Life Lately and Friday's 10 Happy Things

Wow, we're exiting the third week of ECQ (enhanced community quarantine). I hope and pray all this is not for naught. I have a lot of things in my prayer list, and I'm sure we've been praying for the same things. Healing, provision, strength, protection, mercy, cure, wisdom, leadership, compassion, cooperation. Haayyyy! I've never prayed this much for others. Most of the time I only care about the things in my own little circle. Guess it's expanded to the whole world. Hmm.

Life's pretty boring. And I know it's a very privileged thing to say. There's not much happening outside but there's so much noise online. Of people's grievances towards the government's lack of action, our president's lack of leadership, our frontliners' lack of support. So many thinks lacking it's turned social media, specially twitter, into protest platforms. Can't really blame the people huh. But well, even before the lockdown, Twitter has always been noisy lol. It just seems noisier 'cos I'm spending much more time in there lately haha. But hey, it works. Clamoring online works. We've seen changes I know we wouldn't witness if nobody complained.

Overall I'm not too worried about myself, my husband included. We're healthy, we're both working from home, and both of our companies have been very generous. For how long, we don't know. I'm afraid if the lockdown pursues and we start cost cutting by retrenching, I'll be one of the first guys to pack up. So just to be safe, I have to be job hunt ready when the time comes *updates CV*.

I'm more worried about my parents. Not only because they're older and more prone to sickness, but also because this lockdown means zero income for them. As financial advisers, they can't go out and meet new clients, and it's gonna be hard to collect payments from existing ones too. They've recently decided to sell our house (again) because they feel like it's the only way to save up for retirement. I feel bad that there's not much I can do financially, but I do support them in their decision. With our current living state, the house is too big for any of us. If we can liquidate it and downsize, they would have enough left for savings and investment. Well, that's the dream.

My mom celebrated her 66th birthday last week. Since we're not allowed to go out I just called through Zoom. We were supposed to be at Baguio, but things happened and I had to refund my bus and Airbnb bookings. So far I've gotten around 75%, looking forward to get the rest.

On a more positive note, here are Friday's 10 Happy Things, just like the old times...

  1. Before the lockdown commenced, I was able to setup my workstation properly. That is, I bought a chair and a trolley and successfully turned my vanity into an office desk. While people are emptying the shelves at the supermarket, I was busy measuring carts and pedestals at SM Home.
  2. Happy that my sister could continue her work at home. At least she'd still be earning during the lockdown.
  3. Finally tried using a menstrual cup. I feel uneasy right now but I'm trying to get used to it lol.
  4. Cancelled trips = refund = money back to my savings pool!
  5. Cinnabon's mini bons and S&R's petite cinnamon rolls!
  6. My Airbnb and iWantSeats bookings were fully refunded (still waiting for Victory liner)
  7. It's swelday today! They credited a week earlier than expected then also included our VL conversion. Downside is we now have to wait 3 weeks til the next sweldo but it's fine hehe.
  8. My parents are both healthy and my sister is enjoying working from home lol
  9. My parents got fiber connected last month which is super sakto because my sister depends on it right now
  10. Ever since the lockdown started, I've been able to follow my IF schedule strictly! I'm on Day 25 right now of 16:8! As for my weight, I don't think it's changed significantly yet. I'm usually 66 to 68kgs, but right now I'm at 65.5kg.

Guess that's it for now! Hope you have a great weekend! As always, praying for healing and for this crisis to be over soon. ♥

God bless everyone!

Oh dear

It's been crazy. We're on enhanced community quarantine (which is close to a lock-down except our government can't take responsibility for everyone), people are panicking, and I can only pray for things to get better. For COVID-19 to eventually be eradicated. For the sick to be healed. For everyone to be protected and provided for. For kindness, cooperation, and empathy to reign. For God to have mercy on us all.

I've published two Weekly Monotonies since the last update and imma plug em right here.

Vlog #19 - The seeming calm before the storm

I discovered Highlands Iced Mocha which tastes 99% like Costa's Iced Cafe Mocha. And they're on the same spot too at RSC Lobby. Makes me wonder if Robinson's acquired Highlands after it let Costa go, it's been popping on several Robinsons properties in the Metro.

