Blogging

What one thing during your normal day …

… which, when left undone, will “nibble at your sanity” until you finally do/fix it?

And that’s Question # 3 folks!

Is it taking the dog out for a walk? Giving your cat a nice tummy rub? Making up the bed? Tell me in the comments section below 👇😀 👇

My answer: cleaning out the dining table.

It’s just a surface that naturally gathers “stuff” during the course of the day, be it earphones or breadcrumbs, and for some reason, I just need to have it wiped clean. Only then can I go on with my day 🤭

How about you? Do share below 😃

Have a great weekend y’all.

 👇 👇 👇

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Sane At Home Mom, The Introvert Expat SAHM Diaries

When Your Cooking Fails to Impress

It’s been raining cats, dogs and rhinos lately and somehow this has temporarily pulled my attention away from my crocheting to cooking.

I am not a particularly good cook. I didn’t even know how until 2015 when I moved to Batam & became a SAHM (thank God for Google). Now I’m decent enough but the fact remains that it is not an activity I’ll ever volunteer for.

So the rain made me want to exert a little more effort than usual in the kitchen last night. Nothing fancy, I just added soup when I already had the meat & vegetable viands ready (my maximum is 2).  But even though it was really nothing fancy, apparently I was expecting my “customers” to be pleased and satiated.

They were satiated alright but a wee little comment came from the husband about the soup having a “weird aftertaste”. I felt shot. And although my 11 year old responded that the soup tasted fine to her, my evening was ruined.

I’m such a drama-queen. It was just a ready mix of cream of mushroom soup that came from a packet. Yeah, the kind to which you add water and stir while boiling. 3 minutes is all it takes. Exactly! Not even my own recipe or something I slaved over.

And yet I obsessed about it in my head last night.

Which led me to thinking about life in general and about exploring and continuing to learn. I do it to please myself, to grow and to have fun. And, while certainly nice to have, the approval of others is purely optional (well, maybe a little when it comes to feeding others and only if it’s something that didn’t come from a packet).

Sometimes I forget.

 

 

(But there was really nothing wrong with the soup. I tasted it! 🤨)

 

 

The Introvert Expat SAHM Diaries

Another Reason I Feel Ambivalent About Social Media

So now that my friends are following me on my IG, I am reminded of one of the major reasons I quit Facebook many years ago – the feeling that I have to respond (at the very least “like”) their posts. (Which can be a total time-suck by the way, well, you know how it is).

Now I am in no way saying that my friends are requiring this of me, or at the very least, expecting this of me. The feeling of obligation is entirely mine. And I am quite good at dismissing it, actually.  But then another niggling thought surfaces: will my silence cost me likes and comments as well?

Aye, there’s the rub!

Because who among us doesn’t want that kind of support, encouragement and show of interest that comes from their likes & comments? It’s a wonderful feeling. Why deny yourself of that?

But the thing is, some of my friends like to stalk themselves (i.e. make a running commentary of their daily lives). There is nothing wrong with this, they are having fun and are not hurting anyone. But now, instead of seeing and being inspired by beautiful crochet masterpieces from the lovely creative people that I follow, I now see trivial, mundane photos of ordinary daily life. (Which, after a series of similar posts, ceases to be interesting to me, if I am to be completely honest).

To me this is a double-edged sword. On the one hand it feels wonderful to be among friends, on the other, it is a distraction. I find myself at times wanting to unfollow and feeling guilty (a bad friend) for having that thought. I yearn for the blissful peace that I once experienced when I was just putting myself out there to strangers – no expectations, no obligations. (I also kept myself distanced from the occasional skirmish that seems to be normal among housewives/girlfriends. They’re thankfully temporary, we get back to wearing identical tops soon enough 🤭)

I guess I am just weird / naive / stuck-up / stick-up-her-arse / being a snob like that 🤭😄

What are your thoughts about this kind of dilemma? Any tips for me?

 

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

March Reads

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Hello there beautiful people! 😀

Belated Happy Easter! I hope you had a meaningful observation of the holiday.

Here in Indonesia I didn’t notice Easter that much (were it not for a message from a friend) and it’s a first for me. Muslim and Christian holidays sorta just follow one after the other here and since Christians/Catholics are the minority, Christian holidays seem to  become more ordinary than festive. I don’t celebrate every holiday but it does seem a bit weird that the world around you is almost oblivious to it. I’ve become so used to having neighbors celebrate on behalf of an entire block where I came from and I sorta miss them!

Oh well, let’s talk books now, shall we? 🙂

So last week I decided to reignite my love for reading because ever since I stopped working the 9 to 5, my voraciousness for books has nosedived. My Kindle has become more of a gaming tool than anything else 🙄 I was therefore quite pleased that last week I really felt like reading. And so I did! I finished not one, but 2 splendid li’l books:

Carry On, Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life by blogger turned writer Glennon Doyle Melton.

From Amazon.com:

Winner of a Books for a Better Life Award

The inspiring and hilarious instant New York Times bestseller from the beloved writer, speaker, activist, and founder of Momastery.com whose writing is “like a warm embrace” (FamilyCircle.com).

