Restarting in the Lunar New Year

One of my goals for this year was to get back into weight training. I’m quite tired of always feeling weak and losing battles to pickle jars among other simple things. The first two weeks of January I was hit by a strange stomach bug so exercise was limited to walking. I also knew I’d have another setback, which happened last week.

The last of my cysts was removed and I needed time to recover. I’ve had a total of three removed from my head. The first one was done in May and it was brutal. It took me every bit of the two weeks between having the surgery and getting the sutures removed to feel better. There’s also the inner stitches that eventually dissolve, but were still causing me to have some pains and lots of tenderness for nearly two months afterwards. I wasn’t looking forward to getting the others removed, but when we found out my husband’s insurance was changing for the worse I booked my appointments. The second one was in December and it surprisingly went extremely well. I was perfectly fine with minimal pain at the end of the first day. Tenderness also wasn’t an issue so I recovered from that one very quickly. The last one was removed last Tuesday and this time the doctor changed the routine. I was laying on my stomach instead of my back and she made a more curved incision instead of a straight one. I thought it would be an easy recovery like the second one, but I ended up being quite miserable for 3 solid days. After the third day I felt significantly better and the rest of the recovery has been now more or less like the second time. I get the sutures removed next Tuesday so it’s just a pain dealing with not pulling them out right now while combing my hair. It’s difficult because the cysts were at the very top of my head where I can’t see them at all and don’t have any easy way to angle mirrors to view them. My husband has been very helpful at checking the wound site to make sure I’m not tugging too much or to put healing ointment on it when I get out of the shower. While I could do walking after the surgeries, anything remotely pressure-inducing was out of the question. So the weight lifting plan I’d set out to start in January, was pushed back to a different kind of new years start – the day after Lunar New Year.

The first outfit was last Monday before my surgery. I had a lot of errands and chores to do and didn’t want to bother with anything so my outfit was very boring and utilitarian – leggings, a tee, and my workout fleece hoodie. The second outfit was surgery day. I kept my outfit loose and comfy and even the doctor commented on how comfortable and nice I looked. I wore this outfit a few days in a row because of the post surgery pain issues. I mostly sat on a sofa each day. The last two outfits are just one outfit and I think it was my favorite aside from the second one. Outfits 5/6 are from Sunday when my husband and I took the train to Chinatown for Lunar New Year.

The night before I was thinking of what I should wear. I know I wanted to dress nicely, but at the same time I knew the city would be very windy, cold and most likely rainy. My coat would be the biggest thing anyone saw of my outfit, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t feel good about what was underneath.

Although the outfit is very different from the current aesthetic I’m going for, it was a winner because it was the old Jen still being creative. I think the only off thing is the shoes, but I have a very limited shoe collection right now to work with so I had to make do with what I’ve got available. It’s an outfit I would’ve easily worn ad nauseam back in 2018 when I got these clothes. At the same time, I was very cautious about it because I know that half the outfits in my head don’t really pan out that well, especially when I’m mixing and matching a lot, hence why I’m going more for monotone outfits this year. But something about this idea stuck with me and it surprisingly turned out just as sufficiently as I thought it would.

I’m calling this outfit the father-daughter designer duo because the pants are from a vintage Yohji Yamamoto suit and the sweater is from his daughter, Limi Feu. I’ve got leggings on under the wool pants and a silk turtleneck under the sweater because layers were going to be a must for the cold weather. Ideally, wearing my black Yohji wool coat would’ve been the icing on the cake of this outfit but it was freezing and rained the whole time we were in the city so I needed a warmer coat with a hood. Even though the coat worked out for me, I definitely need a new one. It’s an old Uniqlo one my mom bought for me 8 or so years ago (they actually still sell it – ultra-light down coat) and while it keeps me rather warm, it’s really not good in inclement weather at all. The outer is not remotely waterproof so while there’s lots of down and poly stuffing inside to buffer me from the elements, I noticed the coat got heavier throughout the day as it accumulated more moisture from the rain. I even felt colder while wearing it on the train on the ride home. It also doesn’t have nearly enough pockets for my liking. The outer satiny fabric is pilling and there are lots of little tugged out threads and the down pokes out so sometimes I’ve got lots of feathers attached to me. I don’t intend to buy another coat right now due to my No Buy resolution for the year, but if I know I’ll be out in rainy/ snowy weather for an extended period of time for the rest of this winter, I may be ok with replacing it. If anything, I’m adding “new winter coat” to my shopping list for the end of this year.

We had a great time in Chinatown for Lunar New Year. As soon as we got off the train we were covering our ears because insane amounts of firecrackers were shooting off as the dragon dance paraded down the street, blessing all the shops. This goes on for several hours so throughout the day we constantly heard drums and kettles being beaten accompanied by lots of loud fireworks. We ate at several of our favorite shops and even tried new ones. Unfortunately, there aren’t nearly as many retail shops for browsing as there used to be and I was sorely missing the old Shanghai Bazaar that closed down many years ago. When we lived in the city we’d always go there to browse on Lunar New Year. I did manage to find some cute rabbit cash cards and tried the white rabbit ice cream from my favorite matcha shop, Matcha Maiko.

I need to get off my very sore butt right now and do some walking. I started my weight training regimen yesterday and know I’ll be feeling DOMS all this week, so the more I move around the better I’ll get at handling the soreness.


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