Monday, March 1, 2021

Live Life, Don't Just Survive It

I have a friend, he's bubbly, always all over the place, always full of life. He lived month to month and he never seemed to worry about where to get money for rent, for his food, for his day to day life. The universe took care of him. He always received what he needed and he was happy. And his happiness is infectious. 

I always wondered how one could be that way. Living monthly through gigs and whatever comes your way. Most of my nephews and nieces and my son live that way and I've always been baffled about how they could work through gigs. I'm from the generation where things are compartmentalized. You work from 8 to 5 and then relax after. Kids nowadays prefer to work from job to job when they want to work. They enjoy life as they see fit. 

I was listening to Wil Dasovich's podcast this morning and he mentioned about living life not just surviving it. It made me think, "Am I living the life I want? Am I just surviving?" Right now I am trying to survive it since I'm sick, but I'm definitely not living the life I want. And honestly I think my nephews and nieces are on the right track. They may not have the stability of having an 8 to 5 job, but they are living the life they want. 

With my current condition I have been thinking a lot about whether I could still go back to my old life. Whenever I feel I can I slide back and get sick again. Recover has been a very bumpy road. Last Saturday I had a severe asthma attack, so the weekend was spent sleeping again. This morning I thought I'd try to be on my Chromebook for an hour to do online errands. I'm writing this post while having a migraine attack. It's really that bad and what it tells me is I can't go back to my old life in my current condition. Will I get well? I don't know when. 

I have been through a lot and I have always come out of things braver and stronger. Not having the energy and stamina to do anything has forced me to accept some hard truths. I am humbled by it. If there's one thing I want out of this is I want to live life happily with my family. 

CB///326 #StuckAtHomeDay/356 #StayHome #BeKind



Sunday, February 28, 2021

Breaking the Habit of Being Online

My doctor ordered me to stay offline since December. He believed I was under a lot of stress that's why my body was going bonkers. Oh boy it was hard since I'm always online, but it was a good time to clear my cache. 


Breaking the habit of being online is one of the hardest things my doctor asked me to do. He said it was for my own good so my body could normalize and heal properly. I'm so used to picking up my phone before I even get out of bed. 

To break the habit I had to impose a restriction on myself. After identifying the most common apps I use I set access limits to it. I also identified the places and times I would go online and replace it with offline things like reading a book. 

The hardest was the first two weeks. Going online was just as natural as drinking water. The mandate though forced me to assess other bad habits. I had a tendency to jump into the online world even before I had breakfast. That was key for me to understand why my doctor forbade me from going online. 

Two months have passed since my doctor mandated me to stay offline. I realized being online all the time brought so much noise in my life. It was more than a month later when I started to feel the relief of staying offline. I was also able to correct other bad habits that being online brought. 

I have kept the restrictions I imposed in December. I have kept the app access limits and I don't even hit the limits anymore. I've been able to use the time to rest and recover and do other things I've been meaning to do for a long time now. 

Breaking the habit of being online isn't easy, but it brings a lot of benefits. I will probably keep the restrictions and just go online when it's really needed.

CB///325 #StuckAtHomeDay/355 #StayHome #BeKind

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Old Leaves Falling

Winter season set in for me in mid-December and it's still winter for me now. Autumn drew out for me for a long time, but I ignored it and treated everything like it was summer everyday. It's still winter for me now and I cannot say when it will end. 

I was telling Sweetie while having early dinner tonight I never took a break. I never had downtime where I just got to enjoy whatever I wanted to do. I had responsibilities and I took that seriously. I wanted to provide the best for Miggy. I did the best I could, but I forgot to take care of myself. 

My Mom knew I'd be like this. She'd always remind me to rest, sleep early and stop working. My doctors also said my A+++ personality is problematic for me. They said it's not all bad since my quirks are actually contributing to making me better at what I do. 

Miggy sent a photo of the huge tree outside our home in Manila. He said that the leaves are almost gone. I dug up an old photo of the tree from 7 years ago and saw it used to be so vibrant back then. The leaves slowly dwindled away through the years. I guess it was badly hit last year when the ashes fell after Taal Volcano's eruption. Miggy said the tree seems to have a few leaves sprouting, but who knows if the tree will still survive. 

