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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Naptime is an indulgence

My husband came back home on Tuesday. He is COVID and pneumonia-free since he spent most of his annual training in quarantine. Today he and Lana are going out to a car meet with a few friends. I was supposed to join them but our pets had a vet appointment today. On the bright side, it is kind of refreshing to be by myself and not have to entertain my kid every second of every day — it is a much-needed respite. The only thing I have on the schedule today is taking my dogs to the vet and nothing else after that. As I mentioned before, it was getting really hard when my husband was away for training so long. Don’t get me wrong! I love my kid but it can be overstimulating. My free day after the vet appointment would be a trip to the gym, go grocery shopping, taking a nap, and binge-watching The Mindy Project instead of the Baby Shark channel. How indulgent!

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The Toxic behaviors end here

What a Saturday! It’s been a while since I’ve been this productive. I took my kid to dance class, ran errands, placed three new plants in the garden, made a mango cheesecake for tomorrow’s Father’s day, and tried a new recipe for dinner.

I’m doing better healthwise. I’ve walked my dogs every morning since Monday. I’ve been going to the gym two to three times per week. I’ve been working on a few projects. It’s great feeling productive, but I still get bouts of fatigue throughout the day. Fridays are when I am the most tired. We went to dinner with friends on Friday and by 8PM, I was ready to go home and lay down.

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The Long break

We’re not having coffee this week. We’ll be having Argentinian parilla. There is more meat on this grill than what I eat in a month. I usually get my protein in the form of beans and eggs. When I had to amp up my protein when I was pregnant, I used protein powder.

Between my husband and I, it was leftovers for lunch and dinner for days.
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On to the next thing

** Warning: Long post **

I put in my two-week notice and decided to go with Employer #1.

Where did I leave off? Well, I withheld the news last that Employer #1 gave me an offer last Thursday. I received the offer letter 20 minutes before my scheduled interview with Employer C (Current Employer) for the assistant hospital administrator position. At the time I was very confident with the outcome with Employer C. I had support from my supervisor and the person who held the previous position who were confident I would do well if I got the job. It would have been a leapfrog of a promotion, I would have gone from a position that is a step below a director to someone who is a step above a director. If you called me back to Earth, you’d shake me and say “It’s a major reach! You’re disturbing the pecking order — that’s not how it works!”

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Door number 1, 2, and 3

** Warning: Long Post **

I just see a person

On Saturday my husband is off to a robotics competition. He’s a coach/mentor for a local high school. BIL #1 and BIL #2 are going to see their mom since it is her birthday. They offered to bring Lana because it would be nice for her to see her grandmother and it would free me up, but I told them she had dance classes and we had other plans. Honestly, I am less enthused about Lana going to MIL’s birthday because I am still bitter about that one spontaneous visit where she compared her with her cousins. But that was only part of it.

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Play hard

The Comparison game

I think one of the worst things a parent, a grandparent, or a relative could do to a child is to compare them with other children. I am thankful my parents never did that. I am also thankful my parents advised me to never compare myself to other people. I am sure I started this self-flagellation of comparing myself to others as early as elementary school…maybe even sooner? I think into my 20s it was pretty bad because I was concerned about career and life satisfaction. Now in my 30s, I am actively fighting against it.

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Go fly

Gather around everyone! I brought everyone a box of the world-famous Voodoo Donuts. Hailing from Portland, these donuts have set up shop in Los Angeles too. I warn you these donuts are a lot larger than pictured. They’re all at least the size of my hand.

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These short work weeks feel accelerated

Where should I begin with this week’s Coffee Share?

This week at work has been a whirlwind. This week was Employee Appreciation Week. Everyday this week during lunch hour we had to set our department booth doing giveaways, outreach, etc. I’ve been on my feet all week at work. Though I had Monday off, these short work weeks feel accelerated. I know I need a vacation — even this vacation staying at home sleeping in and going to a local café for lunch.

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Selection process

Brace yourselves, it’s going to be another hot weekend! It’s a good day for a nice cold cider.

Our electricity bill came and it is unusually high. Aside from the obvious culprit, the air conditioner, I have not been as mindful turning off the lights before I leave a room lately especially when I’ve been occupied with Lana. In the past I’ve been comically vigilant unplugging unused appliances like the rice cooker. If we were leaving town, we would unplug everything except the refrigerator.

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Let’s have vaccine clinics in the lobby!

Happy Friday everyone! This week flew by — thank goodness! A lot has developed over the past week especially at work. Visitors seeing patients staying at the in-patient floors must have COVID vaccine or COVID negative test in the last 72 hours. The lines to the information desk are getting long. I think maybe while we are at it, we should have a vaccine clinic at all our lobby areas so if they get turned away, they can get vaccinated and not leave feeling empty-handed.

Also at work, all employees (including volunteers and contractors) at my work must have the COVID vaccine by September 30th. If they don’t get vaccinated, they can’t go to work. I’m not sure what the ultimate decision will be for those who won’t vaccinate. Is this an experiment to get more employees vaccinated? In the meantime, unions are negotiating for those who continue to not vaccinate to do weekly COVID tests in order for them to continue working but my employer will remain rigid with their decision. There is an exemption but that applies if the person is reported to get an anaphylactic shock from the vaccine. Honestly I don’t mind that my work won’t budge. As someone working for a public employer, is it financially responsible for tax payer dollars to continue to pay for employee COVID tests? Have my coworkers seen how much COVID tests cost? Also, I’m tired of holding the secondary title of contact tracer at work — it eats up a lot of time from my regular duties.

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Five things Friday: Noodle Hack

Five things Friday is a post where I share five things that either made my week, what I am thinking about, or would like to share with all of you.

Getting the Childcare Tax Credit (CTC) – I know I’ve been hearing about getting the Childcare Tax Credit and to be honest, it was nice seeing that credit in my checking account this morning. Please keep in mind that this is an advance that applies for next year’s tax season, not a stimulus check. Half of the usual CTC is coming in the form of monthly payments. It made me think, why can’t it always be in monthly payments rather than a lump sum that one time you file your tax return. I’m thinking more about that parent that needs that break to pay for their kid’s formula or a few days of daycare. I’m thinking about that parent that needs to have a little bit of money to put away to save for a future summer camp

Experimenting with adding baking soda to your noodles – I heard about this cooking hack from a Youtube video. Lately I’ve been playing around with this trick. To be honest, I can’t tell the difference. Maybe I should buy some ramen noodles as a control for comparison.

Bionicos (Mexican Fruit Salad) – Looks indulgent but it’s incredibly healthy and filling since it’s mostly strawberries. The cream sauce is very, very light.

Managing my work through the Pomodoro Timer – I learned about the Pomodoro Timer on my new fitness watch. I thought the name was kind of funny and thought “what’s a tomato timer?” I looked it up and it’s basically you work for twenty-five minutes (“Pomodoro”) followed by a five minute break. After the five minute break, you repeat. Generally you take a longer break after you complete four Pomodoros, but the rules are pretty flexible. I thought the concept was very simple, but after trying the Pomodoro timer all week, I’m pleasantly surprised how much work I got done including ones that have been on the back burner for months.

Bakeries in LA list – I am working through this list of iconic bakeries around LA.