Say hello to Chiclet Onyx Apitana. She’s our nearly 6-month old baby and she drives us crazy!
In has been four years since we gave up Zune for adoption, and he has since passed on to the Rainbow Bridge. We weren’t sure about getting another puppy but when we first saw photos of Chiclet and her siblings, we were captivated. She had us.
We took her home when she was still two months old, and quickly we learned how playful her personality really is. She easily learned to play catch, but her favorite was getting up on the couch and licking whoever human happened to be sharing space with her.
When she tires of the licking, she’d go find herself a comfy position on top or in between pillows. Then she’d snooze right there. Like a boss.
Oh we love our little baby. She’s a mix of a Pomeranian dad and a Poodle mom. We are crossing our fingers her coat will be more curly, hehe.
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.
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
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?
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.
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 🙂