How bullet journaling affected me

As soon as I got done setting it up, I knew the bullet journal was a preposterous idea for me.  I didn’t see myself doing it for long.  That it lasted through April is longer than I would have expected.  The most impact it had was tracking my monthly spending habits.  I wrote down everything for a few months.  To sum it up, my spending pretty much consisted of eating out, random Amazon or Target shit, and grocery shopping.  And I noticed that while my grocery bills came out to about a hundred to two hundred a week, eating out, even ordering non-fancy takeout Chinese could run over $50 (with leftovers) for a meal or so.  So I stopped eating out unless it was with other people.  Meaning eating out for sustenance was a don’t.  Eating out for socializing was a do. I’ve since resumed eating out (for convenience, enjoyment) again and have noticed how salty, sweet, greasy stuff can be.  In other words, tasty!  But then also sometimes less tasty than I remembered.

TV Monster

May was hiatus-month. I didn’t do it on purpose but I took a hiatus from this. I also took a hiatus from eating out – that was on purpose. And a hiatus from journaling. Also for anyone curious as to how long that bullet journal would last, three months (through April) is the answer. I haven’t read anything either, books-wise. And I didn’t clean the house much. Instead I had daily mind-melding sessions with the TV. It was/is glorious!

What did I watch? Aside from many YouTubers, I have watched:

  • Death in Paradise
  • Terrace House: Aloha State
  • Father Brown
  • A few episodes of: 13 Reasons Why, Good Witch, Schitt’s Creek
  • Anne with an E
  • MidSomer Murders
  • Shetland
  • Dr. Foster
  • The Secret Life of Pets
  • Sausage Party
  • The Keepers
  • The Americans
  • Mozart in the Jungle

In order of my preferences, The Keepers, Shetland, The Americans, Father Brown, Dr. Foster, Death in Paradise, Mozart in the Jungle, and MidSomer Murders.

For good fun entertainment, BBC has some reliably good material.  Shetland and Dr. Foster being great serious ones, and Father Brown and Death in Paradise being less dark despite being murder mystery shows.

The Keepers is a documentary about the mafia of organized religions. It’s real-life scary. And sad. And maddening. I was pretty angry as I watched it.

And finally, The Americans. My boss recommended it and I plowed through four seasons in a week. It’s very ridiculous and far fetched, but also entertaining because despite all the nail biting suspense, you know they’ll always come out of it okay because they’re the beautiful couple starring in the show. Makes it much more bearable for me. And there are still enough plot twists to keep me guessing.  Also I want to punch their precious whiny daughter in the face and snap her little chicken neck every time she goes off on her parents, especially when they done told her to shut the fuck up. I’m currently unwinding with Mozart in the Jungle which is silly but the music is beautiful.  It’s a great way to decompress from the suspenseful spy drama and much easier to start and stop.

Terrace House is a great “Real World”-/”Big Brother”-type show.  The first one where the house is in Japan is better than the one in Hawaii.

I’m always looking for more good (or bad) shows and movies to watch so am open to suggestions always.

I still need to catch up on the newly released seasons of Orange is the New Black and House of Cards.  Though House of Cards seems rather tame compared to real life.

At Home Gym Equipment

While we’re on the subject of gyms, let me share with you my thoughts about at-home gym equipment.
Because I often attend gym classes that use all kinds of exercise equipment, I’m always wanting yet another new toy.  I ambitiously think, hey I could do this at home! As if my butt can lift off the black hole that is the couch.  So let me preface all of this by saying that I hardly ever use any of my at-home gym equipment. I do use them but most, only a few times a year.  Here are the items I do use – even if infrequently.

