Recent Loves in November and December 2021

Sunday, January 9, 2022

A blessed new year to you : - ) I hope you've been well and safe. 

I wanted to honor my Recent Loves series, and I felt incomplete if I didn't write anything about November and December, so here I am sharing a bit of the small but certain happiness from those two months from the previous year.

November and December were busy months for me. There was lots of work to do, lots of events going on, and so there was lots to think about. Yet the days were good, and I'd like to think that I was able to balance work and play this time around. 


To be honest, I'm not able to recall as much details as I can about November, just that it was a good month overall. I'll be relying on my phone's camera roll to remind me of how the days went. 

  • One significant opportunity I'd like to share was that I was tapped to share on how I "renew" myself for our global newsletter at work. This could mean engaging in a hobby or spending time volunteering or exercising... well it could be anything for as long as it improves one's well-being!

    My answer for this one was painting. I shared a photo of my favorite painting from the year with a caption at the bottom which ran along the lines of: I'm most focused and relaxed while blending colors and of thinking of nature...
  • Another significant moment in November was that I was finally able to see two of my work colleagues after 1 year and 8 months!! These are my colleagues with whom I chat and have video calls with every single day, yet seeing each other in person felt like magic. It's still different when you get to be with the person and you see them as a living breathing human being sitting beside you. 
  • I got to see my high school friends twice. The first one was when we worked together in a nearby cafe, and the second was when my friend turned 26. We have this yearly tradition wherein we visit each other's houses and give a little surpriiiise (tho is it really..). This tradition was reinstated just recently since in the past 2ish years we got very busy. Now, we're still busy, but we have a bit more leeway to flex our schedules and make time to see each other. 


Moving on to December~ I had my 3 week break from work!! 

  • We were able to celebrate another one of my high school friend's birthday. I basically came from our company's virtual year-end party and went to the restaurant just in time for dinner.. it was yet another lovely night to be out and celebrating.
  • I met with Sher, and we had a book swap. We're both building our curated library and letting each other read what we have from it as well. 
  • I had brunch with my church friends. I remember it to be a sunny day; the sky was so blue and we waited for almost an hour to finally be seated... the food made up for it though.
  • I went to a nearby cafe with my good friend ate Hannah after a long long time. She gifted me her Heydays calendar in Mono and I finally gave her my long over due art prints. It was great to be able to catch up and see each other in the flesh, knowing that we live nearer each other now. 
  • I turned 26. My high school friends came over at my house the day before, and it was simply a chill time.. they bought me the loveliest cake. On the day itself, my parents took me out for lunch. I received gifts from others as well and replied to everyone's well wishes online.

    I guess the nice thing about being born on December is that I'm the last one to turn old. While everyone else born in my year has been 26 for majority of 2021, I'm now just beginning to embark on this year 2022 as a 26 year old.  
  • Then there was Christmas and New Year. I spent both with my family, saw some of my extended family members as well and hosted some games : - ) I did my best to stay up until 12 midnight for both dates, and I'm proud to say that I was able to do so! But slept like, 30min right after. 

Film and book recommendations

  • Samurai Champloo (2005) - I LOVED this anime and I might write a separate blog entry about it some time

  • Something in the Rain (2018) - didn't finish this back then, but got to finish it now!
  • Encounter (2018) - currently watching
  • Reply 1988 (2015) - currently watching
  • Memory Police (1994) - has a melancholic tone overall, if you want to be in your feels, this book is the one for you
  • Commonwealth (2016) - an unexpectedly fun read!
  • I Am A Cat (1906) - currently reading 

Today is basically the last day of my break. I spent this whole time resting and being productive, doing all the adulting stuff I needed to do while also spending days wherein I didn't know what date it was. I spent a lot of time with family and friends, scheduling meetups (safe, socially distanced) whenever it felt right. I finished a commissioned painting, read books, watched Kdrama, studied Nihongo, went on walks, played badminton, played flute.. among many others, really. It's another year of making the best out of where I currently am, and making peace with myself.. 

