2016: Getting Ready

The past year was the year of the unexpected. In all aspects of my life, I was bent on simply cultivating and deepening relationships, and becoming an even better mentor for my direct reports at work. I was also going to try to be a good wife. A better friend, a more present family member. I was also going to take better care of myself.

But things progressed at work faster than I could ever have imagined. After a wonderful trip to my personal heaven (Sagada) with my Team (and Mr A of course) to close out the first quarter of the year, I immediately had to leave them to build another one. And that kind of took over my life. Or I used it as an excuse not to really work hard on the hundred and one other things I wanted to carry out in 2015.

The good thing is that we are given a clean slate every single day when we wake up. We can do better, we can be better. We can take the lessons from yesterday, tuck the experience under our belt, and start fresh. And start stronger than before.

So that’s what we’re doing this year, Mr A and I. We want to get pregnant, but we know that we’re probably not ready yet. We’re slobs, overweight, and we can be very selfish too. So this year is all about getting ourselves ready to get pregnant. Maybe it will take more than this year before we get the baby we’re praying for, but we’re going to prepare.

Getting Ready - Newbie Wife and Mr A

Getting Ready – Newbie Wife and Mr A

Health and Fitness is a big theme for our year. Mr A is going to try to cook with a little less fat, and a bit more veggies. We are  also trying to move more. He gave me a Fitbit Charge for Christmas to help get me more interested in getting up and around. I want something we could do together but he doesn’t want to do Zumba with a class. Now I don’t think simply signing up with a gym membership will work for us because I think that we’ll need personal trainers and that can get really expensive. So he came up with the idea to do dance lessons instead. I’m not taking him seriously on that though, not until we get into a studio and actually start dancing! So for starters, we just really need to be more active.

Emergency Fund. I wish I could say that it’s the time for investments, but it isn’t yet for us. A year after getting married, we’ve done an okay job keeping our finances in order. We’ve cut down our debts, and we got a new car. We need more security though, specially if we’re to add a wee little baby to this family of three (we got a puppy in October!).  So this year, we’re going to stick to our guns and save more to setup that cushion around us. We’re going to have to be really creative here. Hmm.

Now those are two major areas that we’re concentrating on for now. Of course there are others, like getting better at keeping the house in order and not just for when my parents come home for the weekend. We also need to get a better flow so we can spend quality time despite having very different shifts and days off work. We also need more specific, actionable, and measurable plans. I’m going to have to do my best to write about that. I know that getting things published somehow helps Mr A and I a bit more accountable.

A few months ago, I voiced out how we perhaps needed to find a new common hobby. Years ago we had Photography; and there’s always the love of food, and movies. But we needed a new one we could bond over, and spend meaningful time together for. Talking about getting ready and aligning our goals for the year feels like IT. So maybe this will really work this time around.

From Mr A and I, Happy New Year! For married folks out there, what are your Couple Goals for this year?

 

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?

Caterpillars 

It has been a TOUGH week at work, we’re in the thick of peak season and there is so much stress associated with it. 

Adding to the mix is 13th month payout week. We’re running the highest Absenteeism we’ve seen in the last quarter. 

My staff is also missing home. The Holidays tend to do that to you. Majority of my Support Staff relocated two years ago from our site in the South, and they have not been able to spend Christmas with their families sinceaa then. It’s been tough saying no to leave requests, but it is what it is. 

But coming home the other day, my little niece Alex was out and about. She definitely was a breath of sunshine. She made me feel better right away. 

She immediately said yes when asi if she would like to visit my puppy Chiclet. So up we went, but we stopped by to look at these other cuties:  First we noticed the one crawling on the pot. It was going round and round in a circle. Then we saw two others just hanging about! It was a sight to behold. It got me thinking about the beauty of nature and the circle of life. 

And all of a sudden, all the worries and stresses of work were washed off. 

I was told that Alex kept going back to see the caterpillars that afternoon. I was also hoping they’d still be there when I came home yesterday but they were nowhere to be found. 

Hope that when they gain their wings, they’d come visit again 🙂

Your Wednesday Morning Uber Ride

I have been taking cabs or Uber cars for nine days now. I’ve generally had a good Uber experience, except for Monday’s ride that took the long way costing me a bit more time and money than usual. On Friday, a 6-minute wait time turned out more like 20, but I didn’t make a big deal out of it.

There are two down sides to this situation – it is costing me a lot more daily to take cabs, than my usual petrol costs (let’s not talk about Parking for now). And we can’t just up and go to the grocery, when we run out of food. Fast food delivery is also costing us much more, in addition to the food not being good for us.

Of course, other people are able to do groceries even without cars, it isn’t a requirement. People go out and do stuff all the time and take public transport or hop on and off cabs or Uber cars. I get it. We just haven’t done that in a while. Old habits die hard.

And I just really miss driving my own car.

Last Look at Dale

Last Look at Dale

That there is a snapshot of my official last look at my first car – Dale. I named it Dale based on the plate, but I never really got the habit of calling it that. We just referred to it as the car, my car, the Honda.

We’ve been through so much, including 3 costly accidents. But he’s been good to me. I feel bad that in the last two months or so, he barely got washed. Our suki car wash along Scout Reyes closed down and I just couldn’t find another place that I liked enough to bring my car weekly to. Haha.

Dale was supposed to be replaced the very next day. It hasn’t happened so far. It’s been really frustrating and disappointing, but I’d rather not spend my energies on being negative about this situation. So to and from work, Uber it is. I try to enjoy the experience of sitting in a different car every time I need to go somewhere. Like today, I found out that it is actually spacious inside a Toyota Wigo. It isn’t as tight as I thought it would be. The Hyundai Eon wasn’t too shabby either. In fact, that car was the coolest of all the cars I’ve used in my morning/afternoon trips so far. By coolest I mean A/C coolest. I’ve had to ask other drivers to adjust the A/C, but not on that Eon.

As a rider, I really do like Uber. I love @Uber! I also like the business model and the potential income it offers. Have you tried it? How was your Uber experience? If you haven’t, then sign up with my promo code and get ?200 off your first ride! https://www.uber.com/invite/verao27ue

*Not a sponsored post, but I do get a free ride if you sign up with my code: verao27ue

My Project Life Corner

Last week, I made a honey-do list for my Husband, and also for one myself. Both were lists of declutter and cleaning projects for the two of us. Each having designated areas around the house. 

The very next day, a Wednesday, the Husband dove right into it – not really minding the lists but just tackling pile after pile of stuff around our living area. 

  

I came home and got handed stuff to sort and a big bag to dump garbage in. And the dust clouds got stirred and lost items got found. 

 The biggest and happiest thing I got out of the exercise was this – my very own Project Life corner:  

I bought my very first PL core kit thru Amazon in 2011 but never really completed an album. A big factor was not having a dedicated area to just access everything, but also mostly because I was being too hard on myself.

There was so much inspiration out there but I didn’t use it to my advantage. Instead, I kept obsessing about having to make stuff look prettier that I ended up not making anything. I had the front and back covers done for 2011 and then redone for 2012. And then just 1 and 3/4 of a spread in total.

Among the found stuff was a bunch of Instax prints from 3-4 years ago. I quickly made a spread using the cards I had on hand and plain Washi tape. 

  

 I felt happy having completed the spread in 15 minutes. Later on I went back to write a quote on friendship on that journaling card. 
Prior to having this corner, I’ve had a PL revival already courtesy of the App. But that story’s for another day. What about you, how do you document your everyday life? 

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