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.

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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. 🙂

Realizations of 2016

2016 has been like a wind for me. It came and just flew by.  Out of all the years that I have been a bum, 2016 has been the laziest year for me because literally I’ve accomplished nothing. It felt like I did so many things when in fact I did nothing at all. But I have to say though that in 2016 I have realized so much about myself so I think I can say that the resolutions I’ve had last year weren’t entirely useless.

Doing things right away

I swear I can be the queen of procrastination; I am so guilty of that but this is something that I can say that I am getting better at. Just do all the things that you can right away. Don’t wait for tomorrow or the next day after that because there’s a huge chance that you’ll never get to it. STOP putting off what you can do right away. JUST DO IT!

Not caring about what other people says

This is still a work in progress for sure but towards the end of 2016, I just noticed myself not giving a damn about every single thing that people say or think about me. I learned to hear them out and their sentiments but not letting myself be easily affected by it. I think learning about this comes with age because once I turned 25, this thing have become easier for me.

Speaking up

I used to be that person who just can’t say no, always saying yes even though I don’t really want to. I’ve noticed that with my friends and family I have been a little more vocal about my preferences, my likes and dislikes. If I have an opinion to share, I am not that afraid anymore to voice out what’s on my mind but of course I think before I speak. I make sure that I relay my message in a polite way.

Being more open-minded about love and relationship

I claim myself being the president of the No-Boyfriend-Since-Birth Club, I’m still going strong at it. Yes, I’m 25 and have never had a boyfriend ever before. But I’m at that age where many people around me are marrying and having babies already. When I scroll through my Facebook feed, mostly that I see are photos of weddings and newborn babies. I am not feeling pressured in any way but when my mom told me that before when I was younger, she was worried that I’ll have a boyfriend and neglect my studies, get pregnant and end up being a single teenage mom but now she’s worried that I may never get married and have babies of my own at all. That worries me too, actually. I am not a man hater but surely they’ve given me a lot of bad impressions.

Being more comfortable with my skin despite my acne

I am naturally a total homebody, I prefer being at home most of the time but there were also a lot of times when I wanted to go out and hang out with friends but ended up not going because I didn’t know how to make myself presentable. I felt disgusting because my skin looked disgusting and I knew piling on layers of makeup over it will just make it worst. I must admit that my skin discouraged me from going out and being sociable. My friends have seen me when I had a clear and smooth skin just like a baby and they’ve seen me at my worst, big angry swollen painful zits everywhere in my face and they’re totally fine with it. So I realized why the heck I would be embarrass about my acne, it’s not like acne is a rare thing. Sure, some of my friends teased me for it and still up to this day but I know that it’s the teasing in a non-judgmental way, it’s more to annoy me really. Now, I don’t mind going out of the house in my bare face. I even go to the mall, to the church or to the supermarket without a speck of makeup in my face because who cares and why not. It’s not like you’re going to meet all those people who see you again, right?

What are the realizations you’ve taken away from 2016? I would love to know. Don’t hesitate to share. 🙂

 

Breakneck by Erica Spindler

The thing about me and book series is that I just couldn’t wait, so when I finished reading Copycat I immediately started reading Breakneck which is the second installment of the Kitt Lundren series.

Detective Kitt Lundgren and Detective Mary Catherine (M.C) Riggio partnered up again to a crime that involves young adults who are seemingly involved in illegal activities. After called up to Matt Martin’s apartment who was found dead as if he was sleeping on his bed but with his neck broken, partners Kitt and M.C were at a lost as they couldn’t find a motive because the young man’s criminal record was clean. Until at the night of M.C’s engagement party, her fiance Dan Gallo was shot on the head and not long after that M.C found her cousin, Tommy Mariano, dead on his bath tub with a shot also on the head. Then more bodies of young adults found. The case has become too close and too much for M.C that it eventually affected her and her relationship with Kitt. M.C must know who to trust and to decide whether to uphold the law or take it on her own hands.

