LDR Amongst The Crisis

The Venice Grand Canal Mall in Taguig, Philippines

When I met Freeman for the first time it was like meeting an old friend again. We met outside of South Mall in Las Pinas. That is located in the Philippines. Being in an LDR (long-distance relationship) can be and often difficult to maneuver. Especially, when you each live in a different country and time zone. Even though our time together was brief in our eyes. We had exactly 4 weeks to get to know each other. If it wasn’t for COVID19; it would have been much longer. However, we feel blessed to have had this time to get to know each other. It’s not that way for most LDR’s from what I have read or heard about. Either way, there are many factors to take into consideration. First, and foremost for myself is the love part. For me, that was almost instantly as after our second meeting. I knew I wanted to be with Freeman. Fortunately, he felt the saw way about me. Hands down there is love between us. I sit here typing this out and I get energized just thinking about him. The great times we spent together getting to know each other and talking about our goals in life.

Now that I am back in the US, we continue to chat twice a day. We even video chat daily, as there is no replacement for actually seeing their face.

Now after you establish if there is a spark or a deep-rooted interest between both parties. I am not talking about money or something tangible; as we all have seen those reality tv shows. I am talking about something real. If you are only in it for the money; then you will never be happy; truly happy. Once we had a few weeks of spending time together. I started to ask myself these questions. For me, they came up “YES” every time. Is he someone that I could see myself living with? What do I have in common with him? Do we share a common goal in life? Am I willing to relocate if necessary? The list goes on and on and on. These are the ones that kept circling in my head. I think that is up to the unique situation of the circumstances surrounding the LDR.

I must say with regret that it was my first one, and being new at the whole long-distance thing. I was just as much fault as the other person for it not working out.

Now that I am back in the US, we continue to chat twice a day. We even video chat daily, as there is no replacement for actually seeing their face. To bring you both closer together; as you are both apart from one another. I will tell you from past experiences, staying in contact daily and making each other a priority; is the key to making an LDR work. That is if you truly want that person in your life long term. Personally, this would be no different if you were already living together. You wouldn’t ignore them or talk to them for days or weeks. Then expect the relationship to flourish and grow. So why would you treat an LDR any differently? This is where the true test lies. When you are separated and how you both work to keeping what you had together alive. No lie it does take work, just like a marriage or relationship. Yes, it does take moving things around so it all fits comfortably.

Right now for me, the time zone thing is the only one thing that is the trickiest.

This will avoid any disconnect or distancing the other party may be feeling. Again, I will say it-communication is so important. Even more so with an LDR and keeping it on course for the long haul. The way I see it; is when you ignore or unresponsive to their communications. Even your prearranged chat/video set times. Personally, this is a sure way that you will quickly distance yourself from the other person. They may also feel that you’re not taking the LDR seriously or losing interest in them as well. I do speak from experience, as I had a prior LDR. I must say with regret that it was my first one, and being new at the whole long-distance thing. I was just as much fault as the other person for it not working out. However, I will say that it gave me a great deal of perspective on how to truly manage and maintain an LDR going forward. Yes, I will admit that I made mistakes. We both did when it came to setting up a schedule, expectations, or even communication on a daily bases.

We are doing our best to move forward and making sure of one thing during this separation. That is showing our love for each other on a daily bases.

Right now for me, the time zone thing is the only one thing that is the trickiest. Since Freeman is still in the Philippines waiting to get back to Africa. We only have a small window in the morning to talk before I go to work. I know once he gets back to Africa; the time will work a lot easier with our scheduling. The upside right now is, I have more time to talk with him in the evenings. With Freeman; we always communicate with each other about everything. This is very imported too when retaining an LDR. I love the fact that we always start and end the day with each other. We share details about our day and make each other laugh. Just like if we were already living together; he would share his day with me as I do with him. Of course with the current crisis and lockdowns or quarantine. There is not a whole lot to share in that area of our lives. We let each other know what is going on in our lives from the mundane to the more interesting things. This works for us, and everyone needs to establish some type of schedule for communication.  

We may be separated by an ocean. But we are closer than ever before.

