“Inhale, exhale


Simplify and breathe…list down the things that matter…”


You can’t have good days all the time because it’s not the order of things. The only way to get through the bad ones is to face them, which is easier said than done especially if, for example, your boss is a strong practitioner of mediocrity, your mail keeps getting lost and people don’t think before they open their mouth. What should one do? I stand by my mantra of “inhale, exhale…think…simplify and breathe”. After that, list the things that matter most.

I followed my advice having had a few bad days last week.

1)      Sanity – It’s hard to keep yourself together if you’re surrounded by pretentious fools who turn logic over its head, but I try hard not to lose my head by thinking. I think of the bigger picture and remember the aphorism “There are bigger battles to be won.”

2)      Family – I’m fortunate to have a very supportive family. When plans go awry, they’re there no matter what. Of course, some of my friends are like family.

3)      Good people – As my friend Lou ( said during our latest YM chat, “We need good people in our lives”. Indeed, we do! By this I mean good friends, relatives and colleagues. It also means staying away – or weeding out – the toxic people from your life such as fair-weather friends, backstabbers, smooth talkers as well as those who are scheming, rude, dishonest and narcissistic. I don’t need the negative energy from these people and the constant feeling that you constantly have to watch your back.

4)      Serenity –It’s hard to find serenity at the workplace where challenges abound. But challenges are good especially if the goals are clearly defined. Constant stress reigns when the person who set the challenges doesn’t know his right arm from his left arm. I need my calm and peace so I can think straight, which most people think is synonymous to skiving. Bottom line: thinking is not skiving. Remember what Deepak Chopra said, “Yes to being in your comfort zone, no to constant stress.”

5)       Civility – It’s easy to blame television and movies for the appalling behavior of people but everything starts at home. Good manners were inculcated in our minds – my sister and I – by our parents. Sorry to say, not all people were raised to mind their Ps and Qs – they seemed to have been left in the wilderness by their parents. Rudeness rankles me to the core but, thank the universe, there are still some civilized souls left out there.

My list of essential things is best achieved if dovetailed with the seven things that I can’t live without, which is not very far from what Americans nowadays find to be very essential in their lives. For example, if Americans can’t live without their coffee, I must always have my cup to tea – green tea in the afternoon and chamomile in the evening. [Aside: Americans, I read in Yahoo, also value portable computers, high-speed Internet access, education, smart phones, pets, movies, booze and television.]

Here are those seven things that help me get through a bad day while keeping the list above in mind.

1)      Tea – Add peppermint to the list. Peppermint is good in aiding digestion. I like green tea because it helps in the fight against the bulge and keeps me alert throughout the day. Chamomile is a good natural diuretic and relaxes me. I grab a cup or two of tea when I’m having a really bad day.

2)      Internet Access – It’s the way for me to connect to my family and friends as well as be abreast of the goings-on in the world.

3)      Blogging – I’m actually a late bloomer vis-à-vis the blogging phenomenon, but it has been cathartic and keeps me in practice (my writing that is). I have my friend Niña ( in Ireland to thank for this, as she set it up for me.

4)      Yoga – Tell me, is there a better way in finding your center and calming your thoughts than yoga?

5)      Cartoons – The world of cartoons (on television or DVD) is a good place to escape to when I want to jump out of the real world. It’s like, quoting my friend Patricia in France (, taking a short leave of absence from the world.

6)      Books – I always have a book with me – in my bag, in my flat and on my bed. Needless to say, I love reading and so does my entire family. Reading keeps the mind sharp.

7)      Chocolate –Be it candy bar, cookie, cupcake, muffin, ice cream, sundae sauce or a slice of cake, chocolate never fails to make me bounce off the walls. Thank the universe that Indonesians are chocolate lovers too!

I’ve shared my list so how about I take a peek at yours?


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by grumpy elephant on June 8, 2010 at 8:23 am

    tea, lemon cake, favourite cd played on my stereo in my living room (this unfortuately will have to wait for couple more months …), latest copy of gourmet,


  2. Posted by grumpy elephant on June 8, 2010 at 8:23 am

    wait one more, long black with shot of cold milk first thing in the morning


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