Saturday morning musings

Β  Life is good, my friends πŸ™‚

It is a quite and peaceful morning with lots of sunshine and beautiful music at the background.

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Since I have got up quite early, the usual cleaning the house chore is done and breakfast has been enjoyed.

The extra cup of coffee, of course, is next to me and provides me the much appreciated feeling of “joy”.

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I cannot complain about life or my life right now – what a blessing πŸ™‚

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I wanna believe..

I wanna believe that I am capable of feeling happy all the time.

The moment I need to criticize someone’s performance (at work we need to do that as managers) I start to feel stressed and negative. It is as if the thoughts about the negative performance of the other person is the thoughts about myself. “You will have to work a little bit harder, and complete this task on time – it is critical” “This is not going well – how do you plan to overcome this problem? “If it continues like this we will have to bring in someone else to finish this project” “I do not think this is how it is supposed to be done“. As such, I feel bad because of all the criticism that go thru my mind.

I had read here on someone’s blog yesterday that you must surround yourself with the people you like. So true!!!! If you surround yourself with the people you like and admire, I am sure you are filled with the feelings of love and admiration. If you surround yourself with the people you do not like or have to criticize, then you will feel down.

I believe, really believe, that your circumstances, your line of work, and your daily practices are all shaping your emotional state.

I believe I can change, though. I want to be happy and feel good. I know I am capable of doing it. I have done it and I can do it again.

I wanna believe.

ways to feel good

Life is going well, but this week I have been feeling less energetic and more drained. I am getting stressed again, I think.

That is okay. I am not going to react to this feeling, but I will continue to assess and work out what I like and what is good for me. And why.

For example, I just realized that I do not want to deal with shitty comments, so I have the freedom to not volunteer for a committee that I have been serving for some time. We have been getting some tough and mean comments time to time, and I decided today that I do not need to hear these anymore πŸ™‚ Freedom! πŸ™‚Β 

I also realized that I continue to critique myself and I do not enjoy this. I must say this though; the self-critiques I have had lately are mostly related to my behavior about a new role I have got. I could have done things better (this is my self-critique), but now I realize that this is in fact a self-development opportunity. So when I think this way, it all looks okay to me πŸ™‚

My diet has been a little bit unhealthy lately, with lost of biscuit and sweet kind of things consumed daily. Every once a while is okay but when I get these a couple of days in a row I kind of feel lethargic and less energetic (which explains why I am not the best of myself nowadays 😦 ). Noticing this, this evening I have had a healthy salad and a bean meal. I even purchased broccoli and added it to my salad – it was delicious πŸ™‚ I plan to continue to eat healthy!

Most importantly, I realized that it is better for me if I do spare some time everyday just to do nothing….. Maybe that is why I had liked my back exercises – even though they were boring they forced me to stop using my mind (aka doing nothing). My exercises have changed lately and now I only need to spend maybe 2-3 minutes per day. I seriously wish to go back to previous 15-20 min session……

Life is interesting and I continue to have an interesting life πŸ™‚

 

 

 

It has been a fine day. Again.. :)

πŸ™‚

I love the serenity and joy that having some “me time” and reading positive news/affirmations and thinking that there is truth to these, bring.

Reading and thinking about positive things and possibilities, indeed are healing and making me feel more in the life and enjoying it.

I came to realize that not everything was a hurdle or difficulty I had to go thru, but rather there were many beautiful things that were happening and awaiting me to recognize them.

Today the most sweet of all was to recognize that there were many opportunities out there (whether work or personal opportunities is irrelevant) and if I had wanted, I could reach them. I in fact have been reaching to some of them lately. Like the additional position I have got lately. I wanted it, genuinely, and it just fell on my lap after a year or so. I feel lucky!

And today, I was just walking to help warm my muscles and found out a yard sale in my neighbourhood. I managed to find a great book on self-development that I read with great interest and a pot that I have loved dearly πŸ™‚ All for a couple of bucks. I was one happy and lucky person again, all by chance again! Should I not have wanted to walk at that random time, I would have missed this beautiful opportunity.

Sometimes my friends, we just need to show up and life will deliver to us. This is a fact.

If we look, we can see.

I am looking at life now and am excited about all the great things it can bring to me. I am ready to reach, savor, and be grateful for them!

I am lucky.

I choose to have thoughts that empower me.

I choose to have “me time” and read and contemplate on positive thoughts.

I choose to believe that I am capable of reaching out and succeeding in life and at work.

I, my friends, am choosing to bless these thoughts and the mental state “me time” can bring.

*me time: not working or using computer. Rather just sitting and making it a priority to go through my thoughts and make conscious choices to switch to joyful ones – try it πŸ™‚

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it has been a fine day

This was a regular day with no particular ups and downs and that is exactly why it was a fine day πŸ™‚

I am grateful for:

  • sleeping well and waking up felling rested
  • having a simple but filling breakfast
  • enjoying my coffee
  • cleaning my home and letting fresh air get in thru open windows whole day
  • speaking to my family and seeing that they are fine, too
  • walking to a nearby store and purchasing milk and other essential items, not forgetting also awarding myself with a bar of chocolate
  • watering my plants and loving each one of them – I hope they feel it πŸ™‚
  • preparing a lovely dough for the baking adventure tomorrow
  • enjoying a tall glass of milk with a type of biscuit that reminds me my childhood
  • working for a couple of hours and feeling good about it
  • resting on the couch, watching TV, browsing internet, and journaling and feeling good

 

And I appreciate myself for:

  • keeping up with my Saturday house chores no matter what
  • walking and stretching that both help alleviate my low back pain
  • being generally thoughtful but reminding frequently to let go off the thoughts and worries, and focusing on the positive
  • for finding joy, excitement, and happiness in looking at, caring, and thinking about my plants, particularly my succulents πŸ™‚

Have a great Saturday night friends! πŸ™‚

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random thoughts

It has been a fine day πŸ™‚

The morning was peaceful and warm enough. I have had a pleasant bus ride to office, enjoyed my coffee, took care of urgent matters, socialized with a colleague during lunch time, bought two lovely pots for my succulents (they are amazing – originally tea cups with beautiful colours and shape) from a thrift store, by the way (double amazing!), came home kind of late from the office, did grocery shopping and bought myself nourishing food, all for a small amount of money.

After the careless spending that took place between the summer of 2017 and this year, I am back to my sensible, frugal self. I gotta! My chequing account was at the minus side at the beginning of this month and I knew I could not keep doing what I was doing. Right after the beautiful family visit, here I am at a kind of stricker but nevertheless abundant frugal life. I must say I have saved quite a chunk of my salary this month and I am moving the chequing account to the positive side. It feels great πŸ™‚

Originally I had an extensive shopping ban till new year, but after 3 weeks I realized such a regime was making me quite unhappy. So last week and today I made visits to thrift stores and bought myself some nice blouses and pots. I am very excited about all of the purchases, which costed me around 30 bucks. What did I buy? 4 blouses all in great condition and loveable; one new plastic pot, one ceramic pot just right for my beautiful succulent props, two other pots I mentioned above (the tea cups),and a large sturdy ceramic plate to be used as a tray for a large terra cotta pot of mine πŸ™‚ Just remembering these makes me joyful and excited πŸ™‚

Life is good, my friends.

I have other good news. I have been wishing for an additional position within my organization in the last 1.5 years. It is something I would absolutely enjoy (it is related to training new project managers like myself), which would also strengthen my place in my work-place. Luckily, this year the colleague who has been undertaking this position had to have a leave and I was offered the position as a replacement! This is on top of what I am already doing, so it is extra work, but I am up for it. My boss wants to see how this one year will go and after that we will see whether my colleague or I would stay in the position. Even for one year I am grateful for this opportunity and yesterday, when I get the appointment formal, I was hyper the whole night with excitement and could hardly sleep at night πŸ™‚ I believe that life is supporting me well and my hard work to keep my job and become more successful is paying off πŸ™‚ I am grateful!

Super duper πŸ™‚

Have a great Friday night everyone πŸ™‚

 

 

 

crushing desktops and all

here I am again!! πŸ™‚

I have been away for some time – almost two months.

I first went to a family visit, which was amazing. I did not use internet much at that time, which was amazing by the way (no more work-related stress while being with family and de-stressing).

Then my desktop died on me. Argh. The poor thing was only 3 years old, but just like that the entire thing just shut down. I went to a tech service. There was nothing to be done….. Okay. I said, I will order a new one. And I have and it is just installed and ready to use πŸ™‚

I have missed blogging and being connected to all of you! I cannot wait to scroll down and read the posts. I must say the last few months have been interesting and having no computer at home was more interesting than ever, but I also need to say that I enjoyed it very much. I was able to watch TV and read books, and contemplate. It was peaceful and I think that is because I was forced to not work at home. I want to limit my computer use at home. We will see how that goes πŸ™‚

Happy summer and August everyone! Hope everything is going well with you!

when the good news comes

Well, my friends, looks like my hard work in the last one year has paid of a part of it – one of the projects I applied for is approved and for the second project I was able to gather some initial funds to help ask another organization to provide the remaining project resources.

Aaah. The sweet taste of being grateful, extra motivated, hopeful, and joyful πŸ™‚

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self-value, self-care, self-respect

If there is something nice about hard times is that you kind of understand your own value and prioritize your comfort.

This is exactly what I have done. I am going for a short business trip. Under normal conditions I would take the bus, I will not do that anymore. I will take the cab so that I can at least have a comfortable and short ride to and from the airport both here and in my destination.

The amount of money I would save by taking the bus does not even cover the expenses I made for a session of the physiotherapy for my lower back, let alone the negative effects and pain of, sitting and waiting in already kind of long flight. Whose money am I saving anyways? A good organization that does amazing stuff, but saving money should not be at the expense of my health.

I am proud of myself and I really like this change.

 

Sunday morning musings

Life is good, my friends – Sunday morning is here πŸ™‚

I am feeling good this shinny morning with my coffee next to me. Sky is bright and coffee smells fantastic. I have a short business trip to make this afternoon – it always feels great to leave all the stress and current issues behind and focus on the moment while traveling.

Many years ago it suddenly occurred to me at an airport that all I was going through at that time was normal – I was living my share of life. It was my experience, the person next to me had their own experience – better or worse – but what matters was that all I was experiencing was a part of life. And it was my life. Acceptance is soothing. That gave me peace then and after that whenever I remembered it.

That does not mean that I could not or cannot change my life. I have made pretty good changes that worked towards my objectives since then. I also got lucky and found a great job that in many ways improved how I was feeling about my own capabilities and how I was doing financially.Β  In so many ways, my life was much better.

This work, of course, comes with stress. We are highly competitive and there are expectations from us. These grow each year, so do we. Many of the current hurdles I have at my professional life is a common experience by many of my colleagues. Should I feel relieved?

A little bit, sure.

We all have our share of professional life.

Soothing….

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I was talking to one of my friends and colleagues yesterday about my years-long, now in the past, weekend morning routine. This always consisted of going to a nearby cafe and enjoying coffee and some pastry. Then I would visit a book store and enjoy my time and return back to my home with a book or two. I would read those books during the weekend, which would take my mind away from the work and other issues I may have. This routine was me-time. Somehow along the way I lost it because I decided to save money. Hmmmm.

Was this a great decision? At that time, it was because I was able to get into a frugal and hence surprisingly abundant life-style. I may have thought 20-25 bucks a weekend is a good amount of money to save – and it is. I enjoyed while I did this. But just yesterday I realized that I have also lost an efficient me-time practice.

Since then I developed new interests and hobbies. Blogging, baking bread, gardening, having and propagating plants – especially succulents/cacti, painting pots, jamming/pickling, and slight sewing activities. I enjoyed all of these and I continue to do so. But, there is something exciting about new endavours. They intrigue me. They excite me. They increase my abilities.Β 

I am not sure what my next interests/hobbies will be, but I sure am looking forward to identifying them and working towards enjoying the products πŸ™‚

Have a great Sunday everyone πŸ™‚

joy journal – June 1, 2018

It turns out that I have lots of things to be grateful for – so here is the list πŸ™‚

  1. I am grateful for waking up early and hitting the road when it is quiet
  2. I am grateful for working really efficient and taking care of a couple of important things – this feels highly satisfactory and also increase my self-confidence
  3. I am grateful for my money making my life easier and comfortable
  4. I am grateful for the new cactus seedling appearing today, even though I am losing two others to mold (I have lost 3 so far – life)
  5. I am grateful for keeping calm today – how lovely! πŸ™‚
  6. I am grateful for mowing the most of my yard this evening. Through the end, my mower got broken. At first I was kind of like sigh…., but then I realized this was an opportunity to buy a new and better one that can make this chore much easier for me. It can be more expensive but it will hopefully make my life easier as well
  7. I am grateful for all the food I have at home
  8. I am grateful for the opportunity to shop tomorrow – what is it about shopping and feeling good? πŸ™‚
  9. I am grateful for keep working, although I have been working very intensely in the last one year and I am stressed. I am amazed by my boundaries and the way I function πŸ™‚
  10. I am grateful for laughing a couple of minutes ago while watching a TV series πŸ™‚
  11. I am grateful for staying away from a colleague/friend who makes me nervous
  12. I am grateful for the weekend, which will let me do some work and also give me time to recuperate
  13. I am grateful for my plants. I do not know how many I have right now; At the office I have the cacti seedlings and 4 pots of plants. I also have 2 plants rooting in water – I will plant them next week. At home is much more: I have 5 cacti; 4 succulents; a gollum jade, 4 haworthia, 4 jades, some leaves rooting including christmas cactus, a snake plant, a spider plant, a hoya; two palm-like plants, bambu, an earth star, lots of succulent props… Where am I going with all of these plants? πŸ™‚ Sharing will feel awesome πŸ™‚

 

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What do I appreciate about myself today?

  • I appreciate myself for trying to do right all the time
  • I appreciate myself for keep working
  • I appreciate myself for realizing that I can use my money to make my life comfortable, even though it may be expensive for now
  • I appreciate myself for keeping positive today
  • I appreciate myself for allowing myself to relax and enjoy tonite
  • I appreciate myself for having plans for the weekend
  • I appreciate myself for not thinking too much πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

change of plans and it was all for the happier :)

Just yesterday I had canceled a celebration event for a team member of mine. By giving me the extra time I needed during this stressful time, this cancellation was logically the right decision to help lower my stress.

Yet, it occurred to me later at night that my team member was quite saddened by this. So, I went to the event this morning and I am glad I did!

It did cost me around 3 hours away from office and work, yet the pride and excitement I felt was immerse. My team member was also extremely happy and I am glad I made this decision to attend the event.

I compensated for the lost time by getting up early with excitement and working for a full two hours without any distraction, and later in the evening continuing to work with a sense of happiness and positivity. Eventually, I did my work, and made myself happy and honoured my team member on this very important day.

It is a day turned wonderful.

Sometimes we may not remember that happy occasions are the true healers.

 

What comes first? Me, me, me, or my wellness?

It has been somehow stressful day; I have so much to do! πŸ™‚

Yet, I also felt like I could use my time better and I could award myself for doing well as well. This is really lovely – I think I have started to support and value my efforts a little bit better. Self-care is here πŸ™‚

One thing I am doing this week is to cancel showing up in events that celebrate the achievements of my team members. It was a hard decision to make, but I am glad I have as it gives me the much needed time. It is a first too. I talk to my team members and they understand the reasons well as well. I would think this was selfish, but maybe I should be a little bit. In order to protect my time and reduce my stress levels created by the lack of time to recuperate.

