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.

Working on my daily three

Happy weekend coffee share! So I wanted to do a recap of how my three tasks a day experiment has been going so far. The practice is pretty simple: I write no more than three tasks per day on my work planner for work-related tasks and I do the same on my day planner for my non-work related items. If you see my work planner before, you would find a ridiculously long tasks lists containing mix of high- and low-priority items. On my day planner, my task lists were starting to look more like wish lists of things I wanted to do.

Here is what I learned so far:

It’s not about doing less and being lazy, it’s about setting boundaries — especially at work.

Listing three high priority work items sets intention for my work day. But there are days when something happens that calls my attention (per my supervisor) and all of the sudden there’s about an hour left in the work day. From there, I want to take a brief moment to breathe…. and then a volunteer stands by my door asking if I’m busy. I take another breath and I look at my list shocked by how I did not make any effort to do anything on my daily three. I look at the volunteer profusely apologizing for not being able to help her right now but she could send me an e-mail. Thankfully, she was very understanding because there have been some who would NOT take that as an acceptable answer.

It’s ok to have recurring tasks even if they’ve been there daily for the last several weeks because they’re clearly very important

Everyday for the past several weeks on my work planner I listed “write letter of recommendation.” This will continue up until the beginning of November because I have MANY volunteers who are applying to medical school, P.A. school, nursing school, graduate school, undergraduate, etc. It’s in my daily three because I would HATE to miss a deadline for something so important to them.

Other recurring tasks were around events and projects I managed. For example, this past Thursday, I had this large event. A month leading up to this event, I wrote on my work planner the name of that event everyday up to the day of. I wanted to make sure I still had it on my mind to finalize the details, confirm RVSPs, etc. I knew this event would have gotten lost in the shuffle of other things and suddenly re-emerge itself the week of if I did not write it down on my daily three everyday this month.

For home, I write exercise on my daily three everyday because I know I forget to exercise on most days. It’s clearly important to me since I spend a lot of my time sitting on a desk. Other recurring tasks I’ve had at some point was watering my newly installed plants daily for the first several weeks until established.

Spreads my to-dos throughout the week.

Maybe this is more beneficial for my home life. Why do I let myself believe I can do a million tasks in a day when I can just spread it throughout the week in groups of three? The daily three makes each day more digestible.

It looks like my daily three for work and for home will be here to stay!

Photo by MART PRODUCTION on Pexels.com

How do you manage your tasks at work and at home? Comment below!

Happy late weekend coffee share post!

Happy late weekend coffee share post — it’s been a busy weekend for me. I started my Saturday morning going to the gym — nowadays it’s the only time I go to the gym. Sure I exercise from home, but I enjoy going to the gym to socialize and chat with my fellow gym buddies. After the gym, I finally did my exam for the internship position. The deadline is this Monday at 5PM and I knew Saturday was going to be my only free day and I needed a clear head to complete the exam. There were a few difficult parts that required me to take a few mental health breaks in between (thank god). After I completed my exam, I expected to get a score. It is an online exam after all… But we shall see…

Today is our first Father’s Day. My family came over to visit and we did our potluck lunch. I made a matcha cake with white chocolate whipped cream. It’s my first attempt making a cake not from a box mix. We have leftovers, so grab some yourself! I will do a post about this matcha cake this week. I do want to mention that I messed up on the frosting — I whipped it for too long and it started turning into buttercream.

Matcha cake with white chocolate frosting green tea

What a week!

Happy weekend everyone! And I have to say, I could not wait until this week was over. This week was incredibly unpredictable life-wise. So how did this week go for me?

Sunday: After much discussion, we decided to buy a new (used) car. One of my husband’s brothers was interested in getting our car so my husband was putting in new parts to prepare the car to only come across something that was beyond his skillset. So I called a mechanic to come over to take a look. We did not want to go through the trouble of getting a tow if there was a mobile mechanic in our neighborhood. Unfortunately he was unavailable to stop by that day so we waited until Monday morning.

Monday: I told my supervisor that I was going to be late and would likely take a Lyft ride to work after the mechanic comes by to check out the car and possibly fix it. The mechanic arrived later than scheduled (he informed me in advance). He does not have the part and said he’d return either later that evening or the following day. My husband kindly bought the part on the way home thinking it would make the mechanic’s life much easier so it can be fixed later that evening. That never happened. In terms of getting the work, I ended up not going after speaking with my supervisor. I would pay anywhere between $70-$80 roundtrip to do less than 4 hours of work in the office. If there buses and trains ran more frequently, I would have taken that to work. Also my supervisor reminded me that all next week she’ll be on vacation so it was best I took the day off which I did, but I did not go anywhere.

