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Expanding Horizons

What one new thing (or two) are you excited to learn or explore in 2019? πŸ™‚ (We gotta keep levelling up, right?)

Howdy amazing folks! We are moving into the final month of the current year which … likely means that you’re giving a think about the year ahead, right? πŸ˜‰ And if you haven’t yet then I would love it if you used this prompt to do so πŸ˜€

So that up there is Question #4. Give it some thought and share your answer/s below so we can inspire each other with awesome ideas & positive intentions πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡ And don’t worry if it’s not final yet, we’re all entitled to brainstorm! πŸ˜€

~ My answers:

  1. Β crochet earrings
  2. crochet with beads
  3. creating “floor doilies” with t-shirt yarn
  4. crocheting owls
  5. macrame
  6. sewing – if my 1 year old will allow it

Okay that’s 6 instead of just one πŸ˜‚ but, except for #6, they’re all related so I think I can squeeze them all in in 2019.

What are your answers? πŸ˜€

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handmade business, The Introvert Expat SAHM Diaries

My Brain’s Abuzz With 2019

Blame it on the ambivalent & un-inspiring goals I set for myself in 2018 (though I can’t be too hard on myself, I had recently given birth you know 😊), but my brain’s been abuzz with goals for 2019.

My episode of painful gastritis really did help me clarify things, one of them was realizing that I can’t really do “loose weight” as a goal again. I mean, yes, I could do with some weight loss, but I want this to be a side-effect of something bigger (and healthier!). Like fasting, because weight-loss is just one of the many effects of it and it isn’t even the best or most noteworthy.

Anyhow, I realized that I am galvanized into action by level-up goals that are fun and exciting but are also a bit scary and outside my comfort zone. I mean, I guess all of us are like this, no? In my case the more thought I gave to it the more it started to look like this:

goal: make life in Batam fun & engaging <- learn Indonesian <- make local friends (I only have fellow expat wives as friends so far) <- use my craft as a springboard <- sell my creations for fun <- learn all about social & online selling

Now this is really starting to look like a decent party 🀩

Already, because these goals are that exciting to me, I’ve taken some relevant action. I got friendly with my next-door neighbor. Now at least I’m friendly with someone local and hopefully she knows of a church that has English service (next action item).

I also made good on something I’ve wanted for some time, a dedicated craft site (fifiandriri.com). I also opened an IG account to serve as a portfolio of my creations. I’m finishing up all my crochet/knitting WIP’s at the moment so that I can start clean asap, with an eye on social selling this time.

I’m reading up about the handmade business, and my brain is lit with ideas and more to-do’s like learning product photography and opening up an FB for biz account.

So exciting! πŸ€ͺ

bulletin-board

How is all this going to help me with learning Indonesian? Simple, language is best learned though interaction & immersion. I’ve tried cooping myself up indoors facing my computer, the results are minimal and I’m not having any fun at all while at it. So I need to be out there and talk!

And how is this gonna force me into loosing weight? Well, lemme tell ya: I love to crochet lacy pieces of clothing. Clothing need to be modeled by a real person. You do the rest of the math 😁 😁

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” 😳

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 ☹️

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.

πŸ˜’πŸ˜’πŸ˜’

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 πŸ˜€

Image result for wonder woman she can do it

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.

Image result for minion tired

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 😁

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! πŸ’ͺ

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?Β πŸ€”

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! 😫

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

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.Β  Finally. Score! πŸ˜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 insteadΒ  😲😲

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. 🀩Noted!

😡😡😡

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 … 🀒

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 πŸ˜€ I then write these down and note their meanings.

The old schoolbook also helps. Somewhat.

Image result for funny minions on studying

Here’s hoping week 2 will go much better.

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. Β lose post-pregnancy weight – but I didn’t specify how much and how to do it (because, who cares except me, right?)
  2. Β 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
Staying Sane

May: Parties, Heels & Lace

partayThe marvelous month of May turned out to be much, much more than I anticipated πŸ‘

This coffee date earned me 3 invitations to all-wives-only get-togethers that did wonders to my soul. Of course, they were a bit challenging to work up to, not just because as a SAHM with a small baby I have difficulty finding time to even get a decent shower every day, but that I’m also an introvert whose default mode is a preference for solitary activities.

