Anyone else being forced to adapt and change during these times?

Days before we closed 2020 and pulled out 2021, our apt manager announced that the pool and gym were closed due to a new wave of COVID. We howled over the lack of logic.

Never mind the chances of COVID surviving in a chlorinated outdoor pool. Never mind the importance of staying fit and healthy during a pandemic. Never mind. We couldn’t complain. It was a top-down order.

I started checking in on social and the news to watch our COVID numbers rise and I hated myself for it. How was all of this illegal activity (that caused our spike) allowed to flourish during a pandemic? We were shutdown yet again.

Then, days later it was announced that all schools were closed until the end of the month. We are out of work yet again.

It’s time to double down on Stoicism…

After I heard about the pool + gym, I knew I had an opportunity to do something different. We believe in our household that we can turn what looks like a disadvantage into an advantage. So, I replaced a cold swim with a cold shower, and as it turns out, cold showers are beneficial. They help you handle stress and improve your metabolism and circulation.

I also decided to dust off the old workout YouTube playlist, and now I’m starting my day with a 10 min workout and cold shower. I’m exercising muscles I wish I hadn’t forgotten.

You’re thinking, 10 mins? But motivation is not a problem. I look forward to trying new videos, and I’m thinking of adding 10 mins throughout the day. I already do yoga, and walking for vitamin D… so quit your judging!

Plus, don’t underestimate the value of starting off small. For years, I’ve had the habit of stretching for maybe a minute? before bed. Then one day it felt like I suddenly could stretch as deeply as an athlete. No, it wasn’t ever a goal, but little by little I reached it. [Heh, heh, get it? Reached it?]

After the Ministry of Education made their announcement, I went through another panic about finances. I went though that defeated burst like I did with the pool, but it was really fear-based because who can see into the future? Who knew prior to 2020 that canceling plans would become the new norm? And who would have thought SCHOOLS would be considered a non-essential service?

So I told myself, yet again, to make the most of this. The dream, you see, is to be a full-time writer. Yes, I like teaching, but it’s not my forever.

Agonizingly, I had turned down an online student because she conflicted with my now non-existent work schedule. But I suppose another way to look at it is, I’m busy on my writer’s retreat…

In happy news:

// Parhelion Literary Magazine published my essay Writing as an Act of Service [It’s about a bad boyfriend, bad time in my life, and how a book helped me through a particular part.]

// My 2nd, 3rd, who’s-keeping-track version of my memoir is finished! [I did nothing with it in 2019 because I wasn’t happy with it, but last year I started to pick at it again, and now I’m happier with it. Another round of edits and polishing is coming up!] Whoever said writing is rewriting wasn’t kidding!

// Lastly, I rediscovered Sarah Ban Breathnach, author of Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy. Decades ago, I read her book, her 365-days of contemplation and inspiration as if it were scripture. And after seeing a quote by her, I quickly downloaded another copy. If ever there was a time when I needed a short daily read of comfort and joy, this is it.


Jan 1st starts off with the title ‘A year of transformative delight and discovery’. Who isn’t up for that?

“Each year we are presented four glorious seasons, twelve months of mystery, fifty-two weeks of wonder, and three hundred and sixty-five daily rounds, each one of them crowded with twenty-four measures of time—the gifts of dawn, matins, noon, dusk, twilight, and eventide. Hours and minutes. Moments and heartbeats. There will be surprises that trigger smiles as well as deep sighs, wisdom gleaned and eventually appreciated, landscapes larger than the ones we can see right now, beckoning. More blessings than we can count and carry in our saddlebag.”

What hurdles are you hopping over? Have you created any goals or intentions for this year?

44 replies on “✨ New Year, New Beginnings

  1. Congratulations on your article being published (going to go read that next) and rewriting your memoir!!! Can’t wait to read your memoir!

    Can we cancel COVID already? I am so sick of hearing that word! :/

    But I do feel hopeful with all these vaccines being approved! Though I’m sure I won’t be getting one in the next 7-8 months. Perks of living in a country with a population of 1.4bn! 😦 But as long as my folks are sorted – I can finally sigh in relief! Has Thailand approved any vaccines yet?