Tuesday: My husband works from home so he could wait for the mechanic to arrive and I can go to work. I took a Lyft ride to work. My husband told me the mechanic came by and he thought the mechanic told us the car needed a new bolt yesterday, not a new bolt and nut. My husband went through the trouble to buying a new bolt for the mechanic thinking he would have likely completed the job earlier. Anyways my husband decided if the car needed a new bolt and nut he could have done it himself. It was good we consulted with a mechanic to only learn the repair was not beyond my husband’s skillset. Also, we saved a lot of money since we are buying a new car. The cost of the repair was just as much as a car payment. Cost of a Lyft ride from home to work: $92 for a roundtrip. That does not include the tip.

Wednesday: We bought a new car! No Lyft rides for now…also significantly less gas trips for a while because we bought a plug-in hybrid! Total cost of Lyft ride: $94. The trip was from home to work, then from work to car dealership. These Lyft receipts are so painful to look at.

Thursday: Daycare called to tell me I had to pull Lana out early because they saw a rash. They said that Lana could only return to daycare until she saw a doctor and we get a doctor’s note stating that her rash is not contagious. We went home early and waited for the 4:30 pm video consult. My supervisor gave me approval to work from home for the day so I did not have to use my PTO. I was exhausted but I am not going to join these groups of working mom who complain how hard it is to work from home while having small children at home. I’ll admit it is hard, but I refuse to contribute to these sentiments. For part of my job, I interview people coming from the GAIN (Greater Avenues to Independence) program for one-year paid internship positions. The candidates coming from the GAIN program are from low socioeconomic backgrounds and are young parent(s). Every time I hear someone who complains how hard it is to work from home or how hard it is to work from home with a kid, I cringe because I think about my interviews with the GAIN candidates. In the interview they would tell me how they would like an opportunity to work in an office. They want stable hours and a less physically demanding job.

Friday: I returned to work. Lana’s rash was NOT contagious.

I applied for this Administrative Internship through my work earlier this week. I heard back that my application is moving forward in the selection process and I complete Part II on Monday. It’s not an interview, just another assessment. I guess it is a nice way to end this week. The Administrative Intern program is a two-year full-time paid internship through my current employer. I would perform analyst assignments in a variety of public offices within the county like public health, health services, parks and rec, etc. I still intend to apply for the Management Fellow which is very similar where it is paid and it’s also a two year program, but the level of work is much higher and requires the candidates to have a Master’s Degree. But the Management Fellow applications won’t open up until towards the end of the year and the acceptance rate is much, much lower than the Administrative Internship.

Anyways, we can’t predict the future. If we did, then we’d all be rich and solve the world’s problems.

Turkish Coffee

This weekend’s coffee is Turkish coffee to pummel myself. I ate too many sweets yesterday :-/.

I highly encourage people to participate in this month’s “Eat Around the World” challenge to submit dishes around celebration! Cooking skills are not required. Funny thing, as someone who raves about home cooking, I have yet to post a celebration dish I’ve made. Maybe soon…

Wednesday Coffee and Croissants

I wanted to scale back the lavishness of a wedding to celebrate something ordinary like a Wednesday. I’ve been doing this recently to celebrate that I am halfway through another workweek. Plus, the lines in bakeries on Fridays tend to be long. I assume people are celebrating the end of the work week or they have Friday off..

Treating myself for a coffee and croissant on an Wednesday makes the middle of the workweek special. Wednesdays tend to be my busiest days also, so waking up a little early to leave my house a little early is worth it. Plus, I support small businesses.

This week has been pretty hard already. Since Sunday my car broke down and it’s still down today. My husband anticipated that the repair was beyond his skillset so I called for a mechanic to come take a look, but that did not happen until the following day. Monday happened and the mechanic shared his insight and said he’ll go look for the part and possibly come back later that evening or the following day. Anyways, I had to use my dwindling PTO to get that Monday off. I thought about getting a Lyft ride to work after the mechanic stopped by, but because I live fairly far the fare was pretty pricey for doing less than five hours of work that day.

Anyways here’s to another work week!

