• Blog

    How to Celebrate a Happy Birthday Alone

    Spending your birthday alone can make you feel desolated and miserable, but this is not a bad thing at all. With the current situation and majority of us are still in quarantine, there is nothing wrong going solo on our special day.

    So what if there is no one around on my birthday? It does not mean I cannot enjoy the special day alone. Even though my family and friends are miles away, there is no reason to celebrate birthday alone when there is technology. What is the use of video calls, anyway?

    Sometimes, we need to be alone. Not to be lonely, but to enjoy our time being ourselves. – Anonymous

    The best way to feel less solitary is by celebrating and having a great time. Our birthday comes only once a year, and we should not miss celebrating it even if we are alone. Whether it is birthdays or anniversaries, celebrations do not just stop during a worldwide pandemic. The pandemic took a great deal from us – our daily normal routine and even our jobs. Do not let it take our special day, as well.

    Here is how (I plan) to celebrate and enjoy (my) birthday alone while still being safe and healthy.

    Start the day by getting up early and giving thanks. There is no better way to start the day than a getting up early. This puts us in a good mood for the entire day. I am not a morning person, but I will try to wake up a little earlier on my birthday. I promise!

    Enliven my place like hosting a big party with birthday banners and inflatables a day before my birthday to get into party vibe. Waking up smiling, seeing your home decorated, is a pleasant feeling. For birthday banners and balloons, check happydayph at Shopee. I received my orders a day after I placed my orders. That fast!

    Watch a live broadcast of Mass. Since my birthday falls on a Sunday and public masses are still suspended, watching Mass online is one way of staying connected with the parish and the Church. Thanks God to technology!

    Treat myself with a delicious meal. Who does not love good food? For lunch, I will cook Pinaupong Manok, and for dinner, just Pesto Pasta. Or better, order via Grab Food/FoodPanda.

    What is a celebration without a cake? So what if no one is bringing me cake this time? I can get it at any rate. Buy that cake I have been looking forward to tasting. I love the Minimalist Cakes of Wadough’s and Aegyo Cakes. I could have secured a slot on my birthday if only I inquired earlier. All August slots are already taken as early as July. I still have Mary Grace Cheesecakes on my options, anyway.

    Binge a new series (not necessarily a new series) while having cocktails. I am planning to start watching “The 100″ on my birthday. I have not seen that post-apocalyptic fiction drama yet. There are lots of TV shows on Netflix. I bet it is well worth a watch for it is highly recommended by Netflix Community. And yes, having cocktails while binge watching.

    Lockdown is only temporary. When this is over, there will be a time to celebrate with our loved ones. Plan a great party or trip for when everything is over. Or just begin to think about next year’s party celebration.

    Before the clock meets 12, write about things I am thankful or anything that I would like to remember about my birthday in my journal.

    Missing my family and being sad on my birthday is really OKAY. I realize that it is not as bad as what others are dealing with. I know I am not alone in this fight.

  • Blog

    NikkaShem.com Version 2.0

    The day I decided to get back to blogging is the day I wanted to go back to why I started blogging in the first place. Back in the early days, blogging is a little different; it is like a daily journal where you can write whatever you like, free of judgement.

    I am making a comeback because I miss the old days of blogging.

    It has been a while since I have posted. I was supposed to leave this site and would no longer be renewing it. Renewals are way too expensive for me even to afford. But then, I decided to try it again. I am telling myself to write more. I started looking for a free or really cheap deal on domain and hosting. You know how much I missed talking to myself.

    Today, I transferred to Hostinger. I have seen a great deal for four years. Isn’t that amazing? Very timely! 4 more years of having me here. I just could not leave the memories I have had in the past years and tear them apart. This is my home. So this is where I will be for the succeeding years.

    Welcome to NikkaShem.com Version 2.0!

    I waited way too long to blog again, and I am sorry for that. BTW, I have all of my old, boring blog entries deleted. I am going to start from scratch. It is like starting a blog for the first time, amazing yet intimidating, in the old, old style of blogging.

    Here are the reasons why I need my head back to blogging.

    Work is exhausting nowadays

    (Excessive) Stress at work has a tremendous effect on our health. Sorry to say that, Boss. I consider blogging other than shopping and traveling as the best stress-reducer . I gave up all the other hobbies; blogging has been my release. Blogging, for me, is fun. It is like a playground where I play with words and ideas to practice. In almost too many ways to count, it has changed the way I look at stress.

    I feel inspired again

    One of the reasons I did not get back earlier is that I was feeling uninspired. I cannot seem to find a topic that I am passionate about and enjoy sharing and talking.

    I want to get better at writing

    The more you write, the better you become, right? Blogging allows me to compose my thoughts in English. It is such an excellent method of practice. Since I am not a conversationalist, I learn new vocabulary words and grammar rules and even spelling each time I write. The only way to get better is to write more and practice more.

    I want to improve my time management skills

    Aside from having my planners, Blogging allows me to maintain that discipline, aside from having my planners. Although I cannot promise to put out regular updates, I will somehow feed you posts from time to time. So stay tuned and hit that notification. I am going to try to set aside a time to write a day worth of thoughts every day.

    That’s it! After years of on and off love affair, I am finally here. See you around.

  • Blog

    My Go-To Excuse To Get Out of Any Plan

    If you want to do something, you will find a way. If you don’t, you will find an excuse. – Jim Rohn

    I was invited by my office mates to join them on their trip to Hundred Islands, Alaminos, Pangasinan. I said, “Yes” without even having second thoughts. I am known for being the “kaladkarin” in our group. I would love to join every “lakad” my friends and office mates have. I would never turn down any invitation. It bothers me to turn someone down. However, I cannot always say “yes” every time my friends want to make plans. I can get away with honesty with a few close friends. But I am obliged to come up with a better excuse for anyone else, for they will never understand me.

    No. It is not just a little word but it holds so much power.

    It has always been wrong to decline with an excuse. Knowing how to refuse helps avoid hurt feelings. But it is perfectly fine to say,

    • You have other plans for that particular time. No further explanation is required. Otherwise, it will sound like you are trying to come up with excuses.
    • You feel tired and exhausted. You are taking time off and badly need quiet time.
    • You cannot afford it. This is the main reason why I cannot join mostly and why I love staying more at home. But it is just not in the budget right now.
    • Or tell them the truth. If they are true friends, they will understand whatever your reason is. You do not need to find another reason to cover up.

    You do not want to, that is more than sufficient reason in itself. There is no excuse for speaking out what you have in mind. To decline an invitation does not mean rejecting that person or group.