Even though we were expecting to have more time together before my return date. With the COVID19 pandemic, and change of plans for later this year. I can tell you that it has made us stronger as a couple. We have made plans for the future and meeting up after the Crisis is over. We are doing our best to move forward and making sure of one thing during this separation. That is showing our love for each other on a daily bases. We may be separated by an ocean. But we are closer than ever before. All I can say to you; if you are looking or pursuing an LDR for yourself. Do what I did, and take that first step. Just make sure you’re being honest with yourself. What is it you need for this to work for you? Have those hard conversations with your future partner. To make sure their head and heart are in the same place as you. Are they interested in aking a possible LDR seriously? I will leave you with this. Whatever you decide to do. Make sure that you set clear and precise expectations. Have a clear timeline set and most of all. Just be realistic in your expectations; make sure that you are not living off of the fantasy of an LDR. But, something solid you can bank on when you are working to close the distance between the two of you.

The Battle Between Quarantine And Freedom in America

When there is a battle between freedom and pandemic. Will it be our pride that kills us? Since I returned to the US, from the Philippines about 3 weeks ago. I can’t help but wonder; as a whole what American’s are more worried about. Is it losing their freedom or their own lives? I know that there are lots of conversations going around over wearing a mask or not? Should I self-quarantine or just business as usual. What is it that, what seems to be a small number of us in the US that wear mask, take precautions when going out, or even care about social distancing? I can only speak about my interactions on my few excursions to get food. From what I have witnessed alone or hear as to what others are currently doing. Why is America so afraid of a lockdown for 20 or even 30 days? Is it the economy, or is it their loss of freedom?

I am sure that most of the elected officials are more worried how they will be viewed. As we try to make our way out of this COVID19 pandemic.

As American’s we were born into a world of freedom and certain rights that lots of other countries do not have; or are given freely. But one thing is certain, as Americans we do take these liberties for granted. Just at the whisper of our freedom being limited or quarantined due to a pandemic. People start to flip out; and don’t stop to think as to what is happening around the world. What comes to mind for me is the saying: We can’t see the forest for the trees. I feel personally that this is relevant for what is happening around the many states that are resisting the lockdown or even managing the volunteer quarantine. I am sure that most of the elected officials are more worried how they will be viewed. As we try to make our way out of this COVID19 pandemic. What is it that we Americans find so hard about doing what is right to “flatten the curve”? I find this all very fascinating as how people react in a crisis.

Yes, we are in scary times and on a journey that was not one that we chose for ourselves. But, one that we all share across the globe. Regardless of where it originated from or who to blame. I feel we are all to blame, since we all inhabit this planet. We are over populated, limited resources, and global warming just to name a very few. I hope for myself that we all see this as a wakeup call before it’s too late. If you look over the past 63 years, we were headed in this direction. But why were we not prepared as a country? Why were our hospitals not prepared? Why were there very little local and national supplies in place or systems in place? I was looking on the CDC website regarding past pandemics that plagued us over the last 63 years. It’s quite fascinating if you think about. This is what I found. 

Now moving forward to the spring of 2009, a novel influenza A (H1N1) virus emerged

In February 1957, a new influenza A (H2N2) virus emerged and by the time it was over. The estimated number of deaths was 1.1 million worldwide and 116,000 in the United States. Then there was the 1968 pandemic. It was caused by an influenza A (H3N2) virus comprised of two genes from an avian influenza A virus, including a new H3 hemagglutinin. Now moving forward to the spring of 2009, a novel influenza A (H1N1) virus emerged. It was detected first in the United States and spread quickly across the United States and the world. Now from what I can find on this is that only 1 – 3 percent of the world’s population during the 1918 H1N1 pandemic. It is estimated that 0.001 – 0.007 percent of the world’s population died of respiratory complications associated with (H1N1) pdm09 virus infection during the first 12 months the virus circulated. Now this brings us to the current pandemic with the Coronavirus to date.

