January 2014–A Reflection

I am borrowing this monthly review template from Life Less Bullshit.

Thinking back over the month of January, and looking ahead to February, I am…

proud of: consistently delivering on my commitment to drinking green smoothies daily. And prouder still of having influenced colleagues to do the same. I now make 2 to 3 batches of green smoothies and lug them to work for others to enjoy.

2014-01-14 17.22.56

grateful for: the opportunity to teach and develop people. There are things to hate about my job, about any job really, but teaching and mentoring is one thing I am so grateful for. The results aren’t automatic, and a lot of times you’ll have to wait to see your investment bear fruit, but it’s all worth it.

letting go of: hmm. This is a tough one. Ahhh. Before December ended, the boyfriend brought out bags of stuff from our room so that I could sort through them and throw out anything that were no longer needed. I only did that last week and kept maybe less than 5% of that stuff. I let go of notebooks and readings from college. I kept a few of my papers that I’d like to publish on the blog someday, but I also let go of outdated textbooks and exam blue books (even the ones with 1 and 1.5 in them). It’s been a decade since I last went to school.

obsessed with: lists. I haven’t always been a list maker but I enjoy listing to-do stuff and ticking them off. Haha.

excited about: taking this healthy kick up a notch. I’m looking forward to even better smoothies, maybe a cleanse, and moving more!

committing to: documenting my life better. Blogging still hasn’t improved in the past month, even with an all-improved Internet connection. In the past, even when my scrapbooking goals never materialized, I’d always be able to look back at what happened through my blog. So let’s make it happen this February!

Action Steps & Thought-Provoking Questions

1. Review upcoming social plans for February – Hmm. I actually don’t have anything planned this month but I probably should consider hooking up with my BFF before she migrates to Australia next weekend.

2. Write and send one gratitude note by email or snail mail

3. Create my budget for FebruaryAlmost done. I already created a monthly budget and I just need to reproduce my monthly tracker on Google docs. I hope to share more about my own system soon. I admit though that I have overspent for January, but I don’t think this will set me back too much on my financial goals.

4. Plan something sweet that I will do for a loved one in February – I just gave my boyfriend a handwritten note. Can that count already? Haha.

5. Review the big goals I mapped out at the beginning of the year – I actually didn’t really map out big goals at the beginning of 2014. But getting healthier, and saving up for a big event later this year are definitely still a good fit for me.

6. Reflect honestly on whether or not my current habits support my goals – sleeping on the couch is definitely helping, so I gotta cut that habit. I’m sooo lazy to go up and down the steps to the bedroom, that’s why!

October, Be Super!


October’s here so let’s see how much of my September list’s been crossed out, shall we?


  • Weekly 1-1s with my direct reports xxx
  • Weekly Recognition Day for my business unit (I did three, and missed two for August) xxx
  • Meet scorecard goal
  • Start a regular education/personal development session with my team


  • Edit book collection/audit TBR pile. Will not go to the NBS sale or the MIBF without first doing this.
  • Budget, budget. Budget! xxx
  • Finish my Ripple Blanket and start another crochet/knit project xxx
  • Continue reading
  • Write more
  • Map out home organization project
  • Go to Corregidor
  • Sleep minimum 5 hours xxx
  • Get 15 minutes of daily exercise done
  • Have a 3-day juice fast
  • Get two facials done


Ugh. This is embarrassing. It looks like I actually didn’t get to do so much doesn’t it? Some of the few items crossed out even happened just this week, the early days of October. Oh well.

So I’m keeping the same list this month. Except I’ll be starting a new craft project, this time I’ll be knitting instead of crocheting. Also, instead of the Corregidor trip, we'll go with the family to Bataan in 2 weeks' time.

What about you, do you have your goals listed for October?


*Credits for the Photo (source)

*The strike through isn't showing so I added xxx's on the ones that should be crossed out.

September’s Here!

We’re done with the roller coaster ride that was August. Welcome, September!



Work was like being in a constant state of flux.

I will be doing things a little more differently for September – or maybe I should say I will be going back to basics – but the challenge will be in making sure I keep at it until the end of the month. This is the month I hope to once again meet my Scorecard goals and get me some additional shopping money in the process.  🙂

The blog wasn’t a flurry of activity last month, but that meant more sleep for me – Yay! Less movies were viewed, compared to the weekly trips to the cinema last July (some weeks we even went to see two movies!). No personal projects or goals were undertaken, although I did decide to do Project 31 Selfies on the very last day of the month.

