A beautiful day

N and I were talking about gratitude last night, and I remembered our discussion again this morning. I mentioned to him last night how I’ve worked hard over the last few years to consciously bring more gratitude and mindfulness in my life, so now it comes much more easily to me. It’s not automatic, and I don’t think it ever will be, but there are definitely a lot more moments in my day now when I am appreciating the moment, and not worrying or complaining or getting frustrated at something or someone.

I think too many of us go about our day complaining about everything that’s not “right” in our lives. Case in point: I do it all the time on this blog! 😂 But what we don’t do often enough is just stop and smell the beautiful roses that are right in front of us. Whatever those proverbial roses are in your life, see them for the beauty that they are, and appreciate them and be thankful that you have them in your life.

I read this blog post the other day, and I really liked her technique of stopping and letting herself take in her surroundings through her five senses. I’ve been doing this whenever I remember to, and it’s been such a wonderful experience when I do. I notice just how clear and blue the sky is; just how peaceful and quiet it can be at home; how soft Kitty’s fur is or the rug in our living room; or even the fact that I can actually breathe today. Because it’s not every day that you have a clear nose and can breathe with such ease that you don’t even notice it.

And on the bigger things: I try and appreciate our time here in SG, as we never know when we have to leave this country. Our friends moving back to Oz in the next month or two is a perfect example of how life can just suddenly take you places, whether you want it to or not. So whenever I can, I try and stop and appreciate this city: its unbelievably efficient public transport system; the various food options available – at all hours of the day and at all different price points; how so very clean it is; and how safe I feel in this country.

It’s very easy to just notice all the bad things happening around you and around the world, but there is also so much that is good and right and beautiful. We just have to make the time to notice those things too.

So here is my pause for the day, and I hope you can do the same sometime today too 😌

It was a beautiful sunny day today, and so after my usual FX seminar, I went for a walk around the Marina Bay area, as I figured the iconic attractions around the Bay would look very pretty on such a lovely day. I’m glad I went for this walk, even if it was a brief one- as I still wanted to be back at my desk in time for the European session – because the Bay looked very lovely indeed. Plus a clear day in SG = extra warm ☀️ So I wasn’t keen on being out for too long.

N was catching up with a friend from our uni days, who’s apparently in town tonight, so that meant no dancing. As per my new habit, this meant I was going to the gym. So even though I was still feeling rather tired today, I made my way nonetheless and still put in a bit of an effort. Even though 3 minutes in I was dying on the elliptical, I stuck it out 😓 I also didn’t lift as much weights as I did last time I was there, but I don’t mind. The point is, I still made it. I could’ve made up any old excuse not to go tonight, but I still made it. I’m sticking with my “consistency” theme for the year, and I am really happy about that!

And I finished off the evening with a Downton Abbey Christmas special. Aaaand yet more people leave. It’s Game of Thrones all over again!

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Tired and uneventful

I felt quite tired today, and ended up not doing much at all. We had our usual Ballroom lesson tonight, but I was too tired for Latin practice afterwards, so we just went home…

…via Meidiya, the Japanese supermarket here in SG 😊 It is very hard to resist the beautiful sushi and sashimi that they sell there, so of course we picked some up for dinner tonight 😊 And because it was quite late in the evening, so that they had a higher chance of being sold, the sushi and sashimi were actually discounted, so we got them on sale too. Awesome 👏

And I watched some Downton Abbey while eating dinner. N doesn’t normally watch it, but he was watching with me tonight (while also on his iPad, that is 😆). There were a few scenes in the episode that we were watching where we both commented on how indirect they were all being, with no one ever getting right to the point and saying what they actually wanted to say! If you didn’t have a good grasp of the English language, you’d be asking wtf were these chaps all talking about?!? 🤣 It’s all very entertaining.

So it was a pretty uneventful, tired, but quiet day 😌

A day off (sorta)

N reminded me about the Singapore Airlines promotion that was in the CBD today, and he only remembered because he walked past their stall on his way to work this morning 😆 They were showcasing their new business and first class seats on their new planes. But more pressing for me was their prize of business class tickets to either Sydney or Osaka! We go to those two cities quite regularly, so I wouldn’t say no to free tickets to either city – and business class ones, at that!

