5 AM Thoughts

Yet another day, I woke up in the middle of the night, feeling refreshed.

Instead of coaxing myself to go back to sleep, I stupidly invited what I called as the 5-AM-thoughts to seep into my brain and start its’ dance.

It first started with my thoughts about court cards in tarot to the witch bookmark that kept popping up on my IG feed. Then moved to Tom Harlock’s massive self-love, to the New Moon in Scorpio (whether it could be the reason of my restlessness), to being thankful for quirky bookstores like The Moon Singapore.

I reminded myself to finish the current journal before moving to the red Harry Potter journal I bought on a whim last week and to put some stickers on the journal.

The last one was why the heck have I never treated myself to a writing retreat even though I have always wanted to do it and been jealous of others who have done it.

Time to indulge myself a bit. So:

I am going on writing retreat next year!

Either that or I will book a semi-fancy hotel-stay-cation for myself. Where I can chill, write, order room service and (let’s be real, here) watch some trashy TV.

My Current Go To Self Care Activities

Today has been tough — for various reasons. I plan to resort to some self-care activities tonight. Here are some of my go-to self-care activities that require minimal effort:

  • Reading paperback books. No Kindle allowed during self-care sesh
  • Taking a hot shower
  • Watching bad food reality shows like Come Dine With Me series
  • Going through a new-to-me or all-time-fave blog’s archive
  • Asking a self-care related question and drawing a tarot card
  • Checking in with the moon
  • Meditating for a short time
  • Me-time
  • Reading illustrated books for adults. Current read: Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home by Nora Krug
  • Wearing face mask sheet
  • Minimum communication and interaction with people
  • Lighting a nice-smelling candle. Current fave: Yankee Candle’s Dried Lavender & Oak
  • Holding Miaw
  • Infinity scroll-ing IG. My feed is filled with influencers I admire and related hashtags
  • Stretching
  • Watching a horror movie
  • Watering or at least talking with the house-plants
  • Keeping a rose quartz crystal close to me. The bigger, the better
  • Journaling
  • Reading and fixing my old blog posts
  • Listening to selected true-crime podcasts (e.g. The Red Handed)
  • Changing to loose but cute PJs
  • Viewing the latest uploads by my fave Youtube commentary channels
  • Putting my phone on flight mode
  • 10 minutes yoga
  • Flipping through the stack of magazines I keep in the apartment
  • Sleeping
  • Munching on cookies
  • Soaking in the bath
  • Drinking a whole pot of warm mulled-wine tea or a cup of hot mulled wine
  • Browsing tarot decks on Kickstarter. Book-marking some of my faves to be added into my yearly fave tarot decks list
  • self foot-massaging with body-oil
  • Pulling a random card from the Oracle deck as a guidance
  • Eating a piece dark sea salt chocolate — or three
  • Removing duplicates from iPhoto (just being a Virgo)
  • Online-window-shopping stationaries, candles and woo-woo stuff
  • Making sure I am not hungry
  • Sage-ing myself
  • Making a list

10 Things I Like About Myself

Happy Monday!


I took off today (hence the happy part of the earlier greeting) to read and write which I didn’t do until 11 AM because I was watching 73 Things You Missed in Final Destination 2 (2003) — adding zero value to my life.

Alas, I managed to muster enough discipline cells to close my laptop and turn on my Kindle to continue reading Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies.

One page in, the author gave a test:

Right now, write down then things you like about yourself.

Paragraph 1 Chapter 3 Part 2 of Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies: And Other Rituals to Fix Your Life, from Someone Who’s Been There by Tara Schuster.

She acknowledged that it could be a daunting challenge, but to do it anyway.

I decided to one-up her test by not only coming up with the ten things but also sharing it here with you. By which I am hoping you would indulge Tara and me by writing your version of the things you like about yourself. It matters not how many (three or ten) nor where (here, online or in your secret diary), try to write it as soon as you can without overthinking about it.

Here is mine:

  • I am good with directions.
  • and in Maths.
  • I strive to grow and keep learning.
  • I am pretty independent.
  • I am open-minded.
  • I am adaptable – a trait I build from migrating to Jakarta then Singapore then Melbourne.
  • I am curious by nature.
  • I enjoy my own company.
  • I can eat and enjoy food without an ounce of guilt.
  • I don’t care much about people’s opinion about me. Case in point: I am writing about ten things I like about myself on a Monday morning and share it on the internet.

