Thanks for the helpful comments so far.
My meditation is going along just fine. And I just want to add one thing that may be helpful to meditators...
I used to start my meditation immediately counting/observing the breath, but now I always start off contemplating and reflecting on the four protections - the buddha, loving kindness, loathsomeness of the body, and recollection of death. I knew about these pre-meditation contemplations, but I often felt lazy to do it, so I would skip it and just dived right into anapanasati.
But now I'm starting to realize how extremely helpful it is to do these contemplations because they 'uplift' the mind, and make it much so much easier to settle the mind. Not to mention, I have noticed it empowers my daily life/routine because I feel generally happier, more open minded and accepting.
P.S It would be nice to hear about how important you guys find these preliminaries, based on your experience.