In my quest to try and live a life of legacy where I wouldn’t want to be easily forgotten, I tried one thing that I have always been afraid of – reaching out to people.
These days, I like my presence to be known. I’d like to leave footprints in people’s hearts as much as I could as proof that once, I existed. And that for once, I lived.
I don’t know what has gotten into me, but turning 30 recently made me feel as though I am already halfway through life.
It made me become more in tune with my thoughts, my feelings, and with the present happenings around me.
I usually wait for the right time – I’m a procrastinator. I don’t know if it’s stemming from my own self-doubts or that I really believe things could still get better.
I always thought my skin could get better, I always thought I could always lose some more weight, I always thought I could dress better, and I always thought my life would probably be a whole much more meaningful if I just work a little harder.
But I realized so much time has passed by waiting for the right moment – to be happy, to be content, to live life.
So I decided I’d like to be present in the moment.
Recently I attended a highschool classmate’s wedding – something I would never do out of the blue, or just because. But I did anyway. Because that one time will never happen again.
I also show up in family reunions as much as I could after all these years of missing in action. I spend more time laughing with my cousins, appreciating their quirks, re-living the yesteryears, helping out my relatives in ways I know how, and just try to be around, really.
I try to play with the little ones at home if I could – because they wouldn’t always be little, and I know I will miss it when they aren’t anymore.
I hug and kiss my parents more, and purposely annoy them at times too. I figured I want to be more showy with my feelings, be someone they can vent to and lean on, and recently, I at least think I tend to be more sensitive to their feelings too.
And these do not happen only if I get the time – I now make the time.
We only have one life, and here I am trying to document these little things, because I don’t want to forget any of them. I feel like I have developed this fear of missing out – but in a good way.
I can’t be wasting all these preciousness because it is rare.
Imagine, I could have been born 80 years ago, and all these people in my life could have just been born. We could have probably not met – but we all did at a certain point in this life.
In this timeline, we were all given a chance to meet. Of all people I could’ve met, here you all are. We were gathered in one place. And I think I should make that rare chance count.
I recently celebrated my birthday – and hadn’t it been for Facebook reminding everyone it is indeed my birthday that day, or allowing people to post on my feed for the first time, not much people would have probably remembered it is my birthday.
And this thought occured to me many times that day. “Have I not touched enough people’s lives that no one tends to remember me even on my special day?”
It hit me. And it hit me hard at that.
Of all the people I came across with – batchmates, colleagues, people from a religion I do not practice anymore, schoolmates, acquaintances, guildees, TV industry – not much remembered.
Which brings me down to this new quest – one where I touch more people’s lives. How I do that, I barely even know. But I can always try one good deed at a time.
These days, I breathe air like I would never have a chance again. I spend my days like I wouldn’t have another. I now choose my battles, and I seize the day and weigh out what matters.
So I am reaching out to you – whoever you are.
Whether you were part of my past or will be part of my future…
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
We recently started the last quarter of the year. And I’m going to be a slave of my phone until the year ends, I’d say.
But not in a negative way. I am going to be using my phone to help me with stringing up habits. Habits that I tried so hard to get used to for this year but kept failing and coming back at one.
This time, I’m going to do a double-down! I’ll try twice as harder than I ever did before.
A total of 72 days. A total of 10 weeks. A total of 10 simple habits.
If I can make it, you can too.
Today is when I re-start as today’s exactly halfway through the year before I celebrate my birthday again.
I want to make a change. And I will end the year with a bang! I promise!
Will you, too? Ay! Come on!
You pick up a habit after 21 days, but I am pushing it further to make sure that these habits stick like a clingy ex-boyfriend who can’t get over me.
So I am taking a thorough challenge for my own improvement to serve as practice for the years to come. For a lifetime!
Please join me! I’d be delighted to find out where it takes us. Let’s go!
I started out the year fully energized and motivated, but as you know, those fluctuate more than a woman’s moods on her menstrual period.
Honestly, I need to be able to pick-up some healthier habits than what I am accustomed to.
Until recently, I still give in to junk foods. I barely get enough sleep. I am wide awake at night – tossing and turning, if not having a midnight snack.
My water intake is not sufficient. My hygiene is close to being non-existent. My skin is not only pale – it is also dry and flaky.
