Life is good.
Major deliverable submitted last week, praise the Lord. I can take a break from that for a while, pending questions/requests for revision.
Got a present for the kids of the lady who has been helping take care of our household matters for more than ten years... that felt good. Sometimes I feel like there is no act of kindness that is completely unselfish because you still do these things to feel good or to ease your suffering. Like my donations to animal welfare organizations and sponsorship of rescued animals - I can't really call it unselfish, because seeing suffering animals depresses me. And doing something for them helps ease my pain. But this present for our ate's kids -- I feel convinced that it's one thing I did without getting anything in return (except, obviously, now I can write this and feel good about what I did).
But I do a ton of stuff for myself as well, come to think of it. I treated myself to a major thing this week. And then... I'm back in Ho Chi Minh (but this is for work). Still, it was such a comfortable trip!
And Viet Nam... for some reason... always feels like home.
I lived here for a few months in 2011 and made some very good friends; is that why?
I love it here.
I was semi-forced to stay in an expensive hotel tonight because this is where my boss is staying and we're leaving for the field early tomorrow and it would be too much hassle for me to take a taxi from another hotel to her hotel... so I gave in and just booked here as well. Because of this, I will not be able to save any of my per diem. Oh well. Sometimes, we just have to choose the path of least resistance.
I've also been thinking... I was talking to my mom a few weeks ago about how I've never made any friends by myself in the gym, even after going to the same one for almost 9 years. My mom, on the other hand, quickly made acquintances at the gym she's been going to for just two years or so. I asked her why, and she said that maybe it's because I don't look at people. And it's true. I don't go to the gym to make friends but the real reason I don't make eye contact is because I am a very insecure person. It's true. At the office, I generally don't look at people either. So after my mom brought that bad habit of mine to my attention, I tried making eye contact with people I meet in the corridors at work, and found that it really does make a difference. So yesterday, I ended up talking to two random people and all because of making eye contact. To be honest, I was only that pleasant because I mistook them for someone I ought to know (namely, my mentor's husband), so I was like all smiley and they were all smiley in return, and then I was like "are you Frank?" And they were like "no, I"m not Frank -- Oh, so that's why you greeted me so nicely". haha :)) So yeah, I should be friendlier.
Another lesson learned - prioritizing my health has helped me claw back my sanity. I burnt out but I couldn't afford to stop working, which the doctor actually said I HAD to do since I was in really bad shape, but I tried to do things in moderation - I've been paying attention to signals from my mind and body; I stop working when I hit a certain point of not thinking quickly enough; I've been exercising a little bit. And I feel so much better. I feel that I'm more productive as well. So now I live in fear of burnout. And only because it hurts my productivity. I'm not sure if that's ironic. But whatever. As long as it helps me stay healthy.. :))