What’s new in 2009

I planned on writing some elaborate post on New Year resolutions and crap like that but I had things to do and was more motivated to go live my life than blog about it. But since I’ve mowed through my Book Sunday post and am still rolling, I’ll bring you up to date with what’s new with me this new year that ties in with my New Year resolution.

#1. Dance & Fitness

I promised myself that I’ll sign up for bellydance when Serina comes back to Kuching. I managed to lose a few kilos flailing around in her classes back in Hui Sing a couple of years ago, but completely let myself go after. Serina and her husband Albert Lim are now back and opened Studio 23, which offers both dance and fitness.

I went and signed up for Fizfit Core Strength classes instead of bellydance.

The class is cheekily tagged “It’s BRUTAL – and you’ll LOVE IT!” and it’s true. I don’t know why I put myself through such torture. We do lunges and crunches and all manner of exercises that are more interesting variations of the standard things. When I say “interesting”, I mean you do less of it because it’s more intense than the average push-ups and sit-ups. 

My first class focused on using your own body weight to exercise. (If you’re fat and unfit like me, you’re in trouble.) It took four days before I could move without swearing. By the fifth day, I had recovered enough to do a few reps of what I remembered. And I couldn’t wait for the next class.

My second class was on a different day from my first because I had to work that night. So it was good that Studio 23 allows you to come in any day of the week. My second class was half the size of my first. I was ready for more pain, but Albert gave us exercise balls to play with instead.

04-08-08, originally uploaded by snlsn.

Those things are damn fun. I’m so getting one.

I’ve never used an exercise ball before and a tiny part of my brain was afraid it’ll pop under me. Fortunately this was not the case and it opened up a whole new aspect of exercise. Some of the things you do with the ball is so cool! And not easy to do! Watching your instructor show you and doing it yourself are two different things. I lost count of how many times I fell off and how many times I end up under the ball when I should be on top of it. 

Albert would show us how to do something and say, “Do that for 60 seconds.”

After 20 seconds of watching us assume starting position, attempt to do what he showed us, grapple with the ball, fall off the ball, retrieve the ball, rinse and repeat, he’d tease, “I’ll accept an accumulation of 60 seconds.”

I know that Serina is an excellent dance teacher who make things fun for you. I think we’re fortunate that she married someone who is equally good with people. ;-)

The really good thing about classes with Albert is that he also tells you how not to do it. A lot of the things we do in core applies in real life – how you should rise from a squat or pick things up and so on. When he tells you there is a right way and a wrong way to do something, it automatically translates to real life as well. I find myself more aware of how I use my body.

Bellydancing taught me how to enjoy my body and get over the kind of self-consciousness that comes with not having the figureof a supermodel. I know that it taught me how to use my hips when I walk. ;-)

I plan on taking up the class again soon, perhaps next month. In the meanwhile, my coinbelt is in the boot of the car in case I suddenly feel like popping in this month.

#2. Unplugged Friday

The other adjustment I’ve added to my week is Unplugged Friday. It was inspired by 52 Nights Unplugged, inwhich Ariel Meadow Stallings of Offbeat Bride turns off anything with a screen – computers, TV, and sidekick – with the aim of doing other things that don’t require you to turn into a DVD zombie or mouse potato.

Maggie and I decided to do this. TV is her problem and the Internet is mine. We unplug on Friday 7pm onwards. We agreed that a lot of time just gets sucked into our respective addictions despite the fact that we have other interests and other things to do. 

For our first Unplugged Friday, we decided to have a game party at Maggie’s house. One person couldn’t make it due to not feeling well, but we had a blast and plan to do it again.

unplugged1Maggie and Peggy fixes up the veggie platter.

unplugged4We played Fluxx, which I acquired some years ago and haven’t
played since my brother and I went to Thailand.

unplugged3We played Monopoly afterwards.

unplugged2Spongebob Squarepants Monopoly. :D

On the second Unplugged Friday, we did our own things. I stayed home and attacked a dusty corner that badly needed tidying. I also rearranged my closet and moved my costumes into a drawer somewhere. I managed to tackle several other little cleaning/rearranging chores around my room, and finished off the night reading.

This week, I read a couple of old Enid Blyton books while I did some neglected girly self-maintenance things.

I learned how the Internet really does suck up my time. There were a couple of times when I had weak moments and turned on my computer, thinking that I’ll use iTunes and let music run while I clean. But I couldn’t resist checking email, and Facebook, and 10 minutes later, I realised that I let it suck me back in while my half-done cleaning waited behind me.

This Friday, I realised that I could plug my iPod directly into my computer speakers so I could not use that as an excuse. I allowed myself to check email once or twice on my dad’s computer (because it was on) but managed to stay away.

I found that I look forward to Friday nights like it was my own special little holiday away from the Internet.

“Why can’t you just unplug any time you don’t need the computer?” you ask.

Can’t do. That’s like asking me why I don’t just jet off on a holiday any time I feel like it.

I do a lot of work on the computer and online. I’m involved in a few projects where we communicate online and I need to stay on top of things. Knowing when I’ll be unplugging gives me a chance to clear up any immediate online issues and decide what I want to do offline. Most emails can wait till morning anyway. 

I can and have happily spent all my waking hours on the computer. I can entertain myself for hours without caring about what happens around me. I also used to do a lot of other things before the computer became such a big part of my life. I drew (yes I did!), crafted, and took long walks and had long chats with friends. At some point, it all went away. This is me trying to reclaim a bit of that by setting aside a specific time.

So far, it’s been nice. We have games planned for next Friday and I’m looking forward to playing Fluxx again with slightly more experienced players. :-)

Author: Georgette Tan

writer . poet . introvert . NSFW hand letterer . equatorial eclectic

5 Comments on “What’s new in 2009

  1. Congratulations all around – especially on the ‘unplugged Friday.’ I’ve stopped opening 6 or 7 on-line newspapers first thing every day. I can’t affect the news. Most of it is a world away. And most of it is about people, relationships, and events that I don’t really care about. All it leads to is stress, as far as I can tell.

    The time spent with the studio, taking intimate time to be with yourself pays rewards, as my lungs so amply demonstrated 6 or 7 weeks ago. The social connections built and maintained by having time spent with friends nurtures those relationships that are the exact opposite of the ‘news’ mentioned above.

    All the best

  2. Yes, the internet is a time sucker. It is also a life sucker. I’ve stopped blogging Ah Beng’s World for the time being to see what good it’d do me. But I guess it’s not helping much cos I’m now spending more time reading & posting comments on other people’s blog. Plus, I’m still writing Greg & Nee on the Go! Still waiting for a miracle.

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