Sunday, May 17, 2020

Life Updates

Photo taken at the Sydney Opera House, March 2019

Well, 2020, it has been one hell of a ride. We're not even halfway through the year but so many things have happened to the world, and mostly bad

The biggest threat the world is facing this year is controlling the spread of the COVID-19. Countries closed down establishments, disallowed non-essential work and activities, and halted all kinds of travel. This is the first time I experienced this, and it's scary. What's worse is we don't know when it's all going to stop. The next several months seem bleak and uncertain. 

The government implemented an enhanced community quarantine in our area, which means, only those working at companies involved in provision of healthcare, and utilities, and the manufacture, delivery, and sale of food items can go out of the house to work. Aside from that, only one person for each household is allowed to go out to buy the family's necessities. 

 My family business is distribution of food items to supermarkets, groceries, and retailers, so we still go to work, but we operate on shortened hours and only with a skeletal workforce. To make the most out of my extra time at home, I made sure I was productive. These were some of the things I worked on during the quarantine. 

1. Took the online CS50 course in Harvard through EdX. One random day, I was browsing through EdX on the different courses available, and the most popular was a programming course called CS50 in Harvard. I was curious, so I told myself, why not give it a shot? I know nothing about programming which made me all the more interested. Four lectures and several problem sets later, I realized that this course is really difficult. The course was perfectly designed that the problem sets are extremely challenging that you have to think outside the box, but at the same time very doable with the knowledge you gain from the lectures (even if it might not seem like it at first). I'm almost halfway through and it's not getting any easier, but I can do this! 

2. Took the online biochemistry course in Harvard through EdX. Well, since I'm already taking a course on EdX, why not take another one? Perfect for those days I don't feel like writing codes. Pharmacy is my major, and my favorite subject is Chemistry. I've had two biochemistry subjects and I feel like I want to refresh my memory on these topics. I thought it would be easy considering that I already have a background in Biochemistry, but I was wrong! I honestly don't know how Harvard makes it more complicated lol. But I'm having fun! Plus, easy is boooooring. 

3. Exercised more often. I signed up on an app called Freeletics that gives you different exercises for your workouts, and adjusts their difficulty as you get stronger. I did push ups, planks, mountain climbers, all the usual exercises. I used to do this every other day but I got bored lol. On another note, I've been on the lookout for a yoga app that gives you the same experience as a real life yoga class. The ones I previously found online were too easy for me and didn't challenge me as much as I had hoped. Then, a friend recommended an app called DownDog. I tried it, and I've been addicted since! You can choose the level of difficulty so the sequence is always challenging. Also, the poses vary from session to session so I don't easily get bored. Instead of Freeletics, this is what I've been doing lately but was forced to stop last week due to a pulled muscle. Ouch! 

4. Practiced singing. One of the things I'm horrible at is carrying a tune. And no, I'm not saying this to be modest. I'm one of the worst singers I know, and it's always embarrassing when I get called to sing in a karaoke. Since two weeks ago, I allot an hour a day five days a week to practice scales and to learn some songs. It's not easy, but definitely worth it in the end! 

5. Cooked more. One of the things I don't really enjoy is cooking (tried to do it before, but the dish almost always ends up not so good), but I know I have to learn it eventually. With the extra time I had, I cooked seafood pasta (had some help with the scallops from my sister), pesto pasta, and garlic butter fish. All turned out great, yay! 

6. Tried to improve posture. I've always wanted to improve my posture. In fact, I even listed this as one of my new year's resolution this 2020. I have a tendency to hunch my back because it's more comfortable that way and it doesn't require much effort. Lately, I've been more aware of my posture and I try to straighten my back as much as possible. 

7. Launched an e-commerce website. This was what made me busy the past few weeks! Due to entry restrictions in some areas and our company operating on a skeletal workforce, we could not reach some of our customers. We came up with an e-commerce site so that our customers can order online and have the products delivered to them! Here's the link if you want to check it out. It's not done yet since some graphics and artworks are still missing, but we already launched it almost two weeks ago. 

8. Repacked goods for donation. Several weeks ago, my family, together with other members of the Albay Chamber of Commerce pooled some funds to purchase hygiene and personal care products (shampoo, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, alcohol, bathroom tissue, face towel, detergent bar) to donate to the frontliners of the biggest government hospital here in our province. We did the repacking at home and finished repacking 1000 hygiene kits in a little over 4 days. Whew! 

9. Read books. Duh, of course! For a person who loves to read, I spend my extra time reading books. When I was in high school, I skipped meal times and delayed taking a bath (lol!) because I couldn't make myself stop reading a novel once I started it. And I usually finished reading my novels in less than a day (even Harry Potter 5)! After finishing the book, I would not feel so good -- disoriented, weak, dizzy. Perhaps this was also the reason behind my poor eyesight. I was shortsighted with an eye grade of -5.0/-5.5 before I decided to get LASIK done on my eyes (best decision ever!). Now, I try to limit my reading to shorter periods of time, and getting a lot of rest in between. I'm currently reading Traction, Scaling Up, and The History Book (I love history!) -- a few chapters at a time. I also bought this book called Royce Rolls which is a story about a family with a reality show similar to the Kardashians. I thought it was going to be a light, funny read, but I found it shallow and superficial -- I'm having a hard time finishing it. Well, I guess we'll see where it goes. 

This is it for now. Until next time!

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