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What prompted me to think about this topic all of a sudden? Well, Jian had been away on a family emergency for one week (he’s back home today), & that gave me a lot of quiet time to think about different aspects of my life. I was also able to focus more deeply & observe things in my life that I usually let slide by, in my state of comfort & complacency. Since Jian had been away, one thing I noticed was that I was actively trying to go to bed earlier than I normally do when he’s around. I have a tendency to stay up later at night when Jian’s around because I always allow everyone else in my house to get ready for bed first, & I’m most often the very last person to use the shower, which makes me late getting into bed.

This time, I actively tried to get ready for bed sooner, so I wouldn’t have to spend so much late night time getting ready, & I’d have more free time to lounge around in bed before sleeping. I’ve also recognized a few other things, like lifestyle habits, that pretty much contradict each other. Here I’ve broken down a list of the most apparent contradictions that I feel like I could work on changing as this year progresses.


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I’ve already talked about this in my post intro, but I’d like to expand on it a little bit here. This has always been a bad habit of mine for a very, very, very long time. Even when I was working at my stereotypical 9 to 5 office desk job, I would stay up late watching videos on YouTube & futzing around on my laptop (I didn’t have a tablet at that time), even though I knew I had very precious little time to sleep before waking up at the crack of dawn to catch my early morning subway to get to the office on time. I thought I was being clever by taking naps on the subway, but looking back on it, I know that I was just burning my candle at both ends. I wasn’t getting actual proper sleep, & napping only helped me from nodding off in my office cubicle. Not to mention, I didn’t even notice that my skin’s complexion was looking frighteningly dull, & I was forming nasty dark circles & bags around my eyes.

I’m not quite sure why I like to stay up late at night. I think the inner child inside of me is trying to rebel from going to sleep at a reasonable hour…like I’m a teenager again fighting my parents’ bedtime curfew. I know it doesn’t do my body any good, but I somehow don’t feel sleepy before midnight.

On the flip side, I don’t mind waking up early. Ever since I had to wake up at 5am every morning for my office job, I’ve been used to waking up early. I still try to wake up early-ish these days, but it’s the getting out of my bed part that I still need to work on. I will set my alarm for an early morning time, & then when my alarm goes off, I spend quite a bit of time lounging about in bed until the last minute when I’m supposed to actually get up, get dressed, & get going with my day.

I set at least 3 to 4 alarms on my smartphone to wake me up in the morning. I just do not trust the snooze button. Also, I don’t want to have to hit the snooze button 4 or 5 times before I actually get up in the mornings. I like to set each of my alarms with different ringtones, so it forces me to actually wake up, pick up my smartphone, & physically check my phone. This pushes my brain to “wake up” as well, so I’m not letting myself stay in that half-asleep, half-awake mode that will always lead to me falling back to sleep when I’m really supposed to be getting out of bed & getting dressed.

If there’s one thing I’ve noticed out of all of this, it’s this: I really enjoy lounging about in my bed, snuggled under the warm sheets while wearing my super comfortable & soft pajamas. If I had the opportunity to slack off, I could easily spend hours playing on my tablet while laying in bed, day or night. Though, I’m happy to report that I’m slowly breaking myself away from these types of bad habits. Like I said before, while Jian was away, I forced myself to get ready for bed sooner, so I can hop into bed at an earlier hour, & I have been actively pushing myself to sit up when I wake up in the morning. That way I won’t have the urge to just lay there like a dead fish out of water for the better part of the morning.


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I guess this is a good time to segue into bed making. I mean, it’s the first thing I do when I get out of bed in the morning, even before I brush my teeth or put on my clothes for the day. It’s one habit that I’ve trained myself to do, which is to make my bed every single morning even if I’m running late. Of course the OCD side of my personality can’t stand to see an unkempt, unmade bed. (It looks so sloppy!) So, I force myself to make my bed first thing in the morning to get that task out of the way. I once read an article in a Scandinavian mindfulness magazine, where they stated as one of their points of mindfulness is to make your bed every morning. It will give you a feeling of accomplishment & happiness, & when you get home from work, you will feel good because that’s one chore you don’t have to do on top of the hundred other chores you have to do when you get home. I feel very happy when I see my fully made bed every time I walk into my room, not only because I’ve ticked off one less chore on my to-do list, but because every time I walk past my room I feel like my room looks clean & tidy.

