existence complex

Some time ago – I can’t remember exactly where or when – I learnt a new word: sonder. “Sonder” is basically the name for the realisation that all the people around you have lives that are as complex as your own. I think most places define it in a similar way, but I’m choosing to endorse the one on The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, which is also the first link that comes up on Google when you search “sonder”.

I have had this realisation before I learnt the name for it, but I suppose it’s nice to actually have a name for it (?) or, at the very least, it’s nice to know that other people have these realisations too. If I’m not overly stressed or tired or whatever, this is the sort of stuff that I ponder on my commutes to and from work. It’s great for giving a sense of awe, which is supposed to be good for well-being and stuff. (Yeah, I remember random stuff I read half a year ago.)

Being bored on the bus or train is actually a good time to practise this sonder-ing (not sure if this word has an official verb form). Usually, if one was to catch a bus somewhere, one would probably just get on, sit down (assuming the bus wasn’t already packed) and just stare out the window or read or do something on one’s phone for the duration of the trip. One doesn’t give any thought (let alone a second thought) to one’s fellow commuters, who undoubtedly encompass a whole gamut of emotions, thoughts and experiences. But if one was inclined (and perhaps a bit creative), one could probably think of elaborate back stories for everyone (some of which might not be entirely inaccurate).

Having a browse of The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows also uncovers this related word: gnossienne. (Ok, it wasn’t much of a browse, because it was (coincidentally) at the top of the page at the time that I was “browsing”.) It describes the moment that you realise that someone you’ve known for a long time still has this mysterious side that is completely unknown to you. I’ve also pondered this sort of stuff before and, again, it is sort of reassuring in a way to know that other people think about this stuff too.

All of this reminds me of a certain related yet opposing philosophy that I learnt about several years ago. I’m pretty sure there’s a name for it but I cannot recall what it is or may be, so we’ll have to live without it for now. The basic message is that you don’t have any way of knowing beyond all doubt that everyone else in the world is real (as opposed to figments of your imagination or of something greater than yourself). As far as you are concerned, no one – indeed, nothing exists unless it is in your immediate presence. (I may or may not have blogged about this previously, but am currently too lazy to find a link.) This, although unlikely (?), is true in a way, but I’m not sure if it makes me feel good or bad…

first epic bike ride

Before today, I’ve mostly just been riding my bike around the local area, not too far from home (keep in mind I’ve only had my bike for a bit over three weeks), so I was pretty stoked about venturing further out today.

Went from home to Bulimba, caught a ferry to South Bank; rode around South Bank and across the Goodwill Bridge to the Botanic Gardens and back; then from South Bank all the way back home. Of course this wasn’t all in one hit. We had a break for lunch at Bulimba (technically an extended break, including ferry ride), and then break in the City for slushies and watermelon, and another break at South Bank just for chilling…

Would’ve been good if it wasn’t so hot today (although very glad and grateful that it wasn’t raining or whatever) but I had so much fun anyway. (Totally lathered on the sunscreen, too)

AZ estimates it was about 20km all up, which sounds pretty good to me. But I just had a look on Google Maps (good ol’ Google) and realised that that is pretty much the equivalent of going from the City all the way out to Springwood/Slacks Creek (well, it’s the distance going along the Pacific Motorway, anyway), which is essentially like riding through half of Brisbane. Suddenly, 20km just got more impressive.

But even with all the breaks and whatnot, I still felt super tired after getting home again. Can’t remember the last time I was so physically exhausted and actually dripping with sweat. One of the best feelings, though – physical exhaustion – and I think many sporting/exercise enthusiasts will concur. Another great feeling is having a cold shower after so much exertion!

While I’m writing about today, I may as well give a mention to Cafe Citrus, the place we had lunch at. The service seemed pretty good – reasonably prompt with water, food, bill. I just had the chicken parmigiana, but it was quite possibly the best parmigiana I’ve ever had. Chicken cooked well, plenty of cheese and spinach, too (don’t think too many places do parmigiana with spinach…?), chips were good (golden on the outside, soft in the middle), and the salad was sufficiently dressed without any massive leaves (which are quite annoying to eat when you only have a knife and fork).

Having said this, I’m not sure if it was a total fluke, since, out of curiosity, I checked their page on Urban Spoon and was kind of surprised to see that they’ve been getting mostly really, really bad reviews. Maybe they’ve changed management or something in the last month…..? Or maybe it just tasted better because I was hungry (well, not hungry per se, but definitely in need of more fuel).

Whatever. Back to the ride: can’t wait to go bike riding again. Really feel a sense of accomplishment. Next on the to-do list is to get a light for my bike so I can go riding at night. Also still need to do that trial ride to work, and need to keep building up my fitness.

