The Introvert Expat SAHM Diaries

Providence Moved Already!

Hello sexy wordpressers! ๐Ÿ’—ย Rise and sparkle/smoulder! ๐Ÿ”…

I feel awesome this morning because I just finished a 30-minute HIIT and lower body strength combo workout and … it’s only 8AM ๐Ÿ˜€

So as I’m enjoying my morning cuppa, I am reflecting on the amazing fact that I am doing HIIT + strength workouts. It wasn’t too long ago when I truly thought I wouldn’t be able to do them again because … well because post baby I really had a hard time getting back into the workout zone. I tried several times, each time starting slow and having had to adjust my pace even lower … I tell you even a 20-min lower body Pilates workout would leave me sore for days. Pilates! ๐Ÿ˜ญย  (And my baby turns 2 this month ๐Ÿคจ).

โ€œUntil one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.

But now let’s talk about this post’s title because it really is amazing what happens when you articulate your goals. Here’s the backstoryย in case you guys are interested.

So after the said post/backstory I sat my lazy arse down and proceeded to crochet, unconsciously adopting the mindset that I was gonna start working on my goals in January (because I’m a perfectionist and I’m fond of clean starts).

But then I thought … but it’s only September! ๐Ÿค”ย Why waste all that precious time? What can I do NOW to make sure I hit the ground running in January. (Because we all know there’s usually a lot of hemming and hawing at the start of something ๐Ÿ˜ด).

All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.

Soooo …

Goal #4 is to find an outside interest that I could do regularly at least once a week. Preferably with a good chance of socializing.

Well, 2 Sundays ago I [finally] found a good Christian church that we can attend every Sunday. They even have Bible study classes for kids in all ages ๐Ÿ˜€ย Score!!!!

Goal #3ย has something to do with my crochet & knitting hobby. It’s been a goal for almost a year now and I knew “something” was preventing me from moving forward.

Well, I finally understood what was standing in the way and it’s not what you think! ๐Ÿค—ย But it’s a long story and it’s about my chosen artforms so I’ve decided to talk about it in a separate post.

And as for goal #1? Well, I seriously & excitedly believe that my (sudden comeback) ability to do higher intensity cardio & strength training will help me achieve this in time. Maybe I’ll talk about this in another post too because getting to this place has been a real journey that I struggled both physically and mentally with.

I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!โ€

In any case sexy people, my message to you is this: start now. Don’t wait for January (but you can wait until Monday because I believe Mondays are perfect for starting something ๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜).

The start of something can be slow, filled with additional challenges & roadblocks that are usually unexpected and can undermine your efforts. I’m beginning to think it’s good to start something at the tail-end of the current year if you want to see real results by the following year. I don’t know ๐Ÿ˜ย maybe that’s just me ๐Ÿคช.ย  But sometimes we start something in January expecting to see results in March and are frustrated that we didn’t meet our deadline. I think it’s because starts can be messy and you just have to account for it depending on your goal.

~~ oOo ~~

So okay, I’ve blabbed enough for today.

Thank you for visiting and reading and you can always give me warm fussy feelings by sharing your thoughts below ๐Ÿ‘‡

Have a sexy one! ๐Ÿ’‹

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The Introvert Expat SAHM Diaries

If Your Life Had Categories What Would They Be?

I just read this wonderful book Happy Housewives by Darla Shine and it’s truly made me feel excited to be a housewife/homemaker, so much so that I’m even thinking of writing the author to tell her how blessed I feel to have read her book ๐Ÿ™‚

One of the things it’s prompted me to do was check out homemaking blogs & magazines to get ideas on how to make homemaking fun. Curiously though, I only related to a few items while quickly dismissing the rest. A question slowly articulated in my head:ย if your life was a blog, what categories would it have?

Let me be the first to answer ๐Ÿ™‚

Since I was staring at one of those homemaking blogs, I found it easier to start with what categories it will likelyย notย have:

THE NOT LIKELIES

I’ll never have a category on parenting. If ever it will, it will never contain advice because I am a forever-student on this topic.

I won’t have a category on intimacy with your spouse because well, that’s just too intimate to put under a microscope.

I am not homeschooling and have no plans to.