I have been to my counseling session yesterday. I talked for 40 minutes. How lovely πŸ™‚ Was I reserved? I was. But I also talked. I did not get a huge number of new thoughts/realizations out of the session that I did not already know -main points were:Β  mental health is important; I worry all the time; I am not interested in getting medication for anxiety or depression unless it is the last resort; I am close to burn out because of the intense work and stress (my counselor’s assessment); I must eat better; and I must exercise. And, time to care for myself – physically and mentally.

It is always good to hear from someone else that I must care for myself. This makes me feel supported in my decisions to not attend extra events this week and the weeks to come. This does not mean that I come first all the time, under all conditions – that would be selfishness and being self-oriented. It means my wellness should come first.

I like that.

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Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β 

 

all the good things – check

  • having a relatively positive day – check a millions of times!

thanks goodness for this!!

  • getting new plants from friends – check

always a pleasure to get new life forms from people around me. I think we are forming a plant share community, which is great πŸ™‚

  • seeing my cacti seedlings were thriving in their container in my office – check

they look really healthy – all green and slightly grown πŸ™‚ one of my colleagues offered to take care of them while I am away, which is a blessing πŸ™‚ They no longer have the mold problem, which makes me suspicious – did I mistake an hairy seedling for mold? Poor thing. Or, it may be that 5% hydrogen peroxide solution that I have been using since last week may be doing its work just right.

  • facing a report that I was dreading and anxious about and seeing that it can be handled – check

my fear about this report was not necessary. I feared quite a bit, though (anxiety does this unfortunately). Yet, I did face it and it is manageable. I will remember this next time I have an anxiety bout πŸ™‚

  • having a meeting and making my points contrary to the majority – check

this kind of things risk my place in committees. Yet, i cannot help expressing my values and the information I have. It is always tricky – to make the points without alienating others. I usually suck in this, like today, but eventually the points were taken and I am very pleased. This being said, I have a huge difference with a senior member, which I know will cost me later πŸ™‚ Smile! πŸ™‚

  • protecting the members of the sub-committee and thanking them for their hard work when nobody does – check

this sub-committee reports to the committee I talked this morning. They have done extremely well and are supportive of my points. I felt like I needed to appreciate their contributions so that we all can go ahead in the future. It was well received and I am glad I took my time to thank them.

  • working nice and easy and taking care of little things I needed to do – check

I will be on vacation this summer for a few weeks and it is important that I complete the many things lagging right now. I want to feel great before I leave for my vacation and truly enjoy my time. I am looking forward to it! This means the next few weeks I will be working really hard, but this is not something new to me. One last push πŸ™‚

Sunday morning musings and the happiness of succulents

Sunday morning is here! The peaceful cozy morning that amplifies the taste of fresh coffee and the hope for the rest of the day and the week πŸ™‚

I meant to work yesterday but it did not work out that well : I am not sorry. I actually had a great time painting more terra cotta pots and planting my new succulent and cacti babies. One of my friends gifted me with a number of succulents lately; one very fertile haworthia, two very ignored succulents (one is a black knight), and a number of little cacti πŸ™‚ At first I was skeptical about planting them in my painted and varnished pots, but then I thought I would observe them and see how they are doing. If required, I can always re-pot. Look at these beauties!

Nature is amazing!

The haworthia seemed like too populated with lots of pups, so I decided to divide it while re-planting. I hope to gift them to friends later should hey like their new environment and continue to thrive.

While re-potting, I ended up collecting some leaves as well – the big ones are from the black knight and the other little guys are from the other succulent (which I could not figure out what – if you know the name, please let me know.

My collection of succulents are increasing. I have 6-7 different types of cacti, 22 cacti seedlings that I germinated from seeds, a number of jades (two adult plants and many propagation from leaves or stem cuts), a gollum jade, two additional succulents I do not know what species, and two different types of haworthia, and many props πŸ™‚ If I am correct, I have over 30 pots around the house and the office and I will see how this will go on.

And, two of my christmas (or eastern) cacti leaves have been growing on their tips – I take ethat I am on the right direction and will have beautiful plants next year πŸ™‚

I will never know why I have got so interested in succulents and cacti, but let me tell you something my friends; they are amazing.

Β 

Have a great Sunday!

 

 

random thoughts

It has been a stress-free and lovely day – this kind of days always make me feel grateful πŸ™‚

I am enjoying may afternoon by watching a movie, enjoying hard candy, and thinking about my plant endeavors this Spring.

Yesterday I found mold in my cacti seedling tray. It was expected but I was nevertheless annoyed. I removed the mold and one seedling with it and sprayed the soil and the remaining seedlings with a dilute hydrogen peroxide solution. They looked great today and I hope it will continue like this. I have 22 seedlings left as of today – I am notΒ  sure whether all seeds germinated… They say some seeds, especially the large ones, may take several months to germinate. I remember seeing a couple of them within the seeds. I must have counted and noted the seeds, which would help me with this. Maybe next time πŸ™‚

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these little green things are the seedlings! after around 3 weeks of planting

My rescued bunny ear cactus is doing well. I noticed that one of the two pads was kind of lose, so I took it out, together with 4 other small pads growing out of it. I placed them in a shady place in my office. My plan is to leave them like this for two weeks and then plant in a pot. Hope to get many bunny ears cacti then πŸ™‚

IMG_4085
look at this pretty cactus πŸ™‚

On the jade leaf propagation side; my propagation tray is not doing well; so far I was not able to see any roots or mini-jades growing out of the leaves. I mist them every two days. Perhaps I should stop that as I have two other leaves in another pot, which I ignore mostly. One of them grew roots lately πŸ™‚ It is gonna be a lovely jade!

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no growth in this prop station yet… it has been 3 weeks 😦

On a very surprising side, a kalanchoe leave that I had got from a plant at the work-place has grown long roots (around 1.5 cm) in a pot hardly watered. Ignoring certainly works well with the succulents, my friends. I will be potting it in a lovely pot this weekend. Seeing the roots made my day πŸ™‚

A cactus cutting I have got, on the other hand, rot. I had watered it 2 weeks after I had let it develop callus and planted. Obviously, this was not enough. By all means – just let them be for a while, my friends – these plants know how to strive under drought conditions.

I have had 2 pothos cuttings that are developing strong roots in a jar of water. This plant cannot be killed, I say to you. I love seeing the leaves still growing in water and the roots developing. Life is everywhere and it is miraculous πŸ™‚

My little snake plant has adapted well to its new home (got it from the work-place; it is a product of a highly fertile snake plant with many baby plants potted around). It has a new leave coming out, which tells me that it is happy πŸ™‚

My three little succulent plants I purchased 3 weeks ago are also well – none of them died yet!! πŸ™‚ One of them is severely etiolated (it was like this when I purchased it) but once it gets stronger I plan to propagate its leaves and stalk. The gollum jade is growing a little gollum and I could not be happier to see it thriving πŸ™‚

My friends; plants certainly make one’s life happier and calmer.Β  This weekend we are planning to visit a nursery – I hope to be able to pick some succulents and perhaps some more seeds (if available). Cannot wait πŸ™‚

Happy plantingΒ  πŸ™‚

 

 

all the good things – check

  • sleeping well and getting up early – check

a good quality of sleep is something awesome, friends. It makes you refreshed, rested, and positive. Have I mentioned my doctor recommended using melatonin to help sleep? I took it only once; it upset my stomach and it felt strange. I am considering taking half of the supplements, but I will see how this will go first – maybe the better weather and sunny days will help.Β 

  • working at home on a report review and almost finishing it – check

this feels good. I have been working on it for the last three days. A kind of complicated file and reviewing it was hard, but I am almost there. I do this review for an external organization of which I am a member. There are a number of points that I do not have the expertise to evaluate. I note them clearly and make them know. I have come up with this idea a while ago while reviewing another file. I do not want to be responsible for shortsightedness if the file turns out to be problematic in the future. Feeling good to protect myself πŸ™‚

  • deciding to go to office even though it is a public holiday today (Victoria day) – check

I thought it was the best opportunity to do some work at the office while there were not many people around. I am glad I have! There were a few people like me who worked today but it was such a quiet and peaceful environment that I felt like I have done 3 days worth of work in a couple of hours. I am pleased πŸ™‚

  • walking to and from the office today – check!

this is the first time in a while that I have walked to office! I not only saved money (total around 20 bucks today), but also found a chance to exercise my body and calm my mind πŸ™‚

  • eating better with lots of fruits and healthy food – check
  • feeling calmer and hopeful – check

this is very important for me. I have been having down moments and anxiety lately – today has been really good in this regard πŸ™‚

  • realizing that my health-related expenses are increasing and I must make efforts to minimize my unnecessary expenses – check

This is not particularly a good news, but I would like to see it as such. It reminded me a few years back when I did not have much money left from my pay cheque (immediately after buying my house). It was a very hard feeling but I had decided to cut significant expenses to turn things around. I have not been fugal in the last 11 months, which shows in my chequing account. I have continuous physiotherapy (for my lower back) and now counseling sessions to start.. These are expensive services.

While I recognize their importance and benefits to me, I also recognize the fact that I may not be able to finance all of them while also taking the cab twice a day, eating junk food every day, and shopping without thinking much… It is time that I bone cut my all unnecessary expenses, friends. Every penny counts – I know this. I may not be able to get back all the money I wasted, but I may as well stop wasting more.

Good thing is that one of my recurring expense, my hair treatments as part of my saga to transition to gray hair is about to come to an end. I have one appointment next week and maybe yet another one in summer left to complete the transition (I hope). My hair looks a lot better than what I thought it would be, but it is time that I take a break from expensive toner treatments and see whether I can keep my hair myself. We will see how this will go ahead πŸ™‚ Gray hair is a sensitive matter!! πŸ™‚

  • removing a social from my calendar – check

under different conditions I would be happy to attend, but I am so booked that I do not wish to spend time on other peoples’ functions anymore. This was a surprising turn for me. Am I getting selfish? No. Am I prioritizing myself? Yes. I needed this.

I also did not want to spend money on this function. I thought I would rather spend this money on myself and this felt good. I am taking care of myself πŸ™‚

  • deciding that I did not have to attend all work-related functions or meetings – check

there are at least 4 functions I was invited to in a couple of weeks. These are functions that will acknowledge my team members’ success and achievements. While they are incredibly honoring moments, I will be wasting around 10 hours collectively. I can rather use this time for myself. I can go to physiotherapy, for example. Since each session costs me around 2.5 hours, I was only able to have sessions every other week. can you imagine? i cannot even make it to my physiotherapy because I am so crunched of time…

I kind of found that sad.

It is the right decision. I can use my time to care for myself. I am sure my team members will understand.

  • thinking that whatever has been happening in my professional life, they are not more important than my personal well-being – check!!!

Priceless.

 

 

Saturday morning musings

It is a beautiful sunny day that gives warmth to my heart and soothes my mind.

I m enjoying my early morning coffee and thinking about life, mine particularly.

Some things are going well. I am eating better and I bought a number of fresh produce to support my body and mind. There is something nice about taking care of myself and noticing this.

I am excited about the terra cotta pots that I have painted. So many colours! Will my cacti seedlings find their ways to growth and safe transportation to these pots? They say it may take around 6-12 months to reach them a safe size (around half an inch) to pot individually. I hope to be able to see this happening! πŸ™‚ I have currently around 22 seedlings that germinated in the last three weeks.. Yuppiii! It is a unique excitement to look at them in the office every day and seeing how many there are and how they are doing. I have two “albinos” that if I understood correctly cannot produce chlorophyll and are bound to die. I cannot graft them now (which is one of the ways to make them survive an thrive). That annoys me, but it is a way of nature I guess so I will take it.

 

The week has been turbulent as per the work but it is over now. We have a lot of issues and delays experienced that are worrying me. But then a new collaboration on a new project of mine is developing, which is exciting. I think I had written this a while ago that around 20% of my efforts turn into a productive one. At least I have that many of the work reaching to some kind of maturation. I made a short talk where I mentioned about our projects and it was kind of nice to see what a great diversity I have in my abilities. I also noticed that one project that I have been talking about for sometime now found its way to being in progress. This is awesome! I have yet another one that I am trying to bring to life. It has been in my list for a couple of years and I think I have found the perfect collaborator to do so. Maybe next year I can start talking about it in more detail as we move with the project. Overall, this kind of talks may take time but they also help me to see what I envision for my work, where my passion is, and how I develop over time.

To be able to recognize the positive side, among all the turbulence in my inner world, is priceless.

Add these to this tulip that dancing with the sun in my yard πŸ™‚

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What a day….

I was emotionally quite drained yesterday and found myself sleeping at around 7 pm. I slept around 12 hours and in the morning, I felt quite better.

I had quite a dream yesterday night. One of those dreams where you want to move in a certain way but you cannot. Everything I hanged on to to get up from the floor turned to something else and absolutely useless, and I was making an extraordinary effort to even move my arm holding on to that something….I was so focused on moving my arm and getting up in my dream that I did not even notice, talk, or support the person (a family member so dear to my heart) who was next to me in my dream.

There are many messages in this dream, I found quite reflective of my mental state and life/work struggles. I neglect the people most important to me (family), I find myself in constant struggle to even go through the simplest tasks (but I keep going despite everything and persistently try, which makes me admire my energy and determinism), and I am disappointed by the resources or opportunities available to me (or, I feel like nothing or noone supports me or they are not what I think they are).

What a dream.

I know that this dream is a work of my subconsciousness that is in a healing process. I believe it made my mental state better.

The whole day, I felt remarkably calm.

I knew that I must have changed things.

I knew that I was resisting to many things or changes.

And now I know that sometimes failure, the one thing that I am so afraid of, is actually needed. Sometimes, my friends, things do not go the way we wish them and there must be a stop point in resisting to let go or change the directions of our lives. if we cannot make this decision, then the failure makes us realize that we came to an end. Failure, in such a case, is a blessing, as it stops you from moving in the wrong direction.

I think it is time that I gracefully accept the failure. This feels safe and surprisingly good.

This does not mean that I let go of my current efforts to produce ideas and hard work. It means that I am kind of unattached to all my plans and wishes right now, and I have stopped beating myself about the possibility of current or future issues, problems, or unsuccessful work.

This is a relief.

I am not naive enough to think that all my issues are resolved or this mental clarity is permanent. But I am not afraid at this moment of issues or their effects on me. I may get up tomorrow feeling anxious and extremely caring about every single plan or wish of mine, but right now, I will soak in this peaceful feeling.

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I made my appointment with a psychologist yesterday. I resisted this idea for a decade or two. Maybe this is what is giving me these feelings of letting go. I am not sure. But I want to feel good and gain my composition, strength, and happiness again. I want to see and think more clearly.

Life is interesting. It teaches you everything you need, whether or not you want it is not relevant. It fixes you.

