weeknotes #26: short(er) hair, an armchair, and strength testing

I have had a much better time since my last weeknote. Thinking back, it really helped to maintain balance in my life over the past week-and-a-half. A lot has been happening, but I have managed it better than I did before, and I avoided panicking or overthinking small things. I went for a haircut last week, and we had a very busy day that same day with an apartment inspection, a plumber coming to fix our toilet, and some smoke alarm repair person/people who never showed up. 🥴 I think that, somehow, I avoided panicking too much about things out of my control. I usually feel like I haven’t done “enough work” and come back online only to burn myself out again.

I’ve been trying to leave more “open loops” at the end of the day – that is, not trying to fulfil a task to completion – but leaving it in a state where I can pick it up the next day because I know where I actually left it. It saves scrambling for what I’m supposed to be working on when I’m at my desk the next morning. I’ve been stressing a lot less about completing tasks within a short period of time. I have somehow paced myself and it’s been beneficial for feeling like I’ve done tasks, but also attended meetings, and also given myself space at home.

It makes me wonder how I got into such a shitty mental state a couple of weeks ago, but I think I just panicked and ran myself dry (and there were a couple of other personal demons going through my head).

I’ve been trying to shift my sleeping cycle a little bit to prepare us for a 14-hour flight and flying to another timezone as we head to Europe. I’m not looking forward to the flight because it will be a while since I have travelled internationally, but it is what it is… I will do my best. Nick and I always try to adapt to the timezone we’ll be staying in, as soon as we get there, and it’s said to be a lot better than trying to catch up on lost sleep immediately, especially if you are landing somewhere in the morning or during the day. We’ve tried a couple of times to shift our sleep accordingly a few days before we head off, but it definitely requires a bit more commitment.

We voted in the federal election on the weekend. Australia has a new prime minister now – Anthony Albanese. 🙌🏻 (I think we will remember his name now, not like the previous bloke…) I really look forward to seeing positive change and issues being addressed in our country over the next little while.

I got a haircut last week and I am proper obsessed with it. I wanted to get something shorter, above my shoulders, and have a more tousled look. My hair is naturally straight, and out of the salon it did look like a standard bob, and I looked like an anime character, but my gosh, when I spend a few minutes styling it in the mornings – wow. I am really feeling myself. 😆 I think that for a long time I was convinced I would look good with wavy, short hair, but I wasn’t quite getting the right look with my shoulder-length hair. I braved getting it even shorter, imagining how low maintenance it would be to wash and dry, and damn… happy with the result. 👌🏻

A selfie of me, an Asian woman, with short, above-the-shoulder length hair. I have reddish lip colour on and I am wearing a blue sweater with a black animal print.
Feels light! 💇🏻‍♀️

I feel like someone else, almost, but I also just thoroughly feel like my hair really, truly reflects my personality. 😄

I got an armchair for my home office! 🤩 I just bought it from IKEA, but it was actually a few months ago that Nick and I were trying the chairs there and I made my selection. I wanted him to enjoy it in some part, too. There were some chairs that were a bit too doctor’s-waiting-room-like. There were others that were too deep (my problem with having short legs) and I didn’t like having to slouch back. I wanted something I could literally chill out in, and use my laptop in if I wanted to.

I had a bit of a budget of $500 or less. I just couldn’t justify spending more on an armchair, something I might use, but not every single day, and not something that was expensive and looked good, but lacked in comfort. IKEA had some other options that were more expensive and luxurious, but they were too large and unwieldy and too “sofa-like”. They didn’t feel right. Others felt more like a chair but with thin cushioning, and others lacked any kind of good armrest, which I disliked.

This Koarp model was out of stock at the IKEA near us, and I signed up for notifications (while thinking about picking up another one from somewhere else).

The corner of a room with carpet floor, with a beige armchair, a peace lily in a white pot, and a small brown table with some books on it.
I might have better photos in future posts, heh

The notification period ended, and I got a text message prompting me to sign up again if I was still interested. The next day the armchair was back in stock. 😆 Good one, IKEA. I paid a little extra to do click and collect to avoid going through the maze of IKEA.

I did strength testing with my personal trainer yesterday. We only had a few weeks to prepare because I really wanted to test my strength before going on holidays. So my program was pretty short, and I didn’t have very long to practice doing heavy weights for single reps. But I did really well, considering:

  • Squat: 75kg
  • Bench press: 45kg
  • Deadlift: 100kg

I was really proud of the deadlift, but I think the squat was the one I felt like I really overcame a mental challenge that has stuck with me for ages. I’ve always been terrified of squatting heavy, lacking confidence needed to lift such a heavy weight. I distinctly remember being afraid of 40kg, and then 60kg “felt heavy”. Soon, 60kg felt really normal, and the weight itself felt lighter. 70kg is starting to feel that way, and so to push to 75kg with more confidence feels really good.

I think I could have done more with the bench press but I’m still getting used to pause bench – the way you’re supposed to do it in powerlifting – and my wrists still get pretty sore with a lot of weight on the bar because they aren’t quite used to it yet. As for the deadlift, I knew I could get pretty close to doing 100kg well, but it was definitely a huge challenge. I gave it a go and couldn’t get it off the ground initially, but I stepped away for a second and gave it another go. It was just getting it off the ground that was the hardest part.

Here’s an Instagram post by my personal trainer:

Have been feeling really great this week with regards to my fitness, and my mental health, and work – overall just feeling like I’m, hey, actually doing an OK job at life. 😊

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First off, loving the short hair. It looks amazing on you! The temps here have been outrageous so I’ve been considering cutting mine off again(recently got a drastic cut so it’s just barely past touching my shoulders as is, but damned it’s hot!)

One thing I hate about apartment living is the constant plumbing problems in my building. The pipes are old, smell terrible and almost alays have some sort of issue 🙄 Hopefully they got your stuff squared away quickly enough.

I have never travelled internationally, in fact I’ve gotten to travel domestically very very little due to finanaces, but I’m aiming to start fixing that this next year. I’m 31. It’s beyond time to live a little…somehow.

Here’s to hoping you Europe trip is enjoyable!

Physically it seems like you’ve really gained some ground and strength trained up significantly in the last few months. That’s awesome!

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