Intentional Living

2016: My Blogging Year

2016: Getting Ready was all about the goals we set as a couple. Today, I’d like to start talking about my personal goals.

For a few minutes on the 1st of January, I stopped to think about anything I actually got done in 2015. With the exception of the Mystery CAL Afghan, none of my other projects were completed. Isn’t that embarrassing to say out loud? But I dare say it, so I can own it and move on.

I can hide behind work and use it as an excuse for not doing much else, but that wouldn’t be fair. There are, after all, 24 hours in a day and I always have a choice in how to spend each one. I just chose poorly, perhaps. Or I don’t choose at all. Maybe my priorities shifted. Hmmm. It seems like it’s the creative pursuits that had taken off the ground. My knit afghan is almost finished. The only reason it isn’t done yet is that I found other projects to start before I even completed it. Maybe part of me doesn’t want to complete it just yet! That’s a theory. A major resolution for 2015 was to do better as a memory keeper. In fairness, I have completed more Project Life pages in 2015 than I have ever before in the many years of attempting it. I intend to do better in 2016.

Now, 2016 will be My Year. And in My Year, I do the things that my heart yearns for. Here’s one of them:

2016 will be a Blogging Year

I have written sporadically in 2015. There are so many factors that I don’t care to explain now. But one thing is for sure: I let blog envy, and other people’s rules get in the way of my voice and my story. I kept thinking so hard of defining what my blog was going to be about, and the categories I would keep writing around, that I ended up not publishing anything at all.

I know. Finding a niche is key if you want a successful blog. Clear categories make it easier for readers to navigate and engage. I get it, really. But maybe I am not ready for that. I am not ready to think about readers who are not yet here. I don’t have a community of readers! No one follows my feeds! What readers are you talking about? Pardon me, I know someone out there reads this and I don’t mean this to be an insult. Someday I will write again thinking about my audience. For now though, I need to blog for myself. And hopefully, an honest voice will gain some following.

It was twelve years ago when I started to blog. I fell in love with it. Loved the blogs I read, and the ‘friends’ I got to find. I’ve been in many different platforms, and I’ve been thru many different phases. For a time, my blog earned a decent amount of money. Not decent enough for me to live off it, but enough to support hosting, and some online shopping. So I thought that was something I should pursue. But things changed and maybe I wasn’t so willing to change along with the times. Or maybe I just lost sight of what it was that mattered most to me.

Did traffic matter? Sponsors? Or was it the conversations? One thing’s for sure: I’ll never be a popular blogger, and that’s fine by me.

So this year will  be my blogging year. I will try not to think of categories, Pinnable posts, etc. I will just write, edit, and Publish. Some posts may take days to finish, others just 10 minutes. I will write, edit, publish. Repeat.

Life-Changing Gifts

For our annual gift exchange this year, the Friendships agreed on a theme: Life-Changing. We were to get our Monito/a a gift that would change his/her life in one way or another.

That is NOT easy.

Rubee gave me this book:

I sure could use more direction in my life. I know that the things I do daily will determine my future. Judging by how I’ve spent this day so far – my future is grim! Haha! Kidding aside, I do look forward to reading up.
Truth be told, even if I don’t do anything about what I read, just to get me reading again would be life-Changing enough. I’m in another reading slump and it’s been going on for months, it has to end soon.
Now this whole theme in gift giving has got me really thinking about the gifts I want to be giving moving forward. It’s not just about being specific and intentional with the gifts we give, but we also got to consider if it will bring joy or change into the receiver’s life. What value will it bring? Now that could really be challenging.
This year, we didn’t get gifts for absolutely everyone on our list, but I told myself I didn’t want to stress about it.  I don’t mind not getting a lot of gifts. I’ve stopped counting the number of presents I open each year many years ago. But not everyone’s like me, I get that.
This year, I still ended up getting a generic gift for my Team Managers, but I wrote them each a personal message. I am hoping they remember that more than the gift.
I’m wondering about how I can gift experiences for my God-children. Shall I give out tickets to Kidzoona or Kidzania? Or take them out to a fun day at the park? I’m pretty sure they’ve got plenty of toys and clothes already. It also hasn’t been easy to pick the right toys. You just don’t know what they already have or what they’d be interested in! Unless you spend time with them, which I should.
Apart from being intentional and focusing on value add, I also somehow got into my head to attempt hand-made gifts for next year. I’m not talking about buying hand-made items from artisans, but actually making the gifts I’ll be handing out. What a way to level up even more.
Anyway, what’s your approach to gift-giving?

