Blogging Insights # 62 — Your Blog in 2021

This week’s Blogging Insights – hosted by Tanya at Salted Caramel – asks:

How do you see your blog in 2021? What are your hopes and aspirations for your blog this year?

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Blogging Insights # 61 — Looking Back at 2020

This week’s Blogging Insights – hosted by Tanya at Salted Caramel – asks:

What can you say about your blogging experience in 2020? Has it been different from that in previous years? What have you been posting about most frequently in 2020? Please share links to a few of your favorite posts from this year.

Continue reading “Blogging Insights # 61 — Looking Back at 2020”

Wordless Wednesday: Out of Sync

Stress Talk #6: Stress Has Got a Loud Voice

Stress does talk. It’s got has a voice. A loud one too, I tell ya!

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Silent Sunday: Dreaming of the Open Road

5 Things I Miss About Commuting to Work

Photo by Darwin Vegher on Unsplash

I love driving especially after I got my new car in 2018. In 2017, that wasn’t the case. I hated my commute back then, hated the fact that I had to everyday sit through miles and miles of crawling traffic listening to the same song playing on the radio, hated the fact that I couldn’t pick my own hours so I didn’t have to endure peak-hour traffic, hated my job period.

That was 2017. I got my current job in 2018 and no longer need to drive to work. I could take public transit for free. It’s why it took me over 2 years to get 10,000 miles on my brand new car.

Now is 2020 and my commute changed again. I no longer need to be in the office 5 days a week. I am now only required to go in one day a week aka Wednesday and because of the pandemic situation, I needed to switch back to driving, which I actually love because it allows me to get out of the house and away from mom.

Instead of 5 things I miss about driving to work, here are 5 things I miss about commuting to work:

  • I get to turn up the volume and sing along to my heart’s desire. As I’m driving at 70 mile/hour or 80 mile/hour, no one can see me or hear how badly I’m singing.
  • One thing I miss about taking the bus or the train is the time to get some reading done. I can usually get through around 20 or 30 pages of a good novel during the 45 minutes commute.
  • Another thing I miss about both driving and taking the public transit is spending time alone with my thoughts. If you haven’t read my past posts, having my mom living under my roof is no cake-walk. She’s controlling and intrudes just about every aspect of my life. It’s not easy to get alone time and when life gives you alone time, you’ll take it and squeeze it ’til the last drop.
  • I miss talking to myself. I know that sounds weird but that’s how I brainstorm, how I come up with ideas for stories, ideas to save money, to pay back my mom, etc.
  • I work in Downtown Salt Lake and there are always something going on, sites to see in the ever-changing environment, and the only way to see them is by driving to work. Now that I’m only in the office a day a week, it often leaves me in awe just to see how fast the downtown constructions are going and it makes me feel like I’m missing some of the daily actions.

Wordless Wednesday: Merry Christmas Eve’s Eve

Silent Sunday: Reliving the Warmer Days

Stress Talk #5: Family of Baggers

I dislike it when people use these words: “This is nice but…” or “I like it but…” because the “but” implies otherwise. If you don’t like it, tell me, don’t give me such inconclusive answer, you know what it does to me. It irritates me and next thing I know, my Fitbit will tell me I’m stressed.

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My 5 Guilty Pleasure Foods

I am fairly new to the “Guilty Pleasure” food world since I had just got out of a life-long relationship with diets. For a long while, I didn’t allow myself to be indulged in aesthetically pleasing foods. Instead, I obsessed over nutrition label and would stay away with any foods that either had chemical preservatives, ridiculous amount of sugar, or had an insane amount of “empty” calories where the more I consume, the hungrier I’d get.

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Silent Sunday: A Lovely Day By the Lake

5 Foods I Enjoy Because They Are Good For Me

If 2020 has gifted me anything good, it would be the abundance of time spent at home and the lack of opportunity to eat out. This really allowed me to explore the diverse world of food over the world-wide-web. I have fallen in love with so many different dishes and foods I had never thought I would like.

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Wordless Wednesday: Tranquility

Stress Talk #4: Mission Impossible: Meal Prep

Here comes more mantras: you’re not dirty, you are an intelligent human being, you are not a brainless person when it comes to buying stuff.

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Stress Talk #3: Everyone else must be miserable because I am

You are not selfish. You are not a bad person. You are good.

