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.

 

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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 🙂

 

Home & Heart

July 2: The Closet Cleanse + The Hulk + Today’s Mini-Challenge

I accumulate a lot of clothes that I never use. This was the first thing I realized as I did yesterday’s mini challenge. As I kept pulling out items the “No” pile kept rising higher and higher to finally reveal the meager few pieces that I did use. I thought this was going to be a very simple exercise in tidying up but as there was such a stark contrast between the two piles I had to pause and ask myself why this was. I mean, why have so much that I’m not using and be stuck with just a small handful that I actually wore. And then to always feel as though I never have any/the right clothes to wear?

The answer presented itself too quickly in my opinion, as though it was just waiting for the right moment to pounce on me, grab me by the ankles & pound me about like the Hulk did to Loki in an already pissed-off effort to make me realize that ~ it’s because I am always buying clothes for the body I want to have and not the body I have now.

Okay let’s do that again: buying clothes for a fantasy body-size instead of buying clothes in real-time.

Does this happen to you too? We think we’re being motivational/inspirational/supportive when we’re buying sizes that are too small, thinking that we’ll fit into them in X number of weeks because we’re eliminating all the carbs from our diet but the sad truth is …

.

.

tenor

 

😱 😱 😱

Okay, lights on now!

I am going to stop this madness rrright now and, with you all as witness (sorta), I am going to ~

  1. dress myself with honesty and respect from this point forward
  2. get serious about my fitness goals

Which brings me to today’s mini-challenge: articulate this month’s goals. More on this tomorrow.

 

Photo by Artem Beliaikin @belart84 on Unsplash

Home & Heart

July 1: Quick-N-Easy

indonesia-2608684_960_720

Good morning beautiful people! It’s bright and sunny here in my corner of Indonesia which puts me in a great mood to do mini-assignment #2.

But first, about yesterday’s which was to change the entire bed set. (Or should it be worded as “use new bed sheets”? But it included the use of new & matching pillow-covers so …. beddings?).

Moving on …

So I did change them and once my task was complete, I stood back and nodded in approval. It felt like the entire room experienced a face-lift! The change in colors/design was refreshing, the tidied up arrangement was lovely, the whole space seemed brighter and had that fresh, newly laundered smell. Even the baby jumped up and down the mattress for about 10 minutes of delighted approval 😀

Such a small & mundane thing to do but it IS a leg up the usual “making up the bed”. This isn’t the first time I changed up the bed-set, and won’t be the last. Of course, I’m not saying we should do this everyday, just that if you’re looking for a quick way to enliven the bedroom (& give you a positive mood boost each time you walk into it), this is the way to do it. The bed occupies a huge space and is usually the focal point of the room, so it makes sense to give it a lota lovin’. Additional kudos for using colors that make you dance!

Yesterday’s mini-assignment inspired today’s which is to simplify another area of mundane living [that has a very huge impact on our mood]: the closet.

More on this tomorrow 🙂

 

Note: If anyone is wondering why the heck I am writing about something so boring as making up the bed please read this post 😂

Note note: I honestly didn’t feel like putting up a photo of the newly made-up bed for this blog post although I guess that would’ve been the right way of doing it 🙂 And putting up a stock photo of someone else’s bed would’ve been downright misleading so I did the next best thing 😉

 

Home & Heart

July: Change Is In the Air

looking up

Would you know it? We’re down to the second half of 2019 already. Whoa!

Today I woke up very sleepy because I went back to my (bad) habit of drinking this instant 3-in-1 cheapo coffee that really contributes nothing to my well-being except give me a dose of sugar & junk ingredients so early in the day. And then it continues to mess up my energy levels throughout the day.  Like, super sleepy while the sun’s up and super alert when I’m supposed to be snoring.

Why do I do this to myself? LOL!

But hey, it’s July already and another remarkable thing about the month is that it starts on a Monday and I love that because Mondays are always wonderful for starting something new.

And just as I feel a very strong urge to purge [of unwanted “stuff”] to make room for the new every January, I feel the urge for a “pit-stop” in July.

So guess what? I’m coming back to blogging with a 4-week challenge for myself ~ Everyday I will do something, a mini assignment of the ordinary kind, designed to put me in a positive mood.

Why? Just to remind me to find something fun or to be happy or grateful about everyday for the month of July. I guess I want to start the second half of the year on a positive note this way.

And then I’ll come back the day after to note how the act wowed me (if it did). Cool eh?

🙂

Today’s challenge is: bust out a fresh bedset.

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?