Lifestyle Blogger. Promdi. Filipina.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

The Sunday Update 11: Week 2 of ECQ

Week 2 of the Enhanced Community Quarantine has come and gone. There are two weeks to go. Everything still feels so uncertain since the number of infected and deaths keep rising by the day. There is no definite word on whether or not this lockdown will end at the intended date. I can't blame the government on that since it is hard to decide when things keep changing every day...unfortunately for the worse. I hope everyone is staying at home and keeping themselves and their loved ones safe.

My mother commented on something that gave me a little bit of an eerie feeling. She told me to listen, because it was quiet. Too quiet. I stopped to listen and yes, it was. It's like everyone is trying to wait and listen for when this is all going to end. 

As I've mentioned in my last post, I have been working from home. I actually like that I have been keeping myself busy, since sitting still and being given the opportunity to think puts me in such a state that I don't want to be in. This past week it had gotten to the point of me crying in my room out of sympathy for all those in the medical profession who are fighting the good fight, for the people infected, the people who have passed away and their families who cannot even be with them. After that I found myself crying even more out of worry for my family and feeling helpless that I cannot be sure that we will stay safe throughout this whole thing. 

One thing is for sure: things will never be the same after this. Not for me anyway. I have found myself countless times wondering about the things that have been taking much of my time and wondering: does it matter? Now that we are all in this situation, do the things that felt important then actually matter when all is said and done?

I had a little panic attack this morning. My chest felt tight, my throat felt constricted and I was finding it hard to breathe. Naturally, my brain went on "what if I have COVID 19" mode before I remembered that I haven't been outside in 2 weeks and it was highly unlikely that I have caught it anywhere during that time. 

This stress that I have been feeling is something that I haven't acknowledged much since the lockdown started but my body is starting to tell me that I can't hide from it any longer. I've been having rashes/hives that look like welts appearing on my body at various times of the day. With everything I've been feeling it would be nice to get some help and see my doctor but that this point I feel safer being at home than going out to a hospital. 

Spending time with my family has been one of the benefits of this lockdown. The fact that I am surrounded by them is the one thing that is keeping me sane, which is why I feel for everyone who is sick who can't be around family. I feel for the frontliners who -- even after they get home -- cannot be close to their loved ones because of the fear that they will infect them. 

Mornings have been my sweet spot this past week. I've taken to getting some sunlight on me while walking around our front yard or on our upstairs terrace (no matter how small it is) while I drink my morning tea. For two days straight I've seen two unusual sightings: one was an eagle (yes, I'm sure) and another was a bird I've never seen before that just perched on our gate for a few minutes. I don't know if this is a normal thing that I just never noticed before, but it was a nice thing to see.

I have heard people say that things are going to get worse before they get better. I hope that we can skip the worst and move on to the better...I hope that one day soon we can all step out of our homes confident that we are not putting our lives at risk. That we can be confident that being sick will not mean that we will be on our deathbeds.

There's nothing more that I could ask for right now than for things to get better. God, let things get better. 

Sunday, March 22, 2020

The Sunday Update 10: COVID 19 Quarantine

Week One of Enhanced Community Quarantine of the entire Luzon area is over. How has quarantine life been for everyone?

Here in my neck of the woods, I can’t complain. Our area hasn’t had any confirmed COVID 19 patients and I am hoping that with the way things are being locked down that we won’t get one. The thought that the virus has not reached our area gives me and my family a little sigh of relief every day.  I'm a little concerned that there are still people violating the quarantine but I hope the local government can control that in some way to prevent the spread of the virus. My family and I have been praying the rosary daily, along with the Oratio Imperata recommended by the Catholic Church  (that we do three times a day at least).  Prayers go a long way, but I really hope that people all do their part too to make sure this doesn't spread. 

Since the announcement of the quarantine this past weeek I have been working from home. While our office is required to have a skeletal workforce present, I had asked for a work from home arrangement given that my state of health puts me at risk for the virus. It’s been very good so far. I have probably gotten more work done being at home than being at the office. I can’t explain why, I just am more productive for some reason. The only thing that delays my work is when I have to wait for feedback from other people from the office who are not so adept with the whole work from home thing.  Still can't complain. This is new for everyone and we are all trying to do our best with what we have and are taking things day by day.

While most people have either been bored, restless or have succumbed to that black hole that is Tik Tok, I have found myself enjoying the isolation. I guess being introverted has its advantages. Apart from the time I use for work, I have been using the quarantine to either sleep or watch Memories of the Alhambra on Netflix. After Crash Landing on You I found myself wanting to watch more of Hyun Bin, so I decided to binge on that other show. I just finished the entire season so I will post a review of those shows one of these days.

