Tag Archives: new year

Five things to start the year — and your life — on track

Suddenly, we’re on the 12th day of the New Year.

If you are reading this — and you have managed not to go crazy, maim yourself, work yourself to death, get defeated by the monsters that live inside your head, continue to be friends with a select but awesome group of people — and basically, continue to be an over-all amazing human being into the new year…

…Congratulations. You made it. We made it.

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Affirmations for 2019

I finally got around to fixing this blog, paying my domain and writing again.

In 2018, I managed to continue disappointing myself on how I didn’t have time for this site – the only place in the world where I can literally be myself and not scare people away.

If you’re still out there, reading this — thank you for sticking around. I tried doing the normal “blogger routine” (you know, spend 25,000 hours attending events, writing about everything in general), but I guess that life is not for me. So, we’re now back to our roots – writing about stuff I really care about. I really don’t know if I will ever try vlogging because being in front of camera scares me and I get too conscious about the little things. But, we’ll see…

Trust me, I have been adulting for the last 15 years of my life and it still doesn’t work for me. It’s confusing and scary and now that I am almost reaching middle age – I’ve become more aware about how I am close to consuming half my time on earth.

dont-grow-up

So what’s your plan for 2019? 

Mine is to become more self-aware and to love myself more. I vowed to start caring about myself: take care of my health, try to lose weight (for my health and sanity’s sake), be more financially responsible and to love and nurture myself. So while I am in the process of rebuilding myself, I thought that my first post is to share the five things I am doing this year that will contribute to my goal of being a better version of myself in 2019.

Guide 1: Unplug and read books. I’m currently reading “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” by Mark Manson and I’m loving it.

subtle art

“The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” basically tells us that we give too much f*cks, and we worry about too many things — much to the detriment of our mental health. It’s a nice and easy read, and a lot of the things written make a lot of sense to me. I have yet to finish it, but I am sharing with you some of my favorite lines already:

“Not giving a f*ck does not mean being indifferent; it means being comfortable with being different…”

“To not give a f*ck is to stare down life’s most terrifying and difficult challenges and still take action” 

“Pick and choose what matters to you…”

“The willingness to stare failure in the face and shove your middle finger back at it…”

It just makes a lot of sense to me — I am not ashamed to admit that my mental health took a beating in 2018. Because of too much stress at work, at home and in life in general, my nervous anxiety got worse, I am always stressed and physically sick, and even came to a point that I developed depression due to things piling one of top of the other. I am lucky that I can freely talk to my husband or my sister or my friends when I am in a rut and in a dark place — and that alone saved me last year.

I am excited to finish the book and I hope you’ll also find time to read.

 

Guide 2: Rediscover what makes you happy. Restart your hobbies. In my case, that’s lettering and calligraphy.

if you

I’ve always loved hand lettering, calligraphy and basically, everything that is related to this art. Unfortunately, it also got pushed to the side when I became busy with work. I am really rusty nowadays so I practice by writing verses on my journals. When I am working on a quote/hand lettering, I don’t think about the scripts and reports waiting for me at the office. I just think about making the letters come together and coming up with something beautiful to look at. It relaxes me a lot and I find it therapeutic.

Some might say that they do not have the knack for art. But you know, practice makes perfect. if you have extra budget, you can enroll in one of the many lettering classes in the Metro. The point is, never miss the chance to exercise your creativity.

 

Guide 3: Find your passion. Stick to it. My passion is writing and creating content, either through this blog or through my journals. I have been collecting and writing in journals since I was in primary and now that I am old, I still look forward to the start of the new year just because it also meant new notebooks and new planners for me.

journals2019
2019 Journals (still missing CBTL)

I am currently maintaining three journals, with another one coming in next week for my work tasks and schedule. To some, it may be a lot for that’s something that has been working for me for a long time already. I am using the Starbucks planner for #goalsetting and #dreamjournaling; while the pink 100 Bucket List is for my creative prompts. I have been planning to buy my own Hobonichi Techo Cousins, but the steep price tag turned me off.

 

Guide 4: Start saving early. Build your financial nest egg. If I am being blunt, please do not be like me. Brush up on investments, apply for a savings account and be more financially aware.

