I sit here in front of the laptop, not knowing how or where to start. Although I’ve figured out in my head what to write for this month-end review, I am taken aback by my own creativity block — fidgeting in the dark the right words to say and how to translate my thoughts into an undisrupted and organized flow of narrating my story without sounding trying hard and unrealistic. After all, I just came from a series of meetings and unfinished project tasks last week somewhat causing me mental block. I just want to rest my mind yet at the same time, I want to pursue writing this article. It will be the start of a busy season next week in the office and I am afraid that I may not have the energy to devote my spare time to my blog.
March marks the anniversary of a lot of things: my dad’s 1st death anniversary, the anniversary of pandemic, and a year of working from home. It made me look back on the journey of losing my dad in the middle of COVID-19’s peak, while we try to move on with our lives despite the limitations and restrictions brought about by the prevalent virus. One year —that was fast. Some things have changed. Some things stayed as they are. Hence, March is the month that reminded me about the beauty of MOVING FORWARD.
Reminisced My Dad’s Legacy
It’s been a year. Sorry for the unending mentions of him in my blog. Bear with me as I try to slowly ease myself from the pain of losing him. Although I have dark recollections of that specific moment in the hospital that I had to witness his painful ordeal, I still dwelled on the lighter side of realizing he is in a better place than most of us right now.
Anyway, my family and I had a simple celebration at Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina. We gave him the prettiest flowers and had a quiet picnic with our dogs while we took photos and remembered his good memories. I thought I will not cry, but a video with his compiled photos in FB triggered my soft spot. I will always be a daddy’s girl and our bond will always be embedded in my heart forever.
Celebrated My Sister’s Birthday
A day before the announced ECQ in NCR, we were fortunate to celebrate my sister’s birthday in Uptown Mall. We had plans of dining at NIU in SM Aura and treating ourselves to a spa date, but these got cancelled due to the new guidelines of IATF. We then decided to hold a simple alfresco dinner at Flatiron 1771 in Uptown Mall. I’ll try to write a review about this restaurant one of these days.
Compared to her previous birthdays, this one is simple and short because of the curfew. However, what made it more meaningful is that she celebrated her 30th birthday. We gave her presents which really made her happy. My mom gave her gold jewelry while I gave her make-up, clothes, and skin care products. It’s our simple way of thanking for her contributions in the family through years. We may have had our differences but at the end of the day, it won’t change our love for each other as siblings.
Busier at Work, Less Productive at Home
March has been busy because my Six Sigma project is slowly progressing plus I’ve been active taking on different projects and meeting different colleagues. I know it’s a poor practice but sometimes I take unpaid, extended hours at work just to meet my deliverables. I am trying to adjust my lifestyle by not overworking myself. I tried skipping the household chores while I am in my shift and slept in between breaks as I really get too exhausted.
However, I continued my passion for cooking and posted them on Instagram. It has become my therapeutic release and my way of helping out in the household chores before I officially log in for work. These are just simple dishes but cooking them somewhat exercises my creativity in the kitchen.
Bought a New Planner
I bought a planner from Fully Booked after several attempts of looking for one in National and other bookstores. Planners are usually pulled out at this time of the year but I’m happy to get one. I felt that I needed to write my long and short term goals, my prayer requests, financial budgeting, reflections in my daily devotion, and anything random — just to keep me sane and grounded this pandemic. So far, it has been effective in monitoring my to-do lists whether related to work, church, or personal.
In this digital age, we’ve been used to tracking our goals using technology and forget about the habit of writing. Through this planner, I get to write again. Writing is my first love. It is my sanctuary, my safe place.
Went out with Friends from Time to Time
Going out for lunch or dinner with friends also became an enjoyable outlet for me. Meeting people outside work and home is stress relieving as I get to converse with them about things that are not part of my normal routine. We celebrated Jem’s birthday in Yellow Cab and Jem and I had lunch out in Wildflour.
Joined the Group of Young Married Women in Church
We have this group fellowship of young married ladies in our church called Precious Ladies. Although it should be exclusively for married women, I expressed my interest in joining the group. I am in my early thirties and I feel that I have outgrown the group of young professionals in our church. Hence, I wanted to learn more and be usable in the ministry that caters to my other interests.
I am so happy that they have been welcoming despite my initial apprehensions of joining the group. So far, the sessions have been very informative (not just about married life, haha) and helpful in gearing me to become a more mature Christian who wants to serve the Lord. I was not really culture-shocked as I have here my mom friends whom I treat as elder sisters or mothers plus Jem just recently joined the group too. I look forward to hearing their advices and testimonies.
Financially Broke, but Learning to Become more Practical
I am among those few people who find it hard to save and budget this quarantine. Bills have shoot up left and right and sometimes there’s nothing left of my salary. I have prioritized providing for our family’s food allowance and assumed the other bills the family cannot shoulder because of the income changes this pandemic. I hope to clear my debts and payables, and pray for more wisdom as I handle my finances. I also think of having a side job as a writer but I haven’t started my plans yet to scout for opportunities online.
It is not true that when you have a job, you are exempted from financial crisis. This challenge has allowed me to become a more practical person in terms of assessing needs over wants. I have minimized online shopping and giving in to my random food cravings. I still maintain my skin care regimens, but purchase them on alternate salary cut-offs or when I have the extra budget. I have also learned to practice trusting God more at this difficult time for He is the ultimate provider of our needs.
Although it’s quite depressing that I haven’t built my emergency fund that I am aiming for, I just remind myself that at least, I have invested on insurances and properties that my earnings are not wasted for naught. I also have big God who knows my needs so why worry?
Made a Heartbreaking Decision
Yes, I made a hard decision that shattered me to pieces. Until now, I am contemplating if I made the right choice as it still makes me cry from time to time. Before arriving at that, I deliberately searched in my heart for what I really want. I want to find myself and restore my relationship with God. If it means detaching myself from people and circumstances, then I think it’s still worth the shot. I am not entirely closing my doors, but for now I will take the time to find peace amid the blurry scenes and uncertainties and praying for God’s guidance and leading.
I thought I have the mastery in handling heartbreaks based from my experiences in the past, but I still need to go over those obstacles to review the lessons I have to learn.
Although the month of March turned out to be one of the most emotional months for me, I learned a lot of things. There are things we can change and cannot change. Acceptance is the key outlier to determining the difference between the two.
I’ll make conscious efforts to take care of myself more including my mental, physical, and emotional well-being which I have neglected since I was used to putting others first before myself. I will be more patient with myself as I allow healing to fully take place. I will not repress my feelings and invalidate them, but also will remember the truth in God’s worth about the circumstances I am facing.
And in this pursuit of improving myself, I have to prune not just habits, but lifestyle, and even relationships.
It will be hard, but eventually I know it will be worth it.
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:18