If there’s anything in my life that sparks joy the most, unmotherly as it sounds, I have to say that it’s about having time for my self. My family is precious, but I am not the doting type of parent and spouse. And while work is important and I take it seriously, I don’t like glamorizing the grind that I purge off my brain as soon as I shut down my work laptop.
In my free time, I gravitate towards my hobbies. Doing them feels restorative as if I’m collecting pieces of my self that have tapered off along the daily toil of personal, financial, and work responsibilities.
Here’s a list of pastimes that cheer me up and prevent my grownup-hood from getting dreary.
I’m in love with this game right now. Its plot is nothing to boast about like how the merchant in the story is too naive to even be a salesman. But I immensely enjoy the gameplay! I’m in awe of the creativity in the path actions of the eight characters. My personal favourite would have to be stealing from the NPCs. Therion, the thief, is actually the first adventurer I picked. I also like how you should be attentive to the dialogue of the villagers since some quests would require you to ferry them from one town to another to complete a mission — and so you coerce them to join the party in the guise of “guiding” them or you blatantly attempt to allure them with sex appeal (I am serious). It’s a fun game that gets more interesting as you play it longer. You can also switch jobs as frequently as you want without any form of penalty. And it’s fun to break enemies’ defenses when you choose the right weapons and spells. I think I’m in my 70 hrs. of gameplay now and I would probably hit a hundred because I intend to complete all sidequests.
My default would have to be anime, but the ones I’m watching haven’t been completely released yet so I’m consuming only an episode of each of them per week. Right now, I tune in to Attack on Titan, Jujutsu Kaisen, and The Promised Neverland. I also started to watch more Kdrama, and in my ongoing watch list are Vincenzo, Mr. Queen, and Flower of Evil.
I read a lot of manhwa now. As I age, I find it increasingly difficult to finish reading what doesn’t have pictures and illustrations. I have smaller patience now for lengthy texts when I try to read for leisure. And when I pick a material, my appetite favours Thriller, Mystery, Horror, Action, Comedy, Fantasy, and Isekai. My top four manhwa so far are Distant Sky, Bastard, Tower of God, and Winter Woods.
I love preparing food on weekends. I am no pro though and the vegetables I cut end with inconsistent sizes and shapes. Chef-chefan lang with toast, pancake, sushi bake, curry dimsum, wraps, roast chicken, and dips. They sound yummy because they are delicious by themselves and not because I am skilled.
I like taking photos on a whim of just about anything. I recently bought a third-hand film camera (coincidentally my third film camera) with a foggy lens issue. The seller sold it cheap and I didn’t mind when he disclosed the condition because it got me more curious and I wanted to check for myself how the photos will look. As expected, the images turned out misty, grainy, darker, and blurry that might be fit for experimental shots. In fact, they seem a bit Silent Hill -ish. Now that I tested it, I’m planning to have the lens cleaned soon since I realize that I want my shots bright and crisp.
Before the pandemic, I had been going to the gym religiously for about a year. Now that I telecommute, I just try to work out for 15 to 30 minutes for 4-5 times a week that sometimes become zilch if I decide that ~nah, I am too stressed, so I want to drink, eat, play, or sleep.
I don’t remember how this feels like anymore. But I know that this gives me happiness and that it’ll bring joy again once I get back in the groove. I badly want to visit the sea but I’m stalling until May, which is the end of the school year, so I can be liberated from the need to check school projects, review my kid for exams, and prep her early in the morning.
My clutter can become another person’s haul so I have this Carousell shop that you might want to check out.
This blog is a fair witness. You can see my about page here, where I talked about why I blog, in case you are interested. I’m now also linking my poetry blog in the primary menu, that maybe I should file under comedy.
I wrote a poem about the act of folding my work table just because I was stressed (a bit more than usual) one weekday night that made the feat seem like an epiphany.
Dear Marie Kondo,
The same goes for work tables
Folding my work table is a sovereign
act of self-love
that I do after clocking out
from my work-from-home job.
Once I fold my work table,
it’s the only time
that I would have enough space
\ down the bed mattress on the floor
and let my daughters sleep. You see,
folding the table is a physical expression
of an irreversible choice
to wrap so I can create
for my life.
At this point, my office dismantles
into a bedroom and I revert to being
Random Fact: March 13, 2020, Friday, exactly a year ago, was the last day we all worked in the office before the lockdown was announced. It’s far from a joyful moment, but happy one year to all of us. 🎂