    Starting off small is the way to go – 1% improvement everyday for 365 days = 37.78% improvement! I’m trying to make small improvements too everyday. 😀

    I’m working on something new – work wise and it’s been challenging since I’m working on it alone and I wish I had someone else to ideate with too. I also have this extremely bad habit where I hate asking people for help – so trying to get past that. Adulting is hard! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks 🙂 Yes, I know. I’m so over it. I hate saying the word, thinking of it, blah, blah, blah…

      Yeah, like India, I don’t expect Thailand to have a vaccine avail to us mere peasants for months. There’s talk about getting a vaccine from China but I heard the Chinese govt took the vaccine from Germany for themselves and will be distributing the Chinese made one to the rest of the folks. Doesn’t really instill confidence, does it?

      There’s also been craziness re: hospitals overcharging and trying to get folks to ‘reserve’ their vaccine in advance to add to our rising numbers.

      Hope your work project goes well. Remember it’s all a learning process 😛 Don’t you hate that? 😛 Thanks again!


      1. First, loved your article! I never thought of writing in that light. It gave me a whole new perspective. Also your story – what a manipulative man!!!!! How do we find such peopleee? 🙈

        Haha, I don’t think I’d trust my life with the Chinese or the Russian vaccine. 🙈

        You have to reserve the vaccine? That’s crazy! Isn’t it free for everyone? A lot of countries’ governments have made it free for everyone. Knowing India and the deep rooted corruption – politicians, super wealthy are definitely going to get the vaccine first. 🙄

        Thank you – I do hope it goes well. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hey, thanks so much for taking the time to click over and read it – and I’m thrilled you liked it, too. ❤

        Yes, how we manage to get ourselves in these relationships is a question for the Sphinx. God, I hope those days are over…

        There was talk about reserving and then they got in trouble, and now it's about cost. More than the US and UK, I believe… it's all about the dolla-dolla bills y'all.


      3. For now, in China the only vaccine that’s been approved is the Chinese one and it will be given to citizens for free. I heard people can start signing up now, but at first it will only be given to people at high risk.
        If getting the vaccine meant being able to travel and no need to do quarantine, I’d totally get it 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yeah, right? So many questions are swirling around regarding what happens after you get the vaccine. Do we have to quarantine? Do you have to wear a mask or social distance? and so on…


  2. Covid is pants. But at least Thai’s seem to be doing everything they are told. In England – we have idiot politicians who don’t listen to the medical advice until it is too late, a small minority of the population who say Covid is a con and a bigger minority who can’t seem to wear a mask, go to parties or travel outside the tier areas. But I do agree not being able to swim is double pants – take care, be safe


    1. OH, trust me, there are plenty of non-compliant Thais – that’s why we’re in this predicament of rising numbers in the first place.

      Illegal border crossing, illegal workers, illegal gambling dens… plenty of delayed reactions from govts and officials too that have exacerbated the spread.

      But can’t control others… so we do what we can. Thanks, you take care as well.


  3. I’m sorry to hear the lockdowns are kicking in again in Thailand — the same has happened here. But I love your observations, and…congrats on the published writing and memoir progress! That’s great news. I’ve also decided to devote more energy to my memoir again now that there’s nothing else to do anyway. And I’m about to write a similar post to this one. Here’s to 2021 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Excellent. Glad we’re on the same page 😉 so to speak! Well, for writing and pushing through despite what the world is doing…. obv not the COVID numbers rising. UGH. So over it. Writing is therapy, right? Cheers, xo

      Liked by 1 person

  4. So sorry to hear about the pool/gym and closed schools. I still don’t know when/if I go back to school, and this uncertainty is awful.
    But yay to finding more time to write and edit!!! And congrats to the publication!
    As to sport and stretching – you go, girl! Small baby steps are the way to do it – I do it as well that way. 😉💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😀 Thanks, Sarah. We have to continue to keep on keeping on. It helps immensely that you and I are creatives, so we have an outlet and know the importance of that… Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I feel your pain and frustration, but also your hope and joy, Lani. Such is the yin and yang of life. I’m a big believer in the difference small changes and small amounts of time can make to deliver big results long term. Here’s to new adventures in life, both big and small, and near and far, no matter what this year throws at us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You always say things so well. Thanks, Jolandi. I need to catch up on your blog, I see you’ve been busy! 😀

