Optimism, Options and Optics

I’ve always considered myself an optimistic person. That is, until the last few years. This year? It’s more of a struggle just to cheer up. Trying out meditation and having a sort-of morning routine helps to at least get up and get started on things to do, with acute consciousness of an invisible weight in every step. Is this what it feels like to be in the brink of a revolution? Who knows, and lives to this day? Some days, I just long for a reset.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

Yet there are days few and far between with spurts of inspiration, when ideas pour like heavy rain my hands can barely keep up writing or typing them down. These days seem full of options. These are blessed, sweet days to remember this otherwise weary year by. I try to get as much done on these days, not knowing when the next ‘train’ arrives.

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Photo by Fabrizio Verrecchia on Pexels.com

Never one to bother with optics or appearances, it still feels exhausting sometimes to hear rumors or lies being spread around about me or other people I know. Pandemic or not, it still surprises me how people can have the energy or mental space for nonsense like these. On a bigger scale, the media makes this worse. Some say we live in a post-truth era; it gets harder and harder to get the facts straight with the proliferation of fake news, deepfakes and propaganda-driven traditional media outfits or social media. How does one cope with this crisis without succumbing to the deep dark, if hardening oneself or not caring is not an option? I’m still learning, but I have a few ideas: bury my head in a book, dive into painstaking research, connect with kind people/kindred spirits, or find solace in nature. Oh, and there’s gaming, too, if you can guard against addiction.

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This post is part of #SoCS

SoCS – Some Rings To/On It

I haven’t worn my ring in awhile, or any jewelry for that matter. Hubby and I are not all that into jewelry or accessories, save for his small collection of watches. Makes me think we should have gone for something else, like a watch for him or a pair of earrings or necklace for me. Because I’m not used to it, I try not to remove it (which is against my instinct) when I wash my hands in public restrooms so as not to lose it. One time though, while on a business trip in Macau, I removed my rings once to wash my hands in a hurry and forgot about them, both my wedding ring and another accessory, for about 2 hours. I was dining with friends in the same hotel when I noticed my ringless fingers. My friends and I hurriedly went to the concierge, with little hope of getting it back. In my head I was already thinking of whether to order the same ring and not tell hubby about the first one getting lost, or just to come clean about losing it. Luckily, after about 15-20 minutes of waiting while the staff checked with the rest of her team for any missing rings found in washrooms, someone found and reported them missing to security. The staff and my friends thought I was very lucky someone even returned it, and that they found it right away and just in time before I had to catch my flight out of Macau.

On the subject of rings, I remember my wacky engagement a few years back. My then fiancé and I were on our third trip and was getting ready for our next stop. I was fixing our bags when a velvety box fell out of his backpack. We both stared at it in surprise, him because it was not how he planned to show it and me supressing a laugh. A few minutes later, we couldn’t keep it in and just started laughing in short bursts for a good 30 minutes or so. I told him to not feel pressured and to still go with his plan whenever he wished and I’d just pretend the box incident didn’t happen. He finally did ask me to marry him the next morning at a deserted beach, or at least we were alone for a few hours enjoying the waters before the tourists came in hordes. It was a good way to start a day, a good day to get engaged 😊.

Where he popped the question.
The rings. The one with the ruby accent in the center is the engagement ring which he designed, knowing that I’m not really into diamonds. The other one stacked on top is the infinity wedding ring which matches his platinum band.

This post is part of SoCS.

SoCS – Up In The Air

Up until last year for at least five years or so, I’d get myself a planner each year and once or twice, I managed to snag the Belle de Jour power planner before they’d sell out in bookstores. It’s a unique planner with more than the spaces for daily/weekly/monthly schedule slots, a calendar and a few pages for notes/reminders. It had a health/period tracker, motivational/inspirational quotes, goal tracker, challenges, a membership card and discount coupons/vouchers for use in partner establishments like gyms, cafe, spa, etc. It was very useful especially for serious planners like me back then 😉. In 2019, I got more zen and put less pressure on myself, took it easy on the To DO lists and re-evaluated my life goals. This soul-searching started in 2018, the year I got married and considered starting a family. I realized how I’ve changed and wanted different things for myself and soon-to-be family, and started on a different path in terms of career and where I want to start a family.

Up-close look: The new 2016 Belle de Jour Power Planners are here
Photo credit: Rappler

And so I was on this path when 2020 hit and needless to say, most of my and my partner’s personal plans were hit, either delayed/postponed and/or drastically changed. Our move to NZ was halted when I couldn’t go back to start a new job there due to travel restrictions. A baby will have to wait, largely due to the pandemic. After the few weeks/months of adjusting to the crazy times, we started an I.T. business, a natural progression i guess since my partner and I are both in the industry albeit in different fields. Not quite part of the plan but something that felt right. If anything, this year has given us more than enough time in our hands to reflect more about our lives and be more intentional with our time.

Photo by Jordan Benton on Pexels.com

This post is part of #SoCS: Jour

SoCS – Spell It Out For Me

I used to be really good at spelling, and I credit it to a very good memory I had when I was young. My teachers/school didn’t waste any time taking advantage of this and had me join in spelling/quiz bees left and right. There was even a time when they had me join a talent contest as a replacement for someone who couldn’t make it then (probably chickened out?) because I knew too many songs or didn’t need to practice for a song number I had to perform in just a few hours after that forced recruitment. My aunt (the only one who probably knew this about me) who had several businesses back then benefited from this by having me memorize her phone books then asking me for those numbers when she needed them, or having me study some phrases in other languages then showing me off to her foreign clients by having me join their small talk before meetings. My ‘party trick’ was reciting story books verbatim after reading them just a few times.

This sharp memory quickly deteriorated, as I recall, after I had an operation for a benign cyst they found on my left wrist. Was it the general anesthesia that knocked me out during operation? Or perhaps the effect of several accidents like falling down a flight of stairs as a kid? In hindsight, had I known (though not sure) that that would be the trade off, I would have gladly kept the cyst (since it didn’t really bother me or people I know, except for my aunt) and/or skipped on the strong meds I had to take back then for injuries from those accidents.

After the operation, I remember losing this ability to memorize pages of numbers on a phone book after a couple of tries/read throughs. These days, I have such a poor memory compared to when I was a kid, I have to rely on a dictionary/thesaurus (shift +f7 for Microsoft Office or its equivalent in Mac) a lot for correct spelling, or on notes or photos for important details. Pretty normal stuff but when I remember what I can do pre-operation/accidents, I can’t help but ponder the possibilities of having this sort of mini-superpower.

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Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com
It was especially handy on math tests.. Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

This post is part of SoCS and FOWC

SoCS – Retail Therapy For Men?

I knew my hubby shops more than I do, but it’s become more obvious now that we spend so much time at home. The guy’s a borderline shopaholic. Lately he’s into buying smart containers – there’s one that folds/expands and doubles as a chopping board with a drain, another one’s a hand sanitizer spray that can also be a room mist/spray. Weeks ago he bought a backpack, a sort-of man purse, a self-watering planter (for me), and lately is looking into getting those survival/prepper cargo pants and tactical face masks/gear. It’s a good thing we downsized early on and gave up boxes of stuff while planning for a (delayed) move to a new place. So this is retail therapy for men, huh?

This post is part of SoCS

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