And my health is spiraling downwards faster than I could flush down a ball of hair down the drain.
I feel pain here and there – tension headaches, chest tightness, bone weakness – to name a few.
These are not only bad habits I have to shut and shun away, I need to expel them from my system and replenish them with better ones.
I’ll die. (I mean, we all would. Just that I’ll probably get ahead of all of you if I continue this way of living. And I can’t die yet, I still want to see myself as a Gorgeous Gardener Grandmother, so, yeah!)
How about you? This is the time for you to take a pause in reading further, and list down your problem areas.
I have tried a lot of things in the past – announcing my plans to the social media world – didn’t work. Joining group chats that will serve as my accountability partners – didn’t work. Told my family the diet I am doing – didn’t work. Downloaded tracking and running apps – didn’t work.
I kept doing the same failing strategies.
Or am I? Are the strategies really the issue? Or that there is just really something wrong with me?
I figured out, as eye-opening and pride-downgrading as it can ever be, that the problem is myself.
(It’s not you, Mr. Strategy, it’s me. I’m sorry!)
If I change my mindset and how I do things then maybe, just maybe, I can turn my life, and hopefully yours, around.
So I am giving myself a nudge. A nudge that’s as speedy and as heavy and as big as that rogue Bludger that broke Harry’s arm in Quidditch!
It is devastating to finally realize that at this age, I still haven’t accomplished these simple things I should have mastered long ago.
But in a sense, I did learn one thing new – that there is no one I can hold reliable to accomplish my plans but myself.
And this also goes the same for you. You only have yourself to hold accountable.
Nevertheless, here I am, blabbing out these stuff, in hopes that I can support you in your journey too, should you decide to.
And I highly suggest that you do. Today’s the oldest you have ever been, and the youngest you’ll ever be. Tomorrow’s never guaranteed.
Let’s quit being in this cycle of counter-productivity. No more chasing tails.
*smiles and lends out a hand*
I want to choose myself over anything or anyone at this point. If I am not properly equipped health-wise, not only tons of other things, but also people, will suffer.
As if I haven’t stressed it enough – I NEED TO CHOOSE MYSELF FIRST.
This will be our mantra moving forward. Say it out loud with me!
I NEED TO CHOOSE MYSELF FIRST!
I NEED TO CHOOSE MYSELF FIRST!
I NEED TO CHOOSE MYSELF FIRST!
(Okay, stop. Stop! That’s enough or we’ll receive complaints from the neighbours.)
Easy peasy lemon squeezy! Right?
For now, we will need to start to fully cleanse this machine A.K.A. our body, to get it revved up and running well.
And to do that, I need you to imagine exactly what, where, how, and who you want to become.
Once you’ve done that, think of the ways you can attain your goal on simple terms, and on a daily basis.
Since our strategy will be to gain small habits and gradually improve them overtime.
Now it’s time to list down all the habits you’d like to acquire to get to the goal of becoming whatever, wherever, however, or whoever you want to be.
To help you out, here is my own list and the habits I’d like to master, including my reasons why, and how I will do it.
Increase Liquid Intake – I suck at this. Big time! I think if there was a course for Dehydration Techniques in College, I would have probably graduated with honors. I wish to change this. I know there will be unimaginable changes that will happen in my life if I can do this.
STEP/S TO TAKE: I just need to make sure I do 15 gulps per drinking session. Normally, my thirst is quenched within 3-4 gulps. It may seem like I will drown if I try 15 at a time – but actually, it is doable. (Thanks for the tip, sis!)
Work Out 5x A Week – I have prepared a 5-Day Workout Split that I’d probably share in another blog. I already have the formula, I just need to do them!
STEP/S TO TAKE: Small scale workouts for starters just to increase my activity I’d say. I wouldn’t be too hard on myself if I can’t follow through fully. I’ll consider taking a 5-10 minute walk a work out. Even general cleaning at home. Or dancing.
Shower & Hygiene – “I’m not a perfect person. There’s many things I wish I didn’t do. But I continue learning.” Hahaha! I’d be a hypocrite if I say I never missed a day of bathing. I do, a lot. I’m human. And I stink! So I am listing this down here for goodness sake and don’t ask more questions about it. Yeah? ~_~
STEP/S TO TAKE: Take a bath. Brush my teeth. Comb my hair. You know? Those things taught in Kindergarten? 😬 Shame on me!
