Lunar New Year break
The whole family was thrilled that Shelby joined us for CNY break. We packed a lot into her week here! We spent three days on Green Island (lots of adventures and beauty, some ferry puking), wandered around Tainan, and saw waterfalls and mountain forests alike. We also spent a few days just hanging around the house. It was a near-perfect break!
I bought Paul a Switch for Christmas and it has been a huge hit for the whole family. The biggest hit? Zelda, of course. 3/4 family members are obsessed (I am the lone holdout). The Switch has been a bonding point for a chunk of our staff housing community — four families got consoles over the holidays and it is a normal occurrence to have friends of all ages stopping by to compare notes and share tips. (Meanwhile, I'm loving Mario Kart and Puyo Puyo Tetris.) We even had a grown-up Switch party — we set up two gaming areas and then ended the night with an epic game of 1 - 2 -Switch. Hilarious.
Capsule wardrobe 2.0
I've been thinking a lot about decision fatigue recently, initially sparked by Better than Before (Gretchen Rubin) which discusses how habit-formation helps us by taking away the necessity of making decisions. I've long been intrigued by the idea of uniform dressing (ala Obama) but haven't felt quite ready to bite the bullet. I've decided to go with a cross between a uniform/capsule/"no-brainer" wardrobe. Last weekend (instead of grading papers), I pulled out my favorite (roughly) 30 items of clothing and folded/put away the rest. I'm going to rotate through these items until I get bored and/or the seasons change; after that, I'll switch out the 30 for warmer-weather clothing. So far, it's been great. I pretty much rotate between 4 button downs, 1 sweater, and 3 tees. All the clothes hanging on the rack fit well and require no thought.
I cut my hair over Christmas break! Then I cut it again just a month later! You can't really tell from the picture, but it's properly short — the back of my neck is fully exposed and I sure can't tie my hair back in a ponytail anymore (which was precisely the point). I've basically had the same hair my whole life and I have spent 90% of my waking hours with my hair in a ponytail. It's kind of nice to have to wear my hair down for a change. Having short hair is actually much higher maintenance, but surprisingly, I am enjoying actually having to care about my hair. For the first time in my life, I blow dry my hair almost daily. The awesome thing is it takes about 5 minutes (as opposed to 30, before). I also use a flat iron on the regular. Who am I??
I've recently read
Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler (intriguing)
Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James (fun!)
Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld (for the second time — still a cringy-yet-engrossing read)
Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton (first time rereading since high school and I'd forgotten how good it is)
the aforementioned Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin
On Writing by Stephen King (absolutely lives up to the hype).
I'm 4 books ahead of my 52-book goal for the year. It hasn't been hard. Just about to dig into Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe for AP English.