Posts Tagged ‘habits’

Sleeping ways

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How do you like to sleep?

I’m a pretty wacky sleeper. I usually start on my back and have my legs splayed every which way, then throughout the night I toss and turn to either side, legs swinging along with my torso. I also have a tendency to kick the blanket off my legs – they like to “breathe.” Usually the only part of me that needs the blanket is my tummy. The rest could be with blanket thrown off at any point. Only in the colder months do I calm down a bit and keep all but one leg, foot, knee covered.

I tend to take up a lot of room too, with my legs bent out to either side or my arms out or above my head. And since I move a lot I tend to need a pretty wide area to move about. I never stay on my sides for long because of the pressure on my hips. About two years ago I suddenly couldn’t lean on my right side anymore because it was so uncomfortable on my hip. Things have eased up since then but it’s still pretty uncomfortable for me.

Meanwhile, Panda likes the blanket tucked in tight, especially under his chin (I can’t stand that). He will often sleep with his arms up over head but rarely out to the sides. He also rolls to either side, but doesn’t quite flail like me. He does tend to take up a lot of blanket though!

My cat Missy? She’s a belly-up, arms up, waist twisted kind of sleeper. 😉

cat sleeping belly up with arms outstretched

365great Day 44: pickles

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Learn more about 365great here.

365great challenge day 44: picklesI’ve always loved pickles. Maybe it’s a genetic thing? My parents seem to like them too, but not in the crazy scarf-them-down way that I do. There’s something about the salty, sour, crisp, juiciness that is delightful to me. I love the way they crunch and add a kick to whatever you eat them with (or without). My favorite is munching on giant kosher dills straight up. I don’t need anything to go with them. However, I do often enjoy a bowl of Top Ramen in chicken flavor with them whenever I need a more filling snack. Depending on my mood, sometimes I crave hamburger slice pickles and other times I crave wedges.

I’m actually pretty picky about my pickles and have very specific requirements – they must be a sort of yellowish green on the inside (not those weird white ones) and they must have maximum crunch (some just don’t have the right crunching feeling). Luckily, the Ralph’s brand offers such pickles, so I can always get them for a decent price. I’ve always loved the pickle slices offered at Quizno’s and sometimes even piled up a small cup’s worth to eat with my sandwich. What can I say? To me, they just taste so great.

My waist & my ankles need to breathe!

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I really dislike wearing pants with high waists and socks that go above the ankle. For some reason, they make me feel like I can’t breathe. Why my belly button and ankle bones psychologically affect my (perceived) ability to breathe is beyond me. All I know is that it’s a pervasive feeling that I have to purposefully ignore to overcome it. So, I take the easy way out and don’t wear articles of clothing that make me feel that way. That’s why I love low-rise jeans, sweatpants, dresses, ankle socks, and booties. Am I the only crazy one out there?

Cozy under the blankie

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Missy loves snuggling under the covers! Nevermind how hot it gets or how hard it is to breathe sometimes. 😛

cat tail and fur peeking out from under blanket

cat face peeking out from under blanket

cat paws peeking out from under blanket

cat emerging from space under blanket

Desserts first

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holding a pineapple-flavored ice cream cone at the dole plantation in hawaiiBack in high school, my best friends and I fancied ourselves famous (at least to the Olive Garden waiters) for being the “desserts first” type of people.  Every time we got together for a meal at Olive Garden, we’d insist on our dessert item as the appetizer.  We usually got a very confused and momentarily dumbfounded waiter who’d check with us: “Are you sure you want to have the dessert come out first?”  We’d confidently confirm our choice and eagerly await the sweet treat.  To a certain extent we did it to be rebels, but it was also a way of doing what we wanted instead of what was expected.

Over the years, I haven’t gotten the chance to continue this tradition, much to my dismay.  I always start a meal saying I’ll get dessert only to get halfway through the entree and be too full to continue.  Luckily, at most places they have desserts that I can just eat at home for cheaper anyway so I don’t feel like I missed out on too much.  Instead, I happily stock up on loads of sugar-laden snacks at home to satisfy my unwavering sweet tooth.  In fact, I have so much junk food at home that it often becomes my meal.  I have a bad habit of forgetting lunch these days, or grabbing an ice cream bar in lieu of something more filling/less sugary.

