36 Random Thoughts from a 36-Year-Old

I was supposed to write this on my birthday but work and travel got in the way.  Initially, I wanted to do a life lessons list but I changed my mind because, at 36, I neither have rich life lessons to share nor wisdom to give advice. An advice that work for me may not work for another person. These are just thoughts in my head and you may agree or disagree with me.

1. Being alone and being lonely are two different things.
2. You hold power over your own happiness.
3. When you know yourself well, opinions of others do not matter.
4. Life is short. Forgive more. Love more. Smile more.
5. Being an introvert is underrated. I watched a TED talk by Susan Cain. Being an introvert, I can totally relate.

6. Work hard. There is value in labor. However, it is also efficient to work smart. Learn how to remove unnecessary tasks that can only cause stress.
7. What a person shares in social media is only a fraction of what a person is all about.

8. Love is not something that comes with a deadline. The ticking biological clock does not mean I should lower my standards. I still believe in true love. If I can’t find one, I won’t settle with just anyone.

9. While we often associate love with the heart, it is okay to use  your brain.  In a recent discussion with a cousin, he believes that love is not something to be felt and but something to be understood.  This may be something he realized from his relationships.

10. Laughter may not be the best medicine but it makes me really feel better.
11. I do not envy wealth. (Well, sometimes. I am only human) Most of the time, I envy other people’s talents. I try to emulate them and develop my own style. (Singing is something I can do well alone without an audience. Promise. HA!)
12. When I like something, I do not hide it. I click that like button on Facebook. HA!
13. You do not have to win all the time. Life is short but it is not a race. Take a breath and try to take it all in and appreciate the world around.
14. Travel enriches the soul. I love the feeling of stepping in a new place for the first time and that feeling of reconnecting to a familiar place.
15. Simple things also bring great joy- a cup of coffee, a warm hug and a beautiful sunrise.
16. I am not really deeply religious but I believe there is a higher being looking after all of us. I love my Catholic faith but I respect other people’s beliefs, too. Instead of dwelling on our differences, why not celebrate what we have in common?
17. Never underestimate the power of prayer.

Source: http://beyondblessedblog.com/2013/01/01/more-less/

Source: http://beyondblessedblog.com/2013/01/01/more-less/

18. Nobody’s perfect. It is okay make mistakes. Make sure you learn from them.

19. Make time for family and friends.
20. Be thankful. You may not realize how blessed you are.
21. I need to look after my health. I am now at my heaviest weight.
22. I live within in my means. I do not need to pretend I am someone else.

23. I love compliments but I try not let it get in my head. I thank the person complimenting and move on to doing positive things.
24. One of the books that had an impact on me is ‘To Kill a Mockingbird”.   I love this line from the book: “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
25. It is never too late to have new dreams.  It is never too late to learn new things.

26. It is not how much you earn. It is how much you saved.  It is not how much you have but how much of what you have you worked hard for.
27.  Words hurt but you can train yourself not to let those words hover your head.
28.  Be open to meet new friends but try to be your own best friend. You have to like who you are  but not too much that you become narcissistic.
29. Be kind.  They say that happy people are those find joy in helping others.
30.  Be responsible for your actions.
31. While planning for the future, do not forget to appreciate the moment now.
32. Indulge in quiet moments. Silence allows you to listen to your heart.

33.  Don’t take yourself seriously.

34. Life is not fair but that is not a reason to give up.
35. The best is yet to come. Every day is an opportunity to live the best day of your life.
36. I love  dogs.  Aren’t we cute? I seldom post photos with my face on it but I can not resist. I hope I made you smile.

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Care to share some life thoughts you had recently?

Work-Life Balancing Act

After quitting my job of 11 years, I did not work for three years. I quit without securing another job. One thing I did was prepare enough savings that will help me survive a year without going broke or hungry. The decision was supported by my father who helped me stretch the years without going broke. God had plans because quitting my job gave me enough time with my father who was battling with cancer then. The job became the last of my priority. Caring for my father became my job.  It gave me a deeper understanding of what really matters then and what matters in life.

I recently had a conversation with a friend. She was thinking about retirement. She asked how I was able to manage without a regular job. The advantage about working from home is that I own the time. The disadvantage is that I own the time. I tend to accept projects left and right because there are times when there are no projects at all. There is that temptation to drop everything and just be a full-time blogger. I enjoy what I do but I still have other interests like cooking and crafts that take a backseat because there are bills to pay.

Interestingly, there are many online payday loans and it is quite easy to get one but there are also disadvantages in getting one. It is always advised not to venture into something you do not understand first. Payday loans often have high interest. It is a good option for those who need cash immediately. It pays to read the fine print. There are different websites that can help you decide whether to take on that loan or not. Personally, I try to avoid any kind of loan. However, I do not discount the possibility of applying for one someday. It pays to read about payday loans while you do not still need one because desperate times cloud one’s judgment.

When I get drowned with work, I try to remember why I work. I still have dreams I want to fulfill and they require working hard. :D

5 Simple Ways I Pamper Myself

I am getting used to writing lists. It is easier to compose my thoughts when  I find a common theme with what is happening in my life. Instead of telling a story chronologically, I write lists.

