facing the fear

I have been dreading a meeting with a colleague for a long time. This meeting happened today.

The reasons I was dreading this is because; a) my colleague had treated me really bad in the past and I really do not want to do anything with her; and b) the work she wants me to do somehow jeopardizes the importance of my own projects – that means fear and anxiety.

While I disliked being in this situation, sometime whatever you do things can go on bad anyhow. So I decided as a professional it would not matter how she treated me. I was more concerned about how what she wanted me to do would affect my work. I mentally prepared for what I must do (being kind but firm) and what I must clearly emphasize (what I can do and cannot do) for this collaboration to go forward. In these regards it went very well. At least for now.

I do not trust her and as a result I am not saying it is over yet, but I have important gains today:

  1. I faced my fears and dislike and it did not hurt at all. Next time I have fears I my want to remember this
  2. I am not naive enough to think that it is over yet and I can still be on the cautious side while working with her. This way I can continue to protect myself and my work. This means more stress, but….
  3. I was able to protect myself today, but not my projects. Thinking that she would go ahead with these projects anyhow and my work would be still at risk, so my involvement in this collaboration does not do more harm than it normally would. This feels right and may explain why I did not just close the door. I just need to speed up a little bit and complete my projects right away (argh..)
  4. Since I could stand up for my needs and draw a line for what I can do or cannot, I can be assertive again next time

When I think these, the fear becomes not important.

And fear becoming not important is HUGE.

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all the good things – check

In a long time, I have not felt as good as today πŸ™‚ This deserves a celebration and a lots of gratitude.

  • waking up early and hitting the office early – check

there is an incredible peace coming out of early mornings. It is quiet and gives me the much needed distraction-free time to do work. I enjoy these times enormously and am kind of grateful that my sleep pattern is not the greatest, but works like a charm for me by making me wake up early πŸ™‚

  • ending a time of project writing period till August- check

I have been designing, developing, and writing new projects very intensely in the last few years. This week I submitted another one, which for now let me be free of this enjoyable but stressful activity. I feel free to move on to new activities and I appreciate the sense of accomplishment as well as the reduced self-inflicted stress πŸ™‚

  • working nice and easy and moving a number of things today – check

this is always a great feeling! being happy with my own performance is so important – it limits my self-beating episodes that inevitably reduces my self-confidence. I am very grateful

  • eating healthy, home-cooked meal and a banana today – check

I make an attempt to eat better and it shows πŸ™‚ I feel more energetic and happier when I take care of myself

  • resolving a conflict with a colleague of mine – check

this has been going for a few weeks and I think we finally are okay. I affirmed prior to meeting that I would keep calm and be supportive. I also made an effort to speak less and listen more. It did not hurt, and also supported the work-relationship. Thus, what a great feeling – win-win-win!

  • helping a team member of mine by using large papers and drawing the concepts and our work details – check

this was much needed as my team member is working on a rather quite complicated work. Many times we felt lost among the details and eventually got demotivated. The drawing was a great idea, where each detail was shown and I also advised to keep it so that we both could refer to it to gather our thoughts. I like the idea and my team member was also pleased. We will also document more so that we can refer to when we need the details. This went well and I am grateful that we have had the materials (large colourful papers and markers) to do so

  • supporting a team member by attending to their fund rising event – check

this always feels great. They often do not let me know, but when I know I make an effort to support their causes. Today they raised money to help patients affected by a disorder – I am so proud of them

  • taking the bus in the afternoon – check

I have done well by taking the bus. I did not wait too long and it was an easy ride. I also saved around 8 bucks by not taking the cab. 8 bucks is 8 bucks. It may be small, but it is mighty πŸ™‚

  • enjoying the night with all the positive feelings the day has brought – check

I am simmering this feeling of all the good things that today has brought to me. I am not in rush, nor stressed, which are additionally great. I have time to think about the weekend and what I can do for myself. For example, I think it is time that I visit the thrift stores and may be get a pot or two. Or books. I will enjoy my time there – that is for sure.

  • tending to my plants at the office and sharing one of them with a team member of mine – check

I have had a small plant that I had grown from a small cutting. It really hit of in my office and has flowered! That little thing (7-8 cm tops) gave incredibly coloured flowers. In so many ways it is such a miracle plant. You may ask why I gave it away. My team member deserves the best as they have been doing incredible in the last few years and I thought that miraculous plant would just fit their character – resilient and mighty. I am very happy that they found each other.

IMG_5045
this is a different plant (a coleus) – the colours are amazing and this plant has been very sturdy and quick growing. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in a mesmerizing plant πŸ™‚ look at the structure of this leaf – what a wonderful creature. I am so lucky to have it (so can you – please adopt a plant and experience this joy)

 

 

 

 

benefits of the day

Today is a good day, surprisingly. I do not know whether it helped to sleep till 10 am. A first in a very long time, and a very welcome change.

I tried a new thing and baked my sourdough directly without proofing after an over night rise. Surprisingly, it turned out to be just awesome. I usually would not try such risky stuff if I have an established system, but today I did not care much and gave it a try. This experience tells me that sometimes not caring much help find new and easier ways. I like this.

I have glanced at a book or two today. It seems I am not in the mood to hear what others are saying (that should be okay). But one thing I like reading was the dominance of mind over our lives, which makes us disconnected to our heart’s desires.

I cannot fully interpret this right now, but I know that my mind is quite analytical and likes structure and logic, yet not everything in life works this way and a little bit thinking out of the mind’s box would help. This is where my heart, or this deep down, no matter what loving, nurturing, and supportive part of me, comes into play. As a matter of fact just the adjectives that I use to define it tell all. Heart is here all the time, and when not shut down by the always thinking mind, may provide me with the wisdom, emotions, and support I need most. I do not know how to do this right now. But at least knowing that I in fact have this natural resource with me gives me hope and excitement.

Another thing was reading something about finding a “balance” in life. One of my colleagues, whenever she sees me tired and stressed, recommends me about “having a balance”. I hate to hear about it as I cannot have a balance between work and my daily life. Yet, today I felt better about it. For some reason, I realized that I do not want to react to having no life-work balance, but when I need a break, then I can let myself have that “balance”. This would mean that I would not be feeling bad about resting or taking a break, or enjoying the moment or the day, even in the midst of the hard-work and pressuring deadlines. Giving myself this right feels pretty empowering today. It is not about “finding” it anymore.

One more positive thing: I cooked for myself and had a decent meal as dinner. Don’t you love it when you take time for your own enjoyment and self-care?

Have a great Sunday night everyone.

 

 

 

random affirmations

It is a peaceful Saturday night. It is important for me to remember this now πŸ™‚

I am thinking about the new challenges and annoyances that appear here and there. I tell myself that I should not be scared of these. It is not the first time and likely not the last that I face adversary. I do not let myself be scared tonite.

Also, out of blue, it came to my mind that everything is happening in my life because they are supposed to be. When I think about life as a continuous thing, this gives some kind of serenity. One thing may challenge, harm, or annoy me, yet the lessons learnt from this experience will help shape better tomorrows. I surprise myself with this thought happily.

One of the anxiety creating thoughts for me is “I do not know what to do”. With many new things and lots of conflicting pressures around, it is not unusual to find myself try to get the complete picture of the situation and make an effort to do the best, most informative decision. Sometimes it is hard to get the information. This means the matter stays with me unsolved for sometime. Sometimes it also is possible that the best decision turns out to be not the right one. Some of these experiences have made me feel annoyed when a new thing comes along. I would love to take this reaction out of my habits.

Going back to “everything happening is happening because they are supposed to be”; this thought gives me peace. This can be one of the affirmations I can work on (yay! I just found a new affirmation for myself that can really work).

Going back to “I do not know what to do” thought that arises in me in a new or challenging situation; I can switch it with “how would others feel in this situation?” I think that many people would take it easier than me. This also gives me some kind of peace.

And going back to this beautiful Saturday night – my aim is to enjoy every single minute of it.

You all have a great Saturday night as well πŸ™‚

 

random thoughts

I do not even know what I will write here, but here I go πŸ™‚

My joyful affair with the online resources at the library continues. I have read two novels and am screening a self-help book now. It is about anxiety and how one person saw it, experienced it, and found ways to acknowledge, manage, and eventually overcome it. When I read the story-line, I find a lot of things in common. The ways to ease the anxiety also make sense – they are so familiar to me; a good diet, exercise, monitoring thoughts and intercepting the anxious ones, getting help, being grateful/keeping a gratitude journal, and finding (new) ways to enjoy life at the same time. So while I have the knowledge, why the practice fails short?

I enjoyed and greatly benefited from affirmations last summer. They gave me a genuine happiness for some time. I kept reading books that give positive messages and hope, and I greatly benefited from reading them as well. Yet, here I am; sometimes exhausted, sometimes down, sometimes depressed, and sometimes anxious and on the edge. My moments of positive thoughts and feelings are getting harder to locate.

I kind of think that if I find the reasons, I can deal with it better. There may be physiological or genetic causes, which I cannot fix myself. But my thoughts I can. As a matter of fact, while affirmations and positive self-help books were wonderful, their effects are transient. I think that this is because I have not addressed the process of anxiety and depression-creating thoughts. Once they start, they easily form a train and get longer and stronger with each moment. If only they could be stopped. To me, that is why affirmations look like a sugar coat on an iron stick with rust. The rust is the thought pattern due to lack of awareness, which just stays there. Sugar is consumed very easily. And once the taste of sugar is over, rust appears all over again.

I have never been good at meditation or awareness of my thoughts, but I gave it a try many times. I think that it is time that I re-visit the idea.

 

 

 

all the good things – check

Do not get me wrong; it has not been bright lately, but I make an effort to recognize the good and positive in my life (this post is a good example).

  • I think I am going through a down episode and am highly suspicious of my mental health, but at least noticing this tells me there is still some logical side in me, which I would like to invest in more – check

I increasingly recognize that I have anger in me that waits to be released. If I am not pissed with a work that does not go well, then I am pissed by an encounter, and if not, then by my memories. I know that I must let go off the memories and emotions attached to them, but it is not easy or permanent.

Just yesterday I decided it was okay to have this state, which now is becoming my “normal”; “I cannot sleep well – so what? It has been like this for now and it is okay”. Or, “I cannot change myself or my life the way I ideally would like, and that is okay too as I have been trying to do this my entire life”. Or, “I do not eat well as well as I want to or exercise to give my tired body a chance to relax, but that is also okay”.

These are the thoughts that go through my mind. I think I am either accepting the conditions and make peace with them, or really started to quit my ideals, plans, or efforts. Hard too know for sure. But somethings are not working. They have not been working for a long time, and this may be a chance to actually let life fix what I could not.

  • meeting with a new staff at my work-place and clicking right away – check

what a positive person! one of those individuals whose eyes are radiant with joy and positivity. It was such a pleasure to meet and chat with her. We have some common interests and background, and today I just learn that she was into plants as well. So I gave her a couple of plants and cuttings, and she was excited about them. This feels great in so many different ways; sharing plants is always joyful. But seeing the joy of the person getting them is extra joyful. I made a great memory today, thanks to her. I also felt my energy lifted after interacting with her, as this person has the most positive and happy vibe I have ever seen in someone. I fell quite lucky and I thank life for this.

  • becoming a member of the library and having access to digital books and audiobooks – check

this is fascinating! why did I not try this before?? It is such a great service and I immensely enjoy reading the books by my favorite writer and having access to audiobooks, which I am highly curious about. Magnificent development in my life – that is for sure.

  • eating fruits and yogurt – check

it has been sometime that I enjoyed these. They are healthy, tasty, and make me feel better

  • realizing that nothing is written in stone and I too can let go off some of my beliefs and find a balance in life – check

I do not know why, but all of a sudden this past Saturday morning, I got stressful again and worked the whole weekend. It went well, only slower than I wanted to.Β  With my stress came my internal pressure and turmoil, and I became more and more aware of the fact that I must release this internal pressure somehow (see above the 1st point). How exactly?

I know what work:

  • walking everyday
  • not working every weekend
  • mingling with people and making better memories
  • doing new or spontaneous things
  • affirmations and being grateful
  • kindness – first to myself and then to others
  • eating well and healthy
  • taking time to release daily pressure
  • traveling
  • etc.

Questions is whether I can keep up with these…

I know that if I repeat them to myself, I will. As soon as I let the work to be the most important thing in my life, inevitably, my personal life and wellness become not important at all. I do not know why I cannot find a balance; one can work and then take care of themselves at the same time, right?

  • Being kinder to people around me today – check

This kind of experiences also humble me and make me more compassionate of others. Today I was extra kind to people around me, which felt wonderful.

 

 

 

heavy work-load, stress, hard-work, and recognition and better work habits as a result

You well know from my posts how stressed and over-loaded with work I have been in the last few years. You also know that I am getting better at saying NO to things that do not serve me well.

Today I have got two invitations. I checked their requirements and decided to accept both of them. Is it extra load of work? Yes. So why did I accept them?

Well, one is from an organization that I volunteer. It is important to keep contributing to this organization, which has been fantastic for my professional development. My own organization is very supportive of volunteering in that one as well, which is a plus (my efforts are appreciated and approved by my own employer). Also the work they want me to do is minor when compared to what I usually do. As a matter of fact in a couple of hours, I had read the document and extracted the main points to write in my report. I must also say that this is probably the only organization/committee I have worked with that has an appreciation for your time and contributions. This always softens my heart and makes me more motivated to contribute to them. Never underestimate the power of “Thank you” and spontaneous appreciation, which are expressed when you do not expect it. Awesome.

I feel good about this.

The second invitations is more important, however. It is from an international organization! Yet another recognition for my contributions to the field, my friends πŸ™‚ It always feels terrific to get these emails asking for my help and vesting trust in my capabilities. Their work is a little bit more extensive, yet the time period they give me (almost a month) is much longer than many, so I gladly accepted their invitation.

One more case to show my organizations what a well-recognized expert they have πŸ™‚

I feel great about this!

I am, however, very much interested in saying no to anything else in the next while. I have already refused one problematic committee’s request to return back and I do not mind saying no to others, which are not likely give me as much pleasure as the ones I described above do.

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With all of these being said, one of the things about doing tens of reviews of reports for other organizations is that it becomes easier over time. I have another task at my hand, for a national organization. It is extensive but I was able to gather my strength as this is the second year I am involved in this process. Last year was hard, but this year I am wiser. I partition the work I must do and move it whenever I find small time, often at home. I do not stress or sweat about it, knowing the experience and expertise I have from last time. Nevertheless, I really hope that I will not do that anytime soon again.

The lack of time compared to the workload makes me stressed, but then there are positive developments as well. I focus on simplicity now in my work. I also dislike my several looks at the same document and rather focus on having one (for a general scan) or two (for polishing and catching the details) looks, and then move on. I know that my work is still of high-quality but taxing me less, so it is another win-win situation. I as usual try to get ready for an important work by starting and improving it over time – this greatly helps with the quality, especially if it involved learning new methods or context, which I find is best described when there is time to digest the information.

Nevertheless, I cannot wait till the summer vacation so that I can get away from all of these πŸ™‚

 

 

when it is selfish, when it is good?

I have a previous team member of mine, who would like to re-join my team. Knowing what a terrific and efficient team member they were, of course I am delighted to employ them again! However, I also feel like I am their mentor so I should be thinking about their best first. I kind of think that if they work in a different department, it would be much better for their development and future career plans.