Even though I feel as though all my leaves are falling, I know with the proper care, rest and nourishment I will eventually re-grow. Spring will come when the time is right. For now I hibernate, do the needful and pray. 

CB///324 #StuckAtHomeDay/354 #StayHome #BeKind

Friday, February 26, 2021

Listening

Energy streak ended as expected when I finished the 3-day medication my doctor gave me. I was still energetic yesterday morning, but by mid afternoon I started feeling wiped out.

I really thought the newfound energy was going to stick around so I baked some cheese cupcakes after lunch. I had been meaning to bake since December because I wanted to send it to some friends. I started feeling tired midway while baking, but I pushed on and managed to finish it. I'm glad I was able to make some of my friends happy with my baked goodies. 

I realized now why my doctor told me several times to listen to my body. I did not expect to crash this bad, but at least I was able to sleep without much trouble last night. I also spent most of today sleeping. I wasn't able to make it to my physiotherapy session since my whole body was aching haha. The struggle is real!

So that's it for me today, just resting. I hope tomorrow I'd have a bit more energy.

Happy Friday everyone. 

CB///323 #StuckAtHomeDay/353 #StayHome #BeKind

Thursday, February 25, 2021

The Reality of Being a Tita (Midlife Musings)

I enjoyed a prolonged period when my body stayed the same. I wore XS well into my late 30s. I enjoyed it because I could eat anything and never gained weight. The real reason though why I wasn't gaining weight was because my body was compensating for the issue I had with my heart. Eventually I became too thin and that signaled I needed to have my mitral valve repaired. 

My doctor warned me after surgery that I needed to watch my weight. I immediately gained 15 pounds within a few months, but it wasn't so bad then. Many said I actually looked healthier with a little more weight. I went into a frenzy of activities four months after heart surgery. I wanted to prove I was well and I used the newfound energy like crazy. I was 38 then living like a 25 year old. 

At some point I started to notice changes in my whole being. It was both physical and psychological. Here's what I went through:

Weight gain and bulges - gone were the days I could eat anything and not gain weight. I once stayed in Bacolod for a week, the weight I gained there never went away (it's still residing in my thighs!). The bulk of my weight though crept up when I had my first pulmonary embolism. The PE severely affected my ability to exercise and move around. 

Energy and stamina - I was still quite okay after heart surgery. I traveled a lot and was able to keep up with the rigors of running events, hopping from one place to another. I could fly in and go straight to work or an event. Things changed drastically when I had my first PE. Physiotherapy has been helping me regain lost energy and increase my stamina. I'm still hoping I could improve my quality of life.

Health - I know I'm an oddball and I experience things that most people won't go through. It's about this time that your body will need special attention. It can be your back, your joints, your BP, cholesterol etc. Despite my many issues I'm still lucky I don't have any hard food requirements (whew!). 

Interests - with lower energy and stamina my interests changed as well. I realized this when I traveled with friends who are younger than me. I couldn't keep up with them and had to park myself somewhere while they went around. 

Social Life - my health severely affected my social life. I used to like going out to eat or have coffee with friends. I also like having friends over to sample my cooking. I haven't been able to do this for a long time now since I've been sick. It's been a few months since I've been able to do a video call too. 

Hobbies - since I've become more of a homebody I picked up my old hobby of quilting. I'm so glad my Mom taught me how to keep busy with crafts. I've also taken a liking to honing my gardening and bread baking skills too. I'm never not busy at home and there's always something new to learn. 

Salonpas is a must have - my high school girlfriends and I always joke about the many balms, salonpas and essential oils we now have on hand. I have a friend who also gave me a glowing review of her heat lamp. When you start using these things you normally keep it to yourself for as long as you can and it eventually just becomes funny and you giggle about it with friends. 

Identity - I have a friend who always tells me I have mastered the art of dedma. I think I'm at that age when I could just keep the noise out. I know who I am and the values I keep. 

I know there are still many changes that would come. I should have probably asked my siblings about midlife since they're both more than a decade older than me. I'm glad I have my high school girlfriends going through the same phase as me. My doctor recently noted on his report that I am on pre-menopause phase already. OMG! That thought never crossed my mind and this is something me and my girlfriends have started to muse about. Oh my! Haha. 