I am just not the slightest bit interested in the science of stain removal, the proper care & maintenance of clothes & linens, nor in the effective eradication of mold & mildew.

I don’t like to analyze what I cook. If it’s edible and my charges are eating it to satisfaction then I’ve hit the goal. Next!

I do like to tidy, organize and decorate but I don’t generally find these topics interesting enough to talk about in detail.

I have never needed anything more elaborate than a pen and paper for keeping track of things.

Special Note:ย  I do understand that this is just one side of being a SAHM/homemaker and that there are as many variants of being a SAHM as there are, well, SAHMs.

So then what would my categories be …?

Well …

THE YESSES

I am interested in personal management, the ability to regulate thoughts and feelings, to harness the amazing power of the brain to become a better version of me.

Ageing well as it relates to staying fit, remaining curious about life, and being socially engaged.

Knitting and crochet (you know I had to have these in there. LOL!).ย  And maybe soon macrame ๐Ÿ˜€

~~~

So what a weird blog post this is ๐Ÿ˜€ I started out saying the Happy Housewives book made me so happy only to end with the idea that I chose to focus on different things!

I guess I just wanted to clarify what truly floats my boat and, of course, ask you that question so you could have fun thinking up your own answers ๐Ÿ™‚ And please, share them in the comments section. You know how much I love getting your comments and how much less isolated that makes me feel โค

Have a beautiful weekend y’all!!

 

Create Happy, Sane At Home Mom

July 4: Music & (Crazy-)Dance

I remember before the birth of my baby I used to have the music blaring really loud around the house. The first house we were given at the time was huge, with many spacious rooms & large common areas. I’d be all alone on weekdays but it never bothered me because music from my favorite radio station would be playing & reverberating in all that space.

I’d be dancing like nobody was watching (because nobody was!) or I’d lipsync or do a spontaneous aerobic choreography. I’d laugh myself silly sometimes.

On most days that was how I’d combat extreme homesickness and severe ennui.

Fast forward to today (we’re in a different house now, sadly) and I actually forgot about my love for upbeat music up until a couple of months ago. I realized I could still play it loud around the house even with the baby, I just needed to use headphones! (How smart am I? Yup. Genius!๐Ÿ˜‚)

Since then, at least for several days a week & whenever the baby’s asleep, I make sure I lose myself in a fantasy world filled with upbeat music (where I dance like Kimberly Wyatt) for a few minutes. My body is stiff and heavy from the lack of exercise but I do what I can ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜†

For today’s mini-assignment, after crazy-dancing myself breathless, I updated my playlist to include Trap music, music for walking & for working out. I love it!

โค

Next mini-assignment: plan a weekend to look forward to.

โค

 

Home & Heart, Potpourri

July 3: Goals

It is said countless times that what separates successful people from all the rest is that successful people have goals written down.

Allez, let us therefor join the ranks of the successful and write down our goals for July, shall we? ๐Ÿ™‚

Mine are:

Blog 6 days a week – do mini-assignments everyday

I want to blog again so I’ve given myself a ‘challenge’ to do one small ordinary act with intention everyday, and to blog about it.

I am an expat SAHM who is less-than-happy with my environment. I have found it really difficult to take root in this foreign country despite having lived here for 4 straight years already. Because there is nothing outside the house that I find worth going out for, nothing interesting ever goes on in this city, plus I have a 1-year old, I very rarely go out of the house which, definitely does not contribute to my happiness.

I have since learned that I need to exert more effort than usual not to fall into depression. Blogging gave me an outlet forย  my thoughts. It was like I had friends to talk to, and every time a “stranger” (yes, I’m looking at YOU dear) would care to comment, I would feelย heard.

So I am coming back to “friends” because I need all the friends I can get, real & virtual ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

Be consistent with my exercise routine

After giving birth in October of 2017, I was only able to get some momentum going on any type of exercise last May (2019). Pre-childbirth I used to LOVE exercise and HIIT-type routines were my jam, jelly and butter combined with dance fitness & strength training.

