Last Month: March

Alhamdulillaah walopun ga ikut nyoblos di Pilkada Jakarta, tetap bisa ikutan menikmati libur untuk kedua kalinya. I think we deserved the day off yaah, for bearing with many tiring months of baper campaigns from both sides. Truly exhausting. I just really hope after the election people would let the system (and the elected governor) to work peacefully without spreading so much fear, hate, and anger any more.

Having that said, so far my day off is extremely peaceful. I woke up early, bought some nasi uduk for breakfast, then went to the local market with a housemate and bought some melon and bananas. I wanna stop being ripped off by other fruit sellers, eg. at the supermarket, at my office. Their price can be so unreasonable at times, my emak-emak soul is outraged! That’s why I need to stock up the fruits from the market on my day offs, though it means I need to get up and go there early in the morning. I did some exercise afterwards, some squats, push-ups, and a little bit of plank. At 9 I peacefully watched Gordon Ramsay’s home-cooking show while snacking on some banana, and that’s when I decide to pull out my laptop and start writing. I really really thrive in slow moments like this. Just some simple to-do list throughout the day, no fixed plans, and I can work to finish them at my own pace ❤

Ok then, let’s talk about last month.

Unlike February, March felt much more packed up and busy. One of the reasons is because the yearly personal income tax filing deadline falls on the end of March. As usual, I became a consultant for the whole family. Plus, one family member decided to go through the tax amnesty program. So it added up to the work I needed to do on my free time. Things ended up quite well, I think.

Speaking of exercise, last month I decided to stop my gym membership. I felt like I don’t utilize it as much as I used to, when I still had Anissa as my gym buddy after work. Lately it felt like a burden and I just went there like once a week max, sometimes not at all. Those money really could be spent elsewhere. After all, I don’t really use the gym equipments and don’t really get to know anyone new there. I just went, joined a class and went home straight afterwards. Nothing I can’t do at home. Not that I regret it. I do feel that the gym period forced me to think more positively about exercise, knowing the importance of putting it in our days, and meeting more passionate and fit people. Now that I quit the gym I’m determined to compensate. I now exercise at my room, with guidance from some of the famous and mainstream fitness instructors from the internet like Fitness Blender, blogilates, and Kayla Itsiness. I do some short strength training and low impact cardio almost everyday now, with a minimum of plank, push up, and squats on slow days (like this morning). Cardio is my biggest weakness, so I plan to run every once in a while to train for it (though I really can’t promise on anything that requires me to put on clothes and go out *sigh). My short term goal is to find my rhythm and then trying out the short HIIT trainings. I read that short HIIT for 2-3 times a week would be the most effective workout for fitness and weight loss.

Another highlight of March is one long weekend that allows my hubby to stay in Jakarta for a lil bit longer than usual. And it was sooo well spent, it just put a smile in my face everytime I remember it. I crossed all the to-do lists for the weekend (I’m such a sucker for to-do lists lately), including cooking for him for Monday fast suhoor and break. We had a lot of quality time, including went to the movies again to watch Kong: Skull Island after a while. It’s not always easy to find a movie that suits both our taste, exactly when we have the time and intentions to go. He would want a movie with at least a bit of action in it (forget La La Land or Beauty and the Beast), and I require a movie with a touch of drama or at least an interesting plot line (he liked the Raid, which is a big no no for me :D). Kong gave us some fun time, though it’s not perfect and kinda weak story-wise, but it was a treat to the eyes with the special effects and cinematography. I guess we’re too happy to list the movie’s flaws. There are some movies in the near future that we both want to see, such as the sequel of The Guardian of the Galaxy, and the Mummy. Really hope we can make it, with all these LDR schedules.

Speaking of movies, I finally get to watch Beauty and the Beast! And I enjoyed it. Although of course, the snobbish part of me still find its flaws and was not really satisfied. For me, some of the best songs, such as Be Our Guest and Something There just didn’t have as much soul as the animation. I ended up appreciating other songs more, such as Bonjour, Belle, and Gaston’s (!!) song. I also didn’t really get the Beast’s and Lumiere’s character. I thought their CGI expressions were too flat, I wished they could do better (Dan Stevens and Ewan McGregor wasted there!). Belle was a lil bit okay. But the most memorable was of course (despite the controversies) Josh Gad’s Le Fou, who brought in some of the movie’s most comical bits. Overall, I appreciate the effort to bring more background stories to the characters to make the love story more realistic, but apparently the movie needs more than just that.