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In the mean time, I started to eat better – I ate some carrots at noon and cooked a meal for dinner. I ate healthy stuff. I took my time to cook for myself. I walked a bit during the day. I considered cutting coffee a little bit – from 6 cups to 3 cups maybe. I did my back exercises – not fully, but at least I recognize that if I do them, my healing will be speedier. I made a conscious choice of not filling my mind with worry about a problematic report that I expect to get tomorrow. I decided to smile more today and being a more pleasant and positive person – and it went well. I decided to not listen to music or TV shows late at night and rather focus on reflecting on the moment.

I decided to write these here so that I can document the reality.

Which I hope will change in a better way starting soon.

what comes with a year

I do not know how I feel, but after eating some food, I must say I am feeling better πŸ™‚

I think I have not eaten much in the last 24 hours. Yesterday evening was busy with a friend. I think we have had finger foods but then forgot to eat a decent dinner. This morning, as usual, I have not had a breakfast. And then, at noon, I managed to eat some left over food. But I guess that was it until 10 min ago, I remembered to eat a slice of sourdough and some yogurt.

Why am I telling you all of these?

I am very aware of the fact that I am highly stressed, somehow depressed and anxious. The last one year has been quite intense in terms of working, having all bunch of frustrations, and not taking a good care of myself. These were topped by the injuries, one to my elbow and the other to my lower back. I very well know that I must care for myself most during this time, and I am most resisting to the idea.

Why, I must ask.

Why would I resist to taking good care of myself?

I feel like every additional step I must take will stress me more. Like walking and other exercises my doctor has recommended to help with my sleep and stress problem. I used to walk every evening from my office to home, rain or shine did not matter much. Not anymore. I even cannot make to physiotherapy every week, even though it is probably a very important healing process for me. There is always something to do and something to take care of. Except my own well being.

I did, however, a good job today and started looking for a mental health counselor. My first shrink session to come πŸ™‚ I cannot believe. Maybe I should have done this long time ago. I really do not know. Maybe I will find relief.

I hope so.

I realize that in order for things in my life to change, I must change myself. The way I think and approach things.

Wish me luck πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

a touch of kindness and cacti

I have a colleague that I find quite annoying. I really do not understand his reactions or comments. It is like we are of different worlds.

Fine with me. Fine with him. We keep our professional interactions distant. It works.

This morning he brought me a cactus (prickly pear) – my first cactus ever! He was aware of my latest interest in succulents and thought I might rescue his cactus. It is the most beautiful cactus -aΒ  little one with 3 levels of pads; the third level consist of small ones and it is so pretty πŸ™‚

It has been a warming moment between my colleague and I. I was genuinely happy and he was happy to see how happy I was. Emotions can be quite healing, my friends.

I was excited the whole day.

I planted my cactus in a new pot, changed its soil, and placed in a nice window sill. I will not water it for a week or so to give the roots a chance to heal. In a couple of months, I will try propagating it – I may have mini cacti! πŸ™‚

These being said, I have 4 cacti seedlings germinated. Unfortunately I dropped and broke one of the glass propagation containers. It demoralized me, but it should not (my new approach to self care – trying not to beat myself for accidents or mistakes…). I sifted out the soil, hopefully still having the seeds, and placed in another pot. I am not hopeful about the future of this propagation attempts, but who knows? Maybe the more I ignore (which I am inclined towards now), the more likely that one or two seeds will germinate… We shall see.

Three lessons learnt today;

  • A touch of kindness certainly can dissolve ice
  • Ignoring succulents/cacti is a much better approach for propagation – I can swear that the more you care, the less they grow or strive!
  • I can be compassionate towards myself πŸ™‚

 

 

 

all the good things – check

  • finally making it a part of my reality and consulting my doctor about my stress levels, anxiety, depressive mood, and sleep problems – check

it has been an interesting experience. I am not new to having stress, anxiety bouts here and then, depressive thoughts, and lately sleeping much less than usual. While I was feeling perfectly fine during the day, I thought I would consult my doctor. She suggested nicely to exercise 6 times a week; try melatonin for some time for my sleep – if it does not work out, I can get a pill later; and see a counselor to get a better idea about other ways to manage my stress and occasional anxiety I get. Perfect. I always thought that it would feel weird for me, but it did not. I said to my doctor and I believed in it completely when I said – that I want to feel good. well done, I would say πŸ™‚

  • taking the bus this afternoon, rather than the cab – check
  • painting one of my old-looking pots with the new paints I have bought yesterday – check
  • eating a large bean salad with joy and appetite – check
  • working nice and easy – check
  • deciding not to work this evening – check
  • watering the radish and flower seeds in the yard – check

my radish seeds have done amazing! They appeared around a week after the sowing and I could not be more excited πŸ™‚ There is something incredible about growing something from seeds πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  • using my new watering can to water the yard – check

why did I not think about buying one before??? It is such a useful thing and only costed me 6 bucks this weekend! It takes a couple of times to fill and then water the seeds/seedlings, but without it I would not be able to do this, either, so I am so grateful that I have purchased it – there will be many flowers and seeds coming out in my yard this year and many years to come πŸ™‚

  • growing cacti seeds – check, check, check!

I planted them 10 days ago and yesterday I have seen my first baby cactus, and then yet another one a few hours after that. This morning, an additional one appeared and this afternoon I noticed yet another one, too! What a joy, friends! I never thought that I could germinate them, but I did it!! Checking every morning and every once a while during the day and seeing new green tops showing up is an amazing feeling – I am so excited!

 

 

positive vibes

The thought crosses the mind and the heart feels.

That is what they say. I kind of believe in this.

Today, I am turning my regular thought pattern of working of problems, and rather, note the random beauty and safety around me.

Like the light coming into my bedroom window right now – what a majestic thing! It is free, available to everyone, and has found my way. I am lucky :). Ligth finds me.

The song I am listening to right now is peaceful, melodic, and intense at the same time. The guitar is both speaking and dancing. All the peaceful and lively melodies find me feed my soul, get my attention and lift my mood up.

I created two lovely sourdough loaves today and shared one with my good neighbours. To be able to share without feeling the need or enforcement is such a bliss. I like this about myself – I like to share the things I cherish. I am kind to my neighbours and I treat them time to time with nice food, little gifts. I am abundant and kind.

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I find things to do when I need to. Like today I painted a number of small terra cota pots for my yet-to-come succulents and cacti (planted seeds last week – wish me luck). I have hobbies that let me create and get excited about what I can do.

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I feel less anxious than Friday and this is wonderful. Once again, my fears triggered by external resources/people and made me remember what I should be careful about in my future steps (about work). I welcome this fear to make my future less problematic and I let it go now – it served its purpose.

I planted a number of seeds in a windy day. Some may have gone around to my neighbours’ yards. May they find their niche, germinate, and make someone happy and joyful. Nature and I have so much to share.

Rain and wind knocked some of my daffodils and tulips. One tulip is standing tall and is about to bloom. Like this tulip, I too stand up no matter what.

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Everything is available in life and I claim my part of life right here, right now.

How about this as a turn of the way I often think?

πŸ™‚

 

 

 

all the good things – check

  • feeling better overall – check

yesterday I was feeling uneasy again, but today has been a relatively better day – I will appreciate this!

  • eating a home made dish with lots of healthy veggies, yogurt, and garlic – check
  • meeting with an ex-team member of mine and having a great chat and doing some work together – check!

this gave me extra boost! She is a very intelligent and genuine person and talking to her again and learning about her wellness and successful endeavors were a bliss! It made me literally happy πŸ™‚

  • taking the bus on the way back from the office – check

I was lucky – the bus was waiting right in front of the building and I catched it – that saved me around 8 bucks from cab fare today πŸ™‚

  • feeling bored and then doing some work after 5pm – check

I have a busy next week and I just got an additional tasks right this evening. I decided to start it so that I can make my weekend and next week a little bit easier. I am glad I have. I feel good and less stressed and time-crunched now πŸ™‚

  • eating two juicy clementines that were delicious – check
  • drinking fresh kefir – check

I feel so much better when I drink kefir. I feel lucky to have these grains. They work so consistently!

  • seeing two seeds germinating in the yard – check

I planted them last weekend. It was a slightly rainy week, which I guess helped. I am looking forward to seeing more coming up.

Plants are my new hobby! I shared three succulents with my friends and everyday coming home and checking how they are doing is an incredibly exciting experience. The cacti seeds I planted last weekend do not have much of an activity. sadly sun is low this week, which may be affecting their germination. I will see how this saga will go on – let’s cross the finger πŸ™‚

  • having plans for the weekend – check

I need to work, but this is okay. I also would like to go for shopping and get new pots for succulents. I also would like to get additional pots for my yard to plant seeds. I have herb as well as flower seeds to grow and I am very excited about these πŸ™‚ I bought two big bags of soil a few days back, which was easy to do with the help of my shopping cart. I can go get two more this weekend. I want to plant potato in totes!! I have seen it in the internet and I am curious πŸ™‚ I will try 3-4 bags of them and see how this goes πŸ™‚

  • walking in the morning for 10-15 minutes – check

I am not walking lately. knowing what a healthy activity it is, I welcome this opportunity

  • enjoying the show I am watching – check
  • doing my back exercises – check
  • realizing that I have around 300 bucks accumulated for my next mortgage pre-payment – multi check!

I may not be able to save my money as much as I wish, but I keep saving from here and there a little sum that will help improve reducing my mortgage on the long run. I am excited about these and now I am motivated again to stop taking the cab and use that money to increase my pre-payment. I hope to catch the bus tomorrow morning – wish me luck!

 

 

 

 

Plan A and B

I came to realize that my emotions are quite strong.

Sometimes even stronger than my thoughts. They say our emotions are created by our thoughts. These thoughts must be quite silent or subtle for me – maybe my inner voice? – which make it quite difficult to identify them. In the absence of knowledge of my thoughts I am bound to feel the emotions as they come and go. The only ways I found that work are a) to force myself to remember for the good things that happened, and b) no resisting the emotions and rather let them be. They leave after a while.

Many years ago when I feel this way I wold read books. Reading and writing, as I do right now, seem to alleviate a significant part of these emotional burden. I must confess it has been quite some time that I read a book. Maybe tonite is the night.

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I have been to a meeting today. I have been serving in it for a year. Today after 2 hours (it usually lasts 3-4 hours), I could not take it anymore and left. I usually would stick to my commitments but I did not feel like it was going interesting. And by the look of how it moved, it possibly would take longer than 4 hours today. I threw myself out and bought myself a chocolate bar or two and arrived home.

I like this – I cared about myself and prioritized my own well-being and comfort over my commitments, this time an unfruitful one. It does not happen frequently and I have just realized what a great change it is!! One of the positive outcomes of this otherwise highly stressful and hard work year.

I could be getting ready to prioritize myself over the work issues or tasks. I know this would take quite a long time – I am not naive enough to think that just like that in an hour I completely dropped the long habit of living for work and started to live my life out of work… But this is a start and I appreciate the opportunity to experience and realize it.

I could be ready. For a better personal life and self-care.

During these times I appreciate the comfort my money provides me with. I am not sorry that I spent money on cab or chocolate or some extra food to enjoy today. While I recognize the need to use my money better and save for my future, I also recognize the fact that treating myself sometimes is necessary and even better.

We all have some coping skills at the face of stress or adversity. No sure what mine are; food, cardio exercise, books, writing, or plain going through it. I miss my stretching classes but cannot attend them now because of my lower back issue I experienced few weeks before. These classes give me some kind of peace, some kind of joy. It is hard to beat, but when I start them, after a few weeks I pull a muscle and end up popping muscle relaxants and pain killers for a few days. It is strange – but there is a 100% connection between the two. Is it something I do at these classes that triggers it? I am not a superstitious person, but it crossed my mind a couple of times that maybe I am not supposed to have this relaxation and joy I experienced at these classes. This should not be interpreted as I feel like I do not deserve to feel joyful or relaxed. Rather I think whatever makes me tense serves for a purpose.

What is it?

Sea Otter Good Job GIF by Justin - Find & Share on GIPHY

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One of my bosses described me as “intense” may years ago. I remember it very well. I know that I can be quite reactive and say whatever comes to my mind, without being political, and can fiercely object if it is not fair, clear, or right. To me, this is a good characteristics – do you want what I really think, or do you want me to say what you want to hear? I have never been good at being political. Always objective, just, and authentic.

In many ways, I can see why people would have a problem with this. Diversity of opinions and democracy and free speech has little place in teams that are focused on certain tasks, want to get things done, or find strength in their togetherness. The committee I served today is a good example of it. Listening to diverse points of view and having discussions around topics require time. When you have around 50 discussion points on the table, naturally nobody wants to hear different opinions or discussions lasting longer than a minute or two. People want to move on and finish on time.

Maybe if I stay in this committee long enough, I would also assume a similar priority and practice – just vote what the majority votes for, keep silent, and move on. Maybe everybody else thinks that this is not the best we can do, but the best we can have. Like Churchill said about democracy. Maybe all hard-working committees are operating under a similar modus operandi – executing a plan B successfully is better than struggling for a hard-to-get plan A.

I just realized that so far in my own personal life, I settled with plan B. I did not have time or energy left, after spending most of them on work and career most of my adult life.

Perhaps this can change.

Content GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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struggle or growth?

I am not sure whether I am struggling with my career or just growing.

It is sometimes hard to know, my friends.

I know I am struggling; I work harder than ever and trying to do many new things all at the same time. It is exhausting, stressful, and requires enormous amount of energy and focus. I do these because I am capable of doing, but the real motivation is the increasingly toxic and criticism-filled environment that makes me feel like I am not worthy and dispensable. I guess I am trying to show that I am not; I am a valuable and contributing member of my work-place. Even I say so now, I, the worst critique of myself.

It is strange writing this here – the real motivation after my over-work is being my frustration towards my work-place. Very counter-intuitive, is it not?

I think I must accept the fact that I had lost, and I am still at lost the majority of the time, my self-confidence in this position. The negative attitudes at my work triggered a reaction to turn things around. That is why I am working so hard and taking new roles. With each work and role accomplished, I gain confidence. Or, may be this is just an illusion. Hard to know….. But if it is real, then this hardship has been incredibly useful for me! πŸ™‚

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I am also growing. A lot changed in me since last year.

I am detached to my work-place and with each blow or slab to the face this detachment is growing. This is strange but also liberating indeed. It forces me to re-evaluate my wishes and my wants, and somehow forces me to think outside of my current box. Just yesterday I realized I could move to another country for work. Would it not be terrific? A new country, a new city, a new apartment, new bakery, new neighborhood, lots of plants, tall windows, people and lights in the street day and night. Energy, change, excitement, new experiences. Wow – that is a great picture!

I also became more assertive since last year and I am good at saying no now πŸ™‚ Well, at least better than before. I can also express myself and my frustration better. I can keep my stand better. This is lovely.

I also care much less about things that I would otherwise do; mostly related to work and work-related recognition. Less stress, less anxiety, more room for more important things. I hope.

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There is an apparent duality in my interpretations of these experiences, like in anything else I guess. One can argue that it is a point of view. Maybe one day I am struggling and maybe next day this experience makes me do something, which grows me (like the job application I made in Europe yesterday). Maybe it is all struggle and my mind finds some kind of serenity in finding/believing in positives (in order not to lose it).

I do not know really. Only time will tell. Right now, I know that I both struggle and grow at the same time.

It is a delicate balance; if struggle gets worse, the balance will tip down on this side and I may sink deep. If I grow, the other side of the balance will lift.