      One day at a time… xo

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m sorry to hear that you’re locked down again; but really impressed with how you’ve chosen to handle it. Congrats on having your article published 👍👍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Su. Actually, your comment in light of all this reminds me that your name in Thai means ‘to keep fighting’ ~ I’m not sure if it’s colloquial or formal, but if you say ‘su-su’ it means ‘keep fighting – you can do it’ 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I really like that!! I was baptised Susan, and shortened it when I was a teenager. I’ve always spelt it ‘Su’ — with no ‘e’ — which has proved interesting over the years. I’m often assumed to be Chinese (and sometimes male) and the surprise people show when they meet me is an object lesson in racism!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hahahhaa. I’ve never seen anyone else spell your name that way, that’s for sure.

        Speaking of names, my surname is Cox because my father took on his adoptive father’s last name – and I never understood until many years later why so ppl asked me if I was married during job interviews or looked surprised when I stood up after my name was called 😛

        Liked by 1 person

      3. It’s an unusual spelling, but I have seen it a few times.

        It is interesting (and sometimes annoying) the assumptions people make.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Your list of can-and-cannot-control items sound a lot like mine. All over the world we’re in the same boat.

    Congratulations on the article and on the progress you’ve made on the memoir.

    I’ve been thinking about New Year’s resolutions. I’m putting them in two categories. 1. The usual type, like diet, exercise, getting to bed a little earlier. 2. Ideas about what I’ll do after I get my vaccination. Besides catching up on things: dentist, doctor, and chiropractor appointments. And I haven’t had a haircut for 11 months. And then, trips, big and small.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well done on creating a list. I wish I was more organized. I’m much more likely to write out a page of wishes and aspirations.

      When I looked up images for stoicism that’s what came up and I was excited that someone created an image that so resonates with us during this trying time.

      Thanks, Nicki. Good luck on those resolutions 😉 Hope you’re off to a good start!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m definitely working on my focus, this year. After my fam, my best attention is going towards my novel in progress. Even before my paid writing gigs, becuz those always get done anyway! Good for you, having a positive attitude, amid life’s curveballs.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve been focusing a lot on how lucky I am rather than what COVID is keeping from me…to have shelter, to have access to any sort of food, to have a flexible schedule, the means to get outside…these are not to be taken for granted. I love your “do a little each day” tactic when it comes to exercise or meditation and this year I’m applying it to my writing practice. Instead of goals I am putting systems in place. It’s always lovely to see your positivity, Lani. May 2021 be full of joy and good health for you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, A. You have such a way with words 🙂

      Good reminders too, I needed to hear that this morning as I’m hit with another piece of neg news from work. It’s par for the course, don’t worry, gotta keep moving on with our days and do the best we can.

      Take good care, and wishing you lots of love and laughter back, xo

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Happy new year Lani, what a crazy year gone by. I hope you’re keeping well. I really like the photo you shared. This year I definitely want to put more focus, energy and time on the areas of life that I can control and let go or accept the things I cannot change. Sending you lots of happiness and light into this year ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, you changed your name! So mysterious. Perhaps all will be explained on the ‘ol blog? I’ll head over there soon 😉

      Yes, to focusing on what you want to grow and what you can control. HNY, Katie! All the best, xo

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Happy new year, Lani! I never do new year goals and this time even less, haha. I just hope I could go to Spain later in the summer, but at this point it feels unlikely…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Everyone’s been saying mid-year things will ‘be back to normal’ with the vaccine reaching most folks by then, etc, but it’s not off to such a hot start!

      Take good care, Marta, hope you and your family are well. xo

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Congrats on having your article published! I hope this new lockdown and unwanted(?) free time will open up more opportunities for you like this. My goal for 2021 is to be healthy and happy. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, agree! I’ve signed up for some classes and am going through another round of edits so there’s no shortage of things to do! Thanks! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Your positivity always amazes & inspires me!
    When Thailand’s numbers started to climb again and lockdown happened again, I thought of you and hoped you safe. I am glad that you are and thriving despite so many changes yet again.

    Congratulations on the immense body of work you are creating, and on your publications!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, you’re too kind. You’re actually a pretty positive person yourself. 😉 which is one of the reasons why I like following you as well. Stay safe, my friend, xo


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