Just remember that our freedoms come at a cost. Just remember that you are not alone and we all want to regain our lives back

I know that I went off course a bit with statistics and details on the history of the past. I would just encourage all of us no matter where you live, or country that you’re in right now. Just make sure that you not only listen to the health experts out there. You are also do the right thing for you and others in this world. You may not be worried about getting sick, you won’t get it based on your religious beliefs, or just want to keep your freedom to do and go were you want. Just remember that our freedoms come at a cost. Just remember that you are not alone and we all want to regain our lives back. We can’t do this unless we all play our part and just stay home. Unless you have to go to work, get food, or even go to the hospital. Please just stay home like the rest of us. There are other countries that I know of, that are not even allowed outside. At least we can step outside into our yards, patios or even go out any hour of the day. I try to look at it as saving my life and the people that I care most about.

We just need to stop with our foolish pride and the freaking out about losing our freedom. This is just a temporary resolve to an ongoing pandemic. We need to stop spreading hate. Start handing out kindness, love, and helping each other. We as a planet are in trouble and it will take everyone doing their part. I know that masks are at a shortage in the US. I was lucky enough to bring some from the Philippines with me. If you do not have one or can get them. There are accurate ways to making a mask or even a quick one out of a piece of fabric or a t-shirt. I have listed a few links below that I find trustworthy and hope you find them useful as well. 

 A Doctor Explains How to Make the Safest Face Mask

🇺🇸 U.S. Surgeon General shows us how to make a face mask by using an old t-shirt and 2 rubber bands

Just make sure that if you are using a reusable mask. You always want to dispose of it after you safely enter your car. In which not to contaminate you or others in the process. When you take the mask off. You want to have a container of some sort with you. That you can store the mask in, until you can wash it for next use. If you move the mask down to the chin and back up over your mouth. This is cross contamination, and one that I see a lot of people doing as well as myself. I have been doing a lot of searching online to make sure that I am keeping my self-safe, when I do have to go out of the house.

Please stay safe and don’t for get to sanitize your hands frequently and wash hands for 20 seconds.

20 Seconds Saves Lives. How Surgeons Wash Their Hands

How To Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer | Dr. Ian Smith

Catching Up-Where Is Morgan?

I know that you are all wondering what happened, since my last post in February. Where should I start? Well, it all started out great, as I was headed back to Manila, to meet my new hire class. I was looking forward to meeting someone of interest-after several weeks of online conversations. On top of that, there was the warmer weather I was looking forward to. I was feeling really good about myself; and the direction of my life. Everything was looking great! I packed light this time. Ok, a little lighter-ish and yes I still need to learn to pack lighter.

At this time it was still fairly new, and most of the world had not felt its gravity.

Silly I decided to pack my Samsung tablet to do my personal work on; instead of dragging along my laptop. You see my laptop is 17 inches; I already had a laptop that I had to carry for work. I got to the hotel where we were staying. Where a few days later I opened it to begin to write. Then I realized this was a bad choice. I tried not to let it bother me since there was so much more to worry about in the new world of COVID-19. At this time it was still fairly new, and most of the world had not felt its weight. I put my focus on my work, getting to know my new class of trainees. There was so much to do, in the way of work. I was consumed with plenty of distractions. I did often think of wanting to blog about whatever was on my mind at the moment. However, these thoughts left as quickly as they came.

A few weeks into my stay in the Philippines, there were more outbreaks of the COVID-19 in more countries and even in the Philippines. I did not realize this at the time. The people in the Philippines were not as panicky or acting all crazy like they were in the states. I felt very at ease and somewhat safe where I was. Yes, they did a thermal scan of your body temperature wherever you went. Even some stores required you to sanitize your hands prior to entry. But it was done in a way that it was not frightening or scary. Well at least for myself, and I can only speak for myself. So basically it was life as normal; with the one observation of this overwhelming feeling that a change was on its way. Can’t quite explain it, perhaps it was in the way people were acting, or their expressions. It even could have been me and internalizing too much as usual. Whatever it was, there was a change that came a few weeks later, that was for sure.

I found myself constantly thinking of things that I did not have control over.

