Saturdaze, languishing, and a prospective intro to weeknotes

I was inspired by my friend Monica to write this blog post, after she came across some blogs and discovered the notion of “weeknotes” and what she dubbed as lo-fi blogging. It’s the kind of stuff that takes us back to the era in which she and I first met, on the internet – the era before social media, the era before “content creation“ was even a job, or a thing. Akin to when bloggers would have raw thoughts published in their online diaries. Oh, it takes me back. I don’t fall victim to trends and I often simply adapt to change, but I can’t deny that in the past few years I felt a need to “curate” my online content, and at the same time I missed the times I abandoned perfection for the sake of publishing my real and raw thoughts. My friend Mitch has supported my blog and blog posts many a time, and from conversations with him, it has become apparent to me that some of my raw and un-proofread posts aren’t as “imperfect” as I fear they are.

Writing from the heart, writing raw feelings, whatever you may call it, ever so slightly crosses paths with getting into hot water for offensive opinions and this morbid idea of “cancel culture”. Raw doesn’t mean, “go off and offend people”, clearly, but my desire to curate my blog’s content years ago also stemmed from some scathing interactions I had with people in the past, because I was an immature young adult who didn’t think before I typed things on my blog.

I don’t particularly want to revisit that in great detail, so I’ll explain by recounting part of a talk that I did at work earlier this week, which was based on my blog post about working and studying full time. I summed up my talk by sharing the things I’d learned, one of which was to, frankly, be careful with what you post on the internet. We all know that, but I went on to say that cancel culture is stupid, because we weren’t all born woke. We weren’t woke the moment we came out of the womb. If we cancel people for things they did in the past, we’re believing that people haven’t grown up and learned. Wokeness is learned. People need to make mistakes and learn from them to grow and be better people.

With that out of the way, there is a bit of adjusting I have to do to write with the openness that I could write with back in 2006. Or 2002. Or even 2011. Dang, it doesn’t even matter, folks. Because I thought I’d give it a go anyway starting with whatever I’m writing now.

Saturdays in lockdown are much the same for me. The only thing that’s fairly set in stone is recording podcast episodes with my mate Geoff for our podcast Toast & Roast, which we do on Saturday afternoons. Some people have asked how we go about choosing topics to talk about… I did mention briefly in my blog post introducing Toast & Roast, that we honestly just have a conversation and there isn’t a tonne of planning to it. Hey! So it’s raw like this blog post, I guess. 😅

On Saturday mornings, when I gather the energy, I do a workout at home in my apartment. I’m not a terribly late riser on weekends; I’m usually out of bed by 8:00am. I have a coffee straight away, usually. My breakfast habits are not incredibly consistent since my current workout schedule is not as consistent as it was outside of lockdown, but I usually train fasted and then eat afterwards. If I’m hungry before exercising then I’ll eat something small.

I have been training legs a lot. We have some dumbbells at home and I train with my personal trainer for a couple of days during the week, and he has a barbell, rack, and some plates. I train legs almost every workout, since I decided that I was going to try and grow muscle and increase strength during this lockdown, at least to the best of my abilities and capabilities. Today with my dumbbells, I did a bunch of single leg deadlifts, bent over rows, triple pulse front rack squats, tricep extensions, shoulder presses, and Bulgarian split squats.

I can’t say my eating habits are excellent, but they aren’t terrible either right now. I don’t comfort eat per se, but sometimes when I have a rough day, I want some cookies or candy, and I let myself have them. If I feel sluggish, eating healthy and nutritious food makes me feel better, so I always take that option. I suppose you could say I’m eating a balanced diet but at this stage probably more sweet treats than usual.

Nick usually likes to buy brunch takeaway from a local cafe on the weekends. I don’t always want to, and a lot of local cafes have limited menus right now, so there’s not much I want. I’m also a bit darn sick of eggs. Today I made a bagel with Vegemite and lactose-free cheese to eat after my workout. And a protein shake. We walked to the local cafe and I ordered their dirty chai on soy, because their dirty chais are fab. (That’s a chai latte with a shot of espresso, by the way.)

I love tying my hair in a high ponytail. I’ve also recently had a bit of fun just braiding little braids into my hair, so I did that in my ponytail today. Not all the hair, just some of it.

I found myself listening to some Beatles today. I don’t particularly remember why. I must have been having a conversation with Nick about it. It has been a long time since I’ve listened to The Beatles on repeat like I used to. I maintain that the Let It Be album is the most underrated. If I had to pick a favourite song, I think that Something, Strawberry Fields Forever and Across the Universe are up there. George Harrison is my favourite Beatle, so I do like his songs. Occasionally I’ll be in the mood for stuff like Glass Onion or Penny Lane or even And Your Bird Can Sing or stuff off the Please Please Me album (their first album) which I do think people forget about too.

A selfie of an Asian woman with dark hair in a ponytail. She is wearing a red top with a button front. She has light blue resin hoop earrings and is also wearing a necklace with a herkimer diamond on the chain.
And I say hello. Hello hello.

Monica and I spoke over FaceTime today. I think I have seen Monica maybe once in person in the past two years. Or eighteen months. Or something. I think I have seen Geoff in person once in the past eighteen months, for sure. The pandemic has been weird. So I hadn’t actually spoken to Monica properly in a while so we had a good chat! While we were talking I was doing my nails with nail wraps from Personail.

Nick made chicken risotto for dinner. I helped a little bit. Just a bit. I’m not great at cooking. 😛

Just before dinner I checked the mailbox because I had a “delivered” status on a parcel. I bought a second-hand top on eBay. A red crop top with short sleeves, and buttons down the front. It’s a bit low-cut. I could get it altered so it’s not so low. Or my bra will be visible, but that also isn’t the biggest of deals.

I actually have a couple of Stylesheet outfit posts to write up. It’s been a week of mega burnout. At least the middle of the week was… yesterday was a lot of fun because we had a celebration for a project we had been working for the past eighteen months (yes, in the entirety of the pandemic and working from home and all that). The middle of the week I got some work done and then had to fix some broken tests. Yo, if you work in tech and always fear merging to master, I am with you in solidarity.

Frankly, bawling my eyes out half in my pyjamas and half in activewear and being overwhelmed by so much stress coming to a head – thinking you are done and can dust some dragged-out task off your hands, but encountering issues you did not foresee – not my idea of a Wednesday morning. And especially not when my psychological state is desperate for physical exercise so I can supplement my mental wellness. Yes, sometimes self-care feels like getting through a labyrinth to even achieve, because the effects of neglecting self care is like a row of dominoes falling over.

I took the entire day off.

As I sit here drinking oolong tea from a several-year-old supply I’m desperately trying to diminish, and undoing the hairstyle of braids-in-a-high-pony that I created for myself today, I wonder what I’ll be up to tomorrow. You don’t really recover from burnout in one day, and burnout on top of burnout is just this painful thing that makes you lose your sense of self. I don’t want that.

Monica shared an article with me that describes the “blah” feeling during lockdown and the pandemic as languishing. Not quite depressed, not quite burnout, but a sense of “stagnation and emptiness”. The article then goes on to suggest that “flow” may be an antidote to languishing, flow being a state of absorption which can happen in a short period of time, where your sense of time, place and self melts away. For some people it’s playing a game or binge watching a show. I get the feeling that for me it’s playing games with my colleagues and doing mindless online shopping/window shopping.

I do think diving into exercise helps me, too. When I had my day off I think I exercised for almost two hours.

Anyway, the feeling is very crummy. I wonder what flow will be in store for me tomorrow.

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