Day 95: Opening Up

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Being on a diet is already a walk in the park for me. I am already used to it, so I intuitively know which food to avoid. I also know my portions so I do not have to be a control freak all the time. When the weekend comes, I am embracing my cheat days with enthusiasm and an open mind. Like today, I had mango cream pie gelato for dessert. It was amazing to finally have a sweet treat. It also reminded me of mango cream pie from Red Ribbon, which was a staple during my childhood. Because I opened my mind and avoided negativity today, I had a nostalgic sweet ending to a lovely meal. Same goes with life. If I am more open to new experiences and opportunities, then I can be surprised by the good things that will come my way. I am letting life lead me by the hand. Who knows, I may even have a dessert to remember. 

Day 90: Thriving Wisely

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It is Monday morning and I am not rushing to work. Instead, I am sitting on my couch at home. I am composing my blog entry after enjoying breakfast and iced coffee. I already did more than an hour's worth of heart-pumping Zumba and brisk walking. I ate a hearty bowl of lugaw with egg (congee with egg) for only Php25. I am on a reflective mood because while I do miss the Monday rush, I am thankful for my break. I was able to exercise and do my thing. I do not have deadlines to beat. While I do need to look for a new job, I am not pressured at the moment.  I am thriving wisely. 

I do not want to go beyond my budget. Prior to resigning, I have already assessed my spending capacity per week until I can find a new job. I have also chosen to read books (as usual!) to spend time wisely. I think it is best to maximize my break instead of feeling sad that I do not have work. I am more selective now of prospective employers. After my recent experiences, I owe it to myself to have a better working environment. 

For now, I have calories to burn, books to read, and music to listen to. I am thriving and happy. I am a very lucky girl.  

Day 80: Be Good

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This morning, I drank coffee at Prom B for the last time. I enjoyed the cool AM breeze while listening to classical music. As I am rendering my last day today, I am saying goodbye to my college hangout with fondness and zero regrets. 

I will look back on my three and a half months here as an employee with positivity. I refuse to hold on to grudges, especially concerning matters which are beyond my control. By letting go, I am welcoming better opportunities to come my way. By letting go, I am redeeming myself. And by going away from here, I am finding myself again.

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Ten years ago, my spiritual director urged me to be good even when it is difficult to do so. I am leaving with that advice in the same place, but in different circumstances. I choose to be good. And I will eventually find something better soon.

Day 78: Caffeinated Heart

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I am leaving the place where I first learned to drink coffee. I first appreciated the brew during my student days. I cannot live without coffee now. To say that my heart is caffeinated is an understatement. I am practically operating on caffeine. I cannot be productive without it. This goodbye is giving me the feels, because I also fought the drowsiness brought about by my hypothyroidism with copious cups of coffee right here on campus. I did it to write my papers and I am still doing it now to fulfill my transition period. 

I will definitely have coffee here again someday. For now, I look forward to having my last few cups of coffee as an employee and alumna.  

Day 77: Starter Pack

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I just had cheesy eggdesal and two cups of coffee for breakfast. I am down to my last four days at my current employer, and I would have to admit that I am quite sentimental. Working in my alma mater was a unique chance for me to get acquainted with my academic institution from another perspective. I have learned a lot in a quarter. Working in IT also enabled me to build this website and blog during my downtime. I am grateful for this experience and I have no regrets. 

I would like to think that the skills I have acquired here comprise my starter pack for my next job. I still do not have a role lined up, so I am looking forward to a short break. I got some books and magazines to entertain me and get my mind active. I am also planning to continue my fitness regimen. Lastly, I am excited to blog about my journey and continue my 100 Day Challenge.  

I have learned to manage my time, start a blog, and live meaningfully. My graceful exit is just around the corner, and I will not look back in anger. Gratefulness is key to making the next four days count.  

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 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 71: Walking Tall

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I am rendering my final fortnight here at my current job. It is bittersweet for me because I graduated here and I have heaps of memories related to my workplace. During my reflection, I had to separate my memories as a student and as an employee. I had to differentiate things so that I will not be angry. I do not want to look back with a heavy heart. I want to move forward with the knowledge that I did my best in a vacuum.

With that, I am walking tall in a firestorm. Even when things are being hurled at me, I choose to pace myself at a constant speed. I cannot afford to trip or be discouraged. It is the homestretch. 

Day 70: Light It Up

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I am down to my last two weeks at my current job. I have resigned because the program I am managing is eventually going to be dissolved. As an employee, I am only looking after my own welfare. At the same time, I also want to pursue opportunities for growth without compromising my health. As you know, hypothyroidism is not the easiest condition to manage when I am under unreasonable stress and fatigue. I want to look for a better role where I can grow both as a person and as an employee. 

Right now, I am transitioning and turning over my responsibilities to my team. I cannot afford to be bitter. Life is too short to dwell on negativity. It is futile to be angry at things I cannot change. Of course, my priority is to make sure that there are no loose ends on my plate. I want to leave knowing that my journey has not been put to waste and that my team can handle my job. 

Let me find the light for now as I finish my remaining fortnight here. 

Day 69: On the Hunt

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I am currently jobhunting again. I resigned from my job because the program I am managing is going to eventually be dissolved. With no job security and a futile marketing plan, I have decided to end my tenure before things get more complicated. I am ending my stay here on a high note, with experience in setting up events and managing our incoming enrollment system. I am just rendering my transition period. 

I do not want to be bitter because life really throws you unpredictable curveballs, especially when you least excpect it. Good thing I trained myself to have a growth mindset and decided when enough is enough. I am not going to freeload myself in a program that is not going to last. Rather, I will plot my growth elsewhere, and I will exit my current position gracefully. 

I am thankful to have the chance to work in IT. I have built my website and began blogging during my stay here. I have taken the initiative to relearn writing during my downtime. I have also found my voice and rediscovered my unique style. Lastly, I learned to embrace my hypothyroidism and used my condition as a springboard for everything that I want to celebrate in life. 

I am optimistic that the future will be kinder to me. I am ensuring this by continuing my blog and wishing my department well. I hope to also stumble upon opportunities for growth and earning. It is my prayer that it will it take long for me before I can find a suitable job soon.  

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 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 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 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 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 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.