My aim is to lift myself up.

The balance is still unstable though. So, my struggle to end this struggle (what an irony – I need a new struggle to end another struggle??) is continuing.Β 

I am tired. Yes, I am. But I keep going.

I think I am giving a good fight here.

πŸ™‚

Sylvester Stallone Training GIF by Rocky - Find & Share on GIPHY

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my bread babies

It has been two years that I started to bake bread. I have not bought store-sold breads since then.

First many trials were not so good (except the first oe below, which was amazing to me!), but it eventually came around.

Then I got into sourdough and boy, what a magnificent experience it has been: every weekend with great excitement I baked a loaf or two, shared it with my neighbors, and friends, and I even shared my starter with someone interested in. It sure makes me happy and joyful.

Happy baking! πŸ™‚

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My first ever bread! (with commercial yeast and whole wheat flour – two years ago today:)))))

life is interesting

I have done something interesting and applied for a job in Europe πŸ™‚

I have not thought about it, I have not overly thought about my cover letter, I just did it.

If I had waited, I would probably not have done this application. I am proud of myself because this excites me in so many ways.

First, it is a completely different but related career path that I have been interested in for many years. I have done some volunteer work in that area and it is one of my favoriteΒ  activities.

Second, it is in Europe, which is closer to my family! It was almost impossible for me to move there for a similar career to what I have right now. With this application, I am feeling free! I just saw that I have had other options in life, which I was not aware of just yesterday….

Third, this is a significant step for me. I believe this is the 4th time I made an application for a job in the last 10 years (since I have got my job here). The last two applications happened in the last 11 months…. I am not surprised considering the toxicity around my job and job place. But I am quite excited to see that I am taking steps… This is so interesting… And exciting!

The truth is I do not know if I could leave here so soon and move to another place: I have a house, work-place commitments to my team members, and I love Canada. I feel a part of it, safe, and well cared for here. It would be difficult to leave Canada. Oh, Canada!

Yet, if my life and my mental health will be better, and if it is going to be close to my family, I will take it!

πŸ™‚

Hope is a magnificent thing.

Also magnificent is the people and circumstances that piss and under-appreciate me. Thanks to them, I come to realize other opportunities.

Hardships grows and extends us – that is for sure.

 

 

pretty random thoughts

Is change possible?

Improvement is, but change – I am not sure.

Technically an improvement would also mean a change in something. But changing directions into an entirely different area requires more courage or some enforcement, do you not think?

After the nerve-frying episode yesterday, I am looking for job opportunities. Not that I am very interested in leaving my post right now (I have commitments for another 2 years), but I like having the option and seeing what is available out there. It gives me some kind of hope, some kind of fresh look at my life. Most importantly, it tells me that I am free.

Freedom and freedom of choice are so important. After all, if we cannot have some freedom or control over the manageable/changeable aspects of our lives, what is it about? Tell me.

Some may argue that we have limitless capacity and opportunities. I would like to think so too, but it is hard to make it an objective reality for me.

Middle age crisis may be a real thing. I have always loved what I have done until I the last few years when it started to become more toxic – obligations, responsibility, and demoralization are all too much, too burdening. I am capable of doing a lot of things, but the constant criticism and disapproval of our work or ideas make it hard to keep going. Appreciation is a great motivator and a great keeper of self-confidence. I like it here. I try to perk myself up by looking at the work I have done – it is a beautiful experience and I can objectively see that I have done a lot. This gives me at least a momentarily satisfaction and joy. But the weight of the negativity is always heavier than the positive sides.

At one hand, I fell like a failure, and on the other hand, I know that I am better than this and with the same effort, care, and energy, in a different setting I can do much more. I am thorn between accepting the status quo and changing in a way to find myself again….

Finding myself.. What a beautiful thing.. Also sad – why did I lose myself at the first place? How did I end up in this situation?

Is it a risk or an adventure to change my current work place and career? Will I have similar problems in my next place and position? Is there something wrong with me? If so, I am pretty much guaranteed to have similar experiences in the next phases of my life.

This might be one of the reasons that I still am not writing my resignation letter. I am in the process of understanding myself and figuring out whether I can do better in another place? Sometimes, some cuts are deep and the callus is hard to remove. I am looking at my inner callus and seeing what it is like. I may not like, but every experience, good or bad, help me figure it out. This is one of the silent inner wisdom I know is there. It helps me keep going.

I also know rationally that the future is brighter than this. I know everything, whatever is happening at my work place, is making me one step closer to my future self. I am very hopeful about my future and my future self. Maybe all of these are the signs that tells me this status quo is not the best for me and there is a much better future for me. However burdening these days may be, maybe these burdens are actually telling me that it is time to leave this and open a new route in my life. A new route which will be brighter, healthier, and full of opportunities and joy that I have forgotten I am entitled too.

It is strange that I am actually hopeful about the future….. But I am. I am not happy here but I fully trust the future. I may not know what to do so and how, but I know I will figure out.

Future days will tell.

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detachment, work-place, and mental health

I feel so detached to my job. Maybe that is a good thing, maybe not.

Maybe it is a good thing. I am not fully satisfied with my job or my work-place anyhow. I am exhausted by the work-load. I can hardly find time for my own personal development and enjoyment. I am away from the people most matter to me (my family). I am frustrated and my nerves are fried frequently. I often ask myself “what is it that I want from my life and my future?” and I have no answer to that. I feel dried up. I feel living in a microcosmos that consists of mostly work, its problems, and the anxiety it creates.

On the other hand, my job is often respected. My salary is good, thank goodness. I have a simple life where I am – grateful again. I can have quite a frugal life if I want and save money each year (well, maybe not this year but that is okay). These are good things.

So, maybe detachment is a good thing so that I can actually leave here and open a new chapter in my life. It is somehow exciting but considering that I must find another job, it is anxiety-creating as well. I am scared of not finding a good job, a well-paying one.

Anxiety is a horrible thing, my friends. It stops you even you take a step. It fills your mind with all the negativity or possibilities that hope and excitement are buried under a heavy cloud.

Of course, one can argue that if I cannot change my circumstances, then perhaps I can and should change myself.

I am not sure that I can change myself. The way I think and take things. Not so much really. If I had worked less, maybe I could see things more clearly. If I had relaxed, maybe I would get less frustrated. If I had not cared, maybe I would not be emotionally impacted. It is hard to change myself, though I made some significant changes this year. Ironically I am working more, but at least on things that I benefit from. Like the committees I work at – they personally and professionally improve me. Like the new projects I am designing.Β  Like my creative juice sometimes running full-bodied and sweet. At other times, with other tasks, however, I am heavily burdened.

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I had started the day more or less well. What triggered this turn of emotions was a note from a superior showing the “stick” (where are all the carrots??). I feel intimidated, threatened, and certainly under-appreciated.

I just wonder how long I should take this sh.t and why I do not have the courage to quit myself. It is like I rather am waiting for something to happen so that I can say “that is it! I am quitting!“.

I am waiting, I see.

It is not a full detachment yet, with each “stick” I get closer to it. Maybe it is a good thing.

And, I have serious suspicions of this work-place making me mentally sick.

Depression? Anxiety? Both? Or simply, being fed up?

 

 

my little succulent heaven :)

I am obsessed with succulents!

A few years back a friend of mine had gifted me two jade plants. I largely ignored them. One of them was so much ignored that it turned its colour to brown and with wrinkled leaves. Upon watering a few times, it is back to its gorgeous self πŸ™‚

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The second jade was watered more and staying in my bathroom – that one did not get bloom too much and one of the stalks was lying around. So, I chopped it and hope that the cut pieces will develop roots and make new jades πŸ™‚

IMG_3956

And this is my prop station – it has been 10-15 days now that I have lied them on a shallow level of soil. I hope to see some roots and little plants sometime. I am worried that so far I have not got one, but hope is hope and I keep going πŸ™‚

IMG_4026

Then another friend of mine has gifted me with a little haworthia – it really loved its new home and grown over the winter. I changed its pot and I have 4-5 leaves that I hope will germinate. They say it is difficult, if not impossible, but I am trying πŸ™‚

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I do not know how I started getting massively interested in succulents, but I have been addicted! I read about them everyday and they intrigue me with their variety and interesting growth and propagation styles. Just yesterday I bought three little fellas that I hope to grow, keep, and propagate. I love the Crassula Portulacea (aka Shrek plant, Spoon jade, gollum fingers). Look at him – is it not a beauty? πŸ™‚

 

One of the other two have etiolated (meaning the stalk has grown tall while looking for light). I know it is challenging to fix this, but I am determined to take care of it well.

And this one is one of the jades that has grown from a fallen leaf – how cute is it?

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Nature is amazing!

πŸ™‚

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PS: I am trying to grow christmas cactus from the leaves. The way I read on the internet, I was supposed to callus the end and then insert into the soil. My question is, there are root like structures on top – was I supposed to insert that part of the leaves in the soil?

Any tips would be appreciated! πŸ™‚

 

all the good things – check

  • enjoying the good weather and phasing out may times, looking out of the window and the nature around my building – check

Spring is here, friends. It is here. My daffodils are coming out, sky is blue, and there is no snow on the ground. I feel different. Immensely different. Hopeful. Positive. Changing naturally. Enjoying my connection with nature.

Realizing once again that after any dark season will come the light….

They may tell me this millions of times, but unless I came to this realization myself, I would never buy it.

I like the fact that by observing nature I can in fact make reflections on life.

Priceless.

  • enjoying the plants on window sill in my office – check

I have three new plants there. They are green. Their pots are nice and colourful. Just another sense of Spring and hope.

  • eating apples and being grateful for it, knowing that it is healthy – check
  • attending an award ceremony for a team member of mine and being incredibly proud and happy – check!

these are one of my favorite times πŸ™‚ it is all worth it! What an honour. What an excitement πŸ™‚

  • munching on food served at the ceremony and not feeling like I must cook at home tonite – check

talking about being lazy or disliking to cook πŸ™‚

  • enjoying the warm and smooth breeze in the back yard – check
  • being aware and excited about feeling good and positive – check, check, check! πŸ™‚

 

 

 

very random thoughts

I have hardly anything to write about in my mind right now, but who knows what the next minutes will tell. So, here I go.

I am having another episode of high-focus work and as such am highly irritable and somehow easily bored and agitated. The last weekend I went to shopping twice and while it made me feel good, my bank account is not doing well.

As a matter of fact, when compared to last year I am spending much more and the truth is that I find all bunch of excuses to do so. How is this serving me, I am not sure. At one hand, I have instant gratitude by taking the cab (rather than walking or taking the bus) and by eating junk food. On the other hand, I am hardly grateful for these and rather feel sorry about not keeping my money. It is a dilemma that I have experienced many times and I am sure I am not the only one.

My relationship with money has been always interesting. I am known to be able to save money since my childhood. It makes me feel good and more secure. I keep a simple and modest life. I am not into material. The money I spend on cab or junk food is not high; under different conditions I could as well be spending the money on a car and its maintenance. So, what is the problem?

Problem is that if I want it, I can cut out these expenses quite efficiently.

My problem is my own preferences, which are often getting expensive when stressed or need to work really hard.

My significant problem would be home-ownership and the mortgage and other expenses coming with it. It is a significant portion of my income.

My other problem would be the bad economy that is eating up our incomes with extra taxes.

My most significant problem would be that I started saving for my retirement quite late in life and as such whatever I can save right now is golden for later.

My problem is with myself and how I feel about money, the comfort it brings and the comfort I may not get in the future as a result of spending it today.

It would be so nice if we all have had universal income. Or go back in time to my youth and make better career choices.

Whatever you do, my friends, try to save and invest as soon as you make money.

 

 

 

random thoughts

Interesting times.

I am working like h..l again, but at least I can get motivated about it. I have two project applications to make in two weeks and it makes me excited only because I am almost done with one of them, and another one is nearly 50% done. I feel that one of them will get acceptance – is this realistic?

No.

But hope is a beautiful thing.

Hope Please GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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It is my conclusion that only 10% of my efforts are to move forward…. This is a very conservative estimation, but it does not hurt. As a matter of fact, accepting the fact that many of my efforts will not be fruitful is somehow healthy; it helps me with dealing with the rejection.

There is a strange relationship between anticipation and hope and reality and feeling insensitive.

One or the other; hope versus insensitivity. Anticipation versus reality.

Which one do we want to have?

Hurt GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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all the good things – check

  • sleeping well, dreaming long and vividly, and getting up early – check

I remember the dream, a part of it particularly. I jumped into a sea with someone I know and started to swim away. I was fearless, but then I came to my senses and I said “I do not want to do this, let’s go back”. And we did. I was not fearful (as I would be in reality), but the idea was certainly not a good one. Where were we going? Would we be able to make it to the land across from us (a mile or so)? Why this adventure? Why this risk? Was it peer-pressure or the need to comply with just because we tend to prefer being nice than being chicken? Was it something I really wanted to do?

This was a very realistic dream and I do not know how to interpret it (not that I am interested in interpreting it unscientifically). But the wishes of ourselves as an individual and all the sacrifices or bad decisions we have made in order to comply or “fit in” the social/professional circles is real.

I have been thinking about this for some time. At work, we experience this a lot; at committees we serve or with partnerships we have, we often are not vocal about our own needs or preferences in order to make collective efforts work. One committee I serve is particularly resistant to not comply with the majority of the members with seniority. I started to make my own points and vote against things that do not make sense to me lately. It does not serve me well in terms of fitting in, being liked/approved, or considered as being pleasant.

But, what shall I do? Do what feels right, or the opposite? At what expense? Self-respect versus acceptance.

You tell me.

  • being confused and feeling down again by a recent rejection of one of my work proposals, and not knowing what to do or how to start feeling confident again, starting to focus on what actually I have accomplished in the last one year – check

work-related rejection is killing my morale and taking a significant energy out of my mental wellness. This has been happening for some time and I should be immune to it for now. But, I am not. So I started listing all the efforts I have put in and slowly I started to see how much I have accomplished. Yes, not everything I tried and put enormous energy and effort in worked out, but the rest did. This “rest” was important to remember.

The period of extraordinary work and struggle to keep doing well has not ended, I see. I will continue, it seems. It is hard and demoralizing but I can keep going till I cannot go any further. I think that is the major point f all of these experiences. Change.

Change the way I think and work

or

Change the direction of my work

We will see how this story ends.

  • seeing what a wonderful sourdough I have risen over night and getting excited about it whole day – check!

I baked two loaves, my best so far. I think the warming temperature helps the starter and it shows on the dough. I will give one of the loaves to a friend – I am sure she will be delighted πŸ™‚

  • working shaky at first but then pulling it around for around 5 hours and starting a new proposal – check, check, check!

I actually worked quite efficiently and drafted around 8 pages long draft. This is a significant progress. I feel like I may be able to pull this around and make an application by deadline (which turned out to be just 2 weeks ahead). What a magnificent turn of mental clarity for me today – in the morning I was all lost and in the afternoon I had mental zone that let me generate and find some kind of relief and motivation to do more πŸ™‚

  • sending an email to someone to fix a problem with a scheduling of a meeting – check

this is my second email to this person, who had disregard the initial one and circulated with others the schedule that was not suitable for me and possibly the majority of the other members. I am chairing this committee and I fell that I should ensure the participation by making sure that the time is good for everyone. I feel like I am constantly putting effort and it is side-tracked. How am I supposed to deliver if I cannot make sure participation by others to contribute?