Writing the above list reminded me of what Adrienne from Yoga’s Adrienne said in at least two of her videos that I watch the most:

“If I can do it on YouTube, so can you!”

— ditto me to you!

September 2020

My colleague started a running challenge to be achieved as a team and it has inspired me to run. The last time I ran as a form of exercise was, well, never. I used the app NikeRun and have clocked in 70km this month. I am targeting 100km next month.

I celebrated my first (and hopefully last in this lifetime!) ISO birthday together with Fafa, Jik, and my parents on Zoom. It was a memorable birthday; it reminded me that I have infinity things to be grateful for.

Every Friday evening, I take out the watercolor set I got myself for my birthday and pour a generous amount of of rose to my tea mug, and practice gouache for fun. it has been great work week stress releasing outlet.

New and Loving

ISO September turned out to be my busiest month this year, which means I had to put the cooking on the back burner (pun intended).

In the first couple of weeks, I resorted back between UberEats, sending Fafa to do Indonesian food pick-up, and going to Hecho Mehico to collect my triple order of $5 prawn chorizo tapas. Though I have been eating delicious food (definitely better than my home cooking), I can see the hit on both the weighing machine and ISO-savings acc, so I thought why not try those ready-made meals subscription. I don’t believe the 20s-yo me had envisioned the 30s-yo me standing in front of a microwave waiting for my food to be done daily. But here we are. YouFoodz has been great — except that one time when they rang the doorbell to deliver the food at 3.30 AM.

This month I also drank a copious amount of tea from Tea Tonic, shifted to oat milk, have been using Neutrogena body oil excessively,

Internet

I published three posts. I must say, for someone who almost retires the blog, it feels like a mini accomplishment. I wrote about food, obviously – stroopwafel and Tahu Gejrot and interviewed Neera, a blogger who I met at a blogging conference last year.

I also resurrected my KodakKween IG account, so I can post my side passion for film photography all willy nilly without making it culture-y or artsy.

Read

My read numbers have been running behind on Goodreads 2020 List, so I tried to catch up this month.

At the start of the month, I read and loved a thriller His and Hers by Alice Feeney.

I also finished my first ever fiction audiobook, The Secret She Keeps (free to download) by an Australian author, Michael Robotham. It’s the Avid Reader online book club choice for October. “It started good but finish off meh“, will be my feedback during the zoom sesh.

On nonfiction section I read: Don’t Be a B*tch, Be an Alpha by Seo Kelleher (read and loved), I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron (currently reading), The New Diary (presently reading, loving and kicking myself for not reading it earlier – the book was published in 1978), The Power of Tarot by Liz Worth (currently reading), You Are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero (reading this almost immediately after You Are a Badass), Reading the Leaves (currently reading and savoring), Pilgrimage in Japan by Lauren Hines (read and mega loved because it was published in diary/blog format).

Media

TV – I watched a few horror movies this month. Starting with The Boy II, The Grudge, The Wretched The Pyramid (really liked this one), As Above So Below, and Room for Rent (the best!). These movies sent me into a rabbit hole of the horror-movies-explained rabbit hole on Youtube. There, I discovered FoundFlix. It’s a horror movie commentary channel. I also watched and loved Away, #Alive, Criminal UK season 2, and American Murder on Netflix.

Podcast – my current favourite, which might surprise you since it’s not another true crime, the Wildy Tarot Podcast. The girls in it recommended the Power of Tarot book above.

Alice Feeney – I have been playing On brulera by Pomme on repeat on Spotify. I accidentally heard and immediately loved it when it’s played on an ending scene on one of the episodes in AWAY.

Last Time

Last year this time, I was living my best life traveling around Scandanavia with my best friend. During which I wrote about Rijsttafel-ing Indonesian Food in Amsterdam and said Hi from Bergen.

Thank You, Next!

The seven million Victorians are looking forward to being freed from lockdown in October. That is if the 14-day average for the new cases continues to drop etcetera.

Meanwhile, Fafa and are also going to celebrate our wedding anniversary with dinner-date at Yagiz and a staycation in Meletos.

There are more than a few good things to look forward to, I guess.

