The Sunbaked King


A friend of mine and I were discussing contentment a few days back. We both agreed that contentment is not merely being in a state of steadiness, but is rather an active disposition. Contentment results when we willingly engage in activities that bring forth an enduring kind of happiness. The prospect of doing these activities actually drives us to change ourselves in order to do the work better. In other words, contentment is not equivalent to emotional ambivalence; “OK lang” does not give it justice, and in fact negates the concept.

Nowadays, I feel content.

It all began two weeks ago, when I realized that I was behind my readings, and that I still had tons of pages to cover. I panicked when I began to count the weeks before the exam. I wouldn’t be able to finish if I studied only during the weekends (and only on Sundays at that). Since failing this exam is not an option, I had to change my study habits. First crucial step:Β I had to study during weeknights.

As these things go, this resolution conflicted with reality. I go home late during weekdays. There are simply too many tasks to be done. Another moment of epiphany came at this point: I only go home late because I arrive at work late. Those who come in at 7:30 in the morning had the “luxury” of leaving at 4:30 in the afternoon. Even with a 5:30 or 6:00 PM departure, I would have ample time to study for at least 3 to 4 hours. Second crucial step: arrive at work early.

This, however, prompted me to rethink my sleeping routine. In order for my body and my mind to function, I require at least 7 hours of sleep. This is the reason why I’m always late for work in the first place. My philosophy was, I’d rather be late and productive rather than be early and sleepy. I then realized that I could still adopt this philosophy. The only difference? I had to sleep early. The third crucial step.

I made the conscious decision to sleep early one Sunday evening, and woke up early Monday morning. I finished a reasonable amount of work before the day ended, and got to leave the office before my usual time. I headed straight to Powerplant to study in Starbucks. I was able to browse through several problems, and finished a chapter by 10 PM. I slept by 11 PM. The day after, I was early again. For two weeks now, I’ve been mimicking the same schedule.

The effects of this new routine on me are just short of amazing. Not being late for work (for the first time in many, MANY months, I might add) significantly reduced the stress from commuting, diminished work-related “guilt,” and provided me the time I needed for some psychological debriefing. This, in turn, improved productivity, increased work quality, and enhanced certain professional relationships (haha). It’s wonderful how all these side effects converged just because I made the right decision to take my studies seriously once and for all.Β 

Now, I don’t feel guilty when I give myself a night’s off, because I know I earned it. Now, I don’t feel like I’m wasting money when I shell out P100+ on coffee because I know the time spent in the coffee shop is time not wasted. Now, I don’t feel agitated spending time in the Internet. Now, I don’t feel miserable.

Nowadays, I am content.


Filed under: Domesticated, Ra, Rat Race, Sunshine, Untamed

9 Responses

  1. Ryan says:

    naks naman… hehehe keep it up Ker!!;p

  2. White says:

    Nice resolutions there! πŸ™‚ I hope I could do something like that. And you made me think hard! He he

  3. kerwinray says:

    @ Ryan: Thanks! I will! πŸ™‚

    @ White: The first step is really the hardest. Once you’ve accomplished that, everything becomes ingrained. πŸ™‚

  4. makmak says:

    “The first step is really the hardest.”

    True. I wish somebody would help me with mine.

  5. kerwinray says:

    Makmak, think of the reason why you’re about to embark on this quest to change your routine. With that in mind, leap. Make a firm, conscious decision. πŸ™‚

  6. Jacques says:

    So I assume you’re off to bed now? πŸ˜› Oh my pal, what changes. I’m happy for you! Let’s meet before I go back to Davao for the break, okay? Hamiszhu!

  7. kerwinray says:

    Hey Jack! Thanks, thanks, hamizshu na rin! πŸ™‚ Sana makasama ako sa Davao!

  8. joeysince1983 says:

    I don’t want to [intentionally] sound pessimistic, but resolutions are meant to be broken [or promises ata yun]. :p

    I hope you can keep this as long as you can! Ok siya. πŸ™‚

  9. kerwinray says:

    @ Joey: Yes, I know, and it’s a struggle. πŸ™‚ Pero aja! Kakayanin! πŸ™‚

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