Mardi Gras Fun (Run)

As expected, after my much-needed rest, I was quite willing and able to greet the freezing cold day today. We added on a little extra time to our sleeping, because we were getting to bed so late, and we showed up at the run just before it was supposed to start – only two minutes before packet pick up was scheduled to end, and 17 minutes before the run was to start.

And it was a blast. There were not very many people there – perhaps around 50, and just as many people who did not show up, probably because of the cold. However, that added significantly to the charm of the event and the experience. It made it feel even more like a close-knit family fun event, even though we didn’t know anybody else there. (Although, as it turned out, we did know one of the photographers! I told him that I would love to do volunteer work with him on photography… We shall see what happens there. Fingers crossed!)

For what I believe was the first – and will quite possibly will be the only – Time in my life, I won first place in my age group. That was really exciting. My mom got second place in her age group. I had told her that I had intended to run the whole thing, and not do it with her, mostly walking and running some. However, she somehow thought that I had changed my mind, and was going to stay with her the whole time. So, when it was my turn to start, and I took off running, she called out to me, with obvious slight annoyance at having been left behind. She wasn’t mad, but she was surprised, and it was actually rather funny. After I finished my 5K, though, as my cooldown, I went and joined her on the course, and I finished her 5K with her. So, we got to spend extra time together on the 5K after all.

After the little awards ceremony, we went back to our little motel and took extremely hot and awesome showers, bundled all up again in clean clothes, and headed out to attend the local Mardi Gras parade. It, too, was a total blast, with close-knit family vibes. I also believe that we each got more beads than we have ever gotten at any Mardi Gras event we have ever attended. We were at the very beginning of the parade, all on our own except for one woman and the emergency workers who were waiting for the end of the parade. We were the first attendees that anybody on a float was getting to see after pulling out onto the road, so just about everyone, with extreme excitement, threw an unnecessary number of beads our way. And it was only a 30-minute parade… from the very first vehicle to the very last, it was only 29 minutes. Then, because we had gone all the way to the start, we were able to leave immediately, and not wait for the parade to reach its end destination. So, we headed to the ferry to go across to Galveston Island, and had breakfast at a spot that we like. (We had a bit of a double-take upon arrival to the restaurant, because there was a whole slew of Mardi-Gras-decorated jeeps, just like had been in the parade on Bolivar. Turns out it was a group doing a Mardi Gras pub-crawl-type-thing with all of their decorated jeeps.)

Then we headed home, I did some preparation for our intense freeze that is coming tomorrow night onward, I went to work, I got to go home early from work, I did a little more preparation for the freeze, and now I am about to pass out hard core. It was a wonderful day, I reached my ideal step goal for a day, I had a great time with my mom, and I am super grateful that my bedroom is warm enough for me to sleep in it tonight. We shall see what happens tomorrow, though. Fingers super crossed that all goes well around that.

Post-a-day 2021

^ It wasn’t too bad this time. I mostly remembered.

Beyond bedtime

Stressed, worried, exhausted. My mom’s energy and enthusiasm for discussing continuously unnecessary details long before they are relevant hasn’t helped. Also, she keeps talking to me, which is the only reason I’m still not in bed, sleeping, despite my efforts to finish my tasks and go to bed over the past THREE AND A HALF hours… I did not finish all my reading scheduled for the day, despite having the time. We did not play a card game with my Vietnamese playing cards. She just kept doing stuff that felt far too irrelevant for the time, yet kept me from accomplishing what I wanted to accomplish.

I know she’s excited and into it all. But I couldn’t not have been in clearer communication about my exhaustion and my intentions for this evening. So, it’s a bit extra frustrating.

Right now, I just want to sleep and then go home whenever I get up. I hope I enjoy the run instead, and then go home. But I’m worried she won’t want to leave, when I’ll be beyond ready to go home… we shall see what happens. Perhaps I will feel much better by morning.

Post-a-day 2021

^ Barely got it… also, happy lunar new year!

Another one checked

I am adjusting better each day to scheduling out and committing myself to getting this work done. I even was able to go spend half the day with my mom today, then tutor over two and a half hours, and am still completing my tasks for the day before bed tonight. I brought my reading with me, and I sat down while at my mom’s and worked on that for a while, when she got busy with other things. Then, I did some extra cleaning up at home, even vacuuming part of my room (despite the fact that most of it has piles of clothes now, I vacuumed the most-used part of the floor), which made a beautiful difference. And getting myself to vacuum is usually rough. This was easy, somehow…. this method is rubbing off in more ways than one already.

