My dog won’t let me sleep. And neither will Anpanman, apparently…

Last night I was so tired. My daughter is traveling with her class on an end of school year trip and my husband was working. I savored having the house to myself for the evening. When I climbed into bed, my dog, Hobbes, decided to squeeze himself into MY spot so I was forced to lie there diagonally whilst contorting my body around his 21-lb rolled up ass.

He’s tiny, but solid. And he knows how to make himself comfortable. Often when I think I’ll get to cuddle with my husband, he’ll swoop in and take the spot that is rightfully mine. See what I mean?

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I finally nudged him to move over and he decides to make himself comfortable by lying on his side, back to me, and resting his head on my husband’s pillow. I’m thankful at least he’s on the other side of our queen size bed but sheesh! You’d think he was entitled to act so…  human!

My body was done for, though. The weekend was just so busy… shopping with my daughter for her grade 8 graduation dress, waking up early both Saturday and Sunday morning to put in a grueling 2-2.5 hr workout and up to my parents place for an early father’s day dinner. Not to mention all the running around we had to do to get in our errands – plus a short hike on Sunday to end the day.

I was very close to la-la-land. I could feel my body succumbing to sleep but just before I reached that blissful slumber… just as I was about to feel the final strings of my consciousness being pulled into a peaceful darkness…

This is what goes through my head…

“WAITING FOR YOU, ANPANMAAAAAAN!”

Seriously?

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Post Surgery, as I heal…

As my surgery was this past Thursday, I’ve been resting and recuperating as instructed. I can’t lift anything over 5lbs for at about a week and the only type of exercise I can do is some short, leisurely walks.

This is quite a stand-still for me. I’m missing my cardio time at the gym and P90X weight training at home. I miss my k-pop drop-in dance classes. I miss hiking on the weekends. I’m hoping I heal sooner than later because it’s difficult for me to not be active especially over the weekend.

But I do have to take it easy – Friday morning I woke up with good energy and decided to do some work on my laptop. Only I sat in that position too long and felt quite sore all over my abs with a noticeable decrease in energy for the rest of the day.

So, I’ve done what I can to take my mind off of everything. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

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Jin only knows how to introduce himself one way…

I’m catching up on older RUN! BTS! through their V LIVE channel. I only tapped into BTS’ webisodes when they did their Zombie Run episode back in the fall. I’ve been diligent with keeping up since then but have always wanted to go back from the beginning and watch each episode. I’m glad I did – I really do enjoy their natural humor and antics! I’d say I’m about 5 episodes away from catching up to all of them.

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Might Secretary by Ohmi Tomu

I’ve been reading the manga series, Midnight Secretary which I found out about from Chizurue‘s blog. It actually was from her blog she dedicates for her book reviews. So far I’ve just started the fourth volume and am hooked! It’s hard not to be hooked – this is the PERFECT type of manga for those who love a little bit of fluff, some angst and yes, a bit of erotica (though mainly it’s implied). Oh, and yes, mixed with vampire romance. I have the rest of the volumes (there are 7 in total) on order. This is just a fun and light read – perfect for my recovery!

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Attack of the Titan anime series

I FINALLY started watching the anime series Attack of the Titan I feel bad for delaying this as a friend of mine has been wanting me to watch this for a couple of years now. I’m only on episode 2 but I’m engaged in it to continue… it’s a bit creepy, though. And while on pain killers, it may induce some strange nightmares. Just a warning.

I do go back to work tomorrow but I’ll be working from home. I’m not really looking forward to having to work so soon because the stress won’t be beneficial – but I’m really hoping to get back to my physical activities by next weekend! Just the thought of that will keep me going this week! I may not be able to resume my k-pop dance classes unless I go to an absolute beginner’s class. The mid-section torques often associated from the choreography won’t do well with the incisions made in my abs. So we’ll see.

BTS Burn the Stage (no spoilers)

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So the long anticipated Burn the Stage documentary is out. We will see footage of not just behind the scenes of BTS’ Wings Tour, but a promise of a more unfiltered version of the group’s life.

I actually wanted to get this out earlier as I contemplated what this all might manifest not just to the fans but to the entire k-pop industry.

I have watched the only several minutes in of the first free episode but stopped and realized it was important for me to begin writing before I went further.

Before the release, and even the trailer, there were so many speculations. Rumors stated we would see a more raw side of the members – we would see arguments, injuries, hardship and even members fainting.

