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! ๐Ÿ˜‚ 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 ๐Ÿ˜Œ

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 โ˜€๏ธ 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 ๐Ÿ˜“ 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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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 ๐Ÿ˜† 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 ๐Ÿ˜Š 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! ๐Ÿ˜‚

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 ๐Ÿ˜‚ It was all so very exciting ๐Ÿ˜Š

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 ๐Ÿ˜‚

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 ๐Ÿ˜‚ 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 ๐Ÿ’‘ 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 ๐Ÿ˜‚ 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!

Going into autopilot; getting too complacent

I went to Liang Court this morning, to go and pick up some Japanese groceries at Meidiya, the Japanese supermarket here. I forget how awesome this supermarket is! I picked up some Italian pasta, Japanese mushrooms, oden, gyoza dumplings, Guinness potato chips and sushi for lunch! How international cuisine-ly awesome is that?! ๐Ÿ˜‚

I also dropped off some electronic waste for recycling too, they have e-waste recycling bins at Liang Court. Do they offer this service elsewhere? Coz I think it’s pretty cool. We never know what to do with electronic waste, so this service solves that issue. It’s really much appreciated.

We had dancing tonight. I left the house to go to the dance studio and went straight into autopilot. I got to the train station and then switched off my autopilot mode, starting to think about where the best place is on the platform I should stand, depending on where I’m going… Now where am I going? And that’s when it hit me. I don’t need to catch the train at all, I should have headed to the bus stop! Argh! But too late now, I was already on the platform. So I had to take the long route to the dance studio. Dammmmn. And there I was thinking that I’d be early today. Sighhh… Obviously that didn’t work out the way I had intended! ๐Ÿ˜” And the long way also involves getting on the crappy train line that is always packed. A double slap in the face for going into autopilot mode! Argh! It was funny though, coz as I was kicking myself for going the long way, N missed his stop and had to do the embarrassing walk of getting off his train, and then doing the 5m walk over onto the other side of the platform to go straight back the way he came ๐Ÿ˜‚

We didn’t have Latin practice tonight, so we went straight home after our Ballroom lesson and watched another episode of Downton Abbey. Characters keep leaving the show, much like Game of Thrones, they just don’t leave in such a dramatic way ๐Ÿ˜‚ But you still can’t be complacent and get all comfortable with the characters. A bit sad that the cast doesn’t stay constant, but it keeps you on your toes.

A perfect, ordinary Tuesday

I started reading a new book: Friend Request by Laura Marshall. It’s a mystery novel, a genre that I enjoy reading. I didn’t want to start it while N was away, coz I knew I’d get freaked out and I wouldn’t be able to go to sleep. I’m glad I waited until he got back before reading it: it’s already starting to freak me out! And I’ve only just started – and I’m reading it while the sun is still out! ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

And trading was good, I traded the exact way I wish I traded each and every day. Trading is one area where my “consistency” theme for the year doesn’t seem to be holding too well – the one area where I really want it to hold! ๐Ÿ˜”

And then I went to the gym, so far still keeping that commitment of mine of getting to the gym on weekdays that we don’t have dancing. It’s only been one week, mind you, but it’s so much easier now that I’ve made that decision. Before I was always umming and ahing about when I should go, but now I’ve made the decision and I no longer have to stress over it each time.

  • Is it a weekday? Yes – go to next question. No – don’t go.
  • Is there dancing tonight? Yes – don’t go. No – go to the gym.

That’s all there is to it now, I just need to ask these two questions and I already know what to do. Less decision making needed, which makes it that much easier to get into the habit of going. I’m really happy with this! ๐Ÿ‘

And then I finished off the evening with a few episodes of Downton Abbey. Characters on that show keep leaving too, although they don’t exit in such a dramatic way as the characters in Game of Thrones. But it’s still quite sad, especially when you start liking them and then all of a sudden they leave ๐Ÿ˜”

It was just one of those days where everything was awesome. It was just an ordinary day, really, nothing extraordinarily good or bad happened, but it was still a wonderful day ๐Ÿ˜Œ **feeling blessed**

A few goals in progress

We had our Chinese class this morning. We’ve almost finished book 3! How in the world did that happen?!? ๐Ÿ˜ฒ So we’ll finish this textbook this term, in June, and then we’ll be up to book 4. That’s crazy stuff – and a helluva lot of vocab and grammar. No wonder I can’t keep up. You really need to be reviewing and practising every single day. But there’s just so much to do! I am still reading my Orange manga, and I am also using a few different apps, two of which (Drops and Duolingo) I try to log into at least once a day. And then there’s exercises in our textbook. And then there’s watching tv and listening to the radio… Sighhh… So many resources, not enough time ๐Ÿ˜”

Plus Chinese and Japanese are two of the hardest languages for a native English speaker to learn, so that just adds to the slowness. And they’re two of four languages that I want to learn! But French and Spanish (the other two) are closer to English, so I find them easier to learn. But those two Asian languages, omg, can they be any more different to English?!? ๐Ÿคฃ But I do get a kick out of learning languages. I guess you could say that becoming a polyglot would be a long-term (read: life) goal for me. I only just realised this hahaha ๐Ÿ™„ I can be a bit slow at times!