I also closed 2021 with the following insights, encapsulated in the following phrases: respect time, cultivate self-awareness, and speak kindly to my mind.
  • Respecting time, respecting the season I'm in. While it's good to be prepared for the future, I may have missed out on being present and appreciating where I am at the moment. There is a process and a time for everything under the sun.. 
  • Self-awareness and speaking kindly to my mind both go together. I have a lot self-limiting thoughts, and I realize it takes time to process these. I have to ask myself questions such as: where is the thought stemming from, why am I feeling this way, how can I change it? What mindset should I adopt instead? This kind of thing.. I need to keep working on.

I realize I was not able to write a proper year-end entry for 2021. I've been writing them for the previous years (20172018, 20192020), so I guess we can count this one? But really, I just wanted to drop by and write again. 

I'm hoping and praying for a gentle year. Much like with the recent previous years, I'm coming in with no expectations, just hoping for more time to hold myself with more love, kindness, grace, and to hopefully extend this to whomever I come across. 

I wish you a good and gentle 2022 ahead, dear reader. : - ) 


  1. Happy belated birthday! I love the thought of wishing for a gentle new year. I want that for myself, too - especially keeping an eye on my thoughts and like you said, speaking kindly to yourself. Also, thanks for the book recommendations! I'm going to check them out. Hope your 2022 is magical so far. :D

    1. Thank you so much, Erin! :) perhaps I am tired, and I just would like to be gentler with my outlook in life... wishing you a great 2022 as well :)

  2. that's cool we both turned 26 this year but i agree it's nice u get to turn old last lol
    reply 1988 is still on my watchlist!
    lovely post and good luck in 2022!

    1. Cool! It's great to know we were born on the same year :D
      Reply 1988 has been on my radar for the longest time, but never really got to watch it.. each episode is a time investment since it usually spans 1 hr 30min lol but I pace myself and try to watch one episode a day :) it's a fun watch so far.
      Thank you so much for your time on here, and wishing you all the best for 2022 as well :)

  3. A very happy belated birthday to you Anna, I hope your 26th year treats you well :)
    Like you, I struggled to stay up until midnight for new years, I did it, but fell asleep within the first hour of the year lol
    I wish you the most gentle year too x

    minae ♡

    1. Thank you, Minae! :)
      Haha, my body really isn't built for late nights anymore.. but I can (do my best) to stay up if I really have to!

  4. It sounds like you had a wonderful end-of-the-year. It's nice that you got to meet up with friends that you haven't seen in a while and are able to celebrate birthdays with them.

    I'm also trying to make the best of where I am at the moment. It's difficult because I also have self-limiting thoughts but I'm working on silencing them and reminding myself of how much I've accomplished in 2021. Have a wonderful 2022! ♥

    1. Definitely! I think the last two months was all about reconnecting (safely). Right now though, covid cases are soaring and we're back to staying home most of the time.. so I'm really glad I got to see my closest friends in the flesh.

      You're right, we've accomplished so much in 2021. We ought to celebrate and be reminded that we're on the right track even if there are days when we feel lost. Have a great 2022 as well, Michelle!

  5. omg samurai champloo! how nostalgic! I never read it but I know what it's about haha

    happy belated birthday to you! we're both 26 year olds but i feel like i'm 66 compared to you, simply because you're so productive and creative (and amazing at being creative too!) lolol

    i reaaaally need to start reading again, so i have an excuse to buy "i am a cat" (yikes) but it looks like 2022 will be another films year for me (oops)

    anyway, wishing 2022 works out for you too! x


    1. Aw I haven't read it! It's really nice, I didn't expect I'd like it so much :")

      Thank you so much Elise! Haha, I'm also 66 sometimes... there are days when I just want to lay in bed, stare at the ceiling, and do absolutely nothing :)) I also cannot stay up late, and I tend to wake up a bit too early most days haha

      Yes please do read again! It's my way of cutting down my screen time and it's been good so far. Films are great as well, I look forward to your film reviews ;)

      Happy Friday and hope you have a great 2022 :)

  6. Hi Anna, Happy New Year :) I found your blog and been enjoying reading your posts. Interesting reading list btw!

    1. Happy New Year to you as well, Afi! thank you for your time with me on here, and I've just followed you on Bloglovin' as well :) wishing you a great year!

  7. Happy New Year Anna! I love reading your "recent series" :D Makes my life a bit boring ha? hahahah

    1. Hey Kandice, Happy New Year! Thank you so much, but heeey there's really no such thing as a boring life for as long as there's at least one thing that makes you happy daily, that should be enough :")