July Books Round-Up

My relationship with reading has been on and off since the latter half of last year and I can come up of a thousand reasons/excuses as to why, so I wouldn’t even dare and waste time for that. But July has been different, maybe that was because I was just bored to death or I was just drowning in an ocean of stress – both, actually – that I had seek refuge and escape thru the world of reading and as usual it didn’t fail to provide me those. I have contemplated of sharing my thoughts about the books just like I always did but I wasn’t really feeling it at the time, so I didn’t stress about it and just kept on reading.

So here are the books I’ve read for the month of July:

The Enchantress by Michael Scott
– This has been a long time coming. This is the last book in the author’s series The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel. I love this series so much, it made me a fan of reading. Yep. That happened. If you like adventure, fantasy, magic and mythology with a lot of disgusting and creepy looking creatures – at least, in my imagination- and if you don’t mind reading a six book series, read this.

Find Her by Lisa Gardner
– I was definitely on my element when I read this. Mystery, thriller, suspense … screams me. My favorite genre. I remember this has toyed with my mind. If you’re like me, who just loves thriller, give this a try.

Undercover by Danielle Steel
– I absolutely enjoyed this book. The first part may have been a little slow for me but it definitely made up on the latter half. If you know me, you’ll know romance and action is a pretty famous combo for me.

A Bend in the Road by Nicholas Sparks
– Honestly, I have a torn heart for this. I don’t love it but I don’t hate it either. It has a little bit of romance and a little bit of mystery but the climax I think is what killed it for me. The twist in the end, I found it a bit lacking. I think it’s still a decent and entertaining read.

After You by Jojo Moyes
– I have to say that I was a little hesitant to read this after the heart-wrenching, soul-breaking mess I had experienced when I read Me Before You. I even hadn’t watch the movie yet, I guess I just don’t want to go through it again. But of course with so much curiosity eating me up, I gave in and I didn’t regret. I don’t want to spoil anything if you hadn’t read it. Just read it.

Zero Excuses: Hot to live a Beautiful Life and be Cool as F*ck by Gabriel Machuret
– This has been the greatest book I’ve read so far this year. One of the books that I’d very much want to have the physical copy  of. It’s a light read, it’s practical, it’s funny, it’s true. This book made me feel so guilty about a lot of things. From start to finish, if not all then a big chunk of it strongly resonated to me. So relatable.

Six books for a month is already plenty right? But I thought I have read more than that. I hope I can read more this coming month.

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Late Night Thoughts

Hey you. How have you all been doing? It has been a while, isn’t it? Me? I’m doing okay even though my mind is all over the place at the moment. Life is giving me another round of whip in the butt. Where have I been these past few months you may ask?

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I did this. This really happened.

I took a certification course that I have been wanting for years. This is my way of trying to revamp my dying – non-existent – career. If you have been following me for a while, you may know that I am a registered nurse by profession but unfortunately I haven’t been able to practice it. At first I thought it was just because I’m scared. I’m scared to make mistakes. Nurses doesn’t handle papers that when you make mistake you can just scratch it off or crumple the paper then throw it in a trash bin. As a nurse, we handle people’s lives. Just one wrong move, may it be little or not, it can jeopardize a person’s life. This fear has stuck on me since I was still in college. Now that I’ve had years to reflect about it, I’ve come to a realization that I just don’t have the talent of being a nurse.

Yes, you can learn the theories, acquire the skills but in my case, I lack the instincts. The knowledge and skills that I have gained during college, they all went flying out of the window the day after I took the nursing licensure exam. It just vanished. Not long after the exam, my brother got sick and I was so ashamed at the time because I couldn’t even remember the normal range of temperature. And that ought to be the simplest thing in the medical world that I should know even in sleep. See? There’s a difference in knowing it just because you have to than really knowing it by heart.

I’m not saying that I have the talent and/or the instincts of being an Echo Tech/Cardiac Sonographer. Even though I’m a certified one, I’m still not confident in doing it. I took the course because I remember one lecture during college, when one of our professors explained in a simple way what 2D Echo is and what it does. I remember falling head over heels with the images I saw and the sounds I heard. Since then, I told myself that I’m going to do it in the future.