I did communicate these thoughts to my team member. He in fact made a contact with the other department, even though they were reluctant – they think that their work, development, and progress under my leadership will be faster and more effective (it is always great to hear such feedback from my team members – if there is one thing I am good at is to help them and their projects progress on time and without much of a delay. This often means that I shoulder a lot of things myself and move things forward, and hence extra stress, but the end results – their success – is always satisfying).

The team member is now at the cross road of choosing which department to go; mine or the other? I encouraged them to think what is best for them, but also expressed my willingness to welcome them in my team. I am sure this helped them feel great about themselves, having a secure place and offer always does. But I hope it will not complicate their decision process.

I kinda leave the rest to life – I would be more than happy to have them in my team. I would also be more than happy to have them develop themselves in an area that they are particularly interested in, even though the other department will not take responsibility for my team member’s development or progress as much I can.

We will see how life will guide our lives soon.

It is Friday :)

Friday is here – yay! πŸ™‚

Today has been a good day with getting up early and working till 4 pm intensely. We are moving a number of projects at the same time and this week has been essential in figuring out some blocks and jumping over. Feeling positive πŸ™‚

I have taken steps to make my life a little bit healthier and cooked myself chicken soup, which is always nourishing. I also purchased a number of greens, which I am looking forward to eating.

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My mind is cluttered with negativity due to work relations, but I keep my focus in the future benefits and do not allow myself to break these hard relations yet. Some people can really derail and demoralize, but the strength comes from resisting the emotions and believing in future good. But, honestly in some cases it is so difficult, but one day and one hard and ridiculous person at a time, I am surviving and lifting myself up. Rant over πŸ™‚

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Since it is Friday, I am looking at early morning of Saturday busy with house chores. After that, depending on the weather I would like to see myself visiting thrift stores, just for the joy of it. I am not looking for something particular, maybe a book or two, or a DVD. DVDs are something that I do not use much, but last time I had seen copies of the TV series Dexter. I ask myself now – why not? I can binge watch them and forget everything!

These being said, I just registered with the local library (what was I waiting for?) and hope that I can utilize their DVDs and audio books. I confess that I have no experience with audio books but I kind of feel that I may enjoy listening to them while also comfortably resting on the couch. Let me know if you have any recommendations about audio books – it is exciting πŸ™‚

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My plants are doing well and I am open to get new plants. Each plant is an excitement; how do they grow? What do they want to flourish? How do they propagate? Who can I share them with? I am glad to say that even though I feel like I am hoarding plants, I also love sharing them. So far, I gave cuttings or small plants to 11-12 of my colleagues! Many of them gave me from their own plants as well. This feels very kind to me. I say that because I have a colleague who only likes to ask for and constantly. I do not mind it, but then I also find the constant nagging interesting. Do you?

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This topic brings me back to people I call cheap. These are the people who have the means for themselves, often high level, but when comes to others they seem to be poorer than anyone else and can even take the things they can afford from others if they think they can get it. I know only a few people like this, but it really bothers me. Often associated with these people is the tendency to also humiliate others for not affording high-price items or telling everyone abruptly the latest expensive item they acquired (by also announcing the price associated with the item).

I wonder what would prompt these behavior in these people? Were they very poor at some point in their life (which is perfectly fine, by the way – I know a number of people who were very poor but had the richest heart and the mind I have ever seen) and now enjoy their wealth and cannot keep the show to themselves? Are they trying to create an image that would elevate their social status (who buys that, by the way? Not me)? Or, are they just poor souls that try to compensate for their internal poverty with their talks (which I would rather think is the right answer)?

How do you deal with this kind of people? I try not to pay much attention and feed their approval needs, after a while they cease to put up with their shows. I am compassionate but that ends there. For each cheap person encounter, I now decide that I will donate to a charity whatever I can to cleanse the negative emotions they create in me.

How about that??

I think it is true that everything happens for a reason, even these people that get on my nerves :)))) If I can further develop this “turning the negative into positive” attitude, I think I will be happier and wiser πŸ™‚

Return Of The Jedi Episode 6 GIF by Star Wars - Find & Share on GIPHY

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gif by:https://giphy.com/gifs/starwars-26tn8zNgVmit475RK

 

 

 

all the good things – check

more or less a positive day, which made me appreciate it.

  • sleeping well and getting up only after 8 am – check

this is mostly because I am tired. So I let myself go back to sleep even though I woke up frequently at night. In the past few months, I did get up around 5 am and worked under much stress. I miss my early morning productive and distraction-free work time, but I am able to keep working during the day, so eventually all is well

  • working well during the day and surviving 3 separate meetings, all with positive ends and productivity – check

it is a rare opportunity to be able to say that the meetings were productive! It was my lucky day all 3 meetings went well and progressed the issues at hand – this is wonderful πŸ™‚

  • loving my all natural gray hair and being excited about it – check

it is amazing that after 1.5 years of letting my natural hair grow, I see it healthy, shinny, and just beautiful. If somebody had said I would feel this way, I would have started the gray hair saga much earlier! I do not know any other hair style that I cherished this much. It is also amplified by the fact that I do not have bangs now, as such, my hair has a distinct, mature, and very good looking style πŸ™‚

  • being excited about my laptop case that I thrifted this weekend for only 3 bucks and carrying it around like a jewel – check

honestly it has been sometime that I was so excited and happy to have a material being. The case is the right colour, right size, and very useful. The price I paid for it makes it extra sweet πŸ™‚

  • feeling better overall and with less stress – check

this is an amazing feeling and I could not be appreciative more!

  • asking for a discount and getting it for a service my organization needed – check

this is pretty awesome. I am not into asking discounts from companies for my work, but sometime it is worth it. I tried it this time and got over 1K (~20%) discount. My boss is happy, which makes me feel like positively contributing to the organization! Talking about confidence πŸ™‚

  • getting an email from a committee that I had dumped this year and learning that they desperately needed my knowledge and expertise – check

huh! how about this? πŸ™‚

last year the person who sent this email was criticizing and pressuring me for my work related to this committee. This lack of appreciation was one of the main reasons that I had decided to leave the committee, even though I had liked and enjoyed my role in it.

I do not know what to think about the invitation. I personally do not wish to be there anymore, yet I have a sense of duty that wants me to go and benefit that committee. I think I can still be there, yet I do not plan to undertake a lot of work or an active role. With this in my mind, I will know tomorrow morning how I feel and then will respond to this invitation.

This is the second example in the last 4-6 months where people who tried to trash and insult me came back and asked for my help later.Β 

Is life a master of correcting bad behavior and treatment?

I would like to think so.

 

 

Reference letter for myself

I wrote three new reference letters for my past team members or a new colleagues in the month of January. I have said so many wonderful things about these three people that it was incredibly positive and joyful experience. Nevertheless, I wish that noone else asks me to write a reference letter anytime soon, as it takes time to be write these letters and I desperately need my time for myself.

The book that I purchased in the weekend had a section about self-esteem where the author suggested that we say things about ourselves like we would say for others. What a great idea!

Why did I not think about this before??

I start writing a reference letter for myself tonite. It is gonna be long, but hey, we will go through it like a champ!

πŸ™‚

 

money can buy happiness

Yesterday I treated myself with a thrift store visit.

Those who follows this blog know well that it is one of my most favorite past time activities. It is always exciting to go through the shelves finding treasures. I purchased a number of useful and lovely things over the last few years, and it helps me support not only others, but my own purse as well. It is wonderful in so many ways.

Yesterday I was not looking anything particularly, with the exception of a book or two. Well, I bought a book that inspires me to think positively – which is a real treasure. The positive and encouraging words are just what I needed in a state of “having fried nerves”. I feel hopeful, positive, and more welcoming whatever life throws in front of me after reading the pages of that book. It is amazing that 6 bucks can create such positive experiences. It was well worth the money.

I also purchased a new backpack that I have been looking for for some time. It has never been used (my guess based on a critical assessment), has a good size, and multiple pockets that will make its usage effective. I feel lucky to have found this back pack. No more the old, battered backpack that I have been feeling very conscious about. What a relief πŸ™‚

I also purchased a what appears to be a laptop case that I use to carry my documents and paperwork. It is brand new (again based on my critical assessment), has a great colour and shape, and takes up all my hundreds of pages of paperwork that I often carry with me between home and office. Just thinking about it making me excited – what a find – pretty and enriching/easing my life. I am lucky indeed.

I also got a sugar dispenser. For the past 3-5 years I have been using an old dispenser at the office. It was not in good shape and often spilled sugar whenever I handled it. Cleaning sugar granules after it was something that I dreaded, but despite for looking for a better dispenser for many months, it was not until yesterday that I was able to find one. Hello easy life – I like you! πŸ™‚ It is amazing how small things like the old dispenser was taking my energy away. Now, I fixed that problem and feel relieved, however small it can be.

Better yet, guess what?

It turned out that there was a sale on the items I purchased so I got all of these for a total of 20 bucks with 50% off. I did not even know that there was a sale yesterday and everything I purchased made a positive difference in my life. Wow…

I have been thinking; 20 bucks often may sound a lot. What is the worth of:

  • being able to get rid of the old problematic dispenser that needed me to clean after it every single time I used it;
  • feeling positive and hopeful after reading the book,
  • having the excitement and comfort the laptop case gives me, and
  • the relief coming with the backpack, which will help me get rid of the sub-conscious judgment I hold against myself (for having such an ugly and kind of cheap-looking backpack)

You got that right.

On top of that; think about this – my cab fare from the office to home is 10 bucks. There are times that these rides provide me with comfort, but when I think about all the other items that I can get with that money that will free my time, provide comfort to me, or make me feel better, I ask myself how to better use of my money.

That is why I also purchased a soap with a lovely scent yesterday (from another store). It is slightly expensive than my regular soap, but day after day, it will enrich my life experiences.

Verdict is clear and loud. Money can make one happy.

 

 

random thoughts

Exhaustion and fried nerves – I know them very well.

I am very agitated nowadays. I know it from my reactions and how unwell I feel. This too will pass. When, however, I do not know.

Good news is that the weekend is here. I will make it a weekend of self-care and enjoyment. This means not working and not checking the emails – I hope I can achieve this.

Today our administrative staff suggested that I should reduce my work load and care about myself. How true. How do I do this?

Logically I know that if I feel better and energized, and have a clear mind, I can be more effective. Dragging my feet and combing heavily around my mind’s clouds to focus on work and do many things prior to their deadline is not helping my work or personal wellness. It actually drains me even further. I am at a point that I must take that break.

I do not know what I would do this weekend, but I will try to stay away from the computer and work-related thoughts. I want to collect myself and maybe cook healthy meals and think about new things. Maybe I will write a poem, a short story, or start reading about something new. Whatever it is gonna be, I want to remind myself that this is a break, a mini-vacation, and I deserve and in fact need it to keep going.

we are not alone in our struggles

An interesting thing happened today – one of my colleagues burst out her frustration in a meeting we have had. The frustration she had was unrelated to the meeting and the meeting attendees. But we all understood her and supported her. It was heart-breaking to see this otherwise highly cheerful and positive colleague displaying her frustration so rawly. The hurdles she mentioned were highly similar to what I have been experiencing. I felt an instant compassion and fully supported my colleague.

What has been happening to this work place?

Through my interactions with others, this week I heard about experiences of other colleagues as well. They all have the same base problem of being under too much pressure, expectations from them increasing day by day, and the increased workload mandating that we sacrifice from our personal time and mental health. While I do not enjoy finding many of us in this situation, I find it interesting that we hear more objections and voice related to the work environment compared to before. I think together we can form a stronger voice and hopefully get our voice and concerns heard by others, especially by the management. It is a hot pot now – not isolated cases. The future of such a toxic and unsupportive environment is not bright. They better fix it prior to a mass exodus of highly dedicated personnel. This is not the survival of the fittest kind of situation – if you cannot protect the mental health and intellectual capabilities of your people, you cannot really expect extraordinary work that they do, can you?

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This being said, I also mentioned my team members how tired and frustrated I was with some of the things not done or taken care of on time just a few days before. I feel like my endless support to my team has come to an end and is retracting now. I am surprised by this but it is what it is. I keep remembering what someone commented in one of my recent posts – if you are not full, you cannot pour. How true. I wonder about the demoralizing consequences of my frustration on my team members; did they feel the same way that I feel towards my managers? Did they think that I was not supportive enough towards them, or created a toxic environment with unrealistic expectations? I really do not know. But I am empathetic.

This change in my attitude towards my own team is concerning me. I feel like I am really on a dangerous line, which I hope not to cross and go all the way down from there. I want to take a rest, like I have done last weekend with less work and more self-care, but I have so much to do that I would rather work this week…

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The good thing is that I have progressed in making decisions quicker and not spending too much time on trivial points. I also let go of whatever task that does not serve me well. I do not aim for perfection anymore – just today I submitted a report to my colleagues asking them to chip in. Most importantly, the feeling I have got last week, that I was successful and better than what this environment offered to me has been permanent since then. This is amazing. I believe that this is because it is the truth, otherwise my usual skepticism would trash it the next day. I feel empowered by this. Very much indeed.

Nevertheless, I am still tired, stressed, and anxiety is growing in me. I feel like I need additional changes in my attitude towards the work. I will know it when its time comes.

Good night everyone.

 

 

Change is easier when I feel but not when I think about it

I have been waiting for these feelings I experience for some time. I knew that one day I would detach from work and my current life plans, and move on. These days seem to have arrived.

The recent heart-opening experience with one of my family members having a near-death accident has changed me and gave me the much needed shake off. No matter how much I try to think logically to keep going here, I kind of know that I was born for something better and bigger. My work is satisfying but it comes with lots of stress and many little and big work left on my shoulders by either my employer or my team members. I like both of these, but I am resenting the fact that I am not allowed to use my time for things that I am most capable of and it is rather wasted with things that a young colleague with no or little experience can do.

Stress. No or little appreciation. A lot of little work eating up my time. Resentment. Toxic and highly pressuring work environment. Working close to 14 hours everyday, including weekends and holidays. Having financial and employment insecurity. Sleep problems. Lack of time to care for myself, mentally and physically. Lack of assurance.

What was I thinking in keep going with this job?

I know what I was thinking.

I had low self-esteem to find a similar position somewhere else and the job position was something that I have always dreamt of. I was not able to deal with my fears and as such did not want to change my environment, either.

Well.

I may change this environment quite easily. As a matter of fact I feel like I will do this soon. More and more roles that I once dreamt of have been offered to me this week by my organization and more and more I think about not accepting them. I want to commit less to anything or anyone other than myself and my family. I want to make sure that when I decide to leave, I will have freedom to do so, fewer team members to place in a new unit, less furniture to sell/give away, and less responsibility to complete. This is great to feel.

I still have commitments that I must honour. I am doing my best to help move them, but goodness knows if I do get others involved not doing their part and leaving things on my shoulder again, I may as well just quit it there. I know this is a scary thought and I should not feed it, but when one asks themselves constantly “how long more to do these and at what expense?” there comes a moment that the last chain in the link is broken quite easily and it feels right and whatever mattered prior to that moment does not anymore.

I am not asking or planning for this, yet if it is its time, it will happen.

