But First, Coffee

My love affair with coffee began when I was having my second child. Before that, I did not like coffee neither tea. I can’t remember why I didn’t like them. I tried, but I just could not stand myself drinking coffee or tea. If I visited someone’s house, I always asked for just water before they served any other drinks (usually tea is an option). However now, whenever I can, I will ask for coffee.

Recently, since I knew that Robusta and Arabica taste really different, especially regarding what it does to my body, I am way more into Robusta than Arabica. I am so convinced that Robusta can wake the dead. Especially since it contains more caffeine than Arabica. However, apparently in Jakarta, in most good coffee shops (as if i have been to so many places 😜 ) I have been since we are here, they do not serve Robusta, only Arabica. Yeah,ok fine by me. Just for the sake of drinking coffee. 

  

 

  

  

  

  

  

ps: I have decided I am not going to post all my writing regarding my 500 words a day challenge. I supposed since the challenge is just my freewriting, I will just do it but not posting anymore on the blog.  

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What I Did Last Week (My 500 Words/8)

About five days ago, I wrote down goals that I would like to achieve this month. Basically, the way I count it is base on how many days have the 500 words challenge going. Since today is the eight-day, that means I have done the challenge a week already without skipping it. Well I did skip on the day-six, but I made it up afterward.

So here are the lists of what I did for the past week:

  • Running-Jogging-walking: I read an article somewhere that people need to walk about 10,000 steps a day to stay healthy, which mean around 8 km. So last year, at the end of the year, I decided to walk or jog 9 km in total. Also, for my goals this month, I should run at least 30 km a week. And I passed this week without procrastinating. I jogged six days last week from Sunday to Friday and took a rest on Saturday.
  • Write everyday: With this 500 words a day challenge, I managed being on the track. Like I said, I completed the challenge for a week already. The interesting thing about this challenge is that, even though it took times for me to write down my thought, regarding the prompt or not, I was so excited about it (and I am still now) and it is one of the thing I waited for everyday. Wondering what the next prompt would be. Yesterday, I did free writing and managed to put down 4000 words!
  • Reading: As much as I love reading book, with kids, finding the moment to enjoy time alone and read book I love is hard. So I am making a habit of reading 20 pages a day. And I took those time between being with kids, when they were too busy playing by themselves, between stirring the food that I cooked, when the kids were napping and also before I went to bed.
  • Positive Parenting: They say, when you realized that you are not a good mother, it means that you are a good mother. Yes, I may not be a good mother. When I am moody, I might not talk nice. I was less patient. Sometime treating the kids like they are adult. But kids are just kids, that is why they behave like one. Being a parent is hard, yet there lies the challenge of life. The life that I choose of being parent. As parents I should be a role model for them because their first life lesson begins at home with me. The past few months and that including last week, I am pretty sure I have changed. Not much yet. But I am already on the track and am planning to keep going.

I remember reading an article, I think it was from Time magazine, I forgot the title so I can not find a link for it. It goes more or less like this (or this is how I see it), making a list of what we did is better because it give us the idea of what we have accomplished and by that, it gives us a sense of achievement. This feeling helps increase our productivity, which will make us a happy and better person.

 

 

Life is Like Scrabble (My 500 Words/7)

“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you did not do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover” _ H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Maybe at the time when I was young and vulnerable, I heard so much of that quote that I buried myself in the piles of my own world. Twenty years is such a long time and I was pretty sure that by the time it reaches twenty years, I would be busy with something else. And again to go back to those twenty years is such a long long miles.

What I did not know was, regret or the disappointment feelings that I have for not doing the things that I should have done do not come in twenty years time. It comes right after that moment has gone. Vanished from my sight. Puff! Just like that. And the worse part is, the thought that it was just a moment away. It is not ten or twenty years. It is just a slightly moment. I can still feel it, but it is out of my reach.

Isn’t it funny that life gives us options, in everything we do. Whether it is just a yes or no, left or right, black and white or more. There is no such thing as no option. When we say “what else should I do? Do I have any other option?” of course there is an option! Not doing it is an option, even when no matter what we do will give the same result. At least we did not do or at least we did it.

Besides, nobody can predict their own life, let alone other people’s lives. How could we know that this decision will make us not regret it later on? Or vice versa? If we choose the vice versa, will it make us happy too?

That how life is, no matter what we do, there is always something that we will regret. Because we never know what the outcomes will be unless we do it.

