Best of 2018, the reading challenge result and 2018 gratitute journal

Jakarta, Indonesia
Sunday, 10 March 2019
A little disclaimer: this post is on draft since early of January 2019 and only had the opportunity to post it late in March 2019 (I know, my bad).

Congratulations to all of you who have passed the year 2018! To begin the fresh year of 2019, let us thank yourself that we've made it this far. I know, time passed really fast and it still feels like yesterday we celebrated the new year 2018 but look at where we are now, it's 2019.

Firstly, I'd like to share the 2018 Goodreads Reading Challenge result. I challenged myself to read 10 books in 2018, so much lesser than in 2017 (challenged myself to 20 books) because I knew how hard it is for me to finish a book currently. I've lessened the challenge to 10 books for 2018, yet I only managed to successfully finish half of it. Well, actually there were more books that I read in 2018 but most of the reading stopped in the middle and I didn't finish it until the last page. If you're curious about what's in my reading list, check out my Goodreads account here.

Actually I kind of feel ashamed to show the books I finished reading throughout 2018 because the books were mostly a light reading. Marchella FP's Nanti Kita Cerita Tentang Hari Ini was a graphic book that could only take 15 minutes to finish while the longest book was Sitta Karina's first of her Magical Seira series, Seira and The Legend of Madriva that consists of 240 pages. All in all, I take it as a punishment for not keeping my commitment so I promise this year would be better!

Next is a series of The Best of 2018. Here I gather you my favorite things throughout the year, just because I like reading and watching (on youtube) other people's annual favorite.

Best Netflix Series: The Haunting of the Hill House

Hands down to the best Halloween series in 2018. The Haunting of the Hill House was far from the usual jumpscare horror series but it gets you to the real fear (for what I've experienced). The story was about a family who once lived in an old house where everything scary and traumatizing started - nightmares, imaginary friend, secret room until the death of the family member. Every episode was intelligent and emotional that we got to see every layer of the family story that made me realize that grief, psychological trauma, disbelieve, is way horrifying than the actual ghosts in the story. Moreover, I got to see how important it is to have an honest and supportive family to combat mental illness. End of explaining, this series is obviously a must watch.

Most Favorite Book: Stop Thinking and Start Living by Richard

Since I'm not into metro pop novels anymore, I tended to choose self-help and management books which one of them was this book that was written by Richard Carlson. It might be too obvious at first and the book title really summed up everything that's written in 192 pages. My first impression of the book was, "Okay stop thinking and start living, so what? I knew all of these already, that overthinking is bad" when I saw this book at Big Bad Wolf Jakarta 2018. In the end, due to the price tag, bright colored book cover and I encountered how simple the words used on the first pages, I brought them home.

And then I brought it to the office and it became my favorite accompany while commuting from Jakarta to Bekasi when I was still had on the job training there. I even highlighted most of the sentences because of how it really got me. Well, some sentences kept repeating in the chapters but I think the author really wanted the reader to keep those in mind, like a mantra.

What I actually liked about this book was that it didn't say overthinking was bad but it shifted the mindset that the person (which was us) actually had so much control to his/her own thinking and to decide whether the overthinking and overanalyzing would result in a better living, better decision or the opposite. 

Best Starbucks Drink: Raspberry Latte

Thanks to my office mates, I found a favorite custom drink from Starbucks which we called Raspberry Latte - basically, it's a latte added with raspberry syrup. I prefer it iced and haven't tried it hot and if you like a stronger coffee, this secret-out-of-the-menu might be your new favorite: caramel macchiato with three shots of espresso, added with raspberry syrup and topped with caramel. It's actually just like the raspberry latte but it has stronger coffee. And of course, it's pink!

Most Listened Singer: Lauv & Honne

Lauv and Honne still managed to be at the top of my playlist on Spotify in 2018 (and since 2017) whether it's during the office hours or in my gojek ride to home, well, basically anytime and anywhere that they could be my comfort playlist - playlist that I run into when I didn't know what else to listen.

Most Helpful Android Apps: Money Manager

I once said that I was the conventional one that I'd prefer to write down my financial management rather than putting it in an app until I found this Money Manager. What I like about the app is that it provides the statistics - a pie chart on my expenses so I'd know where did the money mostly go. I'm still looking to app that could provide budgeting too so that  I'd know if the expenses still on the budget or have exceeded the limit. 

Most Favorite Workout: TRX & Core Motion

TRX is actually a suspension training that utilizes equipment called TRX which will help you do work out like a squat, plank, pike to lunges. Core Motion is more like a dance class but it focuses on the core motion of the body, building the muscles around the abs. The more it sore my body the next morning the more I like it lol.

Most Remarkable Moment: Passed the Retail Banking Debrief and Presenting at the Grand Meeting

Truthfully, I thought I was going to fail in the second phase of the management trainee program just because I felt being a Relationship Manager (as known as the Marketing) was way harder than I already thought and I got lost along the way but God is good, indeed Allahu Akbar. I felt like He's dragging me throughout 2018 and showed me the way, where I totally had zero expectation and just tawakkul.

The debrief exceeded my expectation and I didn't know how could it be done so smoothly (like really smooth!). The debriefer was known for "a killer" which he pays attention to detail and no one would pass the exam on the first try but Alhamdulillah, when I thought it would be a hard one, it turned out so well and strangely, full of laughs. I passed on the first try and the debriefer even wanted me to present at the grand meeting which attended by only Head of Department and Head of Division and all the Heads all over Indonesia. I kept on pinching myself whether this all was real.

It's surely not me, but He, who opened and lead me the way with the help of the people around including the staffs. Doubtless, everything happens in this world is under His control and everything that I got is not solely because of my effort but it's Him who opened the way.

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2/12 of 2018. In 2018, I promise myself to #bepresent #begrateful and to #learnmore and for that, I have to write it down to make sure that everyday is well-spent and nothing wasted. Quite proud of myself that in compared to last January, I became more consistent in asking myself "what did I learn today?" and more dilligent in filling up this journal. One thing that I realized, if we look closer, there's always something to be grateful for and something new to learn everyday. From to be able to wake up in the morning, a yummy breakfast, meeting great minds, a chance for to be able to push myself to the limit and make mistakes, insightful books, fruitful conversations, all of these is a gift from The Almighty for us to seek Him and be more grateful. فَاذْكُرُونِي أَذْكُرْكُمْ وَاشْكُرُوا لِي وَلَا تَكْفُرُونِ [البقرة : 152] "So remember me, I will remember you. And be grateful to me and do not deny me." . To more memories in 2018! 🤗🌿 ____________________________________________________ #journalingwithshaula #februaryinsights #gratefuljournal #journaling #mindfulliving #2018 #February2018
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Well, that wrapped up my best of 2018. Remember this post on my Instagram? I committed myself to have a gratitude journal. As its name, a gratitude journal supposed to be used to focus the attention on the positive things but I also work it as:

1. A highlight of what's happening in my life.
I turned the journal as a scrapbook too with photos or anything like a movie ticket, stickers, to my training report. As I look back to the pages, it's like looking back to the days that are gone and memories attached to it.

2. Medium to pour emotions
The journal was supposed to be a gratitude journal but in some situations when I really need to pour my emotions, I let myself to write down all the insecurities and disappointment too. It did help me control my emotions, guys, seriously.

3. A reminder
The journal also works as a reminder too that we have 365 days in a year and it depends on us, whether to make it worthwhile or gone just like that. I'm kind of proud of myself when the days went productive so I had to make sure at least I had something I learned each day.

What's the best thing that ever happened to you throughout 2018? I hope it's not too late for you to share! :)

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