Another movie I notably watched last month was Nicole Holofcener’s Friends with Money. It’s a comedy-drama about four women who are in a long lasting friendship, in which only one of them is not married nor financially well-off. I love how Holofcener just portray daily lives, with witty and interesting dialogues that felt naturally funny on scenes by scenes, to convey how money can bring awkwardness into friendship and relationships, with a touch of warmth, especially in the end. I liked it a lot, I ended up re-watch her other movie, Enough Said, starred by the awesome Julia Louis Dreyfus and James Gandolfini, a mature and sweet rom-com about chances in love life after a divorce, with a strong chemistry among its lead performers. I loved it then and I still love it now, I think it has one of the best closing scenes, one I would always remember (like Rhett Butler’s, ‘frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn’).  I tried looking for Holofcener’s earlier movies, Lovely and Amazing, and Walking and Talking, but still couldn’t find them.  I really wish Holofcener would make more movies.

It sounds corny.. but you break my heart, and I’m too old for this shit

~Albert in Enough Said

On books, I am only about 1/8 away to finish Kahneman’s book, but I got really bored and somehow left the book in our house in Jogja. Maybe it’s a good thing, cos now I can slowly put my mind on other books, currently Neil Gaiman’s Fragile Things and Orhan Pamuk’s Strangeness in My Mind. I also found an instagram account @elisejoy who gives very nice book recommendations and is planning to go to Big Bad Wolf next week, so I guess my reading spirit is back on.

That’s it for now. See you next month!

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Girl Power Anthem #1

What a sunday, huh? Ujaann deras dari pagi sampai siang lanjut hawa basah dan mendung kelabu seharian. I actually loovee this kind of weather, tapi memang jadi butuh perjuangan untuk bisa bangun dan bergerak aktif. Pengennya goler2 lucu sambil selimutan mulu.

Padahal setiap weekend saya selalu berharap bisa produktif sejak pagi: olahraga, masak lanjut sarapan, lalu beberes dan biasanya cuci2. Kalo udah gini baru deh rasanya hati dan pikiran enteng dan lega. Siangnya baru lanjut agenda-agenda lain, kalo lagi pengen ya keluar dan ketemu teman2, kalo lagi malas ya lanjut buka laptop, nonton film, atau baca2. If the weekend went this way, I’d go to sleep happy, knowing that I’ve had a well-spent weekend. I’m so easy to please, ain’t I? 😀

On a gloomy mager-inducing sunday like today, I have to pull out my weapons to fight out the lazyness and kick-start the day, which are: coffee and upbeat songs. Soal coffee enough said lah ya, I also have them on weekdays at the office also. But weekend mornings are perfect to blast out some powerful music. Not just some loud and glaring sounds, it should also have nice powerful rhythm and mood-boosting lyrics. My go-to would be Spotify artists’ radio (cos I like to discover new songs and musicians), usually from Jess Glynne, Sia, Olly Murs, and sometimes even the likes of Imagine Dragons.

However, somehow for me, these kind of songs felt even more powerful from girl singers 😀 I’m not trying to be sexist here, but I always like the narrative in which underrated or underestimated people prove that they’re otherwise. That’s why I also loves when girls, who are most of the times seen as a fragile and weak creature, show up some kickass power, even just through songs. And also, simply because I am a girl, I can relate better to the singer. Hence, I have some favorite girl power anthems 😉

I’d like to share some of these powerful songs. Who knows, might be useful for those out there (not just girls ;)) who feels like life been tough or felt like they’ve been beaten up by reality or just need some encouragement to wake up and face the day, to have a booster and reach out to the hidden power within themselves.