As someone at risk for the disease, I've been doing what I can to stay healthy. I make sure that I get some Vitamin D in the morning and sit out in the sun for a bit. I try to get some exercise on the elliptical or by shooting hoops with my nephews at our garage (more like trying to shoot hoops -- I only got 7 in about 15 minutes!). I also try to get as much sleep as I can and take my regular maintenance meds and vitamins. With the extra time I have at home, making this much effort to be healthy has suddenly become possible. It is so far from my whole "exhausted from work" mode which usually means I get home, have dinner and go to sleep only to go back to work again the next day (and the cycle goes on and on after that). Even my weekends used to be about decompressing from the work stress. This past week I didn't have that now that I'm working from home. Go figure.

I know a lot of people are ranting or raving (or sometimes both) about how things are being run during this period, but I try not to get too stressed about it. Something like this probably has not happened in a long time (or maybe it has never happened at this big a scale). While it’s disappointing to see how we are not ready for what is happening to us and it is alarming and scary how this virus is infecting people and taking lives, I think everyone is doing the best they can in the way they know how (even if that how can sometimes be misguided or have questionable motives). That being said, I also think it is everyone’s right to speak up for what is wrong to be corrected -- but we also have to do our part and cooperate (by staying home) to ensure that we can recover from this as quickly as possible. 

This quarantine has got me thinking about the things that matter. Considering how life-threatening this virus is, it does make me reassess the things that are going on in my life. Remember that hypothetical question, “What would you do if you knew you only had days to live?” Given how unpredictable this whole situation is, it does shake me up about the things that matter to me. It makes me think of which things should I focus on, which ones should I not put too much stock into and who I am as a person. It reminds me of the things (and people) that are important to me. It makes me realize the things that I truly value and the things that I should do with my life if I am given the opportunity to. 

Plus, given the varied reactions of people around me to this crisis, this situation is also showing me the true character of the people in my life. I’ve realized that not all of them have the same moral compass as I do. I’ve realized that some are way too stubborn for their own good. It can be disappointing if not for the fact that I have also seen people who have stepped up in this time of crisis. People who do more than their fair share. It gives me hope in spite of everything that things will be alright. 

One thing that just popped into my mind during this quarantine is how if this doesn’t end well for all of us, I would leave this earth without romantically loving someone again. I say “again” because the last time that happened was (prepare to be shocked) 17 years ago. Yes I’ve dated and I have had “relationships” in that past decade and a half or so but I can safely say that I have not loved in the truest sense of the word (for me) since that one person way back when. I would be more than happy to find that kind of love (or someone even better) if I could. I guess this is what the quarantine has done to my brain. I’m not bored, but I am feeling the need for a love life. Not just any love life but a love life with THE guy. I’m normally fine without one but these days, when my mind has too much idle time to think and the threat of a virus is always on the news, I find myself wanting that kind of love again, if it can still happen. 

I hope everyone is doing well in spite of the quarantine. I know there is a tendency to feel restless and stressed, but let's all use the time we have to do the things we've always found ourselves "too busy" to do. Read that book. Exercise. Spend time with your family. Take up that thing you've always wanted to try. Reflect, pray and use this time to reassess your life and plan on how to make it better. Let's try to make the best of what we have. We (you, my readers, and me) are all still better off compared to others who don't have enough to last until the end of this quarantine. We are not exposed to the virus on a daily basis like the brave and hardworking health workers who are taking this virus head on. 

We should all make the best of this and stay home, for everyone's sake.


Thursday, March 5, 2020

My Not Quite the Bucket List

The thing about being in my 40s is that I tend to look back on the past decades of my life and wonder why I haven’t done enough with it. There’s so much I wanted to do that I’ve never done. No regrets though, since now that I am older some things do not seem as important as I had pictured them to be.  

This year, however, I want to try and do something about the things that I’ve always wanted to try that I always seem to put aside for work and other responsibilities. I guess with how bucket lists are a thing lately, I’d like to share some of the personal projects that I want to work on that are on my not-quite-the-bucket-list:

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

As I mentioned in a previous post, writing a book (or to be more ambitious, books) is something that I want to do. It’s the dream...I’m going to be working on that one this year. The big dream is to have those stories come to life in movies or on TV but that is something I will work on once I finish an actual book.  