Summer is about to end in a month and I still have not done something remotely close to enjoying the sun.  Instead, I indulge in simple activities that I enjoy.

1. Cuddling.  This little fellow belongs to my cousin. I looked after him while my cousin was at work. His wife was on a trip so there was no one to look after the little one.  Most of the time, he loves sleeping so we take our naps together. He is the type who sleeps so close to a person that I alwaya feel that the bed is too small for us. On several ocassions, I worked on my computer while he slept beside me with his head resting on my lap. I guess we have became friends because he sat still for a photoshoot with me.  :D

 2. Cooking food. Eating out can be expensive. Chicken Inasal costs at least P80 per meal. Since there are 4 of us in the house, a trip to the restaurant would set us back at least P320. We got  marinated chicken legs from Monterey at a discounted price. I think four pieces of chicken parts (legs and wings) cost less than P150. We’d have grilled chicken over charcoal before and we always burn the skin. This time, I decided to use a broiler.

Why haven’t we thought about this before? Look, perfect chicken skin!

3. Restful sleep. I admit that I sleep later that I used to. I used to sleep at 10PM when I had a regular job.  Nowadays, sleeping at 12AM is pretty normal for me. It does not matter how late I sleep as long as I get at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep, then I am fine.  The best kind of sleep is when I change my sheets.

4. Enjoying the blessings. I got gifts from my cousin’s wife who went on a vacation to Ilocos. We got more than a month’s supply of garlic and onion! The fan is perfect for the brownouts. I’d like to think I already have toned arms after all the fanning I have to do during power interruptions.  On the lower right photo is not from Ilocos but from Manila. It is a J.Co donut. When I was in Manila last November, people were lining up for these donuts. It is already April and my cousin said that there are still long lines for these donuts.

5. Getting a shower. It is a must in this heat and all the power interruptions. I take my time at the shower, exfoliating and working up a lather. When it comes to cosmetics, I rarely put anything on my face but I am pretty indulgent when it comes to bathing. I use soaps one after another.

My friends have different ways of pampering themselves. I know a few who get their hair and nails done. Another friend goes on spa dates with  her husband.  Here’s the deal: I have not tried getting a massage. I feel that I might be ticklish. I saw this feature on a facial massage in Prague and it looks relaxing. It makes sense. Massage is a form of relaxation where tired muscles are given respite.   Facial muscles need relaxation, too.

How about you? How do you pamper yourself?

Where did my January go?

I had a full January schedule. No, I am not complaining. I am just thankful for the opportunities.

For this year, I went old school with my planner. I bought a generic hallmark planner. I am keeping things simple. :D

I am now a legitimate professional.  Well, something like that. I just wanted to pay taxes. Since I am a freelancer, I am required to register the services I offer as a business.  All the while, I thought I will just declare my income and compute taxes based on what I declared.   So, I went through the whole process. I have to pay taxes monthly, quarterly and annually.  And I have to keep books.  I had to refer to my cousin who’s a CPA on how to do entries on the accounting books.  Yes, I am a mathematics major with zero accounting knowledge.  Quite ironic when both my parents were accounting majors yet I cannot ask them anymore because they are no longer around.

I am a believer that if you do not vote or pay taxes, you have no right to complain about lousy government services.

I have been to four provinces this month with only 1 photo as proof of one of my trips.

I also went to my friend’s graduation. I promised to be there so I did. She took a course on organic farming. Pretty cool, huh? I love how she continues to enjoy learning when she already have an MBA under her belt.

I learned a lot this month and I welcome what comes my way this February.

By January 31, I felt I need to take a break so I devoured lanzones sent over by my cousins from their farm.

I never expected to be that busy last month. Thank you, God!

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Source: doingwhatmakesmehappy.tumblr.com via kat on Pinterest

One of my favorite websites, Googly Gooeys, just released this illustration. I am of the third kind. :D

The Circle of Life

I attended two wakes in July.   It was sad. Both deaths were so sudden.  They were relatively young at 39 and 42.  It was a reminder for me to take care of my health.  One day, my body will catch up on my bad eating habits.

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My aunt and I had a discussion this morning. She was sharing what she learned from watching a show about money, savings and investment. An expert said something about setting aside a third of your monthly salary for savings and divide the remaining amount into 4.  The quotient should be your weekly budget.  My aunt was quick to do the math and she realized, her money was not enough. We had a good laugh at our discussion. I guess she just has to earn more.  I remember reading about Timothy Sykes and how he was able to invest his money through penny stocks. Tim Sykes  was still his 20′s  when he started investing. I believe this Chinese proverb also applies to investing: “The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.”

The sad events of July was trumped with two happy ones. I had godmother duties to two cute boys. I always feel honored when friends ask me to be the godmother of their babies. Godparents are the child’s second parents.

Yesterday, my friends welcomed the birth of their first child.  What a sweet blessing to end July!

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No, that is not my friends’ child. :D  The photo is too cute not to share.

A friend found this beautiful video about death and shared this on Facebook.

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