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There are plenty to be thankful for, even in 2020

2020, what a year, right? So many things happened this year – pandemic, earthquakes, on-and-off mask mandates, wind storms, social gathering restrictions… but even in this weird pandemic universe we’re living in where Mondays and Fridays are just another day, giving thanks is still an everyday-must and a definite-must on Thanksgiving.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

Here are my 5 major thanks for 2020:

  • My job – my biggest thank. My job has kept me occupied even if I have to learn new roles and work crazy amount of overtime hours. It kept me busy and my anxiety at bay because I kept wondering if this pandemic would turn into some kind of Zombie Apocalypse where everyone turns into zombies after getting tested positive for this virus.
  • I’m thankful I haven’t had a problem with paying my bills and mortgage this year as working overtime has generated quite a bit of extra income.
  • I’m thankful for the art of crochet. It also kept me occupied during 2020. I am now more prepared for winter than I ever was in past years with hand-made scarves, hats, and a wonderful fashionable cowl.
  • I’m thankful for finally investing in a stand-up desk so my back will be straight when this whole thing’s over and we’re back in the office.
  • I’m thankful for all the audiobooks and podcasts that kept me entertained as I went through my workday. As of this week, I’ve listened to over 70 audiobooks this year.

Last but not least, I want to thank all the readers of this blogs who followed me through the years. Even though I’ve been away for most of 2020, some of my long-time readers would occasionally comment to check up on me. I am thankful for the thoughtfulness and to have a great bunch of friends in this ever changing blogging universe.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Not So Wordless Wednesday: And the chicken says…

Chicken with a microphone in hand

…eat more turkeys on Thanksgiving!

Silent Sunday: Another End to Another Day

Stress Talk #2: It’s Friday, so?

So… it’s another Friday or in the pandemic world of 2020, it’s just anther day.

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Wordless Wednesday: When you’re not a painter…

Everybody Needs Me

Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

It is so incredible the other 7 individuals in my mom’s clan think I can bought with money. “Here, take this $100.” One of them would toss an 100-dollar bill in my direction whenever they want something done for them.

What am I? I would often wonder. I’m certainly not a dancer at a strip club.

I am someone with two college degrees and a steady job, making more money than them. I don’t need the money. I don’t want the money. It would screw up the accounting of my money. Besides, I am a person, not an object. Why do they think I can be bought?

For the last two years, ever since my mom’s entire family immigrated to the U.S and re-entered my life again after 15 or 16 years, I feel like I have been under constant stress. There were some days, especially during the last few months, I’d find myself feeling down because not only my family doesn’t respect me and constantly trying to change me but they only come to me when they want something.

Then, there have been some days, it makes me so angry I want to punch something or someone while some days, I just want to curl up in a ball and cry. Unfortunately, after so many years of breaking down and getting back up again, I can no longer shed tears as easily as I could a few years ago.

Stop acting like a dictator!

After two years of formally getting re-acquainted with my mother, my aunts and uncles have all developed a kind of fear toward my mom that is associated with dictators. So they mostly come to me when they want something, instead of going to my mom because according to everybody, I don’t get angry. Oh, but I do, just not on the outside.

I bluntly said a few months ago, “Stop acting like you rule the world. You act like a dictator sometimes, you know that?”

“Oh, I’m a dictator now?” My mom replied, half-jokingly.

“That’s why they’re afraid of you. You’re so controlling.”

When I went on a solo hike the day after, she had her entire clan call me to check on me. My phone might had blown up if I could receive those calls but no service. That day was heaven.

Everybody needs me

There are days when I want to bang my head against the wall and it’s not because of work stress even though I do work 9, 10 hours a day, 5 days a week. Work is actually more relaxing than dealing with family matters.

The phone calls, blood work reports, doctors bills…sadly and annoyingly, none of those are mine.

Several things would happen during work days:

Mom would come up and ask, “What does this sentence mean? How would you translate it?” or she’d complain, “this makes no sense to me” or “what a horrible grammar this is?”

Then my aunt would trudge over from the next door, “Can you take a look at this text and reply for me?”

Shortly after that, my mom would stomp in and request I look at my other aunt’s lab results and tell her what it mean. “I’m not a doctor.” I’d tell her. “Consult Google.” Okay, maybe that’s worse but at least I won’t be blame or maybe I will still get blamed (for not taking a look at the report). My mom loves to blame me whenever anything goes wrong. Whatever.

A wise man named Google once said it takes a person 20 minutes to focus again after a disruption.

