Shonda Rhimes on TED – A Year of Saying Yes to Everything

Every once in awhile, I read the TED newsletter that regularly gets sent to my Inbox and actually click through to watch a video or two. Today, it was Shonda Rhimes – TV Titan who is behind Grey’s Anatomy and How to Get Away with Murder, among others. She was up for a TED Talk and spoke of her year of saying Yes to everything – especially to her kids asking her to play.

I love the way she spoke. I’ve never seen her interviewed before but I am familiar with her work. Such a genius she must be. So creative, focused. She really must be such a Titan. But I love that she spoke about Love. About what truly brings one Joy.

There is a lot of emphasis on increasing productivity and maintaining focus on goals as a way to attain excellence. But she took a different path. Oh yes, she talked about being a workaholic and having very long workdays. But she emphasised this: Work won’t work without Play.

Recently, I have been passionate about crocheting. At other times in my life, it was blogging or baking, or blogging AND baking. No matter how long i stayed at work, no matter the demands on my time and presence, I always carved time out to do the things I wanted to do. There was always time to make Oreo Truffles, or Tres Leches cakes. I didn’t care about losing sleep – it made me happy. Whenever I started to blog, or bake, I would find myself in a certain ZONE. Same thing now about crocheting. Or about reading, sometimes. So I realised, I need to do these things to keep me sane and also to keep me going about work.

In the last 10 months or so, I’ve felt a shift deep within me. Before my recent promotion, years prior, I told my boss that I was happy and content with where I was. I didn’t see myself applying for a higher post. Truth be told, I was a bit bored. I was contemplating finding something else to do. Had I the life savings to support me with whatever I wanted to do, I probably would have left. But I needed my job and all the cushion my salary gave me. But after that amazing few days in Sagada with my husband and Team, and then transferring to a different program, things changed. I had found myself full again – not necessarily raring to go to work every single day – but not really dreading it. I felt passion for work. It was my core value of excellence that fuelled me – I had been given a  huge challenge and we needed to come out on top. But that was just the beginning.

I realise now, thanks to Shonda, that just wanting to be good at what I do wouldn’t have sustained me for a long time. It can’t. What keeps me going now is being able to refill my cup daily. There are a few ways I do it too.

Cultivating relationships with the people I work with. That 5 or 15 minutes of chat about things other than work. That refills my cup.

Having lunch with friends. That adds more.

Coming home to my husband and talking about our day. Planning our grocery list. Bickering about everything, haha! That takes me almost full to the brim.

And then finding a comfortable spot to crochet or knit – that allows my cup to overflow.

And then I  go to bed, wake up a few hours later, and I’m all ready for work again.

I used crocheting here because it’s what I do everyday now. But it could also be doodling, writing, reading, blogging, videoke, spending time with Amir or Alexiess. It is anything that sparks joy.

Thank you to the Titan, Shonda Rhimes.

How To Be Alone

At the risk of sounding anti-Valentine’s, here’s my Valentine’s Day post.

When you’re happy in your head (and in your heart), alone becomes okay.

I am trying to be okay alone. No, there is nothing wrong in MarriageVille, we are still keeping on. But having different schedules has sometimes meant having to spend a lot of time on my own in the past few months. I haven’t always liked it, I am used to doing things with the hubby and I like it that way. But suddenly today, watching this video shared on the Post Secret Facebook page, I realised that i should also be okay with being alone.

What do I do by myself? I rarely run errands just by myself. Therein lies my biggest dependence on the husband. I drive for him, but he does the legwork. There were two online purchases I needed to say for over the counter at BPI and I got delayed because I wanted to wait for him to do it for me. I haven’t taken my car for a good wash in over a week and a half because I didn’t want to wait by myself. That is just wrong.

But the other day, while the husband was in bed, feeling pain in his joints, I went out by myself to get food and some painkillers. It wasn’t so bad! I did forget to pick up the food I paid for at the drive-thru window, but all in all it was still okay. Yes. I ordered, paid at the first window, and then went right past the second window and out onto the street! I realised my mistake about 10 seconds later and went right back. That was funny.

I tend to do a lot of thinking when I drive alone. That’s a good thing, but it can also mean i tend to be distracted.

In mid-2014 I also did something just by myself for the first time ever – I signed up for a retreat where I didn’t know anybody, and I drove myself to Batangas all by myself.

I like the idea. And I think I should continue working on it. I think it’s not just good for myself, but it would do wonders for my marriage too.

Netflix Now in the Philippines

When it was announced in January that Netflix has expanded its reach and is now available in the Philippines, I was so excited to sign up. But we were having Internet connectivity issues at home so I decided to wait until we had more reliable connection before I signed up for the free 30-day trial. I decided that today was that day.

Sign up is quick and easy. In less than 5 minutes, I was streaming my first movie: Aloha, starring Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, and Rachel McAdams.

There was no hassle whatsoever. Perhaps it helps that it’s Sunday at noon and other people have better things to do than hog the Internet. The husband is also fast asleep, having come home from shift last night. If he was right next to me playing online, that might be a different story.

Already, I like Netflix. It may be a good reason to give up our premium cable subscription, but we’ll see. We had decided a few weeks ago to upgrade to Sky Broadband’s hi-speed offering but they are taking their sweetest time to get here and set us up. So earlier today the husband went online and signed up for an upgrade for our PLDT DSL connection. We are still considering which option will allow us to save on both Internet and cable, but I guess in the end, the fastest to get us setup would win. I just hope whichever comes first, doesn’t disappoint.

Carpool Karaoke with James Corden and Chris Martin

I love James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke! I think the first one I watched was the one with Justin Bieber. More recently, I saw him pick up Adele and that was so fun to watch.

Today, with Super Bowl fever still in the air, I just finished watching the episode with Chris Martin. It is hilarious!

I probably enjoy it because I also love singing in the car. I do the driving, and at a certain point I always end up getting sleepy. Specially if I drive after shift. Long straight roads also tend to bore me and that is always a reason to get sleepy. To wake myself up, I’d play songs I could sing too. That, or I’d have to really get into juicy gossip with whoever’s riding with me.

Awhile back, the husband and I purchased an inexpensive GoPro alternative – the Supremo Action Camera:

Verabear | Supremo Action Camera

Verabear | Supremo Action Camera

It looks just like a GoPro, but I don’t know enough of them to know whether they do the same things. For us though, this is enough. It costs a third of a GoPro. We are photography enthusiasts and have a collection of different types of cameras. It’s like a hobby for me, a collection. I like having different options in capturing moments and preserving memories. We wish we were more outdoorsy but we aren’t. So this Supremo1 is definitely just the right action camera for us.

What does this have to do with Carpool Karaoke? Well, we’ve tried taking videos with the Supremo1 mounted on the dashboard. First it was pointed outside, like regular dashboard cameras. You know, just to record the streets of QC on a regular day. And then on our way back from our short weekend at Nasugbu two weeks ago, we turned the camera on us as we sang whatever song would play on the radio. Sad thing is, as is always the challenge, I have yet to see the photos and videos off the memory stick. Oh well.

So I would love for the husband and I to do something like Carpool Karaoke on a regular basis. Will we share it on Youtube or on the blog? Yes, No, Maybe. It’s just something we thought would be fun to record.

So anyway, without further adieu, checkout Coldplay’s Chris Martin on James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke:

What I really wanted to say is this: Chris Martin is so pogi! And it just seems like so much fun to hang out with him. 🙂

Chiclet Onyx Apitana

project-life-1
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.

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