Healthy and Mindful for 2017

Last year was my first time to join the “One Word” movement, with the word “Mindfulness.”ย I felt it was more effective than a list of resolutions, in producing lasting changes and enforcing habits.

Continue reading “Healthy and Mindful for 2017”

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The Latte Factor

A term coined by David Bach, it pertains to the unconscious spending on little things that do not add any value to our lives (or in KonMari terms, do not spark joy ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). And ifย you add these little expenditures–these so-called “lattes”–you can save up for… an espresso machine! ๐Ÿ˜› That is, if you add the everyday little expenses and save them, you can purchase something of greater value. It’s very much like when we were little, when we’d save our allowance to buy a much-coveted toy. ๐Ÿ™‚ Furthermore, if you invest the money, you will even be *wealthier* off. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I thought about listing down my own little “lattes” so as to keep track of where my money goes. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Especially now that we have upcoming expenses on house renovations, err,ย rectifications… yet again (I think I might have mentioned it in a previous post, but in case you didn’t know the back story, the SOBcontractor who built the house scrimped and used substandard materials, and took off with the rest of our money. It took 3 years before the house became habitable, but there’s still a lot to be fixed. Now that the rains have arrived, leaks have been spouting in the ceiling. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ )

But I digress. Sorry, I just really get carried away whenever I remember the injustice. He got fired anyway, but we still have to deal with the inefficiencies and inconveniences. ๐Ÿ˜ก

Anyway, enough of the rant. Nothing like an impending major expense to let me revisit our finances. While I am generally mindful of BIG purchases, it’s the little things which when totaled can cause quite a dent in our budget. And here are my usual culprits:

1. Coffee. It ain’t called The Latte Factor for nothing. ๐Ÿ˜‰ As part of my morning routine with my husband, we drive through McDonalds on our way to work to order a cappuccino that costs P80. If we do this everyday for the whole year, we would spend P29,200. Double it coz there’s two of us, then that would be P58,400. May pambili na den sana ako ng smartphone to replace my 5-year-old Blackberry which has been conking out on me these past several months. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ IDK if I am ready to give up this habit, since our drives to work are our “two-gether” times, having already dropped off our son with the grandparents. They are rare and priceless. Maybe we could find a cheaper alternative. Or bring our own coffee. ๐Ÿ˜‰

2. Magazines. I would compulsively grab the latest issue of Real Living, especially when the cover has the following words: vintage, country, scandinavian, shabby chic, white, pastel, small spaces, home organization, decluttering… ๐Ÿ˜‰ P120 a month seems harmless, but could reach P1,440 by year’s end. Hindi ko den naman nasusulit coz I just breeze through the mag, and end up reading on their online site anyway. Fortunately this year, I have been mindful of my magazine purchases and haven’t bought any.

3. Fancy eat outs when stressed. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I could easily blow P300++ on a full meal with fancy drinks, followed by cake and coffee. (In the process, I also consume more calories and gain more weight. ๐Ÿ˜› )

4. Snacks! Parang 3 items na dito ang food-related…. Hindi naman talaga ako gutom, gusto ko lang kumain. ๐Ÿ˜› A seemingly trivial 20 pesos day on chichirya can reachย P600 a month.

5. Tricycle rides coz I’m too lazy to walk. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Even if the destination’s just two three blocks away. ๐Ÿ˜› Ang init den kase! And minsan ang dami kongย dala.

6. Eye makeup. I always buy with the intention of learning how to put on eyeshadow and eyeliner. But I barely have the time to put on makeup in the mornings (what with a toddler running about, mostly wanting to play, at times needing something else). While they’re usually cheap department store brands, they reach expiry date barely used! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I think I’ll just shelve this plan of learning how to apply eye makeup.

7. Pretty notebooks. They’re sooo lovely to behold… until I start writing on them. Then they get ruined. ๐Ÿ˜›

How about you? What are your little “lattes”? Do answer in the comments below. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Early to Bed and Early to Rise

Wednesday Whatevers” was supposed to be an attempt at a *weekly* roundup/update of things happening in my life. But it’s been a few weeks since I introduced it, and this is only my second WW. ๐Ÿ˜› At the rate things are going, it just might become a biweekly, or even a monthly roundup. Won’t apologize for it though, since I know my priorities, and blogging is nowhere near the top not among them. (I do try to write regularly in my *offline* journal though, but even that has not been so frequent as of late.)

