On Peace

This trip was one of the most peaceful moments I had last year. Must cultivate that feeling again. Breathe.


Bear Lake. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, USA. October 2016.




On Essentialism


Greg McKeown’s book, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, was such a great read! It’s written in a very simple and structured way that it becomes easy to follow and understand. The book also inspires action so much that I finally gathered the courage to turn down a very good opportunity in order to focus on what is really essential to me. It felt liberating and empowering to take control of the choices I make. If it doesn’t contribute to what matters, don’t waste time and energy in it. The next challenge is to sustain this practice!

This book is worth your hard-earned money. I strongly recommend it! :)

On Wellness

I posted last week about how I wanted to incorporate exercise into my daily routine. Guess what? So far so good with eight straight days of tai chi! It’s the first thing I do every morning: alarm at 5 am, rise up at around 5:20, then do around 20 minutes of tai chi 18 (shibashi). What I like about it is that it hits two birds with one stone because aside from movement you also get to meditate. Mind and body wellness in 20 minutes!

I first learned tai chi when I lived in a Buddhist temple back in 2011. We learned tai chi 18 & 24, as well as tai chi fan and sword. Tai chi 18 is the simplest of the four and, luckily, there are tons of good YouTube videos to follow. I encourage you to try it. It will feel weird at first, but it is really relaxing and energizing. And I don’t think anyone can deny the proven benefits of this excellent Chinese exercise. :)

On Resting

So the body gave up. I was down with flu since yesterday morning. The weeklong sleep deprivation took its toll. And it’s weird, even though I tried to be efficient, there’s still that feeling that I can do more if only I manage my time better. But sometimes, things just don’t go as expected. Meetings run longer than planned, writing took longer than usual, memories from last year would resurface leaving me paralyzed for a time.

On the brighter side, I can say that my “academic endurance” did improve. I was able to pull-off my lecture class despite preparing just hours before (not something I should be proud of, but if it was the Jill back in 2015, I would’ve canceled my class already if I wasn’t prepared the night before).

Planning and visualization. These two probably took much of my time. I plan for current projects. I visualize future projects. I scavenge the Internet for sources of funding, for organizations that share the same vision, for people I can meet with to get inspiration and ideas from. Then I imagine the possibilities. What happens if this project becomes a success? A failure? But mostly I dwell on the former (being the stubborn optimist that I am).

Then I was appointed as the new program coordinator for Materials Engineering. Ideas start brewing in my head again. I finish the Individual Development Plan (IDP) document. I tell myself that if I could help someone last year who just ended up treating me like trash after supposedly showing him that he could dream big and actually achieve it, then I will do everything I can to help my fellow faculty grow in their career as well. This amazing group of people who, despite our individual differences, I have regarded as my family since 2013.

Routine. Something I used to detest, but slowly learning to appreciate. I had to develop a routine when I went back to work last January: this time is allotted for traveling to and from work, lecture prep, writing, eating, taking a bath, etc. But one thing I have yet to incorporate is exercise. Obviously, my being sick now is a mayday call to quickly put exercise into my routine.

Alright. I guess I have to end here now. I haven’t checked my email yet since yesterday. I missed a deadline last Friday so I’m expecting a not-so-good email in my inbox when I open it later. But what the heck, all I can do is my best. I’m sure I did what I can, given my circumstances. Brush it off, stand up, smile, and move forward. :)

Life Keeps Moving On

Totally loving Ben Rector’s songs right now. :)

“Life Keeps Moving On”

Here’s the truth
Life sucks sometimes
When it hurts so bad that you can’t go on
Life keeps moving on

When you feel
That you’ve been done wrong
When you’re sure your world is coming down around you
Life keeps moving on

And it is beautiful and tragic
Different verse, but same old song
Sometimes the only thing you learn is
That life keeps moving on

When it’s good
When you’re flying higher
When your feet float up above the ground around you
Life keeps moving on

When you’re glad
When you’re fat and happy
When you don’t need for anything
Life keeps moving on, yeah

And it is beautiful and tragic
Different verse but same old song
Sometimes the only thing you learn is
That life keeps moving on

We’re better off the sooner that we find
That life is mostly what we choose to see
‘Cause whether or not I’ve got what I want
Life keeps moving on in front of me

At this pace
We’re gonna get somewhere
If it’s good or bad, if it’s slow or fast
Life keeps moving on
And yes, life keeps moving on


So this is boredom.

Wanting to go out, but knowing you have to save money for an independent project.

Home it is. Staying in the living room and turning on the TV to break the silence. Hoping a housemate would come in. I need a living soul around me nowadays to be productive. Silence makes me drowsy most of the time. It didn’t use to be this way. I need to hear something. I need the energy of people moving around.

A lot of things to do. But most of it is self-inflicted. For the independent project.

A pending manuscript. A new research project. Pressure will come again soon. I know. For now, I’ll do what I can. Slowly, but not stopping. Keep going.