Team work is great but not when one cannot make it work as the chair. There are lots of lessons learnt for me this year….

  • remembering that I have a morning appointment – thanks to my email calendar – check!

I had completely forgotten! How great is technology? πŸ™‚

  • enjoying a comedy show – check
  • being excited about my succulents – check

this is a new interest for me! I have three of them (one haworthia and two jade plants). I cut out some stems and pulled leaves from my jade. They are drying up for now and will be planted this week in new containers. I hope to get more of these beauties over time – what a joy!

Garden Plants GIF by Sharpie - Find & Share on GIPHY

  • having new interests, like sewing, gardening, bread-making, jamming, and succulents, developing over time and making me excited and happy about life – check!

Not everything in life is unpleasant. Finding those that give us joy is priceless πŸ™‚

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all the good things – check

  • deciding to feel good as nothing much in our daily/work life matters that much – check

I have had a kind of relaxing but also somehow nerve-pitching week. All work related issues of course. On the other hand, weather has been incredibly nice and Spring is really here. I have been feeling awesome about this – there is a real feeling of “hope” and “new beginnings” induced by the arrival of Spring. Should I be wasting these great feelings with focusing on shitty things and behaviors?

No.

Right. πŸ™‚

  • walking to the office in the morning – check

I have been walking in the last few days from home to office in the mornings. This feels great really πŸ™‚ Last year was the first time I had made it a routine activity to walk in the mornings (weather permitting). It makes me feel calmer, energetic, happier, and healthier πŸ™‚

  • working without much of stress and taking care of a tricky document – check

I knew that it was gonna be tough but I also told myself repeatedly that I would do overcome this too. The last year has been particularly very challenging in terms of work, stress, agitation, changing myself and my work attitude, growing my gray hair (I did not update you on this, did I? Man, I have gray hair alright – looks better somedays than the others, but I am still resisting the idea of dyeing it πŸ™‚ ), and undertaking new professional roles. One of the benefits of it has been to go through really tough time and tough decisions, so no new challenge is a big deal (at least so far) – great! πŸ™‚

  • taking my time to enjoy the plants on my floor – check

it has been a pleasure really, looking at all the beautiful plants and flowers that have been around me for so long but have never been cherished or recognized by myself. I feel awesome now that I know each one of them. Plants are amazing, friends. There are so many different types of them, they do survive with little help, and they make one feel great emotions and joy…. Go hug a plant πŸ™‚

  • walking to a nearby store and buying groceries – check

there have been many food that I needed and were on sale this week – I feel lucky πŸ™‚ I want to get some succulents nowadays. There were some aleo vera that were on sale in this store, but I did not want to buy them this time. There is a store 30 min away on foot that I can go check sometime to see whether they carry succulents. Even reading about the succulent made me feel excited and happy yesterday πŸ™‚

  • drinking fresh kefir – check
  • eating good home-made food – check
  • making a conscious effort to not dwell on negativity – check
  • enjoying a comedy show – check
  • having a simple life with minimal expenses today – check, check, check! πŸ™‚

Daisy GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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carrot jam :)

I did not even think that it was possible or tasty, but I was wrong. Carrot jam is must to try πŸ™‚

I was looking for an interesting jam/marmalade to try and it was the carrot jam that intrigued me. Thanking bloggers out there who have posted their recipes. I improvised my recipe and I am very pleased with the end result.

Addition of orange to this jam kind of masks the “veggie” smell/taste of carrot. Next timeΒ  I want to try it with some nuts, like walnut, for a much tastier and crunchier version.

Ingredients:

  • 8 mid-size carrots
  • 1 extra large orange
  • 1.5 lemon
  • 6 cups water
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 2 tbs salt

Recipe:

  • peel the carrots and cut in thin stripes – julienne (my new mandolin slicer did not work out well, what a waste of money, so I cut them using a knife)
  • peel the orange, scrap off the white coat, piece and add to carrots
  • add 4 cups of sugar, mix, and let stand for 1-2 hours (continue to mix it every once a while – it should get juicy at the end of the waiting period)
  • add water and salt, and bring to a rolling boil, continue to boil for 30 min at medium heat
  • add the orange peels (once the orange is peeled, put the peels in 1/4 vinegar/water mix, let stand for 30 min, scrap off the white coat, and slice thinly) and 10 tbs of lemon juice
  • boil for another 25-30 min, until it reduces to 1/3 of the initial volume and thickens
  • pour down the sterilized jars, close the lids, and rings.
  • Water or pressure can for long-term preservation. If not, keep it in the fridge and consume within weeks.

Bon appetite!

all the good things – check

  • sleeping well and long, and seeing my dad in one of my dreams – may he rest in peace – check
  • having my favorite breakfast with tomato, sourdough bread, and coffee – check
  • walking in the yard and seeing a number of bulbs I planted in the Fall sprouting – check πŸ™‚
  • working on a new report and almost finishing it – check
  • pulling a muscle or somehow aggravating my sciatica – not check! But it has been a much manageable episode so far, and my pain and muscle relaxants were around and effective – so let’s check this one too πŸ™‚
  • baking a meat pie and enjoying it – check
  • drinking fresh, frothy, and tasty kefir – check
  • watching a series that makes me laugh – check
  • having the day off – check
  • realizing that my sciatica is turning into a chronic problem, unless I take better care of my back and strengthen my core with the exercises given to me. I should also be careful in my movements. This one came without any warning, like the previous ones. It starts usually when I try to pick something from the floor. This must be something I must particularly be careful about. Also, no matter what I must keep having medications available so that I can manage this better. Being aware – check!
  • having almost no work-related stress – check πŸ™‚
  • having a good weather and feeling the Spring – check
  • being excited about the lives in my yard and planing to plant more flowers and bulbs next year – check

Spring 2009 GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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a long weekend is coming….

A long weekend is coming and for the first time in a while, I do not have a plan.

Is this good? Bad?

Sometimes I see this as an opportunity to be spontaneous, which would be awesome to exercise this week. Maybe I would see a friend or invite over a couple of them. Maybe I will go visit a thrift store again – always fascinating πŸ™‚

Sometimes it just makes me bored or feel like I am wasting a great opportunity (3 days off, come on! this is a great time to enjoy) only because I did not long for it. This past week has been light in terms of work and stress, and as such, I have not dreamt of how great it would have been to have an extra day off from work. Anticipation, they say, is a joyful experience. I now know what they mean πŸ™‚

It is not too late to have the aim of enjoying this long weekend.

  • Maybe I will try a new recipe. As a matter of fact, I have become interested in yet another fermentation product, kvass. Maybe I will try it πŸ™‚
  • I can make some more parsnip and carrot pickle – the one that I made last weekend was amazing. Parsnip has a sweet smell that makes me excited about it.
  • I may try a new type of jam or marmalade, and share with friends. I want to try something unusual and challenging. Orange, clementine, berry marmalades are not interesting at this point (done that, been there). If you have any recommendation or recipe for a different type of jam, please feel free to let us know in the comment area.
  • I may visit my yard and maybe help it rejuvenate. I think I have seen the bulbs I planted last fall coming out a few days ago! Our winter is not over, but it has been such a mild one that I am not surprised to see them sprouting πŸ™‚ I am excited to see how they will come along.
  • My mom suggested that I give a dig or two around my garlic shoots. Yep, I have around 35 garlic that I had planted in fall and seem to be coming around πŸ™‚ What an exciting experience! If this experiment works well, I am sure to plant more in fall. Cannot wait πŸ™‚
  • Perhaps I can sew a couple of cloths to use during baking. I have had many, some of which were thick and really useful. Sadly they have got old and not usable anymore, but I am sure I have fabric here and there that can make my new cloths from. Let’s do this πŸ™‚
  • This week is also one of these weeks when I am attempting some kind of pantry challenge. I have a lot of food in the pantry and in the freezer – it is time that I consume them and open space for fresh ones. This will also help me save some money – I really need to do this so that I can have a healthy chequeing account while also I continue to regularly invest and finance my vacation in summer.

poetry and love

I am listening to a song from a few decades back. It is beautiful.

A part of the lyric says something like this ” do not let anyone to see you, before I do see you“.Β 

This kind of words affects me romantically and quite deeply. The pain and fear of losing the loved one,Β the innocent jealousy, the sincere admission of all of these raw feelings and only for our loved one.

Love is a great thing, my friends.

It literally gave me wings once. Joy. Zest for life. A hint of purpose. A different world. A different life. A different me.

I miss these feelings.

The only thing I could not experience was jealousy.

I have never been jealous of my loved ones. Why is that, I wonder. Was I unafraid of losing them, did I not love them, or did I just not have them at the first place?

Hard for me to know.

Say Goodbye GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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pickled egg and parsnip & carrot pickle, and easy lazy peasy pasta trials

I have been meaning to try a new pickle recipe and decided to try pickled eggs πŸ™‚

After a search on the internet, I improvised the following recipe:

  • 10 hard boiled egg, peeled and placed in a clean jar. AddΒ a pinch of saffron and around an inch of cinnamon stick (do not ask me why I added this πŸ™‚ I think I wanted some sweet fragrance in it). Saffron gives a bright yellowish colour to it, which I loved πŸ™‚
  • brine: 2 cups of white vinegar, 3 cups of water, 1 tbs of salt, 1 tbs of sugar: boiled for 5 min or so
  • Pour down the brine in the jar (leave around an inch of space at the top), close the lid and rings.Β 

They say we should wait a few days, if not a week, but I am leaving it to you to try πŸ™‚

IMG_3757

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Since my brine was more than what the pickled egg jar would take, I decided to try parsnip and carrot pickle. I sliced 3 small parsnip and one mid-size carrot, boiled in the brine for 2 min or so, added 3 grated garlic and 1 tsp of chili pepper in a jar – cannot wait to try this one. My first parsnip pickle trial πŸ™‚ As you can see my brine was too much, but I will take it πŸ™‚

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The other day I tried some kind of soft and large pasta.

I addedΒ 3 cups of all purpose flour, 2 tbs olive oil, 1 tbs salt (use less – mine was too salty), 1 tbs of baking powder, and 1 egg,Β  and formed a shaggy dough.

I then let it rest for an hour at room temperature. After that,Β I did knead it for a minute or so (it comes around pretty neatly) and rolled using a rolling pin at a desired thickness, cut in stripes, cooked in boiling water for 5-6 minutes, and took aside.

On a hot frying pan, I added vegetable oil,Β  black bean and soya sauce, let boil for one or two minutes, added the cooked pasta, and mixed for a few minutes.

It was soft and very tasty πŸ™‚

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all the good things – check

  • feeling really positive and excited about life -check πŸ™‚
  • taking time to rest in the morning and getting up kind of late – check
  • catching the bus – check
  • enjoying my coffee – check
  • not being stressful at all and looking for something to do at the office – check!

this was very important. I have had time! I took this opportunity to discuss the work of a team member, who seemed to have done really well. I understand his work, which is in fact very complicated. And this gives me extra confidence in his work. Priceless πŸ™‚

  • finding 30 bucks in a pocket of my purse and getting excited about this – check

This is wonderful! it is a lot of money. I have been meaning to buy jars, the little wide mouth ones, for some time. I think I can now get it with a peace of mind πŸ™‚

  • getting a tax return more than I thought I would – check, check, check πŸ™‚

Is that not wonderful? It is πŸ™‚ I plan to make it a pre-payment and further reduce my mortgage. Very exciting! I feel like money comes to me from many different resources. Timing is great as this week I have been really frugal and did not spend more money while also keep living comfortably. I had missed this feeling and I am very excited about it.

  • eating yogurt – check
  • relaxing whole night and not working at all – check
  • buying long, green, and hot peppers at a nearby store – check

this kind is hard to find around here and this is the second time that I found it. My mom would love these peppers, especially if fried. i am not that into hot peppers, but with the seeds removed, the taste and the look of these peppers are just amazing. I feel lucky πŸ™‚

  • having no meeting tomorrow – check
  • planning to visit a thrift store tomorrow afternoon – check

this is very exciting for me πŸ™‚ I have not been to one for a long time. Browsing through all bunch of interesting stuff is a great relaxing exercise for my mind. While I am excited about this plan, I am also conscious about the bad weather outside – it is raining and we expect some storm. If the precipitation is not bad, I still can make it tomorrow – we shall see πŸ™‚

  • having a no-spending day – check

that is right – this was the 5th day that I did not spend anything except the bus fare. I am abundant. I am well. I am proud.

 

generosity of a mentor

I read somewhere today that being a mentor/teacher means first and most being generous.

You know that I have been kind of self-centered lately, trying to keep my head above the muddy water,Β  and trying to care for my own wellness and work-related development and performance.

In the last few days, I have been feeling much less stressed and ready to take new challenges and tasks. Today one of my team members reminded me that before new challenges, I must turn my efforts to the development and progress of my team members.

My team members are all young and doing very well themselves. The intricate details and expectations from our work necessitate intensive training, however. That is why I spend a lot of time, especially in the initial years of my team members, to teach them. It is demanding and over time gets frustrating, but we all do well at the end. I have been doing much less of such training lately than before and giving independence to my team members. I must say some of them flourished duringΒ  this time, some of them are lagging and require my support and push, and some others do great, have incredible potential and character, and can do even more excellent if I side by them. The team member of mine who reminded me today to be generous with my time, support, and effort is of the latter type.

She is visiting my team for a short term. At first I was not overly enthusiastic, but I can see I was wrong. She is independent, very smart, and very enthusiastic. The work she has been doing is new to her but she grasps the concepts and does the work nicely. Today she brought me a gift (an inexpensive – thank goodness – but unique item that came directly from heart) to express her appreciation of me as a mentor and I was speechless. I do not accept gifts from my team members, but rejecting her gift was upsetting her very much, so eventually I decided I would accept it with the condition that she would never give me a gift again and I would get her a gift myself.

What bothers me is that I at least for five minutes drilled her for getting me a gift (could I not just graciously accept it and make her feel good at least?) and she got me a gift because she thought I was a great mentor (me??)…. I had not even spent enough time with her and with her work! How could I do that? Why was I so self-centered and did not care about her development as much as I normally would? My consciousness is bothering me big time.

From tomorrow on, I will start praising and further supporting the team members who are doing well themselves;Β  I will start tightening the work schedules of others who are lagging without my push or support, and I will find extra time to further train and develop the team member who reminded me that generosity in terms of sharing my time, expertise, and wisdom is the best I can provide and what I should exercise as a mentor.

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all the good things – check

  • sleeping well and dreaming…. a lot – check πŸ™‚

Only sometimes I remember my dreams and remembering three dreams in the morning was absolutely interesting!

  • waiting at home for the bus so that I could continue my frugal, simple, and responsible life style I missed so much – check
  • feeling happy when the bus comes – check!