Amongst all of this I had met this man that I was quite interested in. I suppose this was the distraction that I needed from all of what was about to happen around me. I just didn’t know it, that my time with him would be cut short by an unseen killer in the world. Even now the thought of him makes me feel like I have butterflies in my stomach. As if I am trying to catch my breath. I don’t want to get ahead of myself. This warrants a whole blog of its own. So this basically brings us up to my final 72 plus hours in Manila. Not much into a better part of my workday; Thursday the 12th of March. We were all pulled into a meeting. Well, this was it, the day the shit hit the fan as they say. We were planning our quick evacuation out of the Philippines; prior to a border shutdown. I was not able to leave until Saturday evening. So I spent the last 2 days in my hotel room packing and wondering what was happening and coming to terms that this is quickly becoming the new norm globally. I can honestly tell you that packing was so difficult when your mind is so focused on what was happening in the world. I found myself constantly thinking of things that I did not have control over. I tried to distract myself with packing, reaching out to friends and family. Even this was not enough to keep my mind from thinking about the Coronavirus pandemic.

Now I am home in the states. I can tell you that the fear is very real for me, even though it pains me to say it. I always thought of me as a strong individual that could stand up to anything that was thrown my way. However, I don’t think that this is what any of us thought 2020 would start like. Even to this day, I find myself spending all my time in the house; like I’m on house arrest with an ankle bracelet. I find myself staying indoors more and more. I have only been out of the house twice for food and to get some fresh air. I will have to spend some time outside; not only for the warmer weather coming our way. But also for the simple fact that it’s so important to get fresh air, like and natural vitamin D.

So how are all of you surviving the COVID-19 and what are you doing to keeping the sanity? 

I am a social person and now how hard this is on me. I can only imagine how hard it must be for kids. They are so much more social and I hear from friends. Their kids are going crazy with staying home; not being able to visit with their friends or going out. 

 Whatever you’re doing or how your devising ways to cope with this recent upset. Of what we thought of as the norm in the world. I hope that you are all staying safe, and healthy. May we all come out of this a kinder world.

In-Between Traveler

When you only have 6 weeks before you whisk off to another work assignment. Well, it’s that time again to get packing and off to a beautiful island for work. I love my job and the many great opportunities that come my way. I work with a great bunch of people from many different locations. I wanted to send this out before I take off again to the Philippines for another 2 months. I find it difficult to focus on my home life and things that need to be done around the house or in my “permanent home”. When I know that in just under 35 hours I will be taking off to a faraway place. I have only been home for 6 weeks, since my last “tour” of work duty.

Not sure how many of you out there handle this or even if you have a routine down; if you travel a lot for your job. I don’t travel constantly for work. However, it feels that way lately with back to back travel assignments. Don’t get me wrong as I love what I do and meeting new people. As well as the great experiences you have, it just leaves an everlasting mark on you. Even though I have been there before this trip. I can’t help but feel excited as if it was my first time. I contribute this to my love for flying. Some would think I was crazy, but I do love it! I do not mind the lines, customs, or even standing at the check-in counter. Just to be told your flight was canceled or delayed. I just look at it as an opportunity to exercise my ability to be flexible. As well as accept what happens and move on, since not everything can be controlled.

Have any of you that traveled a lot, ever think that. I can pack less since I have been down this road before. Just to realize that you cannot pack less? I literally pack and in my mind, I feel that I packed less, but in reality, I have not. I may pack fewer pants, shoes or other non-essential items. To find out that I packed more of another item, due to the extra room. It’s like in my mind I see it as a challenge to pack in full. When I was packing I had a clear agenda of what I wanted to pack and less of it of course. Why do I feel like I actually packed the same amount? I realize that I pack for the “what if” moments; instead of what is actually going to happen day-to-day. I will be taking more stuff out of my luggage before I depart on Thursday morning. I keep telling myself, “leave room for souvenir’s”.

There are lots of blogs and websites on how to pack light. I find most of them don’t address the extended work travels. I wish I could get away with shorts and t-shirts all the time. Who am I kidding, I would still pack a dress and heels. Well, not sure what value this will have. But if you have any tips or recommendations. I would love to hear them.

