28-Day Life Overhaul: Day 6

I used to have asthma and other lung ailments when I was much younger. My mom spent many hours looking after me and, though asthma symptoms like difficulty in breathing can be very scary, I was never afraid because of her presence. Plus when I was young, I felt invincible. Death was something that only happened to other people. My asthma disappeared when I started running. My dad ran for years and I, naturally, wanted to emulate him. But even after he stopped due to bad knees, I continued and my asthma was a thing of the past.

Now that I’m much older, I no longer have that delusion. My mom got cancer but survived, my father died of a heart attack, and some friends have passed away, too.  No one is invincible. I mistrust my body as it gets older. I may have a forever-young mind, but not my organs. Because I know my body has its own tempo and trajectory, I respect it more now. I want to nourish it and care for it while I can still turn things around.

Getting asthma symptoms again now that I’m older is quite scary. My mom, who was my rock in every attack in the past, is thousands of miles away. I now live in a country with a climate very different from our tropical one. The meds offered here are different as well and doctors are quick to recommend ones that are too aggressive and with many side effects. I want to overcome this new phase of asthma by using more natural methods and cures that I believe, in the long run, will be better for my overall health.

When I first got revisited by the symptoms, I stopped exercising altogether. It was a knee-jerk decision based on fear. But then the rest of my health and well-being suffered. I couldn’t let that go on. So now, managing my asthma during exercise is going to be a priority and maybe a life-long concern. It teaches me patience for my body’s recent limitations, and forgiveness instead of anger over it. It reminds me to be gentle on myself, to be kind to my body. I will only have one and it will not last forever. Respect for one’s body is acceptance of its flaws and weaknesses, as well as recognizing its strengths. I can’t go back to languishing. I want to live with what I have and live happily.

Here’s day 6. I experienced an asthma attack while filming it and, instead of retreating to my bed, I decided to show everyone how I deal with it with breathing and relaxation exercises. I didn’t mention it here but I also do a lot of steam inhalation with a little peppermint or eucalyptus oil. And in case of excessive coughing due to phlegm production, I crush up garlic bud and eat it with honey. I also drink hot lemon water with cayenne pepper. This is my longest video of late. I hope you enjoy!

 

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28-Day Life Overhaul: Day 5 Driving Lessons

I’ll tell you next time about how my fear of driving came about. But now you know: I can’t drive. I’m 40-something and only now learning how to operate a motor vehicle. Bronne tried to teach me after we first moved here to Georgia but that ended in semi-disaster. Several friends offered to teach me since then but nothing came off it mostly because I wasn’t ready to be taught or they weren’t really ready to teach someone as scared as I was. And then a friend I recently made, Marilyn, told me she’d teach me. No many days of planning. No pep talk or soothing assurances to ease my fears. Just, “I’ll come by on Wednesday and teach you how to drive.” And she came by and that was the start of it. And on the day I was to take the written driver’s test in order to get my learner’s permit, she came by and I tried to wiggle out of it saying I wasn’t mentally or physically prepared to take it (I feigned not feeling well). But she wouldn’t have it and drove me to the DMV where I took the test and passed.

It’s amazing how my life has changed since then. Many people have told me that driving is mobility, that I’ll be able to get out of the house on my own and go to places without Bronne. But those things never were important to me. The change that driving has given me is more than mobility, it is FREEDOM, not from the confines of my home or the company of my partner, but from one of the greatest fears of my adult life. As I slowly free myself from the shackles of driving, other monsters have joined the roster of fears to conquer. They are all in queue waiting for me to face them.

So, the driving lesson part may seem boring to you drivers out there, but I hope you enjoy this episode anyway! 🙂 Thanks for watching!

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4: Forging Ahead

Have you ever been so gung-ho about a project that you just know you’ll NEVER NOT want to continue, but then you find, after a while, that you are running out of steam and might end it after all? All of my ideas seem to go to that route. And it’s not that I’m bored with the project, or that it’s too difficult. It’s that doubts enter my mind. I start questioning the worth of what I’m doing. And after that, I decide it’s all ridiculous and just a waste of time and space. But the wastage isn’t on me, it’s on the people I inflict my project upon. Like this vlog series, for example. I’m at that point where I’m starting to think that my life is too boring to film and why anyone would want to watch me jump up and down my Rebounder or watch me prepare my food. There are days when nothing of note happens to me. I just go about my day cleaning and editing. In the past, I would have quit already. Like this blog, for example. I closed shop and let the spiders have their run of the place.

But that’s the beauty of putting myself on YouTube. I can’t back out now. I’ve imposed upon myself a penalty — the shame of people watching me fail if I don’t go on. Maybe no one will notice if I don’t continue. Maybe they’re not even watching. But I’ll know I failed. I put myself out there then retreated. It’s hardly writing a novel in the nook of your room, alone, with just a lamp on. It’s more like going on stage in your costume, starting your monologue, then quitting after a few lines.

OK. Enough metaphors. The point is: I shall forge ahead with this. The end.

Here’s the latest installment of my 28-Day Life Overhaul. It’s Day 4, baby!