In the mean time, I will enjoy my detachment to my past plans/work and freedom to dream the bigger and better life conditions and job that I know I deserve and I will attain.

 

freedom

Great things are happening in my inner sphere tonite.

Being aware of the self-imposed restrictions and stress, I have been feeling less and less attached to the life conditions and future plans I have created, and more and more free as a result.

I believe I deserve much better than my current life conditions

I believe very strongly I can do 100x better in another job with another role

I believe I can be happy

I can earn more money

I believe I can do well no matter what

I believe there are thousands of opportunities, great people, and great experiences out there that I can accept, meet, and have now that the self-built wall around my life has been shattered

I believe a great opportunity, a miracle if you will, will happen pretty soon and I have the perfect receptive attitude right now to embrace it

I believe that my future is bright and I believe I am walking around the sunny side of the road now

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When over 2 years ago when the work place toxicity hit the roof and I started to feel dispensable and insecure, I used to walk around a small forest close to my office place. One day it occurred to me that “future was bright”. I printed these words in big fonts and pasted the paper on a place that I can see every work day. That feeling had come from nowhere but I felt it very deeply. It was not a wish, it was not a fantasy. It was belief, a sincere, heart-felt, solid belief.

Since then, the toxicity increased in dose, I worked much harder than any other time (even though I am usually very hard-working), failed many times in my plans and initiatives, experienced low self-esteem and loss of hope frequently, but I kept going despite everything. The last 6 months things have been turning around, one step at a time. I am getting projects, creating new project ideas, forming teams, taking new roles, and dumping with ease the old cranky roles that do not serve me anymore.

I may have hurt myself with stress, but one thing I proved myself. That I can be better, I have perseverance, I can pull things around, I am better than I think, and I have the energy and skills to do much more.

Much more.

I can do much more.

if there was a good time to quit this job, it would be now. Why now you may ask?

Because if I had quit before I came to this point, I would always feel unsuccessful and like a failure. Now, however, I demonstrated that I survived yet another hard time with success.Β  This is confidence.

Feeling that great things are coming and I am welcoming them to my life. This is believing and having faith.

Loving and appreciating myself for what I have become. Well, this is as they say priceless.

Great things will happen. I will be happier. I will have a great life. I will make bigger impact with my work. I no longer be chained to whatever ideals that I once thought were good for me, but not enough any more.

I believe in all of these.

 

 

 

tackling perspectives and opinions

I have been thinking for many years what a small-scale/restricted life I have had; how my perspectives on experiences and opportunities were focused but small; and how expanding or changing my perceptions/the way I evaluate things would be useful to see the beyond and brighter (especially lately). The events in the last weekend motivate me to seriously think about this now.

I think I have a small-scale/restricted life because I live in a small city with small number of activities that interest me and I work the majority of the time, or occupy myself with it, which leaves little room to reflect on or experience anything else. I have known this for a very long time. After years of struggle, I came to accept the beauty of the simple and safe life this city provides me with and all the financial awards and mental satisfaction (despite its stress) this job gives to me. It also gives me the opportunity to not face what I must face in life most – my fears; by working and trying to control my work, I get a sense of safety away from my own thoughts (it is not new news to you that I have anxiety).

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My perspectives on experiences and opportunities are focused but small-scale as well; in the last few years, I focused on saving money/frugality, simple and leaner life, with little outside activity. I do not even read books as much as I used to. My plans or priorities concentrated around money and appreciating the beauty of simple and frugal life. There is nothing wrong with these, but it naturally restricts the options one may provide themselves; no vacation somewhere; no movies or other cultural activities; no new furniture I may need; no spontaneity; no sense of adventure. As one of my family members rightfully told me this weekend, money is not everything, however.

The main reason I wanted to save money was to cope with the daily expenses after especially buying my home and investing for my future. This is the right decision and I benefited from it. I would love to be comfortable in my future and have the freedom to pursue interests, take care of myself and my family’s needs better. I am almost half a century old and I do not have enough accumulations for my retirement. But I wonder whether I over-did and strained myself to a point that I have lost my jest for life or spontaneity. Where is the energy and excitement coming from unique and exciting experiences?

There must be a difference between being grateful for everything I have (or not) and be happy with status quo, and aiming better by looking for additional things/way/experiences to better my life, my experiences, and nourish my mind and soul with even at the expense of money.

Being grateful is amazing, but forgetting to aim for better if that is going to enrich my life and remove this being “restricted/small life” feeling may not be. This is what I am trying to say here. That is what my family member was trying to say. Life is short. Our plans and predictions may not happen, good or bad.

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Just last week, I was thinking about letting my mind expanding or changing my perceptions/the way I evaluate things, which would give me a different view, different opportunities, and better outlook about life. Take work-related stress for example; I am stressed but I also progress and succeed. Why can I not be happy for these?

Challenging my beliefs/opinion on my approach to work and people was one thing that came to my mind. Rather than evaluating my hard-work as stress, I could approach it as something that gives me an opportunity to reach my goals. Rather than evaluating people as annoying, I could see them as souls that needed attention or love. Rather than being feared about being un-appreciated, un-credited, under-respected/recognized, or threatened, I could talk or ask whether these were correct or how to fix. I have not done any of these. But I can. Maybe the situation I evaluated can be evaluated in a different way. If so, would the restrictions I put on myself and the stress and negative feelings I experience be relevant anymore? No.

What keeps me away from this?

I know my anxiety problem is contributing to these. I want to control my life/experiences or be prepared as much as possible to protect myself and my future. I know some of the risks are real so I still need to be vigilant.

But can we really protect our future by sacrificing today?

 

why guilt is so easy and why self-love is so hard to find

I came to realization that I have a hard time loving myself.

After yesterday’s post on prioritizing myself and feeling selfish, strange things happened.

First, I thank everyone who commented on that post – your support and kind words meant the world to me.

Strange thing is that today one of my family members experienced a very serious accident and another family member helped them return from near-death. I am serious.

My guilt of not being with my family amplified as a result.

I think life is trying to say something.

Do we have the right to prioritize ourselves and our well being? Is it selfish?

These are honest questions:

Do we have the right to prioritize ourselves and our well being? Is it selfish?

I have been trying hard to feel good, especially about myself and my life. My last 20 years in North America and many years prior to that at home, I always worked towards ending this frequent feeling of “feeling like shit”, “fear/anxiety”, “financial and other insecurities”, and “low self-esteem”. I naturally kept studying and working to keep my mind occupied with these so that I would not think about the existential thoughts. I felt better as a result, however randomly. The trap is that studying and working, especially in my highly competitive field with high failure rate and with rapid deadlines, also mean stress and feeling like shit again, experiencing anxiety, insecurities, and low self-esteem due to high competition and failure rate.

So, what is this all about?

Entire story sounds like delusion to me.

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I have been in North America for nearly 20 years now. I left my home-country, my family, and my friends for work, and then stayed. I like the safe and relatively peaceful atmosphere of Canada particularly, even though the economic situations are straining me and my work place is getting more and more toxic especially lately, but it is alright here. And I know that despite occasional racist and discriminative treatment here and there (which really annoys and is so wrong), I believe I feel much better here in Canada than I would somewhere else.

Being away from home and family is never easy. Home is home and family is the most important thing in life. Yet, when being with family and your well-being do not go side-by-side, what do you do? Emotionally, I want to go back, but logically I know this is not the right decision, at least for now. So I stay and I refuse the demands from my family to go back.

I am not convinced that I can survive mentally there, not unless I changed the way I think and deal with things in a more healthy way. Otherwise, I see myself easily in more anxiety, stress, and depression. Who can benefit or be happy with this? Neither me nor my family. I cannot get my family understand this. They think that I can earn much more money, have less stress and issues that I experience or may experience, and feel better there with the support of my family. I do not buy this. I cannot buy this.

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So, my family needs me, yet by prioritizing myself and my well-being, I deny them the help (financial or emotional) they expect from me. This naturally creates conflicts and lots of negative emotions and encounters between me and my family.

Tell me; how selfish am I to do this? Keeping myself rather in a stable and peaceful place that I believe is better for my mental health at the expense of abandoning my family except seeing them annually for a month or so, calling them every off-day, and financially helping them when they need it most?

I believe it is selfish. That is why I feel like shit as well.

As I said, the entire story looks delusional.

 

 

 

it turns out that tomorrow is Friday

What a surprise! πŸ™‚

I just realized tomorrow was Friday and as such there was one more reason to be joyful today πŸ™‚

I have had an easy-going day at the office today and this makes me feel good πŸ™‚

Friends, I may try to be joyful yet, it does not change the fact that we have an incredibly cold and snowy weather here. This morning I waited for the bus for maybe 4 minutes and my fingers were almost frozen. I have gloves but I guess I must wear woolly gloves rather than leather/synthetic ones.

The scenery in such a snowy day is amazing and very enjoyable. I think we expect more snow early next week; are we looking for a snow day? Goodness, I hope so πŸ™‚ You may think that I would rather be asking for the opposite and be at the office more so that I can finish work. I do want to finish work, but honestly I have enjoyed being away from the office in the last two weeks, so I wish for this to continue a little bit more now. Can you blame me? πŸ™‚

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I could not work as much as I planned today, but I did what I could. There is an important document that I must send tomorrow, for which I have been waiting the input of a colleague of mine. He is away and I have not received his version of the document yet, so I am feeling on the edge. While by working together we all can do much better and bigger work, when not everybody works and does their parts at the same time, it does not move much. I will have to find a way to fix this tomorrow. Now I rather make a conscious decision to enjoy my time.

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According to my calculations, I have saved around 350 bucks from my salary since my last pay cheque. This looks less that what I wanted to, but it is better than nothing. I have no planned expenses coming this week (other than grocery and regular bills), and for grocery I only have a few items to pick this week. This may mean that I can save a few more bucks.

I know that if I do reach the $500 savings level once, I will be more motivated to keep saving after that. I really am focused on not making any unnecessary expenses within the next two weeks (that means no thrift store visits), no socials, no gifts/donations (I can do these later), no hair cut (my hair cut is long due, but..), no cabs (please no!), no books or any other items. I just need to pick laundry detergent this weekend – that will be the only non-grocery item I am planning to purchase.

Saving money, finding ways to maximize the value of the money (sales, use of points, etc.), and feeling fully abundant are empowering. I know there are a number fellow bloggers out there who are on the same journey as I am. Off to reading their post to get inspired now.

Have a great night everyone. I hope 2019 is treating you with Ease, Comfort, and Appreciation πŸ™‚

 

holidays diary – Day 12 (and the end of it :) )

Boy, we are done – back to work! πŸ™‚

I am ready.

I have had not the usual relaxing and joyful kind of holidays break this year, but some things got done and better; I cleaned my home, decluttered and donated, shopped a few days and purchased lovely things, cut out the junk food significantly, saved quite a bit of money by not eating junk food and not taking the cab everyday to work, did light work and almost completed two important documents, socialized with friends, gifted and got gifted (all great things that I am looking forward to using), slept longer than usual, and experienced much less stress and frustration created by work and work environment. I also let go of self-imposed “must do” kind of attitude and took some house chores and personal care (like, hair cut visit) easy. This last one is quite a change in my attitude, which I surprisingly found health. Well done πŸ™‚

I could not read a novel that I so much wanted to, but hey I can always read a novel in any of the days. So, that is cool.

I have reflected on my life in 2018, but did not plan anything new or extraordinary for 2019. I am not against resolutions. On the contrary, I like and believe in the positivity and hope they give to us, even for a short term. I can always make resolutions, so this is cool, too.

Overall; not bad, eh?

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Today I meant to shop at thrift stores. We had bad weather in the morning with lots of snow, but when the bus started to work, I decided it was okay to go have a good time. I was the only one in the store and I could not find anything for my liking. So, when I saw outside, I understood why there was no one around. A new storm had just started and it was quite miserable outside. I do not know how I could make it to the cab station. Luckily it was a cabbie that I knew and the ride back to home was quite pleasant.

At the beginning it felt silly to have left the home at all, but sometimes we must try and take the chances. This is exactly what I have done. The outcome was something I did not wish for, but I have no control over the storms and I was able to make it home safely. Hence, I take it easy as well πŸ™‚

I am relaxing this evening as well and have my itemized plans for tomorrow. I am ready to work like a golden horse again, until I become tired again. Knowing that all my efforts will be to reach my own goals, I am finding this easier to think about. Deep down, I feel that great things will happen to me this year; lots of awesome opportunities will find my way; success, health, money, respect, awards, and recognition will come to me easily; and I will continue to grow and develop personally and professionally.

I am looking forward to these.

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Hope 2019 is treating you all with Ease, Comfort, and Appreciation πŸ™‚

holidays diary – Day 11

New Year is here – welcome 2019.

I am very indifferent, as you can see. I slept around 10pm last night and woke up not so enthusiastic about the day or the year, or anything else for that matter. My moody mood continues.

Anyways; I worked today as well. I did not have anything better to do – everywhere is closed. In the afternoon, I called my family for a quick chat and then focused on finding a good book to read. I reviewed maybe 10 books before I finally found one that clicked. It is by an author who has a highly demanding job and she says all the things I want to hear or see; she says what seems unbalanced for many maybe your balance (true – I prioritize work to reach my goals, so I work hard and long. Even I got in to thinking “I should have a balance” trap, but why should I? Nothing I do is something that will keep me from my goals (except those that are somebody else’s responsibility, which I need to shoulder to keep work going). Rather, I work hard to reach my own goals the majority of the time.

Why should I complain about this? Why should I feel tired about this? Why should I feel frustrated about this? Why on earth should i feel negative about this????

My attitude is not right. Hmmm. Will seriously consider to change this around.

Never fall into the trap of believing in somebody else’s truth – find and own your own truth. That is the lesson I have learnt by reading this book today.

Funny thing is that I had this book for many years. I am glad I did not give it away. Today was its time to mean something for me. Well done.

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I must work and finish things, but I think tomorrow I will rather enjoy my life. I am thinking about going to thrift stores tomorrow. I will look for books and extra-ordinary/unusual pots. It is always fun to be able to look for these items and exciting to bring one home. I do not need to spend a lot of time. I certainly do not need any of these, but I would love to enjoy my life for another day, without thinking about the 5-10 bucks I work so hard to earn. Considering that I spend around 5K each year to visit my family (yes, I am still angry with them), I think this amount of money I spend on myself is very minimal. And, I deserve what my money can buy for me.

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I am in a frugal and minimalistic budget again, which is great. My plan, my very ambitious plan, is to be able to save 500 bucks from my every pay cheque – this is after RRSP and TFSA contributions. I know it is not realistic; last year I tried the same, but I was not able to save more than 400 bucks at a time, and often times I was able to save around 200-300 bucks. Nevertheless, it is okay to ask for and it is okay to hope.Β 

I hope 2019 is treating you with Ease, Comfort, and Appreciation.

 

 

 

holidays diary – Day 10

I slept in a fragmented manner but it was okay – at least I did not have urgent matters to handle today. So, taking it easy was the way to go.

Nevertheless, I am not in a good mood….

I tried to do some work before noon. I stopped and then tried again a couple of times. It is hard to do something when you are tired and then not being satisfied with it.

Anyways.