I will see you at the boarding ramp. 🙂

Intermittent Fasting Vegan

This is one thing that I have been intrigued by; over the last year now. I have spent countless hours Googling and searching for different types of fasting methods. This is my second intermittent fasting. I started on Monday 1/20 with a 16/8 fasting. I hear that you can switch it up to fit your day-to-day routine. However, this concept is hard for me to grasp. I say this as, like most humans, we are creatures of habit. I like to stick with one set time frame. It makes it easier for me to know when I need to start/finish eating. This is best for me with the schedule/life in general.

So far so good-contributing this with planning and food preparation. I am finding it easier this time vs the first time that I did intermittent fasting in 2019. This time I don’t crave water as much as I did the first time during the fasting. I’m finding I am more conscious of this and mindfully drinking water to stay hydrated. My food choices are more thought out and think about the energy/protein that these choices will provide my body. Will this keep me fuller longer? Will this choice provide sufficient energy? When it comes to intermittent fasting.

Now back to the fasting. By day 4 of my fasting, I was not drinking as much water as I should have been. I was eating pretty well and manage to have very little “hunger” moments, during the fasting period. I know that the first time I fasted, I was craving water like crazy-this time not so much and not sure why that is. I probably should look into that. Research if others have and that after their first time. Honesty, the fast went quicker than I thought. However, I didn’t focus on the limits of fasting. Overall, during fasting, I felt great. I continued to work out in the mornings and went about my day as always. I think too many people focus on the “not eating” part. In one way or another we all fast. It’s just not as long of a window as most intermittent fasting go.

You really start to think about the choices you are making with your food. Versus, just eating what you want since you know that you can’t snack or eat whenever. This has aided me in my food shopping and even when I do go out to eat. It allows me to think about the ingredients. How healthy is the choice I’m about to make? Do I want to buy it, or just make it myself at home. As humans, we tend to just eat what is placed in front of us. Without even putting any thought into the food or the ingredients. Why do we typically wait until our health is failing us-diagnosed with something that causes us to start taking notice?

I follow Veganliftz and, this is the information that I keep hearing about the benefits of intermittent fasting. This has also been seen on various other sites, during my research before starting this fast.

The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

  • Healthy weight management. 
  • Boost your energy. 
  • Promote mental clarity and focus. 
  • Support cognitive function. 
  • Help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. 
  • Support healthy cholesterol and blood pressure.  
  • Support the body’s anti-inflammatory response.  
  • Boost metabolic rate.

My only recommendation or advice if you will. Is to do the research-make sure you know the resources that you’re looking at. Everyone has their pros and cons to intermittent fasting. Make sure that your taking in the facts and not the hype or “fake news” about it. Just my two cents on getting started.

What I Learned from 2019

As I sit here thinking about 2019 and wondering what I did that added value to my life. Have I wasted it all away? Did I truly make a difference in other’s lives? Was there something that I did. To positively impacted someone else’s life. I cannot help but wonder if I did enough; or did I fail in some way. These are some of the many questions that come across my mind as I say goodbye to 2019 and move into 2020.

These are just a few things that stick out that I feel are great things that I did. However, I hope and would like to think. That there are many other little moments that I did; in an act of kindness to others. That made a positive impact on them, in some way. I truly believe that these little moments are the greatest ones. These are the moments that you are not recognized, acknowledged, nor even praised for doing them. I don’t need the recognition, as it is within these little moments. That it is all about the act of doing good, and allowing the universe to take over. What you put out into the universe is what you will get back.

When I look back at last year and how I have changed my way of thinking. Focusing on positive thoughts; even when it was most difficult. I can’t help but think of my Grandmother Faye. When I think about being a more conscious positive thinker. She played a role in my young life; as a child. I even sit here now, with tears running down my face. Just with the memories of her, and wishing she was still around. I remember her as a strong, positive, creative, beautiful, and spiritually sound person. She never had a bad thing to say about anyone; always encouraged me to be me.