Now, one month after completing the course, I’m back to being a slob. I thought once I finished the course, my life would be smooth sailing – find a job and be able to do the things that I planned to do and nada, nada, nada – obviously, that wasn’t what happened. After the course, I felt like the universe was conspiring against me, making advancing into my life difficult again.

My life at the moment is too far from the life that I have imagined before I took the course. This reminded me of a line from a movie, “Just because you want it, doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get it.” When things didn’t go as planned, I suddenly felt unmotivated. It feels like I fell in a hole and something in it pulled me down even deeper and now I just can’t find my way back out.

I am not in a good state of mind right now. I’m very much aware of that. But since last week, though I feel so unmotivated, I still somehow managed to send out resumes. So for now, I’m praying and keeping my fingers crossed that I’d get lucky to land a job.

What is life without being tripped and scathed? Thinking Face Emoji 🤔That’ll be totally boring and pointless. Am I right or am I losing my mind?

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What Have I Been Up To?

Seriously, I should be asking that same question to myself too. I can’t believe we’re nearing at the end of March already, where has the time gone? This past two weeks, I often find myself reflecting about my life; the decisions I made, the regrets, the opportunities that I’ve let slipped out of my hand and the whole shenanigans. I also have been thinking about my future too more often and the things that I can do to rectify the bad choices that I made before while also trying to learn from it. I hope to figure out and extract the lessons from them and leave the rest behind in the past. I know that the past is not a good place to hang out especially if it makes you feel like crap when you realized it was you who put yourself in those situations and that there was no one to blame but you. The regrets and frustrations are hitting me hard but I am totally aware that there’s nothing I can do about it to change it yet there’s a whole lot of things that I can do to make the now and tomorrow better.

After the New Year, I’ve had a lot of plans and goals that I have set out for myself. I even written the post Things I’ll Strive For in 2017 to make it as my guide when things slips out of my mind again because that’s something that is expected to happen. So lately, my mind often wanders in there and reminds me that I am totally slacking off again which isn’t great in every way. I realized that I wasn’t doing anything or exerting efforts at all to make those items in that post to happen. Then, I imagined in my head that I was whipping myself for not living up to the word that I put in there, strive. Not making it in one go doesn’t necessarily mean you failed, it’s about making great efforts, really fighting to get that thing that you want to obtain. So here I am, ready to do just that. Again.

Friday of last week, I was finally able to enroll in the certification course that I’ve been wanting. I was supposed to enroll on February but I didn’t make it as there was no available slot anymore, that’s why now I made sure that I enroll early even though the training isn’t starting until the third week of April. When I received the confirmation that I was officially enrolled, I felt ecstatic. I felt like I have made something big for my life, if you know what I mean. Now that I’m thinking about it, I’m feeling anxious with all the worries in my head yet really excited. I am so looking forward for it to start already.

Also, I got back into reading again. I  probably have read four or five books this past two weeks which is really cool. Reading have again provided me with escape from all this overwhelming stuff in my already confused mind. Whenever I feel like my brain is having too much, I’ll just whip out my iPad and I will be pulled into a whole new world.

Another news that I want to share is that my family have adapted a new kitten. My brother brought him home last week. Meet Mogwai. Isn’t he cute?

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Our three dogs weren’t thrilled the first time my brother brought Mogwai home. They were always barking at him whenever they see him but they’re all good now. They love playing with him. Our poodle, jLo, acts as his babysitter. Our chowskie mix, Ginger, acts as his playmate. They play and bully each other all the time. Our japanese spitz, Francine, acts as the random stranger, random playmate and a random nemesis.

That’s all for now folks. Just really wanted to dump all these into writing because it helps a lot for me in managing my sanity.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson

Related image“The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude.” – William James

I learned about this book through an instagram post of a youtuber that I have been watching for a while. She posted a picture of a page of it and it certainly seemed interesting to me. This is one of those books that I would want to have the actual book in reach and whenever I feel negative, I’d turn to this and read the parts relating to what I’m  feeling.