I went to grocery store to pick some swiss chard – they were wilted so I opted out for a pack of hot-dogs instead. One of my new year tradition (only as a means to treat myself) is to bake some pastry with minced beef or potato/swiss chard. I went for both this time; I cooked the beef with onion for one. I replaced the chard with hot dogs for the other, cooked with onion, boiled potato, and tomato paste, and added some cumin, black pepper, and chili flakes. Yummy, right?

No.

Mistake one was they turned out to be too salty. Mistake two was that both were too spicy. The third was that I do not know why, but rather than buying pastry sheet I decided to prepare my own, which turned out to be too thick and too dense. They did not turn out to be great, even for someone like me who would savour any food regardless of how they look or taste.

Oh, well.

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You know I love my family, but I also have a rocky relationship with them, especially since my dad passed away almost 3 years ago. This is the first year that I did not call and wished them a happy new year. My sister and I have been having another boot of not-so-nice verbal exchanges lately. My heart is broken and I decided not to communicate with my family for some time. I am sure they are surprised or worried about me not showing up today, but they will get used to it.

Also, if they had wanted to reach me, they could call me.

Did they?

No.

So my consciousness is clear.

I do not wish to go visit them this year. I rather could use the time (my entire annual vacation time) and the money (required for flight) for myself…. I do not know. Maybe I could finally buy a dresser for my bedroom (I do not have any furniture in my bedroom except the bed and a small closet). Or, go visit somewhere sunny and interesting for a week or so. Or, stop worrying about not having money and rather use this money to feel a little bit secure.

When the heart is broken, nothing else matters. I want my family to care about me, respect me, and miss me. If they want it, they can find me.

This is a bitter end to this year, but maybe it is for the better. I always cared about my family as much as my conditions permitted, but I guess it is time that I rather care about myself.

The new year is the year of Ease, Comfort, and Appreciation.

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Have a great 2019 everyone – may you be filled with joy, happiness, opportunities, and love and may you be always appreciated, at ease, and comfortable with your life, yourself, your family, and your work.

 

Reflecting on 2018

I have had a brief survey of the year in my mind. It has been an interesting year indeed.

Important things in my personal life were:

Physical health: I re-started yoga/stretching classes in early 2018. As usual, I have enjoyed the relaxing feeling it provided me with, but eventually I pulled a muscle at home and ended up in the emergency room again. I have had excessive physiotherapy this year, which I should be continuing but cannot because of the financial reasons for one. And mostly because after a while I stopped doing my exercises, so what is the point of getting physiotherapy sessions anyhow? This can be one area to work on in the new year.

Mental health: I have had a tough year with stress and anxiety. I for the first time started to attend a counseling service and I keep it in my mind should things get unbearable again. It is a peace of mind, knowing that there is and there will be support should I need it.

Financial health: I did not save as much as I wished, but I have done what I could. I am trying to turn things around since last week with my spending curbed for now. My investments lost quite a bit due to the fluctuations in the market, but I am taking it easy, knowing thatΒ  have no control over it and maybe over time they would rise again. Hope is a great thing.

Affirmations: I became interested in affirmations and at one point they really helped me get positive thoughts and beliefs about people and experiences. I know that they can work and help me feed my mind with different perspectives and better thoughts.

Positive thinking: Being an eternal pessimistic ( πŸ™‚ ) it was great to read positive words and alternatives lately. I actually started to experience these positivity in the form of little miracles, better luck, and better feelings overall. I am grateful for the books that give me positive thoughts and am looking forward to keep doing this and affirmation practice in the new year.

Transitioning to gray hair: this saga has been going well this year. 2018 can be the first year in the last ~20 years that I have not dyed my hair myself at all. Yes, I have been to hair saloon to get toners and highlights to help with the transition, but I never struggled myself at home trying to dye my own hair. For this, I am very happy πŸ™‚

Visiting my family in summer: This was great and quite positive. Not everything is rosy of course, but I am happy to see them. It also gave me the much needed break and soothed my nerves. The positive feelings and well-being continued for a while after I returned back. It was overall a highly positive experience.

Stress, anxiety, and sleep changes: These have been I am afraid quite high this year…. It is mostly work related and deep down I know how to better handle it; walking/exercising, better diet, less work, more extracurricular activities, etc. When there are too many work to do, stress and anxiety becomes difficult to manage. I must be wiser than this. Hopefully in the new year. We shall see. Overall, however this kind of experiences help me personally develop and take things differently. Take my sleep disturbance, for example. At first I took it as a very negative experience (hence the term “disturbance”), yet later I benefited from it by ending up at the office early mornings (around 5-6 am; I realized that until 10 am, I could do much of the work I expect from me, as these are the times with no or little distraction around). This was a great realization, for which I am grateful.

Plants: My… I became interested in succulents, cacti, and house plants this year, which have given me the most satisfying and joy-creating experiences ever. they make me happy! Growing them, caring for them, watching them, sharing them with others πŸ™‚ All is well in the plant world.

My professional life:

Funds for new projects: I was able to get two projects as the project leader and another one as the team member, which are all great progress in my career. In a time when everybody is fund-crunched, these projects put me in a much higher place than many of my colleagues. I should be happy and proud of myself. My extraordinary efforts in the last few years are now paying off – this is wonderful. Perseverance, hope, and hard-work are all benefiting me. I am grateful.

Reports: I was able to get 5 big reports out this year, a couple of them especially being hard to bring to completion.

Completed projects: One big project of mine, which was lingering around for around 4 years have been finally finished in early 2018. It was a hard ride, but eventually is done, and I could not be more excited.

Dumping a committee work: I let go of a committee I was a part of in the last 7 years. It was not an easy decision as I had enjoyed my role in it, but it was also the right one. I cherish this decision.

Taking up on a new role: I took a new role in my organization, which I have been interested in. I feel lucky πŸ™‚

Interview with an outside organization: I got interviewed by an outside but professionally related organization in Fall. They even circulated it to thousands of my colleagues all around the world via an email. I feel honored and excited by this. I am glad that I took my time to prepare this interview.

Online courses: I took two online courses this Fall, which were amazing. I want to take a little bit more, maybe in the Spring to help develop my skills and knowledge better. Learning is always exciting πŸ™‚

Overall, a year full of both negative and positive experiences, like anyone else. It has been a hard year – that is for sure, but it also showed its good side and credited my hard-work and perseverance. I think my focus for the new year will be to take things a little bit easier, caring for my mental and physical health much better, and continue to grow personally and professionally.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

holidays diary – Day 9

It has been going well so far – another relaxing day πŸ™‚

I cleaned my home today and baked two sourdough loafs. I gave one big loaf to one of my friends, who had invited me over this noon. It smelled and looked great, so my friend was excited and I was happy πŸ™‚ I got to see some of my friends, some after a couple of years, at this social. It felt absolutely great to be catching up. One of them gave me a ride back home, for which I am grateful as well.

There is a lot of snow outside, but the temperature is mild. I nevertheless spread some salt to my entrance. Looks like the night will get chilly. I plan to get out only for a short grocery store visit tomorrow, and the rest, I plan to spend at home with baking some pastries and wishing everyone good year wishes. One person I particularly email every year is one of my boss from 20 years ago. She was the most fantastic boss one can ever asked for and each year I email her (except one year when I had forgotten – she had emailed me at that time πŸ™‚ ).

Let’s remember that the new year will be the year of Ease, Comfort, and Appreciation.

Happy Sunday everyone!

holidays diary – Day 8

Today I allowed myself to fully focus on my own enjoyment and it has been great πŸ™‚

First of all, I slept till 9 am – wow! Insomniacs like myself would know that this is huge – I am grateful.

I decided that I would spend the day at thrift stores and left home before noon. While saturdays are my weekly house chores day, you can predict that I let go of it today. Today I only focused on my enjoyment. What a change? I believe I am getting really relax and free of self-imposed necessities – how lovely πŸ™‚

Before thrift stores, I visited a store and bought two gifts while they were on sale. I am pleased with them. I think one of them will go to a friend of mine who has been very generous with me. I hope she will like it. The other one will be a gift for the next year – I am usually not into gifts, but at work we do have one or two socials with gift exchange each year, so buying one right now feels great and will save me time and money later. So, I was very excited about this as well.

Then I visited the first thrift store. I bought a great set of mugs still in their boxes and apparently never been used. I cannot wait to use them. I also purchased a pitcher that I have been meaning to get for some time – it will be great in the office. What else did I buy? A small pot (of course) for hanging plants – it is cute and I plan to have it in my office, if not in my bathroom. A little spider plant would fit in it just well. It is very cute.

Then, I walked to the second one (I am so lucky that both of these stores are at walking distance to each other). There I spent more time (it is bigger than the first one) and it was delightful πŸ™‚ I bought an oven tray in excellent condition for only 2.99 bucks (what a steal – it is hard to find that type of trays here). I will bake many sourdough loafs in it πŸ™‚ I also bought a wooden tray to put my spice jars in on my counter. It fit like a charm and no more bits of spice on my counter that prompts me to wipe it regularly πŸ™‚ Of course, I also found a very unusual type of pot with pink/lavender colour, which will be an excellent company for my coleus. I also bought two books, which I am enjoying reading.

My good luck continued on the way back and after waiting for only a minute my bus arrived! Today was kind of wet with snow and rain, so I could not appreciate it more. I then went to another small shop around my home and finally got a fresh batch of cumin and black pepper – I have been meaning to get them for a long time and I am glad that I have done this today.

I continued to care about only myself today and cooked myself yet another healthy meal πŸ™‚ One of the greatest part of the holidays was that I cooked 3-4 meals and they were all healthy and nutritious. I feel like I am taking care of myself and this makes me feel extra excited.

Tomorrow I am baking two sourdough loafs – one for myself and one for a good friend of mine. She invited me over and I will be happy to see her tomorrow. I had also bought gifts for her in early December – I cannot wait to bring them to her. So, tomorrow will be a great day, too πŸ™‚

Lets’ remember that the new year will be the year of Ease, Comfort, and Appreciation.

Happy Saturday everyone!

 

 

holidays diary – day 7

Today it felt more like a break and better – I am grateful! πŸ™‚

I am going to bed late and I am getting up after 7 am – this has been one of the blessing of this break – thank you!

I am cooking and eating relatively healthy – this feels very energizing and I am kind of proud of myself πŸ™‚

I worked nice and easy at the office (the last two days), which is amazing. It is quiet and beautiful. Not getting 50 emails a day, not having anyone calling or waltzing in my office regularly, and not rushing from one meeting to other have been feeling amazing. On top of that, the clean and organized office has been a blessing – it feels energetic, spacious, and just lovely. I am in love with my office nowadays πŸ™‚

My home is clean, decluttered, and well organized as well. Little re-arrangements here and there have made a positive impact. It feels really lovelyΒ  πŸ™‚

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Today was very cold, with possibly -10/15 C. Waiting for the bus was not fun, but it was well worth it. I have not taken the cab in the last while and my purse feels quite rich. On top of this, I limited, significantly limited, my junk food consumption, which makes me save lots of money πŸ™‚ I feel very abundant, now that I have tons of extra money (well, not tons of it, but you know what I mean). Shopping hence does not feel like a way to further spend money, but to treat (with healthy food) and nourish myself. Overall, these two (taking the bus and limiting the junk food) always make the most impact on my financial well-being. I hope to be able to keep going.

This being said, I always have a great frugal life in the first 6 months of the year, and then with summer I seem to open the purse. Can I make it an exception this year? We shall see πŸ™‚ Honestly I do not have much of an alternative; my chequing account is very low and my mortgage is due renewal this year, which means I am looking at a mortgage with a higher interest. I must be keeping my money as much as I can in order to keep up with these…. This is my plan. Wish me luck!

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This year I have not posted an yearly financial well-being/net-worth post. The main reason is that I have accidentally deleted around 6 months of my recordings. Oh, well. That is alright. My net-worth has increased around 25K, mostly thanks to home equity, but my investments (RRSP and TFSA) have lost around 10-15K…… Go figure…. I am taking it easy, however. Now I may have lost money, but I have faith that over time it will increase again. I have time.

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Tomorrow, I plan to visit the thrift stores again. A pot that I bought yesterday find its plant, a beautiful prayer plant I have at the office πŸ™‚ Together, they are the most elegantΒ  and elite decoration I have ever had in my possession. I feel so lucky and happy about them. Long live the thrift stores and all the people who donate there πŸ™‚

I will visit 2 stores tomorrow. I shop at both of them; one being more affordable than the other, but the other one is bigger. I have no ambitions whatsoever and will just take my time to explore every inch of both of them. Who knows, maybe I will find some unexpectedly interesting stuff. Tomorrow will be my first “for my enjoyment only” day of the holidays.

Let’s remember that the new year is the year of Ease, Comfort, and Appreciation πŸ™‚

 

 

 

holidays diary – Day 6

My goodness – almost a week of the holidays vacation is over.

At least today was a little bit better. I went to office today and worked like 5-6 hours. It felt good. I love how my office looks now, clean, well organized, and full of beautiful plants. Honestly after 5 days at home, seeing the sky from my office window was also priceless. I felt “hopeful” :).

Then I took the donation items with me and went to a charity/thrift store. I am grateful that I was able to share my now-unneeded items with others – what a blessing. I also shopped there – I bought two blouses and two planters πŸ™‚ One of the pots took my breath away when I saw it – again, I feel quite lucky. My new blouses are great-looking and, hey they were 50% off today πŸ™‚ How lucky one can get sometime πŸ™‚

I was also fortunate enough to purchase notebooks that I use so frequently. They were on sale as well. I had imagined them to be on sale and purchased during the holidays. My imagination turned to be reality today. I feel fortunate and very excited about all these positive experiences today.

On the way back home, I was thinking on the bus that I actually like my office, my work place, thrift stores, and the bus. Feeling joyful πŸ™‚

I do not know whether it was getting out of home after 5 days, shopping and finding items that I loved, or some other mysterious thoughts that went through my mind on the way back home, but today I have felt grateful and excited about my life again. I am blessed.

Let’s remember that the new year is the year of Ease, Comfort, and Appreciation.

 

holidays diary – Day 5

Hard to believe it has been 5 days already and I have not left the home other than for one or two convenience store visits.

Tsk…

Argh…

I fell like this holidays time-off is wasted. By myself of course.

I must work the next two days.

Can I at least visit the mall or something?

This is one of my weirdest holidays vacation ever…

It is not too late, however! I can turn it around.

Let’s remember – the new year is the year or Ease, Comfort, and Appreciation.

 

 

 

holidays diary – Day 4

Cannot believe it has been 4 days already – where does the time go?

Yesterday night I let myself to enjoy the quite and peaceful night, went to bed around 11pm, and got up at around 8 am this morning. Yuppie! It was not 5 or 6 am. It was 8 am. It felt good πŸ™‚

Since I finished my house cleaning chore, and everywhere is closed, I decided to do some work today. It went well in the morning, kind of slow and reluctant at around noon, and then quite productive in the afternoon. This latter part was exciting -when I explore new things that increase my professional skills, I love it πŸ™‚

I must say that today was a day of healthy diet. My breakfast/lunch consisted of sourdough, tomatoes, and coffee, and my dinner consisted of a cauliflower dish I love so much. I even drank two cups of green tea this afternoon. Healthy day indeed πŸ™‚

I have work to do tomorrow, and then I must be at work Thursday and Friday. After that though, for 5 days I want to take a break and see some of my friends. I really would like this. I found that a way to ensure timely progress of work is giving short deadlines for myself; short deadlines, like 15 min, work wonders if I am stuck at something. So, let’s hope they will help me out this week.

