Coffee Catch Up: September 2018

castorboard

It’s been a few months since I’ve shared various random thoughts in my head. I managed to sit back this weekend, take stock of things and write up what’s been going on around here.

1) Imma just cruising, thanks!

I wish I could share some HUGE, EXCITING NEWS and be all SUPER INSPIRATIONAL — but I got none of that haha!

Life is simple, life is good, life is just cruising along at a good speed.

With all the crazy shit happening in the world right now, I just want to hug my husband and kids and be grateful for stability, good health and a roof over our heads. Super happy about that.

2) Travel plans

After travelling overseas for 4 weeks, the general consensus of our household: No more overseas holidays! We just want to stay home and get shit done!

Having said that, last weekend we travelled out of town and went camping with friends. We spent another  weekend out of town with friends. My husband went on a “Boy’s Trip”. And we have an interstate trip coming up. We are blessed!

2) I’m learning how to skateboard

Three new families have moved into our street and there’s been an explosion of kids outside our house almost every day. It’s been great. I love the sound of kids NOT on their devices!

(Plus there’s a little girl who changes her outfit 3 times a day?! She’s such a cutie.)

I’m teaching some boys across the street how to ride a castor board (pictured above)… and they are teaching me how to skateboard. It’s super fun. But I’m not very good, because I’m too afraid of falling and breaking my teeth.

Once I’ve mastered basic skateboarding, I’d love to try a longboard… and then eventually try surfing :)

2) My body shape is changing!

While it’s easy to think that this is an age thing, I believe other factors might be at play here.

I’m the same weight as I have been for the last 10 years. I eat well. I exercise well. But I’m just not fitting my clothes the same way. I guess it means that I get to buy new clothes, haha!

But seriously, it’s interesting to see how my exercise routine has changed over the years. I used to do more long distance activities: 4 -5 hours of cycling, or 2-3 hours of running once a week.

Now I do more short, sporadic, high-intensity workouts, mixed up with gentle stretching and yoga, more often.

I’d love to get back into long distance running again.

(And it’s much cheaper than gym classes.)

3) Budgeting household spendings

My husband and I sat down one day, we looked at our last 3 credit card statements and put it all into a spreadsheet. It was really interesting to see the distribution of our combined income.

We spend about $350 per week on groceries and household consumables for a family of 5.

I’ve been trying sooo hard to bring that figure down. I’ve been buying in bulk. Buying on sale. Buying cheaper cuts of meat. Buying less processed foods (our weakness is chicken nuggets and frozen pizzas, they are so convenient to bulk up my teenager’s school lunch boxes. Works out much cheaper than them to buy from the canteen). Buying home-brand items. Buying from cheaper places like markets, independent grocers, in-season produce. I bake a lot of treats and desserts (instead of buying). And we don’t eat out very much.

But despite everything, my weekly bill is always about the same.

Nuts are a killer. Almonds are about $20/kg and peacans are $28/kg.

(Good grief! Just listen to me! First world problems here. Haha sorry! We eat a lot of nuts.)

On the other hand, we still manage to put 10% – 15% into savings each month and it’s very satisfying to see our savings creep up and up.

4) Health Insurance

Our other big + regular spend each month – would you believe it – is health insurance!?

We spend $280 per month on health insurance for a family of five.

I have in the past tried to cut it back (delete things off our plan that we don’t use). But after sitting down to crunch the numbers… it turns out that we actually get back ALL that amount from our kid’s dental bills, orthodontic bills, plus my husband has ongoing check ups with medical specialists and optical work.

Sooo it doesn’t “cost” us anything in the end. And if we have an actual emergency, we’re covered, so it’s all good right? I have no idea.

5) Pointless wasting of money

On the topic of money. My kids have been sooooo careless and infuriating.

We have an outside freezer. I freeze all my bulk-bought meats, bread, berries, frozen foods etc. One evening, my son went outside to grab a smoothie bar and didn’t close the freezer properly… so the next morning my freezer was beeping (too softly!) with its door WIDE OPEN. $300 worth of food was soft and mushy! I was so mad!

It took me a lot of slow breathing (and a bit of shouting) to get over it.

Ugh…. at least I cooked up a whole lot of dinners and gave it to some mum friends.

6) Teenage boys and online shopping

Also on the topic of wasting money… (just joking!)

My two older boys, who are 15 and 13year old, prefer online shopping to actual shopping.

This is amazing, because I don’t have to drag them around the shops for hours. They simply browse and buy their own clothes. To me, this is a godsend.

