Things to do at home during a Pandemic

During this time where most of us are being encouraged to stay at home to ‘Flatten The Curve’ and to minimise the spread of Covid 19 by social distancing…it is easy to become bored. With all the chaos going around the streets…now is a great time to have a think of embarking on some home projects and rekindling some past hobbies…and this post highlights what I know people around me are doing.

It is not so bad for me because I am still working 6 days a week…so honestly life hasn’t changed much for me…except I don’t have any social activities or group exercise planned… ūüė¶ I have been trying my best to go for a short walk around the hospital in my lunch break to get some sun and to get away from the workplace…I am quite lucky that I work in a job where I am constantly on the go and get enough steps in a day.

I miss talking and seeing my friends… so I messaged in my group chat and organised a virtual catch up with my university friends! While there was some people that ignored/forgot my invite to the conversation, I think it was quite successful getting about 6 of 9 people in a chat at once! Because we are all supposed to stay home anyways, they really do not have much excuse for not participating :P. As my sister and her family are also in self-isolation after their trip, I have been regularly video-calling them as well. I am not sure if we are allowed to visit them post isolation, unless to drop some food or supplies (which we have been doing). As most of my friends have FB messenger, that is what I’ve used to communicate with others…but I have heard Zoom is popular, Skype, or even Watsapp.

My mother an extroverted socialite and the self-imposed social isolation that she has undertaken has taken it’s toll on her and the rest of the family face the consequence of it…I keep telling her it’s still okay to get exercise and to go shopping (if you need it!!)…I think it makes you a bit crazy and forgetful when you stay at home all the time…it’s not healthy :(..I am lucky to be isolated with my family at home, but I know a few people at work who live on their own and it can be quite lonely not being able to visit friends or invite them over…unless you risk getting a fine from the police. To combat her boredom, my mum has been gardening almost all day and everyday. She’s planted new plants and flowers and have been taking care of them like her little children! She is also growing vegetables for our own consumption which is great! It might be worth learning to grow your own vegetable and fruits and further avoid the mass queues at supermarkets.

My brother has always been a socially distant person and rarely leaves his room to do anything except eat, shower and shit. So this pandemic hasn’t affected him at all. I guess if you are a gamer, this is your ideal life style?! Thanks to the internet you can entertain yourself with paid streaming websites like Netflix, Stan, etc…or for stingy people like myself, youtube is good enough XD.

My sister has been picking up her practice of lettering (or is it calligraphy) and water colouring again. Since you are going to be indoors all day, everyday day…,might as well make use of those art and craft things that you have, but rarely ‘find’ time to use and do. You can post your work on your facebook or instagram pages to show your work to others or ask for feedback. Isn’t it awesome that the internet keeps us together during this time?

Back to me again, asides from work…I try to minimise the amount of times I go to the grocery store, but if I do, I check in with my elderly aunty and uncle (who have been recommended by our Prime Minister to stay indoors and self-isolate for their own protection) to see what they may need. Helping others get their crucial supplies is a way to look after those in your community. When I do walks around my neighbour hood, I have been keeping my eye out for any elderly that I can ask to see if they need toilet paper/groceries…so far I haven’t seen many out (which is far enough-they are supposed to stay in). As I mentioned in my last post, now is the time to really strengthen that community spirit and look out for the more vulnerable people in our society. While I type this, I feel like I am some sort of politician or something…but anyways probably a sign that I’ve been watching the news too much (not good)!.

Lastly, I mentioned before, I have taken up playing the guitar again. For me, playing music allows me to focus on something else and allows me express a part of me that is only through music… even listening to good music is comforting and amazing. On sort of related side note, I just wanted to let you know, I treated myself to Apple Airpods! Since I can’t go to the gym and work outs (if I do them~!!) will be by myself at home…and walks/runs around neighbour hood. I thought it would be much better having wireless earphones! I love them! I have been using them to listen to videos for my studies and its great…kinda like listening to a podcast…Anyways, I promise I don’t work for Apple..I just really like them. The sound quality of music is great too… not that I know much about sound quality…. xD

I hope everyone stays sane during this challenging time!!!!!!!!!!!!

p.s this pandemic has allowed me a bit more extra time to write more posts and update more frequently and do a little bit on my book…..

Enjoy your indoor time~

JL

 

Random rants: Expensive‚Äč Hobbies

I have a friend who likes¬†loves cars…I am talking obsessed. Basically, their whole life is cars. Buying them, selling them, fixing them, cleaning, you-name-it and they are probably have done that to a car. They have their own car that they have modified to their liking and use it to go on tracks to race with. As I can imagine, it is an expensive hobby… apparently, each time they take their car on the racing (?) tracks they have to spend hundreds if not thousands to have all the tyres, brakes, and other parts of their car replaced. To me, because I do not understand why someone would waste spend so much money on such a temporary ‘in the moment’ high kinda thing.

Then I was listening to a podcast about people who collect ‘high-end shoes’. Someone on the podcast said they had around 40 pair of shoes in their collection…the thing I don’t understand is that they just buy the shoes to put on display…they don’t even wear them! That boggles my mind that you would buy something just to look at them…Each pair ranges from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand…Did you know there are such things as ‘Shoe Conventions?’

