Before 2018 ends, it is time for my year-end essay! I will compensate for my inability to update the last few months with this mega post.
Compared to the holidays of the previous years, this year is quite laid back. It was not as frantic as before.
One of the things I am proudest of this 2018 is that I was able to make better choices for my health. This includes a change in my diet, and a better drive to exercise regularly.
Back in June, I posted on my efforts to start on keto diet. From almost 180 lbs in May, I was able to trim down to 145.5 lbs in August. As of this writing, I am currently shifting from 143 lbs or 144 lbs, even when I sometimes forget to exercise.
It is not so much how much time you spend exercising, but also a lot on what you eat. Most of the time, I will be exercising thrice a week but I still managed to keep my weight in check.
Officially entered normal BMI last August
I had a history of eating disorders, and I am aware I have a tendency of pushing it too far. So I had about a month of problematic period where my emotions were too fragile.
But at the end of the day, being open with the right people about how I feel helped a lot. Physical health goes hand in hand with mental health, and I could not have been happier to be surrounded by people I can freely talk with.
Work-wise, it was not perfect; however, no workplace is perfect to begin with. I had my share of trying times, but like a family, we make it work.
When I look back, I am extremely happy to have joined a team driven to excel and help each other out. Last year, there were only eight of us. This year, our number doubled!
We had a lot of amazing activities together. Sure, there were logistical nightmares in some of these events, but with a team this big, I can always count that someone will always have your back.
This 2019, our first batch will graduate. We are already gathering the second batch, but the first batch will always have a special place in my heart. Hopefully things will be better next year! There were several bumps on the road, but we have to be also kind to ourselves because of the steep learning curve.
I am excited for what the next year has in store for us!
Mon and I also managed to go outside the country again, and a special year it was because of our 10th year celebration! It was a conscious effort not to book any trips in 2017 because both of us were planning to transfer workplaces.
It was our first time to visit Taiwan. It was unexpectedly eventful and we enjoyed every minute of it. The keto diet was quite tough to deal with, though. We missed out on some distinctively Taiwanese goodies, so as not to be kicked out of ketosis. We even brought keto bread with us, for crying out loud!
Also after two years, I was able to meet with the friends I gained during our 2-week staff integration course in Thailand. Although Harry flaked out on us on the last minute, which was a total bummer.
We had a lot of fun recounting stories of our (mis)adventures, and listening to how our lives had been since I left the humanitarian world. I particularly enjoyed their stories during their missions in Myanmar and Kenya, and the politics of the humanitarian sector.
I have been keeping tab on the last point for the last three years, as I hoped to write a fiction based on this. Working at international organizations for about three years, I still managed to collect interesting anecdotes of mishaps and power plays. The realist in me cannot help but feel that it is indeed an extension of great power politics.
How can I not post about Catriona winning Miss Universe 2018? I had been very vocal on my social media accounts that she will win this year! I even candidly wrote about my luck in threes after I won two office raffles, and the third one will be Catriona winning!
While I did not manage to post about Pia winning back in 2015 (despite stalking her homecoming parade in Ayala Avenue in December that year), I could not believe that we managed to get the crown twice in the last three years!
On a serious note, our family had several medical emergencies in 2018. Brie was hospitalized for about 2 weeks in January, and we had a serious scare when she had pneumonia. Mama also had pneumonia back in March, while Papa had his gall bladder removed in October.
I am not asking for too much in 2019. Although I am not the most religious person, all I ask from God is to keep my family (and Mon’s as well) healthy and safe from harm. I hope 2019 will be better to all of us health-wise!
Until now, I am contemplating whether or not I will be taking up further graduate studies. The most attractive option so far is to complete the remaining half, which will begin by September 2019. After finishing, and eventually marching in September, I still hope I have the patience to go on with this.
And speaking of plans, Mon and I will be traveling more in 2019!
We booked tickets to Bangkok in September 2019 for our 11th anniversary. It would be nice to meet some of my former humanitarian colleagues again in one evening. We were also able to squeeze in three days in Phuket for that trip! Then for fall 2019, we will also be traveling to Beijing. It will be our first time in China, but I had to renew my passport first because its validity will be less than six months in November next year.
There you have it. I had a blast in 2018, it was a great ride. But 2019 will hopefully be better!
HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM MISO AND I! <3