The Introvert Expat SAHM Diaries

Goals, Gastritis & That Blog I Was Telling You About

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Hello my beautiful, awesome friends! It’s been a while. How ya’ll doin’? ๐Ÿ˜€

I’m here to share with you that I’ve done and am doing something I find truly exciting.

But before that, a backstory in the briefest way I can do it:

The last time we “talked” I was going on about these goals I had, right? And that I was working on them, but it was all feeling like an uphill climb. I knew something was amiss since I was really struggling with them.

So I had to stop and take stock. I dove into motivational material, listened to Jim Rohn, Jack Canfield, Lisa Nichols and a bunch of life coaches on Podcasts and I realized the problem was that my goals just weren’t exciting.ย  There was no thunder and lightning at all. And they didn’t pull me out of my comfort zone in ways that energized me.

At about the same time I realized this I experienced gastritis along with the worst period pains E-VERR. It was absolute torture! But all the doctor said was …and you’re not gonna believe this, he said “just be happy”. Literally. I’m serious.

Now I totally believe in the mind-body connection, so I didn’t need to be told twice. I immediately improved the quality of the food I was eating, shifted to the kind of exercise my body truly enjoyed, tackled a couple of small but annoying things in my life, continued to feed my brain with motivational material, and allowed myself to just forget “those effing goals” for a while.

Just a few days into this routine I noticed that I could see better.ย  I’m like “why is the TV so much clearer all of a sudden?!”.ย  I also felt physically lighter. I can’t quite explain it but I was moving with more ease and fluidity and as though I had lost a ton of weight.ย  I was also in a more positive mindset.ย  My brain chatter was just … better…?ย  It’s like I gained some maturity, resilience, confidence & purposefulness all in one. So yes, improving your diet, exercising better and filling your brain with positive stuff makes all the difference in the world.

But the biggest take-away for me is really this: I created new goals and I made them genuinely relevant and scary-exciting.ย  I will be sharing more about them with you in upcoming posts but for now I would Lโค๏ธVE for you to head on over to fifiandriri.com and tell me what you think ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks and, I’ll talk to you soon ๐Ÿ’‹

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Knitting

Knit Racerback Tee

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Look at this pretty thing that I finished this month! She is gor-geous!ย  ๐Ÿคฉ

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As a neophyte knitter, I really, really love it whenever I make something that I can wear. It’s just so amazing, I’m still not used to it (and I hope I never get used to it).

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Just look at how she transforms when I add a necklace. She’s so versatile ๐Ÿ˜˜ I could knit this in more colors, so easy!

Here‘s the free pattern if you’re interested.

Sane At Home Mom

Hunkering Down: Learning the Indonesian Language Week 2

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Let’s Start With A True Story

This week’s work commenced last Saturday when, while visiting a nearby mall, I told my husband “jangan bantu saya, mau berlatih bahasa indonesia saya” (do not help me, I want to practice my Indonesian).

I went in to a store selling women’s accessories and, as expected, was approached by the attendant. She was explaining something about an ongoing promotion, which I understood by just focusing on key words (and the promotional signs). I asked something in my broken Indonesian, she realized I didn’t speak the language and, as I have observed many times in the past, answered by speaking so very fast that all I understood was the language’s signature rolling “R” ๐Ÿ˜ณ

Good Lord, help me. Whenever this happens, I want to revert to English so that it’s them having the headache, not me! (That’s my frustrated reaction).

But I soldiered on.

I asked her to please speak slowly, that I was still learning the language – all this in perfect Indonesian because by now this phrase is burned into my brain. Her reaction was one I interpreted to be akin to mockery, complete with that side-smile and downcast eyes. She then removed herself from the scene/situation โ˜น๏ธ

Now, I am not saying they all react discouragingly like this (although I do remember another store attendant who also attended to me with an air of annoyance). I don’t know what that lady’s problem was or what she was thinking at the time. Although I managed to walk out that store with 2 sets of lovely earrings (and 2 bracelets for my eldest), I spent a good part of the weekend feeling disheartened.

Jeez, it sure feels like “arse” to feel incompetent like that.

๐Ÿ˜’๐Ÿ˜’๐Ÿ˜’

Here’s how the rest of week 2 went:

Monday

Lesson 49. Done!

Tuesday

Lesson 50 & 51. Done!

The cleaning lady praises my efforts for learning the language. She calls me “pandai” (smart/clever). She goes as far as to compare me with other expat wives who go back to their home countries with nada an Indonesian word under their belts.

Finally some encouragement!

I feel like I’m Wonder Woman ๐Ÿ˜€

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Wednesday

Lesson 52 & 53. Done!

Thursday

Something unpleasant happened the evening before. So today I just want to soak my brain in positivity and possibility.

And knit.

Friday

It took me all the king’s horses and all the king’s men to go back and tackle lesson 54 again.

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Week 2 Conclusion:

On speaking with the locals ~ Most of the time, my frustration is that they don’t speak slowly when they reply. They only try to choose other words to explain the same thing but this just confuses me even more. They appreciate the effort I make, but it’s as though they get self-conscious when they respond that they just want to get it over with by speaking very fast and leaving it at that. And if the person being spoken to happens to know a bit of English, he will respond in English so that I am no better off than when I started.

But, I am fortunate to have a cleaning lady who knows enough English for us to be able to communicate. She’ll be taking on a more active role in this process moving forward ๐Ÿ˜

On studying:

It still feels like punishment.

 

… to week 3, and beyond!

Sane At Home Mom

Hunkering Down: Learning the Indonesian Language Week 1

IMG_E5940So after this realization, I decided to dedicate 1 month to each goal.

