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Hey, jealousy

Five more days of lockdown. I’m starting to feel antsy. My days aren’t bad, just monotonous.

After talking to friends and family overseas, I’m getting jealous seeing how they much their lives have started to go back to normal, and staying that way. My parents are planning to attend my cousin’s wedding in the US in October. I haven’t seen my parents in 18 months. It looks like it’ll be a while yet until I’ll get to see them in person given how strict Australia’s rules are with international travel.

I understand why these lockdowns are in place. I’m happy to comply with them. But I’m starting to feel frustration at how the government has handled the vaccine rollout, among other things. I’m especially frustrated at people who intentionally flout the mandates or insist that COVID isn’t real. I’ve had friends and family overseas affected with COVID and I know people who’ve died. Obviously, these people I know are all overseas… Australia hasn’t been impacted by COVID cases or deaths as much, hence all the denial and complacency. It’s just so much worse now given how infectious the Delta virus is. It only takes verrrrrrrrry few people for things to go off in a big way.

I’d been going out just before the lockdowns were put in place: An offsite with my coworkers and dinner at a busy bar afterwards. Ramen with friends. Dinner and walking through several entertainment precincts with an out-of-state friend. Going to different parks for walks. We even watched a movie in the cinema for the first time!

Then once again, we’ve plunged back into lockdown, looking longingly at all the other countries opening up. Oh, well.

Anyway, I’ve been doing most of my shopping online again and I’ve found these amazing Aussie brands (how’s that for a subject change?).

Neuw Denim. I had to throw out some shorts after summer. I don’t know if I’ll be able to sew shorts in time, so I’m demoting my old, ratty, misshapen jeans into shorts, and treated myself to new pairs of jeans. Hopefully, the next time I’ll need new jeans in (several years’ time) I’ll be comfortable enough to sew my own!

Amperna. My previous skincare finally ran out so I was able to try this probiotic skincare line. I’ve been lookout for Aussie brands for sensitive skin. So far, I’ve tried their serum and emulsion. I think I’ve noticed lessened redness in my cheeks, so it’s looking promising so far.

Beartrap. As I mentioned, my neck and shoulders have always been my problem area. I’ve got a whole bunch of massage tools but this has been the best at really massaging all the knots in my neck and upper shoulder area. I’ve been using it every day since I got it. Planning to grab it after publishing this, haha.

(In even better news… four posts down. Three more to go!)

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Round and round we go

We’re back in lockdown again. While there have always been restrictions (of varying degrees), this has only been the second time since the pandemic started that Sydney has had a “proper” lockdown.

I’d been extolling the fact that life here was nearly back to normal, with the exception of overseas travel. The vaccine rollout wasn’t great, but at least we were still chugging along… until the Delta strain escaped into the community.

Sydney had no chance. The times I’d been out and about, there were clearly very sick people in public, masks be damned. People weren’t checking into establishments and most establishments didn’t care much either. There were reports of vaccine wastage, what with people not being keen to get the vaccine.

So anyway, here we are again.

The difference is that we now, we’d been functioning under the assumption that things were getting back to normal. With the first lockdown, S and I put a lot of things on hold. The opposite is happening right now. We’ve set a few things in motion, waiting to land. But there’s nothing we can do but sit tight and hope cases are brought under control as soon as possible.

A few random thoughts:

Today: We were meant to have a BBQ. Obviously, that’s not pushing through. At least we have more than enough food for the rest of the week.

Reading: I’m re-reading Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit. I’ve also been smashing e-magazines thanks to my local library. The Economist, New Philosopher, WIRED, New Scientist, Peppermint, Frankie and Marie Claire are my faves. I feel like I’m starting to get over random Internet surfing and clicking on random articles. I’m yearning for meatier, longer reads.

Learning: I’ve been catching up with all my digital learning: El Metodo for Spanish and Interaction Design Foundation and Leaders of Awesomeness for my career (UX/Product Design).

Exercise: I’ve been doing a lot more yoga lately, thanks to The Yoga Collective. I’ve never been a huge yoga person, but lately I’ve been feeling achy and sore. I’ve always had a problem of not stretching enough after exercise, and I don’t know if it’s age or what, but now I feel it so much more, haha! So my goal is to loosen up a little bit… or a lot… especially with my shoulders and neck.

