The 2017 Year-End Survey

It’s already February. A bit late to be posting this, I know. But between this survey and the other year-end reflection, I was more inspired to write the latter. 😉  But I do this every year so might as well keep up the tradition. And so that I’ll have something to look back to years from now.

So here it is… The Long-Overdue Year-End Survey of 2017!

What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before? Undergo Rehab/traction for my bad back. 😮

Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? Last year’s resolution was a healthy 2017, and it was major FAIL!!!! 😮 I weigh my heaviest yet. I sprained my foot, and suffered from a bad back. And then there was the state of my mind and my soul. 😯 And though I declared “Health” to be my theme for 2017, the year culminated with the word “Remember.” For this year 2018, my One Word would be “Delight.” 🙂 Not empty happiness. But one of joy and purpose, meaning and fulfillment. 🙂

Did anyone close to you…
Get married? Jeriel & Marvie (Nov 18)
Give birth? Can’t think of anyone right now
Passed away? Sister-in-law’s brother, but I barely knew him.

What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017? Strength, of body, and of character.

What date(s) from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Nov 18 – a family wedding, where Elmo was the ring-bearer

What was your biggest achievement of the year? Living through it 😮

What was your biggest failure? Neglecting my Faith. And everything went downward spiral from there. 😮

Did you suffer illness or injury? Yes! I sprained my foot, which affected my ambulation. And my spine must have compensated coz I developed a bad back after. Even the slightest cough and sneeze hurt. X_x Had to undergo traction and PT for it. On the mental/emotional aspect, I was good for the most part until Elmo got sick, and I became a nervous wreck.

What was the best thing you bought?  Books mostly. And clothes, because I got bigger. 😮

Whose behavior merited celebration? Can I say, mine? 😛 Hindi naman sa pagbubuhat ng sariling bangko, but I’m glad I was able to pull myself through.

Where did most of your money go? Travels.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi.
Out of town travels to Cebu, Dumaguete, Baguio.
UAAP Men’s Basketball Season 80 for the UP Maroon’s almost-Final 4 Finish, and exciting ADMU-DLSU Face Off in the Finals.
Ring-bearing Elmo. 🙂

What song(s) will always remind you of 2017? Baby Shark!😛

Compared to this time last year, are you…
Happier or sadder? Happier
Thinner or fatter? FATTER @_@
Richer or poorer? Richer

What do you wish you’d done more of? Pray.

What do you wish you’d done less of? Doubt.

How did you spend Christmas? At work.

Did you fall in love in 2017? Yes.

What was your favorite TV program? The Lion Guard, on Disney Junior. 😉

What was the best book you read? Rogue One, the official novelization of the movie. I luv that movie! IDK what that says about my psyche, since it is a tragic movie where they all die in the end. It’s been often said that Rogue One is what puts the “war” in Star Wars. Because yes, beyond the family drama of the Skywalkers, there is a bigger power struggle, one that involved many nameless, faceless rogue ones–the unsung heroes of war–who hoped and fought for their beliefs.

What were your greatest musical discoveries? Baby Shark. 😛

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2017? Boxy shirts with big sleeves. Pants. Flats/low-heeled shoes.

What did you want and get? Elmo’s better health.

What did you want and not get? A fit and healthy body. 😛

What was your favorite film of this year? Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? Was in Cebu.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? More Faith. More time with God.

What kept you sane? Faith and family.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Elmo! Rey & Poe Dameron. 😛

What political issue stirred you the most? The Dengvaxia scandal @_@

Who was the best new person you met? Pseudoshrink and Sharkteeth

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017.