Our buses runs every 30 min – give me some credit for taking them, please :)))

  • working nice and easy during the day without much of a stress – check
  • giving a small loaf of sourdough to one of my friends and seeing her joy and excitement – check, check, check πŸ™‚

I am grateful for this feeling of happiness coming from sharing my bread, marmalade, or pickles – looks like my friends really like and appreciate them, and this just makes me hugely grateful! How did I come up with the idea of baking bread? making marmalade or pickle? Boredom, which motivated me to try these endeavors, has been good to me indeed πŸ™‚

  • coming home early and taking a new yoga/stretching class – check

I dedicated this session to appreciating myself more (wow – I am really getting healed here πŸ™‚ ) and I spent the entire one hour by focusing on all the good things and appreciating my ability to do so. One of the best 12 bucks spent ever πŸ™‚

  • eating home-made food and a large salad – check
  • having a no-spending day – check!

I am excited about this. I think I am slowly coming back to my frugal self. Today is the second day of being frugal in a very long time and it feels fantastic. If only they did not expect a snow storm soon – that may mean that I may need to take a cab to or from work. We will see how weather will develop.

I plan to do some sort of pantry challenge next week so that I can consume what I already have. This will help me with saving some money and also enable myself to consume what I already have and replace them with fresh ones. I really need this so that I can get my chequing account back to a healthy level, which always feels good. Time to do this!! πŸ™‚

  • Being calm and relaxing this evening – check

I am not working tonite and it feels good to me. I know time to time it gets really heavy but nowadays I feel like I deserve a break and I aim to cherish it while it lasts

  • interacting with only lovely friends and colleagues today – check
  • eating yogurt – check
  • being excited about all the good things and people in my life -multi-check!

πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

changing for a better me, for a better time

So this past year has been hard on me – it was highly stressful; I worked long hours; I was skeptical and suspicious of my professional future; I have got my blood pressure peaked a couple of times and almost got panic attacks; I have got my self-confidence shook very very strongly; and I have mostly ignored my daily, personal, simple, and frugal life so that I can channel my energy and time to my work-related efforts and use my money to comfort myself during this hard time.

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The hardship started last summer when I realized that our work-place was getting more and more toxic (mostly because of financial issues) and they were openly making comments about firing people. How demoralizing? Very indeed. I worked so hard and did so much for my work and this organization that after all of these, if we get this kind of treatments instead of appreciation, it was time to think about what to do with my future.

  • This was one of the nicest things I have got out of this experience – that I was better than this and I deserved recognition by my work-place, not depreciation like they tend to favor.
  • I also did not want to spend my time trying to prove myself over and over. All these years and after all I have done, what else do they want?? (they do want lots of thing, by the way. It is never enough for them).
  • Most importantly, I realized that I was better than my current work-environment let me be and I was longing for developing further and reaching my personal and professional potential.
  • I applied for a job, for which I did not receive any response back. But that is okay. The important thing was I had started to react to my work/position here and I was being detached from it. This was wonderful – I never thought that I would leave my current job. Great experience!
  • I worked harder and on different topics, which took time and required a lot of courage. I did these. They have not yielded outputs yet, but I am hopeful and determined that they will.
  • I took new roles. That meant lost of time and reading/discussions/practicing to learn new things and taking new risks. It has been tough, but I am moving on smoothly.
  • I exercise new leadership roles and I am developing and discovering about myself in such roles. While this is emotionally challenging (a lot is expected from leaders and knowledge and experience together are required for effective leadership), there is so much I learn about myself that it is amazing πŸ™‚

I also aimed to change myself.

  • I realized I did not want to do what others were in fact supposed to do (my job requires a lot of this if we want things to move – sad truth is that as a project leader you shoulder a lot of the burden others should) and starting to say no. I first said no to reviewing a report, then another, and then another. I try to save my time for the things I want to deal with now.
  • I raised concerns and demanded better working conditions when my work place came to me with a silly tasks to be done (which can be done by someone else pretty easily).
  • I started to distance myself from the colleagues who ate up not only my time, but also my nerves with their negative, demanding, and belittling attitudes. This is one of my most significant victories….
  • I started raising my voice when my friends or colleagues unfairly criticized me – they think twice now I guess. I found that generalization is very easy and people tend to do this pretty frequently. However, seeing the view from the other side is necessary to understand things better. Many people miss that. I am vocal about this now when it comes to me or my work. I won’t take unnecessary and unfounded criticism that easily.
  • I say no to socials with people whom I do not wish to spend yet another minute.Β 
  • I started to value my time, energy, well-being, professional efforts, skills, and performance more than ever (talking about confidence that my work-place was trying to diminish with the talks of firing us.. What a nice turn of self-opinion? πŸ™‚ )
  • I started to be a little bit more smart and took steps to strengthen my position in my work-place while also developing myself further. I have two positions at my union’s committees and I am not only learning about our rights as workers, but also how to support myself and other workers against any organizational or professional issues. I feel safer and well supported. And in many ways, also protected. I will continue to work in one of these committees in the coming years, which I know is very beneficial for me. It is like a shield that can defer many silly attempts on me and other vulnerable colleagues. I am loving this.
  • I recently realized that I was very content and pleased with my efforts, hard-work, development, and changes. With this comes confidence and shutting down any effort to belittle me or my work. This is, my friends, priceless.

After all, this hard time is turning into a better and more pleasing experience. Like winter ending and Spring flourishing.

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all the good things – check

 

1. sleeping well and calm – check

2. getting up at a time good enough to catch the bus on time – check

3. working well in the morning, getting stressed at noon, but keeping the work till evening – check

4. almost being finished with some work that has been on my list for so long that its heaviness has been extreme – I want it to be done. Hopefully soon πŸ™‚ – check

5. enjoying the warm and bright day and getting a feeling of Spring – check

6. walking back to home in the afternoon – check

7. saving around 20 bucks from cab fare by taking the bus or walking today – check

8. doing grocery shopping and appreciating everything I purchased – check.

I have got a big bag of potatoes and lemons. I consume lemon quite a bit, potato – not so much. But it is more or less durable and potato meals, soup, and salad are all very enjoyable food. I am feeling good about having food the next few weeks and I feel quite abundant πŸ™‚

9. eating fish and a big healthy saladΒ  – check.

Lately I have been trying to award myself by eating fish or any other fried food (before someone starts about the unhealthy habit of fried food; for some reason they make me feel good the next day. once a week should be okay, right?)

10. Keeping calm – check.

It is strange to remember that in January I have had almost panic attacks. A very stressful time it was. I have come so far, slowly but steadily. I am very gratefulΒ  – check!

11. Finishing the lose ends of many small tasks and reports, and feeling energized about thisΒ  – check.

I have a number of small things to finish this weekend. Once they are done, I hope I will start bigger and newer projects. It is so exciting!Β  – check

12. Did I mention that I said “no” again yesterday? Face-to-face this time.

A colleague of mine thinks that she can interrupt me anytime while working alone orΒ  with others to ask or talk about what she needs or wants. How is this acceptable? yesterday I was working in my office with a team member of mine and that person just stepped in my office and start talking and asking me things, with no acknowledgment of my team member or us being working on something. Very rude, self-centered, and selfish. I decided it was the time that I take control and indicate need to respect my team member, and I asked the person to talk later. Can you imagine? I did it! And I did not even feel bad after that!! I am on the right track, my friends πŸ™‚ -check, check, check!

all the good things – check

1. not working like crazy and taking my time and phasing out for an hour or so at the office – check

2. sleeping well and waking up with not so many negative thoughts – check

3. delivering a very interactive presentation, connecting with the audience who was hesitant and passive at the beginning but became cozy and excited about the presentation later, and making it a memorable experience for everyone – check

4. taking a cab and making it an easy and comfy experience to pick a card for my team member who will leave soon for another job – check. I have been meaning to do this for sometime. It is strange that when we look for a nice card they are nowhere to be found. I picked a nice one that I am very happy with and wrote a nice thank you and appreciation note for her. I hope she will like it!

5. eating grapes – check

6. eating a previously frozen home-made soup – check

7. attending an odd yoga class that aims to release muscle tension and finding it one of this interesting life experiences – check. My goodness; it was a crowded class, there were a lot of people shaking, making noise, breathing aloud, and making sure that we the rest of the pack laugh uncontrollably as a result :)))))

8. looking good with a new hair cut today – check. it is strange that a hair cut can make such a positive change in our outlook and how we feel. I will remember this and will use it as a means of therapy in the future πŸ™‚

9. Being hungry and planning to eat something in a bit. It is getting late but I appreciate having appetite – check

10. watching an old movie that I always loved and enjoying my night – check πŸ™‚Β 

 

 

one of these awesome days

One of these days that I am calm and feeling good about myself and the work.

One of my team members and I finished a big project today, which was on the go for 3.5 years. I cannot believe. She made that happen and she is leaving soon to move on with a better career. I could not be happier and more proud of her. May she always find success, happiness, and support in life. She has got my full blessing.

I feel like accomplished now a little bit and am feeling hopeful and excited about my work again. Results of this project will be used in many other projects and noone in the world has ever produced such results. The more I think about it, the more I am realizing what a unique and exciting project this was. I must be happy and proud of myself as well!

This realization brings me some sort of confidence and excitement – I have done very well indeed. There is hope that I will sign under the many more difficult and exciting projects. This is such a much needed feeling for me. I would not be surprised if I shed some tears out of joy πŸ™‚

Now I have space for future projects and my calendar is more permissive to move on with others that I have been planning. Happiness! πŸ™‚

I have four presentations to do withing the next four weeks – two of them being this week. I am ready for them. The other two, on the other hand, needs work. Ok – I can do this! After that my next biggest task will be writing a new type of report, which I am looking forward to. It will be challenging at the beginning, we have been keeping it under the radar for some time, and now I will have time to work on it. Something fresh, interesting, and developing me further as a professional. Excitement!

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I was telling one of my friends today that I wonder how I and my life will develop in the next three years. I know that I have been changing my approach to others at work, becoming a little bit more focused on my own interests and reducing my commitment to others’ work, being interested in challenging and developing myself by taking new roles and responsibilities, becoming more assertive, and most importantly, questioning my own look at my life. I told my friend today that I sometimes think about resignment. Not that I want to but I guess it is one way to free myself from all the little issues and attitudes that bother me. Thinking about resignment gives me some kind of relief from the current issues. It also helps me with un-attaching myself from work. I was always overly committed to work and as such have ignored the other important things in life.

What are the important things in life?

Certainly my family is important.

I am important.

It is time that I let these realizations sink into my mind…

It is exciting that I am curious about my future, don’t you think? πŸ™‚ This is certainly becoming an exciting anticipation for me – I want my future to be better, happier, healthier, and more meaningful. I want to have dreams and plans. I want to do different things. I want to feel good about myself and my frequent efforts to do so!

May the next days bring joy, success, happiness, health, and good people, experiences, memories, and opportunities to all of us πŸ™‚

 

Spiderman sourdough :)

IMG_3691
Spiderman is here!!!! πŸ™‚

Does it not look like the face of Spiderman – one of my favorite characters? πŸ™‚

This loaf was the last and the best one I baked with multigrain bread flour.

FYI – I cannot recommend the multigrain bread flour – it does not rise much. If you are looking for better crumb, either have a warmer place to proof the dough (my kitchen is around 17C during winter and I am not patient enough to wait too long), or use the old, good plain bread flour.

This loaf contains:

  • 1 1/3 cup whole wheat starter/levain
  • 2.5 cups of water
  • 4 cups of multi-grain bread flour and 2 cups of all purpose flour (i had run out of bread and multi-grain flour)
  • 2.5 tbs sugar
  • 2 tbs salt

Everything is mixed and I stretched and folded it 4-5 times before I left it to rise overnight at room temperature; these happened yesterday evening

This morning I shaped it and placed in a mixing bowl upside down and left for proofing in the oven for 5.5 hours

Baked at 350F oven (non-prehetaed) for an hour

Delicious!

early Sunday morning musings

It is a Sunday πŸ™‚ A beautiful quiet, peaceful, and relaxing morning.

I woke up early at around 5 am – my unusual habit lately.

I am smelling, tasting, and enjoying my morning coffee;

listening to classic music which I have never listened to before (change is very good);

cooking my chickpeas meal for the day (a portion will be frozen to be eaten later);

planning things to enjoy my day (getting my tax filed would be one of them);

still enjoying the memory of saying “no” to the social yesterday and being proud of myself for that;

liking the change in me and prioritizing my own needs and wellness over others (this is not being selfish – it is being responsible and caring towards myself as I am to others, who can actually do things themselves but for some reason prefer me to do things for them).

It is a beautiful day that needs to be cherished – I hope we all are having a great Sunday πŸ™‚

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all the good things – check

  • sleeping well till 9 am – check
  • having my favorite breakfast with tomato and sourdough bread – check
  • opening a new canister of coffee and loving the taste and the smell of fresh coffee- check
  • deciding to keep the coffee relatively fresh by taking a part of it in a jar to use and keeping the canister secure/unopened – check
  • enjoying the snow outside – check
  • speaking with my family and loving it – check
  • getting gifted by sister and buying my wide-mouth jars – check, check, check! I have been meaning to get them for months now. I had a set purchased before the holidays and I have only 2-3 left, as I had gifted my friends with pickles but hardly any of them were returned. Now I have a new set only for my own use and I will never run out of them again (will not give them to anyone – sorry not sorry)! – check
  • cooking myself a nice meal – check
  • making clementine preserves (recipe here) πŸ™‚ I have been wanting to do these for some time and today was the day! I will gift a small jar to my next door neighbors tomorrow and another small jar to a friend of mine. I will enjoy the rest (which are in my precious wide-mouth jars) – check
  • working, stressful first and then turning things around and being pleased with my performance – check
  • saying no to a social that involves a couple of individuals who get on my nerves frequently – check, check, check
  • being proud of myself for saying “I do not want to attend this event” to another friend of mine, who though I should be attending the social. She is a wonderful person and a great friend. She was surprised to hear this from me, but she understood how busy and tired I was. It felt great to be direct and understood. I know that I will continue to preserve my time, energy, and nerves to myself by limiting my interactions with undelightful people and by not undertaking other people’s work or responsibilities- check
  • enjoying the quiet night and feeling good – multi-check

 

all the good things – check

  • eating carrots and an apple at the office – check
  • not being stressed much – check
  • working nice and easy – check
  • advising three of my team members about their performances – check
  • having the energy to work and keep going – check
  • prioritizing comfort – check
  • saying no to an extra responsibility – check
  • deciding not to attend to a social I am insisted to attend – check
  • finishing up some great projects and opening time for new projects – check
  • aiming to re-prioritize my well being and simple/frugal life – check
  • planning to visit some thrift stores tomorrow – check
  • flossing my teeth – check
  • feeling good about a new team member’s performance – check
  • being vocal about an extra work we are imposed to by the administration – check
  • drinking kefir – check
  • getting a large piece of home-made cake by a colleague and enjoying it with coffee in the morning – check

 

time to slow down

I have been sleeping much less lately.

Last week I woke up around 5-6 am each morning and went to bed at my regular time (around 11 pm). This is like 6-7 hours of sleep per night. Today I woke up at 4 pm after 5 hours of sleep and worked a full 12 hours at the office. Surprisingly I am not even feeling tired.

This is not normal.

I think I am at a heightened state. I knew that I was stressed and working very hard since last July. But I did not think that I would adapt to this prolonged stress situation and perform high. I realize it now that I may be close to a burn out, and thus, I should slow down to prevent it.

