Winding down for the year

It’s December already. For some reason, I feel excited that we are in the last month of the year. Maybe because I work at a university, I feel the mood is winding down because the term is ending. Decembers in my last job at the hospital would feel like a rush because we would scramble around looking for volunteers to help with patient services, help out with special events, decorate, etc. But since a lot of volunteers are students they’re either back home in their home state (or country) or on vacation so we’d always run short of help.

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The Long Thanksgiving weekend

How was your Thanksgiving? Ours was pretty simple. We just had it at my parents’ house. They live about 30 minutes away. I did not prepare anything fancy, I just got frozen appetizers from Trader Joe’s and I baked them when I got to my parents’ house. There were these fried goat cheese balls I wanted to make but I’ll try it another time. I don’t want my first attempt in fried cheese goat balls to be on Thanksgiving Day.

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The Opposite of optimism is cynicism

It’s been chilly all week long which means it’s starting to feel like fall in LA. In a previous post, I mentioned it was a little hard to adjust to the normal routine since coming back from vacation. I mean it’s been my first major vacation in more than two years. Plus it was my first vacation since having a baby and it was my first time being away from her for a week. I think around Wednesday was when I finally got the hang of my routine again (for the most part).

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Hanging out at baggage claim for two hours

Now it’s my turn to go on vacation. Actually, the funny thing was that it was the other way around I planned a vacation first with my college friends and my husband decided to plan one with Lana around the same time. I realized I was going to miss out on seeing Lana experience her flight and her first long-distance trip. She will, however, experience the first time she’s been apart from me for more than 10 hours. Plus I will miss out on learning how to travel with a young child. At least my husband can tell me how it goes and we can plan better for the next trip (haha). I just learned we could pack the stroller which would have made getting around the airport so much easier. Plus it could have doubled as a wagon to hold our carryons and personal items.

I just landed in Austin and I am waiting for my friends to arrive. They’re coming from the Bay Area. In the meantime, I am at the seating area next to baggage claim writing this post to occupy my two hours.

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Resting should be on my social calendar

Cutting it close with a couple of hours to go in Weekend Coffee Share.

This weekend has been busy we’re packing up for our trip for the following week. Initially, BIL was supposed to watch our dogs while we are out but this morning he said he isn’t able to watch them anymore because he’s going to visit his mom the following weekend. We thought what a weird reason to not take care of the dogs. Can’t he just take them along? MIL lives with SIL who has two dogs. *shakes my head* I don’t get it. We had to ask around to see who is able to take care of our dog. Thankfully one of our friends offered to care for them.

Building up my social calendar

On Saturday, we took Lana out for Trunk-or-Treating at a church. One of our friends invited us out to hang out. It was a lot of fun. And I would say this is Lana’s first trick-or-treat. Last year, we went to the mall and the stores gave out candy. I guess that kind of counts…but if anything we were at the mall for window shopping.

My friend told me that before coming to the Trunk-or-Treat event, she just came from the mall because Macy’s was giving out lego kits The following day, she was going to three Halloween community events. I said, “wow that’s five events in one weekend! You spend your weekends going to community events?!” She was telling me she finds out about the events through newsletters and Facebook groups.

For me, just thinking of her social calendar of it makes me tired. When I worked in senior living, I use to go to a lot of networking events and conferences. I was part of Toastmasters for my professional development. I work really hard in all these arenas and I made sure people recognized it. But then I stopped when I realized all the extra work I was doing was not getting me where I wanted to go. At the time I thought once I got to my destination (aka the promotion), I could finally pursue the “fun” stuff. COVID was a strange blessing for me. All these canceled in-person events allowed me to press the “reset” button on how I want to spend my time.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy in-person gatherings. I just want to go for the ones that are meaningful like going to the gym for taking care of myself. Or going to my kid’s dance class because she enjoys dancing. Or joining a parent-child soccer meet-up to see if my kid is interested in learning soccer. Or join a foreign language meetup to practice my foreign language skills. Or volunteer to give back to the community. Or a book club to chat about a book…but most of all, I enjoy rest. I think in order to have optimal energy to do all these things I listed above I would have to give up sugar.

Gifting dog toys

This week I am gifting dog toys to a local dog rescue group.

What I am loving lately? The Finch app.

I like to describe it as a tamogotchi or a nanopet — remember those? It’s a digital pet on a tiny handheld device that you care for through feeding, playing, and bathing. You can even discipline the pet too. Finch is a similar concept but you care for your pet by fulfilling daily self-care goals such as making your bed, organizing a self, donating an item you no longer use, chew food slower, etc. I am surprised how easy it is to keep it up. I do not complete all the daily goals. When I am unable to complete a goal, I simply select “skip goal” and the goal appears on another day. There’s no negative reinforcement in skipping a goal. For now, I am using the free version.

Tags: Weekend Coffee Share

Do not dismiss the good work

What I am loving lately: The City Council Gossip

This scandal completely made my week. I live in Los Angeles and my city council person has resigned after a leaked recording was released of her and three other powerful LA politicians engaging in an incredibly nasty, hateful, and racist conversation. If you listen to the entire recording, the backdoor meeting was around asset redistricting — who gets what neighborhoods and landmarks — and hateful things about many groups of people were being thrown around. It was power-hungry and unprofessional. Some may excuse it as “locker room talk” but if I ever talked like that at work, I would get fired immediately. I do not hold a high position nor do I make a lot of money like they do.

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Cutting back on my sass

If we were having coffee or tea, we’d be pairing it with these cake samples I got from a Ukrainian bakery. The top half is a Napolean and the bottom half with the berries is a honey cake called Medovik. Feel free to choose or have both!

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What a week!

If we were having coffee, here is what I’d share that I’m…

Dealing with HFMD (hand-foot-and-mouth disease)

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The Final eight lessons

Again, another late entry! So I am happy to report that we finished building our shade structure in the patio! It came out so nice! I like how we finished it just in time for another heatwave. Side from it not being so hot on the deck, the shade structure has helped with bringing in less sun inside so it’s less hot there too.

As September is about to end, here are my final eight lessons. I can’t believe we made to 35 lessons for my 35th year. It’s been good to reflect on what I’ve learned and where I grew and where I hope to grow out of.

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My idea of an easy weekend is…

We thought this weekend it was best to stay in town and take it easy by finally starting our pergola project. We’ve had the supplies in our garage — we just haven’t gotten around to building it because it been too hot to work outside…maybe if we did work on our project in the summer, we would have waited until the sun went down to do the work.

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How are you dealing with this heatwave?

The past weekend we spent Labor Day weekend in San Diego. Believe it or not, the weather in San Diego was much hotter and more uncomfortable than the Los Angeles heat. Due to the high humidity in San Diego, it did not matter what time we left the house — it could be 6 am or 8 pm — it was still hot. In LA as long as the sun wasn’t high… the weather was more bearable. That is why I enjoy my 6 am walks with my dogs and my 9pm pre-bedtime ritual of sitting in the backyard reading a book.

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35

Yesterday was my birthday and I am now 35 years old.

I was about to share 35 lessons I’ve learned over the years in honor of my 35th birthday but it’s not quite finished yet. Instead of having one big post of 35 lessons –which would have been a very long post — I’ll break it up throughout the most. Keep in mind, these are just how I feel at the moment. Some are a little cynical and some of them I hope I outgrow someday. I may be 35, but I’m going through some growing pains so some lessons may not be so feel-goody…anyways here are my 35 life lessons and observations:

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