Ham and gruyere croissant
Ham and gruyere croissant from Proof Bakery

Do you do celebrate any “ordinary” days? Comment below!

“Eat around the World is a monthly writing/photography challenge where I invite people to share a dish around a theme, ingredient, or technique. June’s theme is “Wedding Cake…and other Celebratory Treats.” All themes are open to interpretation. Cooking skills are not required to participate.

Recharge

Hello, Everyone! It’s a fairly warm weekend. Instead of coffee, I am feeling for some mango lassis.

Where to begin…

Tomorrow will be my first Mother’s Day. My husband and my dad are putting together a brunch lunch thing tomorrow at our house. My husband initially wanted to go out and dine and extend the invitation to my parents, but my parents still don’t want to dine in a restaurant.

Also, as promised I gave myself a Mother’s Day gift. That was my 21 in 2021 goal. I decided to give myself the gift of getting some help of getting my yard done. I hired these gardeners who don’t live too far from my house helping me get my yard into shape. I knew without help I would never get any garden projects done. They’ve done good work and I would like to continue hiring them. Plus, I get to keep my dollars local.

In the beginning of the week, I was extremely exhausted. I worked at the COVID clinic on Saturday. On Sunday, my husband and I met up with friends. On Sunday evening, I crashed well into Monday. Thankfully Monday was my day off. I felt so burnt out that I almost felt ill. I feel it’s a common things for me nowadays — I guess that’s what happens when you have a newborn, two dogs, a full-time job, mortgage, home projects, keep up with friends and family, goals, etc. “Maybe you should get more sleep.” I’m not quite sure if it needing more sleep is the answer to solving my burn out. Sleeping too much leaves me groggy.

I think for me, it’s having so much on my plate. I know I have the tendency to take too much on. One experiment I am doing is reviewing my planner and work bullet journal where I write no more than three things I need to accomplish per day. I write three tasks on my planner for personal stuff and three tasks on my work bullet journal for work-related and no more than that. I remembered this tip from a TEDx talk I attended in UCSD many years ago. I thought I’d give it a try for the next few weeks.

Starting Monday I am participating in the Bout of Books challenge. I know I can do all three reading sprints on Tuesday, Saturday, and Sunday at the times listed. The other days would be a little difficult since I’ll be working on getting my kid ready for daycare at 7AM. Though 1PM is my lunch break, my scheduled lunch time tends to be pushed back a little later in the day if I am occupied with something else. Maybe I could shift my 30-minute reading sprints. Instead of a 7AM and 1PM reading sprint, I could do a 30 minute sprint at 8AM listening to an audiobook on the way to work and a 6PM 30-minute sprint when I leave work. After dinner, I usually read a short story to Lana and before bed I read for about 20-30 minutes before falling asleep.

Mango Lassi at Southern Spices Cafe in Lawndale

Weekend Coffee Share: January Overview

Wow, what a week and I am wiped out! Most people would wind down on Friday afternoons at work, they’re physically out of the office at 5:30 PM but their head has been out of the office since 11 AM. For me, my work load was ramping up yesterday afternoon. I had to put together a last-minute volunteer recruiting effort for a drive-up COVID vaccine clinic for the following morning. I don’t understand how this fell on my lap so suddenly if this drive-up COVID vaccine clinic project has been days in the making.

I was so busy this week that I had no time to even click on a social media app. I thought to myself, that is no good. Sure social media scrolling can be a productivity sucker if you spend hours on end scrolling wondering why your life is not like that influencer or looking at memes, but I felt this type of busy-ness went too far. My wind downs were usually right before bed where I would read a book for 21 minutes and fall asleep to only wake up a few hours later to change Lana’s diaper. I would sleep in and do the day all over again. I was lucky to squeeze in a few minutes of exercise each morning.

Anyways I want to do this coffee share to do an overview of my 21 in (20)21 list. Here’s how it’s going so far:

Self-Love

2. Start off my day reading the The Daily Stoic from January 1st to December 31st. 

Not too bad. I only missed a day so far.

3. Do the #Read21in21 where I read for 21 minutes per day. I still read to Lana each night — mostly juvenile chapter books, fairy tales, anthologies, and some picture books. In the beginning I did count my reading to Lana as part of my 21 minutes per day, but now all 21 minutes of reading for me. Reading to Lana is extra. So far I finished two books for myself and five books for Lana. Currently I am reading three books for myself and three books for Lana.

