Things I did last week:
I guess we’re really lucky here in Nagasaki because we’re not a strict lockdown. We can walk around, and go to places as usual most of the time. Most restaurants are still operating but they recommend you to order takeout instead of sitting in. I’ve been jogging and it’s really nice and quiet (more than usual) and the weather’s warmer so it’s lovely in the mornings. Last Thursday though the mall near my house was closed and it freaked me out so I walked around town and bought a lot of food. I also went on a panic buying spree on Amazon and now I have enough chickpeas and rice to feed an entire army. I guess I might be farting left, right and centre but I won’t starve to death. Of course the next day the mall opened again and I realised all that worry was for nothing so I bought two scoops of chocolate ice cream and went to sit at the park and watched obese pigeons as they waddled around. All was peaceful or so I thought but yesterday I found out that not far from my house, there’s a ship full of corona-confirmed Italians docked at our port! This prompted my jerk friends to send me messages like, “Don’t be swiping right to Italian sailors on Tinder” or like “Don’t be kissing any Italians”. For the record, I don’t even use Tinder anymore you toads. Most of my week was all about teaching online and reading. I miss seeing my students’ faces and their reactions. So many people are losing their jobs during this pandemic and if there’s a time to be grateful for one’s great job, this is it. I am grateful and this gratitude inspires me to be a better teacher.
I also did some nonsensical things yesterday to unwind. I played the Gibberish game on Instagram and I’ve included a video of me playing it just to give you a glimpse of how my mind works (spoiler: I have a dirty mind. LOL)
The book I’m reading
This month I had the most prolonged depressive episode in awhile and a friend loaned me a book – Why Buddhism is True by Robert Wright. I’ve been reading the book for about 30 minutes each day for two weeks now. I read slowly and let the information digest (just an excuse because my mind wanders and I have to re-read things again and again). In the first few chapters of the book, he wrote extensively about the power of meditation and how it allowed him to identify the illusions in his mind which was causing him anxiety, depression, self-loathing and so on. Does it resonate with you? It does with me!
So here’s what I’ve noticed about my mood cycles. At my lowest, I hate myself and I mean it- I really do. I want to tear my face away and I’m hyper aware of every bit of my body, every extra inch, and every layer of fat. I know hate is such a strong and it carries a gravity with it which takes a toll on your body and mind. It lingers on the tongue and remains in a corner in your mind the entire day, sometimes weeks. Every time I use it to describe my feelings about myself, it leaves a bruise on my soul. But – and this is a big BUT – when I’m in my right mind, I noticed that many of the demons I cultivate come from within myself. So since I started reading the book, the first few chapters that I have read have spoken to me in ways I have not expected. Mostly because Robert Wright is genuine. He accounts his struggles in a humorous way and anyone who’s a novice meditator such as myself can relate to them. While he focused on the practices, he also gave the reader a better understanding of how the way we are wired might naturally attracts us to things which are not good for us in the long run, like sugar, chocolate cakes and dickheads (that’s my own little addition).
I started meditating 15 days ago, a few days after I started reading the book. I’ve tried to meditate many times – I have meditated continuously for about 60 days at the longest and then I stopped because I got busy or things get in the way and it’s always difficult to get back on the bandwagon. In the past, I have set a goal to meditate once a day but now I’ve upped my game to meditating as many times as I can the entire day. This has changed my approach to meditation and my daily goals significantly. Instead of struggling to fit in one session, I now make time for several sessions and it has helped me realised some things about myself and how I create and built illusions in my mind. I guess it’s really true what they say, aim high if you want to succeed.
Things I learned last week
I learned that I keep finding weird things in my things. Case in point – I found some dried up bits of broccoli on my yoga mat when I unfolded it this morning. I also found an entire almond in my bra drawer. Curious. I also realised that I am a shopaholic and I keep going to Abercrombie to buy things so I’ve put a stop to that. Meditation is really helping me aware of some pointless things I do on a regular basis. Results!
I learned that Crunchem Hall from Matilda is actually a wordplay of Crunch Them All, which makes sense as Miss Trunchbull hates all the children and wants to crunch them all! LOL Why has it taken me that long to discover this? Also yesterday was April 25th- it is the perfect date because it’s not too cold and not too hot and you only need a light jacket as Cheryl Frasier would say. (Miss Congeniality reference those of us who are not constantly re-watching rom coms, and comedies from the 1990s and 2000s)
One transitioning to becoming a vegetaria
Can you defrost frozen boiled peanuts? Is it a one-way or reversible process?
Finishing it all up
Be positive. Take this downtime to read books and learn new things. 🙂 Rewatch old films and enjoy having a home and a stable internet connection I guess.