women’s march

yesterday, the he who must not be named got sworn in as the 45th president in the us. I tried my best to ignore it and move forward with my day. good thing I am nursing a flu that started last Tuesday so it was not that difficult. today is the women’s march in washington that aims to promote democratic ideals of women’s rights, equality, immigration protection and other important issues that are now in danger due to the trump administration.

it gives me chills and makes my heart swell that we are witnessing this show of public outcry. people will not be silent even if the system seems to be against them. it’s a show that people are willing to take time to protest what is important to them.

today is definitely a better day.

#69 2016 Sum up

I’m in Paul so I realized that I should go old school and write stuff but will just type it out later when I get back in my hotel. This brings back good memories of my short stint in France with writing and people watching while eating a chocolate eclair. The life then!

So what do I think of 2016? It’s been quite a year of change again for me. I say it every year already because there are just big changes happening every year. No complaints to be honest. Maybe that’s why I am changing my goal planning ways. In 2015, I changed jobs and that was big for me. This year, the biggest one is buying a house. It’s major because it really sets me up for a few more years here in Cincinnati. When I bought the house, I practically signed myself up here to stay for at least 4 more years. It’s not that terrible here in Cincinnati but I know that I won’t be happy here. Not the same way I would feel in a city like Seattle, Chicago or DC. Cincinnati offers something else. Another big change for me is related to my knee. I had to stop volleyball due to knee pain. I went to doctors and did various treatment plans to salvage what’s left of my knee and get back to playing volleyball. As of today, it’s still not fixed and the feeling is really devastating. I am giving myself one more moth and if my knee is not better, I really need to find another hobby.

Around the world, change has also been a big theme. Duterte won in the Philippines. That made me feel bad because I was rooting for Grace Poe who did not win. But, I figured I won’t be affected much since I’m living here in the US. But, when Trump won the presidency, that totally depressed the shit out of me. For a full week, I just cannot motivate myself. How could he win after all he said and promised to do? It was sad and only a big ass TV made me feel better.

In terms of my 2016 data, finances are down due to the house and expenses associated to it. The London trip planned this year did not happen. I’m 154 lbs now due to lack of cardio. With all of this, I have learned more with homeownership. I am doing better in terms of weight training because that’s all I can focus on. I watch more shows and movies because that’s all I can do. Time as a resource is up this year because the 8 hours of volleyball just got freed up. I cook more things because I have the time and I just let my friends my guinea pigs.

So 2016 is a mixed bag for me. it’s good that it forced my hand to do/commit on things but they do not really made me happier. It give me direction and more insights that I will not do if I am not forced into it. I think I’m a good firefighter in that sense.

#68 2016 Year End Survey

1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?
– bought a house
– had an MRI for my knee
– had some knee injections
– cupping
– went to SAPPHIRE
– voted as an absentee voter in Chicago
– watched Madonna live
– watched Coldplay live

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
– I usually keep goals that I try to track regularly. Do I hit them? That’s another story.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Alice!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
none that I know of.

5. What countries did you visit?
I just traveled in the US this year. I visited Washington DC, Orlando, Miami, Chicago, Saugutuck, Columbus, Indianapolis, Champaign

6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?
In 2017, I want to play volleyball again. :(

7. What date from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
July 21 – I bought a house (closing date)

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Buying a house! So adulting.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Buying a house! Kidding. My emotions dragging me down sometimes.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Patellar Tendon Tear.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My kickass TV!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Hillary!

13. Whose behavior appalled you and made you depressed?
Trump. Sorry.

14. Where did most of your money go?
A house!

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Seeing giant pandas.

16. What song will always remind you of 2016?
Adele’s Hello.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? – happier
ii. thinner or fatter? – fatter
iii. richer or poorer? – poorer/richer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Do more things that make me happy.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Worry about finances and just do things.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I spent Christmas at JV’s. Josel made a surprise visit and he as added in our small group.

21. Did you fall in love in 2016?
No.

22. How many one-night stands?
I know but I’m not putting that info out here. Haha!

23. What was your favorite TV program?
the Crown.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Nope!

25. What was the best book you read?
The STory of Our Lives.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Morisette Amon.