Home

5. Work on Lana’s room which means cleaning up the office/storage room. Work in progress

6. Move the shoe rack from the entry way in the coat closet. This is done! The entry way looks great!

8 Get a credenza for the living room. Work in progress.

Finance

13. Create monthly meal plans. I did this all of January. I can’t wait to share some of my favorite meals.

14. Make our own baby food. In progress. I am currently researching what kind of baby food make. I am pretty excited!

Health

15. Improve my posture muscles at barre. In progress.

16. Get the COVID-19 vaccine. In progress. One dose down, another one coming this Thursday.

Creativity/Other activities

18. Create an artistic display of our postcards. In progress.

20. Organize my apps on my phone. In progress.

I do want to thank everyone from the previous week’s Coffee Share for all your support and kind words. After I told off my brother-in-law about his cigarette smell, he stopped smoking and the house does not smell like cigarettes anymore. I don’t have to open the window and make everyone freeze in the house or waste heat. I’ve never smoked, I always heard how hard it was to stop smoking so I am sure it was a tough thing for him to sacrifice. I would not be surprised if some days he harbors a grudge against me. Anyways, I feel he has demonstrated he can turn around…but he has not tried looking for work so I don’t think quitting smoking is enough for my husband to let him stay.

#weekendcoffeeshare: A warm winter day

Hello, everyone. Grab some coffee from the French press. I bought breakfast croissants from my neighborhood donut shop. Grab some — I have enough for everyone!

It is warm winter day in Los Angeles. We were planning to go to the mountains and see some snow again this weekend but the snow had already melted. The weather has been in the high 80s all weekend then come Friday it will rain with a low of 61 degrees. Will we be able to see snow in the mountains the following weekend? I’ll be on the look out.

This is my last weekend of maternity leave. I spent all week sleeping in (in Julieland it is waking up at 6:30 AM or 7 AM) because I know once I return to work on Tuesday, it’s back to waking up at 5 AM during the work week and sleeping in is for weekends. There will be a few things I’ll miss about maternity leave, but overall it was okay. I feel with the pandemic and the lockdown it was not as enjoyable as I hoped. I am incredibly grateful my job allowed me the time off. I could have stayed on leave longer and lived off my savings for another three months, but I was ready to return to work. What made it easy is that my work has on-site daycare. I never thought I would work a job where I can bring my kid to work. I always thought this type of perk was only for C-Suite executives not low level administrators like me. On Thursday I get my COVID vaccine — wish me luck!

Weekend Coffee Share

21 in (20)21

I guess my word for 2021 is “Declutter.” I feel we are finally settled in our house after the remodel. We’ve accumulated stuff over the years from past apartments and they never quite found “homes” around the house.

At one point, one room was just storage and the other room was my office where I did school and creative projects. Now with my brother-in-law moved in, one room is now both the storage and the office space. And now with the baby, we need to make that storage room/office space into a bedroom. It’s not going to be immediate, but she will move in. I strongly don’t believe in buying a home with more rooms. As someone who has lived in a large home in the suburbs, it just means a larger vessel to store more random crap.

I think “Declutter” is an appropriate word to define my new year. A lot of my goals are oriented towards getting rid of stuff (i.e. physical stuff, time sucking hobbies, things dragging down my happiness) to make room for fewer, better things.

Anyways, here are my my 21 things for 2021.

Self-Love

1. Give myself a gift for Mother’s Day. I’ve worked many thankless jobs and I think motherhood is the most thankless at all. It’s also the job where I encounter the most people one upping each other making it even more thankless. It’s emotionally and mentally exhausting. On top of that, discussing baby rearing with other people has quickly become a dick measuring contest if you breastfeed vs. formula feed, how much stuff you buy for the baby, enrolling in courses, etc. I guess giving myself a gift is my way to telling myself that my parenting is more than enough. In terms of gifts, I’m pretty simple. Maybe a large package of spin classes will do.

2. Start off my day reading the The Daily Stoic from January 1st to December 31st. There were a few days where I read the The Daily Stoic in the final few weeks of pregnancy. I read each passage at the end of the day when I should really read it at the beginning of the day — maybe before work or during lunch time?

3. Do the #Read21in21 where I read for 21 minutes per day. I am not sure how to define this. I definitely do want to set sometime to read for myself everyday. I also want to read everyday for Lana. Do I read 21 minutes for myself and 21 minute for Lana? Then again, a lot of books for babies are picture books with very few words. It takes minutes to complete but I spend my time describing and going over the pictures with her even though she does not understand me yet.