Learn A New Language – As I said, I am obsessed with languages and I badly wanted to be multi-lingual. I don’t know. It’s not like I will take on the world one day. I just want to.
STEP/S TO TAKE: It doesn’t have to be something in-depth. 5 minutes will do. Or watching a K-Drama will do.
Feeding Window Starts At 4PM – I wanted to still continue Intermittent Fasting but instead of One Meal A Day (OMAD) which is kind of too overwhelming, I wanted to give myself more time to consume food.
STEP/S TO TAKE: 4PM – 8 PM. That’s the only time I am allowing myself to eat. It’s not as hard for me anymore as I have practiced Intermittent Fasting in the past doing 16:8, 18:6, 20:4, OMAD or even Extended Fasts. So, I gave myself a little leeway on this.
Fasting Window Starts At 8PM – This is to allow myself to be ready for sleep, and for my body to be fasting for a longer period of time. Also so that I quit indulging in midnight snacks which is just so much fun, I don’t know why. But yeah. Gotta help myself. *snigger*
STEP/S TO TAKE: I stop eating at this time at whatever cost. Pronto!
Follow The Ketogenic Diet – I wanted to be fat adapted by the end of the year and make sure my body does not rely on Glucose to work, but Fat. Yep! I don’t even need to stay in Ketosis, pretty much, but I am not going to discuss the what’s and how’s of that for now.
STEP/S TO TAKE: Stay away from carbs, and keep it to a minimum.
Take Vitamins Every Day – I mean, let’s just get on with it. There are a lot of things my body does not produce naturally.
STEP/S TO TAKE: Drink vitamins.
Have A Nightly Skin Care Routine – “We are never ever ever getting…” any younger. Did you sing it too? I want to see myself having good skin for once in my life. Or at least better than what I have now? You know? Who doesn’t? I want to be the girl who has night regimes just for the heck of it.
STEP/S TO TAKE: Wash your face. Brush your teeth. Follow the 10-Step Skin Care Routine that you intend to blog another time. Hahaha!
Have Sufficient Sleep – This is one of my major troubles. Sleep. For the longest time I never have had any consistent sleeping pattern at all. And it is not good. I sleep roughly about 3-4 hours a day and always interrupted as I always jump up because I couldn’t get into deep sleep. I can feel how much my body is suffering. It’s tired throughout the day and wide awake when everybody else is asleep. I am very nocturnal! But I know I can turn things around. I should teach my body clock before it takes a toll on me if it hasn’t yet. I already experience irritability, mood swings, and pains. I don’t want it to come to a point where it is irreversible. So I want to start now.
STEP/S TO TAKE: Sleep at 10PM. If there are inevitable circumstances, make sure not to go over 12MN.
It will be nice if my friends won’t ask me out at this point in time to eat out and such as I try to develop these habits, unless of course if they are activities meant to help with my goals.
Daring and ambitious, I know. Aggressive and obnoxious, even. But please know that this is a dream and a goal. I know you guys will understand. ❤️
I’m actually happy how my family is very supportive of my goals and this challenge as well. They cheer me on, and even remind me if I forget anything or ask me what I should be doing at a certain time. Definitely helps! Thanks loads, you lot!
I have set out strategies you can follow through which I am also using myself. I call them:
The 3 Double ‘S’ Strategy
The plan is simple – daily training of simple habits I can surely follow through.
I don’t want to overwhelm myself as it may backfire. I am keeping it as realistic as possible.
You should too! Don’t think about very daring tasks/habits you feel like you can’t take on for a longer period.
Just learn simple ones first, then gradually add more as you move forth.
For example, if your goal is to have a ripped and lean body but your body fat percentage is still high, you do not need to exhaust yourself in the gym for two hours every single day. It might only make you give up right away.
Try to do 15 minutes of light work out first, and see how that goes for you. Or maybe run for 15 – 30 minutes if that’s more feasible.
Consistency is key.
It doesn’t matter if it is small. Once you achieve it, it’s not like it can be taken away anymore.
Small progress is still progress.
