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 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.  

DAY 48: FAMILY

I had an eventful Father's Day as my parents invited A to have lunch with us. We had hearty meals at Cafe Adriatico while having light conversation. I appreciate the fact that they invited him to have lunch with us. 

As an only child, my family has always been reserved regarding the people I would introduce to them. The fact that they have invited A is truly remarkable. I would like to think that they appreciate his care and concern towards me, especially in times that are beyond my control.  

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Just when I thought that I could not ask for anything more, I had dinner with A and his family for his baby sister's 18th birthday and Father's Day. I was grateful for his invitation, and to my family for finally allowing me to meet his side. They are strict with letting me spend time with my significant's other's family so I appreciate that they are gradually letting me get to know them.  

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I had the best Father's Day ever and I look forward to spending more holidays with my favorite people.  

DAY 43: CHANGED DOSAGE

The weirdest thing that happens to me every time my thyroxine dosage is reduced is fatigue. I feel tired, sluggish, and drowsy all day long. Of course, I have to work. I remedy the situation by drinking copious cups of coffee. I workout in the morning, and I make sure to incorporate meditation into my day. My favorite form of mindful silence is the rosary. I spend fifteen to twenty minutes in the comfortable silence of the chapel, and venerate the Blessed Sacrament while reflecting on the mysteries of the rosary. It surprisingly calms me down while reducing the sleepiness, because I need to focus on the next prayer, the next bead, and the next mystery. 

We all have to do what we ought to do, I am overcoming the fatigue by getting up each morning, by keeping fit, eating healthy, and praying mindfully. I also read and write during my downtime, so my mind is always busy. I have learned that randomly browsing through social media keeps me sleepy, so I do that on the minimum and instead turn to books to amuse me during my commute and breaks. 

There are plenty of ways to overcome my changed dosage. The good news is that this is only for a month. I cannot wait to revert back to my normal dosage. In the meantime, my changed dosage is changing me for the better, and I look forward to continuing this lifestyle beyond this medication.

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 33: The Beginning, Part Two

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Today marks the end of my second round of my 15 Days of Writing True Class. It is a beginning more than an ending, because my first one ushered in a daily writing habit which led to attending the Writing Room e-course and embarking on my own #The100DayProject. Today is also my thirty-third day into this journey. I am thankful that I never run out of topics to write about. Life has many experiences to delight, surprise, and move me. Even a recent traumatic event has led me to count my blessings and realize that yes, there are still plenty of reasons to say thank you for each new day.

I will soon be ending my three-year relationship with my diet delivery service. My workplace does not allow deliveries of food subscriptions without knowing when to expect them. The recent growth of the diet company has led to erratic delivery times, so I cannot have them delivered to my office. If I continue having them delivered at home, it will cause me to be late for my shift. It was a painful decision, but being with them has trained me to count my calories, practice proper portion control for my body's needs, and eat healthful options to address my unique nutritional needs. Having hypothyroidism AND keeping trim is difficult, but it IS doable. Embarking on this new chapter may seem shallow to most people, but for me, feeding myself without the aid of my diet service is a form of freedom. Of course, responsibility comes along with this, so I have to continue controlling my portions and choosing my food with care.

I am excited to commence writing without a writing class for the first time in over a month. I will learn to use my voice to highlight the good and keep it real in my online island. So instead of marking this last day of #15DaysOfWritingTrue as an end, I am considering this as a beginning. 

I cannot wait to write on the ordinary, the special, and the true!

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 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!

Day 30: Soul Sam

This photo was sent by my good friend Rafe ❤️ 

This photo was sent by my good friend Rafe ❤️ 

The past few days have been challenging. I have encountered incidents which shook me to the core. I lost my trust in the people around me, and it seems that I am being harassed by an unknown entity. I have already reported these incidents and I have faith that authorities will handle this accordingly. Meanwhile, I am healing and moving on. I have decided this morning that I do not need to dwell on the feeling of distrust. Rather, I should focus on what I must be thankful for.

I woke up early this morning and did my ab and cardio routine. I had a hearty breakfast and a medium Americano from my go-to convenience store. I am wearing my five year old Doc Martens which cushion my feet and keep them warm and toasty in the rainy weather. Most of all, I have a family to go home to, a boyfriend who drives me home when visibility is low due to the rain, and a best friend who will drop everything to spend a few hours to comfort me. 

My best friend works in Quezon City but he managed to treat me to pancakes and coffee during my lunch break in Ortigas. I appreciate his effort and concern, as he knew I was going through a difficult time. My boyfriend had a family reunion at Pampanga, but he waited for me at Quezon City to have ramen with me and drive me home. These simple gestures mean heaps to me. It has been said that the only resource that we cannot reclaim is time, so I am grateful that my closest people look after me. I am also looking forward to moving on from these recent issues and carrying on with work. 

I have reasons to be thankful and happy amidst troubles and the rainy season. I will always have something to write about and experiences to share. People may try to take my trust away, but they can never conquer my spirit. All I have to do is breathe. 

Day 29: Trust Issues

Me in 2007

Me in 2007

I feel dismayed because my workspace has been violated for two consecutive days now. Yesterday, my traveler's journal was closed the wrong way, resulting in a loosened garter. When I got to my cube at 7:15am this morning, I found my top drawer open. My drawers do not have a lock, and these incidents may seem petty. But if you think of it, it is not petty at all. I work in a university, so files are all pertinent to educating students and upholding the corporate ideals of our community. These past two days have proven that it is possible for trust to be broken in an admirable company. Small items like my traveler's notebook may not seem much, but it is full of my art journaling and lunchtime sketches. I am also dismayed because I always psyche myself to get excited for each work day. These instances disappointed me, and it will take some time before I can regain my bearings. 

I have already filed an incident report, and I have updated security regarding this morning's incident. I know that they are doing their best. My cube is not covered by the CCTV, so there is no way to catch the suspect on video. I am praying that this gets resolved soon.  

I am also thankful to still be employed and that nothing was lost or stolen. I would not wish this on anyone else. After all, I was a student of this university ten years ago, and I do not want to disappoint my college self by being derailed by negativity. I just have to keep moving on.