Life and responsibilities: the past vs today

/ Saturday, September 23, 2017 /
Last night, I was talking to my in-laws. I was inquiring as to what envelopes they had, and if we could have some of them, since they almost never write checks, and we have to all the time. But they didn't have the kind we wanted - specifically, security-covered check-sized envelopes.

I responded that we would just go to Amazon to buy them. My father-in-law chuckled.

Every day at my condo complex, hoards of packages come in. Boxes of all shapes and sizes come hither, bringing forth every good one could possibly imagine.

A lot of these customers are young people - people ranging from teenagers to those in their 30s and 40s. Young adults - millennials, as they say - get many, if not most, of their products off of this one site.

Even more than this, lots of other businesses are getting their "business" online. Clothing companies, pet box subscriptions, hardware stores and more - more and more products are being sold online instead of at brick-and-mortar stores.

Why is this? Who's winning? Who's suffering?

For one thing, it seems that millennials today are expected to do MUCH more work than previously expected. What I mean by this is that originally, with the advent of bigger and better technology, people thought that our lives would become easier. Instead, it has triggered a scale of invitations to have more responsibilities and other items to complete. Beforehand, people used to go to the library to look up topics in encyclopedias and journal articles. Now, we can access them at home.

But what is the trade-off? We do have more access to such media. But we are expected, instead, to have more responsibilities. We are allotted shorter amounts of time to access such things and are expected to produce more output, ever day.

Case in point is the modern working mom. My mom works a 60-hour a week job, but still has the responsibilities of all of the cooking and cleaning in the house. (My dad's culinary skills are terrible. Nobody wants to eat what he makes anyway.) How is she able to do this? She multi-tasks almost all of the time - starting the laundry as soon as she gets home, programming the oven so that it automatically turns on/off so that food is not undercooked or overcooked, using a high-tech rice cooker with both "cook" and "keep warm" settings, etc. At the end of the day, she sets on both the laundry machine and the dishwasher so that another load of laundry could be done, and the dishes would be washed overnight.

Her mother, a generation ago, was a full-time homemaker. She needed all of the time during the day, 24/7, to do all of the chores and cooking. She needed more time to change diapers, because she had to wash cloth diapers - unlike the luxury my mom had with disposable diapers. Laundry had to be washed entirely by hand. Technology was less advanced, and that meant that less things could be done at the same time.

Mind you - this was a long time ago, perhaps during the second world war era. So technology wasn't as great as it was now.

But the point is that, despite the fact that my mom needs a lot less time to perform such responsibilities than her mother, she (my mother) is bombarded with more responsibilities in addition. Her full-time job to "bring home the dough" takes up time, and she is also expected to do other things, such as type at a computer, text her children with tons of emojis, etc.

Which gets me back to my original point. Today's generation - nay, everyone living in today's technological world - is expected to do more things. Need to buy groceries? Don't go to the grocery store - use Amazon Pantry instead, so you can save time to do something else. Need a new couch? Don't make the drive out to Ikea - just look online at the reviews and pick one that is to your liking. Even simple things such as buying a present for someone requires only a search and the click of a button, rather than a trip to the mall, complete with used time and gas, etc.

But instead of saying "Yipee! We have more free time!", instead, we are bombarded with more responsibilities. Instead of using that extra time to relax, we're expected to spend more time on our jobs and obtain even more responsibilities than before. For example, as a student, life is filled with endless studying and working at the hospital. When I get home, I run the dishwasher and the laundry, load after load, while cleaning the floor and making coffee by the pot. I continue running the delicates while looking at a book - a book on the iPad. The husband, at work, runs tons of tests on machines at the same time, due to the sheer fact that many, many virtual machines are available for use. He isn't just using ENIAC. He's using i9 or whatever.

So ultimately, what wins? Whose lifestyle and responsibilities are better? Honestly, I don't know. Life is what life is. We are just simply inculcated to the responsibilities we are given. At the end of the day, we just have to do what we need to do. And that's that.


/ Tuesday, August 29, 2017 /
During these past few days, we've been inundated again and again by the calamity known as Harvey. As many might know, this is a hurricane that originally hit the Yucatan Peninsula, regained strength, hit Corpus Christi, went back into the Gulf, and then hit north of Galveston area.

We currently live in Houston right next to a body of water. This is a bayou that is notorious for flooding during past hurricanes and tropical storms. (yes, I know, some might ask why on earth would you live there? I have to. It's close to work, and if I had to drive 30+ min after a 12-hour shift at work, I wouldn't be sane.)

Thus, these are things to be aware of.

For the past few days, the husband and I have been hunkered down at home, with water, frozen food, and charged batteries. We've thankfully not had any major issues. Our entire apartment complex has become an island.

Outside the complex:

Image may contain: tree, plant, bridge, outdoor, water and nature

Inside the gate:
Image may contain: tree, sky, outdoor, water and nature

Harvey's hit us pretty hard. Airplanes have had to airlift people /out/ of airports due to flooding. Roofs have torn off due to ensuing tornadoes. We've had friends who had to be airlifted out of their houses. My father-in-law wanted to get us a boat to rescue us. My dad is worried sick about his car. Husband's flight has been cancelled till at least next week. Highways are closed, so nobody can really get anywhere. At least 16 people have been confirmed dead.

Who knows what is going on?

Lots say that climate change is making hurricanes worse:

That might be a legit reason. Nonetheless, right now, we are all focusing on getting through this catastrophe and recovering. Lots of my friends are going to volunteer at shelters. People lined up in droves to donate blood at our local blood bank (myself included). The ride-out teams at our hospitals have worked with limitless stamina, motivation, and care to make sure that patients are getting the care that they need. Friends on FB are marking themselves as safe. Many online donation sites and Red Cross sites are getting filled with blessings. Friends have reached out to neighbors, giving out water and food supplies.