Here’s my first one. From Jess Glynne herself. Don’t forget to raise the volume, and enjoy 🙂

“Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself”

I came here with a broken heart that no one else could see
I drew a smile on my face to paper over me
But wounds heal and tears dry and cracks they don’t show
So don’t be so hard on yourself, no

Let’s go back to simplicity
I feel like I’ve been missing me
Was not who I’m supposed to be
I felt this darkness over me
We all get there eventually
I never knew where I belonged
But I was right and you were wrong
Been telling myself all along

Don’t be so hard on yourself, no
Learn to forgive, learn to let go
Everyone trips, everyone falls
So don’t be so hard on yourself, no
‘Cause I’m just tired of marching on my own
Kind of frail, I feel it in my bones
Won’t let my heart, my heart turn into stone
So don’t be so hard on yourself, no

I’m standin’ on top of the world, right where I wanna be
So how can this dark cloud be raining over me
But hearts break and hell’s a place that everyone knows
So don’t be so hard on yourself, no

Let’s go back to simplicity
I feel like I’ve been missing me
Was not who I’m supposed to be
I felt this darkness over me
We all get there eventually
I never knew where I belonged
But I was right and you were wrong
Been telling myself all along

Don’t be so hard on yourself, no
Learn to forgive, learn to let go
Everyone trips, everyone falls
So don’t be so hard on yourself, no
‘Cause I’m just tired of marching on my own
Kind of frail, I feel it in my bones
Won’t let my heart, my heart turn into stone
So don’t be so hard on yourself, no

Oh, oh, oh, I
I learned to wave goodbye
How not to see my life
Through someone else’s eyes
It’s not an easy road
But no I’m not alone
So I, I won’t be so hard on myself no more

Don’t be so hard on yourself, no
Learn to forgive, learn to let go
Everyone trips, everyone falls
So don’t be so hard on yourself, no
‘Cause I’m just tired of marching on my own
Kind of frail, I feel it in my bones
Won’t let my heart, my heart turn into stone
So don’t be so hard on yourself, no

‘Cause I’m just tired of marching on my own
Kind of frail, I feel it in my bones
Won’t let my heart, my heart turn into stone
So don’t be so hard on yourself, no

 

January Recap

To make sure that I’ll write more in 2017, I’ll try to routinely make a recap of my days in every month, the things I do and/or experienced. So here’s my first attempt: the recap for the first month of 2017!

Books I Read

Bulan ini masih juga berusaha menyelesaikan buku Thinking, Slow and Fast by Daniel Kahneman yang mulai dibaca sejak Desember tahun lalu. Buku ini tentang cara manusia berpikir dan bias-bias yang mungkin timbul dari pikiran kita. Hampir dua bulan penuh dan belum selesai juga, haha.. Tapi memang buku ini sangat padat dan ‘bergizi’, penuh dengan berbagai penelitian dan eksperimen yang sudah dilakukan oleh para peneliti di bidang psikologi dan menghasilkan segala apa yang sekarang diketahui ilmuwan tentang bagaimana manusia berpikir.  Tapi walopun topiknya serius, buku ini ditulis dengan bagus, jadinya ga terlalu berat dan masih menyenangkan untuk dibaca. I plan to make a separate review of this when I’m done.

Movies/Series I Watched

La La Land (of course), dan berujung bingung kenapa semua orang heboh memuji-muji film ini. Fyi, saya ini sebenernya suka lho sama musikal, baik nonton langsung (on stage) maupun di film. Tapi sepanjang paruh pertama film saya ngerasa nggak dapet apa yang bikin film ini bisa masuk kategori istimewa. For me, the romance is unconvincing (no matter how much people rave and praise Ryan and Emma’s ‘chemistry’, I still feel that they were just carefully doing what the director told them to do), the conflict is such a cliché, the singing and dancing are just okay. The half end part of the movie saves it, cos there’s a twist in the end (something really interesting, finally!), and I love the scene montages combined with the dancing.

Musikal, menurut saya, harus emotionally moving. And this movie just didn’t quite do it for me. Well, katanya film ini nostalgic buat orang-orang yang familiar dengan musisi jazz legendaris dan film-film musikal lama Hollywood. Yah, kalo memang ini jualan utamanya, memang ga bakal kebeli sih di saya 😐 It isn’t bad, but it isn’t that (14 Oscar noms!) special either.