 Glennon Doyle Melton’s hilarious and poignant reflections on our universal (yet often secret) experiences have inspired a social movement by reminding women that they’re not alone. In Carry On, Warrior, she shares her personal story in moving, refreshing, and laugh-out-loud-funny new essays and some of the best-loved material from Momastery.com. Her writing invites us to believe in ourselves, to be brave and kind, to let go of the idea of perfection, and to stop making motherhood, marriage, and friendship harder by pretending they’re not hard. In this one woman’s trying to love herself and others, readers will find a wise and witty friend who shows that we can build better lives in our hearts, homes, and communities.

What can I say? I really, really like this book 🙂 It’s so down to earth and hilariously so that I felt as though Glennon was a personal friend who’s got this crazy-silly side that speaks so much to me XD It’s definitely a feel-good book that I can see myself reviewing every now and then to remind me that life is “brutiful” – brutal and beautiful.

 “The Rules of Life: A Personal Code for Living a Better, Happier, More Successful Life”by Richard Templar

This is a motivational book of 105 bite-sized ‘rules’ that are practical and simple.  I really also enjoy books like these where a chapter is but two pages long and the take-away is immediately applicable. It’s not very deep or profound, which I like because I wasn’t in the mood for anything serious and analytical. It’s a book you can keep on your nightstand and open randomly to any ‘rule’ and then make that your intention for the day.

The book is divided into 4 sections – there are the rules for you, partnership rules, family and friends rules and social rules. I read everything in one go but I think it’s also a good idea to focus on one section (one area) of life per week and finish the book in 4 weeks (a month). Come to think of it,  I’ll definitely do it this way the next time around as the book’s definitely worth reading again and again just for  some quick reminders or to give yourself a mood boost 🙂

So that was me last week, lost in the pages of these 2 books. My rediscovered yen for reading seems not to be slowing down yet so I have already downloaded several other book samples to my Kindle.  Oh dear, less time for crocheting I’m afraid XD

And, did you notice that it’s the last week of the month already? Have a strong, positive ending to March,sunbeams! ❤ 🙂

Potpourri

Volunteer Vacations and Scary BHAG’s, Can You Relate?

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I just chanced upon this site and was reminded once more of my long held intrigue for volunteer vacations.  This morning, excitement stirred up once again, I texted the link to a friend.  Her lukewarm response:  “Nice!  I’ll show this to a friend”, and then a while later, “I’ll give this to my bro”.

I replied – “Wait, let’s think about it.  Let’s actually give it some thought”.

And for good measure I later on added:  “Remember what they say – if it is to be, it is up to me”.

Have you ever felt excitement for something but somehow just filed whatever that was away in your mental “maybe later” bucket list without much thought?

Well for me, this is one of those.  And I understand why.  It’s a BHAG. It’s scary.  It’s overwhelming.

But today for some reason I dared scrutinize it. I replied to my friend: “I understand why we’ve been brushing it off despite fawning over the idea.  It’s too big.  So we must slice it down into bite sized pieces.  Let’s do something in Thailand for instance (since it’s near where I am), for perhaps just a week, or 2.  Let’s just pick something manageable and see what happens from there”.

And that gave us hope 🙂 In the grander scheme of volunteer vacationing, it might just be a speck.  We might even find out that the baby step is not feasible at the moment. But it’s a start.

What’s your BHAG?  Look it in the eye and chop it down.

Potpourri

Where To Study Online for Free

comic-383541_640For a while now I’ve been having a love affair with free online courses and I feel truly blessed for the opportunity to no longer have to pay a brick and mortar institute to get my cup of knowledge refilled.  If there’s an internet connection, there’s a cheap and convenient way!

Just recently I finished (and passed!) an online course about the Origins of Crime where I learned (aside from this and many others) that the most common type of homicide are those committed by 2 males fighting over status (a.k.a. bar fights), and that venting your anger frequently actually makes you more aggressive in the long run – and not the other way around as most of us were led to believe.

I also greatly improved my puny (although I say that with much love 😉 ) cooking skills via this heaven-sent cooking school.  And just a while ago I learned some timely tips on relocation and how to create the perfect sanctuary to call home via Laurie Gardner’s There’s No Place Like Home.  (I found it really interesting to learn that animals have this very simple rule in choosing where to live, they simply:  adapt, migrate or die).

And all that and more for free 👍

So maybe you’re like me and feel the need to indulge your inner eternal student 🙂 Here are some sites I can recommend, in no particular order.  Please note that some of these sites might ask you to pay for certain (but definitely not all) courses.

Coursera. Coursera provides universal access to the world’s best education, partnering with top universities and organizations to offer courses for anyone to take, for free.

Udemy. Udemy’s mission is to help anyone learn anything.

Open2Study.  Just click on the ‘free courses’ tab at the top of the landing page.

edX.  There’s a free ‘Science of Happiness’ course that I’m itching to take next! ❤

Academic Earth.  They’ll help you find courses, but I go straight to this extremely enlightening page of curated playlists.

And although I’ve never run out of options yet, I also visit Class Central for help finding courses every once in a while.  (I’m the type who just likes to line a lot of options up).

So there’s absolutely no lack of options.  Squeal! 😀

How about you?  Have you ever learned something online for free?  Do you know of any other sites we could add to this list?

~ Paardje 💋