First Quarter Review: How Are You?

First Quarter Review

I used to write at the end of each month, recounting what had happened with a list of things. Things I ate/cooked; what I watched/listened to; what I bought; what I’ve been thinking about. I haven’t had enough time to do that in the past four months. Or I did but I spent that time recovering from whatever I had going on the rest of the week. I’m trying to carve out time and space again for things that feel good to me. I know I don’t owe anyone anything on here. I’m probably the only one who notices when I haven’t written here for more than a month, but I want to keep writing. So, here we are again.

Profesh

I passed my 3-month probation at work and have now officially hit the 8-month mark last May 12. I like that there’s really not much I can say about what I do (NDA and all, haha), so I don’t fall into the trap of equating my job to me. Can’t say it’s easy or that it’s been completely effortless but I can say that I have been enjoying it so far, which to me, is still important. I can’t believe I haven’t met half of my teammates because of this pandemic, and I wonder if we’ll all ever get to brainstorm face-to-face one day. It takes a bit more effort to get to know people through a screen and I still find myself trying to read between the emojis and Slack messages.

It was my first time to declare nothing as a freelancer and it’s been the fastest quarterly return I’ve had to file. Hahaha! I acknowledge what a privilege it is to have a job that pays well at a time like this, so I’m trying to be better at saving and handling my money. I wish I had done this much earlier in my life, but better late than never, right?

Kitchen Things

Macy’s Fields fell off my plate sometime between taking a break in December and March of this year. I reopened dates in April but haven’t been as proactive about it. I did manage to activate the Shop on both Facebook and Instagram, so I’m pretty happy about that. I really like baking, so this gives me a reason to do it a little more regularly without having to eat everything myself.

If you’re subscribed to my newsletter, you kind of have an idea of what I’ve been trying to cook (or instructing Ate Elena to cook, haha) lately. I’m discovering new ingredients to stock in our pantry, so that we’re not eating the same ulam every week. I still haven’t gone back to doing groceries IRL. So I’m so happy that Metro Mart brought down their delivery fee by P100. I’ve also tried Coop Grocer, which is great for fresh produce and certain cuts of meat I can’t get through Metro Mart.

Yesterday, I started adding baking pans to cart, but I couldn’t really justify checking them all out. Maybe I’ll wait for them to go on sale and then I’ll allow myself the indulgence. Cake for everyone when that happens!

Rituals

Changing up my routine really keeps me from feeling like every day is the same. Though I don’t do it exactly the same way every day, I try to do these 3 things: Pull a card for the day and set a weekly intention; move my body; acknowledge what I did at the end of the day and thank myself for just trying.

Lately, I’ve taken to bringing my morning coffee out on the balcony and taking a photo of what the sky looks like. It’s the closest to the outdoors I can get without getting anxious about being around people. Since the sun sets on my side of the building, it’s not so hot in the morning. And sometimes, there’s even a cool breeze.

My FME pals and I have moved on to a rewatch of The OC every Sunday and it’s been fun. I read somewhere that there’s something comforting about watching things you’ve already seen because you already know what will happen next. I’ve also started a rewatch of The Nanny (OMG still so funny) and What I Like About You (Amanda Bynes forevs!) and I look forward to my weekends because of this. Here are the other things on my current watch list: Mare of Easttown, Mighty Ducks: Game Changers, and Call My Agent (finally!).

I’ve been struggling with reading because my focus is just not there. I tried finishing the second book of the Shadow and Bone trilogy but I finally gave up. HAHA! I started Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan (upon the recommendation of Patty, I think) a couple of weeks ago. I finished it this morning. And I think I had an easier time going through it because it was set in Hong Kong and the places mentioned were familiar to me. Versus Ravka and all of those Russian-esque places in S&B, lol. Watching the series was much more enjoyable to me than reading it, let’s leave it at that. Now reading Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner and of course I cried quite early into it. Specifically when she mentions that her parents had told her partner about her mom’s cancer before they told her.

Grief is such a universal feeling but each experience is also so specific and unique. I still struggle with it all the time and writing about it can feel cathartic. That book is still at the back of my mind, waiting to be written. For now, I shall just read other’s account of theirs.

Celebrating small wins

For most of quarantine, I tried not to buy non-essentials except for my birthday and Christmas. I would always stop myself from buying outside clothes or bags because I don’t go out of my house. But there’s really something about retail therapy that feels rewarding. A tangible thing that will remind you of something good that happened can’t be that bad, right? We won’t be stuck indoors forever. I will one day get to wear all the things out! I deserve them. (Hahaha this is me still convincing myself, I guess.)

It’s been a challenging week, and I’m glad to have made it to the weekend. We’ve got Thai food leftovers and this morning’s batch of Nutella granola was so good. Consider this my tax return except it’s just an account of the first four months of 2021. We don’t owe each other anything, but I do hope you at least take away something positive from this. Go celebrate—doesn’t matter if there’s a win or not.

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