Breakneck is the second book in the series but it can be read on its own. Breakneck was more focused on M.C and I think her character have shine in here and was explored more brought by the so much emotions that have put on her way. She showed how tough she can be, trying to hang in there despite all the things that she was going through and she also showed how fragile and vulnerable she was, always tempted to breakdown but of course being the woman that she was, she just wouldn’t let it happen. This book also showed another side of Kitt Lundgren’s character. I like how she always has M.C’s back, supporting her and always reminding her to not let the case consume her ‘cause Kitt had been there and knew that it was no good place to be. It also seemed to me that Kitt was more relax in here yet have the same fire to catch the suspect.

In this book, trust was a sensitive issue. You just don’t know who to trust. The story threw the characters in a series of doubt. I also like the idea that the matter involved in the story which was cyberthief, hacking and cracking, can be applied on this modern day which gave the readers lessons to learn and I  applaud that.

Breakneck is another fast-paced and thrilling read penned by Erica Spindler and another book that didn’t disappoint. It had me guessing as to who the culprit was, and when you thought you had him, turn to the next page and you’ll find out your wrong. I actually liked the twist in the end which is a big clap clap. It was an enjoyable read from the beginning up to the end. Would I recommend it? Of course I will because why not? It’s a great read.

Copycat by Erica Spindler

Surprise, surprise! Here I am again with my crime-thriller addiction and when you say crime-thriller, Erica Spindler’s name will always pop in my head because if you do not know already she’s my favorite.

I hadn’t read a book in over two months because I was not feeling it but lately I longed for the feeling of excitement, mystery and thrill that reading gives you and crave for the satisfaction when you finished a book. Since I was in a rut with reading, choosing a book to read was no easy feat so I asked myself what kind of book does hold my interest best, what kind of book makes my blood rush with excitement and yes, you guessed it, thrillers will always be at the top of my list.

So, I brought out Copycat and it surely didn’t disappoint. Copycat is the first book for the Kitt Lundgren series. It is about Detective Kitt Lundgren who has led the investigation about the serial killer she named as the Sleeping Angel Killer, who killed three ten-year old, blonde-haired and blue-eyed girls. No evidence, no witnesses and the killer calls them his ‘perfect crimes’ which have put Kitt’s career in jeopardy when she have let the killer slipped out of her hands. Then five years later, the Sleeping Angel Killer was back. Kitt noticed slight variations from the past killings and then the unthinkable happened when the killer himself called Kitt and offered to help her catch his copycat.

“A good investigator always let the scene and its evidence tell the story.”

One of the reasons why I love Erica Spindler’s books is that she has the ability to catch the reader’s interest and curiosity in just the first paragraph of the book. That’s proven at least in my case because that happens to me if not every time then most of the times that I have read her books. I’ve felt pity and amazement with Kitt’s character.  I’ve felt bad for her whenever she was having a meltdown, made me feel like I want to give her a hug but I was amazed with her as well because of how strong she was for handling and dealing with the situations she was in. I have had a love-and-hate relationship with Detective M.C Riggio’s character, Kitt’s partner, during the first half of the book maybe because she was too ambitious, slightly inconsiderate and always by the book kind of gal but I’ve grown to like her for the latter half of the book.

The thing that I love the most about this book was how it toyed with my mind; it had me guessing as to who the killer was and that’s a big thing for me ‘cause did I say that I love that? This book has a lot of suspicious characters; it had me thinking/guessing and was even paranoid for every character’s move. I love and hate it at the same time when my assumed killer turned up dead because I need me to have another guess as to who the culprit was which always add up to the thrill and excitement. I just love the mystery that this book has offered.

The story line for me was great, it was fast-paced but I have to say though, the twist in the end I found not really that satisfying or should I say I didn’t saw that one coming at all. It was beyond my guesses and surely I was not a fan of that. In my head it kind of had no sense and just kind of popped up out of nowhere. I was actually shocked when I read about it or maybe I thought I just didn’t paid enough attention with the clues, I don’t know. I wasn’t really that convinced, maybe it was just me but that’s another important thing for me in crime-thriller stories. The killers/suspects reasons as to what compelled them to do such things has to be convincing for me, that’s one way I found closure with the story.

But aside from that one thing, I enjoyed everything else about it. Would I recommend it? Of course, I will. I’m actually curious as to what other readers think about it, especially about the twist in the end. Those feelings I’ve craved for when I was still in a rut with reading, everything was met with this book and I couldn’t be happier that I am back to reading and that this book didn’t disappoint me. Give this a read, and if you did, let me know what you think.