I’m Leaving on a Jet Plane.

My cousins have come and gone.  The visit was brief but filled with food, conversations, laughter and many strolls down memory lane.  They gently chided me about the clutter in my condo.  But it was my dismal Cantonese and Toisan that had them both howling in laughter and grimacing in mock horror.  I mean, I don’t speak Cantonese to anyone nowadays.

In a few days from now, I’ll be on a plane for a vacation.  I’m not even ready.  I still have to get some extra memory cards, clothes, currency and the usual prep before vacation.  There’s also a bunch of stuff at work I have to turn over and a couple of items are complex.   It’s kinda stressing me out…. ironic isn’t it?  It’s been awhile since I’ve traveled overseas for a vacation.  I’m not taking my old backpack.  It looks kinda sad.  That backpack has been with me to Asia and Europe.

And I just noticed a hole in my sneakers.  Sigh – I guess I’ll have to get a new one before my trip.  In the old days, I would be laughing these things off.  I should pack my “old self” into my suitcase.

Taiwan and Hong Kong – I’ll see you soon.


Uncertain Emotions

There are days when life just feels overwhelming.  I’ve never felt like this before and don’t know what to make of it.  This is  intriguing, if I detach myself from this.  I’m not going crazy – that much I know. Even little things like getting my condo ready for relatives visiting is distressing.

One day at a time.  Take a deep breath.  Put everything in perspective.  Count your blessings and fortunes.  I repeat all these mantras.  Eventually the anxiety goes away.  Go out for a walk, enjoy the fall weather.  And so that’s what I shall do now.

The dinner was good but …

I was devouring the noodles, fried rice and lobster when J’s nephew leaned over and asked “Uncle Matt, do you know what that guy is shouting about?”  I looked up but didn’t hear anyone shouting in the restaurant.  But just as I resumed eating, I could hear a man talking very loudly in Mandarin.  I had no idea what he was saying.  It was a table of 4, the man and presumably his wife who was holding on to a young child (maybe a year and a half) and a small boy of about 5.   The wife looked tired and just stared blankly ahead.  The man just kept on talking in a harsh tone.  The young boy was cute as a button but had the saddest looking eyes.  He had his chin on the table and even from my distance, I could see his eyes had watered up.

Then an older couple joined them.  The young boy walked over to his dad and they were both looking at the menu.  I continued with my meal and didn’t hear much from them.  But every so often, I glanced over.  The boy still looked sad.  The man never helped his wife look after the baby so she could eat.  The older couple seemed to be lost in their world.  The young boy ate directly from the dishes set on the table (family style).  His bowl and plate were empty.  It seemed like he had to fend for himself.

I just hope things won’t be so bad for him.  His sad eyes and predicament still bothers me.  I don’t know if I should have done something.

Getting Forgetful

I’ve been more and more forgetful lately.  My reading glasses & sunglasses disappear and reappear whenever they want.  I have no idea where they go.  But they do eventually show up but not before causing much annoyance and irritation.  I have a couple of reminder apps on my phone.  I don’t think I ever used them.  The other day, I went to get a new dish towel to wipe the dishes.  After I took it out, the laundry had just finished so I put the laundry into the dryer (the linen cabinet and the washing machine are within steps of each other).  When I got back to the kitchen, I had no idea where the dish towel went.

I’m grateful that public transit is by my doorsteps.  Because I sometimes can’t find my car keys.  I have used my spare car keys more than once.  And now that I got a new TV and receiver, I have more remote controls than I know what to do with.  At least 1 of the 3 will go off on their own.  I found one of them on top of the washing machine once.  Maybe it went to look for the lost socks.

While I try to laugh this off, this is actually starting to stress me out.  I don’t want to end up like my dad in his final years of life.

A cluttered home, a cluttered mind

These past few days have found me working late into the night with work and cleaning.  I have relatives coming over and one of them is staying at my condo.  I like them which eases the pain but my condo seems to be in a state of perpetual mess. I just never seem to have time to fix and clean up my place.  My siblings worship at the temple of Martha Stewart.  Everything is prim and proper.  They have the Thanksgiving decorations up.  My brother tells me his wife will sometimes wake up early in the morning to redecorate because she just thought of something interesting.  We’re talking 3 AM in the morning.

So far, I’ve thrown out a bunch of stuff that I don’t need – everything from old food containers, jars, magazines, receipts and stuff.  I have several boxes of invoices, statements etc.. that I need to file.  I think I inherited this need to save stuff (I can’t use the term hoarding yet) from my parents.  To them, everything that could be reused  was saved.  My sister has spent the past few months clearing the stuff from the house.  She would text or call me with another “interesting” thing she found from decades ago.  “Why would our parents keep this stuff?”.  Hopefully my place won’t look so bad when my relatives come.

An update from my previous entry.  I suspect a lot of this is stress related.  No matter how much I plan out my day, we get a lot of last minute request.  It has to go out to the client asap.  So I have to drop everything.  We’re just a small team and everyone has more our fair share of work.  Budget cuts have not helped.  I still work 2 to 4 hours each evening and part of my weekend.  It’s not a great life.  Maybe I have this phobia of change.  Or inertia is a more powerful force than I realize.