Messy and chaotic changes

So I never thought Singapore would be in lockdown mode for several months this year.

The year started well enough. I was transferred from the artificial intelligence department to the cyber security department. New technologies to learn. New people to befriend.

Then this pandemic thing happened.

Within a couple of months, the virus raged across the world. And Singapore took decisive action and locked the whole country down. Everyone was to stay home except for essential services or emergency situations.

The panic buying and queues were laughable if the situation weren’t so dire.

Professionally, I had to switch from the .NET world to the Ubuntu/Linux world. The C# and .NET libraries gave way to Python and vi (yes I do know how to exit from vi, thank goodness). Visual Studio autocompletion and SQL Server gave way to command line grep and PostGreSql/MySql.

I’d be lying if I said I was ok mentally speaking. These past few months had been psychologically and mentally taxing for everyone.

To climb out of this mental hole, I put in more effort into two specific activities: Russian language acquisition and physical fitness.

Hello comrade!

I had been learning Russian for a couple of years now. Mostly with the app Duolingo. But I discovered I wasn’t making a lot of progress. The lockdown both highlighted my inadequacy and gave me the opportunity to push myself.

So I switched over to the app Lingvist for new vocabulary and spaced repetition. I created a separate YouTube account with just Russian content. The idea is to see, hear and read as much Russian content as possible, and in as comprehensible a manner as possible (aka comprehensible input).

I made more progress in two months than in two years.

Body recomposition

I also changed my workout routine. I’ve never gone to the gym to exercise. I trained with dumbbells at home. I’ve done so since my early 20’s.

So I’ve been “training” for a long time. And I’m still not jacked! I blame myself. What the blyat have I been doing?

So I switched over to body weight exercises. And the muscle growth finally came and shattered my plateau. My biceps and triceps are more pronounced. I’m filling up my shirts with my pectorals. And my back pain is mostly gone after I focus on shoulder and lower back exercises.

New stress relievers

I used to go to the library to read. To unwind.

I used to go to the cinema to watch movies. To imagine.

Not anymore.

Now I better appreciate the times I do spend with my family and friends, ever since the lockdown eased up.

I hope you’re well wherever you are, whenever you are.