Posts Tagged ‘habits’

Inbox overload

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , ,

I have accumulated over 11,600 unread emails in the past couple of years and I’ve found that the larger that number gets, the less I want to look at any of it.  I’ve unsubscribed to a bunch of newsletter that I found I never read, yet still I get overwhelmed with the ones that I did decide to keep.  I tell myself I’ll get around to them when I have time, but really, when do I have time?  Any free time I have is generally spent unwinding with a mindless game or show.  It’s certainly not time that I’d want to look through emails!

Still, I really do want to go through and clean out my inbox so I can actually tell when I have new mail.  Once you start getting thousands of unread messages, it’s really hard to remember if it was 10,502 messages when you last checked, or 10,507.  So do I actually have some new emails to look through or did I just remember the number wrong?  Who knows.  I’ve completely given up looking at how many unread messages I have.  I check infrequently enough that it’s basically guaranteed I’ll find some new ones each time I log in.  Perhaps whenever I am waiting around in line, I will check old emails and get rid of unnecessary ones rather than play a few seconds of a game.

I’ve always had a preference for spring cleaning rather than a daily ritual, and my inbox is no exception!  Problem is, my inbox has yet to see a springtime that inspired me to clean it…  Well hey, I guess I’ve got myself a resolution for this year then.  In fact, I think I’ll tackle some of it right now.  Wish me luck!

Old writing ways

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , ,

After over three years of inactivity, I am back to journal-keeping.  I’m picking up right here, right now, and hopefully will find the time to start filling in what I’ve missed out during this time.  It feels good to be writing again, even if it does hurt my hand a bit.  This habit was so much a part of my life for so long (13 years!).  I’m glad I have the time and the patience to do it again.  For awhile, I wasn’t sure if I would return to the art of putting pen to paper, so it’s encouraging that I have.  Unfortunately I’ve found that doing so has distracted me from blogging!  I guess I’ll have to start to learn how to manage my time between the two and differentiate what goes where.

Perhaps my journal-writing will evolve from the daily journal I’m used to into a more thoughtful, story-like weekly account of my life.  I think if I get too busy again, I will try to still keep up with my journal at least once or twice a week.  After all, with no notes to take at work and no other need to use a pen during my normal routine, it’s a welcome change to be physically writing so much again.  I always found it to be a really therapeutic thing to do.  I might even spend some quiet time writing on the flight to see Panda Friday night.  I remember one time I was on the plane writing so furiously fast that the guy next to me gave me a curious look.  It was a great moment of flow of consciousness that I had fun with.  I’m looking forward to more of those moments again.

Strangely motivated

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , ,

Last week, I was innocently checking in to various listings on Yelp as I always do, keeping unofficial tabs on where I’ve been.  When it came to the 405 freeway, I found to my dismay that someone had ousted me from the Duchess spot (you become the Duke or Duchess if you have the most check-ins)!  This got me all riled up.  I refused to have someone beat me out like that, so I started a check-in war.

To better understand the context of this, let me lay down some of the rules we have to follow:

  1. You can check in to any given listing no more than once every 4 hours.
  2. You can only check in when you are within 1 mile of the listed address of the listing (with some exceptions).
  3. You can check in no more than 25 times in a given day.

So, immediately I started checking in every 4 hours or so.  Of course, life would get in the way and it wouldn’t happen that much, but I did log multiple check-ins a day.  I reasoned that I’ve driven up and down the 405 hundreds of times (if not over a thousand by now), so all these excess check-ins are making up for previous visits.  Thankfully, I live and work in an area within a mile of the freeway, so I can check in throughout the day without having to move.  I also don’t check in to places arbitrarily – I like for my check-ins to actually reflect my visitation to whichever listing, so I rarely ever get up to 25 check-ins in a day.  That’s a lot of places to visit!

Well, unfortunately it appeared that little Ms. Piggy saw that I was catching up to her, so she started checking in full force as well.  I call her that because she doesn’t have a real profile picture, but just a cartoon pigging saying something about pigging out.  Every time I’d check in after a few hours, I’d find that she was also checking in to keep her lead.  This went on for about three days and I was getting just one or two check-ins behind, but then came the weekend and my trip to NorCal.  While I was away, I wasn’t able to keep the pressure on her, but it appears that she eased up as well.  Maybe she thought I had backed down and let her guard down.