Nevertheless I noticed that these get-togethers energized me so much that I felt like treating myself to some heels 🀣 🀣

Out of all the urgent things that my wardrobe needs RIGHT NOW, I focus on my feet (which is not the first time) 🀣 Well, for one they’re so easy to dress up, they don’t have flab to skillfully camouflage with cut or color!

I bought them for special occasions (or just for walking around the house when I’m feeling sassy πŸ˜‰πŸ˜†) since I’m always scrambling at the last minute for what to wear whenever a special occasion pops up. I guess the vague plan is to work from the bottom up as far as updating my wardrobe is concerned πŸ˜†

I also finished a huge lace doily. Is it still a doily if it’s that huge? I think it’s earned table cover status πŸ€”

Channeling my inner home decorator ….

This house, although spacious and I love its location, is old and old fashioned. It’s got paint chipping off a few of its boring white walls, the furniture is ugly & uncomfortable (but they came with the house and they function 🀨), and it only has windows on one side so it can get hot and gloomy during daytime. I am grateful but resigned. 😏

— digression:

We can’t do any remodeling because it’s a “staff house” that comes with my husband’s expat package, rented long-term by the company to house any given foreign employee for certain periods of time. We can only request for repairs and maintenance; re-painting walls would fall into that category but we have a baby so we’re not very keen about that at the moment.

— end of digression:

Anyhoot, I decided no harm could come from letting my colorful personality shine now that I’m no longer pregnant & sleepy! So …

We had an A/C unit installed in the living room to counter the heat, I then claimed one of the boring walls with some frames, & put a carpet on the floor.

living room

And now this is where the family loves to hang out, including the baby 😍 It gets really cozy in the evenings when only the lampshade is on, there’s a good movie on TV, and a huge bowl of popcorn is being shared 😘

The kitchen also needed some color so I was truly pleased that a simple yellow tablecloth could make such a huge difference!

yellow happy

What else …?

Oh yes, I did read a book, just need to finish a few more pages, but it’s technically done so I can rake this up to a May finish as well:

May read

And the reason why I’m taking so long to finish this book – which is a lovely read by the way πŸ’˜) is because right after the pineapple table cloth, I went right in with my knitting needles for a racerback tee:

racerback tee

This is the back portion of the tee. I’m working on the front portion now alternating work on another project, a lace crochet pullover. I don’t know, I guess I’m just on a creative roll right now 😁

And that, my sexy friends, was May for me πŸ’–

How about you guys, what did you do in May?

Staying Sane

Going Out For Coffee Isn’t Really Going Out For Coffee

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Leave it to my girls to turn a coffee date into something much, much more 😘 This time, it was a stroll through the spanking new Harris Resort Barelang.

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The mesmerizing blues will immediately draw you in upon entrance to the lobby
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At the end of which a glass wall will stop you from falling to the dining area below πŸ˜†
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You will continue on in a happy daze like a moth to a flame
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and discover the many pools to choose from

It was very hot. Extremely hot. Excruciatingly hot! πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯ It was mid-day for goodness’ sake but two of my friends had their daughters with them and they wanted to frolic in the pools of course πŸ˜€

One of my friends stayed the night before so after the kids got their fill of the pool (and exhausted from the hellish heat I imagine 😟), we all went up to peruse the showers & enjoy the relief of temperature control πŸ€ͺ

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You first have to climb a lot of stairs though, if coming from the pools πŸ€ͺ
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The view from the balcony
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And to your left is the Barelang Bridge, where the hotel gets its name from

After a scrumptious meal of seafood cooked the way only Indonesians can, I came home enthusiastically telling my husband about the hotel and how we should definitely check in ourselves some time soonΒ  😍  I don’t really care much for being out in the sun and water, but there is something to be said about being in posh environments that does wonders to ones soul 🀩

So that’s one goal for May that’s been ticked off my list 😁😁😁