It is in this season of uncertainty that we really find ourselves holding onto things — anything, in fact — that can provide us some sense of groundedness and hope. It is different for everyone, of course. It can be as natural as sunlight seeping through a window or something therapeutic like baking bread. It can be something mechanical and routinary like working out or something we know for sure will distract us from the present like a riveting novel or Netflix series. Whatever it may be, we cling to these things because somehow, we know they help keep us going. They get us through another day in quarantine.
I was inspired by Austin Kleon’s weekly newsletter where he lists 10 things from his blog, his life or the internet that he finds inspiring and worth sharing. I look forward to these emails because he picks really interesting topics and beautiful articles to read. So I’ve decided to make my own list, too, (and will try to do it weekly, as well) of things I experience and discover that inspire me and keep me going.
I’ll start with five things that I’ve been holding onto the last few weeks; simple things that give me purpose on a daily basis, keep my mind alert and give me joy.
It is so cliche of me to be including coffee in this list because…who wouldn’t! But I’m just being real here and acknowledging the fact that coffee does keep me going. I’m also grateful my husband is good at making it and that there’s an espresso machine where we are currently quarantined. I can have a latte and pretend I’m out chilling in some coffee shop!
2. Honeycomb Book Club
Our collaborative space, Honeycomb Manila, has been shut down for the meantime too, so while all of us in the team are stuck in our respective homes, we have been undergoing remote training and team-building instead. The first two weeks we tackled hospitality and service. This last week, we have been doing writing excercises. Along with that, we are all together reading Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg (If you are getting into writing and have never read it, make sure to look it up!). As a result, I have been writing almost everyday for a month now, which has been both introspective and liberating. I am unearthing thoughts and feelings lying dormant in me that I somehow freely and safely release in writing, which is oddly comforting. Contemplating on sharing them here on the blog soon.
3. Stamp Tile Carving
I have always talked about carving stamps being my therapy. I’m happy I chose this craft as my 100 Day Project this year. I look forward to carving and posting a new design each day!
4. Berry Pickers
Kayo and I set up office in my in laws’ house and right across our desk is a big window where we have a view of several small trees bearing red berries. Many times during the day, I will spot one or two birds fluttering about said trees, picking the berries for food. I almost always stop whatever it is I am doing and watch this happen right before me.
5. Fright Nights
This is unusual but since the beginning of quarantine I have had this compulsion to watch scary, suspenseful shows (as if I am not stressed enough yet, right?). I shared a quote by Alan Jacobs on Instagram a few weeks ago (which I also discovered through Kleon) that, I think, best explains why this is so. (Read full article HERE.)
When you’re looking at a painting in a gallery, you sometimes find that you need to step back a bit in order to see it whole, to grasp its structure and proportions. You don’t get too far away; just far enough. Perhaps that’s what these stories have been for me: A step or two back from the details of our current predicament gives me the critical distance to process what’s happening with less stress, less mind-warping anxiety.Alan Jacobs
That’s it for my list this week. What could be in yours, I wonder?