I can’t remember how many minutes I spend each day staring at my work inbox before I realize I was working on something that had nothing to do with writing emails.

I’m not made of steel

After a 2-mile hike last weekend, I arrived home, craving to sit down and enjoy a glass of water. My mom had other plans. “Your lettuces are dry as a bone. You need to go water them.”

“Give me a minute, let me take a breather.” It seemed like she wanted it done at that moment because there she was, filling a plastic bottle with water and marching to my mini-greenhouse to pour water on my growing lettuces. “Geez, I just hiked 2 miles, let me have a break” I also drove and listen to you criticize my driving again, I wanted to say. “I am human, not made of steel.”

“I never said you are.”

“Then stop demanding things, I will do them when I’m good and ready.”

I have been hearing people say this, “Oh you’re young, you can do anything.”


It doesn’t matter how young or old a person is, he or she is still human, and humans have limits. I don’t believe in such thing as “limitless.” Nobody can do everything and just like all machines, humans break down too. It’s just a matter of time.

2020 Election and Why I’m not into the Talk of Politics

I’m sure I sound like a lot of people from the younger generation. In fact, what prompted this blog post was because I watched a video on YouTube about how there were so few people from the 18-29 age group that had voted in the last Presidential election – only 46%. I was 25 then and I voted so I guess that makes me one of the minority.

Did I tell you I hate politics? Even though I’m fascinated by the study of politics or political science, I’d never watch CNN or CSPAN or any news networks that talks government 24/7. To me, watching politicians debate is like watching a bunch of dudes and gals arguing over the simplest matters using extremely technical jargons, to the point that no one can understand what was said.

As part of my 7-year college education, I had been there – trying to squeeze in as much college-level vocabulary as I can while trying to use filler words to make my essays as long as possible.

Eight Months of Working From Home

Did I mention my mom and I have been working from home since the March 18 earthquake?

It’s been a rough eight months. She works in the living room while I work upstairs in my room. During work hours, she has an office-issued desktop, a laptop, a tablet, and a phone opened to YouTube and from each device, there’d a video playing. Most of the time, it would be either Chinese news and gossip or presidential rallies with the songs “God Bless the USA” and “YMCA” playing on repeat.

To be honest, I can barely hear anything else other than those things nowadays. Those things are blaring 24/7, not kidding. She has headphones but refused to wear them, saying she doesn’t like the wire. So I bought her some wireless headphones but she’s indecisive about which device she should connect the headphones to. It’s been about two weeks and those brand-new headphones are still sitting on the dining room table. I’m pondering about returning them.

Big Fan

No, I won’t deny that fact. My mother is a big Trump fan (she said it herself). She listens to every word the man says and when someone says something awful about him, she would say that person is stupid.

Did I also mention she actively donates to the campaign and buy the merchandise? In my mind, I think that’s a little bit crazy. How does she know she’s donating to the right cause and not just some scam?

Me, Honestly?

I can’t say I’m a fan of anybody or anything. I don’t have an opinion (unlike my mother) or a sway of one candidate for the other.

All I know is the music has got to stop before I go insane. All I know is government politics created this situation and I want the noise to stop before I go insane. Being woken up one night with loud music coming from my mom’s room is okay but every night is not okay.

Election 2020 Talk over Dinner

With the election days away, everyone in the family is talking about it even though the only two people with voting rights are me and my mom. Then when I want to change the topic, everyone would either try to talk over me or they’d shush me.

Last night over dinner, my cousin was talking about how he would vote for Joe Biden if he could. “Well, you just got kicked out of the family.” My mom said half-jokingly. She had said that exact thing to me after interrogating and pestering me on who I voted for ever since I dropped my vote at the ballot drop box last Tuesday. “You voted for Biden, didn’t you? Didn’t you?”

“I’m not telling you.” I said. “Who I voted for reserves to be my right.”

“If you voted for Biden, I will disown you.” Whatever, I rolled my eyes after she finally left the room. This is my house, you first need to move out.

Back to dinner last night, after my mom mentioned about placing bets to see who would win the election, everyone began shouting and asking me where they could place bets.

What am I, Google? “Look it up yourselves, you all have phones…” and a pair of hands and a pair of eyes. Surprise, surprise, I didn’t get to finish my sentence. My mom shushed me, she was watching election news on YouTube.

Silent Sunday: Searching for Autumn