I'm so grateful I have friends and family who understand my oddballness. It makes life easier. If you ask me I'd rather be in my 40s than be in my 20s. And that thought probably deserves a post for another day. 

What about you? Are you experiencing midlife? How are you coping?

CB///322 #StuckAtHomeDay/352 #StayHome #BeKind


Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Midlife Slapped Me in the Face Big Time

This old photo of me was floated up by Google Photos. That was me in Singapore in 2005 during one of my visits to Dr. Koo. I had stayed with Tappy for a few days and she brought me around. At that time it never crossed my mind that I'd move to Singapore six years after. It was a year and a half later when my life completely changed. 

Singapore, February 2005.


I still remember that day clearly. We went to Little India, Bugis and then Chinatown where we are mee goreng. It was a happy, carefree day. Life was so simple back then. I had a full time job at the yellow pages and at that time my best friend and I were trying to be entrepreneurs too. I had challenges too, but things were simpler. 

I have weathered my roaring 20s and my thrilling 30s. I'm now in my midlife. I've been reading the book "The Beauty of 40" and it succinctly said that in your 40s you must not lead it like you're still in your 20s. We fall into that trap where we behave like we're still in our 20s and brandish photos of our life on social media. Why? At our age we should already know who we are, we don't need external reassurances. We should be secure in our identity. 

Singapore, February 2020
before I got sickly again
Midlife slapped me in the face. I have been sickly for three years now and I realized I've been living my life like I'm still in my 20s. I have to break the habit of being myself (learn more from Dr. Joe Dispenza). I have been addicted to things that have not been good for me. I cannot bring back what I was before, the only way is to move forward and grow as appropriate based on where I am now. 

Yesterday was the first time I felt I functioned like normal. It's because of the medication. I've been having brain fog issues since mid-December and the struggle is real. So I took advantage of the lucid day and listed my goals for this year. I based it on the following themes: family, home, finances, health, learning, creating and spiritual. To make my goals work this year I am involving my family so we can work on it together.

So that's how I'm going to cope with the boat I am currently in -- the sick boat. I'm so glad Marv advised me to find new ways to cope because the old way hasn't been working. My recovery process has to be a wholistic one. At least I have a guide now and I can work through it even if the fog comes back tomorrow. It will help immensely if the air quality was better!  

CB///321 #StuckAtHomeDay/351 #StayHome #BeKind 

 


Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Going Back to Basics on Kuya's Birthday

Today is my Kuya's birthday. Happy birthday to my favorite Kuya in the whole wide galaxy! We always joke about him being my favorite Kuya because I really don't have a choice since he's my only male sibling. The same goes for my Ate who is my only female sibling. Haha. I do have a lot of Kuyas since I have my brother-in-law, his siblings, my sister-in-laws siblings, my cousins and my Kuyas in our community. Of course the title of most favorite goes to my one and only blood brother, my Kuya Jojo. 



I thought I'd mention my Kuya in my post today because he's always been my guide, my mentor. He's always been there for me. He's 13 years older than me and has been guiding me especially in my growth path since I was in high school. He was already teaching marketing when I was in high school and he'd practice stuff on me. I think I also mentioned in one of my blog posts before that he brought me back from going into the light after I had heart surgery. Dad was already there picking me up, but I heard Kuya praying over me when I was at the ICU and I went back. Shhh, he doesn't know about this. 

And that's our special bond. I mentioned him here today because he's been waiting for me to set-up our VC. I told him I need help to move forward from where I am today -- on the sick boat. I haven't done so because I know he'd ask me questions I'm not ready to answer now. I have finally accepted the fact that I have ignored 6 years worth of Papa God's knocks and I have not listened to any of them. And here I am in a very bad rut. I haven't been getting well and my doctor has put me now on some very aggressive medication. 


I have taken the first step to get out of this pit -- accepting my mistake. I realized the only way to get out of this pit is to listen to what Papa God has been trying to tell me in the last six years. And the only way to do it is go back to basics. Luckily the medication has given me a spurt of energy (this will end tomorrow). My brain is finally working somehow and I've been able to make a list of basic goals I have to work on to get out of this pit. Once I have that plan then I can finally sit down with my Kuya to figure it out.  

CB///320 #StuckAtHomeDay/350 #StayHome #BeKind