That is why it came as a total shock and huge downer for me to observe that my body, 1 year post-natal, stillย loathedย exercise! I just couldn’t bring myself to do anything, not even a beginner 10-minute mat-Pilates routine. Heck, I couldn’t even do aย walk-in-place!

I tried several times and each time I would fail. Last May, after reading so many self-help books & listening to motivational podcasts, I finally got myself to walk around the block 2 evenings a week. Fortunately, the experience was enjoyable so since then I have been able to do it 3 times a week and at a much faster pace. (Yaaaaaay!!!)

Inspired by this success, by the end of last month I also started adding in some strength training routines into the mix, but only for 3 times a week.ย  I am taking itย veeery slowย because whenever I do a strength training routine, no matter how short & light, my body feels like it’s been hit by a ton of bricks for 5-6 days after! Soย I only do body-weight, mostly Pilates, and for max 30 minutes at a time only.

Painstakingly slow based on my previous standards, but you gotta work with your body and respect its own drum beat.

That said, I am hopeful that this schedule & intensity will work this time, and my goal therefor is to be consistent with it.

โค

Which brings me to today’s mini-assignment: listen to music & crazy-dance ๐Ÿ™‚

โค

 

Staying Sane

Go Outside

I remember having listened to a health podcast last Friday where a well-renowned MD was sharing a story about how he almost lost his young son due to Vit D deficiency. And since Vit D is something you get from sunlight, it immediately reminded me of one of the pillars of keeping sane while being a SAHM – go outside.

Fortunately for me, there’s a temporarily re-purposed (still vacant for many years now) residential area within walking distance from where we live which I’ve taken to calling “the oval”. This was our destination last Friday.

So off I take the girls for what we expected to be a pleasant & relaxing afternoon stroll.

Unfortunately, the walk to the oval was anything but pleasant & relaxing. It was basically an obstacle course ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

back
Yes, I went back just to snap this picture of a beautiful work of art ๐Ÿ˜ค๐Ÿ˜ค The dried palm frond does unmistakably call to mind the letter “L” for the loser who did all this ๐Ÿคฌ
obstacles
You do see there is ample space for the garbage along the sides of the footpath, don’t you?
obstacle 1
Then why place all the garbage ON the footpath? Whyyyyy??? ๐Ÿ˜–

All this navigating around trash was annoying, not to mention really tiring with a stroller, and I was truly irked at the lack of common sense by whoever did this.

But we somehow made it.

the oval
Aaaaah, finally!

But we were SO tired that we needed to rest.

a space to rest
Never mind the itchy, dry grass, I was tired ๐Ÿ˜ซ
riri and mom
Riri and mom โค๏ธ

All was right again in paradise until 2 rowdy boys decided to kick around a ball in the same space we were in ๐Ÿคฏ๐Ÿคฏ๐Ÿคฏ I kept looking at them in the hopes they’d get the message – I’m with a baby for goodness’ sakes! – but noooo, they remained oblivious to me and my eldest’ worried glances. It reminded me of author Elizabeth Pisani’s comment in her historical fiction about Indonesia that Indonesian children are misbehaved. Well, I certainly wasn’t going to put up an argument considering what was just happening ๐Ÿ˜ค๐Ÿ˜ค

My thoughts were escalating from upset to murderous so we decided to hit the asphalt and try to get a decent walk out of it before we went through the obstacle course again on our way home.

cotton candy cloud
Cotton candy on the horizon.

Holy sh*t, I was tired, sore and miffed upon arriving home. I am so out of shape that the walk and all that navigating around obstacles with a stroller really made my abdominal muscles sore. I might have gotten us some Vit D but I sure need to do something about my lack of fitness!

Okay, I had good intentions and, at least I tried. For the sake of sanity ๐Ÿ˜‰

Share Your World

Share Your World – November 27, 2017

source

Hola! ๐Ÿ™Œ

It’s the weekly SYW again which is always fun and a great reason to stay blogging โค๏ธ You can join anytime by goingย ๐Ÿ‘‰ here.

Here are my answers to this week’s questions:

Would you prefer a reading nook or an art, craft, photography studio?

Oh definitely a craft studio ๐Ÿ˜ How wonderful to walk into an entire room and be greeted with things that represent and inspire your creative side. I mean, merely walking into the space would probably be enough to lift your mood, you don’t even have to create. Over here would be my knitting and crochet corner, over there would be my aromatherapy stuff (I’d make it look medieval because it’s kinda like mixing magic potions & such ๐Ÿ˜).ย  And there’d be my potted plants strategically positioned here and there …

