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To Corporate or not to Corporate

Many people crave to be free from the shackles of the corporate world. A 9-6 job (which in reality is actually equivalent to 6-8 if you count your commute) can be pretty tiring. Office politics is a pain in the neck and the work just never ends (or so we make it).

But no matter what I do, I just can’t shake off this nagging feeling of breaking from my corporate hiatus and go back to climbing the corporate ladder. Again. The truth is, as much as I hate to admit it, I miss it all. I really am a workaholic. I love the rat race and it loved me.

I consider myself very lucky when it comes to my career. I rose from the ranks (as they say) in a considerably short amount of time and I loved what I did – as a management trainee to when I was a marketing assistant in URC to the time I was heading the camera marketing department of Canon and down to my last stint as the Corporate Communications Head. I really loved it. When you are paid to do what you love, luck seems to be on your side.

But priorities change. And when you have to choose between family and career, you don’t think twice about it, right? I made a hard decision because of the want to build a family. In the hopes that, you know, now that I am slowing down, I could finally have that little bundle of joy that we have been praying for.

And months passed by so quickly – six months to be exact and nothing is still happening and this impatient person begins to wonder. Oh yes, I know patience is a virtue but I am not a patient person. I admit that. Six months for an impatient person? I think that’s a long shot. Maybe I need the stress. I don’t know. Maybe I need the distraction of work so that I do not pore on the passing of hours every day. Gaahhhh!

It doesn’t  help my plight that over the past few months, there were several headhunters who called me if I am interested to go back to corporate already. What a joke!

So as always, I have to attack this situation in the most rational way and here’s what I have come up with —

iamcorporatejunkie reasons

 

So to expound on my points –

1. Finances, benefits and all the works. A friend asked me, are you bordering on poverty lines already that you are itching to go to work? The answer is no. I am so blessed to have a husband who selflessly supports me, I have some copywriting and social media management gigs that I do from home. Don’t get me wrong. If I could get the salary I am getting when I was in corporate by just writing, I would totally just want to write all my life.  But looking at it at a practical view, is it enough? For now, yes. But once we go through another set of immunotherapy sessions (in case I still won’t get pregnant before it expires by June), it’s another story. It is not cheap to be inflicted with this disorder. You have to prepare for it not only physically (which is the reason why I am at home now anyway), but also emotionally and financially.

2. Social Interaction. Look, I am an ENFJIt has been six months of isolation and it is making me crazy. ENFJs are people-focused persons. More than the love I have for my job, I love working with my team and my colleagues. It is the social interaction that I miss the most. Some people would love to be left alone, but not me. Sighs. If only Sachi can talk.

3. Freedom. Perhaps the one thing that I love the most with my situation now is the freedom that it gives me. I can work whenever and wherever I want to as long as I am submitting what is needed of me. I don’t have to brave the horrible traffic every day and I have lull times to do the things I want like read a book or bake or play with Sachi.

So you see, it is a dilemma that I have not solved just yet. Do I close the doors on the opportunities that knock? Do I just create my own windows by looking for more clients, enjoy my freedom and endure the stillness of working at home?

Or maybe I should just sleep on it. Again. Until I am bothered to the brink again. So help me God.

x,

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 22.28.06

 

Dough-It-All By Myself

 

I woke up at the wrong side of the bed this morning. I was supposed to fix some business requirements for my shop, transfer my BIR RDO, go to the City Hall and meet a friend but I just didn’t have the energy to do so. I am taking a medication which totally effs up my hormones (and probably my brain) – another immunosuppressant for my APAS condition and its side effects are driving me crazy.
I had a little emotional breakdown. This is not to be melodramatic or whatsoever. I think it just comes to a point when you second-guess yourself on a major decision you have made (read: corporate junkie turned housewife).

What have I done? I threw all of my career away. When is my baby going to come? What the hell am I supposed to do the whole day? 

