Well, here we are, still in semi-lockdown. You’d think there wouldn’t be much to love about May 2020 would there? It certainly went by in a blur for me.
But as they say, there is always a silver lining, or something to be thankful or grateful for, in every situation. Sometimes, it may just take a little more effort to see the bright side :)
By way of an aside, I do hope that you’re all doing well, staying safe, and importantly, have jobs to go back to. I have read of so many people losing their jobs, or of businesses closing. The first half of 2020 has been a very challenging time for many.
This, coupled with the unrest and political issues happening worldwide and locally, it’s quite enough to do your head in. So, keep abreast with the news, but pick your causes. You cannot care for everyone and everything.
Now, onto what I’ve loved about this past month :)
WHAT I LOVE: Going on walks
I have never been one for the outdoors, or exercise. I hate sweating, even if I know it’s a necessary evil :P
But I’ve since grown to enjoy going on walks. I used to brisk walk around a park in the past for exercise, but it felt a bit aimless, so I eventually stopped.
Now that I have a pup who has energy to burn, I have to make sure he gets his daily exercise, or risk him ripping my house apart LOL! So, we go out for a walk every morning, and sometimes in the evenings.
I’ve even dragged myself out early in the mornings for hikes up a hill, and through jungles! Things I never ever thought I’d do, for fun LOL! :P
It’s good for him, as he gets out, and gets tired, and therefore ends up being a good little doggy the rest of the day.
It’s good for me, as it gets me out in the sunshine and fresh air, and forces me to move and to sweat. It isn’t the highest impact exercise I can do, but it’s something. And that’s 100% better than nothing :D
WHAT I LOVE: Kawan Frozen Paratha
This is a very specific food item, but one that deserves special mention.
My sister had been telling me about a frozen paratha (a.k.a prata or roti canai locally) that she buys, that her family loves. At the best of times, I’d just pop by the neighbourhood mamak stall or shop to get my roti canai fix, but these are unusual times, and it calls for unusual cravings.
On one of my grocery runs, I picked up a pack of the Kawan Frozen Paratha to try, and I’m a new convert! :D
It is incredibly easy to cook – just pop it straight from the freezer onto your pan, without oil, and cook till crisp on both sides. It cooks quite quickly, and fluffs up to a flaky, crispy roti, so take care that it doesn’t burn.
I served mine with chicken curry one day, and fish curry the other. I had never cooked curries before this, but I’ve been experimenting a lot during this period of lockdown, and am quite pleased with how they’ve turned out :D
Am just as pleased now that I can have fluffy paratha with my curries, whenever I want it! I use their frozen puff pastry as well, and I’ve found that they make good quality frozen pastry dough that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.
I later found out that Kawan Frozen Paratha is popular overseas too! It’s nice to see a good quality Malaysian-made product make it globally :D
WHAT I LOVE: Using up my skincare
What is a fact is that I have A LOT of skincare, and a sizeable skincare stash.
What is a fact is also that I have stopped buying skincare. Yup, stopped cold turkey since late last year, to enable me to make a dent in my collection. That makes it almost 6 months since I’ve bought anything new, and that makes me feel good, in a rather perverse way :P
During this time, when days start to blur into one another, I’ve found that my skincare routine keeps me grounded. I know exactly what I’m using in the mornings and in the evenings. I use the same products in the same order. It is comforting to have a routine.
In the process, I have used up most of the open bottles and tubs on my dresser, and am starting to break into products I bought months ago. I have a ways to go yet, but what’s interesting also, is that I’ve curbed my desire to try many new skincare products and brands.
It’s not that I love skincare any less. It’s that I’ve come to appreciate what I already own, and what works for me. I am still curious, naturally, and if I had the chance to try something new, I wouldn’t say no. But much of my enthusiasm for new things is dampened, while I reuse old favourites, and use up things I might otherwise overlook, while in the quest for the new.
WHAT I LOVE: Keeping Traditions alive
I found some leftover ingredients in my fridge, so I did my annual prep for rice dumplings (bak zhang/zong zi) a little early this year. Didn’t end up with many after distributing it to family, so that means I might have to gear up for another prep later this month :P
Perhaps it’s because I’m growing older, that I feel the need to keep certain traditions alive. I said once, right here on this blog, that I wouldn’t learn how to make it, because it’s just too much work.
But about 5 years ago, I took it upon myself to learn from my aunt how to do it. Perhaps it was a personal challenge to make a food that requires long, complicated preparation, or perhaps it is about keeping traditions alive.
The older I get, the more I feel that keeping traditions are as important as pursuing modernity – it’s a delicate balance, but one that we should have :)
WHAT I LOVE: Life
I like taking a life-check now and again. It helps me keep track of what’s going on, and if I’m where I want to be, if it could be better, or if I might be slipping.
Thus far, to put things in a word, I’d say, I’m COMFORTABLE.
I’m working on a new project that I’m finally pushing to be ready, and it’s exciting and rather intimidating at the same time. But I’m excited as to where it can go, so that’s something that’s taking up a lot of my time now.
I’m also comfortable as far as my personal relationships are concerned. I think, when you don’t place too much pressure or expectations on yourself and on others, you are able to better enjoy being in the moment.
There is much to enjoy about the quiet routine of daily life and, and silly night-time conversations. There is comfort in laughing together over ridiculous things on the internet, and in getting into petty arguments about current issues, thinly disguised as ‘discussions’ :P
The danger of course, is that you begin to take things for granted, or be complacent. That, I think, is where many relationships begin to falter or stagnate.
Still, for now, I’m comfortable where I am, and at this time, when we’ve been forced indoors and into prolonged confinement with others, I’d like to think that being comfortable enough to survive, and maybe even enjoy being in a pandemic lockdown, is enough :)
So tell me, what were 5 things you loved in May 2020?
It’s been a challenging time, I understand. So, it is more important than ever that we look for the bright spots in our lives. What were yours? :)