Taking Stock #4: Seasonal Feelings and What-nots [December ’20]

Taking Stock” is a meme that encourages us to slow down and take stock of where and how are we right now.

It feels like it was just yesterday… but when I think about how my last Taking Stock entry was way back in September 2020, it freaks me out how fast time passed and it felt like I was just tiding by. This is the reason why I am doing this meme anyway: to force me to slow down and breathe. The past few months have been so chaotic and it proved hard to maintain a weekly post like this – so I will try to do this monthly instead.

December has always been a season of weird feelings for me. And this year is no different. The first half of the month has been such a blur as it was filled with crazy deadlines due to the incoming holiday vacations. After that, I was able to squeeze in a couple of downtime: I was able to finish a couple of books + TV shows. I thought I was gonna do a whole blog revamp but time didn’t permit it. Anyway, we celebrated a couple of birthdays in the family + the usual holiday preparations/celebrations. In between all of this, one would think that I won’t have any time/space to feel down but – alas, that cursed energy still creeped in.

Ugh, Decembers.

It was those same weird feelings since I can’t even remember. I was almost suspecting these to be, I don’t know, seasonal? 🙃 Especially on my birthday. I celebrated my birthday last 30th and, I guess, one different thing that I did today was to try to control my environment. Together with friends, I booked a staycation in Tagaytay because I suddenly wanted to see a beautiful sunrise on my birthday. And it did not disappoint. Here’s the view that I witnessed at 6:20 AM on December 30th, 2020:

I can’t remember clearly but I think this is the first time that I spent my birthday like this, away from home and in a quiet place like this. The peace at that moment? Priceless. I honestly want to chase that feeling time and time again. I think it was the lightest I felt welcoming my birthday in recent memory. And it really made me happy.

I’ll try to create a video montage of that whole trip. But in the meantime, here is my “taking stock” rundown for December 2020:

I am currently

reading (slowly) my way through Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive. Honestly, Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere has been the most pleasant surprise in terms of my readings this year. So far, from October 2020, I was able to finish The Way of Kings, Words of Radiance, and (just recently) Edgedancer. Along with this series, I’m also trying to catch up with other books from the whole universe before diving into the remaining books in TSA (I just finished Warbreaker and I’m still thinking whether to read Elantris first or go straight to Oathbringer). It’s probably a very long haul this 2021… but it’s a journey I will gladly take. I mean…I feel like I always read good books, luckily, but when I discovered these books – it’s as if my whole reading life was turned upside down. I’m in this weird obsessed phase right now, and my Twitter timeline is probably 50%< just Cosmere stuff, so I don’t think I’ll be stopping any time soon. My 2021 TBR is mostly just from Brandon Sanderson as of now.

writing all my wrap up posts for 2020. I know, I’m late to the party 😅 – but the last couple of days have been super hectic so I wasn’t even able to touch my laptop. Anyway, I hope I could put up everything by end of January. Because I have a bunch of posts/videos planned due to 2020 being such a great reading year.

listening to Taylor Swift’s folklore/evermore albums. I’ve always been a low-key Swiftie and I definitely have a soft spot for Red and 1989 but I feel like these two latest albums are pretty different – in a very good way. She just sounds… lighter. If that’s even how you should describe it. There’s an unmistakable country vibe – which I like from her. These albums just felt raw and honest, which was weird because the songs here are mostly made up stories (+ the cottagecore aesthetics). I absolutely love it. It’s like going back to that version of Taylor as a singer/songwriter that I like, while adding a lot more. I’ve always been a fan of her more “quiet-er” songs and these albums are full of that. If I have to pick my faves (for now), it’ll probably be: August, Exile, Long Story Short, ‘Tis the Damn Season, and probably Champagne Problems. I say “for now” because my taste always tend to change – and there are certain songs and lyrics that needs proper time to marinate or hit the spot. I’ll definitely continue listening to these this January.

watching a lot of Animes that I’ve put off watching in the past. I’ve recently (finally!) started and finished watching March Comes in Like a Lion (Sangatsu no Lion). This show follows Rei Kiriyama, a highschool student AND professional shogi player (who turned pro while he was still in middle school) as he navigates the shogi professional world and the pressures of the sport and of life. Here’s the trailer is you wanna check it out.

I’ve put off watching this because I felt like I wasn’t in the right headspace in the past but I was so obsessed with all the clips and reviews I saw on YouTube. And now that I’ve finally binged it, I was in awe. This is essentially a sports anime, but it’s so much more. It’s about moving forward, getting out of your protective shell; not giving up on your dreams; accepting that losses and EVEN wins have consequence – and being okay with it. The story and the writing made cry so much, so many times while watching its 2 seasons. The music + art are also top-notch as this was produced by Shaft, a studio known for its distinct animation/adaptation style. I have a whole Twitter thread dedicated to my marathon of this show. Honestly, I was surprised when it was finished as I thought it has more than 2 seasons. But at the end of that last episode, my heart was just brimming with pride for Rei. I was proud of what he was able to accomplish, especially on his personal life, even if it doesn’t look that much on the outside. It also made me want to be kinder to myself and be proud of my simple accomplishments – like I was with Rei. I might need to continue this story by reading the manga for this. And as you’ve guessed: this is now in my list of top Animes of all time. 💛

feeling excited for the year! It is now the first week of the year, and there’s just really something about planning things on the very first month of a new year. I’m waiting for my Hobonichi Techo Weeks for 2021 to start setting up my planner and fill it up. It’s always a wistful feeling whenever you retire a planner but there’s also the distinct excitement of starting on a blank slate. Of course, I’m kinda dreading coming back to work since I’ve grown accustomed to my vacation mode – but what can we do? LOL. 🤷‍♀️

hoping for a brighter and better days ahead, of course. 😊

How about you? How did your December go?

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Auditor by profession and a 'round-the-clock geek 🤓 from the 🇵🇭 and currently based in Belfast. I'm a coffee-holic INTJ with an unhealthy obsession with books and stationery. I word-vomit over at Twitter and posts book pics at Instagram: @pagesandcc . I also blog at https://pagesandcoffeecups.com/ .

5 thoughts on “Taking Stock #4: Seasonal Feelings and What-nots [December ’20]

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