But instead, I won a 4-in-1 travel bag, which is perhaps a more realistic prize. But the staff member who helped me spin the electronic prize wheel said that the travel bag is actually one of the bigger prizes, so that’s pretty cool 😊 They are those packing cells that help you organise your clothes in your suitcase, so you can stack them all and makes your packing that little bit more orderly. So I got four of them, Matryoshka-doll style, with a small Singapore Airlines “New A380” logo in one corner. This was definitely a bigger prize than the Singapore Airlines pen that N won! 😂

As we were standing around at the front of the stall chatting, the MC for the day came up to ask us a few questions. Ugh, I so don’t like attention – and especially attention that I am not prepared for! She asked us a few things, whether we travel much etc etc and at the end, she asked a True/False question about Singapore Airlines – I honestly don’t even remember what the question was, I was probably so stressed about all the unwanted attention that she brought onto me! – to which I guessed the answer was true. And I was right! And so won myself a Singapore Airlines lanyard! So at least I was rewarded with a small prize for the unwanted attention 😂 It was all so very exciting 😊

I ended up not trading today. Well, I was there, in front of my computer, waiting for a trade, watching the market as it rocketed off without me. Normally if I’m too slow to get in, I wait until the market pulls back, and then I hop on when it starts moving again. But today it never pulled back! It just kept climbing higher and higher, never looking back. I just sat there waiting for it to come back, but it never did. So I ended up not trading. On the bright side, at least I didn’t lose any money today 😂

And I have finally updated my decision about going to the gym. It’s probably only been a day or so since I started thinking about it, but it feels like it’s been about a week 😂 Tuesday is now officially my day off. N doesn’t have karate on Tuesdays anymore, so we can both have an evening off. Maybe we can go watch a movie, either at home or at the cinemas, on Tuesdays. It can be our date night 💑 I feel very excited to have made this decision. It feels quite liberating in a way, making a conscious decision not to do anything. It is effectively scheduled free time, and this way, I think I will appreciate it more.

So N watched Deadpool 2 tonight – but not with me 😂 He went with one of his mates who was apparently quite keen to watch it. So I watched a few more episodes of Downton Abbey. Omg people leave the show as regularly as they did on Game of Thrones! It’s all quite sad, because you get rather attached to the characters. I’m used to shows like Friends or Seinfeld where the main cast stay for the entire series! But new characters get brought on, and the dynamic shifts, so that brings fresh life into the story. But still! It can all be rather sad!

Weekday reality

I suffered a bit from the Monday blues this morning, always hard after a very good weekend.

I took Kitty to the vet in the morning, and got a crazy-ass cab driver on the way back home. He was tailgating other vehicles, so he was constantly breaking and accelerating, and was weaving in and out of traffic as if it was a race to some non-existent finish line. When we got close to home, there were a bajillion cars and trucks surrounding the driveway leading up to our apartment complex, so he missed the turn. I said that I’ll just get off at the bottom of the driveway, and I walked the 100m up the driveway myself. I really didn’t want to be in that cab for any longer than necessary.

And later today, I fought with myself again about whether or not to go to the gym. It’s quite moot, really, since I’ve already made the decision to go on non-dancing days during the week. I kept trying to convince myself that I should just take the day off, that I haven’t had a day off from either the gym or the dance studio for over a week now, and I need to give myself at least a day for my body to recover.

I did end up going, but perhaps I do need to reconsider this new habit. We don’t normally practice on Saturdays, which, under my original plan, was going to be my one day off. But now it’s looking like Saturday practice could become a regular thing now… So if this does continue to be our new routine, then I think seven days is a bit overkill. I will have to give some more thought to this, to make sure I give myself one or two days off each week.

