Phone… Laptop… What About You?

Phone… Laptop… What About You?

I wake up in the morning and reach for my phone. I don’t have a visible clock when it’s dark in my room. Sometimes I scroll past the notifications – messages, emails, reminders, etc. – and sometimes I simply groan at how early it is and lie on my back until I fall asleep again.

When I’m getting ready in the morning, my phone is often playing music that keeps me up and going. I easily fall asleep if I stay in bed. I push past the urge to stay in bed and go to wash my face. Face wash. Acne medication. Brush my teeth. Brush my hair (sometimes). Go get changed and get out of the door.

My phone follows me downstairs, to the car, to school, to work, back home, and goes to sleep by my head on my bed each and every night. It’s the one friend that always sticks by me. I reach for it when I’m walking to and from classes. I check instagram as if it’s a newspaper that gets updated every other minute. I check my messages as if I really get any. I check my email and scroll past the spam. I check the time and the reminders that yell at me to get a real meal.

My phone gives me everything I need. I put everything on my calendar. I put all my reminders into that app. I have connections to my family and friends. I have my emails. I have my instagram. What else do I need?

Well…I went to lunch with my boyfriend and his sister (also a close friend of mine) yesterday. I went on and on in the car. I complained about how loud the music was. I stared out the window, amazed at the sunlight growing through the trees that we pasted by.

I set up a instagram for the new member of their family, Rylee the cockcpoo – @rylee_discoveringlife

We started posting pictures. We went in to get seated. And then shortly after I found all three of us on our phones once more. I silently wished for us to put our phones away and actually be present with each other in the short time that we actually get to spend with one another.

Every time I see my boyfriend, I can never get tired of being in his arms. I latch onto him the second we get some time alone, wanting to be closer to him. I always miss him when we can’t see each other. And when we do, I love the conversations. I love the face-to-face time we actually get. I loved walking up behind him as he washed his hands and hugged him from behind. I loved sitting in the car with him, holding his hand, and just enjoying the music and the sunny sky. I loved being present.

And that’s exactly what I’m missing when I rely on my phone too much. I love being able to put it away but I know I always need to stay updated with my sister and my parents, at least. I love being able to just enjoy the moment and not worry about anything else.

My “New Year’s Resolution”:
1. Spend at least 3 days worth of time (72 hours) a week without my phone. I can listen to music but I have to be disconnected.
2. Spend at least 2 days worth of time (48 hours) a week without my laptop. I can listen to music but I have to be disconnected.
3. Practice my cursive – aim to get better at calligraphy (1 hour a week)
4. Draw a piece of work twice a month
5. Take 20 good photos a month

Let’s see if I can keep this going for the rest of the year!

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New Year, New Workout

New Year, New Workout

It had been before I was in middle school that I had been begging my mom to let me take martial arts classes. Learning karate looked awesome on TV, why wouldn’t a child want to learn how to fight? I grew up watching Vietnamese/Chinese movies based on martial arts. I loved Jackie Chan (the Rush Hour series? Twin Dragons?); he was the best! What did my parents expect? As a child, I wanted to learn how to be as badass as the characters I watched in the movies.

Unfortunately, the topic always got rejected when I was younger. We didn’t have the means for the cost. And, as a child who always had problems being active, my parents were scared of me getting hurt. Ultimately, the answer was always ‘no’.

In high school, a couple of my friends were black belts in either one or multiple martial arts. I remember learning how to correctly make a fist, so I wouldn’t hurt my thumb. I slowly learned how to punch and keep my wrist straight. Most days, I would stay back for half an hour after school and “spar” with one of my black belt friends (who always just humored me, and watched out for me so I wouldn’t hurt myself on the concrete). It was a lot of fun. Even though it was a merely for laughs, I enjoyed myself. I remember when he accidentally tripped me and I fell so hard straight onto my back, everyone yelled at him (laughing, of course). I remember getting Everlast wraps during my senior year, which simply collected dust in my closet. I remember having a lot of fun.

Now, in my second year of college, my interest in martial arts sticks. I went to my first taekwondo/karate class with my sister and a family friend (you could call her). The family friend is a second degree black belt and knew this dojo very well. We went to our first class for free, to see if we liked the class enough to sign up. The master was very welcoming and very friendly. I was learning how to kick correctly when he came over and put his hand in front of me so I had a target; I kept kicking too low. I eventually kicked his hand, a little too hard, too! He looked over at my family friend and jokingly yelled, “Stacy, you brought dangerous people!” Everyone laughed. Next time we went over kicks, he brought out a mat/shield (I don’t know what they’re called) that would block my kicks and punches so he wouldn’t get hurt. It was such an entertaining as well as demanding class! I was sore for two days afterwards!

Just the other day, I went to my first kickboxing class at ilovekickboxing with my sister and her boyfriend. I was very nervous for my first day on the mat. Not only did I have a tight schedule that day with class and work, and work and kickboxing overlapping a little, but I know I am terribly out of shape. I arrived right on time to the kickboxing class and went in to get paperwork filled out. One of the leaders, who lead warm ups, handed me my gloves and I borrowed some wraps from my sister. The warm up reminded me of PE in middle school, except WORSE! It was just jogging around the mat, but push ups and sit ups and burpees and lunges and squats and planks and “spiderman climbs” and everything else you could think of all mixed together. I had to take so many breaks to drink water or else I probably would have had a completely dry mouth at the end of warm ups. THEN, CAME THE FUN PART. I learned how to punch with my gloves and do roundhouse kicks. I was so excited that I could finally go all out and punch my hardest and kick my hardest without much worry of hurting anyone! I was having so much fun that I wanted to get a punching bag when I got home that night! I barely took into account how much my arms felt like jello. I can’t wait to go back! Good thing I paid for two more classes already.

I know I’ve had my difficulties with being active and “in-shape” but being able to go out there and be active has been a lot of fun. Not only has it been a stress reliever but it makes me feel a lot healthier. I really hope my schedule continues to allow me to do things like this.

If anyone has any workout tips, let me know!