I don’t mean to belittle other people’s hobbies and interests… I guess it has made me more aware that other people have passions and interests that I might not understand. I think back to what I spend most of my money on…and it has been on travelling overseas in different countries and learning…so I guess that is my passion and to other people, it may seem like a waste of money.

What are the things you spend your time and money on?

 

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The Art of Tidying Up – Marie Kondo

A few months ago, I was visiting my sister…and she was like…¬†“Come and see how awesome my sock drawer is!”…as she proudly showed me the neatly folded up socks in their own individual square.¬†My sister explained to me, by folding your socks this way, you save time and you also lessen the chance that you will destroy the elastic in your socks. A bonus is that it looks so neat and cute! This was the first time (that I remember) I heard of the now well-known name.. “Marie Kondo”.¬†This was the day I became a Konvert. I could not wait to go home and do the same thing to my sock drawer…and then proceed to spread the discovery of this wonder to my mother…and anyone else that would listen…

I was so excited…I felt this was more than just the tidying up in a different way of my socks…it was deeper in a sense that…I had to break an old habit and make a new one. The old way is comfortable, familiar and seemed easy …but when shown this new and more efficient way…I realised…maybe I have been doing it wrong my whole life.

It almost does certainly feel like a religion! For the next few days and weeks…I spent a lot of time Tidying up my room. After I finished my sock drawer, I went on with the underwear, the sports clothes drawer, the leggings and singlets…and then it was t-shirts and shorts… I went out and bought extra containers to separate my clothes. Eventually…I came to a stand still…there are a whole bunch of clothes hanging up…its so hard…I can’t choose which to keep and which to throw…and then I began my procrastination. My fervour was gone…less time was spent tidying. I still folded my clothes different…but it was with less joy and it was not as visually appealing as before.

Isn’t that true with life in general? We can whole heartedly pursue a new goal, dream and hobby! We get obsessed with it…we feel like that’s all that matters in life…it becomes the focus of all our attention. Then… we become familiar with it, we get slack, we get disinterested…and something else pops up and we forget all about it. Does this ring true for anyone?

How do we keep going and keep pursuing something when we have lost interest? Do we fight at it? Or will it just come back naturally?

I don’t know the answer for you…but for myself…I believe that if the motives behind my doing something is align with my inner values and beliefs…that I will go back to what I started/did. For example, as a young child in primary school, I hated being told what to do…my mother made me learn piano but I hated it! I hated practicing…I don’t like those songs we learn either. EWW. I wanted to instead play the VIOLIN. For some reason I thought it would be wayyyy cooler and I would naturally want to practice at it. To my surprise, my parents agreed and I got to stop my piano classes and take up violin instead…

Then started the weekly classes, then the rehearsals for orchestra…and my mum was getting excited…her child was performing! But, something happened…I got an infection over my finger…and I used that as an excuse not to play…I had inwardly not grown to love the violin…I secretly regretted every changing! Violin I found was wayyy harder to play than the piano…I had to tune the violin, set up the neck rest…which was hard to get used to…and I had to look after the bow and keep it clean and pack the violin carefully away in its case. It was a lot of things to remember for a young kiddo. After taking that break…I never went back, probably to my parents and grandparents disappointment.

Fast track a few years later I am in high school now… I didn’t choose music as a subject as I hadn’t didn’t play an instrument anymore. I just so happened to meet two friend who were doing music…one played the violin and the other played piano…suddenly I also wanted to join back in…I didn’t feel like I wanted to pick up the violin again…so I went back to taking piano classes and I sneaked back into music classes once again.

This time I got a new piano teacher, I told her I didn’t want to learn from those boring graded books anymore, instead I asked if I can learn my favourite theme songs from my favourite anime at that time, Naruto. (Yes, I am¬†was a sad otaku back then…). Loving the background music from those anime, motivated me..inspired me and made me want to practice so I could also play the music that I was passionate and interested in. I no longer needed my mother to push me to practice, it was more like the opposite… I think at the time I probably annoyed the family by playing the piano so much…I would play for hours and they would get annoyed because they wanted to watch tv but they couldn’t hear what was being said. SORRY…!. Well, since that time I haven’t really stopped playing. I still listen out for good music, whether it be songs or background music and seek to learn them….Music for me has always been a way to escape..to forget the present…and allows me to transport myself to somewhere else. It’s the most beautiful noise I think we can make. I don’t know how to explain it and I am not sure how I got to this topic…but hopefully you can find what motivates you and find the reason to keep going and pursuing what makes you tick.

I believe I will get back into the tidying…because the reason why I do it is because of efficiency and I love that feeling of neatness and tidiness. In order to feel good however, first we have to go through the¬†tidying process which can be quite uncomfortable because it makes us face the mess in our lives and actually deal with the problem at hand.¬†I watched the netflix show…but haven’t read her book as of yet, if you haven’t checked out Marie Kondo…I ¬†highly recommend doing it!!

-Konvert