As soon as I came back from my weekend trip, I was checking in again at maximum capacity and today I’ve managed to tie her at times and be one check-in behind at others.  By tomorrow, I think I can take her down and reclaim my title as Duchess of the 405 freeway.  Once that happens, I plan on continuing until I have a healthy lead that reflects the hundreds of times that I have driven the 405.  It’s a silly little thing, really, but this really brought out some of the competitive edge in me.  I am not going to give up on this mission!  Why it means so much may be beyond most people, but it’s a fun challenge for me.

Fluffy pillows

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , ,
large 53-inch tall stuffed animal bear pillow

This sucker is a whole 53 inches tall!

I have this thing for pillows.  Ever since college, I’ve just loved to pile my bed full of pillows.  I lay on them, I hug them, they keep me warm, and of course they keep me from getting neck cramps.  I’ve had really soft ones and more firm ones, some small ones and some large ones.  I’ve had one made to look like a Tootsie Roll and now I have a HUGE bear one!  I also have a fantastic body pillow that has saved me from many a night there the blanket got away from.

I don’t know what it is, but I love when my bed is bustling with pillows.  In fact, sometimes they take up more space than I do and I end up getting buried in them (but hey, I don’t mind!).  I’ve actually wondered if I could get a bed set within a high frame so that I could kind of swim around in all the blankets and pillows on my bed without worrying about pushing them off.  It’s annoying when things fall off the bed, which is why I prefer having my bed pushed against a corner.  Then I can throw all the pillows I want on them without constantly losing them to the ground.

At the moment I have seven pillows with me, though three of them have made it to the floor.  Alas, even with two sides of the mattress against walls, pillows will slide off the bed on their own.  It just can’t be helped!


laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , ,

Well, today’s the first official day of my vacation! The only other time I took days off were to volunteer for Opportunity Green, which wasn’t much of a break since that kept me busy. So this is the first time since I started my job that I am going on a vacation, truly going on one with days off, travel, rest, and the whole shebang. Usually I can manage one or two of those items, but now I’m taking advantage of all three. Plus, my parents are here to enjoy this vacation with me and we’re going somewhere exciting and new. 🙂

I spent the bulk of the day on a plane, going from LA to Atlanta to Miami. I slept as much as I could and pigged out on cheap pasta for lunch and dinner. When we arrived in miami, most of the day had been lost – I left 9 am from LA and got in to Miami around 7:30 (local time), so after settling in, eating dinner, and resting a bit, it was already time for bed. I wasn’t sleepy though, so I’ve been up playing games. Tomorrow we get on our cruise ship and head for the Caribbean! I’ll make sure to get some pics on my phone so I can post some.

Foot massage

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , ,

I’ve been going to get massages at a foot massage place near my home and I’m so glad I found a place like this.  I was really feeling the need to get a good reflexology session about a month ago, so I researched local reflexology places and read in the reviews that it wasn’t just a foot massage.  In fact, I have no idea why they call it a foot massage when the foot part is probably 20 minutes while the body part is 40 minutes.  For a full hour, it’s a mere $20-25.  That’s a steal!

I guess they might do it because today I found that their body massages are the ones you’d expect at a spa, where you get undressed and climb under a blanket on a raised bed.  So there is a distinction, but the fully-clothed version is already great.  I make sure I wear loose-fitting clothing so it’s easy to get to all the sore spots and pressure points.  The lady I go to also has great pressure – I like it pretty firm to really loosen up that muscle.

At this price point, I can afford to go every week!  And that certainly seems to be what has been happening so far.

The dirty underwear analogy

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , ,

I have a bad habit of wearing my contacts all the time.  I rarely take them out at night and when it’s time to use a fresh pair, I just take out the old ones and put in the new ones.  My poor eyes hardly ever get a break from having a foreign object in them.  I also am not very good at keeping track of how long I’ve used a pair, so they end up getting way more mileage than they ever were meant to.  It’s a testament to the hardiness of a pair of contacts, this way that I abuse them.  You’d think I would have had some sort of problem by now, but my eyes are perfectly healthy (except for the nearsightedness and astigmatism, of course).

