The Introvert Expat SAHM Diaries

Providence Moved Already!

Hello sexy wordpressers! 💗 Rise and sparkle/smoulder! 🔅

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

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! 😭  (And my baby turns 2 this month 🤨).

“Until 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 backstory 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! 🤔 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 😴).

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 😀 Score!!!!

Goal #3 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! 🤗 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!”

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 😁 😁).

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 😏 maybe that’s just me 🤪.  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 👇

Have a sexy one! 💋

The Introvert Expat SAHM Diaries

About the 1000 Tiny Steps that Lead to Your Destination

In this post I want to continue talking about setting goals and, more specifically, the 1000 or so teeny-tiny steps you take that move you closer to your pot of gold.

Do they matter?

So as mentioned in the previous post I’m reading a book about goal setting because I want to get better at accomplishing goals. What prompted me to explore this subject further is the couple or so goals I set for last year and this year that I didn’t accomplish.

But if you ask me why I didn’t accomplish them, it really isn’t for the lack of trying.

For instance, one of my goals was/is to get back to exercising the way I did pre-baby. I tried, and tried, and tried again. I got discouraged many times, stopped, tried again, and finally had to admit to myself that my post-baby body just needed to start someplace waaaaay less intense. And then there’s the matter of finding the time to exercise considering I’m taking care of a baby/soon to be 2-yr old.

So really, if I think back to all the times I tried and to finally now reach this point where I have been able to consistently exercise every day … that’s a feat!

But this falls way too short of the “real” goal.

And how about that goal where I wanted to earn money from my crafts. That’s also taking an entire lifetime to come to fruition! But I certainly do recall having explored options, working through a few disappointments, testing some stuff, etc … so that by now I still don’t have that online shop I envisioned, but I finally know what my product is going to be.

When I set these goals I truly didn’t think that they were too big. And I truly thought they were doable within the timeframe given :/

Anyhoot, after some thought I just felt that I wasn’t being kind to myself by dismissing all those tiny steps I took to move me closer to my goals. I felt that they deserved to be acknowledged and celebrated too.

So with that said, what I plan to do moving forward is to log all the tiny “victories” in a special notebook that keeps track of my goals. That way I can see how far I’ve come without getting disillusioned at the perceived “lack” of progress. I can see that I haven’t been idle, and I can see that not all of the steps were complete failures.

I believe that the tiny steps deserve their applause too.

That is all I wanted to share today sexy people! Thank you so much for reading 🙂

Have a good one! ❤

The Introvert Expat SAHM Diaries

Is It Too Early to Think of 2020 Goals?

Hello sexy people! ❤ 🙂

It’s Friday morning over here in my sunny corner of the globe and I am reading a book about goal setting ~ why? Because I want to set and accomplish some goals in 2020. I want to look back on the year with the satisfaction that comes from having earned new “gold stars”. And I want to be deliberate about it.

Now just to backtrack, I’ve always been a goal setter. Even when I became a full time SAHM I continued to set goals, daily, weekly, monthly, you name it, I’d set a goal for it. ‘s Matter of fact, I had a big goal for 2019 … it didn’t make it past the front gate.

Most of my goals do not make it past the front gate 😦

I kinda dabble at it in the beginning and then I get distracted and blah, blah, blah, & fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la ….

I must hold myself to a higher standard, being a life coaching student & all that jazz!

So I have decided to devote the remaining months of 2019 to studying how to set goals. Because I’ve never really studied it.  I fish something interesting out of my head, buy a fancy whiteboard to write it on and hope that by placing it somewhere visible it will somehow get done.

Well, that strategy rarely, if ever, works for me. Obviously.

And it’s struck me that I am actually being flimsy with this powerful tool for life improvement.

So as I made this decision a few goals immediately started to materialize in my head (they’re like flies swarming about!). Now I’m trying to be choosy because I want these goals to actually mean something. The book I’m reading says that the stronger your emotions are around that goal, the better the outcome. So here they are so far –

A flat tummy by my birthday.

(Oh yes, I certainly have some strong emotions around this one!)

I want some tone in there, I don’t want it to bulge. I don’t need a 6-pack, I just want it flat.

Celebrate my birthday with my family at a nice resort in Bintan.

I have just very recently discovered that the next-door island to Batam (where I live), Bintan, is a paradise! I saw gorgeous pictures of luxury resorts and I’ve been itching ever since! There’s even a place that’s nominated to become a UNESCO world heritage site! Who needs Bali when it’s much farther & expensive?!!

So this is goal #2.

An online shop by July. Or within the 3rd Qtr. But the goal is July.

This was my 2019 goal but I did not even know what my product was going to be. Let alone the criteria for selecting said product – very important!

In fairness, I did experiment with a few options and learned quite a lot in the process ~ including the need to learn about goal-setting 😀

An outside hobby.

I do not want to stay cooped up at home anymore. I understand that most of my time will still be indoors with the adorable toddler but I want something that will bring me in contact with other adult human beings at least once a week. I can do once a week.

Notes on goal 2 & 4 

These sound more like to-do’s but these are sub-goals that I’ve broken down from a bigger, kinda nebulous goal which is to enjoy where I live.

An open slot for goal #5

I still lack 1 goal. I want to make it 5 because I am turning 45 next year and I just like to relate things and turn it into a fun game 😉  I’ll let you gorgeous people know as soon as I’ve finalized it 🙂

 

~~ meanwhile, let me ask you 🙂 ~~

Have you started to think about your own goals for next year already?

Do you enjoy setting goals?

What one new thing would you want to bring into your life next year?

👇👇👇👋

 

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 🙂

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: if your life was a blog, what categories would it have?

Let me be the first to answer 🙂

Since I was staring at one of those homemaking blogs, I found it easier to start with what categories it will likely not 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:  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!).  And maybe soon macrame 😀

~~~

So what a weird blog post this is 😀 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 🙂 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 ❤

Have a beautiful weekend y’all!!

 

The Introvert Expat SAHM Diaries

July 18: Thankful Thursday 🙏

I am thankful, despite all appearances to the contrary, of this whole uprooted expat-SAHM experience.

I used to be wound up so tightly, wearing my type-A + perfectionist personality like a badge of honor. I did not have the capacity to be interested in people, or to be interested in life, for that matter. What’s worse is that I wasn’t even aware of it.

I was always just busy and preoccupied with wowing the bosses at work. Now I notice the small things like, how beautiful fresh morning air smells or how good my eldest is at dancing, or when my baby is getting angry or when my husband does the dishes  ….

And I just feel grateful a lot more often.

I might virtually be kicking, screaming and throwing things all over the place throughout this whole experience, and yet I know without an iota of doubt that I will never – among many other things – take friends for granted again.

I learned how to cook (IK,R?!!), crochet, knit and blog and am ready to welcome new skills into my life. I am now an exerciser. I am taking care of my 1 y.o. without the help of a nanny and, my house is proof of this, I am no longer such a perfectionist 😁

I just know that I have become a better version of myself. And for this, I am thankful ❤

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!😂)

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 😉 😆

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!

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

 

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? 🙂

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 for  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 feel heard.

So I am coming back to “friends” because I need all the friends I can get, real & virtual 🙂 🙂 🙂

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, still loathed 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 a 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.  I am taking it veeery slow 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! So 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.

Which brings me to today’s mini-assignment: listen to music & crazy-dance 🙂