accidental water drop on lens on woman's face

You know how when you’re getting ready to leave something or someone and everything suddenly starts to look good? That job, that boy, that town unexpectedly doesn’t seem so bad. If anything there seems to be a kind of shine and sparkle to sitting down at your own desk, the morning commute feels charming and fresh – and him, well, there was a reason you fell for him in the first place.

That’s how life is feeling these days, but I’m not leaving. In fact, I’m not going anywhere (that I’m aware of), quite the opposite.

It turns out accepting things as they are has been a huge wakeup moment for me. Nothing has changed externally, but internally, I feel more relaxed and contented about my current expat life. Traffic is still insane (insane I tell you!). It’s getting really f’n hot (it’s the hot season!).  And noise recedes and returns with irregular frequency.

So, what’s changed?

Meditating hippies at Luang Prabang Laos
Meditating hippies at Luang Prabang [Laos, 2009]
/1/ I think meditation is starting to pay off. Maybe I’m wrong, but I have to wonder how much of my improved mood has to do with this. I can’t completely discount this daily practice which I’ve been keeping up since the end of last year no matter how poorly I think I’m doing it. Maybe there is something about showing up and just trying.

And maybe I’ve reached that point (I’m well beyond the habit sticking phase of 21 days – 66 days) where I’m on autopilot and the benefits are kicking in.

writing in open journal with pink laptop in background

/2/ Something else I’ve tried to work on is to stop fretting over the future. As my bf can easily attest to, I’m great at spinning out possible scenarios and planning for things that never happen mainly because I’ll end up changing my mind. Tomorrow is just chock full of ‘what ifs’ and what I’ve realized is that I’m much saner if I just let that shit go.

Of course, I get myself going sometimes. I love to get ahead of myself and plan, plan, plan. (I’m a planner.) But what I’ve been doing is writing down my plans and goals, both daily and long range. This is harmonious with my personality, and allows me to not hang on to X, Y or Z because, you see, I’ve written it down.

leaning against toilet paper at chiang mai 3d art museum

/3/ Lately, I’ve been writing down stuff I don’t want to forget the night before. I figure any way I can get stuff out of my head and on to paper is a grand thing indeed. I don’t have to waste energy thinking of what I need to do over and over again in fear that I’ll forget it.

looking up at trees in chiang rai

/4/ And since I’m not filling my brain up with all this nervous energy of ‘Where do I want to move to next?’ I’ve been realizing that I’m in a pretty good place in just about all aspects of my life. It’s that crazy moment of waking up to see how blessed you are. It’s still having big dreams, but savoring the everyday.

ratan couch with pretty pillows and buffalo

/5/ I’ve bought a couch and have been making small home improvements around the apartment. I’ve been sitting on that couch in the mornings curled up with my journal and enjoying the space. I’m appreciating our plants. (Don’t laugh, but changing the orientation of the couch made a significant difference in making our living room feel more enclosed and cozy. We discovered this by accident when we were moving the old one out of the way.)

croque monsieur in siem reap
You’re right. I’m cheating. This croque monsieur was not made by me.

/6/ I’m loving the fact that micro-adjustments have led to generous changes. We’re eating salads with crusty baguettes with cheese for dinner. Sometimes we have wine. It’s such a simple meal, but it tastes healthy and delicious. (The French sure know what they are doing!) The bf prepares the food while I take an after-work shower.

We’ve made our health a priority, but without joining the gym (too expensive right now) and without feeling like we’re making some sort of sacrifice (we still eat chocolate chip cookies). Basically, without feeling like we’re pushing this agenda.

Man reading at Psar Leu Market in Siem Reap
Reading at Psar Leu market. [Siem Reap, 2015]
/7/ Reading has always been my go-to sanity saver. Even when I was working what felt like the shittiest schedule in the world (it was), I always made time to read. How could I not? It seemed like the only way to end the day. And I distinctly remember the times when I’ve felt sorry for myself and how a good book (fiction or non) was able to snap that sap right out of me lickity split.

I’ve started one of those “What I read in 2017” lists at the beginning of my journal. I can see why folks do it because it feels like a list of accomplishments. I wish I had always done this. I can only imagine what my list of read books would look like. Ah, well, me poor memory will have to serve. Or maybe one day I’ll try to remember all that I have read and write it down.

Temple stairs that seem to go nowhere at Chiang Dao Thailand
Stairs into the void. [Chiang Dao, Thailand 2010]
/8/ I still think that having things to look forward to is important to happiness though. This seems ironic to mindfulness, meditation and being in the moment, but I think you can be practical and idealistic. Extremes no matter how justified and tantalizing are still extremes. Like, I don’t understand people who get wasted drunk one day and go running the next. I think being balanced is best. It’s hard, of course, but I want to do it. I believe I can.

I’m looking forward to here and there.

Deep breaths.

25 replies on “8 Things I’m Loving About Life Right Now

  1. So happy for you Lani that you are in a better state of mind! I love your sense of humour, especially with the first photo where it seems like you are up in the clouds – having too good of a time to come down. And the toilet paper shot 😀

    The future will be the future. I too am a planner and from planning, I learnt that things will always never go to plan. It sucks for an OCD person like me. But I suppose with you and being on the road and travels, you learnt to deal with it. And then get over it sooner rather than later.