Last time I went to the optometrist, I remember her saying that leaving my contacts in like that is like wearing a dirty pair of underwear for a couple of days.  It was one of those things that created a terrible image and got me to start taking out my contacts at night for awhile.  But alas, as time goes by, old habits creep back and I am doing the same old thing again.  Tonight I took my contacts out for the first time in a looong time and it feels good.  After all, my eyes need to breathe and having a plastic cover prevents that from happening as effectively as it could.  It’s nice to feel air on my pupils again and not have a strange piece of plastic between my eyeball and eyelid.  Though I’ve long since gotten used to the feel of contacts, my eyes still appreciate when they’re bare again.

I really need to try to stop “wearing dirty underwear” on my eyes, lest it damage my eyes later on.

Writing obsession

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , ,

Have I ever mentioned my office supply fetish?  Well, I call it that, but it’s really more of a deep desire to own all the cool stuff I see in the office/school supply section.  Usually it’s pens, but sometimes erasers and notebooks and even colored staples catch my attention.  So because of this obsession (mainly with writing instruments), I love to write.   I don’t love to write for the words.  I do enjoy to write/type for expression, but to physically write I am driven by a completely different need: I love to write for the feeling of ink on paper.

I write for the feeling of how smoothly the ink glides onto the paper to make a mark.  I write with colored pens to brighten up my day.  I write with scented pens to amuse me with their smells.  I write with thin .05mm pens because they are the perfect thinness.  I write with .07 or .09mm to be bolder and make an impact.  I write with metallic and/or glittery pens to shine.  I write with milky pens because that was the fad.  I write with Sharpies to mark my territory!  I scribble and color in and draw random lines, just to fill the paper with ink.

I know it’s wasteful, but I get a certain pleasure from using up all the ink in a pen, so sometimes I will waste it just to make it happen faster.  I also love to completely scratch out things I’ve written that are outdated because they’re an action item or reminder that I’ve taken care of.  That adds another level of satisfaction to the satisfaction of ticking something off my list.  And because of all this, I can’t help it – I’m a doodler.  After all, that’s a great way to use pens when you don’t really have anything to write.

So there.  I admit it.  I am absolutely obsessed with writing.  Just not for the reasons most people might be…

Apple outing

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , ,

Tonight, like many other nights in the past month or so, Panda and I went to the Apple store to play on the iPads.  We’ve entered a couple of sweepstakes to try to win one, but in the mean time we’ve been going every week or so to play Flight Control HD on the devices there.  It’s fun to play a game we both like that we can work on together, plus it’s nice to get out at night.  Share experiences strengthen our bond and give us nice memories to look back on.

And so, week after week, we will go out and play that game together.  Today we managed to get 100 planes!  On my own I can get over 200, but as a team it’s far harder and it forces us to try harder.  🙂  Now if we do win an iPad, we’ll spend more time playing together at home.  Today I tested it and I we can play the game with one person on an iPad and the other on the iPhone, so I’m excited.  Just gotta win one now!

How long can you hold on?

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , ,

It’s been awhile since I’ve read some of the blogs I used to follow loosely, so today I took a look at my Google Reader.  One of the ones I’d stumbled upon had written its last and final post at 999 or 1000, over the course of five years.  So often, people start a blog fresh and excited, then it wanes into a duty before it fizzles out after a few weeks, months, or years.  Blogging hasn’t really been around for people to do it for decades, but I doubt many would ever make it that far anyway.  What is it about maintaining writing that is so difficult?  Many a time I’ve been told by people that they once kept a journal or diary, only to have it fade away after awhile.  (This is after I told them I had been keeping a daily journal since 4th grade.)

Even I haven’t lasted forever and 13 years into writing those journal entries, I have stopped to take a breather (nearly 50 volumes in!).  It is always in my heart to go back and fill in those missing days, but as the days go on, the feasibility goes down.  Nevertheless, I still faithfully document my life in one way or another – via photos, blog posts, e-mails, tweets, and random memos to myself.  It’s a habit I don’t intend to kick, this need to have a record of my life, my past.  I guess it’s easier for me because I took it when I was young and made it a habit, a need.  Even now, not having a written journal keeping track of my life doesn’t sit well with me.

People go through a lot of changes in their lives and it only makes sense that this is one of those fluid things that comes and goes.  For me, the need to remember details of my life remain, but the medium through which I do that depends on how I develop as a person.  Makes me wonder how long this will last…

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