This is Eddy.
Three days before New Years Day, I was hanging out with Steph, Janice, and Sean at this dumplings restaurant in Koreatown. I used to be very serious when it came to new year’s resolutions. Often, I ruminated about “realistic” goals to accomplish for the following year. This time around, I hadn’t thought about it all. When the question asked was “What are your new year’s resolutions?,” I wasn’t prepared to answer.
I thought about what I lacked or had less of in 2015. That was sleep. I hadn’t recorded the exact numbers, but I estimate that I slept at an average of 3-4 hours per night. What am I doing up so late?
Work. If not work, thinking about work. If not thinking about work, thinking about why I am not thinking about work.
In 2015, I was the Resident Host of Sunday Jump and Chairperson of KmB, Pro-People Youth. I curated shows and led political campaigns fighting for Filipino-American veterans and Pilipin@ Studies. Of course, I married Steph. I entered my first semester at USC for my Masters of Social Work. I held my full-time position as a behavior therapist (to keep my benefits and pay the bills). I performed at open mics, colleges, and community venues with Steph as Steady. It was a busy year. I sacrificed sleep to keep it going.
When Steph and I went to Las Vegas for a relaxing vacation, it caught up with me. I didn’t want to leave the hotel room. I felt paralyzed on the bed with barely enough energy to change the TV channel. My immune system weakened and I eventually got sick. A year worth of work hit me.
Today, I am feeling better. Although, I have a dry cough and my nose is still runny. I want to rest. For 2016, I want to prioritize self-care. That means quality time with my wife (not anything related to work since we are in a lot of the same circles). That means 7-8 hours of sleep. That means taking a breath and closing my eyes. That means self-affirmations. That means making time for family and friends. Self-care is the theme for my 2016 because it’s necessary.
Since I have been traveling recently to Las Vegas and the Bay Area for the holiday season, this analogy to flight safety is perfect. Taken from a page of Lady Basco, I must put on my oxygen mask first before assisting others with theirs. That is, I cannot help others when I also need help. Take care of me so I’ll be able to continue the work for family, friends, and community.
Now that this is written here as the first post of 2016 and my very first blog post ever, I ask whoever is reading this for accountability. I will do my very best to follow through with self-care. However, if I look exhausted and even if I don’t look tired (because most likely I will be hiding it), check-in with me. You can ask, “How are you doing?” and I promise to answer honestly. Not “Good” or “All right.” I will practice transparency and be a better husband, son, brother, friend, kasama, and ally. Thank YOU in advance.
I am READY for this upcoming year and the challenges that I know await. Let’s do this.