2020 Gratitude: January and February

Though 2020 will certainly be remembered for self-isolation and time mostly spent at home, there were two precious (in retrospect!) months this year where life continued as it had before.

I wrote about it briefly in the previous Flight Club entry, but my life before quarantine was very busy. I was going into the office, taking improv lessons, working at the improv theater, training for a marathon, and sprinkling in community service and hangouts with friends in here and there. While it is nice that quarantine has allowed me to slow down, there are definitely times when I miss the hustle and bustle of city life!

I started off the new year running a 10K through Central Park and hanging out with my friends in Central Park.

The next week, my boyfriend and I saw his favorite magician, Shin Lim, perform live. If you’ve never seen a magic show live, I recommend it, as long as you’re willing to let your guard down and suspend your disbelief for a second. (Or, if you’re like us, you can raise your awareness for the whole show and spend the rest of the night thinking, “How did he do that?”)

We also went to see my favorite band, Motion City Soundtrack, on their reunion tour. Looking back, a friend invited me into the mosh pit, and I said no at the time, but now I kind of wish I had accepted – if only because I can’t imagine being in a mosh pit now!

… and later saw Ripe at the same venue, for some more good vibes!

We also saw Cats together, which was a very strange show! That’s all I have to say about that!

After that, we saw Mean Girls, which has now risen up the ranks as one of my favorite Broadway shows. It was incredibly funny, the music was catchy, and the story deviated just enough from the iconic movie that I was still on the edge of my seat for most of the show.

We got a Broadway in Boston membership several months ago, which gave us a “season pass” to see almost all of the touring shows that were coming to town. This was our second season with the pass, and we really enjoyed all the shows that we were able to see – but were looking forward to so many more, and were obviously very disappointed when the entire rest of the season was deferred indefinitely.

I’m glad I was able to experience what I was able to back when I was able to! Sometimes when I get comfortable in quarantine, and not having to see anyone or go anywhere or do anything, I think back to the “before times” and realize that I do miss going out and doing things, as tiring and expensive as they were.

I miss going to New York for a short trip, I miss concerts and shows, and sometimes I even miss going out to bars and clubs with friends (which I didn’t include here, because I do not have pictures, but that’s probably a good thing!). Sitting at home to recharge was nice for a few weeks, sure, but I’d like my life back now, please!

2020 Gratitude: House Sneakers

My wide-width babies (image from sportshop.com)

As an avid runner, I’m acutely aware of every ache and pain in my body, especially in my legs and feet. I’ve struggled with plantar fasciitis, calf pain, hip pain, ball-of-the-foot pain, toes going numb – the whole gamut!

I had read that wearing shoes around the house is helpful for feet that need the support, but had somehow conned myself out of thinking it would help me. A lot of it was cultural – like, can you imagine an Asian person wearing their shoes around the house? Some of it was also laziness, since my feet were in shoes for the majority of the day anyway and I convinced myself that they need to breathe at home! I had never even been a slippers person before this, for the same reason.

However, when quarantine started, I was in the house a lot. And my shoes lost the support they usually had all day. I stopped running outside and, though I was getting my steps in outdoors, my numbers were nowhere near their pre-quarantine amounts. I was honestly just spending less time on my feet than before, and my physical well-being was not happy about it.

Enter: house sneakers.

It’s extremely corny and I never imagined myself saying this ever in my life, but they were the perfect double whammy: I missed shopping and I saw a sale! I had brand new, clean, out-of-the-box shoes that I could safely wear around the house! It was a win-win!

I’m able to comfortably stand in them when cooking, doing dishes, or working at our makeshift standing desk (read: my laptop, stacked on top of some textbooks, on top of a dresser). I’ve even taken to doing at-home workouts, like weight lifting, in them, and have noticed my performance improving while wearing them, since my balance and form are often better with foot support.

To my fellow Asian people (or, truly, anyone else who never thought they would ever wear shoes inside) – try it! Seriously! As long as you’re diligent about keeping them clean and don’t wear them outside (though I did take a few steps out of my apartment before literally yelping and running back in to change my shoes), they’re a great way to treat your body to some much-needed comfort and (literal) support.

Isolation Tool Kit: Moving My Body

And before I start going down the rabbit hole of health, I have acknowledge the obvious: I’m young and generally healthy! I’m incredibly thankful to have a job that lets me work remotely, indefinitely, for the same amount of pay! I’m not a BIPOC, so while my stress levels have gone up recently, they’re nowhere near as high as they could be! I live with my loving boyfriend and generally skew introverted anyway! Isolation definitely suited me in many different ways – but time still takes its toll!

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