Kindled Spirit

The initial idea of buying a Kindle got my eyes rolling to ceiling and back. My sister, who can’t shut up about hers, has been bugging me for months to get one. And for months, I refused.

Why? Because of all the familiar reasons: I love the physicality of books — the smell, the flipping of pages, the weight, the cover art, even the act of going inside a bookstore and choosing what to buy.

However, it came to a point where the very reasons I love reading are the very reasons that kept me from reading.

Being a working mom, the only real me time that I have is in the evenings, while I’m putting my baby to sleep. Before the baby, I have successfully limited my mindless phone scrolling before going to bed, my social media screen time, and feeling sorry for myself because all my friends have these fantastic lives.

But when you have a baby latched on to you in the middle of the dark, with nothing but your nightlight and your phone, it’s inevitable to fall back into old, bad habits. It did not get out of hand but it got me bored. It got me so bored that it got me irritable when my baby is having a hard time sleeping. So, ignoring my sister’s “I told you so” triumphant smile, I succumed and got myself one. 

It’s a pre-loved Paperwhite 4 10th Gen in black, but still works perfectly. Not a dent or a scratch.

It turned out to be one of my best purchases of 2021!

And it actually got me out of my reading hiatus hibernation. In just a span of 5 months, I was able go read 12 books in total! My Goodreads is active once more and I found myself enjoying writing book reviews.

As much as I love the whole experience of reading an actual book, my Kindle gave me the thing that I need the most right now that no other book can: convenience

Most importantly, it got me back to one of my favorite hobbies: reading.

It’ll take a while before I start reading an actual book again. Aside from the light limitation, I can’t bring myself to think about crumpled and/or torn pages courtesy of the litol one’s very curious hands. So for now, I’m thankful that I have my Kindle with me.

22 Minutes to 2022

Letting go and taking full control of myself — this is my mantra for 2022.

I’m letting go of all the junk — junk in my mind, junk in my body, and junk in my soul. For anything that festers in the mind will manifest in the body and will eventually destroy the soul.

I need to guard my thoughts. I need to accept that  some will hurt you but it doesn’t mean that you need to hurt them back. Sometimes, the best thing to do is to just walk away. For sometimes, fighting for something, asking questions, and seeking answers will do more harm than good. 

I need to refocus on my well-being. I’ve come this far and I don’t want it to be all for nothing. I remember when I was so disciplined because I was motivated, and I was motivated because I was disciplined. I’ve slipped but it doesn’t mean that I can’t get back on track.

I need to protect my soul. For once the soul is crushed, it’ll be hard to find yourself again. It happened to me once; I don’t want it to happen again. I need to remind myself that my happiness should not be the cause of someone’s grief. And that my triumphs should not be considered by anyone as their loss. I can’t be sorry all the time.

This may sound bleak but it’s actually hopeful. This may sound selfish but it’s actually self-preservation.

Mister, I’ll make a Potterhead out of you!

To those who know me, it’s no secret that I’m a huge Harry Potter fan. I remember reading about it in the Philippine Daily Inquirer and coming across a full-page ad of the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

I was initially smitten.

After reading the first book, I became a full-pledged Potterhead. It didn’t take long for the movies to be launched and although I have several qualms about the adaptations, I love them in general.

That’s why it was a bit of a heartbreak when I realized that my husband is not that into it. I don’t understand… we both love Star Wars, we both love DC, we both Game of Thrones (well, before the final season, at least) so why can’t we both love Harry Potter?

I seriously considered casting an Imperius curse on him. To those who don’t know, it’s a spell that places the victim completely under the caster’s control. But it’s one of the Unforgivable Curses so I thought of going the Muggle route and created a list instead — a list that could help awaken his interest in the lore; a list that could turn him into a Potterhead like me.

Without further ado, here’s my “Mister, I’ll make a Potterhead out of you!” listicle:

1.DRAGONS

Yeah sure, Game of Thrones have dragons, too. But there are only 3 of them! In HP, there are so, so many — coming from different countries, having their own temperaments. Even the fires that they breathe out varies. The Chinese Fireball, for instance, shoot rounded balls of flame from its nostrils. How cool is that???

2.THE VERY RICH LORE

Dragons is just a miniscule part of HP. There are so may other mythical creatures and monsters that are unique to the wizarding world — mandrakes, hippogriffs, pygmy puffs, devils snares, basilisks…. I can go on and on! The back stories of each and every character are very interesting, as well. They are so well-written that you can’t help but be invested in their triumphs and losses.

3.JOHN WILLIAMS

My husband is a fan of John Williams because of the Star Wars OST. The equally iconic Hedwig’s Theme was also composed by him. The moment you hear tantantadantan…tantantan……. you just know… no! You just feel that you’re inside the Wizarding World.

4.IT GETS MORE MATURE

Some people, mostly guys, think that HP is for children. Probably because of the first movie. To be fair, it started as one, but the plot becomes more serious and darker as the series progresses. You get to grow old with the characters in each movie. And even though it’s set in a magical world, their problems… their dilemmas… they are all too real and so relatable.

5.THE QUOTABLE QUOTES

HP has an abundance of them. From the funny ones like, “… before either of us gets killed – or worse… EXPELLED!”, to this heartwarming one-liner: “Always”.

Speaking of quotable quotes, the sixth reason is…

6.THE LIFE LESSONS

HP has taught me so much about friendship, love, bravery, and standing up for what’s right. My favorite HP quote is this: “It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities”. It resonates so well with me because it reminds me to always do the right thing. And if ever, for some reason, I can’t be right, I must be kind.

7.IT’S SUCH A NICE CHRISTMAS MOVIE

Since all plots span for a whole year, there is always a Christmas scene in each movie. Thus, it has become a Christmas tradition to watch all 8 movies during the holidays. I share this tradition with my sister but now that she’s in another continent, I need a new movie buddy. And who better than my husband, right?

So there you have it! What do you think? Will this convert him? Or should I just say….

IMPERIO!

Wit beyond measure is man’s greatest treasure

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For my second prepared speech for our Toastmasters club, I decided to speak about something fun but very close to my heart. This written version does not even capture the excitement that I had during my delivery. It was also a nice excuse to dust off my Luna Lovegood wand, put on my Ravenclaw scarf, and take my Philosopher’s Stone off its bookshelf.