Here’s a true story: I started becoming more aware about money, investment and the important of having enough about 4 to 5 years ago. I spent most of my 20s hanging out in bars, and spending like crazy. When I turned 30 and life became more and more complicated, I kinda regretted the times when I should have saved my money. If I have started investing early, I would be reaping the rewards of these investments by now. But as they say, you learn along the way. So now, I spend my money on insurance payments, condo payments and building a deposit nest egg which I can use for emergency.

I am still looking for the best saving strategy because I suck at saving. I maintain a savings and checking account for one bank, but having all three of them registered in the mobile app also made it easy for me to transfer funds and withdraw money also as needed.

Guide 5.  Learn to edit your life. The same way that editing makes a lot of written and creative content look much, much better – it’s only fair that we also apply this in real life. Buy clothes that really look good on you, and not just because it’s on sale. Don’t be afraid to unfriend people on Facebook and in real life if they just contribute to the toxic environment. Commit to improve yourself this year by learning new things. Restart your relationship with God — regardless of your religious affiliation. In my case, I learned that believing in the love and generosity of a Higher Power provided me with an anchor and hope that life on earth doesn’t suck so much.

Closing this post with some of the best moments of 2018. In spite the challenges, pain and trying times last year – I am glad that I survived it to welcome 2019 with a more hopeful and positive disposition. I hope it will be the same for you.

best nine 2018

 

 

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Hello 2016! 

  
Hello 2016 – and thank you 2015 for a fruitful start for KamikazeeGirl. 

2015 has been a very auspicious start for this blog. I purchased my domain name Last January 1, 2015 with the intention to take this site publicly. While it took me six months, in June of 2015, to finally have the courage and bring this blog and myself out from the shadows – the opportunity finally came with my first invite as a blogger from Lazada Philippines.

From there, the invitations and events just kept on rolling – in the span of six months, I have written about Philippine real estate, beauty products, health supplements, health runs and campaigns to restaurant reviews and hotel stays. 

The best part about taking this blog public is the opportunity to meet a lot of people and new friends. I have been blessed to meet some of the most amazing, most creative people during event coverage and remain in awe of how they want to take their blogs to the next level. These are individuals that are very dedicated and very passionate about their respective blog sites. I have learned a lot from them.

The  perfect ending to the year was the opportunity to host my first blog giveaway courtesy of the generosity of Nichols Airport Hotel. (Incidentally, you have until this week to send in your entries!) 

For 2016, I want to take this blog up the next level and make it a worthwhile read to its visitors. 

  • Always write original articles – Give back to event organizers and PR contacts by writing original posts. 
  • Resolve to always feature a product or the company’s unique brand identity – what makes them tick? What makes the product different? Is the service/ product according to the company’s brand identity? 
  • Attend more events – a bit tricky since I have a responsibility to my full-time work. 
  • Give back – if opportunity permits, host more giveaways 
  • Improve blog format and possible hosting 

Let’s rock 2016 – here’s to more opportunities and discovering new friends. 

Vacation’s over. Now back to the grind!

go back to work

Well, there’s really no way to go about it. It’s back to reality after more than two weeks galivating and doing nothing. It’s time again to face the dreaded project plans, events, pending departmental budgets and all the other stressful things in between.

While it is indeed tempting to bitch about work, we must consider the fact that there are people who will be going back to nothing after the holidays. There are people who do not have jobs and do not have means to support themselves and their families. Imagine days and days stretched before you, spent looking for a job, hopping from one interview schedule to another. It must be excruciating.

We won’t lie — there are days when we rather spend lying in bed, surfing the net than haul ourselves to work, listening to office wise-asses preen and puff themselves like first-class assholes. But in reality, having work is both a curse and a blessing. Having work saved us from further moping at the heels of our bout with depression last November. It allowed us to enjoy fruits of our labor: like traveling, new shoes, a nice set of clothes. Having work gave us confidence and empowered us. So yes, we do not work for a perfect company and we are often surrounded by idiots masquerading as intelligent human beings; but along the way, we are also blessed to meet people who inspire us to learn more, to be more, to push ourselves further than we thought possible. We are blessed to meet and work with like-minded souls, and be part of a team whose brilliance and dedication continued to inspire us. While it is true that we do not see ourselves staying a lot longer than others (10 years! 15 years!), we are also committed to giving back and contributing to the growth of the company that has nurtured us during the last four and a half years of our stay.

