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.

Credit card hiatus

I have put my credit card under house arrest. I have taken it out from my wallet and have kept it in a special place in my room. It will not be used for the coming months until I’ve been able to clear up my credit card debt and re-learned how to live on cash alone.

I’ve had a love-hate relationship with my credit card in the past five years. I love it when I am using it for purchases, but I hate it when the bill arrives. Are most of us like that? Perhaps I’ve developed a terrible credit card habit. I use it to purchase, and I purchase some more using my cash. Come billing time, I pay off my entire balance, but soon after I use my card again because I’ve ran out of cash after paying my credit card bill. The cycle goes on month after month. No matter how I try to get out of the cycle, it keeps pulling me back in.

Now I’ve really taken a drastic step. I’m separating myself from my card. Time to live again on nothing but cash. And time to get my financial freedom back.

Wish me luck.

Literary Constipation

I think my writing muses are in hiatus right now. There are so many interesting things around me to write about, but it seems so difficult to complete an entire flow of thought at the moment, unlike how easy it usually is for me to write about something. There are too many thoughts in my brain, but my literary gears are far too squeaky.

Maybe my brain and my body are both too tired. Maybe I have my heart in a complicated twist. I should work this out first. When my brain is back in its prime, and my heart is ready to disclose, maybe then I will be able to make something meaningful again.

Pardon me, I’ll probably do some reposts and links to interesting reads in the meantime.

Ten things I wish they taught us back in college

1. Work-life balance
2. The dynamics of a workplace
3. Stress management
4. Time management
5. Managing personal finances
6. Insurance
7. Investing
8. How and when to get a loan
9. The proper use of a credit card
10. Philippine taxation

I stand alone

Devoid of any ill feelings or bitterness, after not being in a committed relationship with another person for the last four years, I have come to a very obvious but strange conclusion – I don’t need a boyfriend.

No ill feelings. No bitterness. I just had to re-iterate that, just in case you didn’t believe me the first time I said it. There was a very interesting situation yesterday that brought me this thought, although I may have been living this thought for the longest time now.

I was driving home last night from work on my usual Global City-to-Commonwealth route via C5. Traffic wasn’t bad yet when we left the office a little after 530pm. By the time I reached the flyover between Pasig and Libis, my car overheated and my engine shut off. Luckily we were already on the downhill and I was able to free-wheel to just in front of Red Ribbon. I attended to my overheated car, put water in the radiator and reserve, and all that shiz. When the engine temperature went back to normal, I pushed onwards to finish my drive home. By that time the traffic was already horrible along Libis. By the time I passed Banapple, my car was already close to overheating again, so I stopped a little bit before Contis to attend to my engine again, before it died on me again. I was able to bring the engine temperature back to normal, but I knew that my radiator was not in a good condition already. I pushed onwards to reach home in the fastest time but without overheating again. It was difficult because heavy traffic was all throughout Katipunan (as if I am still surprised by this), until just before Batasan Road. I was able to reach home with my engine still alive. Talk about stress.

Somehow that situation showed me that I can take care of my self.

I can just imagine some other girl who, in the same situation, would probably need to call her boyfriend to help her out with her broken car. Not me. I was trained by my dad how to change tires. He taught me what to do with an overheated car. He told me what to do just in case my car gets stuck in flood, or even during times that there is a great risk of flooding on the roads. I rely on my dad for advise on cars, and I call him for help in the most dire situations (e.g. stalled car in a mall parking in the pouring rain), but I do know how to find solutions on my own just in case he can’t come sooner.

Beyond car problems, I can pretty much handle my own stuff by my self. I have survived a few years in college without the need for a boyfriend. I have survived a few years working without the need for a boyfriend. I know I am able to drive myself to work and back home even when I have migraine attacks. I commute by myself when the car is not available. I have gone to the gym, gone running, gone swimming, or some other exercise without needing an exercise buddy. I don’t mind spending time alone in a coffee shop for breakfast. I can go shopping alone. I have gone to so many doctors appointments so many times and have heard so many different types of news without needing anyone to accompany me. I know that the best solution to a stressful or depressing situation is a bottle of Coke, a tall glass of iced coffee, a bag of Cheetos, or a bar of dark chocolate.

Well, I said I don’t need one, but I never said I don’t want one. I know I can pretty much take care of myself, but I also like the feeling of being taken care of like a princess. And I like taking care of other people too. But at the very least I know, I am pretty much okay even if I stand alone.

The right kind of stress

Gaaaahhh. I don’t know why I’m still up right now writing this piece. It was completely and utterly stressful at work today, I should have gone straight to bed. But however much this stress is draining the energy from me, it’s just the right kind of stress. It’s not the depressing kind of stress. I am doing too much right now, but the pressure of tasks and responsibilities from a work that I love doing is something that I am willing to accept – blood, tears, sweat, and all.

Right now I am working on something that a lot of people could only dream of doing. Imagine the honor of being one of the core people who put up The Mind Museum. Not in my wildest dreams have I thought I would be doing something like this during the early part of my career. I have learned a lot from working on this project, way more than I would have learned if I worked elsewhere in the country.

I have wonderful bosses that I love to bits. On one hand, I have a very corporate boss who imparts to me a lot of the things he has learned in his experience in leading teams and working in large companies. On the other hand, I have a very un-corporate boss who hates how the corporate world runs, and teaches me a lot of things about how things work outside the corporate framework. I work for a corporate foundation, and that explains why I have superiors from seemingly opposite worlds. It’s doing a lot of good for me, it’s like having the best of both worlds.

The team I work with is also a treasure. It’s a great way how our team is growing from a group of five people when I joined, to what is now a group of fifteen people. A few people have come and gone, but the people who have chosen to stay have slowly grown close-knit. We’re such a wacky group, but at the same time very professional in terms of work output and coordination with people.

We now have less than four months to make things happen. It’s not a walk in the park. Nothing like this has ever been done before. It is the first of its kind here in the country. It is also the first one being done the way we are doing it, and none yet in the community of science centers across the world have they tried building a science center that involved practically all the stakeholders during the design and construction.

Now each day gets tighter and tighter, with tons of paperwork to do, such absurdly complicated coordination of the different teams and contractors working on different aspects and parts of the project, and monitoring of more than a thousand exhibit items that are in production. I am not exaggerating. That’s what I do every day, together with only six people in the exhibition team, and fifteen in the entire foundation. With such limited time and resources, we try to make things happen.

Overwhelmed. I guess that’s the perfect word for what we are going through right now. Super stressed. But I guess it’s ok. I would rather have this than the feeling of being in a job I don’t enjoy, or having a horrible boss, or having terrible colleagues.