I didn’t really post an adequate update last time, I’ll fill in some details from October. I think I missed mentioning that I got a new cash rewards credit card while on the east coast to use on gas and dining out. After I came back to California and somewhat recovered from being sick, I was busy practicing the choreography for a group dance I performed during the Diwali celebration at my company. I also organized a Diwali get-together with all my friends at my place. My boyfriend was really impressed with that gathering (^_^) I spent one day at Santa Cruz Boardwalk (my company had raffled free pairs of tickets so we each paid only 1/3 the normal price!) with two alumni of my Masters university the next weekend (I got my Bachelors from one university and my Masters from another). And the weekend before Halloween I got dinner with my cousin who’d flown in from the east coast.
I also had a fitness evaluation the last full week of October where the resident personal trainer at my office gym walked me through what I wanted in terms of fitness for the next 6 months and helped me set goals. Since that week I have exercised on average 3 times a week, up from only doing yoga once a week since mid-2015. I still do yoga once a week, augmented with a run and a group exercise class at my company gym. I also track which days I did which workout in my phone calendar. I feel my thighs getting thicker as my skinny jeans feel tighter as a result. I feel hungry more often and have a good appetite. I have to constantly manage my time so I can exercise 3 days a week, but I hope it eventually becomes a habit.
On to November, so much has happened! I joined a meetup event for a group archery class the first weekend of November. I met up with my Masters roommate the next weekend. But mostly I was wrapping up tasks at work and planning for exciting Thanksgiving travels!
I would work hard at work so I could come home, conference call my friends, and research our trip as best we could without knowing Korean. No joke, we had a shared Google spreadsheet and shared maps account to plan out where to stay, where to eat, what to do, and how to get around. I got a physical, went to a travel clinic and took the typhoid vaccine over the next week. I got a prescription for anti-diarrhea pills, packed a first aid kit, and registered our trip with the State Department. My friend and I searched up and each got a new credit card with no foreign transaction fee and no annual fee. I even looked up my company’s travel insurance policy. I impressed myself on how much of an adult I had become.
A note on health, I fasted and got my blood drawn one day and had an ultrasound another day. Everything is normal, just my cholesterol levels are higher than last year. I had bought new glasses earlier and had mistakenly submitted a claim to my eye insurance even though I paid for them through a separate health account. So I mailed in a request and undid that claim. I made my open enrollment elections for next year during that second week of November and kept my insurance similar to last year. Now after having an eye exam and ordering contacts today, I’m second-guessing that I should have put more money into the tax-advantaged health account, I wonder if there’s any way to modify it now…
I hosted my undergrad friend from Chicago the week before Thanksgiving. I really got to connect with him since it was just the two of us hanging out that week. We talked about faith (he’s christian and I’m hindu), we talked about love (he’s single and I’m not). We talked about parents and siblings, grandparents and ancestry, languages and our lack of competency with them. For some reason I was surprised that my boyfriend hit it off with him. I really shouldn’t have been, he’s starting grad school at the same college my boyfriend graduated from. My boyfriend is a silvertongue chameleon, he can fit into any group I drop him into.
He and I and my college bestie spent all Thanksgiving week touring Korea. It was a blast and I’m so glad I went! I ate the best meal of the year at a temple food restaurant in Seoul and visited a handful of Unesco World Heritage sites, both natural and cultural. I got a layered haircut and bought cosmetics. I impulse purchased a multi-purpose usb hair iron that works as either curler or straightener 😝. I went to a cat cafe, dog cafe, and fish market. He’d gotten in touch with our college friend who teaches English in Seoul so we saw the Seoul Lantern Festival together and she invited us to her place for an expat Thanksgiving. That was my first international trip without my family and I feel really complete having gone.
My boyfriend flew to his parents place less than a week after I got back. He’ll be gone the rest of the year spending time with family. I’m trying to keep myself busy by exercising and spending time with old friends. It’s nice that I had the chance to catch up with my high school math teacher as well as a college friend this past weekend. I’ll get a few days with my civil engineerng friend when she visits me Christmas weekend. One last upside is that I am able to focus on work without being distracted or feeling guilty. It’s a red flag that my boyfriend makes me feel guilty if I spend as much time working as he does. He agrees it’s unfair of him as well. We’ll work on it.
Money-wise, I set up autopay for one of my new credit cards and will work on setting it up for the other one. I’m also not including the balance from the other one under credit card debt since I don’t know what it is. I locked myself out of my online account. I should also save up some cash right now. I’ll get a smaller paycheck come January because of retirement account contributions. Finally I’m reading “The Seven Stages of Money Maturity”, a personal finance self-help book from the buddhist perspective. It guides you through writing a financial autobiography and meditating on your philosophy and biases around money. I started writing my autobiography yesterday and am liking it so far.