Tomorrow is Monday and yes, we will again face traffic, the long lines at the jeepney stop — but we are also facing it with enthusiasm (at least the most we could muster on a dreary January morning) and with a prayer. May the virtual body count we keep in our head be less than those of the previous year.

How our garage sale paid for our New Year’s Eve Feast

I don’t know about your family, but in our family, we mark the New Year by cleaning the house like crazy. Since our mother is a hoarding fiend that saves even the tiniest of papers, the house tends to be cluttered by various oddities like barely-used electronics, trinkets, barely-worn clothes that are two sizes too big, shoes and in my case, tons of toys, books and notebooks.

So, the Tuesday morning prior to the end of the year, just as we were gearing to clear out the trash from our respective rooms, the family and I had the brilliant idea to stage a garage sale. After all, we have been known to give away our things whenever we tire of it. So why not profit for it. Buoyed by the fact that we are curious where the big sale can lead us and desperate to let go of all our previous trash, we started laying our things in front of our house, marked and priced them and started calling the attention of our neighbors.

Up for grabs were heavily-discounted bags from Singapore, Bangkok and London; old china and brand-new shot glasses, bric-bracs and a lot of accumulated notebooks and notepads; barely worn clothes and shoes; a 24-inch barely used television set; my sister’s Blackberry (used for a month only); brand-new Skull Candy head phones; my old Japanese magazines (still no takers up till now) and four boxes of books.

While we really didn’t mind getting rid of the rest of the stuff, my sister and I had trouble and a lot of heartbreak letting go of the books. But, space have been scarce, we were done reading these books and wanted others to enjoy them. The fact that we will be earning from the sale is just a plus. We unloaded a lot of young adult novels, including six Gossip Girl books, the whole Twilight Series which was bought on a whim–to date, only one sold during the Garage Sale; Nicholas Sparks novels which sold like hotcakes, plus three cartons more worth of the stuff.

garage sale

At first, we really didn’t know what to do with the money, but when we hit a thousand bucks, we all decided that whatever the proceeds of the garage sale maybe, we will use it for our New Year’s Eve feast. Sort of, the old things we have paying for the celebration of the incoming year. By second day (which was New Year’s Eve) we already sold about five thousand pesos worth of stuff. Not bad, considering that these are the same things that we used to throw or just give away.

Happy with the progress, my dad, my sister and I went to grocery shopping by 5PM of January 31, happily clutching assorted bills earned from a day of unloading our unwanted stuff.

Our “house trash” was successfully transformed into this:

NYEve feast

The New Year’s Eve feast was something: prime Australian lean meat steak; green salad with two choice of dressings, fruit salad; a cake from Tous Le Jours; porkchop; a potato and egg salad as side for the steak; baked rigatoni smothered in melted cheese; plus a cheese spread composed of Quezon de Bola, blue cheese and cream cheese. All these without spending any of our personal money at all, funds sourced from the proceeds of the garage sale.

Honestly, this made me realize that we are prone to mindless buying of things which end up as trash after a year. We accumulate and we buy stuff without putting too much importance on their value. Our family knows nothing about practical and intelligent spending. We are prone to buying things we really don’t need and out of “just because”. The Garage Sale taught us to put premium value on our possessions. Learn what’s really important. Do not be afraid to weed out what’s unnecessary and out-dated. Case in point? Our book collection. As nerds, we worship the stack of books that has accumulated on our shelf, but forgot that there may come a point that we need to share them to others.

There is an old Tagalog/Filipino saying, “May pera sa basura” (There is money in trash) and the garage sale was a testament to that. My sister and I agreed that we will stage the garage sale bi-annually — during mid-year and before the end of the year, which will give our family opportunity to earn more. Our goal for the potential proceeds we have based on our remaining inventory is to earn enough to buy the house a new sofa set. Ours is really old and we really need a new set in the living room. Hopefully, with two remaining days prior to the start of the first work week in 2015, we’ll have enough to cover this expense.

