Autumn is in the air

Autumn is in the air

This past weekend was far calmer than the last few due to all of the moving and getting the house up for sale. So it seemed almost poetic to see the season change so abruptly over the course of a few days. We went from having some crazy hot weather to overcast days and chilly nights. We are finally entering my favorite time of the year.

I enjoyed a quiet dinner at Nano’s Café in Sierra Madre in a big outdoor tent. It seems everyone prefers to dine either inside or in the patio facing the street out front, but for us it was perfect to be sitting in the quiet solitude of the back tent. The evenings are certainly starting to darken earlier. I love it when you have yellowish lights contrast agains the cool grays and blues of a cloudy evening. It sort of reminds me of the huge extended family get-togethers we used to go to many years ago. It also brings back memories of night markets in other countries, or the kermés my elementary school parish would have at least once a year.

We tried a new farmers’ market in Claremont, which is closer to our new home. Even though there are less organic options at this farmers’ market, I much prefer it because this street has a small town feel and it was so beautiful to be walking under the canopies of trees on this overcast morning. I love living so close to the mountains now. I love all of the foothill communities! I grew up seeing these mountains all of the time which is why I probably find them so comforting. Now that we’ve been going to farmers’ markets for almost a year now, I’ve come to really enjoy seeing the seasonal changes of the fruits and vegetables that are sold.

There wasn’t much sun the entire weekend and I am perfectly fine with that. The seasonal changes in LA are subtle, but they do exist; and this weekend definitely felt like Autumn. The leaves here don’t start to change until late fall and there aren’t too many deciduous trees here since they are not native. So the only Autumn leaves I’ll see for the time being are the decorative stickers on my Happy Planners.

Guilt and body image issues.

Guilt and body image issues.

My planned walks early in the mornings Monday through Wednesday did not happen this week. Moving over the weekend left me exhausted and there is still so much to do in the house to get things where they should be. I feel guilty, because I know that where there is a will there is a way and frankly my willpower wasn’t strong enough to overcome excuses that may come my way.

I came into the office today so I’m wearing dress shirt that is such a huge distraction because it doesn’t fit well and all I can think of is how large my belly has gotten. The positive side is that I probably won’t be as inclined to eat anything too heavy. I really just need to take a walk this evening around the new neighborhood. I can’t just make plans and put them off for another day.

Speaking of the office, I saw a coworker this morning that I had not seen in person since the start of the pandemic. Despite the mask, I could tell she was smiling from ear to ear just as I was. She said “oh I don’t care, I’m giving you a hug,” and gave me a nice big hug. It was a nice antidote to my negative body image thoughts.

First night in the new home

First night in the new home

I’m now typing this from my new home. I really like the new neighborhood and the brand new house.

However, it feels strange. I think of my nightly routines and the spots around the house where I would like to sit or lie down. It was just a night ago, and already it feels like an eternity. I am the sentimental type and I feel like I left a little part of me in that house. The old place will hopefully sell soon, but in the meantime most of the rooms are dark when they would have had light. The lights in the stairs and in the hallway are still still doing their normal routine of varying brightness and color temperature to mimic the daylight outside as I programmed them to.

I often imagine a soundtrack accompanying things that are going on in my life and tonight I am listening to John Adams’ Harmonielehre. I often think of this song when I look at large urban areas at night. It’s very unique: at times it can be suspenseful, frightening, depressing, uplifting, and other emotions I can’t quite put into words. I feel as if I’m soaring and as I look at the modern city below I feel incredibly small.

I don’t know why I’m writing about all of this just to tell you that I am now spending the first night in this new home. I guess my feelings at the moment are about as complex as those in Harmonielehre. But I’m happy to be here at last and looking foward to a new adventure.

Keys to the new house and someone dear to me finally got vaccinated!

Keys to the new house and someone dear to me finally got vaccinated!

Today was a spectacular day. The closing documents were signed on the new home and it recorded which means that I got to pick up the keys today! That’s enough to celebrate, right? Well, shortly after entering the new house I got a call from someone who is very close telling me they were getting the COVID-19 vaccine. I can finally breathe a little easier knowing that everyone close to me is now fully vaccinated.

It took me nearly 2.5 hours to drive from one side of the metropolitan area to the other. I had made myself a large serving of iced coffee and was listening to my classical music. It was a good combination to pass the time. I couldn’t help but smile when I saw this humorous foursome of bears floating by in the other direction on this endless river of steel and glass that was the 210 freeway.