My officemate and I attended a Personality Development workshop in the office thinking it would actually be helpful for our personalities lol. Turns out it's 90% Mary Kay demo and 10% harassing us into buying their products. Errrr.

Our car is due for registration this month and while I had intended to do it myself, even filing a vacation leave for it, I unfortunately overslept at my parents' house so my dad decided to just do it himself while I was asleep. Long story short they called someone to assist them from the emission center. I was mentally torn about its illegality but then I realized that a personal appearance isn't really required for MVR (unlike DL renewal) so I figured it's fine to just pay someone for convenience.

Oh yeah, we also got our plate number. FINALLY. After four bajillion years.

Ate dinner with my parents that Friday night because swelday! Also because I didn't want to leave the house early on a Friday night. I waited for my sister to get home from work, and while waiting tried to study playing a song from CLOY. You can watch my futile attempt around 5mins into the vlog.

Hmm, what else.

I attended our cell group meeting for the first time in a very long time. I'm surprised myself. Saturday night CGs have been a struggle for me lately because it's usually errands and visit-my-parents day, but since I was able visit the day before, I figured it's about time I water my wilting spirituality by appearing in a fellowship. It was nice seeing them again. :) 

Vlog #20 - Panic is the real pandemic, but you're not gonna see that in the vlog

It's the week the number of COVID-19 patients in the Philippines have grown to an alarming rate. People are more worried. Looking at how our neighboring countries fare, everyone's expecting the worst. We can be sent home any time. So our company is rushing to roll out its BCPs, setting up hundreds of laptops to be issued to its soon to be remote workforce, drafting out all the necessary policies to keep the GOC functioning despite a deserted office. I, on the other hand, was tasked to develop a WFH functionality on our timekeeping system (TS). One that will allow us to log in and out of our TS as we work remotely. If you're wondering, our time logs are being purely captured by onsite biometrics.

The enhancement is needed as soon as possible, but no rush - they say. It didn't help that my manager was away on self-quarantine (bc of a recent travel) as he laid down the requirements. In between choppy calls and lack of validation, I was able to deliver what I consider a bare minimum. A quick win. This would do for now as we have not enough time to test. We can refine as we go along. Thank God I'm not alone in the team.

So I got the code base ready on Friday night but I had to be on standby as they prepare the comms. The go signal didn't flare until Sunday afternoon, just as I was backing up on a parking slot at SM Megamall. We were supposed to look at furniture and buy groceries, but my mind was distracted the whole time. 

I had backups so one of my teammates did the go-live, but my manager reminded me about a functionality that I didn't think was supposed to be part of the initial release. I thought it could wait. I also didn't think I was supposed to work on it during the weekend, so in the end he updated the code himself lol. It went fine hahaha.

HR also sought help with the guidelines, so I did my best. I sought help from others too, and we were able to refine the wordy points, make it more easy to read and understand. I cut the bullet points in half, and reworded almost everything. But when the comms went out, it's as if she hadn't asked for help at all haha.

Anyway. This is my current WFH setup. My husband works on the couch outside haha.

Now that the remote time in/out feature has been rolled out, I see myself obsessively checking the database. Querying the numbers, investigating bugs, consolidating missed entries, supporting issues, thinking if the copy on the website is clear enough, wondering why people kept forgetting to log out.

Argh. I've never been this tired working from home. But seeing that more than 75% of our office population has logged in remotely, I'm kindof happy how it's being utilized.

Vlog #16 and what I've been reading...

Can't believe I'm on Vlog #16 lol (by the time I publish this I probably already have Vlog #17 but anyways). Here you go!

And to expound a bit haha...