Hobbies: I miss baking, sewing and my dance classes. I really want to get back into them again. Four more weeks, if all goes well!

(Post three, four more to go. Next week, I’ll be more than halfway!)

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Cancelled plans

This past weekend was meant to be a very social one. As luck would have it, I started getting sick on Friday night. (At least it was on our way home after dinner with friends in the city, so we still had a bit of socialising.)

I spent most of the weekend on the couch, drifting in and out of sleep, not being able to do much but watch TV or read light things online, popping Panadols. The only time I went out of the house was to get healthcare.

While it sucks that that’s how the weekend turned out, I know I’m very lucky. I’m feeling much better now, and it looks like what I had is running its course with no complications. I’ve gotten a few days off work to recuperate and how lucky I am to have this option – I know not everyone gets sick leave.

But most of all, I feel overwhelmed by the support I’ve received from people around me. S has been an absolute champ even driving at odd hours of the night (and morning). Him and his parents have been helping me be comfortable and making sure I’ve been well fed (well, that’s been happening before this). I didn’t make a public announcement of it, but I told the friends I was meaning to meet up with over the weekend, and they have been checking up on me to make sure I’m OK.

I can’t help but think of an incident a few years ago, when I was still single, and quite sick. A “friend” (and I use the term loosely here) offered me chicken soup then spitefully said that I didn’t deserve any because we weren’t close enough anyway. That memory occasionally comes up when I’m sick as a trigger to feel grateful for what I’ve got now. I mean, not only did I not have companionship, proper food or medication, I also had someone rubbing it in my face about how he didn’t think I deserved any care. How ’bout that, right?

There’s a quote from “Perks of Being a Wallflower” that goes, “We accept the love we think we deserve.” This is something that I’ve taken to heart. I’m not saying that I want people to wait on me hand and foot or centre their lives around mine. But I now recognise how lucky I am to have genuinely caring people around me and to resolve never to settle for a relationship or friendship that’s anything less.

(On a side note, happiness researchers talk about the concept of mental subtraction. It’s about thinking of some blessing you’ve had and imagining what your life could be like about it. I feel like in this case, I don’t have to imagine it – I know what it’s like to be sick and not get this kind of support around me. And that makes me so grateful. I hope I never take moments like these for granted.)

I also feel super lucky that Ron and Belle have been very good at keeping me company. 🙂 It’s now part of my day to have one or both of their furry bodies snuggling up to get pats.

(Post two… five more to go! Yes, the countdown is still ongoing.)

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Challenge: write a post per week

This has the sole purpose of trying to make the weeks go faster. 😛 At the moment, there’s nothing to do but wait and make the most of this in-between period. I feel a little bit in a rut being in this limbo of sorts, but I know it’s also because of myself. I need to get back into my usual routines, hobbies and activities, and not spend most of my time counting down the days!

So here goes.

Currently: It’s the long weekend and S and I are spending it low-key. No big things, but we’ve agreed to go out for walks every day, get a handle on a whole bunch of admin things and relax after the busy-ness of the last few weeks.

Entertainment: I went to the cinema for the first time since the pandemic started. We watched “In the Heights“. Such a fun movie! It made me miss going to dance classes in person. I’ve only been doing digital classes and while those have their benefits, there’s really nothing like being in a studio with other people feeding off each others’ energy.

Shopping: I didn’t do a lot of shopping last year. Since I was working from home anyway and there wasn’t a lot of proper “going out”, I was happy to use what I already had. But with the move, I ended up throwing a lot of clothes/toiletries/etc. that had gone ratty or out of date. Thankfully there are end of fiscal year sales are going on now so there were some good deals around. Time to put a little bit more effort into my appearance (haha) now that things are opening up more.

Doggos: I’m now in the company of two very adorable dogs – Ron and Belle. Yes, my clothes now have a permanent blanket of dog hair but they and their little personalities bring so much joy to my every day. Ron likes to jump into my lap (even when I’m working from home) to demand pats while Belle is always hovering around while I’m eating, hoping for crumbs. (She is actually lying down beside me on the sofa as I type this.) I don’t know if S and I will get our own dogs in the future but for the moment we are enjoying the doggy love.

Winter: It’s officially winter and it’s cold. Will I ever get used to the cold, or is it impossible since I grew up mostly in a tropical country?