27. What did you want and not get?
No pain in my knee. :(

28. Favorite film of this year?
Captain America: Civil War

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 33 this year and I had a nice dinner with friends in Bella Luna.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
That friggin’ London trip.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?
More adult and sporty.

32. What kept you sane?
music and reddit.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Chris Pratt.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Elections and having 4 years of Trump. :( :( :(

35. Who did you miss?
Family and friends from the Philippines!

36. Who was the best new person you met?
Mike, my realtor.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016.
Define your own success.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Why can’t you hold me in the street?
Why can’t I kiss you on the dance floor?
I wish that it could be like that
Why can’t we be like that?

#65 Life planning.

Tis the season! December is fast approaching and it’s actually Thanksgiving this coming week. Other than planning my Black Friday shopping list and route, it’s also that time of the year where I brush up on things I’ve done this year and look into things I wanted to do this year. It’s time to be introspective and really ask the tough existential questions that I usually shrug off.

This time, I thought of changing things up a bit. Instead of planning my life quadrants, I’m thinking of applying some practices in the Agile methodology and test if this will apply better. Not that I’m failing miserably in my annual plans, but what I realized this year is that I can’t plan life using static assumptions and goals. Life is ever changing and I need to be able to adjust and pivot. Clear example this year is that I bought a house and I had to drop my London plans, and I’ve been having some knee issues that totally obliterated my volleyball aspirations for 2016. 2017 is even up in the air.

What I want to do is to establish a vision that will be the guiding principle of the things I am working on (backlog). Then, I will review that “backlog” regularly and adjust accordingly. The idea is to have a bucket list of sorts that will shape my vision of happiness/success. I don’t know if it will work or not but there’s no harm in trying right? I will create a Kanban board to track the following:

  • Life list – things I want to achieve that are still rough and need some further thinking to detail out the means to achieve it.
  • Storyboard – things that I want to refine and work on. Items from Life List will go here before getting to the Refined List.
  • Refined list – backlog of things that have been well thought of and ideally have clear paths on how I will work on them.
  • Done list – things that I’ve completed.

Now, the tough part – what’s that vision?

#64 roughed up

This week was not good at all. usually, I’d even qualify an uneventful as week as so-so, but there’s really no reason to sugarcoat it. It’s a terrible week. It all started with Trump’s win in the US elections. The dark cloud and negativity stuck with me until this moment. It has been tough dragging myself out of the rut. I remember when Duterte won, it took me a day or two to shake it off because I rationalized that it’s the Philippines’ problem now – you reap what you sow. But now, it hits close to home. I feel helpless and clueless. I do not know what the future will bring because I do not know what this new government will do. Based on their ideology, it’s no good at all.

The little win this week is that the knee brace is finally off. PT has restarted once again and I noticed that my knee is weaker than the last shot. I’ll have to get focused in getting my knee working normal and strengthen it beyond my old levels. I need to be better. This is the only thing that is keeping me sane and grounded. 

Another unfortunate event this week is that I bumped another person’s car. :-( I was backing out of my garage and I did not see a car was park opposite the street. My car sustained some damage but the bump left a dent in the other person’s car. Ugh. Not a good day at all.

I need to shake this negative feeling and start do something productive or fun. I need to get back to the gym and get my heartbeat up. I’m up to 153 lbs and I think it’s all because of the carb loading I’ve been doing trying to keep my spirits high. Food is such an upper for me but it also makes me fatter. Back to broccoli, and other low carb options. Self-discipline is needed. I can do this. 

#63 loss

Today has been rough for me. I did not know that I was so invested in the presidential elections here in the US that it shook me to the core learning that Hillary lost to Trump. I could not understand it and it does not make sense to me. But, this is the democractic process. Trump had the majority of the electoral college and Hillary fell short. It’s devastating. And, the uncertainty of the future scares me.

Similar to Duterte, I will give him the benefit of the doubt and hope that the rhetoric and his anti-establishment credentials will usher progress in Washington. Let’s see.