I dared myself 10 books this year and three weeks ago I just finished my first! A colleague lent me a copy of Educated by Tara Westover that I finished reading in two weeks. That's slow, but considering I didn't finish any book at all last year, that's a big deal! I'm suddenly out of my reading rut haha (hope so)! Educated is not the type of book I'd pick for myself, but because my officemate raved so much about it, I decided to download a sampler from Amazon before deciding to take on the whole text. The book is a memoir written by Tara Westover. In it she recalls her childhood with her family, survivalist Mormons tucked in the mountains of Idaho, up until she decides to enroll in university, leaving her family in pursuit of education.

Her journey is laced with incredulous accounts of violence and mental abuse, of freakish accidents, and unsettling family dynamics. It's also filled with a gripping unraveling of truths she didn't think existed, and of revelations that shattered her to self-invention. Definitely a unique coming of age story.

I didn't expect to love this book. I was so drawn by the writing that despite nothing much happening in the first few chapters, I found myself vividly immersed. A hundred percent will recommend!

So what's next?

Urgh, I hate to go back to reading Can You Keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella but I really need to finish it 'cos I want to see how it's gonna redeem itself for having characters so poorly made. I'm almost done and in my head it's still a 2 over 5. The story is cute but the characters are just so blah I'm having a hard time connecting their relationships and their behavior with each other.
  • First off, I don't understand how Emma and Lissie call themselves bestfriends when they're so awkward and dishonest with each other.
  • Jenina's character is a straight up template
  • I don't find Jack Harper romantic. He's a jerk who flirted with his target market for product expansion.
  • It was so clear that Emma is a nobody in their company, and yet her officemates suddenly recognized her when Jack Harper starts describing her live on TV, while also spilling her deepest darkest secrets? Apparently, they know her that well?
Let's see how the book ends, I'm so anxious to get over it lol.

How to love healthy eating and exercise even if you detest salads and the gym

For many people, the idea of going on a diet and committing to running five miles every day feels like a massive chore. You have to cut out many of the things that you love in life - like tasty food - in return for what you hope will be better health in the long-run. The problem is that sticking to significant lifestyle changes is hard. Virtually nobody loses weight on a diet and keeps it off long term. It’s just not what we’re biologically programmed to do. If there’s food available, we’ll eat it. It’s as simple as that.

Photo from Pixabay

Modern habits, though, are creating a whole host of problems for our health. Sitting down all day and eating junk food is a one-two punch that wrecks our metabolism.

Your ideal biomarkers should be:

Unfortunately, a lot of people are way out of this ideal range, putting them at risk of a host of chronic diseases, like heart disease.

The solution, though, is quite simple - make healthy eating and exercise something that people can enjoy. Some people manage it, and you can too. Here’s what to do.

How To Enjoy Exercise

Enjoying exercise can be a challenge, but it can happen. It’s all about mindset.

Start With Achievable Goals
Don’t start your exercise regime by running marathons or doing two hours of cross-fit every day. You’ll knacker yourself and do whatever you can to avoid more grueling training sessions in the future.

Instead, begin with small, manageable goals. Make sure that your brain gets used to the idea that exercise is a pleasant experience first - something you enjoy - before ramping up the difficulty. Remember, there’s no time limit on this. If it takes you a year to work up to a high level, then so be it. As long as you’re active, you’re on the right track.

Notice How The Rest Of Your Life Gets Easier
As humans, we have an uncanny ability to adapt to the world around us. It doesn’t take five minutes before we’re used to something, whether it’s smartphones or ordering takeaways online.

The same goes for our fitness. When you start exercising, you induce profound changes in your body. All of a sudden, you have more energy to do the things that you want to do. It’s miraculous.

You can, however, adapt to these changes rapidly and, after a while, take them for granted.

Where possible, try to think back to situations before you began exercising that highlighted just how difficult life used to be. Maybe it was walking up stairs or carrying heavy bags of shopping. Whatever it is, try to link real-world experiences to your exercise habits.

How To Enjoy Healthy Eating

Most people can cope with exercise. But eating bland food day after day is intolerable. The good news is that eating things that are good need not be torture. Take a look at the following advice:

Use Fresh Herbs And Spices To Add Flavour
If you look at the types of food that most personal trainers recommend, you’ll see that it is dull and boring. Chicken breast, brown rice, and broccoli - not exactly appealing.

