Having given up a few weekends for work I found myself at the end of last week with two days off in lieu of the Saturdays I worked. The most opportune time to take those days off was on the 30th and 31st of October, days which were conveniently sandwiched between the Barangay Elections and All Saints Day. This meant I could have an entire week off, with weekends on both ends. The prospect of nine whole days without work was something I had looked forward to with relish, and I even made a mental list of what I would do in those nine days.
1. Sleep for 8 hours each day. Enough sleep was something I had been foregoing for a long time now. I promised myself that I would literally get back all the sleep I had lost in the weeks preceding.
2. Go somewhere I’ve never been before. Now this was easy, as I almost never go anywhere anyway. Sam had asked me to accompany him to Kamuning in his quest to find the Four Seasons Haberdashery which sold (so he had been informed by his Brothers at JDML 305) masonic barong fabrics. I’ve never been to Kamuning. We found the Four Seasons with no problems, but I also discovered, much to my delight, the antique shops. I had no idea I was going to encounter something as interesting as this and I did not have my camera with me. I was in a memorabilia collector’s paradise and my greatest regret was not having enough money to splurge with. In the three stores Sam and I visited (the bigger ones were closed because of the holiday) I found framed photographs of Filipino actors from the 50s, clippings of Gloria Diaz when she won the Miss Universe crown in 1969, capiz windows from old houses that had been turned into dividers (found a set that was going for P3000), sets of wine glasses and dinner plates like my grandmother used to have. Now, after we have the house fixed up I am going to go back there and …
3. Spend time with Maia. I got to comb my daughter’s hair everyday. That’s about as much time I spend with her on a regular day, sometimes I am not even allowed that opportunity. Now I spent entire mornings with her, hours in the afternoon and in the evening. It’s not going to be until Christmas break that I can spend as much time with her again.
4. Quit taking sibutramine and stick to my new diet. Sibutramine works. I had been taking Reductil for the past month and a half and it has helped me cut my food intake in half and allowed me to get used to eating less. That is a difficult thing to do with no help when you have a husband who loves to eat well and co-workers who do as well, so I decided sibutramine was the way to go. After a month and a half my stomach felt duly trained and I stopped taking sibutramine, with the marvelous disappearance of the typical side-effects.
5. Exercise. Uhm … erm … does walking around Kamuning count? We did walk from the house to the BPI ATM terminal down at 611 (MIA Road), does that count too? I pass by the village gym with the shelves of bodybuilding supplements and the friendly trainers from Davao on my way to the bus stop, does that count three?
6. Cook at least one main meal a day. That’s something I almost never get to do on a working week, even on weekends I am guilty of opening a can of whatever and pouring it on pasta. This time I got to cook both lunch and dinner, with Ate Beng assisting only in the preparation of the ingredients. I also got to cook Kuya Maui’s scrambled eggs and hotdogs and his favorite sauce-less pasta which he smothers in cheese.
7. Go out of town at least once. This was one of the things I didn’t get to do, as we were unable to secure a vehicle for the trip to La Union for Undas, and were faced with the huge expense of bus fare plus hotel accommodations if all of us went. As it were, only Sam went to La Union with his brothers to visit Dad Toming’s grave for All Souls Day. Ate Beng and Maia and I lit candles for little Nico and everyone else here at home.
I am writing this on the last day of this long break, and it feels like although the break had indeed been long there were so many things I didn’t get to do. But then again, isn’t that the point of going on a break? To live a life of pure sloth—for a working stiff like me that is the ultimate luxury.