Tell how you are feeling today in the form of a weather report. (For example, partly cloudy, sunny with a chance for showers, etc.)

I’m partly cloudy but sunshine is breaking through.ย  I want to be completely sunny, but I’m sleep-deprived and flabby, so … Just keepin’ it real ๐Ÿ™„ Oh and there’s definitely a chance for showers because I also feel weepy, they call it post-partum blues and it just sneaks up on me out of nowhere ๐Ÿ˜ญ

If you could witness or physically attend any event past, present or future, what would it be?

Image result for funny baby memes

Hmmm .. I’m stumped on this one ๐Ÿค” Sorry but right now all I can think of is a date in the (hopefully) near future when everyone is sleeping beautifully through the night and I no longer look like a cloud ๐Ÿ˜

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week? ย Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.ย 

I’ve been feeling down about my shape recently. When the husband takes pictures of the baby I always want to be out of it because I look so … round ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ I mean, I expected this of course but I’m like, dear God, will I ever get my former glory back? And when?

On the local E! channel, I saw a snippet of an interview with an Asian celebrity/model. She was talking about her life and stuff but I wasn’t really paying attention because I was noticing instead that she still looked flabby in spite of giving birth about 2 years ago. She was wearing a lot of make-up to contour her face to look slimmer, she was still very beautiful, but her face was undoubtedly plump. She wore black and hid her arms with strategically placed jackets, and throughout the interview there wasn’t a full shot of her, it was always just from the waist up.

And seeing her that way, knowing that she gave birth about 2 years ago already, put me in a better mood. I mean, she’s practically living in the spotlight and she’s still carrying excess lbs. So why be so hard on myself?

I felt so good I gobbled up 2 McDonald’s apple pies immediately, in one sitting! ๐Ÿคฃ

๐Ÿ˜ฌ ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

I need a plan!

~ oOo ~

~ oOo ~

Fitness & Vanities

It’s Never Too Early ๐ŸŒž

790d6893d4c2da333e28ba913c65e0a3.jpgHello all! Happy Monday! ๐ŸŒž๐ŸŒž

What one good thing will you do/start today?

For me the answer is: delving into a topic of interest!

One of the perks of being a SAHM is the wonderful opportunity to indulge in the pursuit of knowledge ๐Ÿ’– And if you have internet connection, you have absolutely NO excuse to remain intellectually stagnant! ๐Ÿ™ƒ

One of my areas of interest is ageing well and, although I’m still a long way off from being physically old, I believe it’s never too early to start establishing some solid habits that will help one age sexily ๐Ÿ˜‰

So the other week I received information about a free online course on Strategies For Successful Ageing.ย  It is a 5-week course given by the Trinity College Dublin and is but one of the many free online courses facilitated by Futurelearn.

Here’s an overview of the 5-week course:

  • Week 1: Being Older In this first week, we look at how perceptions of ageing can influence ageing, and explore our own understanding of what โ€˜oldโ€™ is.
  • Week 2: Being Well In the second week, we investigate strategies for improving mental health, including depression, anxiety and brain ageing. We also discuss what โ€˜quality of lifeโ€™ means, and delve into other key areas for successful ageing including intimacy, how to talk to your doctor, and family solidarity.
  • Week 3: Being Healthy In the third week of our course, we will give strategies for better nutrition, increasing physical fitness through exercise, and improving your brain health.
  • Week 4: Being Engaged The fourth week of the course looks at another important area for successful ageing: social engagement and participation. You will have a chance to perform a life audit and learn strategies for how to plan for the future.
  • Week 5: Being Creative In the final week of the course, we will explore creative ageing, what this means, and why it is important. We will showcase individual creativity and provide you with tips to explore your own creativity.

Fascinating isn’t it? ๐Ÿ˜€ And you can be sure I immediately signed up!

I just finished week one (which is mostly introductory) and am excited to move into week 2. The course is self-paced so you can breeze through it as fast as you want or take all the time you need, the 5 week time frame is just a recommendation.

Aside from expanding my horizons, I’m definitely looking forward to learning a few practical tips on ageing well after taking this course.

I’ll keep you posted and, you keep me accountable, ok? ๐Ÿ˜‰