For the past four years, I intentionally did not have any grand New Year’s resolution. I wanted to keep it as simple as “to be a better person” and “to implement/execute things better each day”. I like to think that the simplistic approach worked well. Through the years, I have discerned that these two may be complementary, however, not all the time. Knowing when they are supposed to support each other is subjective. The bottom line is, I did not and do not always have to outdo myself in execution in order to be a better person. Sometimes, by not changing anything and/or being myself (not trying too hard) is already the best approach.
Being a lacto ovo vegetarian and newbie minimalist
The year 2017 had been very challenging for me, in many ways, but ended favorably. I also introduced key changes in my life, like becoming a lacto ovo vegetarian a day after my birthday for health-related reasons. I will not lie though that I have been inconsistent in being a vegetarian. Knowingly, I scheduled the cooling off on (few) days that there were celebrations with family and friends and forcibly last December when my stamina became sub-standard that I easily caught the illness of ‘seems to be not feeling well’. Apparently, I need to find the right mix of my food consumption. I intend to be fully back on track from day 1 of 2018. The other key change that I have embraced (in last quarter of 2017) is minimalism. I am still far from being a real minimalist, although I do not see myself being a purist in the short term because of my lifestyle and demands of my work environment. However, I am amazed and cannot be thankful enough for being able to let go of several stuff because I am a pack rat and have started to be genuinely more supportive of sustainability. As a side note, I learned to sell stuff online as I try to dispose some of my stuff and began to see the beautiful (one of which is having additional passive income, if you get to dance to the tunes quite well) and ugly sides of it.
Back to basics (rather, some of the things that I used to love)
In line with being in first chapter of minimalism, while sorting stuff, it felt like I had a time machine ride. I instantly wanted to go back to doing some of the things which used to make me so happy. Doing them seemed like ‘as easy as breathing’ that I did not imagine myself not doing them even for a single week or else I would have felt incomplete. Then, they were just out of my routine, not exactly out of my system. I might have had extreme priorities, that is why I cannot say that I am looking back with much regrets for abandoning some of my interests because I was indeed buying much time the past years. Until now. However, I feel more at peace now and confident of reuniting with these because I have a clear direction on how I will re-integrate them in my life.
1. Photography – Do not ask me how many cameras I have. I used to be with them every single week. The past years though, 95% of my photos were captured through my camera phone and 5% with a GoPro in some of my travels.
2. Reading– I read several things every single day. Work and non-work-related, particularly when I have mental cravings. However, I did not read much non-work related books. Then, the seemingly irrational part often happens. Even if I know that I must not buy any new books (there is something indescribable about holding and smelling real books), I still do it as it is one of the few things I get as a memento when I travel overseas. I want to be realistic, hence, I hope to read at least four (4) non-work/non-profession-related books this year. I would need to be more patronizing of e-books, however, in line with minimalism and sustainability.
3. Writing – If you are one of my longtime blog friends (the glorious days of Multiply, free Blogger, free WordPress and so), you probably might remember how prolific I were then as a blogger, given that I have mountains of commitments, too. I will be frank in admitting today that it was not that I lost interest in it. I even remember telling myself that I do not foresee myself not blogging anymore. It was actually the nature of my profession and work environment that indirectly influenced me to have less visibility in this medium. It was a clever decision though, with sacrifices, so to speak. Nevertheless, I cannot just abandon it because I would always love babbling. Saying this made me feel good. On the other hand, I am glad I am still able to live within it via Instagram.
What I plan to achieve this year is to blog more frequently than I did in 2017 (that must be achievable, the last post I had was in June 2017. What a shame and I am frowning about the lost opportunities to have had shared valuable and probably timely information). On the other hand, I am planning to venture into writing a little — with my professional community as an audience. Lastly and equally important, I aim to fully utilize some of the personal journals I received as Christmas presents – one is a bullet journal (I like its non-conformity approach) and a Paulo Coelho one, which I plan to keep as a gratitude journal.
My 2018 started so well. I hope it is the same with all of you. In case, it did not — what matters most is the entire journey and how we all intend and will actually play it. Cheers and more blessings!