Happy New Year! (Hopes and wishes for 2013)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

In whatever part of the world you may be, I hope you are celebrating the New Year in the warm company of your friends and families. I hope you’re all having a great time, and hopefully drunk — not only with the Asti or with your fifth bottle of bubbly — but also drunk with happiness and love. At the risk of this sounding like an Oscars Acceptance Speech, I’d like to thank you for being a part of The Adventures of Kamikazee Girl last year. May we still share a lot of adventures together 🙂

picture not my property
picture not my property

With the coming of the year comes another list of “hopes and dreams” — others call it resolutions, but I prefer to say that these are the things that I hope for in 2013. “Hope” because I always believed that things happen not by luck, but by will, hard work and plenty of faith in the Supreme Being. Hopefully, by next year, I’ll be able to say that I managed to achieve a lot of these things.

1. Continue my road to a healthy and fitter lifestyle – Last year, I signed up for FitFil. Unfortunately, it’s just a one month program, with our graduation happening just right before the start of the Holidays where the temptation of food abound. I haven’t piled on all the pounds yet (hopefully) but I wish to lose the remaining 60 pounds I have in my gut in order to achieve my ideal weight. I already signed up for another 5k run happening this Sunday and will get to see my friends from FitFil again. Hopefully, there’ll be a new fitness camp available by this year because I believe that I won’t be able to shed all of these excess fat without a person of authority. Plus, I still need to work on my discipline and will-power to work out.

2. Move out of the house during the first quarter of the year – there’s really no looking back. Renting and staying with my immediate family is not an option anymore. The hubby and I needed to move forward with our lives and the best way to do this is to have our own home. Moving out has been pushed too many times before that the first quarter of the year is now a “Now or Never” option for me. Growing up and growing old is hard but we have to do it.

3. Put my career in order – I really need to decide if I am staying put with my current job or find another one that will really make me fulfilled. Honestly, I am no longer happy with my current job — it’s not the money actually. It’s the feeling of being paid for doing nothing. When I was younger, I thought I would go on and do something that will change the world. But it’s something that we all aspire of when we are young and naive. Now, I just want something that will challenge me. Not a job that is predictable and can lull me to sleep. I feel that the first quarter of the year will decide if I should stay with my current company or find a job that will challenge my abilities while providing bigger compensation.

4. Be financially-sound and healthy – Following the traumatic episode of the hubby’s operation, I never wanted to be caught helpless and penniless once again. This feeling was aggravated by my sister’s trip to Japan — an offer which I mournfully refused because I have to take stock of what’s in my bank account. Last December, I finally had a joint account, one which I intend to keep and stock with whatever I will save from my salary. Sad as it may seem, things happen to people with money in their pockets, while the penniless weeps.

5. Be healthy – I really wanted to have a child by 2013 as I am getting old. Putting a kid to school while you’re in an advanced age is not a good thing, especially in the Philippines where the cost of good education is staggering. I know that I will also be given the opportunity to have a kid of my own and I know that with God’s help, He will make it possible. By keeping myself healthy, I am preparing my self for this wonderful gift. Hence, the strict and nutritional diet will continue; the exercises and the trips to the doctor (to better myself) will become a vital part of me in 2013.

I know these things might be difficult to achieve, but I am not one to lose hope. What about you? What are your resolutions for 2013?

Now we can really party like it’s 2012.

Happy New Year!
I hope you had a great new year — mine was typical but always happy. I am not really into fancy parties and as long as I get to celebrate the New Year with my family and my husband — I am a happy girl.

Tradition dictates that I must have a New Year’s resolution on account of it being the New Year. I stopped making them about three years ago because I never got to follow them anyway. But I am determined to make this year different.

I figured that if it’s really the end of the world (hehe!) I might as well make 2012 a blast and stop being your happy little pessimist. So, yeah — I am listing things that I want to do this year, changes that I want to make for myself and the things that I resolve to be, well at least things start going Inception or 2012 on us.

I will also not call them “resolutions” cos the bad thing with happy a New Year’s Resolution is the struggle of not having to break them and going through the same old shite again for 2013.

Let’s call them….”The List”

1. I will stop swearing like a sailor. It’s just disgusting. Maybe I can tone down my being a potty mouth, have a few, choice cuss words which I can unleash during moments of rage and loathing? I am saying this because I realized I swear a lot. Like a LOT. I swear when I am happy, sad, disgusted, amazed, apathetic or even telling a story. At my age, it’s just not good to look at, or even hear. I also do not want to fool myself and say, yeah I will no longer swear but start blasting cuss words the moment I turn off this laptop. Maybe I’ll stick with the crappy word and its various antecedents?