I always remind them to check things like: Well-known online shop? Ships to Australia? Shipping fee? Refund policy? Shop around? Read reviews. Check sizing. Sign up to newsletters to get sale updates and a discount code!

They like to compile a list, email it to me and I will send back some feedback. I’m pretty brutal though. Such as: Don’t you already have 5 plain black t-shirts?? You’re way too short to wear that style. That’ll look pretty bad in real life.

They make the purchase and they sort out the refund or exchange if it doesn’t fit.

They are excellent and very careful shoppers. Not impulsive at all. I’m very proud haha!

(They like to buy from The Iconic, ASOS, Nike AU and Adidas AU).

7) Teenage boys and saving money

The downside of possibly getting my kids hooked on online shopping (let’s face it, this is ALL my fault) is trying to teach my kids about saving money too.

I made them read “The Barefoot Investor” and they thought it was pretty good.

They’ve set up their multiple bank accounts, they’ve committed to saving over 50% of any money they receive, and they are already planning how to be millionaires. Ah to be young!

Anyway, that’s all from me now.

xxx

Coffee Catch Up: May 2018

Lemon Sky

Hi everyone!

Here’s a mysterious photo of my lemon tree, branches bowing from the weight of lemons (which aren’t very good because we don’t water it enough) set against the beautiful, blue Perth sky on an Autumn morning. The image makes me beam with delight!

Anyway, I’ve been jotting down lots of little stories for my “Catch up with me over coffee” blog post… so here goes!

1) New Ambassador Based Projects

My latest projects for Kailis Jewellery, Breast Cancer Care WA and HBF Run for a Reason (and a few more) are in full swing. Keep an eye out on my Instagram (@karenlycheng) and I’ll be posting about them on my blog next week too.

2) Reducing Freelance Hours

Recently I’ve been cutting back on the amount of work I take on, because I have a lot of LIFE STUFF happening.

I’m planning and organising our upcoming 4 week family holiday. I know this is such a first world problem, but it’s such a headache to research, look for the best deals, gather contacts and information, compile an itinerary, send emails, book tickets. It’s taken me weeks!

I think for once I’d like to go on a holiday where everything is organised perfectly for me. That’ll be a real holiday for me!

I also had a few things to organise… stuff for my father in law, stuff for the kids, and medical/dental stuff too… which brings me to my next point.

3) My 9 year old had dental surgery recently – eekk!

He and my husband woke up at 6am one morning to head to the hospital. Then he had a general anaesthetic to extract a few “extra teeth including wisdom teeth Boise” that were pushing against his regular teeth. According to the experts, the extra teeth needed to come out now (one was growing in his palate?!) or they would cause problems in the future.

I was pacing up and down my house, my stomach all in knots and my heart fluttering from all the nervousness. I’m glad my husband went and not me.

Hours later, he was a bit sore, tired and grumpy about the numbness, but he was absolutely fine.

He even snuck outside to ride his bike on the street with the neighbours in the late afternoon! Ugh!
4) And speaking of neighbours, a new family moved into the house across the road.

They also have two boys aged 10 and 8, so they are very similar ages to Liam, my 9 year old.

They have been a breath of fresh air for our family dynamics! Liam plays with them every afternoon, for hours and hours and he is so happy! It has been wonderful to see him play with kids his own age. Sure he has heaps of friends at school. But this kind of play is a kind of long-form play brought about by boredom, hanging around and thinking up of crazy boy ideas.

Now Liam has someone to play Beyblades with, talk about Pokemons, play tennis on the street, dig holes in the garden, make books about cats, draw Minecraft pictures, build a cubby house, ride to the park, make lemonade from lemons in the backyard… all the things my older boys used to do when they were younger.

It made me realise that my older two boys (aged 15 and 13) just don’t play in that kiddy way anymore. If they did play tennis on the street with Liam, they would get so frustrated by his lack of skill, or start playing at a lower skill level, but then move to an increasingly higher level, and then eventually Liam would get frustrated. Fights! Tears! Screaming! Every! Single! Day!

So in a way, Liam has missed out on a lot of brotherly “long-form play” over the years. I’m so happy he has some new buddies his age to spend time with.

5) As for my older boys…

I’ve been slowly teaching my 15 year old some life skills and responsibilities.

Meaning: When life stuff comes up, I make him do it.
He recently bent his debit card and it stopped working. He couldn’t use it for paypass, but he could still buy stuff online. Every time he complained about it, I politely reminded him that all HE had to do was call up the bank to get a replacement. So easy!