Image by Jinali Parikh from Pixabay

Another thing that I want to work on is art. I used to dabble. I took classes when I was younger. I can’t say that I have the talent for it, but it’s something that I enjoyed doing. I used to do this during my spare time when I was in my early days of my current job, but I stopped. I’d love to be doing this again.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

On a related note, I’ve also dabbled in photography in the past. I’ve never taken lessons, but I’d love to work in it this year. I’d love to improve on this not just because it’s something that I’m interested in but also because it’s something that my late father was passionate about as well when he was younger.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

One of the things that I have wanted to do that I am currently working on is cooking. I’ve always considered my two younger sisters as the better cooks, so I’ve been insecure about my abilities in the kitchen. I’ve been dabbling with this from time to time, but I’d love to prepare a full-course meal for my family one of these days.

Image by photoAC from Pixabay

Gardening/farming is a frustration of mine. Everything that I’ve tried to plant has, unfortunately, died. It would be an understatement to say that I suck at it, because I do. I would love to try to do this again. I’d love to plant fruits and vegetables and produce something out of my garden. I have no idea where to start (since my previous attempts have been a colossal fail) but I’d love to take another shot at it.

Image by Foundry Co from Pixabay

Back in the day I also wanted to learn another language. I had been torn between French and Mandarin. The former being something I have always loved the sound of, and the latter just felt like a practical decision. At the moment I am more familiar with the former and I’m considering learning more this year if I can, even if it’s just with a mobile app since there aren’t any places I can go to learn where I’m based. 

The most ambitious thing I’d like to do is something that would depend on my doctor. Health-wise, I don’t know if he would be OK with it, but I’d love to take self-defense classes. I’d love to learn about filipino martial arts like kali, arnis, eskrima and things like that. These days, it’s not just a practical thing to learn but also a good form of exercise (if you are healthy enough for it).  

So much to do, so little time...what do YOU want to do that you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t gotten around to? Anything you want to do now? Leave me a comment and let me know! 

Sunday, March 1, 2020

The Sunday Update 9: Food Trip

The past work week has been busy, despite having a holiday. I wish that there were highlights in the work department, but I think that the high points of my week have always been with family. Since family is important to me and I don’t enjoy talking about my job that much, that probably isn’t that much of a surprise. 

My sister and her husband invited everyone to go and look for lomi in the municipality fifteen minutes away. We heard that there was a place that riders usually went to for food on their way to Batangas, so we thought we’d check it out. Unfortunately, when we got there, they had already run out of lomi so we had to look for other places to eat. It was too bad because the place seemed really nice with all their little huts and colorful lights. 

Luckily for us, we found another place not far from there that had lomi. They were just about to close but we were told we could order before they did. My entire family sat down for a lomi meal just outside of the store and underneath the stars. We got to enjoy the cool weather while having a warm and filling bowl each, which was actually pretty good considering the low price of P70.00. 

As I mentioned in a previous post, my family and I have also been making a habit of going out for coffee during the evenings. So, when we discovered that the lomi place had a coffee shop that was just nearby, we decided to go and try it out. 

The place was small but clean, and it looked nice. The prices of the coffee were lower compared to the one that we usually go to, but we also learned that they only served in one size (and that regular size was a little small). We also couldn’t get the coffee that we wanted because most of the ones on the menu ran out as they were about to close. We only got to order what they had left available. 

The coffee itself, according to my brother-in-law, was not as good as at our regular place. My mom, however, raved about the Mango Overload shake, which was a mango shake with pearls, graham crackers and cream. I had a sip of it and wished I ordered it too since my drink was plain enough that I knew I could do better even if I’m not a barista. I guess you can say the place was both a hit and miss. It was OK but it still had room for improvement.  

Later in the week, I went out with my sister and her family to do the monthly groceries. I love doing the groceries with my family because it’s a sort of bonding moment for me and my sister. It’s a time we can talk while we walk around the place. It’s also amusing to watch my little nephew walking around trying to help us out by carrying things and pushing the cart around.  Had a bit of a curious person moment regarding two young AFAMs we spotted that I also posted about on Twitter. I am becoming that old nosy Tita, that's for sure.

It’s another new month, I’m really hoping that this one is better than the last (which has been challenging on the work side of things). I’m also considering lowering down the number of posts I make on this blog and the rest of social media for a bit while I focus on my other interests. So, if you notice (?!) that I haven’t been active lately, it’s because I’m trying to accomplish my other personal projects (which inspire me now more than work has … maybe I should try changing professions?). 

Here’s to a great month ahead! 
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