It's just the first quarter.

My coffee has gone cold but I drank it anyway. It's one of those quiet mornings at home when all I could hear was the sound of cars passing by or the neighbors chatting as they walked their dogs. I sat in our dining room and recalled events in the last two months. Obviously I wasn't active here on the blog because my attention was on to something else - in other words: work. I turned on my phone to check my Photos app knowing well that it would tell me what I did and where I went lately. I like taking snapshots. I know the pictures would come in handy one day so I point and shoot my camera whenever I get the chance. What do you do to help you remember people, places and things? I ask because I like remembering people, places and things. Taking photos is one way to help me remember.

In January, I bought a book at Barnes and Noble. I was not planning on buying another book because I still haven't finished reading the one I got last year (!) But this book has been intriguing me for years ever since I heard about it. Finally I gave in. So glad I bought it because Ann Voskamp's theme in her "One Thousand Gifts" book was about finding grace and practicing thankfulness in all of life's situations.

Here's one of my favorite lines in the book which I highlighted in pink (of course):
I want to slow down and taste life, give thanks and see God.

In the beginning of 2017, I said that my word for the year is gratitude. I liked how this book aligned with my intention. Ann Voskamp's style of writing is different from what I've seen in other authors' works. I had to read some of her sentences twice or thrice in order to grasp what she meant. But thank you, Ann, for pouring out your heart in this book. You inspired your readers to live a life of thanksgiving even when it's hard, even when it really hurts. Thanks for your words. 

In February, I went to Oregon to accompany my husband on his business trip. Oregon is not on my list of favorite places to visit. I just tagged along because I didn't want to be left by myself for a week.  We've been to Oregon before and I was not impressed. Tax-free shopping, fine. We just made sure to check out spots that were okay enough for unimpressed visitors like me. 😆 We went to the Portland Art Museum, took photos under St. John's Bridge and sipped some good hipster coffee.

After spending a weekend in Portland, we drove to Hillsboro where my husband's meetings would take place. I could work remotely so I did that from our hotel room. I didn't like the hotel where we stayed in. There must be something in their pillows or beddings because I woke up with a swollen face and puffy eyes for days! The dreary weather did not help me cope at all. It snowed on the day I didn't wear my boots. Oregon, I couldn't dislike you more if I tried. My husband and I missed home terribly. That same week we saw the news about the floods in San Jose. I worried because the reports showed flooded areas near our apartment, but I knew our landlord would call us in case of emergency. We counted the days until our flight back home. Upon reaching our front door, I greeted the entire house like a long lost friend and then hugged my pillows tight when it was time to sleep. I've never taken these things for granted. 

The end of February was rough for me. I resigned from my job and spent the first couple of weeks in March preparing to turn over my responsibilities. It was a contract work that almost turned into a full time employment but the terms they offered didn't meet my expectations. I worked with a really nice boss, though. On my last day in the office,my boss gave me a gift and wrote me a letter saying thanks for all I did. To be honest he didn't have to do any of it. His leadership and kindness over me was enough. I wish all managers in the world were as good as him.

I chose to slow down after my resignation. Staying home has been good for me, no kidding. Unemployment has its perks, too, if you know how to manage your time and energy properly. Am I sad? Nope, I can't be sad if I knew I made a good decision. Can I still say I'm grateful after quitting my job? Yes, I still have tons to be thankful for. My recent job loss taught me so much about who I am and what I truly value. I was in this same spot last year but the God I know came through in His special way and took me out of it. His faithfulness in the past builds up my faith to believe that He will make a way for me again. I'm eager to know my next adventure!

Stay hopeful and be thankful!

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