2. I will learn to say “no”. Tough-sounding as I maybe, I can be a push-over sometimes. The reason? I don’t want to hurt people’s feelings by saying “no”. So, I have a tendency to say “yes” even if by doing so:
a) I will look like a total idiot
b) I will go through hell and be miserable and unhappy
c) I will risk my personal safety and happiness in the process
This is something that I’d really like to succeed in doing. So please pray for me that I start knowing how to say N.O.!

3. Dress as appropriately as possible when it comes to work wear – I have in my mind a five year career plan with my current company. If I want to make at least even an iota of that possible, I have to start looking less like a cosplayer and be more of a manager. People sometimes find it hard to take me seriously and go beyond the funky dress and stockings combo. I have to make see that I effing mean business.

4.Learn to spend money on really important things…no matter how much they cost. Define important? Fixing my teeth (the reason why all my Holiday 2011 photos showed me looking happily in the camera and smiling mysteriously–why? cos I have miserable front teeth!), going through fertility work-ups, having my constant tummy ache checked–> those things are important. But these things: Limited Edition Japan Barbie, CanCam December 2011, dubious protein shakes are not really important. If you find yourself snickering, kindly note that these are some of my real-life purchases for 2011. All them cost me my weekly baon budget. I am not including on my list impulse purchases of shoes and bags cos these things are very important to me.

5. Be more patient with my mother. Because one day, I will also be a mother to a smart-aleck, foul-mouthed firstborn and I will realize how much it will hurt to bring such a stubborn child into the world.

I am writing these things here out in the open so that I may always be reminded of the things I promised I will do. Hopefully this will not be a one time thing. Hopefully, I can deliver.

“People always arrive at the right moment at the place where someone awaits them…”
— Paulo Coelho, “The Pilgrimage”

New Year Stir Crazy

Happy New Year!
I can’t believe we’ve just ushered a new year. Following the noise and revelry which lasted up to three this morning, it is unusually quiet and boring in my little corner of the world, considering that today is the first day of 2011.

Here’s how it goes in the Philippines: everyone goes all out when we usher in the New Year. That means fireworks are everywhere and in every street (unlike in key cities around the globe where the fireworks display is held in one place. Read: Times Square, Sydney Opera House, etc). In the Philippines, it’s free-for-all. So as the year comes to a close, one can be assured of an experience that will assail the senses: free flowing food and booze; company and conversation; and the image of someone’s mom (mine, to be exact) dressed in a red and white polka dot combo while beating the crap out of a iron roof sheet as “she tries to scare away the evil spirits of the old year and usher in good vibes for the new year”.
Please don’t ask me to explain the last statement as I will need to touch on centuries of Philippine colonial history and all that shit.

Anyway, after all the revelry, merry-making and general craziness of New Year’s Eve comes…nothing. Yes, today officially the first day of the new year and there is nothing to do but channel-surf, go Facebooking the whole day, eat (New Year Eve dinner left overs), read your backlog of books from 2010 or in the case of Filipinos: do the videoke thing and sing like there’s no tomorrow.

I don’t understand why malls don’t open on the first day of the new year. Is it because employees were still hung over following all the partying of the new year? I remember back when I was younger, my mom and dad will bring us all three kids to what ever was open on January 01 (mall, parks, etc) and treat us to any restaurant we desired. Unfortunately, there was never any mall open so we usually spend the day eating at a fastfood restaurant near our place then we head back home.

On our way home earlier from a quick visit to the in-laws, I counted about six videoke machine set-ups within just two blocks. In one set-up, a woman was caterwauling on lost love and a seven day affair, while in another a group of friends were dancing to a song. Faced with the lack of anything to do on January 01, people resort to singing.

As for me, I am already getting stir crazy due to the lack of anything to do. I would have wanted to take a visit anywhere or even shop anywhere as long as it will require me to get dressed, ride a cab and be somewhere where I am surrounded by people and stuff to buy. 01-01-11 and the first thing I get is a bad case of cabin fever.