Little Interruptions

“Life is full of little interruptions” so says the message hidden in the Speak Now booklet amongst the lyrics of Innocent. While my world has basically been dominated by the release of Taylor Swift’s new song / video, this isn’t a tangent about any of that.

ICYMI, this quote refers to the moment where Kanye interrupted Taylor at the VMA’s what feels like many years ago. While that single moment had pop culture ramifications that I don’t think any of us could have predicted, I’m trying to tease away the bigger message here.

There is a distinct and powerful instinct to feel inconvenienced – slighted, even – and it’s human nature. Though someone cutting in front of you on the sidewalk is certainly not a slight, there are days where that feels very personal. Some people (aka me) are worse about this than others, but it everyone sometimes take things personally when they aren’t intended that way.

The root behind this perplexes me, but that’s not really what I’m trying to get at either. What I’m poking at here is the importance of life’s little interruptions being just that: little. I am certainly overly sensitive to things not going as planned, but what if, instead, I paid homage to interruptions that can be magical? Being adaptable is a wonderful skill and one I’d like to hone within myself.

Seeing things as an inconvenience isn’t fun, but it is easy. Instead of doing the easy thing, I would really like to do the thing that promotes positive thinking – the thing that will stop me from being so self-absorbed that my first reaction is to assume something pertains to me. This is not the easier way to be, but perhaps a healthier one. Life is full of little interruptions, and that is a good thing.


What I’m Loving | 8/27/2017

It’s been such a great week! The perfect blend of activities and HGTV, lots of tasty, home cooked meals, and my birthday. I really couldn’t have asked for more.

Speaking of HGTV, the best thing I ever did is get Harley hooked on House Hunters – it’s my favorite and now he loves it too! It’s so fun to see people pick out their homes, and we’re also big fans of Fixer Upper with Chip & Joanna. Basically anything on HGTV is a conversation starter, so it’s not just sitting side by side with the TV on which I love. It’s a great way to spend time together and unwind at the end of the day.

Books :: I’m about halfway through Middlesex, and I’m enjoying it tremendously. The author has a supremely engaging tone, but it’s still light enough to read in little snippets on the train.

Listening :: Honestly not a ton. I’ve been extremely indecisive about music for some reason, so I’ve just opted to put my saved music on shuffle while I read on the train.

Spare Time :: Birthday stuff! My birthday was Wednesday, and we went out for dinner and drinks yesterday to celebrate. Aside from that I’ve just been taking it easy – my energy threshold is already lower now that I’m 22.

Style :: This bag. It was one of my birthday presents and I am in loooove. It’s the perfect size for commuting, but isn’t too business-like where I wouldn’t want to carry it on the weekend. It’s the perfect tote!

The weather this week is supposed to be mid-seventies every day, so hopefully there’s another great week to come!

Notification Cleanse

Does anyone else get overwhelmed by notifications, or is that just me? If I’m super busy at work, need to pull my phone out, and see a ton of things on my screen it just causes my anxiety to mount higher and higher.

“Back in the day” of regular, non-intelligent phones, I used to always keep my phone on silent. The only time I noticed a new notification on my LGVX9800 was if it was face up and in my field of vision. I’ve kept in that habit, and my iPhone is almost always on silent even still, but now that there’s more than just SMS messages and phone calls coming through it still feels overwhelming at times.

Inspired by one of those clickbait articles, I decided to do my own notification cleanse. The author of this particular one turned of every form of every notification, but I did mine a little differently. Because I’m so far from my family I elected to keep my messaging notifications on, in addition to my phone call notifications. I kept the logo notifications on for Snapchat and Twitter, and banner notifications for important things such as my credit card, but I’ve disabled all other push notifications.

It’s been great. My phone only lights up when it’s something I want to see, as opposed to getting random reminders from every app on my phone. In general, I check my phone a lot less (which I’m trying to make an effort to do regardless), and when I do it’s far less stress inducing. I don’t have to constantly clear my notification center or swipe to erase notifications I wouldn’t have read anyway. Instead of checking my phone because an irrelevant notification popped up and then losing minutes to scrolling through Twitter, I now only check my phone when I have a text or other actual purpose to use it.

It might seem trivial, but this is one clear and simple step I’m able to take in order to reduce my anxiety and improve my overall quality of life. If you find yourself getting stressed out by notifications like I did, I would highly recommend giving this a try. 

What I’m Loving | 8/20/2017

August has flown by, and I guess that means summer is technically over. It seems like every year summers get shorter and shorter, and this year I’m not sure I fully realized it was summer because of the weather here. Apparently the Bay Area summer happens in September & October, so I’m excited for some weather that I’m used to. 

