Day 71 - Dealing with Chaos

Monday, April 18th, 2016
Smog Level: 3/3 Mountains

Monday, Oh Monday

I want to catch up on sleep, but I also want to go to the gym. What a predicament. Shimou has work starting tomorrow at an office as an assistant. It’s temporary, only 3 months, but that works perfectly for when I have time off and vacation. Best case scenario it's that they ask her to stay on, and let her start after the trip. Fingers crossed. Currently thinking of Japan.

I forget how quickly I walk, dragging Shimou along, half asleep, to the gym. It’s a 1km walk, which takes me about 12 min. I didn’t time this time, but she valiantly tried to keep up, half jogging. I see walking there as the warm up, and walking back as the cool down. Why limit the workout to only when you’re in the gym?
Tree Update: In Bloom
Old People

Some elders board the elevator on our way to work, talking loudly about… something. They seem like they’re having fun. They got on from different floors, so their friendships seem to span the entire building. It’s common* to find the elderly outside, sitting around tables and playing games with one another. Usually cards in front of our building, but there’s also the random pockets of old men along the sidewalks, laughing and yelling, playing Chinese Chess. Now that my board has arrived, I will eventually challenge them.

This is the only toilet paper in this washroom.
The setup can vary from 1) in every stall, 2) in a central spot, 3) none.
At school, I eat quickly and go to the lounge, aiming to get some work done. In all the rushing, I remember that the 2nd grade - my kids - have a field trip today. Turns out I don’t have to be to work until 3:25 instead of the usual 1:55. Well, more time to buckle down!**

Dealing with Chaos

…except I don’t buckle down, I keep getting distracted and take forever to get anything done. I watched a video on a book where it talked about feeling busy and why we feel busy. Everyone feels busy and we all feel like our life is at least a little bit out of control. We’re all spinning plates, but often only we - or those closest to us - can see the level of disarray. The trick, so this book states, is that you need to focus and allow yourself to dive deeply into the task at hand. That will make you 1) more efficient and 2) allow your mind to get in the mode to enjoy it. Like it’s been said, every distraction forces your mind to shift gears, and can take up to 20 minutes to get back on task and focus.

Bloody Kids...

Sunset as I leave the school's driveway
After class, I go to the washroom to wash the chalk from my hands. One of the sinks is closed, water sitting in it with a bloody tissue. These kids have nose bleeds on the daily, and then toss them in the sink. I feel bad for the person who keeps having to stick their hand in bloody water to open the drain.

We have Mandarin class, and I’m a zombie. On weekends, I actually lose sleep because Shimou’s still in Nighthawk mode. Sometimes she gets annoyed by the fact that I’m tired, but I naturally wake up early now. With her new job, maybe she’ll be on the same schedule. Dare to dream.

I write all the notes I can and focus as much as possible. Looking back as I write this, it was all kind of a messy blur. 

I make it home round 7, relax for a bit, and sleep at 9. 10 hours of sleep, so nice.

*In fact, it's uncommon to find them not there. They used to gawk at me, but they seem to be used to me now. I get the feeling that they still make comments about me wearing shorts and a T-shirt when it's a little cool out.
**Maybe I’ll get enough time to even study Mandarin! Yes! “Oh joy, what fun.” Jack sarcastically replies.

Words of the Day
English - Mandarin [pronunciation]
Shǎi zi
Playing Cards
wán pái

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