Even though I say all these wonderful things about making the bed in the mornings, I don’t actually enjoy the act of making the bed, mostly because Jian is the kind of sleeper that likes to toss & turn throughout the night, & that means that the bed sheets like to pull up at the corners, or they twist & turn. Even when I’m sleeping, I like to have my sheets arranged in an orderly fashion. I like all of the bed corners to be folded & tucked  tightly, & I like the top edges of my sheets & blankets to be as straight as possible. I don’t move around as much when I sleep. I notice this by how every morning I wake up with a crick in my shoulder or lower back from sleeping in one position for too long.

Making my bed every morning feels like a total drag, especially when I have to keep walking around the bed to re-straighten the sheets & re-tuck all the corners again. I try to rush when I’m doing this task, but it always ends up taking me more than 5 minutes to get the bed looking decent. On the other hand, I don’t have any issues or gripes with putting on new bed sheets. I guess my brain is tricking me into thinking that I’m making the bed from scratch. The mattress is bare, & I can now arrange the sheets exactly how I like it without having to go back & forth to tug & straighten the rumpled sheets. Plus, when you put on fresh new sheets on the bed, the sheets feel crisp, wrinkle free, & the elastic around the fitted sheet feels tight again. It’s like covering a bowl with a new roll of plastic wrap instead of covering it with a plastic tarp.


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Let’s transition from clean sheets to clean clothes, shall we? Oh, I love washing laundry: pre-treating stains, pre-soaking, the whole shebang. I consider myself an expert in washing clothes. I pretty much have taken over all control of the washer & dryer in my house. When anyone in my household has a laundry issue, they always consult me first before doing any of the washing themselves. I pride myself in doing a mean load of laundry. I pretty much wash all of the laundry in my household.

Buttttt… I will say that I loathe folding the clothes after they’ve been washed. I will do it, of course, but not without a lot of groaning & whining. I try to make this task a little less boring by throwing all the piles of freshly washed clothes on top of my bed, & turn on the TV while I’m folding everything. I’ll sometimes try to time myself to see if I can finish folding the large mound of just-out-of-the-dryer clothes before the movie I’m watching is over. Doing this makes me more motivated to fold faster. If I don’t give myself this challenge, then what could’ve originally taken me less than 30 minutes to do will end up taking an hour or more to do because I’ll get distracted &  try to do other things in-between folding all the clothes.

This is especially true if I have to fold a ton of t-shirts & women’s underwear. Why do men’s t-shirts always get misshapen after one wash? It’s like they’ve all got one higher shoulder than the other. Also, why is it so hard to fold those little scraps of triangle lace? The lace always wants to curl, & will never fold straight.


 

I would not consider myself to be a chef or a cook in any capacity. I did take a proper Home Economics class in high school where we learned about food prep, kitchen safety, & hot to follow a few simple recipes. However, I can’t say that I’m a very good cook. I would say as much as that I am proficient in the kitchen. I can boil water without burning the pot. I know the difference between ‘dice‘ & ‘julienne‘. That doesn’t mean I can cook Sunday roast chicken dinners with all the fixin’s. I can cook simple pasta dishes & a few varieties of one-pot stews/soups. I can also cook up a few simple stir fry dishes (like Asian fried rice dishes). I can even bake a sweet treat every now & again…but then again, I just don’t have the passion for cooking like most people do.

Take Jian, for instance. He’s very passionate about cooking. He loves creating new flavors & experimenting in the kitchen. He also loves to follow recipes he’s read about on the internet, written by some celebrity chef du jour from some new hipster restaurant. Jian can take random leftovers from the fridge & make new & inventive dishes out of those items. As for me, I enjoy cooking from time to time, but it’s not a real interest or passion of mine. My general approach to cooking is based out of necessity. I cook when I am asked to fulfill a request or favor by my household, you know, to let others take a break from cooking everyday. Sometimes, I get this creative food idea in my head, & that inspires me to volunteer my cooking services, but mostly I cook when I’m asked to.