This book is – like the title says – about not sweating the small stuff because they’re just small stuff. It contains strategies on how you can find your peace, balance, acceptance, kindness and happiness in times of internal turmoil. And I believe that the strategies provided are really doable that we can adapt in our own daily lives.  I also found myself a lot of times smiling to learn what the strategy that the author suggested to solve the conflicts/problems that I can relate to. The simplicity of his solutions are kind of mind blowing. Don’t sweat the small stuff indeed.

The thing that I liked the most about this book is how easy it is to read. It doesn’t look or sound like an academic book. I also like the fact that the strategies are concisely written in a conversation kind of way. It’s like a friend giving you advises about the negativities, problems, concerns or worries that you have and what you can do about it. Also the author himself gave personal insights and examples as to how he adapt or utilize these strategies in his own self and life. This book gave me new perspectives about some things and it also is relatable.

Will I recommend this? Totally. Why wouldn’t I? There’s  a ton to learn from this book. If you’re like me who likes to read self-help books from time to time, this is definitely a good book to read. Just like what the author claims,

“Each strategy is simple, yet powerful, and will act as a navigational guide to point you in the direction of greater perspective and more relaxed living. You’ll find that many of these strategies will apply not only to isolated events but to many of life’s most difficult challenges.”

– and I’ve felt that. Really. No kidding. I’m a great worrier, I worry all the time. I worry even on the small things, small things that in minutes snowballs to bigger and more things which then stresses me out and produces negativities. See? This book is perfect for people like me and to everyone of course. This also made me feel like I’m just a normal human being and that I’m not the only one who goes through small and big experiences in life.

Feeling Pressured, Getting More Anxious and Being Grateful

I am typing this up at 10:30 in the evening of January 19th. I surprisingly woke up today at around 7:15 in the morning though I didn’t sleep until like 4 am but it was one of those kind of sleep that even though it was just a few hours, it felt like you’ve had a long and quality one which made me feel so great. Too lazy to get out of bed yet, I then chatted with a guy friend and we were having a good conversation when one of my girl friend sent me a message saying that if I ever decide to go to the National Library, I should tell her and we’ll go together. I wondered why, so I replied asking if she really meant the National Library or the National Museum, because it’s the latter that I have been meaning to visit in such a long time. She confirmed the former and I asked her why would she want to hang out in the library and she answered to review and study. This was when my heart started racing.

She said that she just enrolled herself in a review center for IELTS, the english exam that needed to pass in order to work abroad. That my friends, have been my original plan. I have been wanting to take that exam also but I don’t want to waste it because as far as I  know, it has only two years validity. I do not want to waste effort to pass that exam and not use it because I can’t really apply for  abroad just yet since I still don’t have working experience which is a must in order to apply for a job abroad. I also felt really guilty when she told me that it should be me who’s doing that.

I felt really agitated, I found myself walking to the living room then back to my bed again many times while I was chatting with both of them. I then noticed I was having shallow breathing, followed by a little shaking of the hands and knees and actually felt like crying. I couldn’t help myself, I knew I needed to get this thing off my chest to relax so I told my guy friend about it. I told him how I suddenly felt pressured, really frustrated and just couldn’t help myself to think that me and her started college together, we graduated together, we pass the boards together but now she’s in step 3 while I am still stuck in step 1. This may sound shallow to you but it obviously isn’t for me. You have no idea how frustrating my life is right now.

I really appreciate him because he gave me advises and words of wisdom that really made sense. I appreciate that now I have someone to talk to about the things that I have never talk about even with my family or my friends. He listened to me without judgment and gave me words of encouragement and reassurance that I am just a normal human being. That I may have lost tempo in my life, there’s still a lot of time to get back and catch up with it.

The next thing I knew, I was able to slowly let go and relax. Though the morning turned stressful, I’m happy that it still ended up in a good note and gaining new realizations about myself which I am really thankful for.

Growing Anxious

It’s 2:39 in the morning of January 13th as I am typing this. Honestly, I don’t have any plan of putting up a post. This sudden urge of typing this came out of nowhere, no that’s probably a lie.

It all started when my mom commented to me earlier  that I’m starting to eat so much again, “Tumatakaw ka na naman.” in her exact words. That came like a slap in my face, then just like in movies, I saw scenes from the past days and weeks about changes I noticed  in my body and in my being in general. Stress eating, those were the two words that my mind yelled at me oh so loud.

