잘 살자

I should be asleep. I have a lot of shit going on this weekend, but I find myself suffering from some kind of weekend rebellion since I returned to work. Being unemployed/out of school/traveling for five months had me used to being able to indulge myself in pretty much whatever I wanted whenever I wanted, which honestly took most of the fun out of it, after a while. But now, with my 야근-packed work schedule, I find myself gleefully rebelling on the weekends.

Today was a good day. We had, I surmised, a decent amount of 회식 left over in the previous year's budget which was to disappear, and our printer's deadline got pushed back by a day, so we all piled into a cab and the 편집장님's car and made our way to a froufrou 한식 place, and then dawdled over tea afterward. A three-hour lunch. One of the best results to arise from language school is that I no longer feel weird about speaking Korea even in front of a large group of native speakers. I don't know that I would even speak as much as I do now in Korean if it were in English, but I got used to pushing myself, and now it's become a habit which I think has somehow made into a more outgoing person in Korean than I am in English. The point is, I'm enjoying getting to know my coworkers better, and today was nice.

A big part of my new job is poring over news sites and culling information for pitches, which has got me starting large files of lists of things I want to see and do. There's so much going on in this city all the time, but I've become complacent in my little home life, and I've also been on a budget for so long, avoiding spending money on anything other than the necessary upkeep for personal relationships. But spring is here, and I have cash coming in again, as well as a constant stream of tempting events flashing before my eyes. One thing I will say for sure is that the National Library has done great things by putting on their current Indie Publishing Reading Room. I've been discovering these little indie bookshops that are popping up all over the place over the past year, but now there is an outpouring of articles about these places that is sorely needed. I'll be checking that out tomorrow, as well as the Buddhism Expo that's on down the way a bit.

Tonight was good. B's way to work coincides with most of mine, so we've been going in together and then trying to catch each other on the way home, as well, when possible. Tonight, we met at the subway station and then impulsively decided to head out for dinner, rather than doing our usual Friday night sofa/order-in/movie thing. We're struggling a bit at the moment with how to handle the household shit, with both of us getting home around 8 or later every evening -- we (I) usually cook at home, save once or twice a week -- but the upside has been actually getting out of the apartment more together, and finding new restaurants, breaking some well-worn routines.

We had a great dinner, tried some new craft beers, and when we got home, B gave me my birthday present a bit early -- a gorgeous stereo system with a turntable, something I've been blabbering on about for ages. My grandfather used to sit and listen to his records for hours on end, and I know it may sound odd, but having it sitting there across the room from me just now somehow makes me feel closer to him. God help our neighbors, and god help the movers if they do any damage to it when we move.

B and I have been having some squabbles lately, centered around the pressure of trying to reorganize our household now that we're both working. We just came out of two weeks of back-to-back intense overtime, him coming in past midnight one week, and me, the next, which was the worst case scenario in terms of both being able to spend time together, and also sleeping schedules. We've agreed to take the next two years to basically work our asses off and save as much money as possible, while also building up our resumes, so we can hopefully buy our own place and move into more steady and high-paying freelance work while also having the financial ability to pursue some other things in the future, but it's going to be stressful at times.

But sitting together on the couch tonight listening to the cheesy 50s musical LP that was sent along service with the stereo, I just got thinking about how lucky we really are. There aren't many people our age and from our backgrounds who have the opportunities we do. I expressed this to him, and told him, you know, we really don't need to be fussing at each other about anything. We have good jobs, good lives and each other. We travel, we eat great food, we have the ability to buy not only whatever we need but also a good deal of what we want. We don't need to be making trouble where there isn't any. It's going to be a little bit rough for a while, but we're going to adjust. We're also going to move in a few months, which means our 1-2 hour commute times will be cut way down, giving us an extra few hours in the day.

"그래." He ruffled my hair. "우리 잘 살자."

Part of living well is chugging a sneaky coffee at midnight if you feel like it, and blogging at 2am about nothing if the fancy strikes, but another part, I guess, is getting yourself to sleep early enough to not waste part of that precious thing known as Saturday.

Follow the River North

Freelance writer and editor. American in Seoul. I write about Korean food. I blog about all food. Last year I wrote a monthly column about traveling to different places around the country to explore Korean ingredients and cuisine. This ignited my interest in local foods and cooking, which I blog about regularly now. I also blog restaurant and cafe recommendations, recipes and some background and history about Korean food.

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