 

Outfit of the Day: Peplumed and Booted in Black

We had a very satisfying day, the highlight of which was performing at an open mic of 20 talented songwriters in Duluth, Georgia (see Eddie Owen Presents).  It was a freakishly cold day and that meant only one thing — time to awaken the sleeping jackets!

OK. . . I look like a duck. Quack.

This jacket was a thrift store find. I bought it for 3 reasons: 1) it’s well made, 2) it’s velvet but matte, and 3) it has a peplum.

I love a peplum. I was unaware that it made a comeback recently but I don’t care much for trends. In fact, I love peplumed garments because they remind me of bustles, which will probably never be resurrected.  Sure, Vivienne Westwood made a go at it and they looked smashing on the runway. But I can’t see a modern woman sporting a bustle.  Can you? How would she drive her car without flattening the thing? Just imagine her making a grand entrance to a party with deflated bunched-up fabric against her bum. Sad.

Peplums are like demure bustles. They say, “I want to make your butt look bigger, but not too much, OK? Heehee!” Why exactly this excites me, I can’t say.  It sure does amuse me.  Maybe it’s because I like a little humor in what I wear.

I confess: I’m a little knock-kneed.

A view from the top!

And here are my vintage Dr. Martens 20-eye lace boots. I got them for a steal at Ebay from a very nice seller. They are unique because they don’t have the trademark yellow stitching DMs usually have.

Haha, I say that now but, to be honest, after I bid on them, I started sweating bullets when I noticed too late the lack of yellow along the sides.  “Fake”, my brain whispered.  Maybe . . .  Then Bronne pointed out another disturbing thing: the soles are not the usual transparent DM soles with the ridges.  “FAKE!!!”, my brain screamed.  As the end of bidding neared, I stared at my laptop and willed someone to bid even just a mere 50 cents higher than me.  But, alas, I won. And the evil shoe gods laughed with glee.

Then I did a little googling. OK, a lot of it. I learned that DM does produce non-yellow-stitched boots and their soles are not always transparent. In fact, these were Made in England and they have a registered no. on their soles that can be traced and thus proves THEY ARE NOT FAKE. So take that, evil shoe gods. Who’s laughing now, you cruel clog deities!

Anyways, I love these boots. I’m very partial to combat-looking boots. Probably because they remind me of my dad’s army boots. My dad is/was the best man I know and his choices and actions have shaped my life tremendously. He was a proud military officer, but a gentle man. He used to bring us to his barracks when my brother and I were kids and we christened his men, according to their physical appearances, after characters from the comic strip, ‘Beetle Bailey’. I was mesmerized whenever they did their formations. And their marching chants to the rhythm of boots against the ground were music to my ears.

Why I included this photo, I don’t know. I hate my face sometimes. Especially tonight. I thought I looked good but this photo, snickering, proved otherwise. But I’m posting it to memorialize my hair, to show everyone WHY NOT TO CUT YOUR OWN HAIR.

Yes. I cut my own hair. Back in the Philippines, my mom usually cut my hair. When I wanted to get pampered, I would walk to the next street and have our neighbor cut it. She ran a salon from her living room. It smelled of dye and burnt hair from hair dryers. No fancy salon sinks here. Clients bend over to get shampooed from a bathroom-type sink, their crowns often greeted by the faucet jutting out — bonk!  Anyways, my hair loved Nancy-the-friendly-neighborhood-hairdresser.  It thrived after she cut it.

So, because I can’t imagine anyone else cutting my hair here, I started doing it. It’s not so bad NOW. But there was a time I didn’t have my glasses on and I cut my hair. Hahaha. That was 2 months worth of hat-wearing.

And because Bronne wanted to memorialize his outfit, I’m including it here.

Look at him. His eyes are half-closed but he still looks great (grumble!). Guess who cuts his hair? (Evil grin.)

This is Bronne’s signature look: black top and red pants. It took us a long time to find him red jeans and I think we got these at Marshall’s or Ross, two of our very favorite shops. Actually, we call them our treasure haunts.  We go through the racks until we find a treasure and for a bargain, too. I got my first pair of Dr. Martens from a Ross.  Bronne found two very nice Ben Sherman button-downs for a song (“♪♫ Twenty Dollars! Twenty Dollars! ♪♫). Often we leave empty-handed, but that just makes the treasure hunt more exciting each time!

His red-striped Addidas sneakers. I almost typed ‘rubber shoes’ which gives you a clue how ancient I am.

Who am I kidding? I practically revealed it when I mentioned the comic strip, ‘Beetle Bailey’.

Bronne has a collection of belt buckles. This, I think is one of his top three faves. He’s Superman, my husband, and his kryptonite: belt buckles and British-branded shirts!!! This superhero goes weak-kneed at the sight of a unique buckle or a Ben Sherman shirt. On sale, of course.

And lastly,

Bronne sandwiched between red pillows, having a conversation with Ladybug. He’s telling her about our open mic experience, which was pretty good. But, boy, were we tired tonight.

I wanted to be in this photo but Katie refused to take our picture. What a diva.