interesting quarter ahead! I have also put up my blog and purchased my own URL. I also began my 100-day writing project, which enables me to have content on my website everyday. Once that challenge ends, I can confidently continue writing quality content because by then, writing has already become second-nature to me.  

A quarter is more than enough to develop new habits. I have learned so much in a short amount of time, and broadened my horizons especially in terms of upgrading my skills. I am excited to level-up my life through dignified work and learning, as I continue achieving wellness through mindfulness! 

Now, let me prepare for the day ahead and finish my coffee! ☕️ 

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 57: Life After Diet Delivery

I am currently enjoying regular food after three years of diet delivery subscription. My drivers for this decision to eat normally but within diet portions are: 

1) Budget- Food subscriptions are expensive! Especially now that my salary has been downgraded since working in the academe.

2) Convenience- As my food provider grew its reach, their delivery times became erratic. I work in a company that has strict security, so it will not be easy for the rider to bring my food up to my office. 

3) Adaptability- I cannot be dependent on a food provider for life. After three years with them, it is time to let go. 

I am fortunate that our cafeteria has vegetables, the half cup of rice option, and fresh fruit shakes. It has been a fortnight and I am already eating healthful meals. I get to enjoy guilty pleasures such as shawarma rice and sausage muffins, but only if I eat vegetables and half rice for lunch. It is about compromise and balance.

I am addicted to kebab rice meals. 

I am addicted to kebab rice meals. 

 Vegetables with half rice from our cafeteria

 Vegetables with half rice from our cafeteria

Portion-controlled snack at a work event

Portion-controlled snack at a work event

Yummy way to begin the day

Yummy way to begin the day

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 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 51: Coconut Mornings

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I just realized that living with hypothyroidism can lead to so much negativity. It may seem that I cannot have the best of everything. I have to workout even when I am tired. I have to take the stairs to burn more calories and wake myself up. It has recently led to resentment, because my thyroxine dosage has been reduced. I found myself dozing off on my desk. Three cups of coffee did not always wake me up. I felt sluggish in the morning, in the afternoon, and at night. I was forgetful, because of the so-called "brain cloud" which people with hypothyroidism often experience. 

At some point, A just said that enough is enough. 

After an insightful conversation with him yesterday, I have decided to alter my thinking instead of resenting that I have been shortchanged in this life. I should think that I have a complete life. It may not be perfect, but I am trying hard to manage so that should suffice.

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I started this morning by thinking that I could enjoy the little things that I am allowed to have. I had a whole coconut earlier after parking my car. I bought it fresh and had the meat and water transferred to a bag to go. It was refreshing, filling, and the perfect energy drink to keep me going during my commute. Upon arriving at my office, I was determined to have a healthy breakfast.  I had tortang talong, half cup of fried rice, and banana ketchup. I also had coffee, because I need all the caffeine I could get. 

Havinf proper nutrition and a shift in thinking has helped me this morning. I am determined to maximize my day by focusing on what makes me complete instead on dwelling on what I cannot enjoy in my condition. I know that it is easier said than done, but it would not hurt to give it a try. 

 

 

Day 50: Shift

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I have already been eating regular food for more than a week now, and I can say that I am coping well. I have been consuming only a half cup of rice per meal, and I make sure to incorporate fruits and vegetables into my diet. Take this morning for example. I had salted egg, tomato, a half cup of garlic rice and a fresh coconut (not pictured). It was filling, healthful, and still tasty. I alternate salted egg with regular sunny side up, and the protein keeps me energized until lunch. The carbs are essential to keep me going. I do not deprive myself or skip meals. Rather, I just observe proper portions and nutrition. 

The same goes with my life. I used to complain a lot but now I am more free-flowing and chill. I realized that complaining can increase my stress levels and just make me more resentful. By being more placid and cool, I can think clearer and plan carefully. The shift in thinking is not easy, so mindfulness is a key ingredient in this journey. All I have to do is to focus on the goal to be more chill and just slide into the day. The journey remains the same, but my attitude makes it better.  

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 42: AESTHETIC INTERVENTION

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It is the first workday of the week, as yesterday was Independence Day here in the Philippines. I enjoyed the long weekend, particularly due to the yummy food I had and the exceptional company I enjoyed. It is already back to normal for me, and for the majority of the corporate workforce. I woke up with a headache which did not go away after my workout and cup of coffee. I laid my P2P seat flat and snoozed all the way to Ortigas, but the headache stayed on. I have then decided that it was time to wear the Php50 headband I bought last night. I got it from a sidewalk vendor, and I was impressed because her headbands look classier than the usual roadside merchandise. I got this turquoise number and a blush one. I wore the turquoise one this morning just as my headache was at its peak, and I must say that it has reduced the pain. It seems that a little aesthetic difference can boost my mood and keep headaches at bay. Interestingly, I did not have to spend much to achieve change. Creativity goes a long way to remedy aches and pains. I am sure it could also work in other situations as well.