I know it sounds so simple, why think anything of it? But this is big for me, and in a very good way. So, I am delighted and excited for my accomplishments there. 🙂

Anyway, got to finish that reading and do my joy check practice and order round! (Getting that stretch in, too!!)

Post-a-day 2021

^Totally got it wrong at first…

And so, it begins

So, today started it all for real! I did my first day of work on tidying up my physical space life, and thereby my entire life, today. I read the life-changing magic of tidying up by Marie Kondo a few years ago, and it did me so well, I cannot properly describe it all. However, I did not do her program – the one presented in the book – fully at the time. I was not ready for that. But I was ready to begin working with her method.

I grew up, as my dad mentioned yesterday, in a very different world at home than a tidy and concise and non-excess and non-cluttered home. On both sides of my family, my parents had grown up in a world where one may waste nothing. By default, that turned into the idea that getting rid of something, if it is even able to be repaired and possibly be used again, is wasteful. And so, even when things were no longer being used or of use to us in any way, those things would get stuck somewhere in the sidelines of our homes, taking up space without benefit. We rarely even donated things. I was the youngest girl cousin, so I got all the hand-me-downs from everyone. And, whether I liked them or not, and whether they ever fit me or not, I was them stuck with them. I had no sister or cousin to whom I could hand down anything, so I had to keep everything.

Waste not. Right?

But through reading and working with Marie Kondo’s book, I discovered an entirely new and empowered outlook on items. It aligned beautifully with how I had often felt, especially in recent years, and it expanded even further than I ever had delved or dared to consider. And it gave empirical data on many of those ideas and practices. And so, my life began to alter as I did the work with her book.

But I did not complete the work, and I knew that I was not completing it at the time. And I was okay with that. I just wasn’t ready yet. If you haven’t experienced it yourself, I tell you: there is a lot of emotion and psychological dénouement that happens through following her method. And it is in an amazing and transformational way.

Now, as I have been working so much on my participation in life (mind), as well as my physical presence in life (body) and my self-expression, I realized that it would be not only unfair but untrue of me to leave out my living space from this work. Especially considering my efforts to be somewhere specific with my physical fitness by my birthday this year, it only made sense that I put a completion date on cleaning up fully my living space, such that it, too, will reflect who I truly am and want to be in this life right now.

So, I reached out for an accountability partner. No one replied. I took that as a sign that I was meant to be my own accountability partner. I created a Google Doc that I shared with myself. I have homework each night for the following day’s tasks. I share at the end of each day how it went, what I did and didn’t do, and what my plans and intentions are for the following day. I, as the partner, give feedback and congratulations as I see fit and/or necessary. So far, through all 24 hours of it, it has been awesome. I now have four weeks to go, max.

I am quite excited about tomorrow, and I am still entirely nervous and terrified. 🙂

Post-a-day 2021

^Phew! Almost missed it again…

The full moon is my sister

Anyone else have a night filled with interrupted, unrestful sleep every time there is a full moon?

I often don’t even know that there is a full moon. I just find out the next day, when someone tells me, often in response to my comments on how surprisingly terribly I had slept that night. Last night was no exception.

Basically, in some way, I feel like the full moon is my sister – it makes its presence known just by being nearby, we are so connected.

Perhaps that doesn’t make enough sense for you, but I don’t have the words for it right now. We just are family, it feels.

In a separate note, in the middle of writing that all, my actual physical sister called me. She wanted me to meet the husband of her coworker, and to talk to him briefly. Why, you ask? So that I could speak to him in French. He is from Belgium, you see.

And so, basically, I was my sister’s party trick for the night. 😛 Never you worry, though, because it was all in genuinely good humor, and it was quite a delightful chat and brief FaceTime with all three of them.

At one point, the coworker told me that they will try to hook me up with Belgian men here in Houston. They are great, she said, because they have great beer, chocolate, and waffles. I pointed out to her that I do not drink, really, in the first place, but I also don’t do gluten and usually don’t do grains at all, so I don’t drink beer. I don’t actually like chocolate. And, again, I don’t eat wheat and grains, so no waffles either… Her pause of intense contemplation was quite comical.

“I don’t think we would get along, then,” she declared, certainly tipsy. My sister and I both pointed out that, with me along, she never would have to share the beer, chocolate, or waffles. She was baffled yet again, and then conceded that we probably would get along very well, in that case, however, why would I want a Belgian, then? 😛

So, all-in-all, it was hilarious and delightful and great experience. Thanks, sister, for this ridiculous anecdote. 😉

Post-a-day 2021

^Actually got it wrong at first, this time…

Legal versus face-to-face

I feel like rules on paper can make anyone feel inadequate for something. I have been working off and on somewhere for years – years – and I read some updated guidelines for my “position” today. There are other, newer people who needed the guidelines, so they were hastily written, and we all had to sign off on having read them. Now, remember that I have done work there for years. I have been comfortable doing the work there, and in a very at-home kind of way.