This week has been wholly uneventful and it’s been great. It was an extra busy week at work so it was nice to have no evening plans booked. I was able to just unwind after work each day which was a nice change of pace. Here’s what I’ve been into this week:

Books :: After my last book taking ages, this week I read a book in five days. Harley requested I read Ready Player One, which is one of his favorite books. I was not expecting to like it whatsoever, but I actually got pretty into it. I didn’t love it, but it went by quickly and was a pretty engaging storyline! I’m starting Middlesex now, which was in Oprah’s book club.

Listening :: Taylor Swift! She has something big on the horizon; her website went dark, she deleted all her tweets and Instagrams, and she has a performance scheduled at the GMAs on August 31st. So I’m fully expecting an album announcement, and it’s put me in the mood to listen to her older stuff again.

Spare Time :: Relaxing, and cooking a lot! I’ve had the opportunity to try some of new recipes this week which has been really fun.

Style :: I have been banned from any kind of shopping, window or otherwise, since my birthday is coming. Will report back next week. 😦


Outside Lands 2017

By the strangest and most random turn of events, Harley and I got tickets to the sold out Outside Lands festival. We wanted to go when we first moved here but decided it was too expensive to justify and forgot about it. When a wristband literally showed up at our doorstep and we couldn’t find the owner, we decided it was clearly meant to be and got another ticket from Craiglist.

Festivals in the city are complicated. We’re already condensed into a 7×7 radius, but add in a music festival on top of that and everything turns into a nightmare. Traffic was atrocious, the crowds were huge, and the logistics of doing anything in and around the festival became super complicated. Thankfully, we’ve found this super fun service called Scoot which made all of that a thousand times easier. Still complicated, but much easier.

In spite of the hassle of getting to and from the park, the festival was so much fun! There were several bands I was excited to see (mainly Alt-J and Lorde), and they had quite a bit of supplementary “festival things” to keep the time between sets entertaining (read: an entire section devoted to chocolate). There was also quite the local food truck selection, and places that gave out free snacks and drinks at special times.

I’ve been to quite a few festivals and concerts and it’s always such a fun experience. I totally would not have paid $800+ to attend this one, but to be able to go on the cheap it was a great experience. The difficult logistics and constant traffic are worth it when you consider how much we’re able to experience in our little 7×7 radius.

What I’m Loving | 8/13/2017

This has been such a strange week for me, and I was thankful as it was drawing to a close. Harley and I totally lucked on tickets to Outside Lands so the week was uneventful and crawled by extra slowly since there was something fun at the end!

At a certain point, you just have to accept that not every week is going to be stellar and have faith it will get better. There are so many exciting things to look forward to over the next month, so I think in hindsight I’ll be thankful for this lull!

Books :: I finally finished The Unbearable Lightness of Being! Overall, it was a good book. The main reason I was struggling was because the wrap-up towards the end of the book dragged on, and reaching the final resolution seemed like an overly drawn-out process. I did like the way it ended, but it took too long to get there.

Listening :: My Spotify Summer Rewind playlist is perfect. It’s the perfect mix of everything that encompasses the summer I turned 21. While I’m happy I matured, that was such a unique section of my life and it’s nice to relive it just a tad.

Spare Time :: Actually, legitimately relaxing. This week has been absolutely less than fun, but I’ve had almost each evening free so I’ve been taking advantage of the rare chance to kick back.

Style :: Choker necklaces. This is definitely nothing new, but I lost my favorite choker so I’ve been on the hunt for another one. Shopping for jewelry is something I don’t do much, but it’s so fun!

Here’s to better weeks and music festivals!

[Bonus Post] Exercise is Awful

I know it’s so negative, but I hate running (clearly Bird agrees with me). I’ve had exercise-induced asthma since I was young which makes any kind of long-term cardio extra difficult. In addition to my hatred of cardio, I also hate feeling bloated and out of shape…so you can see I have some workout related issues for sure. Of course, I know it’s good for me, but the motivation isn’t always there.

Harley is extremely into working out, and extremely into encouraging others to work out. Sometimes that can be frustrating, but overall I’m thankful to have a person to keep me on track! I think he’s happy to have a “project” (aka me) to whip into shape.

To keep us (me) motivated, we’ve signed up for the mildest of 5K’s that exists: A Color Run. Of course, a 5k is only 3.2 miles, but for someone who has never run a mile without taking a walking break, there’s a good chance I’d walk off the course if left to my own devices. So we’re starting small, by run/walking a mile (almost) each day!

So far, we’ve cut FOUR minutes off of our mile, and I’m running a sub-ten minute mile for the first time in my life. I still have to take walking breaks, but much less frequently than before. Eventually we’ll start adding more distance, but I wanted to start as slowly as Harley would let me.

I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to run a 5k without walking, but I have faith that with some practice I’ll at least be able to cut some major minutes off of my usual speed and not pass out from exhaustion. It’s also exciting to be on a real workout plan for the first time ever, instead of just going to the gym and doing whatever. I don’t see myself ever becoming a fitness enthusiast, but maybe by October I’ll at least start enjoying myself.