Week 3 - Ants, Scoopy and Toilet Paper | Nadia La Russa

Ants, Scoopy and Toilet Paper – Week 3

Week Three is done. Wow, just wow.  I feel the days slowing moving by, and then the next thing I know, the days have flown by.  Life has slowed down here for us – finally. I’m absolutely loving this pace.  We had the chance to get into some really good conversations with the kids and have found out the insights from their viewpoints. Emerson, on his own accord, told us the other day “Life is easy here.”  Hearing him say that was a breath of fresh air.

This week’s adventures took us to Waterbom – Asia’s #1 rated waterpark, and #2 in the world. The kids had a blast.  The parents also had a blast relaxing in the gazebo and occasionally throwing food towards dripping children.  Of course, the immediate question as we were leaving was “can we do that again?!?” – so I’d call the day a success.

The boys and Andria took turns on the “flowrider” to hone the surfing skills, and we did a family ride down the lazy river. The day was absolutely amazing.

Our house is next to the Four Points Sheraton, and each night, we can hear music from their rooftop patio. On Monday’s, we have started taking the kids there. It’s usually a small crowd, maybe our group plus one other table, and the musicians have started including the kids in their sets.  I’m loving it, although every so often I get a twinge of “maybe Camryn is a bit young to be singing in a bar.”

As we settle into regular life here, I find myself getting used to certain aspects of life that I think would be strange to accommodate back home.

 

Ants. Holy moly, the ants.

These buggers are e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e.  They are small, they travel in packs of 349,280 and the walk around silently, carrying of any food you are foolish enough to leave out.  They don’t bite or actually harm anything, but they are certainly not easy to get rid of.  I realized pretty much from day three here that I could either live in a cloud of Raid, or just deal.

So, all of the things go in the freezer. Chips, rice, cereal, fruit, everything. Zero things get left on a counter here. These guys will literally crawl inside a wrapped loaf of bread if you leave it unattended for more than a few hours.  I’ve gotten used to brushing them off my bed each night and wiping down the bathroom sink each morning.

 

I drive a Scooter

I rented a scooter this week.  What a difference a little mobility makes.  I think my mother is going to lose her mind at this one (sorry mom!) but the more time I spend here, the more I realize that the traffic moves relatively safely. So, I walked down the street and rented this piece of freedom:

Meet “Scoopy”

Scoopy and I did get ourselves into one itsy-bitsy traffic jam (see above traffic picture) but I just followed the rest of the pack – on to the sidewalk – and in a few minutes it was over.  No one actually drives at any amazing speed here, and I’ve learned that all you really need to do is keep track of what is going on in front of you, not hit anything, and everyone else does the same.

I bee-bopped from Seminyak to Canngu where I visited Made’s Banana Flour and had myself a little piece of heaven on a plate – fluffy, gluten free waffles.

It was AH-MAZING.

 

Toilet Paper

For reasons that I don’t quite understand, toilet paper isn’t a “thing” here really. They have it, but the more time I spend here, the more I start to wonder if it’s really just for the north American tourists.  The house we are staying in is fully stocked, but heaven help you if you leave the house without a partial roll with you.  Most public bathrooms are outfitted with this setup.  I can’t even begin to figure out how on earth I would even operate this, or what the rules are on it’s use. Just, no.

 

Since coming here, Brent and I have waffled back and forth between “this is awesome” and “what were we thinking.” Overall, its been an experience being here – one that I have definitely found enriching and challenging at the same time.

This week, we are heading on a snorkeling adventure – stay tuned!

Waking Up at 4AM is AWESOME

Why waking up at 4am every day is AWESOME!

I set my alarm for 4am every day.

Over the last two years, I have developed the habit of preserving my quiet morning time to meditate, pray, do a bit of yoga, read, or even mindlessly scroll through social media.  Most of the time, when someone new figures this out, I get one of a few canned reactions:

  1. You’re crazy
  2. I could NEVER do that
  3. Wow, that’s amazing, I wish I could do that.

Here’s the great news – you CAN. Everyone can.  And, although it takes getting used to, I’d never go back to the days of waking up straight into the morning rush-around.

