Picking up exercise again

Blogging about exercise seems like an annual ritual at this point. Although I had established a habit of exercising in the months leading up to my wedding, the seismic shifts in my routine after moving and welcoming a baby made it difficult to sustain any attempt at exercising regularly. Even now, as Tony is gradually playing and reading more on his own, it’s difficult to find the time to exercise at home without being interrupted.

As my flab continues to grow and my muscles wane, I am sensing a bit more urgency now in establishing a routine. For every week I go without exercising, the image in my head of an old and chubby me sitting on the couch wearing a wifebeater becomes ever more lucid. Old habits die hard, as the song goes, and it’s up to me whether the habit that grows old is one of exercise or of laziness.

So since getting married, my exercise routine has largely consisted of basketball whenever my highschool buddy’s in town, which is about once a year. And that’s it. I’ve tried sporadically to exercise at home, but to no avail. When I try to do pushups, Tony comes and sits on my lower back; when I try to do crunches, Tony comes and its on my chest. The added weight would’ve been welcome had I not already lost so much strength in the past couple of years. On top of that, I’ve developed joint problems in my shoulders from carrying around Tony so much. With my joint pain, it’s become harder to do exercises, which in turn leads to my muscles not gaining enough strentgh, which then in turn reduces the support on my joints, leaving it prone to more pain. And the vicious cycle continues.

Well those were my excuses.

I think at some point I just have to suck it up and exericse despite my pain (which has been diagnosed as inflammation of the ligaments, and I’m supposed to rest, though I’m never gonna get any rest until Tony grows up). I’ve found that the minimal pain I’m feeling in my joints doesn’t really get worse if I don’t push too hard, so nothing like a clapping push-up. If I do slow and controlled bodyweight exercises, I can go pain free while exercising.

To establish a habit, the best way to go is to find people to exercise with. It’s easy to give up getting out of bed in the morning if I didn’t have to keep my promise to show up. Back in the day, I’d get up at 530 to go run with a buddy before work. It’s not really will power, because I’d easily let myself oversleep alrarms nowadays, or play tsum tsum until my mind goes numb, but I digress.

The second best way is to join a class. Once you start paying and you want to see some of progress, you find ways to go. So now I’m bouldering on Sundays. It does help that bouldering is a lotta fun and it’s a full-body exercise. It’s not so intense that my body can’t handle it either (I literally almost passed out while playing basketball the last couple of times). All that remains now is for me to add a couple days of bodyweight and toddlerweight exercise at home to round out my routine. Wish me luck!




照理說辭掉工作以後,對於自我成長的要求應該要更高才對啊,至少,接下來就是我自己去訂目標了。說真的,我不知道我有沒有那個能力與動力去好好掌控自己的時間啊。在工作的時候,至少還有工作上的目標(雖然說最後都轉成無力感),至少有個前進的方向。話說我也離職三個半月了,這三個半月有任何成長嗎?好像也沒有。三個半月耶,人生的百分之0.3% (若以90歲計算)。若是扣掉人生前後各十五年,這個數字就來到將近0.5%了。人生真的沒有幾個三個半月可以這樣過啊。




已經那麼久了,大概從二十幾歲開始就覺得自己的成長都是被時勢所逼,而不是自己驅使自己得到的。飄洋過海的搬家,換工作,結婚,生小孩等等,都迫使我要對自己的做人處事,思考模式等做出改變。除此之外,我還真沒有甚麼覺得自己變厲害的時候…. 好焦慮啊….

Wordiness at 1:30 AM

One of the things about working freelance is that I am now in charge of my own schedule. I am no longer bound by the 9-to-5, no longer bound by weekdays and weekends. There are only awake and asleep, as in “my son is… “.

While at first glance this may sound like it affords me a ton of freedom, the truth is always more than meets the eye. For one thing, my son’s schedule is usually quite regular by design: he goes to bed between 9~10, takes a nap around noon and a nap in the late afternoon. Freedom only comes after he goes to bed. The real pain the arse though is his 7AM wake-up time. There’s no snooze button, there’s no calling in sick; it doesn’t matter if I were hungover or just couldn’t fall asleep the night before, he’s up and I’ve gotta be up too. I think that’s the most painful part of my days now. I could be working till 2am the night before, then have trouble falling asleep because my brain functions with momentum, and I’ve still got to be up when he’s up. It used to be that when I pulled an all-nighter, I’d take the next day off. Or if I’m hungover I’d sleep in a little. No such luxury when a toddler wants to be fed/entertained. Actually Tony’s been pretty good lately about letting us sleep. He’ll wake up, get up in his crib, and if he sees us still in bed, he generally doesn’t try to wake us. This morning he lied in bed and sung to himself for about half an hour before we got up to check on him.

