A List Of Things To Enjoy In Moderation
Maybe the early Disney movies and the 90s music we listened to during our formative years twisted our realities on life and love. But I'd like to hold on to the one thing that the Spice Girls (who are reportedly reuniting in 2018) got right: too much of something is bad enough; too much of nothing is just as tough.
True to the lyrics of the song, and as we've learned soon enough in our roaring twenties, the virtuous way to live is to take everything in moderation. While I confess that I am not the best example for this, being a human being with extreme feelings (e.g. when I’m tickled I really feel tickled, when I’m sad, I cry like I have an excess supply of water in my body, and when I say I care, I really do), I would still like to share what I have learned so far, in hopes to awaken the minds of those who are living in excess.
Here's a list of a few of the many things to enjoy on moderation:
Rice is often seen as a blessing (it truly is) and for our foreign friends, a determining factor of our being Filipino. As a child, every time I would surrender myself full and leave rice on my plate, I am reminded of the hungry children who have nothing to eat.
As a young child with a relatively small appetite, I never quite understood this correlation and would rather just put a little on my plate so I can finish it all.
It was only when I entered the workforce that I realized how excessive rice consumption can really lead to bad things, such as make you feel too sleepy and lazy to work. This is also one of the reasons why I bring so little to baon to the office, because stuffing myself—with rice, especially—would only mean I’d be battling the urge to fall asleep after eating for the rest of the afternoon.
Why, of course! Be it love for another, yourself, or your house plant, too much loving can be harmful for your health and well-being. Love is beautiful, magical, and when done right, leads to procreation of children who feel they deserve a place in this world. But when it leads you to neglect other things, such as your own needs and responsibilities elsewhere, then this love is doing you no good.
If your heart flutters and you can’t stop yourself from smiling, then by all means, go take in all the love. It is the best feeling ever. Just don’t lose touch with reality, and remember that there are ugly things to deal with in this world, too (such as the supposed Senatorial race in 2019), and you’ll need to be active and present in other aspects of your life, too.
BEER AND CIGARETTES
My mom told me that in college, smoking was allowed inside the classroom and all they had to do was stand in line at the back of the room and they could smoke to their lung’s delight. Meanwhile, confronted with a liver problem, my dad asked me, "if I would stop drinking, what would be my vice?"
I know quitting a vice or a habit that one has been doing since ever is easier said than done. As for me, I would consider coffee and French fries as the most difficult to say no to, and while I haven’t yet completely, I have significantly reduce my intake of the aforementioned “vices” and am feeling better than ever.
Believe me, if you think you’ve gone beyond control and are addicted, stop it while you’re young and while you still can—or ask for help. Being a sickly child, health is something I am truly thankful for and I consider myself living proof that good health is better than Piattos sour cream, ice-cold Coke, second-hand smoke, sweets after every meal, sleeping after twelve midnight, et cetera.
A TEMPORARY BREAK OR ESCAPE
I am very well guilty of this. Following a series of heavy breakdowns, unfortunate events, nerve-wrecking work-related projects, among others, my usual tendency is to flee to the beach. Or the nearby mall. Or a cinema, when there’s an ongoing film festival.
I thought it to be my healthy, harmless way of dealing with things, that is, until I found myself relying on it more often than usual. The short and sweet escape became addictive to a point, and would cause me stress when I could not make a trip happen.
RAMEN AND FRIES
I consider instant ramen and Potato Corner sour cream fries with extra powder two of mankind’s greatest inventions to date. That is, until my brother saw a video showing how instant noodles would stay in the tummy for hours as it is difficult to process—and told me about it.
To be honest, I would actually feel it, too. When I eat unhealthy things, such as chips, fast food, and my lifelong favorites, fries and ramen, they really do stay in my tummy longer than ever. And it makes me feel terrible after. So I’ve made it a point to monitor my junk food intake to as little as twice a month or only when I start to get cravings when I’m about to get my period. I can't really deprive myself, as too much of nothing is just as tough, after all.
YOUR 13TH MONTH PAY
That blessed piece of paper may make you feel like you’re on top of the world looking down creation. That is, until you begin spending it recklessly. So even before you get that heaven-sent paycheck, start planning on the practical things you’ll use it to invest in, or make a pact with yourself to immediately transfer it to your savings account.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Be cautious of the K-dramas out there that are too good for your health. The best ones can make you forget your work, your family, yourself. The aftermath is the most crucial part. Usually, K-drama viewers are left lost and wandering after finishing a series, not knowing how to move on with their lives.
A FLEETING MOMENT (OR A PAINFUL ONE, WHICHEVER)
Be it a kiss from your lover or the ability to kill a mosquito by catching it with just one hand, life is full of fleeting, happy (or dreary) moments. And it’s okay to indulge in it, celebrate it, and wallow in it—for as long as you know how to snap out of it as the need arises. I wish you luck with that.
Photos by Arvin Bautista.
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