Back to (a different kind of) normal

My life is back to normal. At least, it’s an entirely different kind of normal from the normal I’ve been used to for the past few years.

I’ve somehow chosen a different kind of life to live now. I’ve given up the luxury of driving to and from work five days a week. Gone is the 1.5++ hour drive (one-way) to and from work, and the thousands of pesos spent monthly on gasoline charges and other car maintenance expenses. I am back on the daily commute. I’m back to working in my comfort zone, my timezone. It’s about two-thirds of the distance I used to travel every day. My new work is a short walk from the MRT station. I take the MRT everyday now, going to work in the morning and coming home in the evening. I then take a shuttle after MRT in the evening, and take a leisurely walk (under the stars) from the village gate on my way home.

I try to pack my lunch everyday too. I make myself a yummy sandwich, enough to fill me at lunch. When I don’t get to pack my lunch, I buy a sandwich at a nearby convenience store. It costs a lot less than what I used to eat for lunch, and has a lot less calories too.

Work is both something old and new. I’m starting to get into the groove again. The project I’m doing now is pretty interesting and challenging, enough to give me just the right push to give my best, as I always would like to do with whatever I do.

My personal life is also warming up too. No lovelife yet, though. I’m just loving the time I have on my hands to write blogs, do errands, read books, study/review on some topics and interests, pamper myself, relax and meditate, and opportunities to do many other things.

There’s just something that feels really nice about the new kind of normal. There are less expenses, less calories, more walks and physical activities, more time to just look around and observe the real world, and more time to be me again. I guess I really needed this change.

A better me everyday, that’s the goal. Sometimes it happens in small moments, in baby steps. Sometimes it happens with long strides, or with some jumps. This time, it was a leap for me again. I’ve landed, and am back on the ground, but this is an entirely different land already. Time to continue walking.

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Zen

My guess is that it started with the rabbits. They evoke something so amazingly calm about them, the way they almost never make a sound, and the very gentle way they move. There is almost nothing stressful with watching a bunny go about its way, hopping around, munching on greens, cleaning themselves, or just snuggling. It’s been a month and I have been watching my rabbits every evening. They are a stress reliever, and somehow a good way to quiet the soul.

Another factor would be doing yoga regularly. I can’t say that its already a habit, but doing it once a week for one month without falter is an achievement for me already. So many reasons why I’ve decided to invest my time and effort into yoga. It does a lot of good things for me. First, it’s teaching me more discipline just to make sure I attend a session on the same day every week. Second, it’s helping me improve flexibility, balance, and core strength. Third, it is a good way to relax the mind, a way to ease internal tensions.

I’m trying to learn and get used to meditation too. I’ve been cleaning my room of clutter. I’ve been doing more quiet alone time.

Well, people who personally know me can attest to how high-strung I usually am, and I have been like that forever. A more relaxed, more zen way of living is very new to me. Not that I am completely shifting from my high-energy life to a zen life. I still love my crazy life. But finding out the quiet and relaxed state is amazing and possibly doing me a lot of good. It needed a space in my life for the longest time.

The fitness bug

I think the museum team may have caught the fitness bug. A few people from the team have already started attending fitness camps after work hours. More than 20 of us got a 15-day pass to a yoga place that is opening soon. Small groups have been running or swimming once a week. The office fridge is now filled with a number of milk cartons of all types, and the pantry cabinet filled with different kinds of cereals.

I must admit, though, that I sort of started the milk-and-cereal trend in our pantry. I have a carton of non-fat high-calcium milk and a box of high-fibre cereals in the pantry (with my name written all over it, literally). I also try to go brisk walking at least once a week, though I don’t usually do it with other people. I’m back to yoga too, and hoping to stay active in yoga at least once a week. In short, I am one of the people in the museum team with the fitness bug. It’s good though. It’s good to be in the company of health enthusiasts, not to mention, a group far from vices (unless you consider Jollibee Coke Float a vice, hehe).

I have a long way to go in terms of fitness. My heart does not allow me for high intensity cardio workouts (and even mid-intensity would still leave me knocked-out), and so I have to find a good fitness regimen that has low-intensity cardio but will still help me reach my targets. I’m hoping that regular brisk-walking and yoga would do the trick. I also need to find a diet that I can stick to, hopefully something that won’t leave me hungry or craving, but satisfy my hunger pangs without the excess calories. I still have to lose N lbs. (where N>10).

