How to deal with cats?

Shortly after moving, S discovered a previously-undetected cat flap in the master’s bedroom.

A black and white cat, who we soon found out was called Chloe, started visiting soon after. She’d prowl around the garden. She’d park herself right outside the cat flap, and tap on it with her paws. When S unlocked the flap, she went straight inside and sniffed around.

Her owner, who lived next door, assured us that Chloe just liked wandering around the neighbourhood. We’d pat Chloe in the yard if we spotted her. And sometimes, when she’d ask to be let in, we’d let her inside and let her sniff around there.

She liked exploring the house. We figured that maybe the previous owner let her in a lot and fed her, because she seemed to want to get into certain rooms.

Anyway, yesterday I was giving her pats when she suddenly hissed, gave me a warning bite (fortunately was wearing long sleeves), gave me the meanest look, then stomped over to the other end of the living room. She continued licking herself until she went out to the backyard.

“Really, Chloe?” one of the neighbours commented as he observed her, as I led her outdoors. He explained that Chloe had actually previously lived there. Five years ago, her original owner passed away, so she got adopted by the neighbour next door. However, Chloe still liked going back to her previous home.

Last night, she was staying outside the bedroom, repeatedly meowing and tapping on the cat flap while we were trying to get to sleep. She was back there again this morning. When I went to the bathroom she went to the windowsill right outside the bathroom, meowing to be noticed.

Now we’re conflicted. S doesn’t want to let Chloe inside anymore. I feel bad. I can’t not give her pats! But I don’t know if she’ll eventually try to exercise her dominion over us…

Let’s bring back the music

It started around Christmastime last year. I was in Melbourne with my folks. The city was live with buskers. They ranged from “typical” musicians playing their electric pianos and guitars, to a man busting out holiday tunes on beer bottles. The experience of listening to beautiful music live (including the joy of the beer bottle man) made me want to get back into playing the piano.

One of my regrets is that I quit taking lessons when I did, a newly minted teenager who no longer wanted to spend time practicing classical music pieces. But no sense crying over spilled milk. At least I can still read notes and now I can buy sheet music of songs I like.

Hoewver, I’d love to go back to my old pieces (yes, even though it was all classical music), but my parents have sold my piano and everything that was attached to it. Funnily enough, I’d like to go through exercises now to get my fingers and my mind back in shape — the same exercises I used to find boring as a child.

Today, I sat down at the piano, after ignoring it for most of the year. There are still some of pieces I can play from muscle memory, strangely — like the first part of Fur Elise and Carmen. I popped out my music folders and OMG but how depressing was all the sheet music I bought a few years ago?! Beautiful, yes, but pretty sad. Songs like The Fray’s Over My Head (Cable Car), Matchbox Twenty’s 3 AM, and Coldplay’s Fix You. I even rediscovered this amazing song I was obsessed with a few 8 (has it been that long?) years ago:

Missy Higgins – The Special Two

But it feels really weird playing the songs — or at the very least, putting in the effort to play them — if I no longer relate to them as much as I did years ago.

Anyway, I felt re-energised after a short stint on my piano today. I’m adding practicing regularly to my half-year resolution list. But first, I need to find new, happier music to play. 😛

No more folding socks

Earlier this year, one of my newsletters I read featured a woman who was no longer going to worry about folding her socks. She said that it took up a lot of time, and frankly, she didn’t care. (Her husband was apparently scandalised.)

The point I got wasn’t that socks don’t need to be folded (heh) but rather that it’s best to do away with or amend certain things or routines that don’t add that much value to my life compared to the time, effort and mental space I put in.

So I’ve decided to give up a few things that I felt I had to do or aspired to do.

For one, I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who looked immaculate and polished all the time. But I realised I wanted to do it on my own terms. A few weeks ago, I threw out all of my nail polish bottles. I love the look of polished nails, but I don’t have the skills or the patience to do my own. And I don’t want to pay to have them done elsewhere.

Two, I also threw out some of my makeup. I went out and bought a bunch of them a few years ago. Unfortunately, I had to accept the fact that most of it had probably expired by now after being rarely used. Oh well. I really couldn’t find the time in the mornings.

Three, I also pared down some of my exercise routines. A few years ago, I had a lot more free time. I worked out around 4 or 5 times a week. Things have become busier though, so I’ve had to cut down, or in some cases, give up on some things entirely. I’ve learned not to beat myself up too much about not getting as much exercise as I used to.

(Cutting down on my reading and being social media-less is related to it as well. I no longer feel like I need to catch up on social media feeds, for example. I caught up with a friend last week and she brought up so many things I didn’t know about, haha! But I don’t miss it.)

So now I keep asking myself — where else am I trying to fold socks?

Why hello there…

My domain is up for renewal in less than a month and I figured I better start using it again.

I have to admit, I’ve been wasting more time online. I’ve been regularly checking a super juicy subreddit my coworker got me into. (It’s ChoosingBeggars, if you wanted to know.) Plus, we ended up getting into a trashy reality TV show. While the show is done, I randomly check what some of the “stars” are doing every now and then. Haha!

Anyway, as always, I’m a big believer that every day is an opportunity to pivot my behaviour for the better. For some reason, I’ve got a massive urge to start over again, New Year style. 😛

The one thing I’m proud of is that I haven’t checked Facebook or Instagram since January. It’s been freeing, not being bombarded with the minutiae of other people’s lives. Not only do I have more time, but it’s freed up my mental head space as well. Being surrounded with images of other people’s lives subconsciously gave me FOMO or made me compare my circumstances to theirs. It also made me want to buy more things.

I find I’m more content now. Going Instagram and FB-less has also encouraged me to catch up with my friends face to face more often. Since I have no idea what they’re up to otherwise, I make more of a point to catch up with them.

The one thing I do miss is that I’ve lost touch with my “outer” circle of friends – people I weren’t really close to, but who I genuinely liked. This one girl comes to mind. She’d post adorable photos of her kids and the amazing things that she’d bake. However, most of our communication was done through Instagram, so now I just wonder about how her kids are doing and what new things she’s made now.

I also miss not having a record of the things I’d done. Since I no longer have the urge to post things on Instagram, I take less photos. It’s great for living in the moment, but sucks if I want to revel in the memories. Ah, well. Gotta find the balance somewhere.

S’anyway, for the rest of this year — I resolve to live with more intention. Less wasting time on the things that matter, focusing on the things that do.

A few random updates from me since my last entry:

  • I’ve been at my new job for over 6 months now. I passed my probation, yay, and am now a full-fledged public servant.
  • We went to New Zealand. Both of our first times and we loved it!
  • Had a quick trip to Melbourne, and many Canberra trips.
  • I’ve actually been pretty good at sewing things. Made a dress, two tops, and a pillowcase. Have resolved to sew more.
  • Have tried to up my privacy online — enabling 2FA when I can, updating passwords, that kind of thing. (I’m working on an authentication product so my eyes have been opened how lax I used to be.)

P.S. Isn’t it crazy how it’s nearly June?