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The Girl on the Train. Tahun lalu udah baca bukunya dan berpikir premisnya menarik tapi bukunya kurang greget dan kurang dalam menggali sisi-sisi gelap para karaktenya. Agak-agak berasa, yah kok gitu aja. Mungkin karena udah beberapa kali baca thrillernya Gillian Flynn yang, gila, twisted banget, novel Paula Hawkins ini jadi berasa biasa aja. Cuman saya ngerasa buku ini bisa lebih bagus kalo difilmkan, karena toh ga perlu berpanjang lebar kata untuk bisa bikin atmosfer kelam dan twisted kan, tinggal maksimalkan rangkaian adegannya aja. Waktu filmnya keluar, rottentomatoes ngasih rating rotten dengan skor sekitar 40an %. My verdict? It’s not that bad, really. I like the overall atmosphere of the movie, and I love how Emily Blunt acted out the alcoholic Rachel. Di film, yang kurang adalah pemeran villainnya yang kurang ‘psycho’. Endingnya pun jadi berasa kurang nendang.

thecrownnetflix

(5 Episodes of) The Crown. The Crown mengisahkah tentang kehidupan Ratu Elizabeth II (iya, yang neneknya William dan Harry) sejak menikah dan kemudian menggantikan ayahnya menjadi pemegang tahta kerajaan Inggris. Merupakan serial bikinan Netflix termahal hingga saat ini dengan sinematografi, akting, dan akurasi historis yang cukup banyak dipuji. Cukup menghibur untuk ditonton dan jadi bikin penasaran dengan the actual events and characters. Apa bener peristiwanya seperti itu? Apa bener pangeran Phillip orangnya kaya gitu? And stuffs like that. Segala perspektif pribadi dalam serial ini tentu saja hanya ‘tebakan’ karena para anggota senior kerajaan Inggris terkenal sangat tertutup mengenai kehidupan pribadinya, tapi lumayan bisa jadi bumbu drama yang intriguing. Meskipun demikian, setelah 5 episode saya jadi agak bosan 😀 bakal lanjut kalo lagi senggang banget aja kayanya.

(6 episodes of) Goblin. Satu lagi yang hypenya sangat kenceng tapi saya ngerasa belom ‘dapet’ apa yang bikin K-drama satu ini sebegitu istimewanya. Gong Yoo juga udah mayan keliatan tua di sini (walopun tetep charming dan tentunya #bodygoalformen banget, seperti biasa. Sayangnya sih settingnya winter ya, jadi beliau ga pernah shirtless. #eh), masih lebih keren waktu main di Coffee Prince tahun 2007. Setelah 6 episode malah jadi kangen trus nontonin Coffee Prince lagi. But I do plan to finish this series, still. I wonder whether my opinion will change in the end.

Interesting articles

This recap. Karena belakangan ini lagi suka banget sama tema personal growth dan productivity.

How I made sure all 12 of my kids could pay for college themselves. Nggak sampe berpikir ingin menerapkan persis seperti dalam artikel ini, tapi ada beberapa take away principles yang saya suka.

These sleep hacks. Because I looove sleeping, I thinks it’s precious, and I really hate the times when my sleep time is disrupted.

Interesting videos

Adakah yang sama excitednya dengan saya nungguin 17 Maret, tanggal rilis Beauty and the Beast? Sebegitu ga sabarnya sampe saya donlot dan nonton ulang film animasi tahun 1991, menghayati dan ngapalin dalam hati setiap adegan, dialog dan terutama LAGU-LAGUNYA, demi bisa membandingkan dengan versi live-actionnya bulan Maret nanti. Walopun banyak yang skeptis film ini ga akan bisa menyamai aslinya, saya sendiri sincerely hoping that the remake will be EPIC! Jadi harap maklum kalo tiap hari saya hummingnya ‘Something There’ atau ‘Be Our Guest’ 😀

This video about differences via mbak Leija couldn’t be more timely and had successfully made me teary eyed. So good.