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The 2016 Year-End Survey

What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before? Mag-Ninang sa kasal. 😛

Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I didn’t. Joined the “One Word” movement for the first time, with the word “Mindfulness.” I’m doing the same thing this year, with “Health” as my word for 2017. 😎

Did anyone close to you…
Get married?
My inaanaks. Hahaha! Monica & Al on Dec 10 (after 10 million years!). Ari & Diana – December 30 (Surprise! Surprise! 😛 ).
Give birth? Maciang to baby Alriq. Joni to baby Joril. Crizelda to baby Nathan.
Passed away? A high school classmate’s baby who figured in a freak accident. Our high school Chem teacher. One of the waitresses from our suking carinderia, whose death from an apparent illness was very shocking! She was always cheerful and would even watch over Elmo while we ate at their store. She didn’t appear to be sick at that time. 😦

What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016? Serenity

What date(s) from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? October 19–aftermath of Super Typhoon Lawin, and our anniversary.

What was your biggest achievement of the year? IDK, keeping the house clutter at bay. 😛

What was your biggest failure? Letting my emotions get the better of me ^_^;;

Did you suffer illness or injury? A lot! There’s the perpetual skin rash. And the flu which took me 2 weeks of convalescence. And allergic rhinitis & asthma attacks which occur on an almost monthly frequency. Hence my word for the year. 😉

What was the best thing you bought? It’s not something recently purchased, but we acquired my childhood piano from my parents. It was bought 30 years ago and has slowly steadily fallen apart over the decades. Spent quite a sum in rehabilitating it, but I’m happy we got to salvage it. 🙂

Whose behavior merited celebration? Therese who is still able to exude grace and peace, despite all the trials coming her way.

Where did most of your money go? House works pa den. The piano above.

What did you get really, really, really excited about? The piano. Christmas! My new iPhone. My X-Files charm bracelet. And The Heart and Brain comics.

What song(s) will always remind you of 2016? Pen apple pineapple 😛

Compared to this time last year, are you…
Happier or sadder? This “time of the year” is definitely happier than last year’s. But if I am to average this year’s “happiness” vs. last year’s, this year’s actually more negative in the scale. 😯 I’m not sadder. But I am more anxious and fearful. And very very tired.
Thinner or fatter? My clothes fit more comfortably now. But the weighing scale, mirror and pictures say otherwise. 😛
Richer or poorer? Richer in material things, poorer in spirit. 😦

What do you wish you’d done more of? Sleep. Physical activity. Go out and explore the outdoors. Take pictures. Write/journal/blog. Count my blessings. Meditate.

What do you wish you’d done less of? Eat. Worry. Get angry. 😠 Idle Internet surfing.

How did you spend Christmas? It was a Sunday, a slow day. We mostly have work during Sundays and even holidays. But this Sunday was rare for us, in that we were able to observe the Sabbath as a day of rest. It was my “ideal” of a perfect Sunday, I actually cried that night (seriously! 😛). We had lunch at Rufino’s, in Paoay. Dinner at Saramsam. Gift-giving at home. Received a mechanical metronome from my husband and the Jim Kay-illustrated Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Did you fall in love in 2017? Yes.🙂

What was your favorite TV program? Mostly Disney Junior!

What was the best book you read? Only got to read a couple of books–Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (both the Hogwarts textbook and the movie screenplay)

What were your greatest musical discoveries? Rediscovering John Williams

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016? Round skirts. Sleeveless blouses. Whites. Black pumps.

What did you want and get? An iPhone, to replace my old 5-year old Blackberry which finally conked out on me. Not the fancy schmancy iPhone 7, but the more practical iPhone SE, which fits in the palm of my small hand, and is perfect for my purposes! The mechanical metronome which my husband gifted me for Christmas.