With this good wished, I end today’s account.

Let’s remember that the new year is the year or Ease, Comfort, and Appreciation!

 

holidays diary – Day 3

The day was kind of wasted, or this is how I feel about it.

I meant to finish cleaning home (which I have, YAY!), get the cable technician fix my cable issues (got the appointment a few weeks back), and the go for a little shopping.

So, I waited, waited, and waited, and called the company twice, only to be told that he would show up. Well, he is 6.5 hours over due, so I do not think he is showing up. This also means that sadly I missed my opportunity to get out of home and do some shopping for my own enjoyment…. I am not only frustrated, but also fed up with that company. In a year that I want to take things easy, that may mean I am looking for a new company soon, for which I am not sorry.

The same for my VISA card – I want to change it. The hefty annual fee is not making me happy. The points I get in turn are not worth it. This bank is the only one I work with and I have been paying all the interest and shoot (intentionally changed the word here – I am a kind person and for a bank, I will not change this quality in me). Plus, this year the bank rep refused to waive my annual fee twice. Twice! He offered me another credit card from their bank, which I will gladly refuse. I will be shopping for a credit card soon and I deserve this. Thank you very much both of you the companies – you clearly sock (again, intentionally changing the word here).

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Since this is the 3rd day of the holidays already and I have not done much for myself, like reflecting or reading, my feelings are exaggerated towards emptiness. I have the entire night in front of me, which I can use to my advantage. The truth is reflecting the year without reflecting about the work is not possible, and I do not wish to think about work just yet. So, for tonite, I am putting this aside as well.

I can watch a movie, I can browse the internet, I can read about plants. The usual stuff that I always do anyhow. What however interest me is to find a new topic to explore an learn. Something I have not tried before; not sewing (I shave sewn some place mats and washing clothes today, by the way – YAY again!); not plants; not books or poetry; not jamming, pickling, or baking.

Something new!

What is gonna be?

I have the entire night to figure out.

Let’s remember that the new year is the year of Ease, Comfort, and Appreciation.

Happy nights everyone πŸ™‚

 

 

 

holidays diary – day 2

It has been another mind-relaxing but body-wise exhausting cleaning day! Yay!

I am almost done; I think in a half day or so, I may entirely finish the cleaning, laundering, decluttering, and minor re-arrangements here and there. Then, off to thrift stores tomorrow to even more relax my mind. Boy, do I need this πŸ™‚

Every year the one people that I willingly gift for the holidays is my neighbours. They are great people, kind and helpful. I presented their gift today, with a nice loaf of oven-fresh sourdough. I really hope they liked it. They did gift me as well, for which I am grateful. All the little but heart-felt things in life. Good people, good feelings, not even for the holidays but for the rest of the year. This is what great neighbours mean. Hope you all have great neighbours in your life.

I was planning to go get some junk food (I know, I know – I had told I had given up, but…), yet I was so tired that I rather stayed at home, prepared some potato-based deep fried yummy stuff, and savored them with hibiscus tea. It felt incredibly good – tea I mean πŸ™‚

I have done little re-arrangements around the house. Mostly plants finding new place to stay and flourish. I am not decluttering as much as I wished I had, and I was thinking about this. I think it is because I had already given away the shoes and jackets I was not wearing anymore. The rest is pretty much what I would like to use. So, even though I am bewildered a little bit, I will take whatever it is. All is well.

I could not get to reading a novel part yet, but tomorrow I may as well get a book or two from the thrift stores. Exciting πŸ™‚

Let’s remember; the new year is the year or Ease, Comfort, and Appreciation πŸ™‚

 

holidays diary – Day 1

To my surprise, I did not sleep long and well. But one thing was always in my mind –Β  the new year is the year of ease, comfort, and appreciation. I believe in it!

When you get up at 6 am, what do you do? Habits are hard to break. I felt like doing some light work, which was okay.

Then I started to clean my home. From 8 am on, for 7 hours, I cleaned and decluttered the upstairs! I cannot believe how smooth and efficient it went. My home did not accumulate much of a dust this year – I am not sure whether I have been doing really well with my weekly cleaning, or the worst is yet to come, aka the first floor πŸ™‚

I also did not find a lot of things to declutter. I am going to donate a couple of belts and purses, and some wood decoration. I was however able to get rid of my old socks (why is always one without the second in our drawers?) and a couple of old t-shirts made great cleaning clothes as well.Β  I gave them my thanks for serving me so well before I placed them in the garbage bag, donation box, or cleaning clothe bin. That felt good too.

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After the cleaning saga, I decided I deserved a rest and opportunity to treat myself. I did some grocery shopping and prepared myself a great carrot salad (grated, with garlic, olive oil, and roasted beef). This may be the first healthy food I have had in a while and I cannot thank myself enough for this. Food, especially healthy food, is important.

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My mind was busy with the toxic events or individuals while doing the cleaning today. I am not resisting to the thoughts as they appear. I rather let them go through. I am not feeling bad, as a result. I believe I am in the process of a change of perspective. I have realized that things may not be as I interpret them (negatively), so benefit of doubt is a good thing every once a while, and I have faith that somethings will turn around soon.

Are there people that have not responded to my request yet? They will.

Can I get de-sensitized to get and read emails from those people who have done wrong to me in the past? Yes.

Who is feeling and hurting otherwise? Me.

Do I want to continue having these feelings anymore? No.

Right on.

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I will take it easy tonite. Nice and easy. Maybe a cup of herbal tea. Maybe some planning for tomorrow’s cleaning. Maybe a plan to visit the thrift stores on Monday. Things like this. I have not started reading yet, but I am sure it will be fantastic too.

So, let’s remember once again – Ease, Comfort, Appreciation. May these be all in our lives.

Have a great night everyone.

a little bit of self-tolerance is awesome

I was not feeling great the whole day as I am, as usual, behind some of the tasks that I have assigned to myself at the first place. All work related of course. The main idea was that I would do these so that I could feel completely free to take a rest during the holidays. I have 3 more days but I am assuming some will lag and I will take care of them during the holidays. Felt exhausted the whole day as a result….

So what?

Not the first time that I had a hard day or not the first time that I will work during the holidays.

So with this, just an hour ago or so, I am relaxed a little bit and feeling better.

I like the fact that I really want to take a break during the holidays. I know that it will energize me and I will once again feel ready for the next 6 months. So, I will take thisΒ  and let it sink.

I will rest and I will take a break during the holidays. Period.

One thing I really would like to do during the holidays is doing something for my own enjoyment only. Not a chore (like cleaning or decluttering), but for my own enjoyment.

I decided that reading a novel or two would just fit this well. I am excited!

Another thing I would love to do is buying some aromatic stuff. I have had an essential oil that has been lightening my senses for some time. I think it is time that I get a couple of more, and enjoy.

Third would be getting rid of some of the things that have been bothering me. So, 20 min ago I decided to give up junk food, which has been not only sinking my purse but also elevating my internal criticism. I am not sure how well I will keep this plan, but feeling in control is great and uplifting. I want to hang onto this feeling.

Fourth thing would be paying more attention to my body’s needs and eating much better, for goodness’ sake. My diet has been very “junky” for some time. This week my grocery shopping will be focused on treating my body well. I am thinking different fruits (e.g. anything other than citrus and apple that I regularly consume) and drinking more tea. The good thing is that since last week I have been drinking tea at the office, for which I must congratulate myself.

Fifth – gifting myself. Thinking about all the money I will save by not eating junky stuff, it is time to make plans to get new stuff. Today I bought myself two fluffy socks, which I have been meaning to get for a year or so. That is great πŸ™‚ I know one of my friends is getting me a plant as a gift, for which I cannot even wait πŸ™‚ A new excitement πŸ™‚ Together with the aroma therapy items, these three are the minimum gifts I will give to myself.

How will you gift yourself in these last days of the year?

Sunday evening musings

It has been a fine day.

We have a crispy and windy day today. The ice on the side walk is concerning, but still a short walk to the convenience store was refreshing and enjoyable.

I love snow. I think it lightens up my usually gray city and give a sense of “hibernation” time. Having a mug of hot tea at my hands and watching the outside from the windows are my favorite “me times” in winter. And if I have a plant on the window sill, then it is even more enjoyable (you know my love for plants).

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I would love to just chill during the 10 days following this Friday. I have been thinking just yesterday how my 2018 has developed, and it is amazing to be able to see the progress in some areas, changes occurred, and things to be highly grateful for. I am looking forward to a detailed reflection to remember and enjoy each significant experience, close the unnecessary issues or memories, and open space for new hopes, plans, and opportunities. It is an amazing feeling πŸ™‚

I am unenthusiastic towards cleaning and decluttering I must do at home and the office (my traditional holidays activities), yet I know that once I start, they will go on, and once they are finished, I will feel a lot better. I may also do some small furniture re-arrangement here and there, and certainly shop and take advantage of the sales. I may as well buy one or two more plants, even though I promised myself not to purchase anymore. I may gift myself, right?

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When comes to holiday gifting, I am not very good at it. I lovingly gift my next door neighbours, who have been nothing but lovely and helpful people – I could not ask for more. I bought them a nice set of table clothes, which I hope will be enjoyed very much. While they were the only people I was planning to gift, I was given two nice gifts lately, which excited me. The positive feeling of this joy has prompted me to pay back and buy gifts for a couple of friends and colleagues. I lovingly chose them and will lovingly give them away. What a great feeling….

One of these gifts is to our administrative director. She always is considerate and help get gifts and cards to us when need/occasion arises. Just last week she organized a gift card for a member of our floor, who does an amazing job cleaning and ordering our work-place. I could not help but think that we have never returned her favor and gifted or recognized her specifically. I picked something for her, which I am sure she will enjoy. I will know tomorrow from her face πŸ™‚

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So, my friends, this is a great day and a great time of the year. For many the holidays means a lot. Although I do not celebrate Christmas, it is still a very enjoyable time of the year; I will take a break, rest and reflect, and clean and declutter the house/office.

Honestly, I cannot wait πŸ™‚

 

 

 

feeling good :)

This week has been another roller coaster period of time. The beginning of it had a colleague swearing and yelling at me in front of people because of their frustrations, which later was sweetened, but hey, although I do not take it personal, I cannot fully pass the idea that I have been insulted, if not assaulted. Anyways. I appreciate the way I have dealt with this ridiculous situation (calm and professional) and now my colleague and I have normal interactions.

I am behind re; many of the things I would like to complete prior to the holidays, but we are moving anyhow. That also means that I did not accept a couple of additional tasks, which is usually not my behavior, but I am glad I have started to say no, and not feeling bad about this. It turns out the world still circles around the sun no matter what I do or not πŸ™‚

Today was a particularly good day. I started the day before 5 am in the morning. It was peaceful and gave me quite a bit of time to do serious work prior to my back to back meetings starting at 11 am. The great news I have got in the afternoon was that one of the projects I designed and applied for has been accepted πŸ™‚ It has been such a long run working on the project πŸ™‚ Even though its financial scale is not earth-shattering, its impact on my confidence and the future users of the end-product is πŸ™‚

I was not, for some reason, overly joyous about this news until after I walked a few minutes in the evening when I realized that it was indeed a huge success for someone with my educational background and expertise to design and lead a project in a such different field. I must be, and I am, proud of myself! Last year when I talked to a couple of my colleagues, they had criticized me and said that I should rather let someone bigger to lead my project. I was furious. These colleagues of mine who are also my friends – hello-, undermined my interests and abilities, and hey, today who is the boss? Feeling good indeed πŸ™‚

If you have been following my blog for sometime, I have been feeling unsuccessful and had lost my confidence at a significant level. The last few years have been very hard in terms of work; stressful and full of troubles and troubled work relationships. I am still stressed and I still have troubled colleagues/work relationships in my life, but I am slowly gaining back my confidence and increasingly seeing my value.

For me, this is more than enough for now.

 

holiday plans

I may keep writing with the same topic for weeks! πŸ™‚

I am excited, my friends. A 10 days of off work. Time to chill out. Reflect. Recuperate. Be cozy and be happy. And shut that work emails for a few days. Yes… Wonderful.

Like many of us, I am tired and in need of getting out of my stressful work. I want to see life and see beyond what I can see in front of me – work. Life is bigger than this. It certainly is.Β 

 

holidays plans

It is mid December already πŸ™‚

I must be excited about the holiday time-off, but I am not there yet. I have some work to complete before the holidays so that I can take a rest and then start the new year with a fresh feeling. I have 9 more days before the holidays, so I feel like I must speed up. Yet, Murphy’s law – while some stuff are doing well, others are not. So here is to a roller-coaster type of day πŸ™‚

But, I take it easy. This is my new approach to life’s hurdles. There is a lesson to be learnt from everything. Perhaps this year’s lesson to me is to accept the hurdles and delays, and try anyhow. Ok.


These being said, I am looking forward to having some “me time” during the holidays. I just declined a social and I am likely gonna decline some others too. I remember last years that when I attended the socials, I had hardly any time left for myself. This year more than ever, I want to slow down and I want to reflect and decide on new aims.

Some of my plans are the usual:

I will clean the house really well and declutter! It is gonna be awesome.

I may shop, trousers particularly, by taking advantage of the sales.

I may finally finish the place mat I started to sew 3 months ago.

I may reflect on life, my wishes, and needs, and the future.

Most importantly, I want to evaluate the past year (this blog is a good resource to see what I have experienced or thought). I always liked this exercise! How did I develop, personally and professionally? What did I accomplish and what did I fail? What did I learn? What can I do differently? How did I take the change (e.g. changes in my sleep pattern) and how did this change me?

All very exciting questions! πŸ™‚

 

 

 

switched to classic editor

I must be very lucky today!

I was exploring the new features of this new editor (that cannot be even described….) Anyways;Β  I clicked on the top right button, and hey, there is an option to switch to the old classic and beautiful editor!

Friends – if you would love to get rid of this new text editor my .ss, and switch back to old good text editor, give it a try!

WordPress – please bring back the previous text editor

Dear WordPress,
The new text editor is complicated and makes writing problematic. I am not pleased with this. I started and then could not continue a number of posts since this new editor became in place. Please bring back the previous one.
Blogging is important for me, but if I cannot blog easily here, then I am afraid I will switch to another blogging site.
Thank you

In need of “me” time

I have been running and running from one work related issue to other. I think it is true that if you do work hard and well, more work will come to you. Whether it is self imposed or others dump things on you is a separate issue.

I want to have “me time”, now more than yesterday and the day before yesterday…. I missed planning for grocery shopping and getting items at low prices that make me feel incredibly abundant and grateful.

I missed keeping my money to myself and having a simple life.

I missed being excited by the smallest thing in life, a little plant, a beautiful thrift treasure, a healthy meal.

I missed being grateful…

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by the way, am I the only one who absolutely dislike the new editing features on wordpress? It is so hard to write now, with many props popping out constantly. Tell me I am not the only one please.

Rant over.


where does the time go?

I have no idea why everything takes more time than I can plan for nowadays?

Am I tired?

No.

Am I undertaking too much?

Yes.