Yet, after reading the guidelines/handbook today, I was slightly terrified. No, none of it was technically new information. However, having the legal-esque writing about rules and regulations and possible results and responses to breaking any of those rules made it kind of sound like a place I wouldn’t want to be. They kind of scared me. Like I really would have to watch my back and watch myself, so as not to make any errors, even by accident.

And listen, none of these rules are rules that I would have been breaking in the first place – not in the least. And yet, I was somewhat terrified. Now that it all was laid out in front of me, in black and white, so solid and unforgiving, it was scary.

That’s one reason I believe humans always will be necessary for certain things. A handbook doesn’t communicate the culture of a place – hardly at all. Based on this handbook today, the place is rigid, and bit frigid, narrow-minded, and super strict. And yet, I know the place to be none of those things. It is a wonderful place, full of genuine people who care about making the world a better place, now and in the future. That’s why I love it so much.

And I do not love that handbook.

I believe that handbook exists merely due to our absurd development in culture for people to sue one another for unreasonable claims. And that – every level of that idea – is saddening to me. That is usually an interaction of the lowest forms of ourselves, not the highest. When we are at our best, love is our central, driving force. And here is no love in suing like that.

Anyway, that’s all on that for now. Goodnight, folks.

Post-a-day 2021

^Barely got it

Music and love

I shared tonight the song I wrote this week. I had in my head that it needed to be touched up somehow, but it turned out to be perfect for me as it was already. I just had to play it all together at once, when my un-callused fingers had rested and could handle playing again. 😛

But I really like the song. And it is in a different way from most of the others. This song is about heartbreak on a human level, and a heartbreak that we all share at some point in life: the heartbreak others don’t see in our lives, the hidden heartbreak.

My heart is aching like it’s breaking

And not only just for me.

How many hearts are the same today

For the things we just don’t see?

Thus goes the chorus. And how utterly true it is.

However, I believe that, though life can be terribly difficult and painful at times, when we operate on a foundation of love, and we make love our aim, our every breath, our life, life is beyond worth it all. I am grateful for this life and for all the love I find and am able to produce and experience within it.

Gratitude, Universe ❤

P.S. Tonight at 21:21:21,

It was the 21st second

Of the 21st minute

Of the 21st hour

Of the 21st day

Of the 21st year

Of the 21st century

Rather baller, huh? 😉

Post-a-day 2021

Speedy chatter

Riding in the car with my mom today, I kept noticing how quickly I was talking. I was just so excited to share all that I was sharing with her, say what I was saying, that I was saying it as fast as I could manage while still being understood.

I felt silly yet cute at the same time, like a little kid who’s just super excited to tell his mom about what happened at school today(!). 😛

I haven’t been calling my mom quite as much the past couple weeks, intentionally so, and that has been good for me. I had gotten really, really lovely for a while, and so called her way more often than usual, just to have someone with whom to speak. But I was able to settle myself down and focus on other things I want to do in my day, instead of calling her several times a day. Now, we are back to talking only once or twice a day, for the most part.

But that leaves me with more to say whenever we are together now, especially considering how we don’t talk for very long whenever we do talk on the phone now. It is usually just a quick check-in, not real conversation on much. So, when we are together, I always seem to have so much to say, even if I hadn’t realized it beforehand.

Though, I think I am also just really excited to have someone in person with whom to speak…

In other words, I really am just like that little kid who is super excited to tell all about his awesome day at school today(!). 😀

And I love it.

Post-a-day 2021

^Whoo! Almost missed it this time!

An unexpected day of… casual chaos?

Okay, so the song-writing got held off until tomorrow. That’s okay. I had a lovely day nonetheless, filled with all sorts of oddities that turned out to be just fine in the end.

My lunch with my dad got all messed up, and we didn’t go to any of the places we were considering, and it wasn’t just the two of us. We didn’t talk about almost any of what we would have discussed as just the two of us. I didn’t get the amazing seasonal meal I had been anticipating. And we still enjoyed having lunch together and talking on he phone a bit afterward, and I enjoyed my dish, despite its having not been strictly with my diet (diet as in ‘regime,’ not as in ‘on a diet’). It was brisket and barbecue sauce with fresh purple cabbage on a baked sweet potato. Baller, though the sauce was a bit too sweet for my taste. That would be the sugar.