I know all about positivity. I am an advocate for it but sometimes, it just gets you off-guard. Especially when you are all alone. It also does not help that Sachi cannot talk back to me *sigh*.
I try to keep myself busy but there is a limited variety of things to do at home. I do not like watching television the whole day. I couldn’t even concentrate on the book I was reading! Desperate situations needed desperate measures so, I went to my helpline and called a friend.
So Carla, who is back in Bacolod (this is the thing I hate most because I could not just see my closest friends or my family when I need them), told me to do something to pass the time. Do anything to divert my state of mind. She told me that maybe I should already start on my baking project, which I have been wanting to do for a while.
Of course, obedient as I always am *snicker*, and with nothing to do, I drove to this place which was introduced to me by my another friend, Sarah, who owns Pateacherie. Several months ago, I was looking for some supplies for my accessory shop and she brought me here.
So… the place which took away some of my woes today — introducing Dough-It-All (pretty punny, right?)
Dough-It-All is located at C. Palanca Street in BF Homes in Paranaque and it carries the whole thingamajig for baking – from pans to cutters to liners and ingredients. It is a one-stop shop for anyone who just wants to bake!
Photo from Dough-It-All Facebook Page.
Entrance to a baker’s heaven.

They have all kinds of these cute candy cups and cupcake liners. They are all equally nice and fun to collect.

Cupcake liners. In cute designs and colors.

They have pans and trays – plastic, aluminum, big, small, round, square – anything, you name it!

Pans and Trays.

And soon, if I am able to bake a cake — I should probably get this.

Cake bases. Or whatever that is called. Haha!

All the baking supplies you need at less the cost than the ones in malls!

 

 

Boxes for all types of pastries.

 

Lovely.

So, this is what I got for my little baking project this afternoon and I spent around  PHP1000 for all these supplies. I think it wasn’t bad although I wouldn’t really know. Any tips for me, baker friends? 🙂 

This is the itemized list of what I purchased. I had at home the other dry ingredients like the flour, baking powder and baking soda.

Item Description  Qty  Unit Cost  Total
Grease Paper 1 pack or 10 sheets of 24×36 in 1                65.00          65.00
2 oz Cupcake Liners 200 pcs per tube 3                54.00       162.00
Aluminum Tray 18″ 2                35.00          70.00
Muffin Pan 12s 1              230.00       230.00
Bensdorp Cocoa per kilo 1              238.50       238.50
Icing Set With Spatula, measuring spoons and icing tube 1                65.00          65.00
Baking Pan 7x7x2.75 1                58.00          58.00
Baking Pan 9x10x2 1                80.00          80.00
Total       968.50

So for my first baking experiment, I came across this site, Bake Happy by Aikko. She said that her recipe for a Perfect Moist Chocolate Cupcake is foolproof. Magic word there! Unfortunately, I just had to skip that part when it said that I had to fill up the pan with 1/4 cup of the batter. I missed the “cup” so I poured the batter on the pan up to 1/4 of its level. Hahaha. Geez!

Quarter-full of batter. Haha. Fail!
After getting these babies out of the oven, I re-read the recipe and yes. That “cup” word. I missed that. So I made the adjustments on the second batch and this is the result!
 I did not want to do the frosting yet as it’s just too much sweetness for me for today. So there goes my first attempt at baking.
My first ever cupcake! Yey!
So there. I was able to take off my mind off my little low today. I am just following the advice of a friend to re-focus myself first on other things such as cooking (because God knows I still suck at it, hehe) and baking.
How about you, loves? How do you distract yourself from the things you worry about? Come on! Share something with me and let me feel I am, at the very least, still normal.
And to my baker friends who got this thing all figured out, what do you think? What else do I need? Any awesome recipes you can share with me? Hit me up!
xx,
Balot
PS. This is the shop information:
Dough-It-All (Baker’s Supply Center)
C. Palanca St., BF Homes, Paranaque
Monday to Sunday 5:00 am to 7:00 pm
PPS. I heard from the shop attendant that they have already opened branches in Baguio and in SM Aura. Awesome!