What did you want and not get? A slim and healthy body. 😛

What was your favorite film of this year? Only got to watch two, which I both loved. “Finding Dory” which hits me differently now that I am a parent. While kids might probably relate to Dory (and Nemo) whose search and rescue ended in success anyway, I now feel for Dory’s parents and Nemo’s dad. The thought of losing one’s child is frightening! 😮
I also enjoyed “Rogue One”. Most people found it dark, but IDK, I found it to be a ‘refreshing’ take on the Star Wars universe. Indeed, it puts the “War” in Star Wars. I find it a fitting tribute to the unsung heroes of war; not the captains and generals and Skywalkers, but the many nameless soldiers and warriors who bravely sacrifice, fight and die for a cause.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? 30++ We had dinner with a couple of friends.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Serenity

What kept you sane? Only by God’s grace. I don’t know how I got through 2016. It’s been a very trying TIRING year! 😮

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Elmo! 😎

What political issue stirred you the most? Philippine elections

Who did you miss? The Competitors! I’m not part of their group, but I am friends with them. 😉 My HS barkada. And Tita Paula! 😎

Who was the best new person you met? Roanalaine! She’s not new. But I think we’ve bonded more this year. 😃

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016.
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV)

Tagging Diane, Leah, Edelweisa, The PseudoshrinkRenette, SAFM, SIU, theLittleDoramaGirl. And to anyone who wants to respond this survey, feel free to do so. Just link to this post to create a pingback so I could read yours.😉

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 😛 ). 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 😛 ), 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! 😛 And some house projects.) and Faith Goals (which are things *humanly impossible* to achieve and so I just pray for them 😉 ). 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. 😛 I’ve lost 5 lbs = I’m healthy. 😮

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… 😛 One Word to sum up who you want to be or how you want to live for the year. 😉

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. 😎

♥ 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. 😉 I will also drink lots of water!

♥ I will be mindful of my expenses. While I am able to think over major expenses, it’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 I’m too lazy to walk 😛

♥ 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. 😛 I will not procrastinate.

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

♥ I will be mindful of my words. I will think before I speak and exercise tact.

♥ 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

♥ 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. 🙂

The 2015 Year-End Survey

What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before? Teach–in a formal classroom setting.

Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? Kept some. Broke some. Of course, will make some for the new year, because it’s always the perfect time for starting anew. 😉

Did anyone close to you…
Get married? Angel and Venus (August 30). Maciang and Anwar (December 10).
Give birth? This year actually saw a lot of miracle pregnancies and long-hoped for babies. 🙂 Jake’s wife to triplets! Joni to baby Joline. Maan to baby Sofia. Emily to baby Samuel. Gracelyn to baby Nikki. Ethel to baby Eli. Dej to baby Chicco.
Passed away? Someone I remotely knew

What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015? Courage and confidence.

What date(s) from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
October 18, 2015 – the eve of our 6th year anniversary as a couple, the day we moved house 😉

What was your biggest achievement of the year? My baby whole thus far. I’m just so paranoid I’d damage him irreversibly. ^_^;;

What was your biggest failure? “There is nothing major major…” (copyright@Venus Raj, 2010)

Did you suffer illness or injury? Horrendous skin allergies

What was the best thing you bought? Those stainless steel rolling trays/shelves that can fit inside kitchen cabinets. Very organized and space efficient, which is just perfect for our tiny kitchen! 😎 A pair of ottomans, for more storage. A new laptop, to replace my 7-year -old {pink} Vaio which crashed and can’t be revived anymore. 😦 (I luvd that laptop!).

Whose behavior merited celebration? Elmo! Because he’s just so adorable. 🙂

Where did most of your money go? House repairs

What did you get really, really, really excited about? Elmo’s first steps, among many milestones. 🙂

What song(s) will always remind you of 2015? Nursery rhymes from the Little Baby Bum YouTube channel 😛

Compared to this time last year, are you…
Happier or sadder? Happier
Thinner or fatter? Fatter
Richer or poorer? Richer

What do you wish you’d done more of? Sleep. Walk. Drink water.

What do you wish you’d done less of? Worry. Mindless munching. Impulse shopping. Idle Internet surfing. 😮

How did you spend Christmas? At home, with my husband and son, over a home-cooked meal of giniling. We do not observe noche buena because my senior citizen parents retire early, and Elmo also has his bedtime.