Interesting events.

Di luar kunjungan orang tua dan adik ke Jakarta di awal Januari (which was short but sweet and wonderfully made me happy) ga banyak peristiwa istimewa lain yang terjadi di bulan Januari. But that’s a good thing, karena saya jadi lebih bebas mengatur rutinitas dan ritme. I strengthened some good habits (grocery shopping, cooking, exercising, reading, work scheduling) and started some new ones (e.g. journaling) because there weren’t many disruptions in my routines. Even so, bulan Januari kemarin nggak melulu cuma terisi rutinitas biasa. Sempat juga ada episode impulsif seperti mendadak naik commuter line demi nyobain sushi curah di AEON mall 😀 as usual I try to go to places I’ve never been before, and January allowed me to do it several times.

All in all,  it was a good start for 2017 ❤

Hello, 2017!

I’ve been missing writing in this blog a lot!

Terakhir saya menulis di sini adalah April 2015, hampir satu setengah tahun yang lalu, dengan blog post yang berisi berita duka pula 😥  Dari waktu ke waktu rasanya rindu untuk menulis lagi tapi sayangnya sangat sulit untuk menyisihkan waktu di antara kesibukan berusaha menjadi orang dewasa yang bertanggung jawab, stabil dan mapan, sekaligus elegan (yeah right).

But really,  tahun 2016 adalah tahun perjuangan buat saya, mostly karena harus beradaptasi setelah kembali dari tugas belajar ke kehidupan kerja yang jauh berbeda dari jaman kerja tahun 2009-2012 yang lebih banyak happy2nya. However, I had been through a lot of contemplation and learning process  just to get pass it, been getting to know and understand myself more, and in the end I believe I had managed to survive 2016 as a better person (amiinn). By the end of 2016, everything seemed to be clearer and lighter. I wouldn’t say I had figured everything out, but at least I was no longer clueless. And I got my passion and motivation back.

So here’s to 2017, the year in which I want to thrive and flourish. I am currently happy, peaceful with who I am, and eager to become an even better and better version of myself. My 2017 resolution is to keep it that way throughout the year.

Oh, and of course, to write in this blog more often, capturing everything I experience and learn.

Cheers!

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.

Maya Angelou

in memoriam: Hj. Subekti

My dearest beloved grandmother, Hj. Subekti died yesterday.

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Alhamdulillaah, she died peacefully, at the age of seventy-something (she herself was never sure about her own age), and I believe she had lived her life fully. But I still find myself heartbroken in the news of her, quite sudden, passing away. First of all, because I am not there in Indonesia to directly bid her farewell. Second, I feel some kind of hollowness for realizing that I wouldn’t be able to meet her again when I get back. Because she was the kind of person whose presence always made a difference. Her not being there anymore would certainly make everything different.

She was the strongest woman I’ve ever known. She was very influential. She was smart and competent. She was respected. She was tough and powerful. But she also had a soft and very kind heart.

Dear Grandma, good bye..

I am thankful for everything you did for me.

And I am sorry because I know I could have been a better granddaughter, but I hadn’t.

You will stay alive in my memories.

In my prayers and the prayers of so many people you helped, whose life you had made better.

In my determination to be a sholeha granddaughter so that Allah SWT passes you endless blessings.

In my determination to live a good life because I know that was what you always wanted for me.

May Allah SWT accept all your good deeds and forgive all your mistakes.

May Allah SWT put you in a special and better place.

May Allah SWT grant you Jannah for eternity..

I love you, Grandma..

updates

Can’t really explain why i didn’t write at all for the past few months though i have so many stories to tell.

Well, for a starting update: i married the nicest and kindest man i’ve ever met 🙂

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my new extended family :)

my new extended family 🙂

But then i’d have to leave him (hopefully) for a while to a land far far away..

Rotterdam's Central Station

Rotterdam’s Central Station

bikes and canals

bikes and canals

Last September, i flew to the Netherlands to study in Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University.

So many things had happened afterwards. I went to so many new places. I’ve got even more stories to tell.

(Hopefully) I can keep you posted 🙂

SAMSUNG CSC

cheers!