I discovered most of all that I am capable of so much more. I truly do not feel that I gave 100% last year. If I am going to be truly honest; and I have to be. As hard as this is to admit, I know that I could have given so much more. I should have made a better attempt at understanding, and getting to know others better. Instead of prejudging or pushing them away; based on my own perception of them. Based on their actions or words. I still have much more that I can do to making wiser financial choices in 2020. It is all about choices; just learning to be happy with what you have. Putting myself out there more, as I have dropped the ball on this one. These are a few highlights of things that I still need to work on.

I have done pretty well with putting positive thoughts into the world. But, I kept myself hidden away at home. Not really doing anything to meet up with friends; or even make new friends outside of work situations. This is difficult for me to do, have to do better this year with this part of my life. I realize that I am still guarded when it comes to my heart. I am not allowing others a chance; as I don’t want to be hurt or used anymore. I need to move forward, or this part of my life will never change. This is the hardest thing for me to do when it comes to my heart.

I am fully aware of what I need to do moving into 2020, and won’t be easy. If it were easy then there would be no reward. In the effort that we put into making changes for ourselves.

Mindset Of A Traveler

As I walk into my home for the first time in over two months. It is almost like walking into a stranger’s home. When you are away for any length of time-regardless the reason. There is always something unsettling. An adjustment to getting back to your “normal” routine. I know that this is to be expected when you travel across time zones, layovers, and even with the flight itself. I have looked up ways to combat post-travel and getting back into the swing of things once you are back home.

“Have you ever had a vivid/real-like dream, that you woke up from? During that haze of waking up and feeling as if that dream was real.”

A lot of what these sites tell you is pretty much common sense and what most of us do anyway. Like drinking lots of water, take a day to unwind. None of these sites explain nor acknowledge the fact that you are having these wonderful experiences, or even experiencing different cultures. In some cases, a sensory overload when it’s an extended trip. This within itself is not only emotionally draining. It is a culture shock to your system when you return to your home.

I experienced this when I was traveling to India for work; as well as to the Philippines. I have thought about this a lot and this is my theory; well how it is for myself. When I travel to these beautiful places. I put a lot of energy, thought, and much of myself into my work while there. I settle into my new role while in these different places. I find it easy to get into a day-day routine/ much like the locals. I do my best to embrace their culture, experience what I can while there. My point that I am trying to make, is when I return home. It is like being ripped out of what has become my life and back into reality. Meaning I am back home to making another change to fit my home life and culture. I think of it like this. Have you ever had a vivid/real-like dream, that you woke up from? During that haze of waking up and feeling as if that dream was real. As you wake up, your frantically trying to make sense of that dream; as you are becoming aware of your surroundings. Out of that groggy sleep you just emerged from. That is what it is like for you.

“I do my best not to waste one minute, as life is too short to have regrets, or even have those “I wish I had…” moments.”

Don’t get me wrong; I do not regret any of these opportunities that I have been given. Quite opposite, as it is a chance to encounter something new and exciting. Even if it is a work trip, there is always something new to learn or experience. I never say no to opportunities. We just never know what will happen or the outcome of those opportunities. I take that with great pride, respect, and so blessed that they are available to me. I do my best not to waste one minute, as life is too short to have regrets, or even have those “I wish I had…” moments.

A few things I personally try to do pre and post traveling anywhere:

  1. Write a packing list of items needed for the trip.
  2. Have all required documents during the trip (2 copies are great just in case you lose one of them)
  3. Get plenty of rest before heading off to the airport.
  4. Travel with lots of patience, kindness, and respect for others.
  5. Always be grateful to the airline staff, hotel staff, and your drivers.
  6. Being in the moment over trying to capturing it. 
  7. Try to stick with your personal “health” routine while traveling when possible.
  8. Don’t over eat-this one is hard as we always want to sample everything new that comes our way.
  9. Understanding different cultures and respecting them as you make the adjustment. This is a big one as we are a visitor-so we need to make the adjustment, not them.
  10. Taking time for yourself once you return home-taking that day or two will make a difference.

I know that this is pretty basic, and there are so many other things that I do for pre and post traveling. I can tell you that when you get older, you don’t bounce back like you use to. I am good with that as I know my body and do my best to listen to what it tells me. I am young at heart and have no problem embracing life to the fullest.

Here’s to all of those single mature women out there- never look back and happy travels.