For January 2022

The sun is skimming over the surface of the mountains, just about to rise. The cat has been fed, and is sidled next to my husband in bed. After waking me up at a god awful hour, he has decided to go back to sleep. Lucky cat. I should be grateful, though. Because of him, I won’t miss this sunrise.

I have made a resolution to wake up earlier and write. It’s a homage to how important writing is for me. Unfortunately, I am five days into the New Year and this is the first time I’ve braved the cold. I have poured myself a coffee in my favorite mug and threw a blanket over my shoulders. I am making a mental note: Lay out socks and a sweater by the bed to help me get by. The rug under my feet helps, though.

The first few days of the year were spent honoring our five years of marriage. Time, it flies by so fast! I mean, didn’t I say we were already five days into the new year? It was a good reminder to not let anything go to waste. The celebration was also a practice in staying still. This time, we didn’t go anywhere, which is highly unusual. I guess these past few years have been unusual anyway.

Instead, we stayed put, at home. We idled the hours away, trading in productivity for good ole quality time. I already had the chance to practice saying no, so that I could say bigger yeses these last few days. No to work and money, yes to us and the things that matter.

We walked around the ranch and picked oranges from the trees. Then we squeezed them to make orange juice, which we sipped on for days. In the mornings, we tested our nose and palate with Le Nez du Cafe kit. In the afternoons, we sunbathed in the living room and finished reading a Drift magazine we bought last summer. We closed out our days with dips in the jaccuzzi and boardgame nights. Somewhere in there, my husband made pizza and I, bread.

I have spent the last two years waiting to get back to ‘normal’. I was expecting to start the New Year with plans to live extremely frugally with the return of student loan repayment. Only to have it extended another few months. I guess it isn’t time yet to go back to ‘normal’. But if I’m being frank…

I abhorred the normal. The normal was abnormally bad for me and my health. Before the abnormal, I didn’t make my own decisions. Instead of gratitude journaling, I prayed for change. I was lost and looking for myself under all the social expectations and pressures. Young me never had the courage to say no. Exhaustion was a daily thing, and I was so up in the clouds chasing dreams, I never had my feet on the ground. Any gust of wind could blow me away.

Today, I put myself first. My mornings are dedicated to me. Before anything and anyone else (except that darn cat!), I follow rituals that will support me. This includes making a mindful cup of coffee, having a writing session, reading books, and learning new things such as piano or how to make the perfect croissant.

On top of that, I exercise all the time, and I actually LOVE it. I look out for my body and its health. In gratitude for what my body is able to do for me throughout the day, I return the favor by eating healthy foods. These past few years have taught me how to listen to my body. When it is tired, I protect it by saying no to others. Not to be selfish, but with the understanding that little no’s can lead to very big yeses.

Golden yellow sunlight is seeping through our plantation shutters now. In a few moments, I’ll get up to throw back the curtains so that natural light can warm the home. I hear my husband’s feet shuffling in the bedroom. He’s about to get ready for his day. But before I do:

Things For January:

  • Create a dog sitting website and business cards
  • Go on a road trip up the California coast with Texino
  • Try Blood Orange Meringue Pie Recipe
  • Complete Bucket List Bake Club’s January Challenge: Milk Bar Birthday Cake
  • Learn one heritage recipe from my mom: Chicken Tinola
  • Talk to my plants, beg them to grow
  • Read the books on my queue
  • Declutter desk and filing cabinet
  • Offer kindness proactively. Pay attention to people around me and what I can do to make their lives easier.
  • Frugal Challenge: Lower the Electricity Bill
  • Install Tesla Solar Panels
  • Moisturize my feet
  • Allow for an hour of doing nothing
  • Start writing the courses I never got around to writing in 2021
  • Sign up to work at the Ranch community farm

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