A lot of fanciness for a simple girl

I stuck around this month. I played badminton with a couple friends the first weekend, hung out with alumni from my graduate college the next weekend, spent MLK Day weekend with my boyfriend in SF, and was very much a homebody last weekend. My boyfriend has never been to a Women’s March and I considered taking him the Saturday before MLK Day, but did laundry and yoga instead. He made some digital art that Sunday and I did another hour of yoga. We cooked together for an Indian holiday on MLK day. We also went to a beach where my boyfriend took a perfect picture of the wind in my hair in the sunset, it’s currently tied as my 4th most-liked post on Instagram. Last but opposite of least, my boyfriend got me a super pretty watch for my birthday and planned a dinner at what I swear is the fanciest Indian restaurant in the city. They had a tasting menu for restaurant week so we had a full 3 course meal. It was inventive and filling and delicious, I can’t even… Two of the dishes I got were topped with gold foil!

Tidying Up by Marie Kondo is all the rage right now. I tidied the files and photos on my personal laptop, thumb drives, and microSD cards and took a backup of my personal files from my work laptop last weekend. I’ve been meaning to do this for a long time; it felt good removing it from my todo list. The next steps are to backup my personal laptop and phone, and tidy my external hard drive. Also, I had a pile of old clothes that were too worn to donate. Did you know that H&M takes back such clothes for textile recycling and gives you a 15% off coupon for bring them in? I don’t know what they do with the clothes, but it eases my conscience knowing I didn’t just throw them away and I got a 15% off H&M coupon to boot.

I worked out 15 times this month, keeping to my thrice a week schedule. Moreover, I had gotten my mom to start a 30 day workout program over the holidays. She finished the foundation and has now moved on to a second 30 day program, I’m so proud of her for taking charge of her body! I scheduled an optometrist appointment as well as my yearly DEXA scan. I’m planning to use up FSA funds from last year to get contacts and may get prescription glasses or sunglasses using this year’s funds. Since I’ve let my hair grow out for the past 1.5 years, I have A TON of split-ends and badly need a haircut but oh well. Overall, I’m content on the health front.

Financially, there’s a lot going on. I made my backdoor Roth IRA contribution for 2019 and invested it all in ITOT. I have to fill out and mail in a form in order to convert my Traditional IRA monies into Roth, so I’m super jealous of my boyfriend who can convert his online. I also introduced my boyfriend to the helpful graphics on Personal Capital from which you can get a handle on your asset allocation and sector breakdown. I find those and the Investment Checkup page the 3 most helpful pages on Personal Capital. My manager brought up compensation during one of our weekly 1-1 meetings. I was happy with my compensation but that meeting made me research what the market rate is like, just to check. The conclusion: I’m still happy with my compensation.

In terms of work, I’m totally failing my 2019 goal to become more engaged with my industry. But I have become a slightly more productive worker in the past 6 months, my manager said so. I still don’t have a plan for achieving this goal, but I realize I have to let some other things go in order spend more time on my career. I’m not sure what to let go yet so I’ll cool my expectations for now while I focus on making time and space for this.

Europe with friends

I’m still catching up on my routine tasks since I was on vacation in Eastern Europe and Denver for a good part of July but it feels good to be back. Both vacations were great, but the Europe trip was VERY hectic and my style of traveling didn’t mesh so well with how the group traveled. I am super glad to have gone though, as I’ve only taken international trips if I have a others to go with. I had pretty high credit card spending in the past few months as a result of booking airfare for traveling; it’s back under 1K now. 1K is a normal level of credit card debt for me each month if there are no irregular expenses. It’s about to go up again as I plan to pay for my car registration and book a flight to my parents’ place.

My investments are continuing to grow at a nice rate, and I’m pleased with where my portfolio is heading. My aim has been getting to 70% domestic-30% international and I’m almost there. Within the 70% domestic bucket I want to have a 70% large cap-30% smaller cap allocation. I’m currently at 90/10 but any new investments are going into smaller companies so this will get better over the next couple months. I do have some money earmarked for medium-term spending so some of what’s in the stocks column is in cash or a money market fund. Meanwhile my emergency fund is in a high-yield savings account and I’m making a whole $4/month in interest. 😀 My mother has asked me to put trailing stop orders on all my investments but I feel like I would be better off holding them and rebalancing opportunistically, I’m researching this now.

I am having trouble balancing relationships lately. Until now I’ve been pretty good at keeping in touch with long-distance friends, but lately I go hang out with people in person instead. I’m dedicated to working out at least 3 times a week so there just isn’t enough time to socialize with everyone after sleep, work, and exercise. Trust me, I’ve installed the News Feed Eradicator browser extension and cut out other sources of wasted time already. Right now I’m prioritizing: my family, my boyfriend and his family, in-person friendships, long-distance friendships. This way I have time for those who are closest to me and can see the difference we make in each others’ lives. I need to accept that this means I won’t be in touch with as many friends who are farther away. I know my close friends won’t mind either way.

I’ve realized so many gains from working out, it’s really adding up. I actually have triceps now!! Whoop!! My calves look more defined when I show my legs and wear heels. I know I have more stamina since I went on a 20km hike in Europe and wasn’t dead the next day. I wasn’t sore the day after I went kayaking back in April, and I picked up badminton again without too much soreness. In general I don’t get as sore after workouts. I know how stretch to prevent injuries and how to deal with minor aches better. I fit my pants better and don’t chafe on my thighs, but on the other hand I fit my shirts worse and chafe at my arms and chest. I’m more aware of how ergonomic things are and of maintaining good posture. I’m more mindful of my mood and my thoughts. I’m so thankful for my health, I’m going to continue my workout regimen as long as I can.

My boyfriend told me he loves that my lips are the same color as my gums. He’d previously said he likes that my gums show when I smile. I shake my head in front of him but it makes me smile thinking back on it. It gives me confidence that he notices me, takes joy in the little things, that they matter to him. He and his sister moved to a new apartment last weekend and I was amazed at how orderly the move was! Today when I reminded him not to throw cardboard in the trash, he collapsed it, kept it separately, and pointed out that he’s been setting bottles to the side to be recycled. Environmentalism is one of my top values and it means a lot that he wants to practice my values in his home.