April 22


On being busy with our two billion heartbeats

By Odyssa

April 22, 2023

It's been a hectic few weeks. As much as I love teaching, I have been looking forward to the end of the school year that happens next month!

Lately, I've sensed how teaching a big class saps my energy at the end of each day, each week. 

To add to teaching, there's writing, meeting people, taking care of myself, and..well, living. 

No one likes being busy

As what we have all been conditioned to think, busyness equals productivity, and both - sadly -  give me a sense of direction. They tell me time is not going to waste. 

However, busyness may sometimes be misdirected energy, and sometimes I can't tell out of my eagerness TO DO. 

Whenever these thoughts occupy me, I go back to Cal Newport, who observed, "Clearly the overwhelmed and overscheduled manner in which we currently operate isn’t working."

His book, Deep Work, changed me in quite a big way. I highly recommend it. 

I may have developed an obsession for productivity that I forget to do something for pure entertainment. That's why I recently turned to Netflix to watch BEEF

Two billion heartbeats in this lifetime

Heartbeats, a topic that author and former Chief Business Officer of Google X, Mo Gawdat talks about in this interview with Dr. Chatterjee, said something like this:

  "We were born with billions of heartbeats. It's up to us to decide where we give these heartbeats to."

Snorkeling with a heart in Maldives, 2021.

Not everybody gets to two billion. 

Heartbeats, credits, breaths all mean the same thing.

For every second that passes, our heartbeats are continually decreasing. 

Tay Ho at night, April 2023.

So the questions I've been asking myself are these: 

To what am I giving my heartbeats to?


To whom are you giving your remaining breaths?


For what is all this for?

What are your answers?


About the author

Odyssa is a writer from the Philippines. She is the author of Like A New Sun Rising: A Collection of Poems on Love. When not working or writing at home, she's out walking their dogs. She enjoys traveling, practices yoga, gets lost in books and Korean drama. To her, making time for a daily practice or ritual is the best gift to one's self.

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