It turns out, though, that you can transform even the blandest of meals into something delicious with the right combination of herbs and species. What’s more, these foods may also contain compounds that help you move towards your weight loss and fitness goals faster. Unique chemicals plants produce supercharges your metabolism and foster whole-body health.

Eat Your Favourite Foods - Just Make Them Healthy
If you think that your days of munching on delicious burgers are over, think again. Even on the most Spartan diets, you can still eat your favorite foods.

Photo from Pixabay

Take pizza, for instance. You can easily make a whole spelt flour pizza base, add a homemade tomato sauce made with fresh or canned tomatoes, and then add veggies on top. You still get a delicious meal, even though it doesn’t contain any of the nasties you’d usually have to consume with pizza.

The same goes for burgers. You can make burgers from black beans, oats, and parsley, which actually tastes better than the real thing.

What you want to avoid is the feeling that you’re “going without.” You don’t want to feel like you lack anything in your life, or you might go back to your old ways.

The bottom line is this: eating healthily and exercising doesn’t have to be an ordeal. You can enjoy it, so long as you approach it with the right frame of mind.

Another week in recovery!

Another week on the vlog... now seven days full. Because nothing ever really happens during the weekends that merits a separate video haha.

As for my knee...
  • Day 15 (Jan 27 | Mon) - Jeckie can't stay in midshift for so long so I decided to just commute by taxi for the whole week. Ang gastos but yeah. I realized that GrabTaxi rates on the app are overestimated when it's really just the metered fare + 35p (or whatever's the booking fee that time). That made me feel better. My knee is starting to heal better. I can now walk properly, but slowly. If I speed up even a tiny bit I'd start to limp lol. Still being cautious. I noticed that I also stopped feeling discomfort when sleeping so I don't lift my knee anymore on the pillows. Set up an appointment with an ortho at TMC.
  • Day 16 (Jan 28 | Tue) - I'm not sure how I got it but suddenly my ankle is hurting. And it's more painful than my knee lol. I can probably walk better now but because of my ankle I'm not pushing it hehe. I can now (cautiously) cross my legs, and it's feels less tired now. Halfway through Educated.
  • Day 17 (Jan 29 | Wed) - Booked Grab Taxi to work this afternoon. Still can't find the courage to commute by bus. I can probably conquer the foot bridge because I can walk at my own pace, but the thought of boarding the bus scares me. What if it jolts before I could take a seat? What if I get pushed while alighting? I could die you know. On another note, 2019-nCov (Corona virus) is becoming a bigger threat. I've started wearing a facial mask to protect myself.
  • Day 18 (Jan 30 | Thu) - First confirmed case of nCov in the Philippines. 38-year-old Chinese woman who traveled from Wuhan via Hong Kong (link). I'm watching the numbers here. My knee is getting better, my ankle doesn't hurt so much anymore so I could now feel how my knee has improved. Yey!
  • Day 19 (Jan 31 | Fri) - I can walk properly now with minimal knee pain but I could feel a stiffness in my knee cap. Can't walk and stand for too long. Can cross my legs but not fully. Still can't indian sit.
  • Day 20 (Feb 1 | Sat) - Went to the hospital to consult with an orthopedist. He checked my knee and advised me to get more rest, see how one month of recovery fares before he could suggest more diagnostic measures (like MRI or therapy). I was relieved when he said my major knee parts look intact. So yeah, just gonna rest and let me knee recover fully. After all, it's getting better each day.
  • Day 21 (Feb 2 | Sun) - Drove to Fairview to see my family whom I sorely miss. My mom is sick with cough and sore throat and needs to recover, and with the nCov scare an all, she's kind of panicked. She can't even hug and kiss me because she's afraid I'll catch her symptoms huhu. In (an)other (sad) news, I accidentally wet the corner of Educated, the book that I borrowed from my officemate, and it felt devastating. I put it on a desk and didn't notice someone put a cold glass of water beside it, next thing I know the moist from the glass crept its way on the upper corner of the book, creating a wave the size of a coin. :'(
Ever since I started vlogging I kindof lost interest in posting on Instagram and ranting on Twitter. I can summarize my week in 5-minute videos, upload it on Youtube and not care about it. Then I can just put supplemental anecdotes here, just to overshare a bit further, then let it be haha. Just like the old days.