    “It’s that crazy moment of waking up to see how blessed you are.” Very, very lucky. Currently that’s where I am in my life. You wake up and realise what you have got, and what you have got makes you happy. So many people around me are telling me to keep moving on, look for the next best thing, like the next job, the next nice piece of clothing…sometimes it is when you stick to one spot for a moment, you learn the most about what matters to you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Mabel. You’re always so supportive and thoughtful with your comments. I really appreciate your consistent love!

      I’m glad you are doing well, too. It’s about time we Tauruses get a break, eh?

      The first picture isn’t me, by the way! It’s just a girl that I snapped and later I saw that a raindrop had blurred her face. I loved the mistake so that’s why I shared it!


      1. Eh. Heh heh. Yes, we Tauruses need to slow down and enjoy the roses. But careful not to get too lazy 😉 Interesting you bring that up as lately, I’ve been in tune with my star sign and horoscope a lot 😛

        HAHAHA. I really thought you did legit photo editing :”D

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I can relate on all counts! Seems like you’re succeeding in living in the moment, which is so, so much harder than it sounds. Congratulations and keep it up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Heather! I certainly have my moments where I still ‘freak out’ and fret, but then I just stop. I have to. I don’t think I have a choice in the matter. And why we are better at accepting some things over others, I’ll never know!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, I am envious of your ability to savor the moment. I am terrible at that, my mind is always planning, planning, planning.

    Good for you on the lists –I don’t know where I’d be without my three different sets of to-do lists.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahhaa. Yeah, I used to be a to-do list person, but somewhere it stopped being effective. Then for a long time I stopped using them. Now, I’m back on the list bandwagon and loving it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Another insightful post, Lani. I can tell you that life is full of re-evaluations and re-adjusting priorities. It’s part of the personal growth cycle and those that resist might actually be stifling their happiness, joy, and creativity. At least that’s my perspective. I think you’re doing an amazing job. Glad you’re finding yourself in a more peaceful place at this time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I am trying. And the timing is just right for introspection, although I’ve always been that kind of person. Sometimes life seems like it’s hitting you with all this external stimuli so there isn’t much time to stop and pause and then there’s the other side. I’m enjoying the other side 🙂 right now.


  5. I love some of your photos –that scarf on the couch looks gorgeous, the staircase photo! I know what you mean….accepting what one cannot change (outside of your home) and revelling in the day’s enjoyable moments/times.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you like the snaps 🙂 The ‘scarf’ is really a table cloth, but I love the print and use it as a furniture cover too. Thanks, Jean. Carpe diem!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. are you on goodreads? you can form “read” and “want to read” lists on there, and i’ve been updating it the past few years with all the books i’ve read; i also jot down the quotes i like from each book so it’s really great to be able to look up all the quotes i liked. totally recommend it! also syncs with amazon too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I am on Goodreads, but I’m hardly ever on it. I started a ‘read already’ list, but it took the fun out of it for me, I think I’m a pen and paper kind of a gal. But something to definitely keep in mind for the future. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I really love this. It helped me to get my head out of my ass because I’ve been feeling down and sorry for myself… for what? I don’t even know sometimes! Btw your couch is awesome and looks like an amazing little place to curl up with a journal or a good book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, thanks. Glad I could help. I know what you mean though. I try to start off my time on the Internet looking for something positive to read first. I feel like it gets my head in the right frame of mind.

      It’s okay though to have your own pity-party…I think we all need to get it out of our systems and recognize when things aren’t feeling quite right. I just worry when it lasts a long time.

      Take good care! And thanks again.


  8. There’s lots of wisdom in your post, and just the right amount of self-discipline and acceptance. I’m so glad you’re making progress and feeling better. I’m a big fan of writing things down so you don’t have to think about them until you’re ready. Your photos are so beautiful. I like stairs into the void.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh, I’m also the planner kind of person whose plans often get messed up anyway…
    Thanks of letting us into your head, Lani 😉 Wish I could say the stuff running my head these days, but you won’t be entertained. I’ll just sound all-whiney and insecure (I am). I try not to delve on those thing because when I do, depression kicks in. It just did last week at work and last weekend (both accounts further explain why my F and G posts are late).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I try to remember that these kinds of things run in phases. And as long as we are self-aware and remember self-care, we should be alright! 🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  10. These are really great ideas in general for feeling less anxiety, if you ask me! I definitely second writing down thoughts and to-do items that would otherwise start making you worry you’ll forget them. I’ve learned that the best way to not take work home with me is to, at the end of every day, write a list of anything I want to remember for the next day, from ideas to things that need to get done, and I leave it right on the center of my desk. (It’s also nice the next morning when I’m still groggy and sleepy to have 5pm Brandi’s instructions to start following until fully waking up. 8am Brandi is not very functional.)

    I love writing things down–worries, hopes, gratitude lists. I feel like it gets things out of my head so I can relax. I think that’s part of the reason I’ve developed into a writer. At a certain point, you’re filling notebooks with so many thoughts and ideas and dreams, they start developing into things!

    Good for you! Wishing you luck over there and taking this as a reminder to myself of some healthy ways to deal when the anxiety starts creeping in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the third person talk. Hahaha. Makes me think how scary/perfect it is for work, “Lani, says no.” “Lani, doesn’t like this.” Hahahha.

      Thanks for the well wishes, so far, so good this year. I really wanted to commit myself to a better, stronger, saner year and the year is almost halfway over!


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