I just accepted two small but additional tasks today, considering that they will strengthen my professional skills. I was happy in the morning to have them. Yet, I turned resentful in the evening – only because I could not finish what I was planning to do today. Today, rather than my own work, for 6 hours I helped a team member of mine do and finish their work…. As a result, I am late to take care of some critical jobs of mine and opportunities.

There are lessons to be learnt for me from this (recurring) experience. I kinda know what I must do (say “no” and let others be responsible for their work), but am hesitant to do it knowing that if they cannot do it right or on time today, I will have to fix a bigger problem in the future.

Goodness help me.

anxiety….

Anxiety is crippling on me nowadays….

I am trying to hold on and take rests at the same time.

It is strange as this is not the busiest time – It is quite busy,Β  but at least some things are going well and I have the energy to keep going. Maybe I just need a break.

Timing is good because a friend of mine is coming to visit me in the next few days. It will force me to work less and enjoy my time with my friend. I am grateful for this opportunity and am looking forward to my friend’s arrival.


Sunday morning musings

Peaceful morning with the coffee on the table and music at the background – what else do I need right now? πŸ™‚

Cat Coffee GIF by hoppip - Find & Share on GIPHY

Appreciating the beauty of the moment put aside, I feel like my anxiety is checking on me, and as a result, I feel like I must convince myself that there are remedies.

I increasingly recognize that there are two types of anxiety creating situations:

  1. one; when there is a real issue which if left unattended may create bigger issues, and;
  2. second; those that exist as possibilities which upon becoming reality can create a real issue and if left unattended may create bigger issues.

I deal with both of these the majority of the time.

Nervous Mio Akiyama GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I am pretty good at managing the 1st type of anxiety creating situations (mostly work-related). I still time to time struggle with them as well, especially when there are too many of them all at the same time, which stresses me.

The best remedy I have found so far?

Reminding myself my past experience:

  • I will not be scared for no good reason
  • I am able to handle anxiety and issues – so far I have. It may take some time and can down me a good chunk of the time, but I have seen that I am strong and resilient
  • Challenges grow me and I have solved many of them in the last few years especially. I can feel confident
  • I will continue to be okay with those thoughts that will benefit me, move me, and motivate me so that I can move on

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The second type is the one that comes from nowhere. It kind of places itself in my mind when I have no or little type 1 anxiety creating situations.

The best remedy I have found so far?

Reminding myself;

  • I will not be scared for no good reason
  • I will think about what to do when my fears become a reality – until then it is a waste of my emotional stability, time, and energy to try to find solutions to non-existing fear-creating situations. Over and over I have seen that I can make (more) rational/logical decisions at the face of adversity
  • I will not resist to anxiety creating thoughts; no matter how many times I come across anxiety

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all the good things – check

Friends – life has been up and down, but at least some things are going well. I must cherish and celebrate πŸ™‚

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  • sleeping longer than the usual 6 hours and feeling good in the morning – check

this has been the 3rd morning in the last week, which really amazes me. It has been sometime that I could feel relax and comfortable enough to sleep in (rather than rushing to work). If you can sleep well, please give your thanks – it is a beautiful feeling

  • working without stress – check
  • witnessing a wonderful work of a staff member of mine – check

this team member did beyond my imagination!! we have been working very intensely about their project in the last two months or so (it did not go well for a year or so…), and today we have had significant progress. All the hard-work and stress pays off! This progress means;

a) I have a great staff that I must elevate even higher;

b) our overall performance is much higher that we or others thought;

c) we are confident and ready to show-case this work and get recognition;

d) the confidence that we have now is amazing (the next time something this big does not work, we will put our 150% into it again and solve it);and

e) we know that we can deliver this project, and as such, a significant load is off my shoulder right now :))))

  • loving my plants dearly – check

what a beautiful and glorious feeling! Looking at them, seeing them grown and thrive makes me feel happy and genuinely excited πŸ™‚ I am so lucky!

  • getting a new succulent prop from a colleague and giving away props to three other colleagues – check

I am lucky in the sense that people gift me with plants and props (young plants) and I in turn lovingly gift them my own plants πŸ™‚ Today I was able to get one new species and give away three others. It feels great to be sharing my plants/props with others, knowing that I have more than I can handle and others will love and cherish them as much as I am

  • buying a nice spider plant, which was on sale – check

yesterday I had seen some green/purple spider-plant like plant in the grocery store. They were on sale (3.5 bucks each) but also not in great shape. I had decided not to buy them, now that I had been also in a shopping ban period.

However, this morning I made a pact with myself and decided that if I took the bus but not the cab in the afternoon, I could rather use the money to purchase the plant! So, I went there and found that there were new and healthy-looking ones, still on sale and grabbed one right away πŸ™‚ I came home admiring its leaves and giving it a good soak of water. I placed it on a window sil for now, but am planning to re-pot sometime soon and separate. Colors are amazing, green on top but purple at the back, which is great for the eye. I plan to combine a part of it with my coffee plant (which has been doing amazingly well) in a new pot, and place in my office. I cannot wait! πŸ™‚

  • planning to go to thrift stores tomorrow and purchase new pots – check

I know, I know.. how is it that I am on a shopping ban and then planning to spend money…?. I have no excuse other than the fact that I want this.. I want to see whether I can get 4-5 other pots and place my rapidly growing plants in them this week. They are my joy and pride, and I love to be able to shop (rather than working) tomorrow afternoon

  • eating two apples in the afternoon – check

it has been sometime that I munched on apples and the ones I have had today were particularly tasty and sweet. I am doing good πŸ™‚

  • having the night to myself – check
  • feeling good – check

going back to a previous point, knowing that I have turned things around with a team member of mine has been very elating and motivating. I know once again that stress that I had to take lately has been for something to come. Efforts pay off and things turn around. I will let this feeling sink in for a moment or two, so that next time I can remember it easily and find serenity…..

πŸ™‚

 

 

all the good things – check

  • having a deep sleep for around 6 hours – check
  • getting up early and going to office early – check
  • working on a lagging project – check

this has been one of these projects that keep lagging because there are other, more important things to do. Since I am rather satisfied when things are completed, this project has been bugging me. I still have lots to do but I believe I have made a good progress today. I will keep working on it this weekend πŸ™‚

  • eating two apples today – check

I keep apples in the office. They are great snacks and make me feel good instantly. I am lucky! πŸ™‚

  • talking with a colleague and having some laughter – check

it felt great to have time to chat without being rushed by work and also to have good feelings by laughing πŸ™‚ I feel positive πŸ™‚

  • walking back from office to home – check, check, check!

I walked twice this week. Honestly my legs are feeling the need to walk. It was an easy and wonderfully relaxing walk, for which I am grateful

  • grocery shopping – check

I have not had a regular grocery shopping in the last 3-4 weeks. I was happy to go through the produce and shelves. I was craving for some chicken soup and bought a whole chicken, even though it was not on sale. This felt good – I am not ignoring my health and body after all

  • having the night to myself – check

It always feels great to be able to take such mini-breaks without thinking too much. This weekend is a long-weekend, meaning I have 3 days off. My plan is to be working and studying, and getting back on track with my work obligations. I am looking forward to this πŸ™‚

  • having a frugal day – check

I took the cab in the morning, but other than this, my day was quite frugal. I even resisted the temptation to go to thrift stores, even though one of them was having a sale πŸ™‚ Did I mention that I am on shopping ban till the holidays and I aim to limit my grocery expenses to 40 bucks a week. This is not a realistic budget but at least it keeps me on track

 

 

 

a relatively great day

Today I realized how rich and abundant I was when I was on my frugal life style. I certainly missed that feeling and I asked myself what was keeping me away from that life style again?

Myself. My need to comfort myself at the face of work-related stress. So I take the cab everywhere (rather than taking the bus or walking) and eat junk/comfort foods. This gotta stop, right?

Right.

Now that I am in a more relaxed period of time, I would like to give it a shot again. I would like to take the bus in the morning and start walking in the evening back to home again. I do not need to buy anything except a few cleaning products, and I have tons of food to consume at home.

I was not able to make mortgage pre-payments for the past several months. My plan is to make around 2K before the new year.

I know that I have been struggling to re-implement frugality for some time, but I am motivated to give it a hand again….

Wish me luck!

 

somethings make your time worth it

It is a peaceful Saturday night – I am enjoying it widely πŸ™‚

I woke up early again. I was talking to a colleague of mine about the sleep situation today. They have little sleep every night, and as such are almost exhausted. I can see the tiredness in their eyes and face. I realized once again how lucky I was – even though I am not able to easily go back to sleep once I am awake, at least I can get deep sleep for 5-7 hours per night. I am quite refreshed when I wake up, not tired or exhausted. My only issue is the thoughts that pass thru my mind that stress me. That is all. I am on the lucky side when compared to many of my colleagues. I am glad that I had this conversation today with my colleague.

I have seen many of my colleagues today as there was an organizational event that required our contributions. I was happy to be there and take part in the event. I have a similar event to attend tomorrow, but I am not worried about it. It is gonna be fun and I will have a chance to wind down both during the event and later at home. It feels good to be doing these as I am proud of my contributions and what positive difference I can make to my organization. It is well worth my time πŸ™‚

Have I mentioned that I have become interested in online courses and am enjoying taking courses on topics that interest me professionally? πŸ™‚ Yup – my new hobby πŸ™‚ I have come across information about a class on social media, which clicked with me and in a split second, I enrolled into the class. I have started in September and I am currently finishing up my second course. Nothing too detailed or completely distant to my current level of knowledge, but in terms of case studies, opportunity to discuss with other attendees, and providing a frame for knowledge and filling the gaps, I find the online courses quite beneficial and enjoyable for my taste. I am all about free courses for now and making sure that I will not be abused financially by some random site. If you are interested in courses/workshops offered by online resources, libraries, or universities, I highly recommend you to check them up. Learning is a highly exciting activity πŸ™‚

I also would like to mention how much I adore my natural salt & pepper hair now πŸ™‚ It has been over a year of adventure that I decided to transit to my natural hair. Time to time I am still saddened by the gray patches, but then it is such a shinny, healthy hair that I fall in love with it a few minutes later πŸ™‚ I also incredibly happy that I do not need to dye or cover my roots, and I am free of the sadness that came from seeing the gray roots a week or two after I dyed my hair in the past. I am free….. The first up to 4-7 months were quite challenging, but I am almost there. I just need to get it cut to get rid of my highlights that are now limited to the ends of my hair. Cannot wait πŸ™‚

This is the short account of what went thru my mind today.

Talk to you later, my friends. Have a great Sunday!

 

 

 

shopping ban – items

Enough is enough.

Today I was re-potting a new plant I bought yesterday, and when I went thru my planting items I have seen how many planters (both plastic and porcelain) and plates to go underneath the pots I have had.

Way too many….

How am I going to use all of these?

I possibly will not.

Also, how many plants do I have?

50?

Sigh….Many of them succulents and in individual pots. I must be combining them together. Does that mean I need to buy new pots????

I am overwhelmed really……….

Time for a serious decluttering activity and a shopping ban list:

Shopping ban items:

  • plants
  • planters/pots/plates
  • soil/perlite

Decluttering:

will take some time, but here is the usual idea:

  • dump everything that do not work or is worn out
  • donate everything that I do not use (yes, these include the porcelain plates that I no longer use; small plastic pots that I have bought with great excitement but never used; the plates that I purchased for planters but never used; clothes that I no longer wear; any other kitchen/house item that I do not use)

Time to open space and save some money at the same time.

 

 

 

thrifting is addictive

I have decided that it was time that I take a break from the thrift stores – they are so addictive!!!! πŸ™‚

I have been to one yesterday and another two today. It is just a great feeling to be able to see all the interesting items and purchase them for affordable prices.

I have purchased from thrift stores so many things over the years, including blouses/shirts, purses, cardigans, pots/planters, porcelain plates for planters, sewing materials, small furniture, frames, decorative items, and many more. I am in love with the idea of having great items and saving money while also helping others. I also love the fact that I do not (usually) buy things that I would not love, use, or need. Yet, I figured that it became my favorite past-time activity, and since the prices are so good and items are so nice, I keep buying.

I do not want to buy anymore. I have a great wardrobe supplemented by thrift purchases. I have around 30 pots/planters already. It is like I am hoarding them now.

I have everything I need right now.

I was once proud of re-purposing and re-using items that I had. Not anymore. I now keep buying from thrift stores.

Time for a decluttering activity, donating what I have extra, and focusing on re-purposing items.

Wish me luck! πŸ™‚

 

 

 

all the good things – check

It has been a fine day, my friends. Not spectacular but just fine – I am grateful.

  • sleeping an hour longer than usual and resting with ease – check

this has been a welcome change in my early bird/short sleep habit. I woke up at around 4-5 am, but was able to go back to sleep or just lie there without feeling stress or dealing with negative thoughts. I have had some peace at last πŸ™‚

  • treating myself to some baked goods from the coffee shop – check

I usually do not do this, but today was the day that I in fact craved for some comfort food. I am glad I treated myself

  • engaging in a meeting with an important focus and doing my job – check

don’t we all love meetings where we just sit and are expected to nod heads or something? I am not interested in sitting in an environment unless I engage my head and contribute to discussions. This means sometime finding myself in trouble πŸ™‚ but this is okay. I am getting increasingly aware, thanks to this kind of meetings, that I am methodological and would like to see/know the facts before I can make a decision. This is in contrast to many people who I would label as kind of conformist as they just sat there and vote for what the majority or the leader does. Do you see why I said earlier that I sometime find myself in trouble? πŸ™‚

  • finding out that I had a supporter in that committee – check

one of my colleagues approached me after the meeting and we talked about the dynamics of the meetings, sub-groups that support each other, and how we both fit in it. It was great to have this conversation, as I found myself think more about my own behavior and realize a thing or two. I realized I did not care about the opinions of the other members who would dislike my questioning or comments. I realized also what a positive effect I have had on my colleague now that they felt supported as well. How fresh and how lovely….

  • gifting a friend of mine with some pots and other stuff – check

my friend has been very generous with me and she gifts me all the time with new plants or with food. Last week she brought me some food, which I enjoyed very much. I thought that I could get her something she was likely to need or use, and I ended up with purchasing a number of lovely pots for her a few days back. She was excited and happy to receive them and seeing this was awesome. Generous people like this person deserves every kindness

  • getting a ride from another colleague of mine – check

I was so exhausted at noon that I jumped into this opportunity – it was lovely of her to do this. Yet another generous person πŸ™‚

  • forcing myself to work at home, but finding myself quite un-enthusiastic – check

why would I be ever grateful for this kind of negative experience???

I can tell.

I noticed once again that I was the boss of myself and if I did not work I would not feel good. I consider doing grocery shopping and then ruled it out. Since I was determined to use my time well so that I can catch up with the mounting work, but also I was not really into work that requires high level of focus, I decided rather to clean and organize my home. I had not had a chance to do so last week. My friends – it felt great to be seeing my home clean, my floors, shinny, and my desk decluttered! I felt an immediate relief and a sense of peace and harmony πŸ™‚

  • completing and online learning module with ease – check

while I was not into work, I wanted to at least take care of minor things that I was supposed to do in a week or two, so that later I could have time for much important things. This module did not take much of my time, but learning the main points made me feel satisfied with myself. I used my time effectively and opened some space for later. So I am very pleased with my decision πŸ™‚

  • cooking not one but two dishes and eating them with a great appetite – check!