Somehow this whole go-to-bed-as-late-as-you-want-but-must-wake-up-on-time feels a bit like how Taiwanese companies do flex time only for when you get off work. As a result, I never feel like I get enough sleep. Why don’t I just go to bed earlier then, you ask? Well as any parent would know, when your kid finally goes to bed, it doesn’t matter how tired you are you want to cherish those rare interruption-free moments of you have to yourself. It doesn’t matter if the most important thing you have on your agenda that night is to browse facebook and “like” photos of other people travelling and eating, you are not going to bed when you should.

Hence this post, at 0130, with really nothing better to do (well there is, but procrastination is a topic for another day, natch). If I were not a parent, I’d be asleep by now.


New Job (Seriously)

Two and a half months in, and I think I should talk a little about my new job. Well not THAT new job, a real one that pays. Well I wish that statement was 100% true. I do have a job now, and it’s real, but it doesn’t really pay, yet.

So in order to stay at home and really put my family first on my list of priorities, I have to put work at a distant second. Which means that I must find time to do work when I’m not spending time with my son. The solution is to do freelance work at home, which supposedly comes with certain perks, about which I fantasised a few years back. Then I had to decide what is it that I could do as a freelancer. The answer is quite obvious since it only takes me 0.3 seconds to go down my very short list of skills. In case you haven’t guessed it, it’s my being bilingual. I’ve decided to take a deep dive into the field in which I’ve merely dabbled in the years past – translation. I’m a long way from where I want to be as a translator, but I figure I actually have a mild interest in languages and translation, so that could keep me going. I hope I’m not too old to switch tracks, but as the saying goes, better late than never.

Except I don’t get all the perks. For one thing, I have had to put my pants on a lot more often than I had imagined. I still need to get my ass out of the apartment to get groceries, to take my family out for food/shopping/play. The commute is short, but the hours are as horrible as they come (usually from 10pm~2am), though I do get like 3~4 days off a week, on account of my NOT HAVING ENOUGH CASES AT THE MOMENT. But I guess such is life as a freelancer.

And that’s ok, because I just got back from a two-week trip around Taiwan, and I got a taste of what life could be like. With a laptop in hand, I was able to work during the trip while still enjoying the trip. Having lived in the same room as a baby the past year and a half, my body has gotten used to not getting enough sleep. I am surprisingly functional running on 4~5 hours of sleep every night. Maybe it’s because I used to get 8~9 hours as a college student and 7.5 before my son was born, and all that excess sleep was saved up as credit? Anyways, I’m still apprehensive about the future, especially financially, but no amount of money can buy me a front row seat in my son’s childhood. Time will tell whether this job change is a good decision or not, but I will do everything in my power to make it the former.


New Job

I’ve been at my new job for a little over a month now, and it’s gotten so busy that I haven’t had the time to update everyone on my situation. I am now the personal assistant to the boss at this new company. The company is new, the boss is new, there’s only three of us including the boss, and needless to say everything has been hectic, hence my lack of updates.

The job description is pretty much taking care of EVERYTHING the company and the boss needs. The actual work therefore is at times random, at times menial, but as long as I keep sight of the bigger picture, the suffering and exhaustion is bearable. I usually start the work day cleaning up after the boss and end the day by going over selected readings with him. The commute is short, but the hours are long: I start around seven in the morning and usually work until nine or ten at night, seven days a week. Sometimes I get calls outside those hours from the boss that I have to answer, lest all hell breaks loose. While I knew what I was getting into when I signed on (you know how start-ups are), I never realized it’d be this challenging. The pay is minimal, though I still find my job extremely rewarding. I see the boss’s potential, and I can totally see him really taking off in the future, and I want to be there every step of the way.

It’s difficult to talk about my job without actually talking about my boss, the title being a personal assistant. The boss is mercurial, and always has a lotta ideas he’d like to try out. As his personal assistant, it’s also my duty to tell him what will work and what will not. And he learns, faster than I previously thought was humanly possible, though at the same time I’ve pretty much had to spoon-feed him everything, literally. The way he thinks and changes often challenges me to think about how the company operates in entirely new ways. He has a quick temper, and is not shy about letting us hear it when something doesn’t go his way. It can be grating when he’s screaming at us, but I think the company dynamic is something of a work-in-progress, and we’re taking baby steps. The boss gives me crap pretty much every other day, and it doesn’t faze me anymore. I think I’m really getting the hang of it now after a month, though I’m still perpetually tired.

And so I’ve gone from working for my dad to working for my son. Here’s hoping that I can last longer on this job than I did the previous ones….