The Great Indoors

Sunday, April 26, 2020
Signs in Lagaan Falls, Siquijor, taken by yours truly

Crazy how over a year has passed since my first and last entry of 2019. I'd really hate to start each conversation on this platform with this sort of ~unpleasantry, like bumping into a friend you haven't seen in a long time and blurting out "I haven't seen you in ages" and then involuntarily rolling your eyes to yourself afterward.

Despite my hiatus from this site, I'd stuck to my personal strategy about 75% of the year, even if I hadn't really been writing about it. It's not the best score, but I do what I can. I didn't make any new friends, nor did I finish my online course on Sustainability or the one on Marine Governance. My meatless days, although plenty, were not very consistent. One week I'd have two meatless days, or three meatless dinners; other weeks I'd forget to go meatless or having to clean out (meaty) leftovers in my parents' fridge -- guess it's the thought that counts, right? Happy to have done at least four hikes and spent some time outdoors -- my favorite being a hike up a series of waterfalls in Cebu, and trekking the foothills of the Japanese Alps. As much as I tried to spend money more mindfully, I could not resist buying shiny things I didn't need. The compost kit I had been building for months exploded in our kitchen (not literally) and stank up the house for days.

This year, I updated my strategy to make it a bit more intuitive and aligned with how I actually want to live, without going overboard. One example is changing my cultural perspective from making new "zero waste friends" to number of books read, since this is a good way of unplugging and discovering new worlds. This is currently my favorite perspective, especially since I've had a bit more time to read during this lock down. I've already read 13 books this year (the goal is 24!). It sounds impressive, until you find out 7 of them are Harry Potter and two of them are audiobooks.

I recently finished We are the Weather by Jonathan Safran Foer. The book's been on my TBR pile for the longest time. I found the audiobook on Scribd. I have recently discovered the beauty of audiobooks -- I can listen to them while doing the dishes and cleaning my bathroom. In any case, how Foer discusses protecting ourselves from the impact of climate change isn't anything new, but he compares it to decisions our grandparents make, to historical events from the time of Julius Caesar, to things light years away. The bottom line is that we don't act the way we should to mitigate the impact of climate change, mostly because we can't comprehend what our desolate future will look like once we've used up our planet's resources. It was a good book overall, and gave a good balance of desperation and hope. I also couldn't help but wonder if he was talking/writing about trying to address climate change or protect ourselves from coronavirus.

Thanks to corona, I haven't left my house in 42 days (I'm sure others have it worse). I'm not complaining since I love staying home, but currently missing the outdoors. I'm thankful to be able to still have a job, a good supply of food, my sanity for most of the time, and all that. One of the things I'm super thankful for is the mango tree outside my window, which I witnessed grew so many new leaves since 41 days ago. The plants on my desk make my workspace not too boring, too. Nature really knows how to work its magic when we can't go outside. It's such a shame not to be outdoors, laying on the beach. For now, the great indoors will have to do.

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