On the opposite side, I am sitting for CPA exam mid next month. All I can say about that is GAH!!!! But I am going to try to stay positive while still operating with a come-what-way attitude, which has been serving me well this month. I am also worried that I might experience the case of lockdown nostalgia.

But that’s for me to be worried about, next month.

May 2017

The highlights of this month would be going to my Indian colleague’s house half-drunk for an Indian Dinner & Drinks Part 2; going to comic-Con with Fafa and Newman, dressed as Kamala Khan, just Fafa, and Luke Skywalker; and girls only hot-pot session at Liz’s.

I took a day off work last Monday because I wasn’t feeling well, both physically and mentally (needed to recharge). I also went to hardware Societe (still can’t pronounce it) and had the best salmon dish in Melbourne. The hype is real, people! If you don’t mind waiting in line for some time, do give it a visit.

The best friends and I have reinstatedFace-Mask-Thursday routine. I am in the progress of collection 100 pictures of us to display it ala Andy Warhol.

New and Loving

Let’s start with the big news. I moved to a cross-functional job a few weeks ago. Working on a new project in the company. I have a significant imposter syndrome! I zero knowledge on how to manage a project. And the accountant in me is cringing at the idea of working with a big group of people. I am worried that I am not contributing or understanding enough. I am careful about not stepping on other people’s toe, something I never had to worry about in the previous function. What should I do? I welcome any suggestion, you guys!

I filled up my weekends with workshops, including the healing power of herbs. The best part about it was meeting and making new friends.

I also tried the famous Anzaccookie for the first time, which I bought from IGA. It was terrible. Ugh! Why are we celebrating a holiday with this horrible tasting cookie??!

Autumn is here, baby! And it brought a ton of gorgeousness into the air.

My colleagues in the new project are fantastic! The female-only team does meetings over chai-latte, where the words like “family”, “tree of trust” and “circle of sisterhood” are being thrown around.

We tried Mukka, an Indian restaurant in Fitzroy, suggested by a colleague. Oh, my lord, it was so good! It finally manages to replace my year-long good Indian food craving. We are going there again for lunch next weekend.

I donated eight bags of clothes to theRed Crossover the weekend, special thanks to Uber free-pick up service. It felt good to give away clothes which don’t bring me joy to others. Bonus: no more mini-anxiety attacks when I open the cupboard.

Read

Books bought this month: Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism, Healing Magic The Guidebook to Conscious Living and Kitchen Table Tarot. I am halfway through the first one and dabbed here and there on the last one.

We loved and highly recommended Train To Busan, a Korean zombie movie. It’s on Netflix, add it to your list for the weekend!

I also finished and had plenty of discussion with various groups about13 Reasons Why? Which resulted in more than a few arguments. Side note, how cool was the Skye reading Clay tarot scene.

There is no new-to-me blog this month, just glad that Y, the blogger behind I Live In Japan start writing again after being hiatus the first half of 2017. I enjoy reading and slightly jealous of her daily life in Japan.

I started listening to the Lunar Abundance podcast by Ezzie Spencer, whose book I purchased a few months ago. I have been studying about the moon phase, including woman cycle, and it has been fascinating. Check out Emgoddess in Perfect Potion.

Internet

I wrote about five reasons why you should take a gap year. If you are currently in Japan, check out the Charming Journey exhibition in Tokyo. Well, if you are in Japan, do visit Mt FujiFushimi Inari in KyotoKoyasan, and Takayama.

Thank You, Next!

I am going to Jakarta next month! Can’t wait to bear-hug Amma, awkward-hug Appa, kiss Kiwi, my cousins, and Che. And food! I have made a list: nasi campur, nasi Padang, bakwan, KOI bubble tea, sweet pancake, chilli noodle and chicken porridge.

The Emerging Writers Festival is also happening in June. I got the weekend ticket. See you there?!

Lastly, I am planning to squeeze in Ayer Rocks into the calendar for either next month or July. I am trying to convince Jik to come with me. She is stalling. Jik come on, C’mon, C’mon! Let’s go!!

You guys, it’s not easy to rewind the whole month, I only remember last week clearly, but the first three weeks? Not so much. I need to do something about it. Either I start bullet-journaling my weeks’ happenings or break the expat’s diary into two parts in a month, on the new moon and full moon—end of the rant.