As much as I would like to brag about my long list of completed web series and movies or the tons of dishes I made during this lockdown, none of those can compare to the pride and joy that finishing a book brings, at least for me.
You see, I’m a book hoarder. I’ve been to numerous book bazaars since I started earning my own money. I even went out at 3:30 in the morning once to get to the Big Bad Wolf bazaar here in Cebu. Sadly, I also have a habit of reading only a couple of chapters before moving on to the next book that pique my interest, mostly mood-dependent. It is either that or I have the attention span of a toddler. This is why I couldn’t help but dance to the first of many victories (fingers crossed) in my 2020 book challenge.
Being a fan of Mark Manson‘s writing, I’ve also come to learn one or two of his reading habits, which motivated me to finally pick up my phone (yes, I am also an e-book hoarder) and finish at least one book that I started.
He shared a tip on how to remember stuff you read. The secret is not everyone can do so, not even him which is understandable as he reads A LOOOOOOT of books, but he makes sure that he remembers what the book is all about; and when he wants to refresh his memory, he simply goes back to re-read the specific chapters.
I also read somewhere that it is okay to read a couple of books alternately, especially when you want to take a break from the first one. This tip might have been from Mark too, but I’m not completely sure (see?). All I know is that I couldn’t agree more, because it’s what I do with TV series sometimes. And personally, it works for me!
Upon reaching the very last word of this first ever pandemic book, first thing I did was to immediately log it on my Goodreads “READ” list. Book is Bo Sanchez‘ “How To Find Your One True Love”, which I found to be helpful in love and life alike. His tips registered to me as life hacks too as most of them can be very useful in making general life decisions and not only in matters of the heart.
I am also proud to say that I actually bought this e-book along with other FEAST BOOKS (mostly about career and finance) during their website sale a few weeks back. These are probably the only electronic books I bought apart from the ones I got from this e-book seller on Instagram, @thepinkreaderph about 5-6 years ago.
While I am on the topic, I’s also want to thank Amielle for sharing her hack on how to find free e-books online. Thanks to you, my reader is overflowing with books that I can’t help but gush over and hope to read this year!
So along with my goal to increase my daily fluid intake, to work out at least 3x a week, write more blog entries and commit to my night time regimen, I am also committing to read at least 10 more books before the year ends! I’ll still be reading a lot of short form writing such as my forever favorite, MEDIUM articles and Mark Manson MFM newsletters, but I am motivated than ever to finish more books this year! Hope you do too!
Earlier tonight, as I carefully lie in bed, just minutes after shoving a copious amount of Laksa into my mouth for dinner while watching yet another incredible episode of “Tiny House Nation“, I decided to look for Mark Manson‘s “Motherfuckin Monday” newsletter on my email. I have been so tired of reading stuff on the internet lately that I resorted to reading more valuable and rational insights from my favorite people instead. One of whom is Mark.
Unfortunately, I forgot that we are at least half a day ahead of US time and I was a tad early to ask for my much needed brain “dessert”. I have been craving for these emails more than I would for real sweets these days. It has even taken the place of my Monday ritual, that is listening to the podcast “The Halo-Halo Show“, which I religiously wait for to start off my week.
That wasn’t the only thing on my routine that has changed. In fact, a lot of things in my life has taken a turn since the outbreak. Early into the quarantine, I would stealthily go out at night to hunt for food (I am Legend lang?), este to go for a grocery run, but that has changed too as they imposed a provincial wide curfew here in Cebu and eventually, an ECQ, just like in Manila.
My days of rotting sitting at home has turned into weeks and now almost a month. I even stopped crossing out days on my calendar. At first, I was kinda excited thinking “hey I’m gonna be working from home for a while! DREAM F*CKING COME TRUE!”, but things unexpectedly took a turn for the worse. Before I realized it, this whole crisis aggravated my anxiety even more and one day, I just lost it.