After 6 weeks of procrastination (ugh, teenagers!) he finally looked it up online and discovered that he didn’t have to call and talk to a human, he just had to log into his account and apply for a new one online. But he now has to wait 7 more days for it to arrive in the mail haha.

Lesson: Sometimes things are not as hard as you imagine they’ll be.

He also recently broke the gears on my bike (my derailleur!) and I made him walk it to the bike shop (only 1.5km away), explain to the bike guy what happened, arrange contact details, payment, pick up details and walk back home. He was not happy, but he did it anyway. Only cost him $70 in the end.

Lesson: If you borrow something and break it, it’s your responsibility to pay for it and fix it.

Omg every day something new happens and there are new lessons to be taught. It’s been slow and painful. But he’s doing pretty well and he’s such a great kid.

6) My 13 year old boy got a job too.

I think it’s such a great/important/crucial way for teenagers to grow up, learn skills, interact with other adults and start being independent.

He has been helping my brother-in-law with house renovations, in particular, moving and cleaning bricks – hundreds of them! It’s good hard work and he gets paid by the hour.

Apparently he’s a “good worker” with a “good attitude”… which is exactly what I want to hear, yay!!

7) Thinking about universities

I know right?! What the heck?!

With lots of encouragement from his high school, my 15 year old has started to thinking about what he wants to do after high school, which university he wants to go to, what course he wants to take etc etc.

My mind is blown. I can’t deal with it.

8) Randomly, I’ve been invited to be on an Australian Reality TV Show

I received an email asking if I’d like to be a contestant on an Australian version of the Chinese mega-show “If You Are The One”!

Haha! Um, no thanks!

Firstly… 1) I’m already married… 2) I’m not exactly a fun-loving 22 year old!?! 3) I’m old, boring, I like gardening and reading, I’m cynical and sarcastic of all things media and TV reality show related and… 3) I’m ethnically Chinese, so the TV producers are probably going to portray me as an “exotic”, “piano/violin playing”, “straight A student”, “quite-spoken prude”, or “dragon cougar lady”. Haha omg no thanks!

OK that’s all from me!

Have a fantastic week!

xxx

Coffee Catch Up: March 2018

Flowers

Hellooo! It’s been ​such a long time since I’ve shared some updates on life!

So what’s been happening around here?

1) New Ambassador Based Projects.

I have a few new projects coming up. I’m super excited! Can’t wait to share more details in the next few days!

2) Freelance Digital / Art Direction / Blog Writing work.

Have I mentioned that I’m still juggling some freelance projects? Omg I’m so busy! Trying to finish up some jobs before I start new ones.

3) Philanthropy.

A few months ago I shared about how I’m involved with a group of WA philanthropists and how we’re trying to make a big difference with our pooled donations.

We gave away two $100,ooo grants (amazing!) back in October for projects that will make an impact in the local community. One project is about bringing people from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds together with the wider community through sharing meals, culinary skills, culture, education and work experience. Another project is a support program for career and employment workshops that will build the capacity of unemployed and low income women to secure and sustain employment.

I’m hoping to feature the two projects on my blog and talk about a few of the past winners too. Inspiring stuff!

4) New Website.

I have to confess. I have been working on a new website for 5 years now! Omg this version is so old… and over the years, my new version has gone through so many redesigns – I keep buying new themes, changing the code and then breaking them, fixing them, then getting bored and distracted haha.

The most time-consuming part is going through all my old posts (about 3000 of them!) deleting, editing, fixing links… it’s like I’m like editing a book of my life. It’s exhausting. I have 8 months worth of posts to transfer and I should be all good to go. But I’m sure something will come up and it’ll get pushed aside again!

5) Kindness.

At the end of last year, a few of my friends had some horrible experiences – targeted attacks, online trolls and just having to deal with some very unkind people. Paired with all the crazy shit happening around the world… I went through a kind of kind of internal, emotional turmoil that went up, down and full circle … but found myself at a place of peace and kindness.

This year I’m trying to live with more mindfulness and kindness. I deeply believe that a small word of kindness, a simple gesture, a thoughtful gift, a smile… can do SO MUCH.

I’m also trying to spend more time with REAL PEOPLE, and less time trying to connect over devices.

6) Holidays.

Hey hey, my husband and I have finally decided on our holiday plans for this year.

We’re off to Scotland then Istanbul for a few weeks. And maybe a trip in September (maybe China?) and November (Sydney). Omg the year will be over in a flash! So excited!