On the flip side, I’m great at cleaning up the table after dinner. I can easily & confidently say that I’m the best dish washer in all the land. Yes, washing dishes is my kitchen specialty. It’s an extremely boring chore, but I’d rather scrub food scraps off of pots & pans than to prep & cook a full meal. Just like my enjoyment of washing laundry, I like to wash the dishes in exchange for food. Usually my mom cooks, mostly because she doesn’t like other people making greasy messes in her kitchen, but also because she’s always trying out new recipes she’s clipped from all of her old magazines. In turn, I help her not only set the table & wash the dishes after each meal, but I also help her clean the kitchen from floor to ceiling. I’d say that’s a pretty good trade off.


This is slowly becoming a burning blog post about how much my OCD personality rears it’s incredibly neat, yet ugly head. All I ever talk about is how much I enjoy cleaning the house & doing mundane everyday chores. Like in this section, I am talking about how I don’t mind vacuuming the house. I mean, it brings me joy & a huge sense of (relief) accomplishment after I’ve thoroughly vacuumed through my entire house. My house is not small, nor is it large. It’s an Eichler home, so it’s a fairly decent size. I’ve already got a routine on how I vacuum the house. I start with the bedroom side of the house & work my way in a wide C-shape or U-shape (depending on how you want to look at it) to the opposite side of the house where the former garage, current kitchen is located.

As you can clearly see in my graphic above, I use TWO different types of vacuum cleaners. That’s how crazy I get with keeping my house clean. I can get so anal rententive that I have different cleaning tools for different aspects of maintaining a clean home. For example, I only use my handheld cordless Dyson vacuum to clean flat, hard surfaces like hardwood or tile, but I won’t use my cordless vacuum to clean the rugs around my house. My Dyson vacuum is  practically an antique by today’s technology standards, so it wouldn’t be able to do much more than sweep hardwood/tile surfaces anyway. That’s why I don’t really use it to clean heavy trafficked areas & large furniture around my house. So, I also use a traditional canister vacuum that I have to plug in & roll around the house. My Miele canister vacuum has been with me for many more years, & has lived a much longer life than my Dyson cordless vacuum. It has sustained a lot of wear & tear, but it’s still putting along just fine, & I find it still easy to use (even in today’s cordless, wireless times). The suction & fill capacity of my canister vacuum is by far, leaps & bounds better than my cordless vacuum & really takes care of the heavy duty cleaning. The upside to keeping my cordless vacuum around is that I can easily buy replacement parts for it, & since vacuum repair shops are a dying trend, that makes it more convenient than probably buying a new vacuum every time I encounter a problem with my vacuum.

Ok, so on the second half of my graphic I wrote that I loathe dusting around my house. Since I get severe allergies when I encounter too much dust, even if I were to wear a face mask, I would still get major allergy symptoms from dusting. One major problem I have in my house is that we have way too many surfaces & objects that need to be dusted. For example, we have a ton of large LEGO sets displayed all around the house, & my mom prefers them to be looking pristine at all times, so she’s always making me dust every single set thoroughly. Another example is we just have a lot of table & open shelf space that needs to be dusted, & dusting is my least favorite chore to do around the house…ok, maybe second least favorite chore next to weeding my backyard garden. I am always trying to avoid & put off dusting until the absolute very last moment when I just can’t stand to see that thick layer of dust gathering along the top edge of the TV set. That’s when I’ll pop on a face mask & bust out my Swiffer duster & go to town. Dusting my house sucks major donkey balls, but unfortunately it’s something that can’t be avoided for very long.


Like a lot of women my age, I do have some insecurities about my body, not too many, but some. Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve always dressed for comfort & not really for fashion’s sake. I never really dressed feminine or cutesy/girly, although my mom has suggested that I do so many times throughout my life. I never got any of my sister’s hand-me-down clothes, & my parents never really forced or highly encouraged me to dress any certain way other than neatly. I could wear baggy jeans & t-shirts as long as they were hole-free, stain-free & wrinkle-free.

Throughout my life my mom has given me fashion guidance on how to dress properly for special occasions, special events, & the office. Her advice has helped me along the way, but I have still maintained my casual dress style up until now. I’d say over the past 10 years or so, I’ve become more open to wearing more feminine clothing. I’ve taken up wearing more skirts in the summertime. Granted, they’re mostly over-the-knee length or longer & often flow-y to hide my legs & waistline, but at least I’m open to exposing my bare calves, where as before, I would stick to wearing only jeans, chino pants, & women’s trousers….basically anything that fully covered my legs & gave them no shape.