I had an episode of what some may probably call, “inarts“, but just so everyone’s in the same boat with me, let me just call it a mild panic attack. Maybe it’s because of the pressure from our bosses amidst the crisis, plus the pressure to show off what we have accomplished at work, and the fact that we won’t be able to go home to our families for Holy Week, and add those to all the irritatingly “woke” tweets of people that pop up on my feed from nowhere and the posts of people losing jobs and going hungry, increasing Covid-19 stats and deaths that are constantly passed around every single online messaging group that I am member of. And to top it all off, there were paranoid thoughts of me having various encounters with people who might be coronavirus carriers, which led me to think that I might probably be the next to die while sooooooooo far away from my family. That was a mouthful I know, but can you imagine all that constantly stirring inside my messy head, all at the same time, morning til night, every single day?
Those thoughts got out of hand the night I had the panic attack. I was having extremely shallow breaths, I felt like the oxygen I inhaled didn’t even make it to my brain anymore. That was probably why my head was getting cloudier by the minute. Netflix wasn’t working. Surprisingly, I also couldn’t understand why the online Rosary that was livestreamed at the time couldn’t calm my nerves as I wanted it to. I thought of calling my mom first, but knowing her, she panics doubly than I do, so I texted my sister instead. Then she told my brother about it and there they were, calming me down from worlds afar. After what seemed like an hour of peptalks, I had some tea and forced myself from then on to take things with a grain of salt (if not ignore them entirely) just as my sister asked; and even though I didn’t think I would be able to sleep that night, I did. Thank God! 🙏🏻 And so that was the story of my first ever panic/anxiety attack in my entire existence! I hope it never happens again.
I got through it unexpectedly that the next day, I was back browsing through tweets again (IKR?) and was badmouthing annoying people online to my friends, who couldn’t agree with me more.
Work got more hectic, which I couldn’t understand how, when we are all just on our asses, all day. Apparently, working from home can be extremely tough for most people.
Fortunately, last Friday was our last working day before we go into a week-long company break. Friday was time for end of the week reports compilation and I loved that everyone on our team did everything efficiently! Our online session with the training team also ended just in time for Part 4 of LA CASA DE PAPEL (MONEY HEIST), which according to Netflix is the #1 streamed show in the country as of this writing!!!!! And so it began!
My days of constantly checking Viber, texts, emails and Messenger are over (at least for now)! Our boss may have also given us the green light to mute our group chats for the week and thankfully, my heart and respiratory rate have both gone down to normal because of that (after weeks of being on constant high alert). I am finally getting my peace and quiet in my place of comfort once again.
As I write this, I am also indulging on the luxury of taking a break from Twitter and Messenger. Who would’ve thought silence can also be music to the ears? I only check our family gc’s for now. I assume that if people need to contact me urgently, I’m always just a phonecall away.
And just as I wrote that, like magic, my phone lights up and in came a colleague’s multiple texts saying that a department chairman from one of the hospitals we cover also confirmed positive for Covid-19. This saddens me greatly as it hits closer and closer to home now that more and more people we know personally are stricken with the illness.
As I was reading the said texts, another friend called and 2 and a half hours later, here I am all panicky once again, but not enough to make me 🤮. Apparently, my friend’s friend works for a hospital in QC where my cousin has recently submitted her application to work as a Respiratory Therapist. My friend cut me off right after the mention of the hospital’s name and told me to stop my cousin from doing so. So, I had to talk my cousin out of it no matter how hard it broke her heart because I know that she intends to put herself out there to help. Sadly, she is going into battle like a lamb to the slaughter for reasons I cannot disclose, for now. If you were in my shoes, would you dare let your loved ones go into war unarmed?
This post wasn’t supposed to snowball like it did. I had a different concept in mind, but how likely does life often go as planned? 😜 I have to say that this post was probably triggered by Mark Manson’s insightful thoughts on the pandemic’s effects on everyone’s mental state, or not. Maybe I just had all these thoughts balled up inside of me, and now came the time to finally let it all out. Whatever it is, I’ll just take comfort in the fact that I will always bounce back stronger, because I’ll always have Him ☝🏻 evidently through the people around me.
I’ll take advantage of the quieter next couple of days and write at least every day for the rest of this week. I am not sure how, when exactly, what about or for what, but I’ll do it anyway. At least to keep my head afloat while I can. I promise the next posts will be less melancholic and more useful for the weeks ahead! For now, let us all pray for one another and stay sane and safe!