I think it has something to do with the fact that no one's really watching or even reading. I stopped promoting my Youtube channel too because I realized I didn't really want an audience. I just want an outlet. 

Recovery logs

Damn this knee, it's been three weeks since the accident, I'm getting better but I can't wait to heal completely. It's been terrible navigating the office on a limp. And because I kept compensating, now my ankle hurts too! Here's a vlog of the previous week, which is the week I finally came back to work after five days of rest. My husband was kind enough to change his shift (from night to mid) so he can drive me to and from work. At my current state, commuting via public transpo is a big nope. Just the mental image of the footbridge terrifies me.

  • Day 8 (Jan 20 | Mon) - Knee still hurts. Getting in and out of the car is hard. Started reading Educated by Tara Westover
  • Day 9 (Jan 21 | Tue) - Knee still hurts, but it's getting better. Hard to sleep at night because it just feels overly tired. Lifting it somehow relieves the pain, so I prop it on two throw pillows every night. 
  • Day 10 (Jan 22 | Wed) - Improving. Navigating around the office is slowly becoming bearable. It's my mother in law's birthday and we had dinner at Mary Grace, which is in my building, in consideration for my leg (and my scheduled meeting). ♡
  • Day 11 (Jan 23 | Thu) - Dinner at Gringo's haha! That's a good sign you know 'cos it means I'm now confident enough to walk out, even though the resto is really just around 150m from the office haha. Going down the stairs is still a bitch, but at some point I think it's just the fear and trauma that's hindering me from putting more force into it.
  • Day 12 (Jan 24 | Fri) - It's swelday today! Woke up to a suspiciously hazy afternoon. Ate dinner at Ba Nois! Also, our Director announced a special bonus for Manila team! Everyone was ecstatic. Given my tenure I'm only entitled to $250 (3 years and up gets $500!), but it's fine since two years ago I qualified for $1,000 bonus naman, and I'm only 5 months old at the firm! My knee is getting better, still can't walk straight but everyday is an improvement. 
  • Day 13 (Jan 25 | Sat) - I drove today! Success! But I twisted my knee as I was getting in the car on the way home. It's not really a fatal twist, just one of those wrong movements that trigger your pain points. It was terrible. It took a minute for me to recover. I felt the swelling in my kneecap along with the warmth of inflammation. I thought I couldn't drive, but when the pain settled down, I was able to go on our way.
  • Day 14 (Jan 26 | Sun) - Went to the hospital to have my reimbursement forms signed. My attending physician advised to consult with an ortho for follow ups. Headed to Queens for dinner.

Is a Degree in Healthcare Worth the Time and Effort?

Photo from Pixabay

It’s no secret that any kind of healthcare-related degree is going to take a lot of time, effort and money to obtain. Having said that, a healthcare degree can be a lucrative long-term achievement that will give you many unique opportunities in the future. That’s why we would suggest it if you have the passion to help others and the dedication to work towards it. In this post, we’re going to help justify it by explaining why a degree in healthcare is worth the time and effort.

1. You can study online in your own time

One of the interesting things about the healthcare industry is that it’s one that has fully embraced the concept of online learning. This means that you can get a variety of different healthcare-related degrees online and study them in your own time. This is excellent for anyone that wants to study while also having a regular job. It’s a lot of work, but the option is always appreciated.

2. You can dedicate yourself to helping others

Another good reason to invest in a degree in healthcare is because you can dedicate yourself to helping other people. This is why a lot of people decide to choose a healthcare-related degree in the first place; because they want a more meaningful job and to learn skills that will be applicable in many different situations.

In the following infographic, you’ll learn more about the fast-moving world of healthcare and why pursuing an Executive Master of Health Administration degree can be something worth chasing.


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