But hey, even though I am appreciating skirts more, doesn’t exactly mean that I’m now comfortable showing off my legs. I’m still not very confident about my body & its shape(s), but I am trying to at least add some more age appropriate & classy items to my wardrobe. I am trying to show some semblance of femininity, instead of constantly looking like I’m a walking, shapeless paper bag. I have been, recently, more proactive in losing some stubborn weight I gained in the past few years, & trying to build up a little more muscle definition. It’s a long & boring process, but I would like to be able to wear dresses where I am not covering up from neck to ankle & looking like an inappropriate Victorian cosplayer. I have definitely fallen prey to society’s ideals & social media marketing of pretending that I look like I’ve got a “naturally” trim waistline, pouty DSL-like lips, & perky C-cup tits (all for the sake of attracting an equally high maintenance attractive mate). I wouldn’t exactly say that I look like a Lump-a-potomus. I am actually quite average in build, body shape, & boob size, but my self confidence is flimsy at best. I am working on that, building my self confidence, & that starts with feeling comfortable to wear skirts & other more feminine clothing items.


Now I’ve finally reached the end of this super long blog post. Let’s talk about one of my favorite topics, or rather one of my favorite food groups…or at least, it should be a food group all on its own. Let’s talk about coffee. You may be well aware by now, based on how many times I’ve mentioned in this blog that I frequent the big box coffee shop down the street from my house, that I am a lover of coffee. I love the smell of freshly roasted beans. I love to brew it at home & do all of those fancy-schmancy techniques those hipster baristas do at the café, like using craft roasted beans & grinding the whole beans myself. I love to drink coffee. Trust me, I could drink coffee all day long, but I know that’s not good for you, so I’ve been actively trying to cut back on the amount of cups I drink per day.

I used to drink three or more cups a day, but over the past few years, I have been really trying hard to limit myself to at most two cups per day. I’ve been trying to drink more water instead of caffeinated (& sometimes sugary) drinks. I have definitely cut down on the sugar factor in my coffee though. I have almost cut out sugar entirely in my coffee & espresso drinks, keeping mostly to milk & Half & Half cream. Sometimes, if the craving arises, then I’ll add two packets of plain sugar into my drink, but I try to avoid it now to keep my sugar intake low.

My mom was actually the person who introduced me to the wonderful world of coffee. When I was a young teenager, & a lot of my friends weren’t drinking or weren’t allowed to drink coffee, my mom would always let me take a sip or two of her cup. That got me curious about coffee, but I didn’t actually start drinking whole cups until I was in my twenties. I used to throw in a shit ton of sugar & milk in my coffee to mask the bitter, harsh taste. If I could, I would use those sickly sweet, flavored creams, & use a lot of it for that matter.

I guess over time I’ve built somewhat of a tolerance for the caffeine in coffee beans. I can drink coffee at any time day or night, & it won’t make me feel jittery or jumpy at all. Well, unless I have a “revolver” espresso drink, which consists of six short shots of espresso with cream, over ice. If I drink that, then my hands will be shaky for sure, & I’ll feel jittery for hours afterward. Otherwise, if I just drink basic cups of coffee, I can have a cup at night, after dinner or later & it won’t affect my sleeping habits. What I mean is, drinking coffee in the evening doesn’t keep me up at night. In fact, I’ve been known to fall asleep after drinking a strong café latte.

Well, even though I say that coffee doesn’t keep me up at night, it does however, perk me up in morning. I don’t know if it’s considered a full blown addiction, but if I don’t have at least half a cup of coffee in the morning, then I will feel light headed & somehow tired for the rest of the day. This is one of my life’s biggest contradictions aside from my late nights/early mornings contradiction. I don’t understand how I could crave coffee to wake me up in the morning, but it doesn’t affect my sleep at night. I mean, really. Any time after the morning has passed, if I drink coffee, I can still fall asleep, but I still need it to perk me up in the mornings. This just doesn’t make sense, but I’m not going to question it any further than this. I love coffee & will continue to drink it for as long as my body will allow. Coffee is so delicious. I can understand those who don’t have any interest whatsoever in coffee (& often prefer tea). That just means more coffee for me!


Well, there goes my long ass blog post. I could write a thousand words about absolutely nothing at all, but it relaxes me, & writing the topics in this blog post really had me exercising my brain, & forcing me to really take an in-depth look at my personality. It might not mean anything to the rest of the world, but to me this blog post was important to write. Until next time, cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

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