I got N to watch the first few episodes of Downton Abbey, but as I had expected, he didn’t really enjoy it. Oh well. I was hoping it’d be a series that we could enjoy watching together, much like Game of Thrones, but I guess that isn’t to be. Oh well, we just have to keep looking for our next series…!

And I don’t know if I haven’t used enough lotion this time, but I’m not as Oompa Loompa as I usually am, so I’ve put on yet another layer of my fake tan. Surely this one will be enough. Well too late now to put on another layer anyhow, as the comp is tomorrow! So nails are also done, dodgily as per usual, but people won’t notice that far away. They just need to see colour ๐Ÿ’… so I’m as primped as I can be the night before a comp!

We are doing 20 dances in total tomorrow, across 8 different events, averaging around three dances per event ๐Ÿ˜ฒ That’s the other “problem” of being a ten-dance dancer. You do twice as many dances as the specialists, and only half the time to practice ๐Ÿ˜” I’m getting tired just thinking about how many dances we have to get through! ๐Ÿ˜“

Blahhh… I am feeling a bit anxious again, as I always do leading up to a comp. Let’s see how many of those 20 dances we can get through without making any mistakes! I can probably count them on one hand ๐Ÿคš But hopefully I can surprise myself, as well as the judges ๐Ÿ˜‚ Fingers crossed! ๐ŸคžRegardless of the outcome, we learn something about ourselves and our dancing after every comp. You grow after each one, even if it is an arduous process having to go through them!

A mixed bag of Tuesday goodies

I had a marginally better night’s sleep last night. I woke up once, which was better than the bajillion times the previous night. Last night it was Kitty who woke me up – vomiting. Isn’t that lovely. Apparently cats with kidney problems tend to vomit more, so unfortunately I am quite used to her throwing up around once or twice a week now. It just so happened that this time around it was at 3:30am! ๐Ÿ˜” So I got up and cleaned up her mess – which actually isn’t all that much, usually just liquid that looks like a puddle of saliva – before heading back to bed. Apologies for the visual ๐Ÿคฎ

And then I had a really bad trading session. Makes me wonder if I am really cut out for this. Sighhh… I think I’m getting into another funk, and I need to get my priorities back in order. I might go take a walk tomorrow, perhaps around Marina Bay or Clarke Quay. Somewhere (anywhere!) that will let me clear my head a bit.

N is back tomorrow night, so hopefully that will mean a better balance between work and play for me, as I tend to focus too much on my trading whenever he’s away. And so I may make a trip tomorrow to one of my favourite places in SG: Changi Airport! ๐Ÿ˜„

And while he’s been away, I finished season one of Downton Abbey! Very good series! I’m thoroughly enjoying it. It’s very different to Game of Thrones, and definitely not every second person dies ๐Ÿ˜ณ Maggie Smith’s character has some of the best lines in the show, I get excited with anticipation now whenever she enters a scene, as I know she’ll probably have some funny remark or snide comment to make. Her character has become one of my favourites as the season progressed ๐Ÿ˜Š

Food & drink with Downton Abbey

I made some vegetarian fried rice for lunch today. I was trying to figure it how much I should make, given that it’ll only be me eating it over the next day or two. I decided to cook one cup of brown rice, thinking that I may as well make extra, so I can have half for lunch today, and then have the rest for lunch tomorrow.

But by the time I had put in all the veges, it looked like there was enough to last me for all five lunches for the work week, omg ๐Ÿ˜‚ I ended up having some for dinner tonight too, so that I can finish the batch earlier rather than later in the week. I’m going to be sooo sick of fried rice by the time Wednesday or Thursday rolls around! And I’m not one of those people that can have the same dish every single day for a whole week. I need variety. So I’m gonna struggle big time!

And then to top it all off, it doesn’t even taste all that nice! ๐Ÿ˜ฉ And I’m stuck with at least two more meals’ worth of the damn dish. Maybe I’ll add some more salt to it, salt seems to do wonders to dishes!

I had a glass of wine with my crappy fried rice tonight, probably my first glass this year. How in the world did I get through four months of this year without having had a glass of wine?? I’ve had other drinks (even a beer, and I don’t even like beer!), but no wine. But now that I’ve broken the drought, things will probably change for the remainder of the year ๐Ÿ˜‰

๐Ÿท๐Ÿท๐Ÿท๐Ÿท๐Ÿท๐Ÿท๐Ÿท๐Ÿท

And then I finished off the evening with the first ever episode of Downton Abbey! It was good, I will definitely continue with this series. One of the actors from Game of Thrones is in this series. Well I guess enough characters die in that series that they have to look for other work once their GoT character gets killed off! I wouldn’t be surprised if I see more GoT actors pop up in Downton Abbey as I continue to watch theseries!