Really what it comes down to is enjoying what I like.  Why do I need to go through a ritual of drinks, appetizers, and entree before I can get to my dessert?  There shouldn’t be obstacles in my way for such a simple goal.  In many ways, this little choice speaks volumes to my own life philosophy.  I believe in being able to enjoy what you want and not having to hold back because the world told you so.  As long as it’s not irresponsible, I don’t see the harm in having my cake first or buying that item I like or treating myself to a massage.  And so I do eat, buy, and experience what matters to me.  Don’t get me wrong though – I exhibit a lot of self-control when it comes to making these decisions!  I don’t jump at every opportunity to do what I want; I make sure to weigh the pros and cons extensively before diving in.

Shopping style

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I’m a “ponder a lot before buying” kind of person.  Usually I don’t get something unless it falls into two categories:

  1. I’ve been meaning to get something like this
  2. I’ve been researching and wanting this

The first type is the spur-of-the-moment sort of purchase for me.  While I didn’t have that exact product in mind, or any specific product really, it’s something that has been in the back of my mind.  So I’ve been considering it and when I see something that is close enough and good enough, I might just pounce.  It gives me the satisfaction of an unexpected surprise but still with some forethought so I don’t feel too impulsive.

The second type is the really thought-out sort of purchase, where I noticed the product before, checked it out in store and online, and waited for a sale or good deal to come along.  Sometimes I do get a nice deal on it, sometimes I just reach a point where I feel like it’s worth it at full price, and sometimes I wait so long that I miss it.  When I do get an item though, it feels really rewarding – like I accomplished a goal that I’ve had for awhile.

Because I don’t usually buy things the first time I come across it, I tend to walk around a store getting tempted by this and that, putting them into my cart, then reconsidering before checking out.  Much of the time, I end up walking out with nothing because I reasoned that none of the items I got were really worth it at that time.  Sometimes all I needed was to hold it and have it for a brief time to feel satisfied.  I’m pretty good at convincing myself out of purchases most of the time.

Of course, there are just times where I splurge on something I never meant to, but I like to think that most of my purchases are reasonably vetted.  😛  I’ve yet to meet someone who goes around a store filling up a cart only to end up buying nothing, so speak up if you’re like that too!  I imagine most people either don’t put the item in the cart in the first place or buy it if they do.  Do you agree?

Nocturnal syndrome

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , ,
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Sunrise is a beautiful time of day.  Especially when I haven’t slept all night.

Yup, that’s right – I find the start of a day most pleasing when it’s actually the end of one for me.  Why?  It’s hard to say.  Probably because my energy levels are even-keeled and at a comfortable level.  I’m not trying to drag myself up at a time when my body and mind are rebelling against me.  Instead, they’ve been relaxed all night as I work away online.  While I may be starting to wear down, they’re not overly stressed, so it’s actually a positive experience for me.

On the other hand, trying to get up at the crack of dawn is never an easy or pleasant thing (unless I’m in China, interestingly).  I’ve struggled with this all my life, as school and then work demanded that I be up at a certain time.  In fact, in college I quickly learned that 8 AM classes were too torturous for me, so I started to schedule nothing earlier than 9.  Even then it was a constant struggle to get up when I needed to.  Once I got into the work culture, it got a bit easier since I was getting some more sleep each night, but I definitely wasn’t happy to be waking up in the morning.

Now that I don’t necessarily have to get up or sleep at any particular time, I’ve discovered the joy of watching the beginning of a day.  I had gotten a sense of this in college when I pulled some all-nighters, but usually I was so delusional by the time the sun rose that I didn’t really get to appreciate it.  It’s really pretty cool!  I love the freshness that a sunrise brings with it, as the world comes back to life and the energy around me builds up.  I don’t know why I’m such a night owl, but it’s what feels good and natural to me.  I’ve tried to fix it and be more “normal” but it just doesn’t work very well, so why fight it?  I’m much happier and more productive this way.

Why I wear dresses

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , ,
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I’m not a “girly girl” and am generally pretty low-maintenance.  You’ll usually find me lounging around in soft, loose clothing.  I don’t do my hair, makeup, or whatever else most women seem to do ritualistically every morning.  I much prefer to get extra sleep than to spend hours primping myself.  So, I guess it is because of this that my friends find it particularly shocking when I go out in a dress.  I don’t think this is a big deal, but apparently dresses look more dressed up.  The real reason I wear dresses is actually due to convenience/laziness.