As of right now, we are safe. We can't guarantee what's going to happen, seeing that the storm seems to be what the husband calls a "zombie storm" that keeps up popping alive, again and again...

New nice places to sleep?

/ Sunday, July 30, 2017 /
I like a good night's sleep just as much as the next person. I've slept in all sorts of places - on the bus, empty college classrooms, a friend's couch, on the floor, in the grass, etc.

And honestly, apart from sleeping on my Leesa mattress, I think the next best thing is sleeping on the ground.

Whaa? You like sleeping on the ground? Yeah, for some reason, I don't mind the hard pressure points of the ground. In fact, I kind of like it!

Reasons why:

  1. I feel like I'm living in a K-drama - a lot of people in Korea sleep on the floor due to a nice heating system. Granted, there is no such heating system in my home, but honestly, in the Texas Gulf Coast area, where there are 10 months of summer in a year, it doesn't matter.
  2. Privacy - I feel like I'm in my own cozy area when it's there. For some reason?
  3. Nostalgia- reminds me of those good ole' college days, when sleeping on the grass was quite the norm for some students. (One of my best friends completed a mission where she slept in EVERY single building on campus!)
  4. Cooling temperature - warm air rises and cold air sinks. When you're on the ground, in the hot summer, with the air conditioning running non-stop, every single degree counts.
  5. Incentive to vacuum - I'm encouraged to vacuum the carpet more often to create a cleaner ground to sleep on.
So yeah, bottom line is that I kind of like this new system of sleeping. Who knows how it will work out in the future?


/ Sunday, July 23, 2017 /

I like doing my own henna designs. I think it's really beautiful - not only for weddings, but also for everyday occasions - and these intricate designs are marvelous.

Souvenirs from Japan!

/ Sunday, July 16, 2017 /

My roommate took a trip to Japan and brought me back some awesome souvenirs!

Sushi erasers
Kit-Kats: dark chocolate, lychee, matcha, etc flavors


/ Sunday, July 2, 2017 /
Exams are super stressful for me.

Exams in high school, and even college, were relatively okay. As long as I studied for them - e.g. a week in advance - they turned out well.

Everything hit the fan during medical school.

On tests during pre-clinical classes, I would still be learning things for the test during the actual test. Things that weren't covered were extremely difficult to understand and memorize. How was I supposed to know all of these things? I'm not good at memorizing blatant details. As a result, this makes medical school studying extremely difficult, because a lot of it is just pure memorization.

Our board exams are extremely long. The first exam that we have is 8 hours long. The second is 9 hours. The third is a clinical exam that lasts about 9 hours as well. The next one is 17 hours long (albeit divided into 2 days, thank goodness).

And our last ones? Sometimes they last a week. Or whoever knows how long.

So thus, it's difficult, really really difficult, for me. Even if I prepare for half a year for these exams, it's still hard.

What can I do to improve this? Any advice?

Heart to heart: Insecurities

/ Sunday, June 25, 2017 /
I've always had insecurities. I think every person has them. We all have our weaknesses and strengths.

So thus, during this tropical storm (it's raining like crazy outside), I've decided to make this list of my insecurities. Some people may say that I'm a survivor, or that I have a lot of great attributes, etc, but in reality there are a lot of things that make me extremely human and weak.

  1. Height - I'm super short! I'm 5' 2''. Even petite clothing purchased in stores has to be hemmed to fit properly. It's really sad actually - lots of money/time wasted from either going to a tailor or me doing it myself. I don't like sitting behind tall peeps in movie theatres, it's hard to reach places, etc. I look like a midget.
  2. Scars - I have a ton of scars from my countless knee surgeries. I hate going to the beach because of these scars. These scars will probably never heal completely. They look gross!
  3. Insomnia - easily a problem for many peeps. Stress can really get to a person.
  4. Weight - this is something that's bothered me since the 2nd grade. I ballooned during high school and freshman 15. Afterward, during college and med school, I definitely lost weight. But to this day, I still have these thoughts, need to remind myself to watch my diet, etc.
  5. Ability to multitask - I can probably do 3 or more things at once. But in the hospital, often times you have to do 5 or 7 things at the same time - talking on the phone, typing things onto the computer, listening to conversations in the background of the team rooms, figuring out and typing in computer orders, writing, etc. It's really difficult to do this. I've trained myself to do several things at once - e.g. have casual conversations whilst typing or doing chores, but other than this it's really difficult, especially with things that are more brain-intensive.
So there you go. I'm not perfect. I'm a person with lots of flaws. I've failed and messed up, tripped and become broken along these years. I work hard and try to improve myself every day. I just hope it's enough.

I got married?

/ Sunday, June 4, 2017 /
I recently got married to Dan. Somehow we became adults and took the "next step" in our lives?

We met at a math competition in middle school (yeah I know, nerdy right). We went to HS and college together as well. It's always been interesting, considering that we've known each other for so long. Perhaps that was why it worked. We were in a long-distance for 5 years (and still are?!?!) but somehow it worked out.

Evolution of my haircuts and hair lengths

/ Sunday, May 28, 2017 /
I generally prefer a mid-length look. It isn't too long, it isn't too short, etc. I can tie it up in a ponytail and I can wear it in braids.

However, with miscommunication from various hairstylists and laziness, it's either become super short or super long. 

Here is the progression of my hairstyles/hair lengths throughout the years:

Mixed thoughts on flowers

/ Sunday, May 14, 2017 /
I really do like flowers. They make great gifts - but only occasionally. 
It's because they are so transient, in a way! They wilt and go bad after days, despite regular care.
I wish that they would last longer, but sadly that isn't the case.


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