Did you fall in love in 2015? Yes. 🙂

What was your favorite TV program? We haven’t got TV. @_@

What was the best book you read? I only got to read 4 books: “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo, “Shopaholic to the Stars” by Sophie Kinsella, “Leaving Time” by Jodi Picoult, and the official novelization of “One More Chance” by Juan Miguel Sevilla. 😛 But the best book I’ve read this year is “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle. 😉

What were your greatest musical discoveries? The Piano Guys

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015? Stripes. Blue. Nude shoes.

What did you want and get? Mercy, grace and a miracle.

What did you want and not get? A fancy smartphone. 😛

What was your favorite film of this year? Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens, A Second Chance

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? Didn’t get to celebrate what with all the stress of starting renovations on the house, and preparing for a trip later that week, and inefficient ticketing systems. 😮

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? It was good. 🙂

What kept you sane? Faith and family.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Elmo!!!! BB-8. Popoy and Basha. Aldub. Pope Francis.

What political issue stirred you the most? Mamasapano Massacre 😦

Who did you miss? Phoebe. 😦

Who was the best new person you met? IDK, I am quite an introvert you know. And my social circle’s just small and intimate. Online, there’s thepseudoshrink and derdo and diane.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.
“There can be miracles when you believe.”
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

Tagging thepseudoshrink, diane, leah, claireSAFM, SIU, theLittleDoramaGirl, urbanpilgrimdonna, susieshy to answer the same set of questions… or just some. (I understand it’s too long, but it’s great for whiling away the time. 😛 )

And to anyone who wants to respond this survey, feel free to do so. You can even add or modify some of the questions. Just link to this post to create a pingback so I could read yours. 😉

New Year’s Resolutions

Coz the New Year is always the perfect time for starting over again and strengthening one’s resolve. 😎 A few are recurring resolutions, but I’ve got new goals for this year.

  1. Wake up early. There’s so much productivity and energy in the mornings! 🙂
  2. Daily devotion. I usually get to do this in my spare time, or at the end of the day. But I want it to be at a more regular time, particularly at the start of my day (hence the first resolution) and before Elmo wakes up.
  3. Lose weight. I wasn’t on a diet last year because I was breastfeeding exclusively, which really did wonders for my weight. I was happy, I didn’t have to regulate what I eat, and I ate a lot! 😀  But now that Elmo’s a year and is already eating solids and breastfeeding less, my metabolism ain’t keeping up anymore with my intake. 😛 I’ve packed on pounds during the recent holidays, and I barely fit in my clothes anymore.
  4. Skincare. I never gave my skin that much attention when I was younger. But now that I am getting older, I’m starting to feel the effects of aging, and no, I’m not talking about crow’s feet & wrinkles, but skin dryness, horrendous allergies, post inflammatory hyperpigmentation and scars taking too long to heal. 😮
  5. Read. I only got to read 2 books last year: “Plain Truth” & “The Fault in Our Stars”. Make that 4 if you’ll include the 2 other self-help books on child-rearing: “Becoming Baby-Wise” & “How To Raise a Brighter Child”. If you have any suggestions for books/authors, drop me a line in the comments. 😉 I intend to read more this year.
  6. Write more often. I might not have been blogging much, but I have been journalling more often, mostly about Elmo’s exploits. I intend to keep this up.
  7. Explore the outdoors. If it’s just me, I am content with staying at home, reading, writing, cleaning the house, clearing out the house. 😛 But Elmo’s a little ball of energy, and he needs a large space to run around and explore. Also, there’s so much nature in our province, it’ll be a waste to not be able to enjoy these places.
  8. Get my driver’s license. I have been driving for a year now, on a student permit and always with my husband in tow. It’s just that every time I am to take my driving exam, something “Major” comes up! I hope to be able to take my driving test this year.
  9. Less idle Internet surfing, ie. Facebook, and gossip sites. 😛
  10. Have Faith. Because I tend to worry a lot.