You see, getting dressed couldn’t possibly be easier than throwing on a dress.  Once again, I opt for comfortable ones that are usually soft (sometimes silky too) and loose.  I mean, I don’t go around in moo-moos, but I get ones that offer free range of motion.  Whenever I need to throw something on and I can’t figure out if I should wear this shirt or those jeans, it’s easy to turn to a dress!  After all, it’s only one item to worry about as compared to two and there certainly is no concern about whether it “matches” or whatever.  Plus, there is no waistline to constrict you if you eat a little too much.  😉

I’m surprised that dresses are considered fancier than shirts and pants, if only because they offer casual wearing options without the fuss of mixing and matching.  I guess part of it is because they are classified as feminine garments and part of it is because they tend to have fancier designs.  Still, with a simple black cotton dress that has absolutely no frills, I still get comments and questions about how dressed up I am.  When my friends see me in a dress, they can’t help but wonder if there is some sort of special event I am attending.

Well, I’m here to set the record straight.  While I do wear dresses to special occasions, usually I just do it because it requires less thinking to throw on a one-piece and walk out the door than to try to figure out which shade of jeans goes with which color/design of shirt.  That’s all it is!

Need to know

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , ,
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I have an almost insatiable curiosity that drives me to want to know just about everything, particularly when it comes to stories.  That’s why I’m not into excerpts of writing or clips of video.  When I read a book, I don’t like to skip around (even with textbooks where it doesn’t really matter).  When I watch a show, I hate missing any part of it so I prefer watching online, where I can pause and rewind as needed.  I guess part of it is due to a desire to experience things as the author meant it to, but mostly it’s because I don’t want to miss a thing.

Whenever I find a new TV show to watch, I have to start from the beginning – I usually have to go back 4-5 years and watch for weeks to catch up, but that is exactly what I do.  I can’t just hop in partway through the story and be satisfied.  When it comes to news stories, I usually have to find half a dozen sources to read through before I am satisfied that I know all there is to know.  Often I still feel like they left me hanging though, not providing the deep level of details that I was hoping for.  This is typically because they only provided one point of view or didn’t plot out enough historical information to provide a rich context.

And so I find myself spending a great deal of my time looking into things, finding articles linking to articles in a seemingly infinite loop of reading material.  Or I spend a lot of time sitting there patiently watching all the old episodes of a show in its 5th season and still going strong, until the day that I finally catch up to modern day and the most recent part of the story.  The desire to know – the need to know is a strong motivator for me and drives a lot of behavior, all because of my inquisitive mind.

The cold drink phenomenon

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , ,
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I’ve never been a fan of cold drinks, though I have enjoyed some here and there.  Usually iced drinks are too cold for me, so I opt for room temperature or even hot water.  Luckily, this seems to be a growing trend and I no longer get the raised eyebrow when I ask for hot water at a restaurant.  I’m glad that my beverage choice is something that more people are adopting, especially since it’s probably easier on your body.

I remember reading once that contrary to popular belief, ice water is not more thirst-quenching.  In fact, it said that warm water is the best for absorption and therefore more thrist-quenching.  However, through media portrayals, it seems we have learned that only cold drinks can satisfy our needs after a strenuous workout or on a hot day.  I think that cold water feels refreshing and it wakens you a bit, which gives the impression that it is better when you’re thirsty.  In addition, if you’ve built up a lot of heat from working out or are already too hot from the weather, you want to feel the coolness of the drink to help lower your temperature.

Still, I usually prefer at least room temperature water in those situations when my body is hotter than it would like to be.  I find that cold drinks numb my mouth and freeze up my insides, which isn’t comfortable at all!  I’ve always been sensitive to temperature changes, so when it gets cold or I cool down too much, my stomach and intestines throw a fit.  Perhaps that’s the real reason why I avoid really cold drinks.  Who wants to have a stomachache after they drink a cup of water?

Anyways, this whole cold drink popularity thing has always baffled me, since it’s not really the same in Chinese culture.  I don’t think the Chinese would have iced their drinks if it weren’t for Western influences.  Whatever makes cold drinks so appealing just isn’t worth it to me.  I’ll take the drink in the box over the one in the cooler any day.  And watch me quench my thirst better.  😉

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