Oodles of Doodles

I know that I’ve always loved doodling. But I don’t think I’ve doodled so much like I do now! 🙂

It started when I bought a pack of Sharpies on sale and brought it to work with me, along with 4×6 cards. I made a number of greeting cards. And then, I just kept writing and doodling with my Sharpies. A few weeks later, I scored a pack of colored pens from the bookstore and it made the doodling so much easier. I like writing words, not so much shapes.

Doodles by Verabear

Doodles by Verabear

 

This is why I started thinking about learning more about lettering or calligraphy. I tried my hand on it back in highschool. I even bought a book, nibs and ink. But I soon realized it wasn’t the kind of writing I liked.

Have you heard about Abbey Sy? I recently followed her on Instagram (@abbeysy) and she does really beautiful type work. I’d love to have her book (The ABCs of Hand Lettering), and/or her lettering kit.

The ABCs of Hand Lettering by Abbey Sy

The ABCs of Hand Lettering by Abbey Sy – photo credit to Abbey Sy and http://artistic-dreams.com/

 

The Craft Central - Lettering Starter Kit

The Craft Central – Lettering Starter Kit

I know, I know. I already have hobbies I can’t even sustain. But I see lettering as possibly complementary to scrapbooking with Project Life. Imagine those journal cards and how lovely they’d look. 🙂

Ooooh so many hobbies. Hobbies that cost time and money – but also a lot of happiness. Haha. For now, the kit or classes on lettering would have to take least priority. But her book is only PhP 295 so that’s definitely affordable. Supplies might cost a bit though. We’ll see.

What about you? Do you like doodling or lettering too? Any hobbies?

I Had Cancer. Let Me Tell You What Chemo Patients Really Need.

Time. Essential oils. You taking my husband on a date. At the worst time in my life, I could have used a gift registry for things like these.

Source: I Had Cancer. Let Me Tell You What Chemo Patients Really Need.

(No, I didn’t have cancer. I am using WordPress’ Press This feature and the article title was assigned automatically.)

Anyway. So I had recently read Cancer is a Bitch, so one  might say that reading this piece from a cancer survivor is quite timely.

My takeaway – Gifts of time. It’s not just friends or family who are sick or getting treatment who would find such gifts priceless and valuable. Most any one would appreciate it. I know I would.

I think that if we really try hard, we can find ways to gift time and experiences to those dear to us.

I haven’t been a great gift giver lately. I’ve gone commercial, or I’ve resorted to picking items from social enterprises or handmade bespoke items just so my gifts would be meaningful. But if I really put more thought and love into the gifts, I would probably be able to find out what the recipient would appreciate more – because it answered a need they may not have even known existed.

Right now, I would appreciate a car wash. Haha. It’s just one of those things I choose not to spend my time on, you know? You don’t even have to wash it yourself. Just take the time to bring my car in for a good cleaning. I would be so thankful. 🙂

I do not mean to trivialize the point of the author from the Story of Stuff Blog. I just really feel that it applies to so many people and to a variety of situations.

I am also at this point where I want to be more intentional in how I spend my time. I’m surely a work in progress. Much of my time, for sure, is wasted on things that aren’t important. Reading about gifts of time and experience just fits right into that concept of intentional living that I would so like to achieve.

What do you think?

 

Currently Saturday

Currently…

  • Enjoying the beginning of what promises to be a happy weekend
  • Listening to happy noise being made by Alexiess
  • Anticipating a big dinner courtesy of the husband who is getting supplies at the mall next door as I compose this
  • Contemplating about this One Bedroom Executive Suite at Aruga by Rockwell that is the perfect size for Alfred and me. The only thing missing is space for our computers (though I’m slowly beginning to see myself as a laptop kind of girl (I never was))
  • Getting hungrier by the minute (lol)
  • Staycationing for the first time. We picked a room where we could entertain but so far the party planning is fizzling out. Good thing my nieces were able to come at a moment’s notice (they were really coming to bring me my purse which I had left at the other car).

Sleeping in, swimming, and using the full-service kitchen + washer and dryer. These are all included in our planned activities. Right along eating, videoke singing, and just hanging out. For now, taking a break is top priority.

I have thought about being more intentional, about being more purposeful in how I spend my time. To kick that off, I planned this weekend of rest. We need this, because I’ve just had a month of adjusting at work, and coming up is more weeks of real hard work.

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