Home

4. Plant three herbs in front of the house… I want to be intentional of which herbs to plant…namely herbs we use all the time.

5. Work on Lana’s room which means cleaning up the office/storage room. This is a large undertaking because we have a lot books and files. We need to be creative in moving stuff around or just getting rid of it.

6. Move the shoe rack from the entry way in the coat closet. We have a lot of shoes in the entryway and we do not wear all of them on a regular basis. I only wear two shoes daily (boots and sneakers). To avoid a trip hazard, it’s best to move the shoes we normally don’t wear in the coat closet.

7 Have a large indoor plant for the entry way. As you can see I want to clean up the entryway.

8 Get a credenza for the living room.

9. Plant a tree for the front yard.

10. Convert our little eight year old IKEA table into a kitchen island.

11. Reorganize the kitchen cabinets.

Finance

12. Save six months worth of living expenses

13. Create monthly meal plans. I think this would be a lot of fun to do. I’ve always been creative in making meals based on whatever is in my fridge. Because we have a baby, I feel we do need to meal plan throughout the week and make sure we have enough leftovers for lunch the following day. I intend to release my monthly meal plans at the beginning of each month on the blog.

14. Make our own baby food.

Health

15. Improve my posture muscles at barre. Mostly this is focusing on keeping my shoulders down.

16. Get the COVID-19 vaccine. One of the first things I’ll do when I return to work.

Career

17. Apply for the Management Fellow Program at work.

Creativity/Other activities

18. Create an artistic display of our postcards. This is from last year’s list. I do have something in mind. I thought I would have maternity leave to put something together but I got occupied in other things. My friends and I decided to organize a virtual craft day. This would be perfect for that project.

19. Finish a Duolingo course.

20. Organize my apps on my phone. I just install apps, but I should organize them into folders. When my husband tries to look for stuff on my phone, I get embarrassed because I know he has a hard time looking for anything.

21. Go on a major trip as a family. This is a reach assuming COVID dies down by then.

What are your goals for 2021? Share below!

“Make New Year’s goals. Dig within, and discover what you would like to have happen in your life this year. This helps you do your part. It is an affirmation that you’re interested in fully living life in the year to come.”

Melody Beattie

The COVID-19 journal: Keeping your spirits up

Yesterday, there were currently 94 cases of coronavirus in Los Angeles. Today, there are currently 144. There are still no cases admitted to our hospital. The medical school pulled the students from doing their residency. I find it kind of weird because where else would they go? Gladly, these students are coming back on their own volition to volunteer their time at the hospital. Hearing that lifted my spirits.

Today at my department we did a team huddle about every one to two hours. It was like breaking news to discuss what temporary change has unfolded or perform a quick report within the next hour to send to the big boss. There was even a possibility of our department closing during the outbreak. I was not sure what it would entail. Would it mean we disperse to support other departments? Or does it mean we get furloughed without pay? The latter is something I cannot afford.

We host many events at the hospital inviting the community throughout the year, but they have all been cancelled or postponed. When things get cancelled and everything pulls you in every which direction, it can be hard to keep your spirits up.

How do you cope with dealing with COVID-19?

For me, I found at work, it helps to:

  • Keep a sense of humor
  • E-mail your coworkers a list of link of good news — everyone could use some good news.
  • Enjoy my drive from home to downtown LA. My average time is 30 minutes each way.
  • Since my drive is short, I can sleep in. I can have productive mornings exercising and pack my lunch.
  • I prefer to sit outside during my lunch breaks, but because it’s been raining for the last few days, I get cooped up in the cafeteria. I instead go back to the office to nap or read. Maybe I’ll try some office exercise.

At home:

  • Enjoy the sun. This morning the sun was out and there was no rain for a few hours. I finally took my dogs out for a walk.
  • Journaling my observations about how people behave around COVID-19. The hospital is fairly serene compared to going to the grocery store. On Saturday, I went to ALDI for a few groceries. When I arrived around 5 PM, they closed. The posted closing time is 9 PM but because they ran out of a lot of food, they closed early.

Monday Motivation: I’m back

…actually, I came back from Iceland on Friday night.

It was such a fantastic trip. Stayed tuned for Travel Tuesdays and the future one’s thereafter.

Also on Friday night, when I arrived to LAX, I turned on my phone to find out I’VE BEEN ACCEPTED TO THE MPA PROGRAM!! I start school on January 21st.