  • Foam roller – It helps tremendously with sore muscles. Sometimes no amount of stretching works as well as rolling pin the heck out of your legs or sides – like a self-massage.  I don’t know though, sometimes I wonder if maybe I could have just used the one at the gym and saved the space.  Ok this is a take it or leave it.
  • Yoga mat – It’s not just for yoga.  The grippyness of it helps when I use a foam roller, or if I just want to do some stretching or calisthenics.  I probably use this the most regularly – as in, I aim to use it at least once a week.
  • Jump-rope – This is a very effective cardio equipment.  It’s portable and takes up minimal space. The few times a year I use it, I jump for 5-minutes at a time (with minimal breaks) with squats and weightlifting in between the jump roping repeating three or four rounds. It’s an effective workout.  I don’t use this a lot because at the end of the day, I still need to take it with me to a place that has the room to skip rope, which ends up being a gym.  So… I could just use the gym rope.  BUT!  This one is tailored to my height and it’s to my liking so I jump rope more now that I have my own.  I am glad I have it for the times I want to do cardio but don’t feel like running.  Realistically though, I use it maybe a few times a year.  Which I suppose is still more than I used to jump rope, which was hardly ever.

That’s it! That’s all I have or would get (for now)
The other items I have and why I wouldn’t recommend them:

  • Weights of any sort – This includes kettlebells – which I almost got, but thankfully decided against it.  While I like kettlebells and other weights, they’re heavy! They can dent the floor when you drop them, which will happen.  And they take up a good amount of space because they will eventually multiply.  Lets say you get a set of 5 lb dumbbells to start.  Eventually, that gets easier as you get stronger and then you’ll need to buy the 7 lb or 8 lb ones.  Then the 10 lb.  So on and so forth.  Or if you choose to stop with the craziness, the sets that are too easy aren’t really going to be as effective and you basically have dumbbells that you’ll never use. A better alternative to weights, resistance bands.  For use at home, they’re definitely better than dumbbells. These things are light, portable and just as effective and frankly more versatile than dumbbells.  I didn’t get them though because I can’t see myself really using them enough to justify owning them.
  • Exercise balls – These big balls take up space.  I rarely use them except as auxiliary chairs when we have more people over.  Yes, there are some moves I can do with them but I can do similar moves that activate the same muscles without the balls just as effectively.  Mine is more furniture than exercise equipment.

OR save your money and just do what I do most days, which is sit on the couch watching Netflix or YouTube.

Loud Gym Update

So you know how I mentioned the deafening volume of the music and instructors at the gym classes I go to?  And how even with earplugs, the music and microphones were still too loud? I ended up filling out and submitting the form for gym membership cancellation. Ten days later, I asked them to cancel the cancellation. The reason was because in those 10 days, I noticed the music in the classes were less deafening. Still loud, but bearable. And even though I still feel the need to wear earplugs, it’s been a lot easier on my ears to the point where I can go back to enjoying the activity rather than focusing the entire time on the loudness of everything.  And the whole reason why I joined in the first place was to have some activity to do that got me out of the house.  So if it wasn’t this gym, it would have been another studio of some sort.  I was considering a yoga/pilates studio.  And now, since it’s not going to be a yoga studio, I am doing it at home.

If you’re interested, one of my favorite YouTuber’s is Fiji McAlpine.  She is an excellent verbal cue’er.

Gym Classes and Noise Level

I’ve been going to gym classes for the past six months or so and I’m fighting a losing battle when it comes to ear protection.  They blast the music to the point where the ground is rumbling and then to make sure we can hear the instruction, they then turn their microphones even louder.  I’ve tried every corner of the class, asking instructors to turn it down, speaking with management, and even wearing ear plugs. As much as they have helped to make it less painful on my ears, the classes are still deafeningly loud, even with earplugs.  I’m considering cancelling my membership to save my ears.

I read a Reddit thread not too long ago about the one thing people would tell their younger selves.  An inordinate amount of responses had to do with not being stupid in their young age about their hearing.  We’re already surrounded by a constant barrage of noise pollution all around us.  Traffic, sirens, television, the hum of fluorescent lights.  I want to be physically fit and strong, but I want that without sacrificing my hearing.