Well, we are all hoping for the best. ­čÖé

Now Linked

I have finally put my list of links on my sidebar. How do I choose who I link to? So far I have four categories:

Blogroll – a list of blogs I follow on WordPress. I don’t follow a lot, and not all the ones that I follow are here. I just included those that I read often.
A girl called emily
Antonio Marques Photoblog
Chris Neighbors
Professional Heckler

Favorites – a list of different significant websites for me
Click the City
Rappler (an online news page)
The Mind Museum (the website of the museum where I work)
Travel Factor (interesting travel adventures)

Fun – just entertaining stuff
9GAG
Beerkada Comics
Dilbert
Hello Giggles

Geek Fun – entertaining nosebleed geeky stuff… and yes, I enjoy reading these (because I’m a geek that way)
10 Most Beautiful
PHD Comics
Science Dump
XKCD

I did not include anymore the websites that I always have open : Google Apps (Gmail, Calendar, Docs, etc.), Facebook, and Twitter.

Do you have any other website you’d like to recommend?

Yoga :)

It is a very good feeling to be back to practicing yoga. Well, I have never been able to practice yoga regularly before because of a number of limitations – financial, time, and the distance and locations of good yoga studios. It is wonderful to have recently discovered not just one, but two new yoga studios in convenient locations for me. One is White Space in the Katipunan Area (http://www.whitespacewellness.com/) which opened just last month, and the other one is Urban Ashram Manila’s BGC branch (http://www.urbanashrammanila.com/) which is opening this month.

I have started my first class at White Space and am very pleased with it – the facilities, the people, and the feeling of being able to practice yoga again. The studio also offers pilates, t’ai chi, reiki, meditation, and modern dance, but I have yet to try those other things out. But I really do intend to practice here at least once a week, time and traffic permitting. Its location is halfway between my workplace and my home. Now that things are a bit more relaxed in the museum, perhaps I can get more me-time and practice yoga regularly at White Space.

I have not seen Urban Ashram Manila’s BGC studio yet, but I and my colleagues already got a 15-day pass to try out their classes. I think they also have an open house these coming weeks before they go full operation. It will also be a good alternative location for me to practice yoga, since it is just a few minutes away from where I work.

Out of the cave, into the light

I may have mentioned it so many times before – I was eaten alive by my work last year, and only recently did it spit me out. Oh yes, I almost had no personal time for months just to make sure that the museum actually happens. But now, after giving birth to a 12,000 square meter baby, I finally have time for myself again.

I am out into the light again. But what do i do now?

First answer: travel, travel, travel. This summer is probably the first in many years that I am able to soak up some sun and feel sand and sea at my feet a number of times for the entire season. I’m loving the tan I’m slowly developing. Aside from that, I’m also planning to explore more of the world later this year. There’s one scheduled trip with the entire family, and another trip that I intend to take just by myself.

Second on my list: back to learning. I have accumulated a number of books and modules that I am slowly returning to. I’m back to self-studying on different topics that interest me. I’ve started with it slowly and taking it in bit by bit. I want to get into the habit of feeding my mind something valuable every single day.

Third: getting physical. I must admit that it is partly my fault why I have had a falling out with my exercise habit. But I am having some physical difficulties too, which hinders me from exerting much effort with sports or exercise. I am now trying to solve that and also slowly trying to get mor physically active. I want to live healthy.

Also, I now have time to plan the next big things that I want in my life. One should never settle with what one has in the present, and should always aim for something bigger and better in the future.

Ka-blog

Why do I blog? But most importantly, why do I write? I remember sharing one blog article to my boss, and she imparted me these words of wisdom, “The fundamental reason for writing is to be understood. Not for show, not for validation, not for glory, though they could be ┬ásurprise byproducts.”

Perhaps my main reason for writing it to be able to understand my own thoughts. There is something very liberating about being able to organize and structure one’s thoughts into words, string them into phrases and sentences, and turn them into paragraphs that makes sense. And then, there is the desire to communicate one’s thoughts to other people. In turn, what is communicated are ideas that would hopefully make other people think and reflect, maybe conform to or challenge the readers’ own beliefs.

Quarterlife.ph is not my very first blog. I’ve had several blogs since I was in college, and most of them were very personal in nature. I’d write about my day, about things I do, about my thought about random things in the world. I have a blog where I post the poetry I used to write, although I haven’t been with my poetry muses for quite some time. I’ve been on xanga, multiply, and blogspot. I don’t close them down, save for a few that were not so important.┬áThere are times that I have already forgotten that they ever existed, until I explore and find them again, and read back on my history. They are very pretty interesting reads. I went through some articles I’ve written a few years ago, and some of them makes enough sense to repost in this blog. I’ll probably do that in a few upcoming posts, including the one right after this.

I am not sure if the things I write actually moves my readers. But I am trying. I am communicating. I don’t have the widest audience yet, but I now try to make the best of the time that you take reading these articles. It’s beyond I, me, mine now. I’ve finally gone beyond just narrating things to really thinking through the things that happen around me.