7am is the new 9am

Yawn… My week of 7am starts is almost over~!

Starting work early hasn’t been so bad. It’s nice to get in before everyone else, when the place is still quiet and peaceful. It’s also good to start early because if you’re late, no one knows about it – unless you’re super late, or someone else comes in super early – not that I’ve been taking advantage of this, but if I wanted to, I probably could.

Getting to work by 7am means I get the 6:20 or 6:30am bus. Surprisingly, there are still usually quite a lot of people on the buses at these times, although significantly less packed than, say, the post-7:20am buses.

It’s kind of weird how, back in high school, I thought that having to be somewhere by 8am was crazy (high school started at 9:15am for me)… And then going to uni, 8am starts became normal, but also the absolute earliest start time… And now that I’m working full-time, 7am starts don’t really bother me.

Well, I suppose the main issue is that I have to go to bed earlier to make up for getting up earlier, and I am really not used to going to sleep before 10pm. Speaking of which, I should probably go and sleep now…

level up

So, as it turned out, I didn’t have to work on Saturday. My shift got swapped to this Saturday instead – and thank goodness for that! Seriously, after Friday’s 11 hour day (7am-6pm), there was no way I could’ve survived a nine-hour Saturday. Actually, I probably could have, but I would’ve just been dead tired on Sunday.

But, you know, although I was sore when I woke up on Saturday morning (and still kind of sore on Sunday morning), I felt fine after getting up and going about my day. Too much rest can be a bad thing!

Even so, I told myself not to overdo it with exercise because I’m supposed to be recovering from the week that was in preparation for the week to come. And, even so, I quite possibly overdid it anyway… Not completely intentionally, though. My mum dragged me to go grocery shopping with her – possibly so that she could buy more and I could carry the heavy stuff, which was what I ended up doing, so now my arms are sore. After we got home and I’d cooled down and rested a bit, I decided to go for a bike ride.

Actually, to be fair, I was pretty much set on going for a bike ride since the previous weekend, when I didn’t really get to ride at all. So, anyway, I went exploring the local bike paths for about an hour, and decided to finish off the ride by going up a sizeable hill and around the block instead of taking the easy route back, so now my legs are a bit sore (but not so bad, I guess, since they seem to recover more quickly).

Well, I can tell that this is going to be a fun week (not entirely sure if I intend for there to be sarcasm in that or not). Either way, I suppose it’s better to be tired from doing too much than doing too little.

here we go again

I have a feeling that this week is going to be a very long and tiring week, so I’m getting my post for the week done early just in case I forget or am too tired later in the week. I mean, it’s only Monday and I’m already feeling super tired. And this is no ordinary week – I’m working Mon-Sat, including an 11 hour day on Friday… for a grand total of 52+ hours.

I don’t even feel awake enough to be writing this post right now.

I’m kind of debating whether I should have a proper sleep in on Sunday or still get up early so that I can go for a test ride to work and back. I suppose I’ll see how the rest of the week goes. Going to have to manage my energy carefully. Have to prioritise.

new bike! (…finally)

So, after years of thinking about it, and months (?) of talking about it, I (finally) got a new bicycle yesterday.

The only downside is that I’m kind of too busy this week-end to take it for a proper spin… And I’d like to do a trial run before actually riding it to work on a work day.

The actual purchasing process was pretty interesting, though. I never realised that buying a bike was so involved and complex. There’s, like, a whole science behind cycling. (Yeah, ok, there’s probably a whole lot of science in every sport, but I never realised the extent of it until I actually went to look at bikes and talked to the people at the bike shop.)

Anyway, they do what is called a “bike fit” and measure you up (torso, leg and arm lengths and overall height and maybe something else that I forgot) to make sure that the bike fits you in every way, etc. Then they went through all the general stuff like gears, maintenance and whatnot. And somewhere in amongst all of that, they talked about servicing and tuning and how it’s supposed to be done every three months or something…

Well, anyway, there’s a whole users’ manual that came with the bike, so I suppose I’ll read through that some time while I’m waiting for next week-end when I’ll hopefully have more time to actually ride by new bike.

And in case you are wondering, the plan (at this stage) is not to cycle to work every day, but maybe just on one or two days per week. I’ll just see how it goes…

In other news… You know it’s been a busy week at work when the manager(s) come in to work on a Saturday (when it’s usually just one pharmacist + assistant) to finish off whatever it is that they need to do. Today (my third time as solo pharmacist on a Saturday – don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll stop counting eventually) not just one but all three pharmacist managers visited the pharmacy (operations, dispensary and oncology). Let’s just say that I’m hoping that this coming week is not as hectic… especially considering that I have to work six days (Mon-Sat).