Slow down and have fun

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It is the 31st of January and here I am finally typing my hugely procrastinated monthly post. Technically, I didn’t have to force myself to sit down and type something (for the sake of doing something) but over time I realise that having routines at times can keep your discipline in check.

Fun fact – it is a brand new year tomorrow (in terms of the lunar calendar, where Chinese celebrates much more than 1st Jan) and nope today is not a post of reflections anymore. Just wanted to write about how slow my entire month of January went by and I didn’t think it was too bad after all. I may sound pretty zen right now as I’ve been reading this book called ‘The Power of Fun’ by Catherine Price. Prior to this book, I was reading her previous book titled ‘How to breakup with your phone’ and it was kind of an awakening piece that made me realise how addicted I am to my mobile phone and the entire technology stack. Although I’m not planning to break up with my phone anytime soon, there are some tips that I picked up and somehow I’m figuring out how it can make me reduce my dependency on my phone and perhaps do something else where my mind can wander. It also made me reflect upon what the ‘fun’ things in my life mean to me and.. is it really ‘fun’ or.. fake fun? Is watching Netflix a real enjoyment in your life or is it just a time filler that is most conveniently available to you? This statement made me pause and think about why I am watching/chasing a particular series – was I FOMO (fear of missing out) or perhaps it was a friend’s recommendation that I didn’t want to let it pass or did I genuinely think that I enjoy watching? It made me look back on the films/dramas I forced myself to watch till the last episode even though it gets pretty trash halfway. Why did I have to persist ‘paining’ through the crappy storylines which I did not enjoy.. was it really worth my time?

These thought-provoking thoughts was messing my brain up quite a bit this January and it resulted in me spending less screentime, watching lesser Netflix and TV. To add on, the ‘back to office’ 2 days a week somehow made my life back on tracks. As much as I love working from home (for that extra hour of sleep and comfort without traveling to and from office), the back to office regime reinstated some discipline I needed so badly. Instead of sleeping at 2am, I told myself I had to get in bed by 1am to make up for that reduced sleep. Going to office also regulates proper breakfast eating habits and for some reason or another (probably from the prolonged mask-wearing), my insomnia problem took a turn for the better. I found myself feeling tired and sleeping easily compared to December. As much as I love the flexibility and comfort of my home and room, office life is something that my body and health badly miss. To be honest, having the opportunity to work in such a hybrid format isn’t that bad after all. In fact, there are many things in life that may not look so bad after all if you really stop, and smell the roses. There’s a silver lining in every dark cloud and it’s up to you to look for it.

Another thing I’m trying to spend 2022 exploring is on the topic of mental wellness. I’m currently reading this book, Maybe you should talk to someone and somehow it is hitting me on several chords which I haven’t decided if it is time for me to figure it out, or perhaps I will just have to go through the motion to figure where I land up at. It is rather insightful and I hope that society will learn to normalise mental illness and somehow give everyone space and empathy. Covid may come to an end when it finishes mutating or perhaps the human genome is strong enough to produce antibodies against it but affairs of the ‘mind’ is something highly complex on every level. I hope I won’t give up on this ‘small interest’ of mind and perhaps keep pursuing this further.

So.. I did mention that I have kind of ‘slowed down’ in January right? Well, that’s because I spent the past two days on a brand new artwork – embroidery. I bought the artwork and materials off Taobao and now I’m prickling my fingers all the time, trying to sew an art piece of Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry night. I don’t know why but ever since I went to his exhibition back in Manchester last month, there seem to be a bias-ness in me choosing this particular artwork. In fact, I recently bought a handphone cover themed after Starry night. Anyway, the embroidery artwork is a lot harder than my imagination but I hope that I will get to finish it over the next two public holidays (Chinese New Year has two days off) and perhaps look for my next random piece of work. I realise that I’m pretty much a ‘hands-on’ person and I like to work with my hands! From painting to drawing to sewing and to baking.. these random things I do is pretty much a type of ‘fun’ I choose to do so myself.

Back to the sombre topic of covid, it seems that the danger is looming by very closely. When covid first started, it felt pretty distant from me as I didn’t know of anyone personally who has contracted the virus. From colleagues/friends’ friends/family, the circle drew closer to my relatives and now, my immediate family has contracted it. While the symptoms are mild (and thankfully it’s the omicron variant), it is still upsetting to know that this virus is really that widespread. Would it be a matter of time before all of us contract it and perhaps form our own natural immunity?

Happy Lunar New Year and hope you’re ready to welcome the year of the Tiger. Maybe the fierce tiger can roar and scare away the virus and hopefully the zodiac predictions all come true as it is a pretty good year for me. Cheers^

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  • I too am glad for the Tiger! I think we need something fierce, as you said. I’ve noticed Van Gogh’s Starry Night is a real favorite in Korean Drama, as are the classics in general. I’m currently knee-deep in Sageuk, which is always a challenge. I’m picking off 50 episodes of “The Jingbirok” which is about the Imjin War. Something else that was brought home to me by Korean Drama: plagues and pestilence have been with us as long as humans have been on this earth. As the saying goes, “This too shall Pass.”