Then I was supposed to pick up something from my mom. She got distracted on her way in to work, and so wasn’t there. I waited around half an hour, but had no word in response from her, so continued on to Costco to buy groceries. (Yes, I get my fruits and veggies from Costco usually, because I go through them so quickly, preparing most of my food and beverage at home all the time. Today, I was mostly getting frozen fruits and fresh greens to use for smoothies. Yumm!) Turns out that my mom actually forgot her phone at home today, but she called me when she had arrived at the office, in order to let me know that I could come meet her now.

In my morning research today, I had found that Walmart would print passport photos, if we submit them online. Through doing my morning research, I didn’t put together my new shelving unit from Ikea, as had been the plan. But I had found a much more affordable way to get my passport photos than by going to CVS or Walgreens, and was grateful for that.

I was going to have my friend photo me when she came for the songwriting, and then was going to have my dad do it instead at lunch. Then that fell through, and I figured my mom could do it when we met up (because my friend had canceled at this point). But that was not too likely, since I couldn’t reach my mom at all now.

What to do? What to do?

When entering Costco, I glanced to the photo department – I had been surprised that they didn’t have passport photos as an option online during my research, so wanted to verify casually – and saw a massive sign reading, “Passport Photos”. I did an about-face, walked up to the photo counter and asked if they did passport photos (because doing them is different from just printing them, mind you). She said, “Yeah! I’ll just meet you down at the end past the last counter. There’s a white screen there.”

Okay, great! Thanks!

I ditched my jacket, used a mirror, fixed my hair and scarf – which was surprisingly little effort, actually – and posed happily for a photo. And then another, because I didn’t love it.

The second photo I accepted, acknowledging that it did look as I look – it was true to me as a representation – and then went about my fruit and veggie shopping before picking up the four photos for less than even the Walmart price had been(!!!), and then heading back to the office to meet my mom (she had called me at this point).

I had a lovely visit on top of the little parking area with her, then headed home to find the same old lady with the same old little dog crapping in the yard as was crapping in the yard when I had left earlier for lunch.

I unpacked, organized the freezer stuff, finished a pumpkin pie smoothie from yesterday (It was heavy and intense, like drinking pie, really.), did a double handful of deadlifts as I passed the barbell, did a load of laundry, tutored out of nowhere, worked on and shared photos I recently did, made another smoothie, listened to Matthew McConaughey read more of his book, showered, and then put together the shelving unit.

Now, I am about to pass out with exhaustion in my eyes and back and neck, ready to get up early for the workout class. I even reached out to my workout buddy friend this morning to verify that he’d be st class in the morning. I can’t get up and attend a 5:15am class without him, now! 😛

So, the day went nothing as anticipated, but I still accomplished almost everything that I had intended, plus much more. By doing the shelving unit, I ended up with a good surface space to do my kakizome tomorrow. So, though I didn’t do the kakizome today, I not have a better space and more of the right kind of paper for practice (it was between the shelves in the box!)!

Before I further my rambling, I bid you all a lovely, rest-filled night!

Post-a-day 2021

^I almost got it wrong, but I caught myself just before typing it out!

Dance, if you wanna

One of the most upsetting things in our society right now for me – one of the day-to-day things that really bugs me and kind of breaks my heart – is how much gender is used as a restrictor by so much of society.

I mentioned how I thought my nephew really would love learning and doing ballet and other dances, and I was met with a passive laugh and a certain, somewhat snarky comment to say that it never would happen, but what a cute idea. I was gobsmacked. The person didn’t even think I was saying it because I meant it. She actually thought I was just saying it passively, as opposed to my sharing something I genuinely believed and had hopes could happen.

Granted, my sister has very much played the gender toys game for her kids – pink and purses and baby-dolls are for girls, and blues and trucks and superheroes are for boys. However, dance is something amazing for any and all people to do, especially athletes. My sister is an athlete, and she can understand that benefit of dance especially. I think she might be willing to consider the idea of dance for my nephew, if it were presented appropriately and he showed interest in it openly.

Even that, though, has its own degree of upset and disappointment for me: that it has to be presented appropriately. I don’t just mean showing that dance is awesome, but showing that dance is so awesome that it is okay for both genders. Because I know, that likely would be part of it for her.

If I ever have children, no matter the gender of each and every, they all will do karate and dance and volleyball and all the fun, beautiful, beneficial stuff out there that we can find and/or create for them to do. Gender will have no value in the matter. It merely will determine which bathroom they use while at the activity.

Post-a-day 2021

^ Wrote that wrong at first again, but caught myself before submitting! Happy 2021, folks!