I have an important submission to make tomorrow. After that I will have to take care of many things but I will take it easy. I plan to take the Friday afternoon off and have a kind of long weekend. I want to sleep, eat better, and just wind down.

I can do it.

With this, I am not saying that I am capable of doing it.

I am saying that I allow myself to do it.

last week: What do you do in such a situation?

Last week was interesting.

My computer crashed.

What do you do in such a situation?

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Well.

First; keep calm.Β 

Two; get a new computer after making your homework and selecting one suitable for your needs.

Since it takes some time to do #2 above, I spend 3 days without computer at home.

Three days!!!!

What do you do without a computer at home?

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First; keep calm.

Second; see whether the radio-clock works and you can listen to music/news. It did work, which was a huge blessing. May I say that this was the first time I listened to the radio in the last one decade or so? Well done.

Third: get bored and read a work-related book (that I have been meaning to do since last summer and feel good about this). Score!

Fourth; get bored. And, boy, what a boredom it was. So go to sleep early.

Fifth: since you are going to bed early, be prepared to get up early. 5 am to be exact!

What do you do with all the time at your hand?

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First; you (I) take a cab just because buses do not work at that hour, and work, which is awesome. It gives much needed time to finish a couple of things.

Second; since home is not attractive anymore, you also spend more time at the office, which is great. This way you continue to work and finish tasks.

Third – among all of these catastrophic(!) mis-order of daily life, you kind of realize what an important role computer has in your life. It is the window to the outside world and number one channel to interact with others. It is one tool that helps you relax, read, write, listen to music, and watch TV. It is one thing that keeps your life in order with the planning sheets and record documents. It is one thing other than a human that can make your life easy, comfortable, cherishable, and fun.

Go hug your computer – it deserves it.

 

remembering dad and a few good things

Today is the 2nd anniversary of my dad’s passing.

I remember him with his smile, sky blue eyes, nice skin, strong chin, beautiful voice, and presence. I wish things were different and we could go back and fix everything between us. I wish I could be there for him and kiss his cheeks once more. I wish I could say daddy again.

I cannot.

But I also know that he and I loved each other and we would not wish for another dad, another daughter. He showed his fatherhood and introduced us to not only life but also death, and walked through his lonely journey all by himself. Like his dad, like his mom, like his brothers. At least he was not alone.

Rest in peace dad. One day I will find you again. I promise.

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In the last few days I have been getting really tired of being annoyed by some people and my work being the most important thing in my life.

I had to have dinner with two colleagues I really dislike (!) and a third one I somehow like. I hated the idea of spending my time with the people I disliked but the night went okay, thanks to my third colleague. The two continued to annoy me during the dinner and it has come to a point that I do not want them to affect me this way anymore. I do not know why I cannot let go off their ridiculous ways, but this is what it is.Β  I will find additional ways to further distance myself from them. At least the benefit of this highly annoying dinner was that finally I have had it enough. It came to a point that cannot be ignored. And this is a good thing. A large part of our relationship is over.

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And I have been thinking for sometime that life has been going, I was getting older and closer to death each day, and all I was thinking about lately was how miserable, stressed, unappreciated, and financially insecure I was at work.Β 

One of the changes that has happened this past summer was that I did not want to dwell on small issues and rather use my time, effort, and skills for bigger issues, bigger fights, bigger good. The fact is this: I happen to find issues in anything in life (a professional curse) and dwell on them full force. The question I asked myself was whether I wanted to have a bigger professional life and deal with bigger issues taking similar time and energy, and having similar levels of irritation/stress. The answer is an easy yes. That is why I undertake a lot more this year in terms of leadership and committee work.

I have started to extend this to my personal life. This morning I was talking to my sister and I said since my social life is small, even the little social interactions, if a little annoying, annoys me big time. I said that I have decided to have a bigger life and then get annoyed if I must. Maybe I will learn one or more things. Maybe I will meet great people. Maybe I will find ways to enrich my own inner life. I know it will be better, no matter what.

As part of this, I am excited to say that I re-started my stretching/meditation classes tonite. Just like that I showed up there, purchased my plan, sat on the floor in a quiet, warm, and cozy room with others, breathed in and out, calming my mind and soothing my body. And I just felt that calming my mind was one of the most fantastic things I have ever done for myself lately.

πŸ™‚

Meditation Serenity GIF by giosolARTE - Find & Share on GIPHY

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all the good things – check

  • getting up early and going to work before 8 am – check
  • working with a team member very effectively and finishing a project of 3.5 years – check, check, check! πŸ™‚
  • remembering to celebrate the end of project – check!
  • walking in the evening – check
  • working at home for 3 hours on a report and thinking “what do I do wrong to have this hectic year full of work and stress?” I must change things again – it is the time. I should say no more often. I should write my reports better so that I will not have to revise and change them significantly – this is causing me to work on them more than required. I must look for opportunities to lessen my paperwork.Β  I can set aside time each day for little work that would not require full focus or energy; these could be taken care of really fast and would give me acceleration. I notice that I work incredibly efficient in the morning – so I can aim to get up earlier and do the important work first. From tomorrow on I aim to get up around 7.30. check
  • getting no discount from an international meeting. I did not really want to attend this meeting this year. I asked for a discount in attendance fees and I was not awarded it this year. I feel relieved, even though this is a rejection! πŸ™‚ There will be other opportunities – a new city, a new type of meeting. I am looking forward to the opportunity to find it out!Β  – check
  • being ready for important work tomorrow and having good plans for tomorrow and the weekend – check
  • securing a seat at a committee of my union for another year. This is important for my professional development and feeling more supported and secureΒ – check

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all the good things – check

  • missing the bus and walking in the morning to office – check
  • treating myself with a muffin – check
  • working long hours without losing focus or energy – check
  • having a lunch with a friend, a very rare treat for me during the week days – check
  • getting a ride back home by a colleague in the afternoon while it heavily snowed – check
  • drinking kefir and loving every drop – check
  • keeping calm the whole day – check
  • realizing despite feeling largely like a failure, how well my projects created unique outcomes in the last one year and will continue to do so in at least the next two years – check
  • feeling sleepy and getting ready for a resting night sleep – check

all the good things – check

  • not spending on anything, other than the bus token – check
  • eating home-made meal from freezer (thawed overnight) – check
  • walking in the afternoon from office to home – check
  • working till late and taking care of some minor work – check
  • taking “me” time and watching a favorite show – check
  • eating apples at the office and yogurt at home – check
  • being happy for someone dear to my heart, who is having a happy day – check
  • being proud and excited of these – check

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gif by:https://giphy.com/gifs/dance-dancing-flower-l1J9xjttRT0SmU3HG

 

 

random thoughts in a fine day

It has been a fine day.

What a luxury.

I am for sure grateful for today enormously.

The day started before 9 am with a good night sleep and not so negative thoughts rushing in my mind. The Sunday morning routine, which consists of shaping my sourdough loaf and then drinking coffee nice and easy while also browsing the news and emails, went without any rush or stress. It was fully relaxing.

A couple of things that I have done differently than my routine weekend activities were speaking to my family a little bit early, dressing up for the afternoon funeral, taking the bus to go to office, and working there for a few hours without any distraction or humans around.

This may sound weird, but not having anyone around gave me peace today.Β 

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I then walked to the funeral home nearby and paid my respect to the deceased person I knew. She was lovely person with a genuine interest in anyone she met with. I hope she had had a lovely life and lots of laughters. She sure was loved.

At the funeral home, I gotta meet with a few colleagues of mine and found a chance to talk with them as well. It was nice to feel like a community and supporting our friends during these difficult times. Togetherness means a lot in these situations. I am glad I have showed up there today.

While I stayed longer than I planned, I left there feeling at peace. The walk back to home was around 30 min and relaxing. The chilly but clean air makes a positive impact on me – it was one of these rare occasions lately that I just walked effortlessly and without any work related issues in my mind. There was no stress today.

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I keep thinking that I am not a funeral person. I believe this was the 3rd funeral I have ever attended in my life. I know this is weird, but I am not used to death even though I am mid-aged. I have a tendency to get emotional, break tears, not know what to say, eventually feel like a drama queen who thinks that she behaved like everything was about herself, rather than a concerned person who supports the people who have lost a loved one. I find myself ridiculous, in summary. But I also like the fact that I am aware of my behavior or naiveness. I know that next time I will become closer to what I think I must do and support those people with words, actions, and care.

It occurred to me once again today that I did not attend my father’s funeral almost 2 years ago. Not that I did not want to. I could not. It would require me to fly around 24 hours to reach to my home country and then an additional 12 hours to reach where my father used to live. I could not see myself doing this trip without breaking emotionally. So I rather stayed here and lived every single pain, concern, and true sadness of this new reality of my dad.

One of the colleagues I met at the funeral today told me that we come to life alone, and we leave life alone. How true. It is this part of the journey that made me sad more – the process of death and going through it all alone. Did my dad know that he was dying? Was he scared? Did he need me or someone else? I will never know. But I know that by giving my full attention to him in my thoughts I at least felt like I was with him then.

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Death changes you. That is for sure. It is so powerful. But so is life. Another colleague of mine I saw today said that it was all about what we wanted in life and whether or not what we have right now was it. If not, what were we waiting for? Let’s make that jump to start the journey towards what our heart wishes.Β 

How interesting to hear this from someone else today.

I told her what has been on my mind for sometime – I know that this was not what I wanted, but I did not know what I really wanted and hence cannot take the steps. Yet.

She smiled and said – its time would come eventually.

I believe in this.Β Life is precious. My life. Your life. Anybody’s life.Β 

frugal life-style makes me feel overly abundant

Frugality means a lot of things to many people. For me, it is all about abundance.

Is it strange that the less I spend, the more able I feel?

Nope.

There are two things I guess;

1) frugality enables me to spend my money on things that most matter. I remember the first time I very strongly felt that: I was eager to purchase commercial baking yeast, but it was not on sale. The cost was around 7 bucks or something. For some reason, this sounded to me like too much πŸ™‚ Argh…

Was 7 bucks a lot of money?

No.

I used to have at the weekends breakfast with a cup of coffee and bagels costing around 10 bucks back in the day. I thought about these two costs and I decided it was time that I leveraged my money, considering how much I was interested in buying the yeast (my baking adventures πŸ™‚ ) . So that weekend was the first time I did not have my weekend breakfast (my favorite treat for years), and rather spent the money on the yeast. It felt good to trade expenses after that.

2) Now that I spend less, money becomes more valuable. Strange, is it not? Only a week early I used to pay around 100 bucks/week to cab rides. I knew it was a lot of money, but did not care much considering how easy it made my stressful life. Today, I bought lots of great food and my weekly self-treat of chocolate for under 20 bucks. When I looked at how they made me feel, I knew that I felt happier and excited.

20 bucks versus 100 bucks…

This is what I call abundance.

Long live frugality πŸ™‚

 

what matters in life most

I will be attending a funeral tomorrow for someone I knew.Β 

Like many of us, I have many minor things in my life and thoughts that actually do not matter most in life; work-related issues and people’s behaviors would be the top two. I stress and hurt myself over these.

What is the purpose of all these fuss that clogs our vision and prevents us from seeing what really matters in life? I do not know. Maybe we are taking it too serious. Maybe we need to secure our physical, mental, and financial well-being before we can let go or enjoy life. Maybe we are conditioned too much or scared unnecessarily? I do not know really.

Will it matter eventually?Β 

Soon it is gonna be two years that I have lost my dad – may he rest in peace. I had realized only after his death that in reality, one day we are alive and the next day it is done.

Thus, the question:Β What really matters?

  • My family matters
  • I matter
  • Making a positive contribution to society or others matters
  • Feeling good matters
  • Feeling free matters
  • Being hopeful matters
  • Being treated with respect and fairness matters
  • Feeling optimistic or in control about my future and retirement matters
  • Seeing things a little bit more clearly matters
  • Developing skills to know what is important and what is not, and to act or change accordingly, matters; if you have any suggestions on how to do this, please drop a line or two in the comments section

weekly budget check

I have not posted these checks for a while.

Now that I am making a serious attempt back to my frugal life-style, here comes this week’s account:

Weekly allowance expenses: $119, including grocery, cab fare, treats at the office, and junk food. My weekly allowance this year is 100 bucks/week, so I over-spent this week.

Fun funds: The fun funds so far are at the negative side: -$596.

Fun funds are those that are left from my weekly allowance starting each new year. Last year I had used the fun funds for things that my heart wished for and a pre-payment. This year I am looking forward to bringing this to a positive balance, but I am not sure how fast this can happen πŸ™‚Β 

Other savings: $7

Health related expenses and donations: $23.5

I am hopeful that next week will be a much better one, if I can continue with my frugal and simple life saga.

I have done something nice and made a pre-payment order today. I likely will need to tap into my chequing account really deep for this payment…. Normally, I like to have a healthy level of funds at the chequing account, but this payment will drop it significantly. I thought unless I challenge myself like this, I would not have enough motivation to save more and limit extra expenses. So, the weeks ahead will be somehow challenging andΒ  interesting.

I am up for it!

I hope there will be no additional expenses in the next few weeks πŸ™‚

I have almost lapsed into extra spending today :)

Almost….

I wanted too πŸ™‚ I really did – I wanted to come home early and get that junk food again..

It was an internal struggle really. I thought “it would be such a shame if I lapse right now, after a great day of frugal and simple life yesterday“.

Thank goodness I remembered that my computer does not run well nowadays and if I had come home and worked here, it would be a disaster. So, I stayed and did some work in the office. My craving for the junk food got subsidized at the same time.

I know in a couple of days I will forget these and will not even think about the junk food or other additional expenses I make to feel good in the midst of all the stress and hard-work. I know if I can go through a couple of weeks frugal, it is gonna be just easy after that.

Really.Β 

 

 

at last; frugal and simple life again

Today I have been completely expense-free; I took the bus in the morning even though it was icy on the road; I did not treat anyone at the office with food or coffee; I walked back to home in the evening; and I did not buy the junk food that I have had an habit of eating every day since July (aka the busy work season).

I saved $30.5 today by these today.

$30.5…. in a single day…

It feels like a lot of money for me today (although I did not careΒ doing these expenses every single day in the last 7 months..).

I feel like during only Monday-Friday this week, assuming that I will keep repeating my frugal life-style today, I will be saving over 150 bucks of mine. This is like 15 x 10 pounds bread flour (more than a year’s of what is needed to bake a sourdough loaf every Sunday); 3 weeks worth of grocery; >1/2 sewing machine (new); a night at a hotel; around 50 bus trips to work; around 8 generous thrift store purchases; or a lovely pre-payment.

Can you imagine how abundant I feel???Β 

Very abundant and wealthy indeed!

I am so excited and so proud of myself.

πŸ™‚

what is it that I am supposed to become?

This is a crucial question.

What am I supposed to learn from all of these work-related failures and then shape my future accordingly?

Two important applications of mine have been rejected recently, one being today, making my hard-work in the last few months nill.

I think I am kind of catatonic because I am not even feeling the sting of this situation.Β 

Things are not going well, re: work and my career. I understand that I must learn something and move on, but what the hey is that? When will I know what it is?

I kinda believe that I must stop all my attachments to my current work and whatever I feel is necessary or important (except my family and my well being), so that I can open roads for wider opportunities. Maybe I am not supposed to continue here, but move somewhere.