Once you get the hang of it, you can start adding more into your routine gradually until you can do pull-ups using your pinky fingers, alone. 😂
Lay out your day and plot when you intend to do the habits you want to acquire. Do it on the days you set to do it.
I, on the other hand, try to help myself out as much.
“How?” I hear you say.
Use An App
I created a new board in this app called Trello where I have laid out all the plans I have in mind on a daily basis – and what should happen hourly within the day.
I needed it to be that detailed as following these new habits will be intricate and overwhelming, so I wanted to do it on a schedule. Because if I don’t, things will surely get messed up. Imagine being awake around 9:45 PM and realizing I wasn’t able to do my work out for the day. That sucks, right?
Diet & Meal Preparation
While you might think this is an overkill, it actually isn’t. Preparing your meals beforehand allows you to stay on your diet and make sure you don’t go back to the cycle of eating crap again because your food is tracked out early on.
If you can also have a Food Journal where you can log your food, and maybe even track your macros, well and good.
It can also easily set your tone for the whole week.
I tend to be forgetful, so until I can master all these habits, I will need help from my trusty phone’s alarms.
Turn Off Distractions
While this may not be something new, please know that ALL my notifications in my phone are all off. Apart from my alarms and my work app where I can be reached when needed at work – I am not notified of anything.
I sometimes just check the ‘distraction’ apps on my free time, or when taking a break from work.
I don’t want my life to revolve around nonsensical things, and so I am trying to lean away from them. One good example? Games – virtual stuff that don’t add to my real-life progress. (No offense, gamers! I was once a gamer-girl of MMORPGs too!)
But yeah, turn them off or delete them, unless you have an awesome amount of control and will-power.
Doing this has greatly helped my productivity and focus. If it helps me, it probably would help you too.
This is also something I hope will get me through. Not only will it serve as a reminder of what I needed to do within the day, it also makes me feel accountable for the tasks listed there, and thus a sense of accomplishment as a reward every time it is ticked. Dopamine helps!
“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”
— Zig Ziglar
Need I say more? Just start!
If you are ready to take on this challenge with me, just print out this picture above, list down the habits you want in your system, and follow them every damn day.
I hope you are all enjoying this day, as much as I am.
The electric company decided to throw my very first surprise for the day, and boy, am I bedazzled!
Have any guesses?
Well, an 8-hour power outage! How bow dah? So uplifting! *sulky face*
Nevertheless, that does not take away my optimism for the day!
I have nothing grand planned. In fact, I do not really pay special attention to my birthday because I grew up that way.
Usually, I am content if my family remembers and greets me in an entirely cringe-worthy manner possible. “Happy birthday!”
But don’t get them wrong. My family, as wacky as they may be, aren’t a showy bunch. We all aren’t expressive, if I may generalize.
I remember one time, they greeted me on a plain white paper. Written in red marking pen were the words “Happy Birthday!”, and it was hanging on our peach colored curtain by itself in our receiving area, which is a good angle to be in, as I saw it as soon as I woke up and got out of my room. I have a feeling I just turned 7 then. Or 6… Or 8. Anyhow, I wish I kept that piece of paper. It was special.
There was also one time when I received a rectangular box from them, it was red and white. In front, a pink paper was glued. It was a letter from all of them – my family. Inside, there was a brand new mobile phone. If I am not mistaken, I was around 16 that time.
Apart from those, I only see the pictures in our album. That of my first birthday party that I can barely remember, where neighbors all around IV-B celebrated with us.
I’m still thankful. This is why I am also appreciative of the very few who remember.
Like when I turned 18, some friends who seemed like family back then, sang “Happy birthday!” to me, where my supposed cake were instead packs of cooked Lucky Me! Pancit Canton, surrounded by Nissin Wafers, (Hey, I am open to advertising gigs!) and had a candle in the middle the size of what you use on All Soul’s Day.
I swear, I cried. Oh, and not because of the gigantic candle, I promise!
But today, I wanted to celebrate my birthday, for a change.
In the most unusual way possible.
I have given it so much thought when I decided I’d give myself a gift of myself.
Oops, I caught you! I saw you did a double take.
A gift of myself to myself.
Let me explain.
I’ve been working on this gift for quite some time now. A gift I know I cannot instantly give myself.