I like to say life is like a game of scrabble. Sometimes it is about luck because you do not know what letters you will get from the box. And you have to make the most of whatever letters you have. Sometimes good letters, sometimes they just cannot make any word. Yet those letters they have the biggest value. Imagine you have Q, Y, Z among other letters. They are so tricky to think of yet valuable. The thing is, whatever happen, whatever path we took, we should not give up, we should not lose hope. Just like the game of scrabble, if your letters are not making any words, throw them back in the box and get a new one. And if your life is not making any sense today, start again tomorrow.

“There is a way to be good again.”_Khaled Hossaini

 Ps: Somehow I feel this writing is running away from the real topic. I guess free writing is really happening here. No matter what, the quote is true in its own way and it is one of my favorite.

 

 

Not In My Shoes (My 500 words/6)

It is wrong what they say about the past, I have learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out.” _Khaled Hossaini

I was the second child in my family. I had three brothers and four sisters. We lived in a very small house that only had one room. The ten of us including our parents did all of our things there. We cooked, ate, studied and slept there. The bathroom was located outside of the house. Shared with one of our neighbors. My father rented a shop at the market and turned it into a coffee shop. Every morning, mom would make some cakes and took it to the shop for sale. We lived in a small town where most of the people did not have descent job. Most of us relied on rice field as our income. So father did not make a lot of money either. Many people would come, have coffee and eat cakes, but they would pay later. Later was a very uncertain word here. It could be tomorrow or god knows when.

Not like other children, we were never given money every time we left for school. Money was such a rare thing in our household. Especially with a lot of hungry kids. So after school, I decided to find a job, so I can have my own money. Usually, I would go to bus station and asked if they need any help with washing the bus. It was a tiring job but I really want to have money so I can save and buy some books. I never used the money I earn buying not necessary things.

As much as I enjoy working at the bus station, there are times when I just want to quit. So one day, when a friend of mine, I knew him from school, told me that he help some men getting the sand from the river near his house, I persuaded him to let me help too. He said yes on the spot. So I spent the next four days going in the river, get some sand, put it in the truck and repeat. The water in that river was so brown, more like milk tea. It made my body itchy and had rash. One day mom saw the rash and questioned me. I could not lie to her so I told her about that job. She was very mad and did not let me go back there anymore. I could not blame her, she was right. I was still so small, fourteen years old and spending time in the river, what was I thinking?

After that I went back to washing buses, I found more works that was not dangerous for a child my age. (To be continued)

Ps: I thought this prompt was pretty easy, especially when you put someone else’s shoes. I did not have to walk in my own path and worried about people judging me. However, it took me almost half an hour to figure out whose shoes should I take? So I figured out I just made it up, yet it is harder than just the thought.

Dance With My Father Again (My 500 words/5)

If I could get another chance, another walk, another dance with him

I’d play a song that would never ever end

How I’d love, love, love

To dance with my father again….

If there is a job interview or an interview in any kind of tests, am sure I will not get the job, and I will not pass the test if the question they ask, “describe a day in your life you will never forget.” I am suck at these. My life will sound so boring. Even though I am myself know that it is so boring, I will never admit that. Not in a million years! (Am I admitting it now?).

I cannot think any answer for that particular question. Either I have plenty but too painful to remember, or I just don’t have any that I will say that I will never forget.

Once upon a time, not so many years ago, when I was still in primary school, in fact it was when I was around 13 years old, still very very young and vulnerable. It was the time of my life when I hardly pay any attention to my surrounding, things that happened around me. Even if I did, I took it for fun, for granted. I never thought it would bring any impact on my life when I get older. I was only thinking about me and just that day, nothing more than that.

Anyway, at that age, I spent my days going to school in the morning; just 10 minutes walk from home, and went to English and Math courses in the afternoon. The courses were in the city. To get there I had to walk 10 minutes from home to the mini bus stop and it will take around 30 minutes or more for the mini bus to get there because that what mini buses do. They stop everywhere they like, as long as they wish to wait and get passengers. In my hometown, we call mini buses ‘labi-labi’.

I usually finished courses at 5.30 pm. sometime I went straight home, sometimes I stayed until a little bit later to hang out with friends. Most of the times, if the clock almost half past six I had not got home, my father would wait for me at the labi-labi stop (you know the place where I got on the first time). He would wait there with his bicycle and we would ride home. Those rides, which took less than 8 minutes is all I remember. How happy I was that my father was there. How happy I was that I did not have to walk home alone when the sun was already gone. How happy I could sit on the bicycle with him. How happy I was, all those times when he waited for me, his smile was all that I remember. He did not get mad that I came so late or whatsoever. And now thinking about these moments really make me sad, more like I am upset at myself. Because why at that time, I never asked, I never thought, not a single thought came to mind, how long have he waited there?