Revelation from Hawaii

On my first day in Hawaii, the Big Island, we hiked from South Point (the southern-most tip of the U.S.) to Green Sands Beach.
Green Sands Beach
It was about a 3 mile hike there and I lamented that I belonged on my couch in fronna the TV! Why am I here in this sun and dusty dirt road!? We went on to hike 5 more trails and I realized how much I like being outdoors. I don’t belong enclosed in walls for hours a day. Even outside, I’m surrounded by tall walls of buildings and pavement and concrete beneath, so I still feel enclosed. So all this time, we train ourselves to adapt to this way of being. Breathing exhaust and stale air and crated. And it doesn’t even have to be in Hawaii, although it was unimaginably beautiful.  I just have a newfound appreciation for outside. Trees. Dirt roads. The sound of water. It makes me feel more connected to the world. To people. To my body.

Mahalo National Parks.  You have preserved for us all the most spiritual places on earth.

It doesn’t fit!

As a nod to ringing in the Year of the Cock, I am cleaning out my closet. I’m ridding myself of the most obvious – jeans that no longer fit! These are ones that I’m never going to squeeze myself into ever again without doing major organ damage.
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When I first started working, I measured my work hours in the pairs of jeans I could buy. I was making maybe $10/hour and that was about a pair of jeans on sale. For a really fancy pair, I might have splashed out for a $20 pair. Whether it’s because of my slowed metabolism due to aging, or from the all the squats and Warrior threes, or one too many beers, 6 out of these 8 pairs do not fit me anymore.

Bullet Journaling

I had an entire free day today due to the inauguration and how do I spend my time? Well, it started off innocuously enough. The usual. Cereal. Peppa Pig. Then I ventured onto YouTube. And saw a video on bullet journaling. Don’t Google it. I’m here to tell you to stay away from it. I wasted an entire morning and the better part of the afternoon drawing grid lines.
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So yeah, this is supposed to keep one more organized. You basically make your own yearly/monthly/weekly/daily planner with a blank journal. You can track anything from personal finance, to mind/body activities like meditation or gratitude journaling. I’m using it as a way to track some of my expenses and my activities like feeding the shrimp or watering my plants. I feel a little bamboozled by Pinterest/YouTube. This is the kinda’ thing one can easily track on say Excel. Or Google Calendar. Or any myriad of online whatever. And the videos get into not only layout but tools which include markers, crayons, color pencils, stickers, pens, washi tape. It’s scrapbooking and sketching a planner. I highly don’t recommend it. The only reason why I spent all day even after I quickly realized this wasn’t for me was because I drew out a month of grids. So now that January was on there, I had to complete the rest of the year. Illogical.

Happy 2017!

In the Hindu religion, the god of destruction, Shiva, is also considered the auspicious one. When I first learned what he represented, I thought it was odd to celebrate destruction, but later someone explained to me that it’s a good thing because where there’s destruction, there is also creation.

So, with 2016 essentially blowing up in our faces, I am looking towards 2017 as a rebirth.  I’m rethinking what my life plans are.  Reconsidering my goals and even re-prioritizing what’s important to me.  Many things that were important to me aren’t anymore.  I know I can’t shift old gears instantly, but I’m at least aware of them. I know less about what I want, only that I want for fewer things.

For now, these are a few of the things I want:

  • More meaningful conversations
  • A stronger body
  • Finding and doing more things that I enjoy
  • Closer relationships with my friends and family

The 7-year Scarf

Or maybe it’s the 8-year scarf – is finally complete!

Scarf

This scarf project has seen me through 2 cats who loved to play with the yarn and needles when I tried to knit and spent many years in the closet. Most of the time, I knitted just 1 or 2 rows then put it down for months, or over a year, at a time.

When I picked it up this month, I started to experiment with different stitches that I learned from YouTube and was not very good at keeping track of them. Did I just knit or purl? So you can see an odd patch. Anyway, it’s finally done and I plan to wear this for the rest of the season!

And… dun Dun DUUUN!!
Yarn