I managed arrive a little early to the sales office of another community to pick up the keys. They were busy with another client so I was invited to wait in the model homes. I’ve come to really enjoy touring model homes. This particular community is of only single-family detached homes and boy were they beautiful. I would love to live in one of these homes if I were a little older and with some kids to boss around. haha.

I took several pictures to take inspiration for design ideas of the new place. 🙂

Using the Pomodoro method at work today.

Using the Pomodoro method at work today.

To make up for my lack of productivity these last few days, I’ve been employing the Pomodoro method since I came into my office. I’m starting this during one of the long breaks (15 minutes). If you haven’t heard of the Pomodoro method, I’d highly recommend doing a quick internet search on it. You can adjust the timers to your needs, but the most common is 25 minutes of focus with a 5 minute break, and it repeats for a few cycles until you reach the long 15-minute break.

The idea behind it is that our brains start to lose focus around the half-hour mark. This will of course vary from one person to the next, but generally it’s a good rule of thumb. So giving you breaks after period of concentration, you allow your brain to take a recharge and be ready to focus once again for another period. Studies have shown that trying to force yourself to focus non-stop for hours is actually counterproductive. Even though you may be doing your best to focus only on the task at hand, your ability to retain information or work more effectively will decline over time.

It reminds me of the strategy I used to employ for running–which I’m planning on employing once again. You run for 5 minutes and you walk for 1 minutes. It lets your body recover briefly and helps you pace yourself better over long distances. It’s all about the long game!

And surprisingly, I finished this little post in the span of my 15-minute break. I was planning on starting it, and then finishing it up at lunch. Go me! 🙂

I’m planning for a healthier lifestyle

I’m planning for a healthier lifestyle

Over the past several years, I have made many failed attempts to get myself running again. I’m going to start another attempt next week. The different things about this attempt is that I signed myself up for a half-marathon that is taking place on January 1, 2022. The plan is to start next week once I’m in my new home as there will be no time the rest of this week or the weekend to get a run in. Who am I kidding? There will be no time to get a WALK in. So my walks on my way to running again, will start next week.

I am excited for the move because it will be a safer neighborhood with lots of long paths on which to walk that are away from traffic. I had initially been excited about a bike path I live near now, but it is sandwiched between a transit line and a fairly busy road that crosses very busy roads. I liked the path, but I hated the noise of all the cars and constantly waiting for the lights to turn green. The new neighborhood also feels a lot safer so I will feel more comfortable running after dark.

Making everything work will put my time management skills to the test! These last few days, my time management hasn’t been quite up to par, but I blame it on being so exhausted. I’ve been routinely going to bed at 1am for the past several months, so it has been quite a statement that I’m falling asleep at 11pm either in front of the TV or at my computer.

I will need to adopt a completely new schedule. I will need to wake up at 5:30am to get ready for work and beat some of the traffic on the days I go into the office. I don’t need to go in every day, but it’s always best to keep the same schedule everyday. I don’t want to get stuck in a pattern of being miserable on days I have to go into the office, and then waste my morning away on days when I work from home. I’ve already written a basic schedule on one of my planners. I’ve been constantly adjusting how I use my planners as I find new methods that work best for me. If all goes well, I will make make my spiral planner the one to keep track of my health (food, workouts, etc…)

I will now stop writing here, because I have said enough and it’s now time to tackle other tasks. There is no better way to get me in a productive mood, than making or talking about future plans.

Busy bee and moving again.

Busy bee and moving again.

I’m ashamed that I haven’t written here for a few weeks, but I’ve been incredibly busy and haven’t found or made the time to take a few moments and write. I have now made the transition to working from the office fifty percent of the time. I wish I was still working entirely from home, but I don’t mind this hybrid version.

One of the odd things about me is that I am at my most productive when I have a ton of things to do. I find it so easy to procrastinate when I have little to do. Does anyone else fall into this trap? Anyway, I’ve felt very productive and motivated because I have a lot of things on my plate both at work and at home.

What has been keeping my busy at home? I will be moving again to a new home. Found a new home a little further away from the Downtown LA, and construction on it wrapped up this week. The current home will be sold to take advantage of the rapid rise in home prices in the last year. The original intention was to rent it, but there’s a long story as to why that wouldn’t have worked out so well.

Even though I abhor the moving process, but I am excited for this one for the new neighborhood. Once I get settled in, I need to make a point of setting aside time to write.