I got to wear a dress to work for each week in August, I think. I love it and I don’t care if anyone doesn’t, ha! 🙂 I plan on doing the same thing this September – no matter if I have to recycle them dresses already 🙂

Here are a few goals I’m hoping to meet for September 2013:


  1. Weekly 1-1s with my direct reports
  2. Weekly Recognition Day for my business unit (I did three, and missed two for August)
  3. Meet scorecard goal
  4. Start a regular education/personal development session with my team


  1. Edit book collection/audit TBR pile. Will not go to the NBS sale or the MIBF without first doing this.
  2. Budget, budget. Budget!
  3. Finish my Ripple Blanket and start another crochet/knit project
  4. Continue reading
  5. Write more
  6. Map out home organization project
  7. Go to Corregidor
  8. Sleep minimum 5 hours
  9. Get 15 minutes of daily exercise done
  10. Have a 3-day juice fast
  11. Get two facials done

I wonder how many I’ll really keep up with? We’ll see.

How about you? What are your goals for this month?

Hello, July!

July has given way to August without me posting this hello for July. I didn't finish the post properly but since the draft sat on my Blogsy app for over a month, I figured it deserved to be published as is. No, I didn't have anything more to eat after the tacos. 🙂

It's official, June has left and in comes my birthday month. In 22 days, I turn 32. Yay!

I wish I had some grand news and say that I'll be hosting a massive giveaway. Sadly, I have no such news. Just that I haven't decided how I'll be celebrating my birthday this year. With all the blessings I've received, I feel that I should really have a thanksgiving. Maybe a party like the one I had for my 30th.

But first, I must properly close out June. I have been back at work for a full four weeks. Oh how I looked forward to that first paycheck, and how quickly it went too. Sadly, there was no day that I was in on time. Not proud of that. No one else to blame but myself. Let's hope July is different in that regard.

I am in Army Navy, Jupiter Street, Makati. I just downed three small soft tacos with steak and cheese. Only 1/5 of my large Libertea iced tea remains and I don't know how long the boyfriend intends to make me wait. He's just across the street, in his office, catching up on some work he didn't finish yesterday. Since he left me here an hour and a half ago I have finished two chapters of the book I brought with me, and I've done some stitches on my yet to be completed blankie. So no I am not bored, and not annoyed that he's not done yet. I am getting cold thoughts. The A/C in this place is too strong! I moved to another table thinking I was just cold because I was directly inf front of the unit, but moving to the side didn't improve things. It even feels like there's an electric fan blasting right in front of me.

The tacos were just fine. The salsa and special dressing is served on the side. My only complain is that by the time I took a bite, the tacos were sooooo cold. There was no warmth at all. Good thing there was a bit of a kick in the dressing. I wonder if the A/C's to blame?

I'm still hungry and I might still order a burrito when the boyfriend finally joins me. He hasn't had dinner so he will be eating when he comes out.


Hi May! Where’s April?

Well  hello there. How have you been?

Since our last conversation, I went back to the hospital and stayed there for 2 and a half weeks more. This time, with no bathroom privileges too. That was tough. Skip this post if you’d rather not hear about it. This post is about where April’s at so it may run long.  Thank you for dropping by. 🙂

The first part of my Staycation was already for pain management and bed rest but I still forced myself to get up when I needed to do number 1 or 2, and to take showers. Of course it meant also crying out in pain after about 3 minutes out of bed, but nature calls and what can you do? The doc sent me home after 7 days with medicines and a rehab schedule. I only lasted three days at home.

Every morning I would cry out for extreme pain. It was so bad we talked about just seeing my old doctor and ask for an operation. It was really bad. On the second day we went in for a therapy session. It didn’t happen. The rehab doctor looked at my MRI plates and she was of a mind to refer me back to the Orthopedic doctor. The bulge was so big. Since the doc wasn’t due in until the next morning, she sent me back home with stronger medicines. The short ride to and from the hospital was not fun.

On Saturday, 4/13, my dad went back to the hospital with my records to consult an orthopedic surgeon. My old doctor wasn’t in, so we had to get someone else. He made arrangements for me to be admitted via the Emergency Room. Oh my gee did I make a scene when we got there. There was only a wheelchair at the ER entrance when we arrived and that was useless for me, we went straight in looking for an empty bed. Within two minutes, I was crying again. There was immediate relief once my back hit the stretcher. Not sure why it took so long but it took another four hours before we reached my new accommodations at the 5th floor. Pain medication was given intravenously while we were waiting. With the hyped pain management plan, the doc wanted to give conservative treatment another chance – let’s give physical therapy one last chance, he said. If I really don’t respond, he’ll operate.

Arm Candy

Arm Candy

I was to have bed rest, no sitting up, and no going to the bathroom. It was difficult for me to use the bedpan, so it was diapers for me. There was no room to be embarrassed, my Mom and boyfriend took turns cleaning me up. By then I knew I wasn’t interested in admitting visitors, it would have been a little awkward, and I’d look like crap. Hehe.

