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Once I read Anne‘s and Tsh‘s posts about what’s saving their lives right now, I knew that this would be my first post of the year.

I remembered this quote when I read what Anne wrote:

 

Most of us know what’s killing us, and can articulate it, if asked. But few of us pay attention to what’s giving us life. The question invites you to do just that.

Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction. Break the habit. Talk about your joys.
(Rita Schiano)

Most of us can easily relate to this. It is easy to whine, to share sad stories to look for empathy and comfort and don’t get me wrong, this can be healthy too. We just need to know if our sad-sharing is actually just shopping for contributions to our own pity parties.

It’s now the second month of the new year and while it has been promising, it has also been hard and scary. Anxiety, much more than stress I believe, kills. This is why this is a nice exercise.

This is a small list compared to the big picture of what’s really saving my life right now (let’s not get serious for a first post, shall we?), the little things that keep me going from day to day, ready to fight and move forward:

1. K-Dramas.

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Since the start of the year, we have finished three K-dramas – Oh My Venus, Master’s Sun and Fated to Love You. I am currently watching The Greatest Love. By we, I am referring to my daughter and I. If you do some simple math, one drama consists of 16-20 episodes and we have finished three in a month. That’s roughly two episodes a night. These fill up my kilig tank while the husband is venturing for us in the Little Red Dot.

Are you a K-drama fan? Let me know what I should watch next!
(This can actually be a whole separate entry.)

2. Coffee.

Death_to_stock_Marzocco_Coffee_9

I quit drinking soda and iced tea since the year started. If you know how much I drink these things, you would understand how hard it was (still is) for me to kick the habit. In fact, after drinking soda at a wedding recently and suffering a post-sugar craving days afterwards, I have come to realize I’m an abstainer (go read Gretchen Rubin’s Better than Before, it talks about habits and how it develops for different people). It has got to be all or nothing for me. And now I just don’t get started drinking, not even for a sip.

So enter coffee. I want it strong, scorching hot and early in the morning while I fire up my computer to start working. Sometimes, I drink mid-day and even after dinner (again, another bad habit forming – trying to curb it!) but I am limiting it now to twice a day. It gives me wakefulness, literally.

3. Pen + Paper.

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When has this not ever bring me happiness? I pour out my heart into writing lately, hand writing to be specific. I just try to get one solid, straight-from-the-heart writing in a week, and I’m good to go.

Here’s what I have learned, it has served as therapy for me, really:

Write hard and clear about what it hurts.

(and wait for it not to hurt anymore)

4. Scrapbooking.

And I mean scrapbooking presently, not trying to catch up and clear backlog. The early months of the year are usually easy for memory keepers. We have renewed goals and more determined hearts, before the busy-ness of the year creeps in. I actually completed January’s Project Life pages on February 1st. That’s how current I am in. And can I just brag how I am finished with 2015 too? (Just saving money for printing). Of course, let’s not count the other years. I’m still not finished with those.

5. Exercise.

I know what you’re thinking.
Wait, what?
Did Aggie just write that down?

Oh yes I did.
This deserves a whole new post but yes, I have been exercising. My bones ache and my muscles are stiff every freaking day while the scale hasn’t moved in 30 days. But this is what is saving me right now — the endorphins it gives, the thought that I am doing something good for myself, the small steps I’m making to making this a lifestyle and most of all, patience and determination. (Oh the patience. 60 days and counting and I haven’t seen the change I want to see. But let’s be honest, right? It didn’t take me 60 days to be like this, so it won’t take 60 days to undo all the things I’ve done to myself. That’s justice, Aggie.) (It’s not like in 60 days I’m fully qualified to go hiking and just need to buy some hiking gear.)

Thank you K-dramas, coffee, pen & paper, scrapbooking and exercise for saving my life these days.
What has been saving yours?

Aggie Aviso

Aggie Aviso describes herself as her family’s storyteller and memory keeper. A mom to two kids ages 14 and 8, she is certainly past the age of sleepless nights and adorable pigtails. However, motherhood stays exciting, more meaningful and yes, more challenging. She takes it all in stride, knowing fully well that moments pass by in a blink of an eye. As Gretchen Rubin famously said, “The days are long, but the years are short.” She has discovered how wonderful it is to have those fleeting moments in time documented in their family books and has made it her personal mission and passion to be able to tell their stories for her future grandkids. You can read more about her here.. Subscribe to blog updates and the occasional letter here.