Mornings can be pure evil

Why waking up at 4am is AWESOME!For many of us, mornings are pure evil. The anxiety-inducing buzz of the alarm, bare feet on a floor that feels like the polar ice cap, bleary, crusty eyes that only open halfway, and the endless trudge to the coffee pot (seriously, why does the walk to the coffee pot feel like running a marathon?). Oh, and let’s not forget the fact that you look, smell, and sound like a monster that just crawled out of the world’s deepest, darkest trench. To top it all off, your roommate/partner/spouse is a (gasp!) morning person. He or she seems to literally jump out of her bed looking like someone who just spent five days at a spa. They’re beaming from ear to ear, grinning like some kind of maniacal clown, going on and on about their incredibly detailed plans for the day–all the while singing and laughing in an insanely bubbly voice. As you respond to the endless babbling with a few caveman grunts here and there, you wonder how in the world anyone could possibly be like this every single morning. Although it’s hard to believe, there are a lot of morning people in the world, and following just a few of these tips could help you wake up a lot earlier with a lot less struggle:

Ease into it

Turning into an early bird isn’t going to happen overnight. You have to ease into it. If you normally get up at 7:00 am (meaning physically getting out of bed, not the first of seven times that your alarm goes off), don’t think you’re just magically going to start getting up at 5:00 am. Instead, aim for small goals–baby steps. Try getting up at 6:45 for a while, until it feels comfortable (you don’t have to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed like your roommate, but a bit more than barely functional is helpful). Once you are comfortable with your new time, creep it up another 15 minutes. Repeat the process until you reach your final goal.

Imagine

Imagine what you would do with your morning if you could wake up and hop out of bed without needing a gallon of coffee just to open your left eye (the right one takes another gallon). Let your imagination run wild–you could finish that book you’ve been reading for roughly two years, start a yoga routine, enjoy some early morning gardening, or even go for a run (okay, okay, let’s not push it). Whatever you imagine you could do with that extra time, let it be your inspiration.

Why waking up at 4am is AWESOME!Wake up to something pleasant

I’m not sure who came up with the idea that alarms had to be, well, alarming. Maybe it wasn’t the brightest idea to have the first thing you hear every day be a sound akin to someone hammering nails into your eardrums. None of us like waking up wondering if the house is on fire or if that’s just the alarm clock. So find an alternative. Ditch that vexing old alarm clock and try something new. Waking up to music can be very pleasant, or check out some nature sounds apps–you could be waking up to the sounds of rolling waves on the beach rather than a five-alarm fire.

No more excuses

As we talked about earlier, this isn’t a change that is going to happen overnight. There are some days that are going to be much tougher than others–days when you’ll want to give in to temptation and start beating on that snooze button. You’ll justify it with excuses–it’s so cold, I was up late last night, I don’t feel like making coffee, there’s nothing to eat for breakfast, I have so much to do and it’s going to be a bad day… In order for this new morning schedule to work, you have to make it tougher to find an excuse. Put slippers near your bed to combat your icy floor, program your coffee pot the night before (not only will it be piping hot and ready when you wake up, the smell will make you hop right out of bed!), prep simple breakfast foods (cut up fruit and store it in the fridge, stock up on yogurt, pour single-servings of cereal in small Tupperware bowls), and get organized. It can be tough to get up when your day feels like a hot mess before you even open your eyes–even a simple list of the things you need to accomplish each day can help. Write it out the night before and stick it on the fridge to help you feel less frazzled in the morning.

Keep a log

Although the actual getting-out-of-bed part is going to be hard, you’re going to notice a lot of benefits once you start waking up earlier. You’ll feel less stressed, you’ll be able to take your time, you’ll be more productive, and you’ll eat a better breakfast. Keep a log of all the changes (even tiny ones!) that you notice as you start the process of waking up earlier. Keep track of how much you get done in the first few hours of your day as opposed to how productive you were when you slept later. You’ll be surprised at how much of a positive impact getting up a little early will have on your life.

It takes perseverance

Changing your sleep pattern to wake earlier isn’t an easy thing to do, but it can be done with a little perseverance. There are many benefits to being an early riser–according to Forbes magazine, early birds are more enthusiastic, better problem solvers, better planners, more productive, more optimistic, in better shape, and get this–they sleep better (research shows that people who go to bed earlier and wake up earlier get more restorative sleep). So while you are adjusting to your new wake-up time, just remember all these benefits and keep imagining what you’re going to do with all that extra quiet time.

See you in the morning!