I asked for strong medicine almost every 6 hours initially before I started to feel better. Therapy was continued bedside. I could get on with only oral medication. I was somewhat pain-free for two full days, I was happy! Maybe I didn’t need an operation after all. I got daily calls from my brother, but the best thing was that he brought the little guy over to visit me. He had his iPad time of course, but we also had cuddle time 🙂

Amir visits me!

Amir visits me!

Having Amir over was so refreshing. He was his usual self, bright, smart, and noisy! He had his breakfast there, and then asked for two cookies from my stash. Takaw!

But then I had a very, very bad attack. Not sure if it was that afternoon, or the next day. My entire left leg and lower back seemed besieged by muscle spasms. It was so painful I harassed the boyfriend who was the only one with me that afternoon. The medicine kicked in after 30 minutes, after I’d cried my lungs out already. Hot packs from my therapist were a huge help too. It was so bad. Because of that episode, the doctored ordered for a continuous traction for when the pain subsides. My bed was replaced with an older model fitted with a Balkan frame.

Balkan Frame on my bed

Balkan Frame on my bed

We didn’t get to maximize it though. The belt for the traction wasn’t big enough for me and it took days to get a new one. By then the doc had decided to do the operation. The pain may have subsided, but I wasn’t improving. I started to feel numbness from my thigh down to my toes. There was some peace between that worse episode and the actual operation. Watching movies distracted me. The nurse was right to tell me to focus on something else. Sometimes it just wasn’t easy, but most of the time I would wake up to a good morning. Oh I did use the thing to hoist myself up for shampoo time!

Shampoo time

I availed of the service only twice in my entire stay because I learned a week late that it was available for a fee.  By then I had lost a lot of (falling) hair and I had so much yucky dandruff! Yes, I get them but only if I don’t wash my hair everyday. Ugh.

Once in a Lifetime - Cathy Kelly

Once in a Lifetime – Cathy Kelly

Reading the books I had brought with me helped. I finished Cathy Kelly’s Once in a Lifetime pretty quickly but I couldn’t go type up a review just as fast. Even blogging on the iPad mini wasn’t so convenient when you had to lie down on your side all the time. Later, I picked up A Game of Thrones, book 1 of the series A Song of Fire and Ice. I alternated watching season 1 and reading the book. I’m done with the book, and still a couple of episodes left for the first season. Can’t wait for the next.

And of course, I crocheted. No photo of the work in progress though. Maybe next time.

The operation took place on the morning of April 25th. I was wheeled in to the operating room already drowsy. The last thing I remembered was having difficulty breathing, and passing out. Next time I was awake my mouth was parched dry and my chin was sore. I was out for close to five hours. When I was transferred to my old bed I realized there was a catheter attached to me (thank God it wasn’t painful).

Amir is back!

I was wheeled in to my room and my special visitor was there, all cute and charming. He said my name a few times, and referred to ouchy (IV line). He was upset when the nurse came in but only because he thought I would get hurt. He touched my toes, my hands, and he gave me kisses. He walked all around the room. I wish I could stay awake and just watch him. But it was time to get more sleep. Sleep was vital to recovery after all.

I appreciate the good job the doctors did. I was not in much pain after the operation. Almost none. I am vaguely aware of a plate on my spine though. Strange feeling, that. Hehe. What I didn’t like was the shot of Demerol. Before knocking me out I felt it wash through my body like it was some poison. It made me extremely uncomfortable and I threw up. And throwing up after you’ve just been cut open could be an ass. So I thanked the prescription for keeping me pain-free that day, but I told the nurse not to give me another dose. Please, no.

The doctors expected a fast recovery because I was such a good patient. I didn’t meet their expectation of sitting up by that same evening though. I didn’t even try to stand up the next day, did I? But once I started sitting up two days later, it got easier and easier. What really surprised and upset me was that I still have numbness on my left foot – until today. It felt weak and I didn’t trust my leg to carry my weight. Doc says its normal because the nerve that got caught between the discs was damaged really bad. It was flattened, and only time can tell if it recovers fully. It better.

But really, there’s almost no pain now. And that was what the operation was all about. So I am happy now. Still taking it easy though.

So if anyone asks me what April 2013 was about, I’d say it was about pain and overcoming it. It was about keeping a positive attitude even when the world is reduced to one bed, and a room. It’s about how lucky I am to be born into this world as daughter to Laura and Danny, and sister to Vlady. It’s about knowing the love and support of a good man even though he can be a dick some times.

It’s not about becoming neck-deep in loans because I used up and exceeded all my medical coverage. Not even. I will have to payoff April 2013 for a long time yet, but I don’t mind. I gained more than I lost.

So hello there May! You kinda crept up on me. Let’s go. 🙂

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