7) Adulting.

Ugh, I have spent the last month sorting out our finances. I looked through our home, health, car, life insurances and superannuation. I worked out the effectiveness of our bank accounts, credit cards, savings, mortgages and investments. I worked out our monthly spending, savings, big costs for the next 5 years. I looked into phone plans, internet, utilities. I did most of the big stuff about 10 years ago… so it was time for an update. I’m constantly tracking all our small stuff every year tho.

8) Kids

My kids have their birthdays coming up in the next few weeks, so this year they will be ages 15, 13 and 9.

My 15yo is loving his job (working in a cafe) and loving the fact that he has money. It has been such a great learning and developmental experience for him… most importantly, understanding that money comes from hard work. It was a breakthrough for him (and us) when he started to calculate how many hours of work it would take for him to pay for something. It was priceless! This year, he’s in Year 10 and doing really well in school/sports/friends/life in general. He’s a bit of an all-rounder, generally a great kid, very reasonable… and he has no idea what he wants to do in the future. At this stage, I’m not too worried about him yet :)

My 13yo is an all rounder too. He loves his creative subjects, but he also likes robotics, programming and building things. Surprisingly, he’s really organised with his homework, works hard and likes to be on top of things. I don’t need to nag him at all. I say “surprisingly” because his room is always in a complete mess, but he knows exactly where everything is. He’s in Year 8 and he’s also doing well in school/sports/friends. He’s a lovely kid and he’s so kind to me! Omg he has so much energy though and plays a mean game of basketball, chess and he’s great at mowing lawns too haha.

Both my older boys make their own food – simple teenager food – instant noodles, pasta, omelettes, bacon sandwiches, chicken + cheese wraps, pizza. They love making their own smoothies too. And as long as I keep the freezer stocked with frozen pizzas, pies and hash browns, they are pretty happy.

I love listening to their teenagery stories and opinions. It truly is the highlight of my day. I love catching up with the latest updates, news and gossip. And I love that they are to keen to try out new things!

My 9yo gets a bit bored at school, but he has a great group of friends, who are the only reason he enjoys going to school. He is so polite and obedient to his Year 4 teachers (he’s a freaking angel!). But he is full of complaints and criticisms, which I have to listen to after school, and has ALL kinds of opinions about what is being taught, how and how slow it all is – haha! I’ve challenged him many times to put his brains to good use, but to no avail.

I don’t do any extra learning with him anymore, because he’s too far ahead and it just makes him more arrogant and even more bored at school. So much comes so naturally and easily to him, thus when faced with actual hard work, he avoids it or works around it, and he doesn’t think it’s necessary to do any kind of extended learning or extra challenges… so I’m struggling to keep him motivated or interested in anything! I just need to find the right thing to fire up that spark in him?

In the meantime, we make him clean the toilet and bathroom once a week. He also has to sort, fold and put away ALL the weekly laundry for the whole family (that is, 5 people)! Nothing like menial domestic tasks and elbow grease to keep a smarty-pants kid humble haha!

I do feel a bit sad that I don’t talk about my kids anymore and sharing our conversations, our weekly topics and funny things we’ve learned. Braces! Teenagers and phone plans! Teenagers and Applepay! Teenagers and online shopping! High calorie diets! Study habits! My teenager wants to start investing?! I feel like there’s a huge chunk missing from my “online version of my life” on this blog. I’m hoping that might change soon!

OK that’s all from me!

Have a fantastic week!

xxx

Coffee Catch Up: May 2017

Flowers in the Garden

Hello hello! So what has been happening in Karen-land?

1) My kids. Ok. Wow. We are not friends. They are the worst. Seriously, how many times do I have to tell them to do something? How hard is it to do their daily jobs? Why do they have to leave a trail of crap lying around EVERYWHERE!! Why can’t they pick up after themselves?? Nag nag nag scold scold scold punish punish punish. That is my life.

I love them and all that, but they also give me the shits.

2) Work is intense! I’m on the verge of losing my shit. Not quite there yet though. I’m going away on holiday for 4 weeks in July and I’ve been trying to fit 3 months of work (May, June, June) into 1 month (May). It’s the end of the month now. I couldn’t do it. The kids head off to school around 8 – 8:30am. I jump on the computer. Then suddenly 6 hours are gone. My desk is littered with 3 empty cups of coffee, empty snack bowls, papers, pens, cameras, SD cards everywhere! It’s 2:30pm and I have to pick up my youngest from school and switch back into mum-mode. There are just not enough hours in a day.