I have not cooked in the last 2-3 weeks. This felt very nourishing and pleasing. I am very happy with this!

  • feeling all energized and positive after these experiences today – check!

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totally random thoughts

It was another day with lots happening at work. I am not complaining. I realized that as long as I do my best, I am content with whatever is going on at work.

It was a fine day with blue sky and warm temperatures. Do you not love such Fall days? πŸ™‚ It was a blessing and I took it up in my memory to remember later and be grateful now.

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I am not eating well and this shows on the scale. I have lost a few pounds lately and I am feeling cold today. Tomorrow night I have a meeting till 9 pm, so I cannot shop, but Thursday is the day to get some warming food. Raisins would be nice too – they are sweet and have iron, I heard.

When I am cold, I often suspect being scared. I do not know where this association comes from, but that is alright. I have my blanket on and feeling warmer each minute. I also thanked the thoughts going thru my mind a few minute back (all negative or worrisome), as I came to realize that they are there for a reason. My mind works on them so that I can be prepared for the worst. This habit creates anxiety but trusting the benefits of it also makes me take feelings generated much easier. Wisdom? Distorted thinking? Maybe.

I am feeling a little above the sea in terms of the things that I feel anxiety about. As I wrote yesterday, no matter how big or small the issues, I have a tendency to look for and dwell into issues. The more issues I have the more I prioritize and then dwell on the biggest. I really would like to believe that I have a limit to anxiety and once the roof is reached, it cannot get worse than it. Only go down from there. Either I manage to do so, or I get support.

Mental health is such an important issue. I am becoming more and more aware of its importance. I have been planning to go see my counselor again sometime, but I have not complied with their advise (e.g. eating better, walking and exercising to reduce my stress levels). So I feel like if I go see them now, I will start from the beginning. What is the point of, then? I must say talking about my stress was therapeutic, as facing an issue almost always reduces its power. Perhaps just for this reason only, I must go see them. Considering that I am not sure whether I am turning things around or approaching yet another crisis, making a new appointment looks like the best idea.

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The thing about my work is that it does not leave much time for anything else. I have so many other things to do. Do I have to wait for the retirement? Will it ever be able to retire? Will I be able to do the things I would like to do now then?

Why to postpone life?

This is a powerful question.

One benefit of the stress and pressure I experience at work is that I constantly question whether this whole thing is worth it. Why do I not spend time with my family instead?

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Truth is that I cannot be sure of I whether I will be at peace and anxiety-free then. Unless I change myself and manage the anxiety easier, no matter where I am, I am probably going to feel similarly.

I am determined to turn things around.

If I cannot, then I trust that life will show me the best way forward. Maybe it will be a good thing to quit this job when it comes to it.

We shall see.

 

 

 

 

 

recent realizations

It has been going quite stressful and also kinda smooth with respect to work. It is very hard for me to decide whether this means the long sought-for change in my attitude and evaluations, or a sign of a problem coming.

I sure wish it is the first alternative.

The changes that have happened in me and my attitude when it comes to work are as follows:

  • I compare myself to others now, rather than comparing to the ideal I hold up for myself. This kind of relaxes the stress I impose on myself and increase my confidence (as I do not beat myself up for not reaching to the “ideal” I painted.

 

  • Nobody, even myself, can say that “I do not work, contribute, or produce”. I have proven myself how much I do work in the last two years and I am more than content with this. This brings confidence in my abilities and makes me feel like I am not dispensable. Rather I am a valuable part of my organization.

 

  • I am vocal about the hard-work I do and ask for appreciation or acknowledgement. This may sound like “begging for things”, but it is rather a sign of my confidence and self-esteem; I am content with my performance and I want it to be recognized.

 

  • I take things easier or make an effort to take them easy. This has happened in the last couple of days; I have so many things to figure out and urgently that I do not have the time for any of them. My usual self would go, read, and contemplate about all the details prior to making a decision or moving on, but I do not have this luxury anymore. So, the end result is instead of paralyzing my mental work, I move on with the abstract concepts and general views. Better than nothing. At least I feel better.

 

  • I take mini rests everyday, usually at night, to recuperate. I allow myself to stop thinking about the issues and rather focus on my personal interest and try to enjoy my time. Things can wait till tomorrow, when I will have a crystal clear mind.

 

  • I use my morning hours to my advantage and do the most important things. I need to take the cab to the office at 5-6am, but that is okay. It gives me time and comfort.

 

  • I remove distractions from my life so that I can focus on what is important. The house chore can wait, the emails can be responded later, and work can be delegated to others if not critical. How about that? My.. My.. what a change πŸ™‚

 

  • I keep a well organized and healthy office environment. Clean and free of clutters. And full of plants πŸ™‚ They make everything look and feel much better. I am very excited about them πŸ™‚

 

  • I keep telling myself that this is not the first time that I ended up with under stress. I have survived the past stress and I will survive this one too.

 

  • I will not accept new tasks for a while – this is a relief and makes me determined to say “no”.

 

  • The more issues I deal with, the more I learn about myself and how to best work. I truly believe that no matter how mundane a task is I would make a detailed assessment and work carefully. The more responsibility I do have, the more issues appear. Since my time and energy do not increase linearly with them, I must place them in a “relative” scale. I still care and pay attention to things, but again when I compare myself to others, I feel confidence in the work and assessments I do – if they can not fail, why should I?

 

  • I feel much better if I put the effort and do my “best”. I mostly care about silencing my own critique; as long as I am satisfied with myself, I do not care much about what others think. Lovely πŸ™‚

 

  • I just realized this morning that “good stress” makes me remember things and motivates me to address things. Thus, even though I may end up having anxious thoughts in the morning, I know they are there to remind myself to move. Good job!

 

  • I evaluate things differently now. Previously I used to define the changes in my sleep pattern (sleeping around 6 hours and then waking up quite early) as “sleep disturbance”. Yesterday I realized that the opposite was true. While my sleep pattern has changed, it was for the best; I still get sleepy at around 10 pm, have a deep sleep around 6-7 hours, and wake up early. This gives me much needed rest (deep and sound sleep) and much needed time (by going to office early). It is not disturbance, as I used to label it. It rather is a blessing πŸ™‚

 

  • I also realized that while I have a tendency to go around my comfort zone (by, for example, focusing on the tasks that I am most comfortable to address first than the more important tasks), time to time I also jump into risky projects. They are hard to develop or execute, but once they are taken care of they yield higher value. I do not do these continuously, but the last year has been like this and I keep going. Either I will fail or I will win. Only time will show.

 

It has been good to me that I found myself in such a stressed situation – things have started to clear.

I hope πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

all the good things – check

It has been a fine day, my friends πŸ™‚

  • sleeping in till past 7 am this morning – check

this gave me much needed rest and a sense of un-urgency that I was missing lately

  • deciding to work and take care of a critical work first before anything else – check

this is a nice change in my attitude. I had planned to clean the home, but I let the idea wait. I rather focused on addressing this task while I had the time and an un-distracted mind. I am glad I have decided to do so, because I was able to get a sense of the problems associated with the task and identify solutions before noon. What a blessing πŸ™‚

  • speaking with my family – check
  • baking two beautiful loafs of sourdough – check

always a pleasure πŸ™‚ It has been almost 2.5 years that I have been baking bread and not have bought even a single loaf from the stores since then. I was also able to share my starter and loafs with my neighbours and friends. I love this πŸ™‚

  • watering my plants – check
  • eating healthy with a large green/lentil salad – check
  • deciding to finish work before 4 pm and take a mini-rest this evening – check

this is again a deviation from my usual self. I would not feel good about myself unless I finish the things or work till midnight to finish things. I have been getting mini rests this past week where a mini rest would be allowing myself to get away from the stressful work or thoughts and rather dedicate my time to wind down. I think it is healthier, allowing me having a better mood and mental state. I know that my energy and time is limited. Instead of interpreting this as a stress trigger, I rather see the mini-rest as an opportunity to elevate my energy at the expense of time. The next day can evolve better and more productive this way. I hope I am not wrong πŸ™‚

  • understanding the stress and how I manage to deal it better lately – check

I came to realize that there are good stress and negative stress. Good stress is when I feel extra motivated to address work-related issues, find solutions, and work under a time-crunch. While it does not feel great at that time and I sure would love to do other things with my time (shopping is one πŸ™‚ ), it also helps me to move forward and faster. It also helps me to realize and tackle issues before they get bigger and more serious. Who wins at the end?? Me πŸ™‚

Negative stress is when I feel rush, rush, rush, and panicked. It almost always create some physiological disturbance (increased heart beat being one) and overall make me feel “stressed”. It has been going on like this for the last few years; I have had many anxiety episodes, depressive mood, and lack of self-confidence and hope. It sure is toxic. While I could easily fall into such a negative stress period nowadays, I am trying new ways to handle it better and make it a “good stress”.

One trick I found is to limit the time I focus on a problem. One of my team members have a timer that we started to use (15 min episodes) while discussing and resolving the issues related to their projects. It works! It helps me to focus and take things easy and effective. I love it πŸ™‚

  • understanding the importance of self-care, better diet, and better exercise once again – check

anything I can do to improve my well-being is good, however small they may be. Like flossing I have done or the healthy lunch I have had. I have seen my dentist and paid a visit to physiotherapy this past week, which feels like I am doing fine in taking care of my medical needs. Good job!

  • having hope and an optimistic outlook for tomorrow and the rest of the week – check

having a “to-do” list the night before helps me a lot. I am determined to use the early morning hours to address the most important things. These are the best time, free of destruction, that helps me keep moving. One caveat is that I need to pay taxi to drive me to office, as bus does not start at 5 am!! But right now, I am okay with this.

  • loving my plants and enjoying every minutes I keep seeing, caring, and thinking about them – check

plants are truly therapeutic. I have so many plants that I watch to make sure they are doing well. The succulent props and new cuttings I have acquired from someone two weeks ago are good examples. I also have plans to re-pot some of the plants so that I can save space and make use of what I have. Win-win πŸ™‚

 

 

 

all the good things – check

  • getting my thooth filling fixed – check
  • walking during the day for 20 min – check
  • deciding to work tomorrow to clear some outstanding work – check

I am not very enthusiastic about this, but then it is good for me as I am behind many things nowadays. I can always take a rest later, especially on Sunday. Looking forward to it

  • sharing some plants with my colleagues – check

this always feels good πŸ™‚ Some of my friends with whom I had shared plants expressed how positively the plants changed the feeling of their offices/home, and I believe in them. What a fantastic feeling to be able to help spread the power of plants to others. Today I was also given a couple of baby plants that I cherish πŸ™‚ This also feels great πŸ™‚

  • learning the importance of context dependency better with the help of a plate – check

a couple of weeks back I had purchased some second hand plates from thrift stores to be used to collect the water underneath the pots/planters I have. One of them, even though has this wonderful green colour, had not fit well any of my pots so I had decided to give it away. Today I tried it with the new pot I was gifted with a plant and to my cheerful surprise, it just fit so wonderfully – both in size and in colour. I almost got tearful with joy! I was about to get rid of it just because I did not have a use for it and I was feeling quite bad about purchasing/owning it πŸ™‚ It is all fixed nice and easy now πŸ™‚

  • having a strong and pain-free lower back and no physical problems at the time being – check

very grateful!

  • being gifted with some pastries by a friend this morning – check

this was a wonderful gesture on my friend’s side. They were delicious and I ate all of them in the morning. They absolutely lifted my energy levels up and made me feel good. I think this example showed me once again the importance of breakfast and the need to start having regular breakfast. It sure will help me go through the stress and heavy work much easier. I am of course highly appreciative of my friend for thinking about me and helping my body and mind nourish with her kind gesture

  • starting a new task that I have been delaying lately – check

I am behind many things, but once I start I often follow. So I was happy to start this work this evening – it is going to be finished πŸ™‚ Yay!

  • not having any shopping plans this weekend – check

I am too busy to shop… I love shopping but it is not good for my purse. Plus, I appreciate it more when I have a break from it for a while. All is good πŸ™‚

  • seeing my succulents props doing well – check

these plants are a bundle of joy πŸ™‚ seeing that they grow roots and little plants out of mere leaves is a miraculous feeling. I may have killed a couple a long the way but generally speaking my succulents are doing well πŸ™‚

  • getting good opinions on my quest to find out what is the best thing to do when you have two options both of which are the correct (or incorrect) roads to choose – check

thanking the blogger friend for her valuable comment. I sure am thinking like her and this gives me a sound base to work on.

 

 

 

 

when the two opposite roads cross

There are something in life that put you in quite conflicted position. In order to move on, one road should be chosen over the other, but what happens when both roads are true to your role? How do you choose?

For instance, leadership versus democratic decisions in cases when there are critical decisions to be made while representing others, on their behalf? Do you do what your leadership position requires and decide yourself based on the perimeters/responsibilities of your position, or do you consult and consider the wishes/opinions of the groups you are representing? Even more challenging is; in the latter case, how do you proceed when their wishes do not align with your position’s values?

Let me give an example (while not a good one…): Let’s assume you are, say, a school’s principal and you are requested by the Ministry to stop providing lunch boxes to the students in need for free and rather ask them to help with the chores around the school an hour/day to qualify for the free lunch.

You as the principal feel that the free lunch is important to provide to the students who cannot afford it; it is a matter of equity, a matter of caring for the students and their wellness regardless of their economic background, and making sure that they have access to the basic needs and means to excel at school. You think that imposing such a system will disadvantage many of the otherwise bright students and are planning to make a case to Ministry and object to the new plan.

You ask the students (and parents) and a significant portion agrees to Minister’s plan considering the financial crisis the country/school is going through. They feel that they/their kids don’t deserve to have free lunch while their peers pay for their own. And the majority of those parents whose kids pay for lunch agree to this.

Yet, another but smaller portion states that they do need the free lunch as they cannot otherwise afford lunch, and cannot possibly let their kids work an hour/day continuously while the kids also attend to their classes, do part-time jobs, or take care of family obligations. A small portion of the parents whose kids pay for their lunches also supports this.

What do you do as the principal?

Stand by your overall moral compass and make the objection to the Ministry?

or

Render a decision based on the majority group and say to Ministry that the new plan will be implemented?

Let me know what you think!

 

pretty random thoughts

Yes, thoughts can be quite pretty πŸ™‚

I have been in a high-speed work period for some time. Somethings are going better and some others are still challenging me. But in the middle of everything, I keep going.

I have an internal compass that is quiet and when I find it, no matter how challenging is the situation, I for some reason know that I will solve it. Has this ever happened to you?

It is such a strange contrast to my regular self, who gets stressed and anxious at the face of adversity.

Just yesterday I have got a rejection for a project that I worked very hard for. They want me to revise and re-submit, which I will. They caught the part that was most under-developed and want it fixed. I knew that I must have worked on it, but did not, could not. Now is a good time, it seems. I know that I can handle this for some strange reason. I am not panicked.

I may of course be wrong and still get a rejection after my revision. It will be a blow to my now-confidence, but I think we will see. But what I understand most is how I approach to problems and what creates my anxiety; my lack of trust in own ability and confidence to take care of stuff. Otherwise, I would have been anxious about not getting this project accepted or not making a good revision next time and getting rejected again.

It is quite strange.