And then my meals today didn’t quite work out as I had planned. I was planning on making myself a (smoked) salmon and egg wrap for lunch today, using up the last ingredients from last week. So after boiling the eggs, I went to take out the rest of the ingredients from the fridge – only to realise that N had eaten it all last night! 😩 So I ended up having hard boiled eggs for lunch. Not quite what I had planned, but it was tasty nonetheless 😂

And then for dinner, I left the salmon cooking in the oven for a tad too long. N described it as being “a tad extremely overcooked” 🤣 I knew I should’ve left the cooking of the fish to him!

So back to weekday reality, it is… 😳

Pick Three

We had our Latin lesson, and our teacher was actually quite pleased with our Samba today. And our teachers are never pleased. So when we get a compliment, it’s a pretty rare event, and so very worthy of being noted! I came across this quote on social media recently: “You know you’re a dancer when you pay someone to yell at you and cause you unbelievable pain” Hahaha so true! 😂

We then practiced Ballroom for a little while after lunch, but this didn’t seem to gel as well as Latin did today, which was a shame. We were both quite tired, and we barely lasted an hour before we had to call it a day. Oh well, practice isn’t always great, no matter how much I want it to be. I guess I’ll just have to settle for a good Latin lesson 😊

N sent me this article the other day. It’s a summary of her book “Pick Three” by Randi Zuckerberg. Basically it’s about focusing on only three areas of your life each day, so you can actually make a decent effort on each of them, and not get overwhelmed with doing too many things on any given day. She lists her five broad areas (work, sleep, family, fitness and friends), but obviously you can tailor it to whatever suits you. And you can choose the three however way you want: you can choose three different ones every day; you can choose the same three; you can have a weekend or weekday three; you can have a summer or winter three etc etc so you can balance it out as you deem fit.

I thought this was a pretty cool idea, because sometimes I do feel like I’m not progressing with some of my goals, because I’m focussed too much on others. So starting tomorrow, I’m going to give this a try and instead of beating myself up for not doing enough on my goals each day, I’ll actually give myself a pat on the back for kicking butt on three of them 👍

Oh and of course this book is now on my to-read list 😆

Marvel movies

We decided to watch the new Avengers: Infinity War movie this afternoon, after Chinese class. Well, it’s probably not all that new anymore, but it’s still at the movies here, so that’s new enough for us! I haven’t seen many of the other Marvel movies (to give you a feel for how many I’ve watched: the last time I watched a Spider-Man movie was when Tobey Maguire was still playing Spider-Man! 😂), so a few things in this movie went over my head. But I still enjoyed it, and it’s also prompted me to watch a few of the old movies to put things into a bit more context!

We had Latin practice this afternoon / early evening, so after that and eating some dinner, we started watching Guardians of the Galaxy 😊 But I was so tired that I knew I wouldn’t get to the end of the movie tonight, so I had to leave the second half of it for another day.

All in all, it was a nicely balanced Saturday 👍

Fighting with myself and Christmas specials

I fought with myself so badly about going to the gym today. We didn’t have dance practice, coz N had a dinner thing with a few of his workmates tonight. So based on my new rules (it’s a weeknight and we don’t have dancing), I should be heading to the gym tonight. But I really didn’t want to go, and I kept trying to convince myself that I should just take one day off. But I know that as soon as I give myself this one exception, the whole decision of when I will and when I won’t go will fall apart. So as much as I really, really didn’t want to go today, I still went.

And of course, I didn’t regret it. I never regret it. I love this quote that I came across the interweb:

“Wow, I really regret that workout.”

– Said no one. Ever.

Only problem is getting yourself to the gym or to the track or to the studio or wherever your form of exercise happens to be. So I’m glad I stuck to my rules and have kept my routine intact. Crisis averted 😅

I watched a Downton Abbey Christmas special tonight. The only other show that I know of that does Christmas specials is Doctor Who. Is it a UK thing to have Christmas specials? Or am I just overgeneralising? Since that’s just two shows after all 😊 With all the winter scenes and all the cold and snow, it’d be pretty cool to watch these special episodes on or around Christmas Day 🎄