Actually, to be honest, I probably could have done it if I neglected the other ares of my life! I still made time for exercise, cooking meals for my family, home chores, hanging out with my kids, having coffee with my sister and girlfriends, and date night with my husband. I have to keep my sanity!

3) My grandma is sick. Despite my busy schedule, my mountain of work, my long list of things to do, and this tight grip of anxiety in my chest… I’ve been popping into hospital to visit my sick grandma. She’s 97. Over the last 10 years, she’s had heart surgery, a broken hip, problems with her kidneys and other things, but she always bounced right back. I’m in awe at her strength and good spirits.

Sitting next to her, holding her hand, feeding her spoonfuls of water, helping her change position in bed, marvelling at the 97 years of her life, humbled by the loooong queue of people coming to visit her… all my anxieties melt away and what is really important in life becomes crystal clear: human contact, connections with people, family and friends, healthy relationships, smiles, laughter and being easy-going, kind and gracious (like my grandma!).

4) My inbox. This morning I woke up to see that my inbox had clocked over 2,000 unopened emails. It was the last straw. One hour later, there were ZERO unopened emails. I know. I am amazing. However, there are about 900 flagged emails that I have to work through, gulp.

5) My skin! Oh my gosh! I’ve had a few non-invasive treatments called Collagen Induction Therapy (or Skin Needling) and my skin is looking so radiant at the moment. So much of my pigmentation is gone. Can wait to share the before and after photos!

6) Rooibos. I am trying oh-so hard to cut back on my caffeine. I could easily drink 4-5 cups of coffee each day. My main problem is that I want to drink something warm and milky (soy or almond milk) all the time. So I’ve discovered the joys of Rooibos + Vanilla Tea… which tastes like a mild chai tea, and it’s a pretty good substitute for now.

7) Uggs. I bought myself a pair of Ugg Boots for the first time in 10 years. How did I EVER live without them? They are not the official Ugg boots (which cost $220). They were just fur lined boots from Target. They are soooo warm, soooo snuggly and soooo comfy, that I shed a little tear when I have to take them off to pick up the kids from school. One day. I can feel it coming. One day, I will go “Stuff It” and wear my Ugg boots to school pick up.

8) My taste in music. Quite frankly, it’s embarrassing. You’d think that with my affinity for classic literature, I’d have a broad and quirky taste in music. Nope. My boys and I are addicted to Spotify and the Global Top 50 Charts…. and I am seriously crushing Harry Styles right now. I like Drake, The Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar, The Chainsmokers, the new song by Charlie Puth, Shawn Mendes, Niall Horan (how good is his new song?!), Hailee Seinfeld, Selena Gomez… omg I even like Justin Bieber.

I have the same music taste as my 8 year old – HAHA!

(Except he likes Ed Sheeran and I don’t.)

9) Behind the times. So my husband and I watched the very first episode of “Breaking Bad” the other day. It was great! It was first aired in 2008, so we’re only 9 years behind the times.

10) More on music. Ok you know what? I do like my 90s old school rap, hiphop, R&B, grunge, electronic music, …Radiohead, Beastie Boys, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Prodigy, Massive Attack, Chemical Brothers, Metallica, The Smashing Pumpkins, 50 Cent, TLC, Blackstreet, Lauryn Hill… and all the classic hip hop pop tunes!

My music taste isn’t thaaaaaat bad, right?!

We were supposed to test out our camping equipment this weekend, but we postponed it to next weekend. I feel like I’ve been gifted an extra week of prep!

Wishing you all a lovely weekend!

xxx

Coffee Catch Up: March 2017

Purple Skies
(I snapped this photo of the purple sky during one of my evening walks.)

Hi everyone!

This year started with an almighty bang!

So much has happened in the last couple of months… and I haven’t really stepped back to take a breather and review everything.

What’s been happening?

1) Travel. I was in London for 4 weeks. I popped over to Paris too. I was away from my husband and kids for the whole time. I absolutely loved the whole experience of travelling / freedom / exploring / wanderlust / no responsibilities.

For me, it cemented the fact that I’m on the other side of parenting young children. I had my first child at 25, while all my friends were travelling, partying, establishing their careers and enjoying no responsibilities. At the time, a small part of me was sad that I was missing out on all that – but hey, here I am on the other side, travelling, partying, establishing my career and having no responsibilities – haha not really, but kind of!