I usually journal/blog late in the night, when my boys have already gone to bed and Internet is fastest. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Lately though, I’ve been trying to sleep earlier, not so much as keeping my New Year’s resolutions (although that is an added bonus ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), as regulating our son’s circadian rhythm. Since returning from our trip to Manila, the little one had a shift in eating and sleeping habits (and an explosion of vocabulary as well! ๐Ÿ™‚ ). He doesn’t eat a lot during breakfast, but eats a lot in the afternoons and evenings, even insisting on a late-night snack and will only go to bed afterwards. While he is still able to complete 10 hours of sleep during the night, waking up later in the morning, and still have siesta in the afternoon, we feel it’s not physiologic for a toddler to still be up until midnight. @_@ So we’ve all been practicing sleep hygiene, tweaking our routines and adjusting our schedules, so that we are all asleep by 10 PM at the latest.

As a consequence, I’ve been waking up earlier too. ๐Ÿ˜‰ The actual waking hours are the same, just offset earlier by a couple or so, but I am able to accomplish more now that I have been waking up early. IDK, but there’s just so much energy and productivity in the mornings. I hope to we–the little one and I–will be able to sustain this. ๐Ÿ™‚

Mindfulness for 2016

Ah. Finally have time to sit down and write something substantial for this blog. The first two weeks of the new year were spent getting sick: first with stomach flu for a couple of days, then migraine headaches which lasted longer, and another eczema flare (courtesy of all the unhealthy eating during the holidays ๐Ÿ˜› ). Nothing major, but still annoying in that I couldn’t function fully. Nor could I rest adequately, as it was in the midst of resuming regular work routine, while still running a household, and running after the toddler and preparing for his second birthday celebration.

Since this is my first official post for the new year (the other one doesn’t count being just a greeting ๐Ÿ˜› ), new year’s resolutions are in order. I’ve been giving it some thought and I’ve decided to do away with the usual listing of resolutions and join in the One Word movement.

I still have my list of Things To Do for the year (I’m looking at you, driver’s license! ๐Ÿ˜› And some house projects.) and Faith Goals (which are things *humanly impossible* to achieve and so I just pray for them ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). But I couldn’t really count them as resolutions. Resolutions are supposed to effect positive and long-lasting changes, through commitment and effort. Not things you just tick off a list, and suddenly voila! You’re a better person because of it. i.e. Yay! I finally got my driver’s license = I’m happier. ๐Ÿ˜› I’ve lost 5 lbs = I’m healthy. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

And so this One Word “mission” seems appealing. You know the drill: One Word to focus on every day, all year long. One Word to rule them all. One Word to find them. One Word to bring them all and in the darkness bind them, err… ๐Ÿ˜› One Word to sum up who you want to be or how you want to live for the year. ๐Ÿ˜‰

My One Word for 2016 is: MINDFULNESS. There’s already a growing movement for Mindfulness and its various permutations (intentional living, slow living) and associations (minimalism, green living). I’ve actually been trying to abide by it for quite some time now. But the new year’s a perfect time to declare and claim it for my life. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

โ™ฅ I will be mindful of the food I eat and how it is prepared. I will sit down and savor each bite, chew slowly and longer, and enjoy my meal. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I will also drink lots of water!

โ™ฅ I will be mindful of my expenses. While I am able to think over major expenses, itโ€™s the little thoughtless purchases which when totaled pack a huge sum i.e. fancy coffees, app downloads, magazine subscriptions, eat-outs when stressed, tricycle rides because Iโ€™m too lazy to walk ๐Ÿ˜›

โ™ฅ I will be mindful of my time. I will wake up early in the mornings. That being said, I will sleep early at night and cut back on idle Internet surfing at night. ๐Ÿ˜› I will not procrastinate.

โ™ฅ I will be mindful of my thoughts. I will think positive, and will not let worry or fear paralyze me.

โ™ฅ I will be mindful of my words. I will think before I speak and exercise tact.

โ™ฅ I will be mindful of my actions, especially those I show my son. At two, he is starting to imitate us. It’s both funny and frightening–the latter when it’s our bad habits and mannerisms he mimics. Tsk tsk

โ™ฅ I will be mindful of the moments I spend with my family, for these are very fleeting. My son is growing up too fast, and my parents are getting older. I will spend more time with them and enjoy these times, being fully present and shutting down distractions.

So there. I think “Mindfulness” is very fitting as the first “One Word” of this blog. It gives a whole new meaning to what Aggie’s Amygdala is all about. ๐Ÿ™‚