Life happening 5.20.19

Lizzy graduated her school 10 days ago!

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CPC was where she started school, where she learned to be independent, outgoing

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Her personality changed quite a lot during the last year a half, and I am loving this sweet, gentle, sensible, sometime shy, sometime silly girl even more

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Last Sunday was Monday’s day. I didn’t realise it until Saturday so I didn’t have anything planned but started my usual Sunday group running. It was a nice way to start a day.

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Although I wasn’t expecting gifts for myself, I did want to treat my mom who went back to Shanghai with some flowers. She’s best mom ever, the wisest women, and the loving and caring grandma for the girls. She got it as a surprise, which was super nice. Although we didn’t get to spend the day together, at least she smiled when she received the flower.

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Me instead got some gifts from the girls, nicely wrapped

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I am thankful to have two loving girls who show me love everyday through their demands, hugs, and their needs to be close to mom.

Tony didn’t prepare a gift, instead I demanded to go shopping together to get me one. We rarely go out alone for shopping so even the experience was nice. I liked a pair of shoes but they didn’t have my size. I was not disappointed though because I enjoyed the outing with my husband, that was enough gift for me.

oh well….. how my expectations have lowered over the years and wisdom.

Last Thursday was Lizzy’s trial day at her new school, where Sofia has been. Although Lizzy is pretty familiar with the place as she always go to drop Sofia in the morning. It was her second time being there by herself. I am so proud that she adjusted very well. Playing with the teacher came easy.

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and then I accompanied her moving from station to station.

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and she saw Sofia’s self portrait. A silly and happy girl. 🙂

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Last Friday I decided to take a day off from work because I was a bit burned out and stressed. I wanted to distant myself from the issue before having to address it to remove the emotional part. This is something new that I’m discovering and learning to do.

So I spent the day at home with this little girl

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I spent the morning organising documents.. I like to declutter and organise when I am stressed 😦

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then decided to cut my hair

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not as short as I wanted but good enough for a change

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in the afternoon I went to Lizzy’s swimming class. the first time since she started. I’m sooooo proud that Lizzy can swim now! AMAZING what 2 months she can learn.

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and I can see she’s super proud of herself too.

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Saturday afternoon I took the girls for climbing. While Sofia climbed

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Lizzy had a little picnic

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Sunday started with our morning run, I ended up running a bit over 8 miles. It was an exhausting run because of the heat.

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then we had friends over for pool and coffee. After a short nap, I took Sofia for her piano lesson. We arrive an hour earlier which was good for Sofia to go over the material

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while I enjoyed this amazing story

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it was quite an exhausting weekend physically but emotionally I felt more connected with my girls. They are so easy to be with these days… and filled me up with love.

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Thoughts: being away

I’ve been away for business trip quite often lately. Although I miss my family a lot when I am away, I’ve learned to embrace it or even looking forward to it because it is time for reflection, time to slowdown of daily routine, and time to connect with myself.

At home, my daily routine is very structure. Get up, exercise, accompany the girls for breakfast before they go to school, go to work and try to be super efficient so I can leave office on time, go home, spend time with the girls and Tony for few hours, before falling asleep, and all over again. I love routines. Despite being repetitive, I look forward to each of these moments everyday. I feel centered, I feel safe.

When I am traveling alone for work. I am less structured. Due to jetlag, sometime I get up at 3am and work. But I am fine with it. It is part of the journey and it teaches me to be flexible and adapt better to new circumstances in life. Being alone also allows me to explore new things, meet new people, soak in new cultures. I can only do that when I slowdown myself. Instead of focusing on what’s need-to-be done all the time, I let it go and enjoy the moment/place.

Being away also makes me reflect my relationship with my family, each member. What I’ve been doing wrong, what I need to do more, and observe the changes in them and in our dynamics. Sometimes when we are too close, we stop appreciating the little things about them, and in a constant running mode, specially for working moms. But being away makes me realize that I won’t be with them all the time. We all need space to grow, which strengthens our relationship when we are united again. This is specially true with my husband. Daily routines and busy work sometimes make us more easily irritated with each other and forget what we love about each other. Being away reminds us the basic, the core of our relationship. So when we reunite, we appreciate each other and our life together more.

No matter how many times I get to travel alone, I am still grateful for the opportunity my job gives me. I am the fortunate one. 🙂

pd. But adapting to old routines could be hard the first week or so. Jet lag coming back is fierce. I feel useless most of the day and can’t keep my eyes open past 7:30pm. To my surprise, I can still go back to sleep after waking up at 1-3am, because I am just so tired. Well… the good part is even I don’t physically feel myself 100%, I am full when I am with my family.

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No more vegan?

I had non-consecutive 3 weeks business trip to Chile, Peru, Argentina and the US. On day 1 of the second trip, I ordered salmon for my inflight meal. Was it a medicated decision to quit veganism? No. I simply felt the vegan food offered in flight was bland, tasteless, and boring. So, without thinking too much, I cancelled the special food request prior flying in my second trip.

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I didn’t feel bad. I was satisfied with just half of the portion and happily enjoyed the rest of veggies.

Then during my time in Chile, I ate smoked salmon and grilled salmon and loved them.

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Similarly when I was in Lima, I tried ceviche, had my beloved octopus, Amazonian river fish, and enjoyed them.

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Am I no longer vegan? I guess technically yes. But to be honest, I simply don’t want to restrict when I feel like eating non-vegan food, especially when traveling. And if under a restrictive diet, traveling is hard, it causes stress to me and to people around me, always worrying about if I’ll find something to eat, and others need to considerate my food choices when picking restaurants. And last but not least, tasting local food is part of the traveling experience that I used to love.

Another reason I want to test eating fish again is that when I’m traveling a lot, i don’t get proper vegan nutrition since I can’t decide what to have, which could be one of the reasons I got sick more often this year. In 2019, I’ve got sick 3 times already, very unusual. It might be too much travels, not proper nutrition, and work related stress. I can’t change all of these, but at least I can try eating more variety of food and see if the situation improves.

HOWEVER

I still love vegan food. Vegetables, whole grains, and vegan proteins are my comfort food. I crave them after few days of eating animal protein and strong taste food, so I know I’ll always go back to vegan meals in normal days.

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What about egg and cheese?

During this trip I had some eggs and they didn’t taste as good as they used to be. The last omelet I had, I found it gross. But will I never ever have egg? No. Again… depending on the circumstances. I’d opt for egg over cakes, every single day. And cheese, I’ve never been a big cheese eater, maybe sometime in sandwiches, but I’d never actively have cheese. And my stomach doesn’t sit well with too much dairy anyway, so better skip it.

So how am I defining my diet preference?

I’d say 90% vegan, and 10% flexitarian. 🙂

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