How to survive staying at home for 17 days

Seventeen has always been a special number to me — my own lucky number. Edzel and I were officially together on a 17th and got married on the same date as well. 
My stint in Canon started on March 17, 2007. Today, October 17, is supposed to be my seventh year and seventh month. However, I am on my 17th day of being a stay-at-home wife (I refuse to call myself unemployed, anymore). So as my own little project, I am listing down the 17 things I learned while, uhh, yes, staying at home.
  1. It is okay to mope. There was a reason why you are now staying at home. Re-focusing your priorities can be tough. But you don’t need to do it on Day 1. It takes time to adjust. Cut yourself a little slack. 
  2. Exercise. When I was still working, I had my own little exercise. Dancing (and singing) inside the car while stuck in traffic. Walking from one department to another to discuss something with someone. Going to McDonalds at the Piazza for my morning coffee. I think (I wish) that I burned some calories there. But now, I have to will myself to stand up from my desk (or bed) and do some exercise. I am planning to attend some yoga classes by next week but in the meantime, I have been learning from Adriene. If you do not have the time  yet to go to a yoga facility, get to know Adriene and visit her site here. I found her on Youtube and I liked her instantly.

    I bet this caught your attention! Haha! Go check her out 🙂 

  3. Read a book. Yes. Of all things bright and beautiful. This is probably the thing that I enjoy the most other than writing. Today, I have re-read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn because I could not remember the details anymore. I have a memory of a fish and every time I re-read a book, it is a whole new feeling all over again. 
    Awesome plot. I wish I have the imagination to write like this. I WISH!
  4. Meditate. I try to do this one hour every day. I have this app called Omvana and they have various meditation “courses” from Overcoming Writer’s Block to centering exercises. It helps me to focus and at the same time, relieve some stress.
  5. Live for the day. I am a planner. I have been doing plans all my life. When I got into corporate, it was even magnified. Event plans. Marketing plans. Name it. Now, my life seems to be at a halt. I could worry about tomorrow. But I have learned not to. Tomorrow will take care of its own. In the meantime, I just do what I have to do for the day. 
  6. Learn how to cook. Okay, so I could not yet champion being a housewife because admittedly, the husband still cooks way better food than me but I am trying. 
    My first successful (read: husband liked it) Beef and Broccoli recipe.
    Check out these photo stories in Instagram: @mrscorporatejunkie.
  7. Go outside and walk the dog. Another version of my exercise. Just so I can walk Sachi, my dog, and get us both out of boredom. 
    Meet Sachi, my forever bored (or sleeping/eating) Labrakita – a half Labrador, half-Akita sweetie.
  8. Organize. Yes. This is the time to do it. I organized all the important documents, the closet, anything I could get a hold of. 
  9. Make a to-do list. If you think that only corporate people should do this, you are wrong. Crossing out items in your to-do list can give you a sense of accomplishment. Go and make one today. 
  10. Go outside and see friends. Because I have all the time in my hands, I have become kaladkarin. Whenever someone wants to have lunch, I am all game. Haha! Gives me more time to connect with friends than ever before.
  11. Write. Write for the sake of writing. Write like there’s no tomorrow. If you love writing, you don’t need any other reason to write except for the love of writing itself.
  12. Take naps. This was one of the many advice of my Ninong. I need to remind myself to take things slower compared to when I was working. I sometimes forget. So I made it a point to take a catnap every afternoon. 
  13. Take a bath. Sometimes, staying at home can be so comfortable. Just to spike me up in the morning, I do my usual routine when I was still working. Wake up early, have breakfast, take a bath. It makes me a little more productive.
  14. Eat at the right time. When you are at a corporate setting, there are scheduled breaks. Morning breaks, lunch breaks, afternoon breaks. It fixes your rhythm quite efficiently. When you have noone to have lunch with, it can get pretty lonely. But heck, that would still be better than causing yourself a really bad hunger pang or worse, some crazy migraine.
  15. Be involved in something. Being alone for most parts of the day (especially for someone like me who have no kids yet) can be unnerving. Noone to talk to. Noone to interact with. The good thing about technology and the Internet is that it now gives us the freedom to connect with anyone, anywhere, anytime. Now, I am a member of several groups and am quite active in some of the forums. Haha!
  16. Play a music. Again, the worst noise you can ever encounter is silence. Play some music. For now, I love how expansive Spotify is. Whatever mood I am in, they got it covered.
  17. Learn when to stop. This I have to really put into action. Since I just stay at home, the things I work on are just around me (literally), I have the tendency to linger until late night. This actually loses the whole point of slowing down. 
So there you go friends. My 17-day journal for being a stay-at-home wife. How about you? Are you staying at home? What is your day like? 🙂
xx,
Balot