 

Free Writing (My 500 words/4)

Because I join the 500 words a day challenge, everyday I have received email from Jeff Goins on what should I write each day. So today is about free writing. I guess when we hear free writing, we already know what it means, which is we can write anything, whatever comes to mind, continuously without worrying whether it has main topic, what the real idea of the writing or so. Even, maybe the most annoying part (yes I find this very annoying) is that we do not have to worry about the grammar, and the spelling. I find it annoying is just merely because, when we type our thoughts on the computer, the computer will recognize if we misspelled the words, or our sentence does not seem in grammatical order. I know we can change the setting not to do that but the thing is, for me, when I write, I tend to read back the lines that I have written in order to know, to make it easy for the next words to come. And when I see it I can not help myself not to fix it. I can not concentrate on the next words if that happens. Yeah, I am that kind of person. I am not saying I am perfect, I know my writing is still far from better. But yeah I just can’t help it. So no matter how I try to ignore it, I definitely will come back to that word pretty soon. That happens with this writing too.

Since making writing a daily habit, on whatever topic, I found myself thinking about words, lines or and idea of a story lately. And most of those words come to mind when I am lying down on the bed, ready to sleep. Sometimes, I have to get up, grab a pen and paper or my ipad just to write those words down. I know they may not mean anything, but putting them down make me feel better. Also those thoughts and words come to me when I jogged in the morning, and when this happen, for now, nothing I can do yet. I do not think it will be a good idea to stop and write it down. I just have to let it go and wish it will come again soon when I am not in the middle of doing things I can not stop.

Have you ever heard about copywriting? Sometimes, when I feel lost at words, when I have a thought in mind and do not know how to put them down in words, I will get a pen and paper ready, grab my favorite books that I have read over and over again just to get the idea on how those great writers write down the idea that almost everybody have in mind, that happens in everyday life beautifully. It helps in giving me inspiration, thinking like professional writers, that one day I will be just like him or even better.

Ps: Somehow when writing this I thought, those great writers, before they wrote their best novels, they did not blog about being great writer, did they?

Morning Routines (My 500 words/3)

Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” – Benjamin Franklin.

It has been said that morning is the most crucial part of the day. It helps us to boost our productivity day. Also, most successful people like President Barrack Obama, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Haruki Murakami (one of my favorite writer), and you name some, have morning routines. Those people do things that they rarely skip. Some even wake up earlier, before the craziness start.

As a stay at home mother, whom children are not yet in school, I am spending all my time with the kids. We stay at home, go for a walk, swim, play at the park, playing with toys, watching TV sometimes and also cooking. All those things are taking my time. The only time I have for myself is when I am in the bathroom and also when they are napping (that’s why I always make sure they are having their nap every single day. Napping also help them not getting cranky). If I want to be a writer, I do not have time to write. And that will make my procrastination side laughing out loud at me. And I am not going to make it happen. Not anymore.

So I made a habit of waking up earlier. It was a bit extreme though. I would go to sleep at eight and would wake up at 1 am. At first it was so hard, but I kicked it off with coffee and power napping for 30-40 minutes when the kids were napping. I did that for a month or so and I felt so good about myself. My favorite time of the day? It was 1 am in the morning.

I got up, went to the bathroom to make myself awake enough. I prayed midnight prayer. Made coffee and started writing (I make a writing project just to keep me writing and it is still going on up until now). Then I would jog for an hour. But then, some changes happened in the house and that made me fall into the deep hole again. Sigh.

Fortunately, somehow I managed to get out of that hole. I think it was my willpower that helps. I managed to get on track with the goals I am aiming at and the habit I am building up. Things happen, life gets in the way. It is normal, that is why we call it life.

Again, in his book Mastering Creativity, James Clear wrote:

“But stepping up when it is annoying or painful or draining to do so, that’s what makes you a pro. Professionals stick to the schedule; amateurs let life get in the way. Professionals know what is important to them and work towards it with purpose, amateurs get pulled off course by the urgencies of life.”

Now waking up early never felt better. It is the time I wait the most. When I can find myself alone and do the things that I love. Not that I do not love my family, you know what I mean right?!