That’s a proof that I am in a major deal of stress right now. My mind isn’t functioning well which isn’t really helpful at all. That stress eating realization snowballed so quickly then was confronted with all my concerns, worries and problems that I noticed my heart pounded so fast that it felt like I just ran for 20 minutes straight. No kidding. Inside my head, everything was in chaos, I couldn’t really point what it was exactly I was trying to think.  I felt really uncomfortable that I retreated to have a long shower. The cold water helped a little in calming me but not much really. I came out of the shower with my chest still thundering. I was trying to breathe deeply while I was doing my after-shower routine in the hope of calming myself more.

The next thing I know, I am typing up this post with Yiruma’s music playing in my ear, which I don’t really know what I’m trying to make or take out of this post. Maybe just for some cathartic release because everything is so much for my brain right now.

Things I’ll Strive For in 2017

With the New Year just started, I know most of us have found a new surge of motivation to set goals to achieve for this year. Setting goals is surely the easy part; to actually follow through and do it is the big challenge. At first, I really have no intention of doing this because resolutions are so cliché and not so achievable most of the time but after I’ve made my post last week and realized that the resolutions I’ve set for last year wasn’t entirely useless, I then had this sudden urge to put up another one. It feels good to know that you somehow made some of your goals happened. I am setting up my intention for this year to be another year of self-discovery and self-improvement. So here are the things that I’ll strive for this year:

Ditch Pessimism and Embrace Optimism

Just like the law of attraction, what you think is what you are. These past five years of my life, I have allowed myself to drown in a world full of negativities so negative things were what I had. What you think or how you think is the reality that you create for yourself. In order to attract positive things, you must think positively. Having a positive mindset is always the way to go.

Be More Active

By that I mean, being consistent with exercising. It doesn’t have to be a hardcore workout. I know that I love running, stretching and yoga so I’d like to do more of that, even just walking our dogs that’ll for sure somehow help me de-stress and get my blood circulating rather than just sit in front of laptop all day.

Consume less meat as much as possible

In our household, we eat meat almost every day or if not then most days of the week. I realized that one of the major causes of my acne is poor digestion. Meat causes me bloating and constipation and that’s not good for skin or in general. It’s impossible to totally omit meat in my life but I’d like to stay away from it as much as possible.

Sleeping before midnight

This is something that I am really determined to achieve. I’d like regain the body clock that I used to have. I would love to be a morning person again. I would like to be more human and less of a zombie.  I plan on putting to practice a technique that I’ve read on an article before and that is to sleep an hour early from your usual bed time every three days until you reach your desired hour of sleep. Nowadays, I usually sleep at around 4am, so I’ll try to sleep at 3am for the next three days then after that I’ll try to sleep at 2am for another three days and so on and so forth. I’ve tried it before and it worked on me.

Read more

I totally have slacked off on my reading on the latter half of last year. I just couldn’t find the motivation to read. For this year, I certainly would want to read more and I aim on reading one book per week.

To not be afraid to explore alone

By that I mean, to go to places on my own. I am not good at directions that’s why I’m stupid when it comes to commuting, I am afraid of getting lost and I’m dependent to my family members or friends to go to places that I needed to be. I’m thinking of starting it by going to the National Museum, alone. 😀 I’ve been wanting to go there for ages.

Treat myself better

I plan on doing that by setting more time for me. I want to be consistent with my skincare routine, pamper myself more. Dress better. Reflect more often. Be mindful of what I need.

Learn to play guitar

Or at least try learning it again. I’ve already tried it before but we don’t have our own guitar yet that time so I stopped learning when I returned the guitar to my friend. But now that my mom has gifted my brother a guitar, I think I have no excuse to try and learn it again.

I know it is more likely that I am not going to achieve all of this stuff but this list is like my guide to know the aspects where I want to focus more. If I don’t achieve it all then I’m not going to beat myself up for it. I’ll just try harder instead. ^^

What are your goals for this year? If you don’t mind, I would to know. Feel free to share them. 🙂