Some fans were concerned – would they be able to handle seeing all the turmoil endured by their idols? Well, that is up to each individual fan. As a parent, I do plan on watching it with my daughter because I’m not sure how she will handle her emotions over all of it.

I thought long and hard about this – I wondered, has this ever been conceived before in the k-pop world? Fans are so accustomed to worshiping idols – they are used to seeing the trained, social side of idols whom work at achieving perfection. And I am not referring to performance perfection, though that is certainly what they are known to train for.

I am talking about how they carry themselves out. They shelter us from seeing their other sides. We mainly see their good side. Their happy sides. They always seem to get along so well in front of the camera.

The concerned side of me wondered if this could go to the reality TV show ways seen mainly here in North America. We definitely do not need another Jersey Shores, for example. It wasn’t that I even thought BTS would stoop to that level, of course, but I was a bit afraid they might be bashed for it.

On the other hand, I saw BTS paving the way by taking such risks. They can, ultimately, really shake things up for the world of k-pop – in a very good way! Because k-pop idols are human beings. They aren’t perfect nor should they be. They do have other sides to them and it’s about time we, as a whole, accept this reality. So long as they still maintain a level of responsibility for their actions, I think we need to see that they aren’t always getting along with one another – and through all their amazing work, they fall and fail like every else can and will at some point in life. Many times in life, actually.

I think about the mental health issues that plague idols. And I think of how hard it must be to have to carry out this ‘perfect image.’

I hope Burn the Stage will ‘rock the boat’ in a very positive way for all idols.

Let them live. Let them breath.

So – I haven’t watched all of it. You be the judge – good idea? Or not?

Love and Death – my ramblings

We’ve recently lost a very dear family friend of ours. She was like a second grandmother to me while growing up. Her two daughters, both being fantastic artists, created a beautiful memorial page for their beloved mother.

While reading the words they wrote about her mother’s life, I was reminded how she knew her husband for almost 50 years before she lost him to cancer. 18 years later (this past December) she was diagnosed with cancer herself.

Eighteen years. To be with one’s true love for decades and then have to live the last couple of decades without him.

On a daily basis, I do not think of this, of course. However, unfortunately, it’s times like these where I wonder if I could have the strength she had after losing her husband who she loved dearly.

Sure, my husband can drive me crazy with his little quirks (as I’m sure I drive him crazy with my own quirks), but I will say, without hesitation, I love him with all my heart. He is my best friend, my anchor and my lover through and through. I wouldn’t want to spend the rest of my life with anyone else.

The family friend of ours missed him every single day of her life after her husband passed on but she did not give up the will to live. She continued to dance, to travel, to spend time with her daughters and grandchildren. She stayed active!

Honestly, I pray I will half half her strength should I ever find myself in the same situation as her later in life.

Stir Fry of Emotions – Fighting the Stigma

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I was on a business trip not long ago. We had a 3.5 day annual company conference filled with key-note speakers, company information and team building.

One of the team building was quite emotional. We broke out into small groups of 8-10 people and had to discuss our highest and lowest moments of our lives.

Ouch. Not easy. It’s sometimes difficult to even come clean with friends and family. But to be vulnerable in front of co-workers is a different level all together.

Yet, I decided to go first… I told my group, with a quick apology of not-so-pleasant news I was about to disperse, of my suicidal state a few years ago.

There’s one thing I have learned, dealing with anxiety disorder and depression – it’s a battle to break through the stigma on a daily basis. And it’s so easy not to realize the person next to you is suffering mental illness. I just read 2 of the 3 main symptoms of depression can not be seen so most people are walking around with no support, no treatment and at the risk of falling deeper into the hole.

It is NOT easy to talk about myself out in the open.

So what pushed me?

Knowing if I can open up and just not care of what will be said behind my back (should that happen it would be out of my control), will help one person who is suffering alone hear what I have to say, which may lead to that person getting help, well, it’s worth it.

I not only talked about what I went through – but about how I got help. And while it did not get rid of my anxiety and depression, as there are triggers everywhere which will not cease in my lifetime, I at least know how to get help now. I was able to talk about something extremely important:

HOPE.

It’s not as easy as I’m painting it. But should my words give even a glimmer of hope to the one suffering beside me, isn’t the vulnerability worth it?