Today is my first back at work. It feels different. It feels busy(ier). Maybe because I got accepted to grad school, I anticipate more tasks next coming weeks. I need to print and complete to send out my submit my intent to register at school. Plus catch up with the pace of work.

dai-ke-32162Actually, hold up. No need to go from 0 to 100 MPH as soon as I get to my cubicle. Instead of seating myself at my desk to review my e-mails, I’ll distribute gifts to my co-workers, write my “thank you” cards to the people who wrote me their letters of recommendations, then I’ll get around to the world’s to-do list (aka e-mail) for me.

I always hear one saying, “I need a vacation from a vacation”. I think instead of self-flagellating coming to the office 2 hours before your usual time and staying 2 hours after, to play catch-up with your tasks, just ease into your first work day back. Besides you have meaningful activities framing around your work whether it is going to the gym, walking your dog, spending time with family, cooking dinner — it makes no sense to stay 2 hours after to NOT go to the gym, NOT walk your dog, NOT have dinner with your family.

How do you adjust coming back to work after a vacation? Comment below?

 

Weekly Coffee Share: Last one before I turn 30

If we were having coffee, it would be at home and I’d serve these life-changing donuts. On Friday, my coworker took me and few coworkers to this donut place called Donut man. I’m not a fan of glazed donuts, but these are different not too sweet.

Donut Man Strawberry donut

Last week, I saw Miss Sloane — I love Jessica Chastain. It was like watching a modern-day Greek tragedy of a hard-working woman doing what it takes to succeed as a D.C. lobbyist even if she makes unethical work decisions. Miss Sloans works 24/7, forgoes friendships to get ahead, and takes drugs to stay awake. I can see spectrums of Miss Sloane in a lot of people including myself. For me, I get over-involved, I am determined to do it well and do things right. I am blessed to be surrounded by people who push me but I always ask myself, “How far do I need to lean in?” Instead of asking me, maybe I should ask them “how far.” Until I fall over?

For grad school, they needed 3 letters of recommendation from my colleagues, so I could not start this semester. I may not have gotten into grad school (right now), but I found out I was going to be a co-author for a study I was working on for the past year. My partner submitted it and it’s on its way to be published in a journal. It’s a huge honor to get an authorship, but a little part of me felt a little sick.

For every achievement I’ve hit in my life, I get a “congrats” immediately followed by “what’s next?” and pushing me to go for bigger, greater. Again, I repeat, I am blessed by people who cheer me on, but what if I am fatigued? What if I want to run at a comfortable pace and enjoy process? Or what if I want to take a break and enjoy sitting still?

For the past year, I’ve been preaching to people that I’ve got other goals not related to my work. Why does it have to be? I urge people to be more well-rounded and pursue things in life that bring you joy.

This is my weekend before I turn 30. In the last few months I came to realize I am workaholic and I’ve recovering and fighting to avoid relapse. I decided to dedicate this new decade to pursue things in my life that bring me meaning. I also want to listen to my body. Almost a year ago, I inflamed both my wrists from typing a lot. It was not quite carpal tunnel but I did get a ergonomics check. About 2 weeks ago, I got carpal tunnel on my right wrist. I did not want to do another ergonomics check because let’s face it: I don’t want a modified keyboard and expect me to work at my former pace. Instead, why can’t I listen to my body telling me, “you can step away from the keyboard and computer screen.”

What’s up for this week?

This week is going to be busy work-wise and it’s going to be short. Monday, I am driving to San Diego, but I am hoping I can finish the day and go home at a reasonable time. Tuesday, is a full day and I am throwing my coworker a farewell happy hour because it is her last day. Wednesday, I hope I can start a little later because I am hosting a networking event later that day. Thursday looks promising and open. And finally, Friday, is my day off. It’s the start of my long weekend and we’re going to Sequoia!

Sequoia Kings Canyon

I hope this week, I can squeeze in time for a professional massage. I am embarrassed I just discovered the benefits! My husband gave me a massage yesterday because I told him I felt like my body was breaking down. He’s not a professional masseuse, but I felt the difference. I felt more alert and my mind is not so foggy.

Julie Weekend Coffee Share

Credit: The Smushed Peach

Interested in participating in the Weekend Coffee Share yourself? Come on over to Nerd in the Brain for more details! Check out the link party page or this wordpress tag for inspiration.