2) My freelancing business is growing! Work is on the increase. Lots of new projects are rolling in. I’m having lots of pinch-me moments in terms of the kind of projects I’m working on. Things I do right now: I run my blog, I do freelance work as a photographer, a graphic designer, an art director, a content creator and a social media consultant and manager. Phew.

Sounds so pretentious when I say it all like that. I basically sit on my computer all day and make pretty stuff ha!

I’m still working on a part-time basis. And I’m so so grateful for the work-life balance.

3) Birthdays. My children’s birthdays all fall in March & April, so they will all move up a year. I will soon have a 14 year old, a 12 year old and an 8 year old. Yikes!

Basically, I have two kids in high school, one in Year 9, one in Year 7, and one kid in Primary School, Year 3. Yikes!

4) I have mini-teenagers now. However, they are not very typical teenaged boys. You see, they are all really chatty.

Lots of parenting articles and advice columns talk about how to get your teenagers to talk… how teenagers go through a “grunting” stage… how parents can initiate conversations… how parents can talk to teens so that they’ll listen…

Not my boys. OMG I can’t get them to shut up!

My boys are really chatty. As soon as they come home from school, they will fall over themselves to tell me the latest news of the day. I get an hour-by-hour run down on what happened, who said what, who did what, what they think about their teachers, their teaching methods, the subjects at school, about the new kid in class, about upcoming events, what kind of sneaker they should buy, what happened in the latest online game, what kind of job they want in the future, their latest ideas for a fast money making scheme to make them millionaires, what they think about the latest Ed Sheeran song… omg it just goes on and on and freaking on.

I listen. I don’t get too judgemental. I laugh. I roll my eyes at them. I join in with their banter. I mock and tease them. I throw in some pearls of wisdom. Or add my own entertaining story. But most of the time, we just talk shit.

Anyway, I feel it’s a blessing that I get to hear all the crap in their heads! Better than nothing right?

5) School work. In terms of their studies, my kids seem to be doing pretty well. I have backed off all my help and assistance. I let them work out their own time management, due dates, assignments, revision and they seem to be on top of things.

However, I can’t STOP being an Asian parent. I have to BITE my tongue whenever they come home with 19/25 on a test.

Yes yes, you tried your best, but, seriously dude, how hard is 22/25?

And one day, one of my kids said to me – Hey guess what mum? I made a very cool discovery this week. I realised that if I pay *just a little* more attention in class, I can get an A in my tests. Can you believe that? It’s cool. Who’d have thought it’d be so easy?

*Face palm*

6) Exercise. I have slowed down significantly in the last few months. I blame my increasing workload. I do a bit of swimming, a bit of yoga, a bit of cycling and a bit of running per week.

Key words here: a bit.

7) Next family holiday. Omg people! This is epic! We’re planning a trip to Central Australia. We’re going to drive to Uluru. Yes we’re driving! Personally, I’d prefer to fly there, but it’s all about the journey right?

It’ll be simply amazing for our family. But there’s so much planning and preparation. And I’m a little tense about it all.

8) Anxiety. Usually I’m pretty stable in terms of my mood swings, emotions, temperament, confidence, self-esteem and overall positive outlook on life. I’m usually a happy and easy going person!

But two/three days in the month, I’m a total wreck. Little things send me into a blind panic. One word, or comment, or news article, or Instagram post from someone will send me into a deep dark pit of darkness. I think I’m shit. I think all my work is shit. Everything I do is shit. I think life in general is meaningless, pointless, and just total shit. It’s a brain-numbing paralysis. It’s totally irrational. It’s hard to breathe. Hard to think. Hard to function.

I console myself in the fact that it only happens once a month, it is not my normal, and it goes away. No doubt it coincides with my monthly hormone cycles.

9) Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been my go-to answer for finding meaning at the end of the day. Only joking. It’s how we de-stress in the evenings. I am literally snorting with laughter and doing the whole “ugly laughing” thing. It’s so good haha.

10) I’m Currently Reading two books at once. Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy. I’m halfway through. The language is just lovely. But the heroine is really annoying me at the moment. Three men have fallen in love with her and vying for her attention, and she chooses the worst one. Ugh.

Just like Anna Karenina, I want to slap some sense into her. I hope she redeems herself soon. Probably not. It’d be a short novel if she did.

So I’m reading Catch 22 by Joseph Heller. I’ve always wanted to read it. My husband has kept his high school copy, so that’s the version I’m reading. It’s hilarious so far. And a bit weird. I’m loving it.

OK ten points will do for now.

Thanks for reading! I’m off for a run!

xxx