What if the zombie apocalypse suddenly became real? One day you wake up and BAM! Lots of bloodthirsty (meat thirsty?) non-humans all around you. Or — or what if vampires and werewolves took over the human population, reigning over us, and we have to suffer the consequences of their repeating feud? (God forbid we see a ton of sparkly Edward Cullens going around. I am okay with vampires but I draw the line on SPARKLY vampires.)
With all the s**t that happened last year, it seems like anything is possible. Short of waving my wand and chanting something for peace here on Earth, here are some things that we can all do in order to stay sane this year. They are, admittedly, small things. Their effects, however, will benefit you in the long run.
Study martial arts, practice shooting, try archery, do yoga
Or whatever floats your boat. They key thought here is, “Train like tomorrow doesn’t exist.” (Which is somewhat true, given the awful worldwide stuff happening.) Not only will this prepare you for the zombie apocalypse or the vampires vs. werewolves showdown (chowdown? Hehe.), but you will also get a toned, strong body. A body fit for fighting or, you know, running for the opposite direction when things take a turn for the worst. (Zombie apocalypse, remember? Also: Does the vampires vs. werewolves war ring any bells? Hello? How could you even forget that possibility?)
Seriously, get fit for 2017 if you haven’t already. I myself have been trying this. Back in my college days and younger years, I eagerly delved into physical activities. (True story.) Tae kwon do, gymnastics, and ballet. I loved, LOVED the rush I felt during training / practice. Then I stopped being physical when I started working. (This was to be replaced by many lost weekends, all thanks to friends, not-so-far-flung places, and alcohol.) But, like a wise person said, “It’s never too late.” I don’t see why I shouldn’t start getting involved in physical activities again. Not only will it be beneficial in terms of health, but it’ll be fun, too. *pause* Okay, so the first few sessions will probably be closer to me swearing like a sailor under my breath (or inside my head) and grunting unattractively as I try to get my groove back using that contraption over there, but you get the idea.
Step out of your comfort zone
I know, I know. So overused. (I can see you rolling your eyes. I’d tell you to stop, but I am rolling my eyes at what I just said, too.) But. BUT you’d have to agree that it makes sense. Was there something you want to try but was too worried or afraid of either the consequences or what other people will say? Then all the more reason to just go ahead and do it. Jump to it headlong! Example: Years ago, in previous life, I have tried wall climbing during our team building. Halfway through, I got this smart idea to stop and look down. When I did, my knees literally shook. Knocked together. I couldn’t push through after that. I was worried about falling from so high up there. And that was that, folks. I simply gave up. I just refused. And so to atone for that act of cowardice and redeem myself, I have added wall climbing in my to-do list for the first quarter of this year.
What about you? Whatever hesitations or fears you have, maybe it’s worth the risk. I mean, what have you got to lose in case you fail? There is always another chance to try. And you’ll be better next time. And the next, and the next, until you’re so good at it that you’ll look back, snort, and think, “Hell’s balls! Yeah, I’m bad ass!”
Most of the time, only kids and babies have it easy in life. As for us, the fun stuff: Paying bills, restraining the urge to clock someone, waking up extra early due to obligations — Welcome to the real world! And yes, adulting is hard! Which is why it’s very, very important to give yourself some love every now and then. Whether it’s taking yourself out shopping or getting the spa of the century, indulge yourself. You deserve it, I’m not even kidding. Life is hard, okay? (And writing, too.)
This time last year, my dad has been battling stage four colon cancer. My life suddenly revolved around him. He became our (mine and my family’s) priority. His health, his condition, his food, his comfort, his feelings — everything about him. I didn’t realize how stressed out and exhausted (emotionally and physically) I was months and months later. I never regretted taking care of my dad at that time he needed us most. It was the only thing I could do to him to help him, to give him the best I can. So I lost myself in the process of… everything. And that’s human nature, I think. You’d be surprised at how much you can sacrifice and for how long when the need calls for it.
I still carry until today the stress and exhaustion but I have learned to cope with it, to live with it by allowing myself some time out. A time to do what I want, to do what would give me happiness, if not the feeling of being alive. And I guess that’s what we forget these days: To feel alive. Not merely exist, but feel our breathing and be thankful for that or gaze up at the moon and drink in its beauty. Amidst all the cacophonies, responsibilities, and promises in our lives, let’s not forget ourselves, okay?
Don’t forget to laugh
See the brighter side of things. It’s hard, especially if you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders. But try. At least try. See the humor in situations. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Never underestimate the value of laughter. It soothes the soul and cheers up the heart. From this point forward, promise to yourself that while you are allowed to wallow and even host the occasional (but brief) pity party about all the things that went wrong in your life, you will make the effort to laugh, to be silly, to goof off from time to time. It makes things interesting. When you’re old and wrinkly, you would have memories to make you chuckle and you’d say, “A life well lived. Not perfect, no, but a life well lived.”
We don’t know what 2017 holds in store for us. We can only hope it’s going to be a far better year. Hold on to that hope, will you? It’s going to help in the long run.