Where is it?

Maybe the future is bright, but I realy do not know..

Will it reveal itself to me?

How many more times must I feel like I am making one last effort to turn things around?

I have not given up yet, but it would be nice if I could get something out of all of these hard times..

Please.

……………………..

 

The curious case of “what if this is the best year of something?”

I was reading a blog post somewhere which gave me this idea:

What would be one or two things that life this year could have presented me with the best yet?

  • Best moments of feeling free (in rare moments in between stress)?
  • Being less perfectionist and saying no at work?
  • Being more outspoken in circumstances that require a reaction?
  • Being a little bit more self-oriented?
  • Actively engaging in changing my approach to life and work?
  • ……………….

I like this idea πŸ™‚

Not everything can be bad. I guess within all the fog, we have some kind of lovely flowers growing somewhere out there.

What is it that this year has given you the best yet?

joy journal – Feb 4, 2018

1. I am grateful for sleeping well and peacefully. I had no dreams and my morning was easy and without negative thoughts crossing my mind.Β 

2. I am grateful for working till noon and learning some important and complex information that will be very useful tomorrow in a meeting and three other meetings the next week.

3. I am grateful for baking my sourdough and eating it warm with butter πŸ™‚

4. I am grateful for eating fruits today.

5. I am grateful for chatting with one of my neighbours.

6. I am grateful for not working a lot in the afternoon and enjoying this freedom

7. I am grateful for listing the work I must do for each of the day of the week. I have important deadlines this week and I cannot miss any of them. This kind of lists help me a lot keeping track of things.

8. I am grateful for speaking with my family today; it was a nice and lovely talk that brought laughter to my life πŸ™‚

9. I am grateful for getting interested in affirmations. I know that my mind listens to itself a lot and my mind usually focus on negative issues or problems. Why not the opposite? I am making an effort to read some lovely affirmations and reflect on them.

10. I am grateful for one of my colleagues not sending me their comments this morning. I feel free to move on without the need to integrate their comments in my report and the need to deal with the frustration and negative feelings their words would bring. I really dislike this person. I must exercise forgiveness to remove these feelings from my life. Or, remove this person from my life. Which one is easier?

11. I am grateful for having a safe and sound home; power to heat my home; clothes, furniture, and all other things that make my life safe ad comfortable. I surrounded myself with great items that I like or use. All is welcome in my life.

12. I am grateful for listening to the fearful voice in me during my anxious moments. Although it is hard to listen to it, it helps with extracting information that will be useful for me to prevent future events. That can be the main benefit of anxious thoughts…. So be it.

13. I am grateful for feeling free and knowing that I can do whatever I want to do!

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Things that I appreciate myself for today:

  1. I appreciate myself for easily having a mixture of both positive and down moments during the day. I survive it and I do not resist it
  2. I appreciate myself for eating better today
  3. I appreciate myself for being kind to myself
  4. I appreciate myself for changing and implementing new ways to enhance my life. For example; I decided social media and news was giving me depressive thoughts – so I will limit my exposure. I will continue to say “no” to unnecessary tasks; I will continue to turn my email off at the office while working; and I will continue to let my perfectionist habit to ease while doing un-critical work. I will handle my interactions with my colleagues better too; I will keep it to professional topics while interacting with them; I will not help or listen to those negative people that drain my time and energy. I will keep thinking about how to do this better. Things will get better. This new chapter of my life, leaving things behind, and being excited about a new life experience is exciting!

 

Sunday sourdough

I was trying to find the ways to reduce the proofing time lately: one thing I have tried in the last two weeks is proofing the dough in an oven (not turned or warmed up; no lights , either) to see whether this relatively temperature-wise stable environment would help reduce it.Β 

This dough was only proved for 3 hours (in contrast to my usual 4-6 hours proofing). It was almost flat when I placed it on the parchment paper and scored. But there was a great oven spring (just like last week), so it turned out to be just lovely.

I think the in-oven proofing helped. I also think that maybe in the past I was over-proofing my dough..

Of course, the hydration levels of the dough makes a difference in terms of the yeast activity – this was a slightly sticky dough. This may be another reason for the short proof time working with this loaf.

In any way, I am just happy to have this loaf πŸ™‚

 

wish for a new chapter in my life

Today was an interesting mix of feelings: I have been feeling kind of better one moment, and the next moment, feeling the same as in the last months when I was quite stressed and anxious.

In the middle of all of these “transitional” feelings, I felt like it would be so nice if I had closed this chapter in my life and open a new one; after all, thinking about what happened or did not happen would only make me feel frustrated, resentful, or anxious while thinking about how I changed and what I learnt along the process would only make me energized, freed, and hopeful.

Choice is quite clear.

Somethings will likely continue: I will still have to work hard and long hours; deal with issues and find solutions; deal with people; and deal with stress.

But I will also keep saying no to extra work; lose my perfectionist attitude on un-critical tasks; turn off my email when I need to focus; delegate some of the tasks to others; pamper myself with little indulgences (such as chocolate); be kind and supportive to myself; read inspirational or positive news and stories; and spare time for myself and my daily routine. I would also not dwell on the past issues or experiences and make my mental space less toxic and foggy.

How does this sound?

It sounds and feels great to me. I am ready to forget past feelings and replace them with a clean sheet of mental and emotional space.

I am releasing the negative thoughts about the people who gave me hardship; I am releasing the negative thoughts about myself; I am releasing the negative thoughts about life.

I am welcoming the opportunities; lovely people; success; calmness; peace; hope; and self-appreciation.

I feel like I must write these last sentences over and over to make my stubborn mind digest them πŸ™‚ I may or may not be able to do these right away, but I know that I am moving away from negativity towards a new chapter in my life, and away from feeling like s.it to feeling stronger, determined, and hopeful πŸ™‚

 

 

 

it can only get better from here

Life is interesting.

I was talking to a cab driver this morning who told me for an unrelated (economy-related) issue that “it cannot go worse than this; I think we hit the bottom of the rock, it can only get better from here – up“.

I believe in this and had said a similar thing to a friend about my own recent stress and struggles. Together with my experience with my friends yesterday (which helped me to actually demonstrate myself that I have had the confidence to stand up for myself), hearing this from a stranger today has helped my mind to materialize this hopeful attitude.

With these positive experiences, as another step towards making myself less stressful, I decided on an important report that it did not have to be perfect. It was already in a good shape and as such, I submitted it today. Additionally, I finished another one tonite, which will be submitted tomorrow πŸ™‚

Two big jobs that have been on my list for weeks are now done.

Wow.

I did it.

These are the second and third imperfect (but perfectly in good condition) work that I have submitted in the last two weeks or so. What a beautiful change in how I approach my work and personal wellness. I feel relieved and happier.

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I have been hard on myself for taking the cab (rather than the bus), but I guess life has had its own way of telling me that sometime what we think as bad can actually be pretty good for us.

 

 

a little rant

Ok. So you think you have friends and tell them that you are not feeling well. Two of them take you out for an afternoon coffee and they start lecturing you about how you should not feel this way or that way; how you should do this or that. And when you react to what they say (which is mostly not relevant to me or the situation I am in), they mention that your perception of things and their efforts are affected by you not feeling well, and as such, is distorted.

Well.. Well.. Well..

Excuse me!

In order to understand the person across from you, you must first listen to, rather than questioning or lecturing. Over-generalization of everybody and every situation is NOT a good practice. I understand that my friends were trying to be “friends” and “helping”, but this is not the best way to demonstrate these.

I rather wished my friends asked me how I think they could help or whatΒ I would need from them.

Let’s keep this in mind next time when we have a friend who is going through a stressful time.

On a separate note, I am glad that I stood up to my grounds and expressed myself.

 

random thoughts

A very busy day, it is well worth it. This week seems like a highly productive week with many long term tasks/projects being coming to an end, as such, is highly charged and satisfactory – I could not be more stressed and excited at the same time! πŸ™‚

We woke up to 15 cm of snow dumped during the night. The roads were in bad shape, but the cabbie made it to my building safe and sound. It was quiet around the building, which I assume is because of the many people not showing up to work. I do not blame them – I hope they have had a lovely day away from work.

My anxiety levels are down, but I keep feeling overwhelmed. I feel the need of winding down and showing compassion to myself. That means no work for the next few hours. I plan to reflect on the positive things that has happened lately and realize how I fit in the center of all of these. Hard work pays off eventually; my efforts are met with results; I turn the work around to my best; and I feel less stressed as a result. At least, I must πŸ™‚

I had read many years ago on a newspaper of a newly appointed manager of a unit. He had expressed that “he was looking forward to the challenges everyday may bring“. I never understood this, as challenges do not sound pleasant or easy to deal with.Β One of the constraining issues for me was a new addition to my team, which requires a lot of attention to help them keep moving. In some ways I feel pressured to spend time and train personally, because the skills this staff wants to develop requires my direct involvement. How do I deal with this “challenge” in these time-pressuring times? By further stressing and feeling inadequate, of course.

The last few days I was trying to think differently and open myself to “opportunities” out there. I did not necessarily think about the new staff, but I think this case is developing into an opportunity; she sent me some information (which she developed herself) that solves some of the problems and also demonstrates that they can develop these skills without much involvement by myself!! Is that not wonderful? πŸ™‚Β 

When the mind is strained, it is so easy to close ourselves and turn blind to the opportunities and rather move towards challenges, I guess.

By the way, last night two of my previous staff emailed me; one became a mom and her baby girl is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen πŸ™‚ The other one wants to see me sometime, just to catch up and I could not be happier to do so πŸ™‚

These are the moments that make this job something I thank for.

 

joy journal – Jan 29, 2018

It has been a good day.

1. I am grateful for sleeping late but waking up early. I woke up with things to do in my mind, which was overwhelming. Yesterday night I decided not to resist to this idea – after all if I resist something, the annoyance increases. I will see how well this will progress in the coming days.

2. I am grateful for taking the bus – my hero! Right on time πŸ™‚

3. I am grateful for working with a team member of mine the whole day; we are finalizing a project of 3.5 years and she has done an amazing job. Understandably we are very excited about this. We will continue on Wednesday again, but what we have done today was a wonderful work πŸ™‚

4. I am grateful for treating my team member to tea/coffee and snacks. These absolutely help us to have a more cozy work environment and provide some comfort while doing a serious job.

5. I am grateful for walking back to my home this evening; a first in a while. I am coming back to my routine slowly… I feel accomplished with each of these small steps; re; taking he bus, walking, not taking the cab, eating better, etc. Yay! πŸ™‚

6. I m grateful for working at home in the evening of another report due next week. I am kind of late but have moved it very well. While walking to home I was thinking that I did not know how to fix it, but as soon as I sit in front of the computer and opened the document, it just moved on.

7. I am grateful for working at the office till 6pm, not coming home early to work, and hence stress myself further at home. Not leaving the office early to come home to work is one of these small steps that makes me feel good and makes me feel like I am back to my routine.

8. I am grateful for eating a large potato salad filled with green beauties. Very healthy and it was yummy πŸ™‚

9. I am grateful for turning my email off while we worked at the office today. This is my second or third time doing this. I did not even missed it. What a distraction it seems… I am very proud of myself for doing this change as well.

There are a number of changes I have implemented lately and I will be happy to state them here again:

  • turning off the email while working on important things
  • leaving my “perfectionists attitude” on un-critical tasks
  • saying “no” more oftenΒ 
  • motivating my team more
  • eating better and healthier
  • treating myself with weekly chocolates and little pastries time to time
  • making an effort to work at the office, rather than at home
  • supporting myself during these stressful times and showing compassion
  • making an effort with positive affirmations
  • making an effort to stop resisting the thoughts that annoy me
  • taking the bus or walking, and protesting the cab company
  • making Fridays “eat fish/meat” day – this has been going on for the last three weeks and I noticed that I feel good about this. Whether it is fish or red meat (which I rarely eat) – I am not sure. In all cases I eat a large green salad, which I suspect is helping a lot too
  • believing that I have time, which reduces my stress, even though that usually means working at nights at home
  • understanding myself, my needs, my priorities, and hurdles – particularly my own criticism towards myself and my work
  • realizing that my daily home routine is important and without it I feel over-whelmed, stressed, and somehow absent…. It is important to spend time without thinking about work and making my mind work on rather other things to give it a break

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Things that I appreciate myself for today:

  • I appreciate myself for making an effort to feel good
  • I appreciate myself for eating better, pampering myself, and caring for myself
  • I appreciate myself for keeping calm and focused today
  • I appreciate myself for changing and improving my quality of life, especially at work
  • I appreciate myself for taking time to write these, which help materialize them

 

Β 

happy sourdough – III

 

IMG_3460Isn’t it beautiful πŸ™‚

This was the first time that I tried 3 hours of proofing. When I took it out of the shaping bowl and scored, the dough was almost flat. But in the oven it showed a great oven spring and one of the largest air pockets I have ever seen. It even cracked itself on top even though I had slashed it, which tells me that yeast really worked hard this time.

Will continue like this – it has been a great experiment.

Sunday morning musings

Yet another beautiful and quiet Sunday morning cherished with coffee and a lovely music at the background.

What is it about Sundays that makes us so hopeful and positive? Absence of work? Family/me time? Or just the feeling that like the rest of the (most of the world), we are too entitled to chill, wind down, rest, and do nothing on this day? Freedom to do anything we want or do nothing if that is what we want is a great feeling. Let’s immerse ourselves in this freedom today.

Being free of obligations and things that stress/strain us important. I increasingly have realized the importance of this lately. I like being free and not rushing from one job to other at work/home; I like being free from the stress and the need to think and find solutions. I like being free from the requirement of being at one place rather than the other; I like being free from negative thoughts and stress.

Is it easy to attain?

“ell no.

I was reading somewhere else that at this age, we are required to be competitive and put more strains on us than before to produce. Produce services, products, or ideas. I have such a job, which under different conditions (without the pressure) is highly satisfactory, valuable, and lets me get the best out of my skills and knowledge Yet, the pressure hurts my creativity, happiness and maybe health, and reduces my personal space and priorities to a minimum. Is this right?

I do not think so.

Without the personal wellness and satisfaction, how do we expect ourselves to function well in a competitive job/work environment?

It would be awesome if the organizations had flexibility in the expectations from their employees; some are hard-workers, some are creative, some are meticulous, some are visionary, and some are good managers. It is important to find such organizations and positions I guess.Β 

This being said, I kind of understand the pressure my organization is under. It is supposed to deliver what it promises, is supposed to do these with the right budget, set of employees, and expected outcomes. When I think from this point of view, my heart aches for my organization. This is economically difficult times and everything suffers as a result (well, maybe not too wealthy).

So, what shall we do?

I would love my organization and others to create a supportive environment and work through carrots, not the sticks. If we are together, we may function better and in unity. And in unity is the strength, understanding, and solutions. Working towards a common goal is a beautiful feeling.

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I was joking the other day to a colleague of mine that my last report before retirement would be about this kind of things; experience and understanding gained as a result of the work experiences and how it shapes our lives, profession, and future ideas. There is a growth alright – however difficult it could be – that makes my understanding better. I am hopeful that in the future I will come up with my best ideas, experiences, projects, and reports.

 

I hope I will continue to be that hopeful and positive.