This doesn’t mean that everything must be wrapped up and neatly tied with a bow by the end of the month. This is just to make sure I give each about 20+ weekdays of undiluted attention during which I put all my other goals on hold.

If a goal resonates, and I decide I want to spend more time with it, I will for as long as I need to. If a goal doesn’t resonate, then I will feel no guilt putting it away by month’s end knowing that I gave it a fair shot.

Let’s do this! ๐Ÿ’ช

I decided to dedicate July to goal #1, learn the Indonesian language. Here’s an overview of how the 1st week went:

Day 1

After weeks of neglect, I resumed with lesson 46. Focusing is difficult because I have ideas about my other goals and I have to exert willpower to bring my mind back to the day’s lesson.

Day 2

Moved on to lesson 47. Started to ask myself how else I could reinforce my learning. Dusted off an old edition elementary school workbook that I found on bargain a long, long time ago and proceeded to werk.

After 2 pages, looked for and found a podcast about language learning on which I heard Benny Lewis say that he didn’t need to speak the new language perfectly, he just needed to be able to communicate in it (or something like that).

Perfect! That’s what I want too.

What is coach surfing?ย ๐Ÿค”

Enrolled in Benny Lewis’ 1 week email course : “Speak in a Week”.

Day 3

Woke up at 6AM with the intention to do some reading in my target language while everyone else was still asleep.

I worked on my new diamond painting project instead, and I wasn’t even aware that I made the switch! ๐Ÿ˜ซ

Plodded through lesson 48, midway, I was typing in my credit card details with 4 items for check-out in my online shopping cart. ๐Ÿ˜ซ๐Ÿ˜ซ

Day 4

I decided that if something was driving me to shop online when I had no need to, then I needed to take a step back from this and re-group.

Found a local TV program about arts & crafts, enjoyed it so much, and wrote down some new vocabulary.ย  Finally. Score! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Day 5

I sat down for the day’s lesson but found myself watching a YouTube video about the 10 people who hate Megan Markle insteadย  ๐Ÿ˜ฒ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

Good Lord, I have never sunk so low!

Decided to redeem my dignity by watching the local arts & crafts program again with notebook and pen in hand. Hmmm … decoupage looks like something I could get into. ๐ŸคฉNoted!

๐Ÿ˜ต๐Ÿ˜ต๐Ÿ˜ต

Week 1 Conclusion:

I’m really struggling with this. Maybe the language classes I bought is no longer engaging because at this level, I’m bombarded with words that are not common to everyday conversation. Then there’s grammar … ๐Ÿคข

The local TV program helped because it was interesting and it’s training my ears to how Indonesian is actually spoken. I am happy when I am able to make out words, even those that I don’t know the meaning of ๐Ÿ˜€ I then write these down and note their meanings.

The old schoolbook also helps. Somewhat.

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Here’s hoping week 2 will go much better.

Diamond Painting

First Diamond Painting Finish + Next Project

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“Owlie” – (because I can’t think of anything more original right now ๐Ÿ˜‚) who holds the distinguished honor of being the flag-bearer for my new-found hobby [Diamond Painting] – is finished!

Here he is framed & displayed in our little grooming room:

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I covered the canvass with a sheet of plastic on the suggestion of the cleaning lady. She was worried that dust might settle between the beads & wiping them would cause the beads to come lose – smart observation!

(Oh and I’m really sorry about the poor quality of these photos. It’s been cloudy/rainy lately so I’m using indoor lighting only ๐Ÿ˜ญ).

And because I am just “high-strung” like that, here’s my next project:

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Drill pens up in 5! ๐Ÿคฉ

The Introvert Expat SAHM Diaries

Not This Year

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When I was still climbing the career ladder I was a very goal oriented employee. I would reverse engineer the annual performance review by picking out in advance the areas I wanted to stand out in, and proceeded to take on the shiniest projects that would showcase my excellence in those areas.

I had this system so well down pat that when I became a housewife I experienced some sort of crisis. It felt like I was let loose all of a sudden and all that freedom was just confusing, I didn’t know what to do with it.

For maybe a year or two I had a notebook and pen and wrote down monthly goals such as “learn to cook 2 new recipes”, or “learn to knit beginner’s level”, or “lose X number of lbs”.

But there was no annual review to prepare for, no boss to wow, no gold stars to earn & show-off on my imaginary wall of fame that I slipped into nonchalance. I set vague goals that I forgot the following week. Or, I didn’t follow through, or I list so many that I overwhelm myself into catatonia all the while thinking that I have all the time in world to do them anyway.

Lately though I have become conscious of it and I do not like it. The more I think about it, the more it seems to me that I’m not even showing up for myself. I say I will do something but I don’t even honor my word.

So I went back to my notebook, looked at the goals I set for this year and decided to re-commit. It’s not yet too late, I can still hunker down and make a dash for the finish line.

My goals for this year were/are:

  1. ย lose post-pregnancy weight – but I didn’t specify how much and how to do it (because, who cares except me, right?)
  2. ย learn Indonesian – I bought an online course & some books that are now just gathering dust in some nondescript drawer
  3. start a separate blog dedicated to crafting – I did partially discuss this here, but I failed to clarify that I wanted a separate, topic specific blog because I want to do something with it later

I still wrote down a couple or 3 more but that’s just my sneaky brain trying to overwhelm me again and disperse my focus.

I am deciding to take deliberate action on these goals for the remaining 6 months so that at the end of 2018 I will have finished the things I set out to do. This matters because I don’t want to have to do them again next year, I want to create space for new goals in 2019.

And perhaps, even more importantly, I don’t want to excel at quitting, I want to excel at staying committed.

 

Photo by han song on Unsplash