09 September 2015

The Quiet Kind of Fun

Ever since our move 2.5 months ago, life has felt a little like a never-ending marathon of stuff to do. After all, in the last two and a half months we've spent a week in Cambodia, bought a car, celebrated both Angel's birthday and mine, attended a marriage ceremony, planned and hosted a goodbye party with 180 people in attendance, experienced severe water leakage in our apartment, and released baby turtles into the ocean. That's on top of the normal busy work involved in moving, like buying appliances and furniture and getting internet set up...and the normal busy work involved in life. Angel started a new job, I have 2 four year olds over to play and learn with me every morning and I stay on top of all the housework and am involved in a variety of other interesting projects.

My little sister left some of her old t-shirts behind when she moved to America a month ago. So now we wear them. And yep, we gave her a t-shirt with a picture of us on it years ago, back when we were newly engaged, and we thought it was the funniest thing ever.

In addition, until the last few days of August, we hadn't lived in our apartment alone. My brother and my cousin were staying with us for the first two months, and then as soon as they left, we housed and took care of a 6-year old boy while his parents were out of the country for a few weeks.

We aren't normally the type of people I would call "busy," so this new pace of life has come as a bit of a shock. I'm not saying any of this to complain. Much of our "busyness" has been of a very exciting and fun nature. Angel loves his new job, and I love the kids I hang out with everyday. My eyes light up when I think of all the stories and experiences we've had in the past few months.

At the same time, I have noticed that even an 'Energizer Bunny' such as myself has started to crave some quiet downtime of the sort that's fun without requiring tons of energy, and I've realized that in our current season of life, fun of that sort has to be strategically planned and enacted

I've started to identify the kinds of quiet fun that are helping me get into a long-term sustainable rhythm for this new and exciting lifestyle.

I've always loved reading. But in the past few years, I largely stopped reading books for fun. Part of that was due to my new interest in blogging--I started reading blogs instead of books. Part of it was because I'd already read all the books I owned and didn't want to buy any more in the year before we left for China, and then I didn't have much available to read while we were in China, either. Now I live close enough to my parents' goldmine of a book collection, and I'm once more devouring books whenever I get a free moment. In the afternoons, I often take a few of the littles to the apartment complex's playroom. There, they climb all over slides and little toy houses and I lay on the floor engrossed in a book. Everyone's happy.

Recent reads include The Girl who Saved the King of Sweden and The Monogram Murders. I just finished reading The Fellowship of the Ring and I'm on to the second in the series.

I don't write well in 15 minute chunks, but when I get a couple solid hours with nothing scheduled in them, I still love stealing away to my computer and writing something. There's a reason I've kept blogging for years. I may never have a gigantic audience, but the words keep coming anyway. These days, I'm also enjoying researching for and writing lesson plans for my preschoolers and for character-building activities for a teens group I'm involved with on Saturdays. Perhaps I should warn you now--at this point, I'm planning on participating in Write 31 Days in October--which will give me plenty of excuses to write. The topic will be stories of growing up as a TCK in Malaysia--I was under the impression that I hadn't written much in the way of true stories of interesting events, lately, so I'm setting out to change that. You can read my page explaining the series here.

Watching TV/Movies
Watching movies together has always been a favorite activity of mine and Angel's. In Michigan, we had the coziest couch, and renting DVDs from Blockbuster and watching one while cozied up under blankets with a big bowl of popcorn and two homemade smoothies made for some awesome evenings. Our couch in China was probably the least comfy couch ever, so that became much less of a habit, but now that the couch we ordered finally arrived (one month after ordering) we are enjoying our old habit once more. Now we just have to get a blender so that we can have smoothies. There's no DVD rental shops here, but this is another area in which it's fun to raid my family's collection.

Here, on Wednesday nights, movie tickets are only 8.50RM (with the current exchange rate, that's $2 USD), which makes movie dates out at the cinema a really feasible option. That's great news for our date night habit! The cinema in China was very expensive where we lived, so we only went when the school gave us vouchers for Teacher's Day or for a really big movie like The Hobbit.

This is something that I've loved doing since I was a little girl. Especially when watching a movie or a TV show, I like keeping my hands busy. Crocheting or knitting isn't my thing, but embroidery is. In China, I embroidered a table runner which I gave to one of our coworkers. Now I need a new project to start on!

What are the sorts of quiet fun that you partake in when you need to rebuild your energy for the next big thing?


  1. During the camp season 15 minutes is usually all I get to sneak away and have some time to recharge. I've found colouring can often give me a boost and give my brain a rest. Depending on where you are 15 minutes might be just long enough to go for a little walk around where you are and snap some photos.

  2. I'm looking forward to some quiet fun as well! After busy seasons of life, I enjoy just staying home!

  3. Yay!! My favorite thing right now is taking care of my house plants, garden, and making little planters.

  4. Oh Rachel, the quiet kind of fun is so my kind of fun! [I'd include, for me, scrapbooking, sewing and painting too] both look *so* good to see! [What's your Instagram account?]

  5. oh my goodness that shirt with you two on it is AMAZING! i love that angel is wearing it! my favorite quiet activity is to take a stroll in nature or my new favorite...coloring! sounds like things are crazy busy but also sounds like really good things happening :)

  6. That shirt is so great! Maybe that's what I'll do for Christmas this year. I can only imagine how thrilled out family would be! haha I've noticed that I don't read nearly as many books these days, probably a mixture of a bunch of things, but mainly I think it has a lot to do with blogging and reading so many blogs.

  7. Embroidery?? So crafty!!! Wishing you the best of Septembers!! xoxox, Kayla

  8. That shirt is fabulous! I'm going to make one like that for my husband. Ha! He'll never wear it.

    I love taking my dog for walks. A great way to recharge and centre myself. I hope to get back to running this fall.


  9. I'm the same with reading! I used to read all the time, but now I am too in love with blog reading. I really need to start reading books again though...

  10. I totally understand you! When I started blogging I left my books and started to read blogs and selecting them so that I could always read about interesting to me stuff :)

    I invite you to read my latest posts :)

  11. We always love to relax together at the end of a long day, usually in front of our favorite TV show on Netflix.

  12. These are all great! I definitely do and enjoy all of them... Except Embroidery. You can keep that one... But another thing I like to do to relax is actually work out. I do pilates in my living room to youtube videos. While this may not be "quite" it is definitely "relaxing time to myself"

  13. Quiet fun is my favorite! :] I'm definitely a fan of writing/reading/catching up on good shows/movies. I used to scrapbook and do woodburning and a bunch of other craftsy stuffs, but all my supplies are back in California, so music, exercise and cooking have filled that void. :[ That's awesome that you do embroidery!

  14. Ooh quiet fun can definitely balance the run-around-fun you've been having!

  15. This is so my type. Being an introvert, I loved reading and writing much more than partying and socializing. So connecting! :)

  16. Quiet is something I crave and love. IT's so nice to just be at peace with ones thought - esp with a tv in low volume in the background. Lol. I can't always have complete silence but I do like to be at peace; which at home, thankfully, I always am. :) Hope you get some quiet time and glad you are both loving your new busy pace lifestyles! Take Care Rachel! -Iva