Something that won’t happen in a snap of a finger, or a blink of an eye, or the content of my wallet all surrendered to the cashier. Something that would take too much time, effort, discipline, and perseverance. Oh, and patience!
A gift of myself to myself – a happier & healthier version, simply put.
Sounds like a tagline from a commercial advertisement, yeah? But truth be told, it ain’t easy, and won’t ever be.
You see, as a single mother of two little ones who always keep me on my toes, I am sure I can use up all the excuses available. And there are a tad load of them!
I mean, why?
Why when I am now 8 kilograms lighter than when I started?
Why when my Hangul is more fluent than it had ever been?
Why when my skin has cleared out a lot?
Why when my double chin is slowly bidding me farewell?
Why when my health is slowly but surely getting into tip-top shape?
Why when I can say “Jij betekent de hele wereld voor mij!” or “Ik ben een konijn, alstublieft oordeel niet, hartelijk bedankt!” without getting tongue-tied?
Why when my mood swings have lessened?
Why when my collarbones are proving me wrong about their non-existence?
Why when my spending has mellowed down?
Why when my kids tell me that I’m their star, their heroine, and that their love for me will see no end?
Why when my smiles are more evident?
Why when my hair – well, it has its own pace, but it’s getting back to normal? #ByeBlonde
What I’m only implying is that no matter how little, I see progress.
A progress where I am rewarded with a better sense of self-worth every time. A self I have learned to love so dearly and more than ever, since I began this journey.
So why would I stop now?
Now, that I engage in several activities in hopes I can maintain an active lifestyle.
Now, when I started indulging in personal growth sessions as much as I can squeeze them in my schedule.
Now, that I try to think, act, and breathe as positively as I could.
And now, where I am slowly ousting drama in my life, with the exception of Korean ones.
*sneers at the thought that I might have just dropped a really good pun*
*brushes my khaki corduroy blazers that I don’t actually have in real life*
So, that’s the road I am currently taking. #TheRoadTo30 *frowns*
That’s the gift of myself to myself. *smiles back at the wholesome idea*
You see, at this time and age, I feel like I am already halfway through my life. Who knows, right? And I don’t feel like wasting any moment further.
I only ever wanted to reach out and make sure people are okay. That they don’t feel alone in their loneliest of days. That they don’t feel desperate looking for someone to talk to yet no one is around.
It’s hard. But I’m here! And I should honestly make an effort to make myself useful. I don’t want to die living this way. I don’t want to live dying this way. I don’t want to be forgotten, just like that. I want more from life. I want to look out for people. I want to be the person to worry about them when nobody does.
And thus, I want to live a life of legacy that way. If not for everyone in the world, at least for people whom I know, or have been with, or will meet. I’m trying to make it up to a lot of family, friends, acquaintances, and strangers, even.
Mostly those whom I feel are like me.
Those who would take a lot to unravel their depths.
Those who have the same tendency as I do.
Those who built their walls too strong.
Those who raised their standards too high.
Those who set their expectations too unrealistic.
Those who shut people off.
Those who shaved their heads.
Those who went mental.
Those who became suicidal.
I’ve been there. In fact, I’ve been through so much.
But so did everyone.
Yet, if I could and have the ability to, I don’t want people to experience that. I do not want anyone to go through the same. At least not in my sight.
If you are going through that now, you’ve come to the right place. Consider this a sign.
When at times, you feel like your only escape is to end everything right there and then, believe me, it isn’t. There is hope.
“For all you know, the universe is rigged up into your favor.” I saw this in one article not too long ago. Very beautiful, isn’t it?
Whether you are experiencing something good or bad right now, know that when you look back after a few years, you would see how things have fallen in place.
I, myself, am slowly picking up the pieces and decided to live life as happily, as positively, as actively, and as openly as I ever could.
As a matter of fact, I created a standard of how I wanted to live my life – meaningfully, that is.
Hopefully, you will too. No, I mean, you should.
Small things. Ripple effect.
Let’s make the world a little more tolerable to live in. Shall we? Yeah? Are you with me on this? *grimaces*
I want you to know I’m here, if anything. Just reach out. Try me. I’ll be around.
Happy birthday to us, if reading this felt like you’ve just been birthed, and that you can start anew, with me alongside of you!