I always knew that I am a perfectionist and I would like to do better each time. That means I curb my confidence in myself. However, if I do feel confident in my abilities (mostly a learnt response from my past similar experiences), thenΒ  approach things with less anxiety and worry.

I think that it all ends in believing in myself and this is the most important type of validation for me, not the others’ evaluations on me.

Strange. Strange. Strange.

I knew I would beat myself over things, but realizing that a) I limit myself more than others, and b) I in fact have a sound confidence in my abilities in some cases was surprising.

This is a beautiful day my friends.

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This week I have learnt some other things about my work habits.

I noticed that early morning (6-9am) when there is not many people around are my most productive times in the office. I must use these times effectively.

I still struggle with prioritizing the most important tasks and working on them first, but I will continue to work on this.

I realized also that I can rather use the evenings and nights for works that do not require much of a focus; like emails, little reading material.

I also took the yesterdayΒ  night and tonite off from work, and am enjoying calming down, with the confidence that I will take care of things tomorrow morning.Rushing constantly does not make me justice.

Listing the things to do a night before helps me use the next morning better. I feel at more control of my stress this way and satisfied knowing that I do work, not waste time trying to decide to what to do.

I am looking at a busy weekend again, but I am not worried about this – I appreciate the availability of time at my disposal. This is very good.

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I mentioned at the beginning that somethings were going well. I am working on two new ideas (both are challenging as well). High risk-high reward kind of projects.

For someone who is usually cautious at work, this kind of brave attempts come every 10 years or so πŸ™‚ It is tough times, but eventually will resolve (feeling this way again based on my past experience). There is some kind of accomplishment and adventurous sense that fills me with not only panicky feelings but also with joy, confidence, and determinism. I really love when I feel this way. Especially when I see that I have not chickened out. Voila! πŸ™‚ Hard work and stress are worth it. I am growing mentally and professionally, and I have not given up knowing that eventually I will be better in two months than today.

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I have also learnt to trust more to my team members. They make all of these possible. They work hard just like me and with me on many details and their methodological expertise is making progress in these ideas possible. I must be more appreciative of this, which I am glad that I have seen.

It is a beautiful day indeed my friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

shopping ban week

Gotta curb this spending habit I have been having lately (mostly cab and junk food expenses… yes, again… time to fix this).

What is the plan?

Well – I budget only $60 to consume till the next pay-day (12 days), including grocery and others. Should I walk in the morning and save the bus fare, this amount may as well increase a little bit. Then I can go buy some more pots from thrift store for my plants.

My choice now πŸ™‚

I have everything I need; my fridge and pantry is full of food; and I have no urgent needs (except the physiotherapy and dental fees that I expect this week).

Let’s do it!

when body is happy, mind is happy too

It has been a fine day.

I woke up thinking that if my body is happy, my mood is happy too.

I am saying this because I am actually very lazy in the mornings and while I need to use the washroom, say in the middle of the night, I keep staying in the bed, cannot easily sleep as a result because my body feels uncomfortable. Ouch..

So this morning around 5am, I did what I was supposed to do and went back to bed and had a great resting sleep.

Tell me about it πŸ™‚

I believe that my thoughts help determine my mood, but noticing that when my body feels good, my mind feels good too was a great revelation. I am almost 50 but hey wisdom waits for the right time to come I guess…

I could relate this to two other activities; walking in the morning makes me feel great the whole day and if I force myself to smile then I feel instantly good too. Go figure!

Ladies and gents; do you have such interesting body-mood connections yourself?

Tell us in the comment section so that we all can learn from each other.

Sunday morning musings

It is quite early and enjoying coffee with a nice piece of music at the background is priceless. I hope you all are having a great Sunday and my fellow Canadians, I hope you are having a great Thanksgiving weekend!

I am going for a social/dinner tonite by good friends – I cannot wait. Until then, my aim is to move the work at hand. It has been another busy time period and I am possibly looking for extension of it to the next year. I am ready, though. Even though it is stressful and i need to figure out and work out a lot of things, this is not the first time I have had such a time. I can do this!

As a matter of fact, the first thing I have done this morning was finishing some lagging work instead of trying to fall back to sleep. I feel quite content right now that one thing is crossed off my to-do-list. I plan to continue like this the whole day and bake a wonderful sourdough loaf in the afternoon.

Have a great Sunday everyone and may you always be happy, healthy, and content with yourself, your work, and your life as a whole πŸ™‚

 

little miracles found their way to me

My friends!

Among the hectic work schedule, issues, and struggles, a lot of great things have been happening. I am very grateful, excited, and appreciative of these. I want to believe that miracles can happen!

First; a collaborative project had gone very sour around 4 years ago. One of the ideas I had proposed were dismissed; the other party saying that it was what they wanted to do anyhow. Together with some insulting correspondences, I had limited my interactions with these people, always feeling sorrow over not only the project but the unfair and un-professional (insulting and belittling) behaviour I had to endure along the way. Last week I was contacted by these people asking me to lead that project! Wow!! It looks like they were not able to bring it to completion. I am cautious, knowing that the way they may approach to me can go un-professional again and I may find myself in a hard position, but I think I will say yes to this opportunity. It is a way to do the project that I wanted so much once upon a time, which may also strengthen my organizational position. Miracle #1 πŸ™‚

I have been eyeing an outdoor succulent in a yard reaching towards the road on my way to office. Every time I walk along the way, I would look at it and say “hi” to it and hope for a fallen piece that I could pick up and pot. I never found a piece of it on the road, but I kept hoping to find one. This has been going on for the last 2 – 2.5 months. Guess what? This afternoon I was walking and I saw the owner of the house/yard cutting the grass and trimming the succulents! I asked for a piece or two and he gladly allowed me to take as many cuttings as I wished! I am so thankful to that gentleman that with great interest and love gave me the cuttings. I took two pieces in my hand and kept them there till I came home, caressing with love and gratitude. This is a miracle I had asked for!Β  Miracle #2 πŸ™‚

And when I came home, I found an email in my inbox, from a publisher that I do volunteer work as part of my position in my organization. They are asking for an interview to showcase in their website! It is a work that I would like to try one day professionally, and knowing that they are already recognizing the importance of my contributions and would like to tell more about me on their website are just fantastic! I am filled with motivation and confidence. Also excitement!Β  Can it get any better than this? Miracle #3 πŸ™‚

Life, my friends, corrects itself. When the right time comes, things that I worked so hard for and that passed through my heart with desire and interest are revealed to me.

That I would call miraculous! πŸ™‚

 

 

Yes to life: my life – the life as I interpret it

It had never really occurred to me why I have chosen such a name for my blog. I could use my name, something that was important or fun for me, or something related to then-focus of my writing, which was poetry.

Just yesterday night it came to me that the life I define as “my life” was a part of life, and more importantly, it was a part of life I keep define based on my “interpretations of what was going on in it”.

This was quite strange, because it told me pretty much what every wise person/book was saying – I make what my life is and I am responsible for it. It also said that I was in control of it, I could change and make it better with an intention and a switch in my perspective.

How does this sound?

………………………………..

Having control over my life is very liberating and empowering. It means I am not the victim, but rather the boss and mastermind of my life. I may not change what I do not like, but I sure can change how I interpret or care for them.

Having control also means that I may have so far limited my opportunities unknowingly because I draw the line for what I accept in my life, what I care for, and what I do not have.

What if I choose to have more positive light in my life?

What if I want to take steps to get out of my comfort zone and move up and farther?

What if I want to take more risks and dramatically change things like the work I have, the city I live in, or the way I spend my days?

What if I explore and find out what is more important to me – my current life and the current/future financial stability or moving back to where my family and spending time with them?

What if I leave my fears out of the door and open space for more love, hope, opportunity, and joy?

What is I accept the miracles, self-love, kindness, and being in the moment?

………..

Earth would not shatter, but my life could certainly expand.

I could both change the way I interpret things already in my life and reach out to opportunities, miracles, money, success, recognition, wellness, and happiness available out there further away from the circle I have drawn for my life.

I can be courageous enough to re-evaluate my perspective and expand the circle of life around me with a clear intention, a child’s amusing and hopeful attitude, and a little bit effort.

I do not know what these mean for me or whether or when I would start taking the steps. But I am glad that at this middle age of my life, I finally understand myself, my life, and life as a whole better.

It is mine and I draw the lines. I can change these starting now.

Happy Cardcaptor Sakura GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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gif by:https://giphy.com/gifs/kawaii-flowers-INlJUYclnafdu

 

 

 

totally random thoughts

I do not even know what I am going to write, but, hey – I have a need to write πŸ™‚

It has been a day full of ups and kind of downs at work, but we pulled it out. The end result is okay and another work-related crisis is over. We all grew out of this experience and next time we can do better. No hurt feelings and we will continue stronger than before. This story has ended well and I am pleased with this.

I used to be a perfectionist, and I still am time to time, but nowadays I realize that I am taking it just a little bit easier. Doing the best that can be done under the circumstances is what I focus on, rather than feeling the fear or anxiety of the consequences or the self-blame ignited by the thoughts of why I failed to prevent the issues at the first place. I am just a human and as long as no harm is done, I choose to feel calm. I wish to continue to have this positive attitude in my future. All the time.

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I rather have had a short walk in the nearby hiking area this morning, but it was more than what I needed at that time. Seeing the nature around me makes me feel calmer. I have a tendency to particularly admire trees. They never fail me and always give me a sense of peace and deep, nourishing love that is oddly joyful. I have touched to the barks of a couple of young trees and I could almost sense their magnificent being. I really believe touching them is felt by them. Do they ever get bored of humans like me? πŸ™‚ I wonder now.

Peace Love GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Since trees are immobilized and live so long, I am curious how they spend their days. They must be feeling the soil through their roots. There may be bugs and microorganisms that munch on their roots. Maybe they form symbiotic lives together πŸ™‚ How do a tree next to another one behave? Do they cross their paths ever? The wind, rain, and snow should all be constant in their lives. The frequent change in these could be keeping the trees engaged and entertained. Sun possibly has a huge role in their lives, warming them. Birds would be resting on their branches and eating their fruits. Do they talk to each other? How does the song of a bird and noise of a critter, bee, mosquito, or a nearby animal make the trees feel, I wonder. Were the trees that I touched today and in the past ever wondered why I was fascinated by them so much and was drawn to them?

I may be silly in thinking and blogging these, but this writing experience tells me that there are limitless number of new experiences I may have in this life.

This is incredibly exciting!

Go claim yours now πŸ™‚

Forest GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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gifs by:https://giphy.com/gifs/forest-water-Qgfz2N36MgUBG;https://giphy.com/gifs/love-lovely-wzCzwBB2C8poI

 

very random thoughts

It has been a day alright; I have done work, managed to walk for half an hour during the lunch time, managed an aggravating situation better than how I would normally do, did not eat well, took a painkiller for my lower back, and am ready to go to bed for a healing and resting sleep.

I keep thinking that whatever is happening in my life is happening for the best. I know that my life is unfolding around me and I can watch, reflect, and adapt. I know that I am getting more interested in keeping my wellness and my family a priority. Work and the issues related to it has much less, but still huge, effects on me. I will take it one thing at a time. Maybe I will learn not to care about it that much eventually. I believe I will be better and my life will be better. With or without this job.

Sigh… The job. The best job in the world, but so much struggle to do things right and on time, with enormous effort on my side..

One thing I am noticing more chronically is that people around me think that I know everything and I do everything effortlessly. So whatever they may need, or cannot do and need a help with, it seems they are sure that I will fix it. Has this ever happened to you? How did you manage these situations and start protecting your time and well-being?

……………………………..

At least, thinking and seeing my plants make me very happy πŸ™‚ I have always had plants at home in the last 10 years or so, but I had not paid that much attention to them until the last one year. I owe it to succulents, and one haworthia one of my friends have gifted me with. It grew fast and made me joyful. I was then hooked to succulents and cacti. According to my estimates, I have around 40 different species of plants between my office and home. Seeing all the colours, vitality, and energy steaming from them is priceless. Loving them fills me with love, happiness, and excitement.

The best of therapy, my friends πŸ™‚

have not written for a while….

I have not written much lately – what have been going on in my life?

Well. It was mostly quite positive experiences πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Affirmations and mental health/outlook: I have had quite reduced stress levels since I came back from home-visit. I was into affirmations, which miraculously made my mental state and thoughts positive, and me happier and healthier. They do work, my friends πŸ™‚ I think we all need to “hear from ourselves” that things are exactly as they are supposed to be, there are many beautiful things and people happening in life, there are many opportunities out there (most may be shaded by the daily clutter, but if we stop and think about them, they do appear), and love, peace, health, success, recognition, and money all comes if we think like this. Happiness is a possibility and is available. We just need to open up to it. And maybe spend some time everyday reflecting on them πŸ™‚

Succulents and new friendships: I have come across another plant enthusiast and we hit it off right away. We have similar interests and are at similar stages of life. Exchanging succulent cuttings was a blessing that I cannot cherish enough. Certainly a great experience, not only for getting new succulents, but also getting to know a person like myself in many ways and developing a kind of friendship at the same time.

Budget and frugality: My budget has been going well, with a frugal life style re-implemented. I spend more than I project, but I continue to save every week consistently. I found that health related expenses (vision care, medications, physiotherapy etc.) take up a good chunk time to time, but other times it is fine. I find ways to save, however small they may be. Of course the exceptions would be new succulents acquired every once a while, pots and soils purchased for these beauties, and occasional social activities. I made it regular to go to thrift stores for pots and I also purchased a number of nice blouses at such reasonable prices that make my life abundant and easy. I am grateful.

Changing how I work: In terms of work, I continue to change how I approach it and how I let it to shape my personal life, mental health, and life priorities. I have got new responsibilities, an additional role that I was interested in and for which I am really excited about, and am dropping yet another role that does not serve me anymore (and was getting on my nerves. They may want me back, and in such a case, I may re-consider it, but until then). And, I realize once more that a lot of people that work with me get dependent on me to conduct, move and complete the work, which is so much more load for me than I should shoulder. I distanced myself from a couple of colleagues that saved me some time. But I must also do this with my trainees, which is a challenge. I will continue to work on finding a solution to this.

Changing myself: And just this weekend, I realized that my next personal challenge will be to “express things positively” rather than negatively. This weekend I met with a friend of mine and I at one point was hard on myself and was criticizing myself (I was criticizing myself for not rescuing more plants from a certain death; they were being discarded and I took 4-5 of them to care for and the rest I did not pay attention because I already had these types of plants). She said “I cannot believe you have turned such a positive experience to such a negative one“. She was right.

I decide right now not to use “I should” “no/not” as much as I normally do.

We will see how this goes πŸ™‚

Have a wonderful night everyone!

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.

Sunny Day Sunshine GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

 

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”.

Coffee GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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

Peace Sign GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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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™‚

Alice In Wonderland Flowers GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

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gif by:https://giphy.com/gifs/flowers-alice-in-wonderland-movie-ITWHqTA2TtOqA

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™‚

Good Morning Love GIF by Feliks Tomasz Konczakowski - Find & Share on GIPHY

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gif by:https://giphy.com/gifs/love-endless-beauty-l4pSW4HgH9Ug9kIk8

 

 

 

 

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™‚

IMG_4123
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!

IMG_4026
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™‚

IMG_4121

 

 

 

 

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?

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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.

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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™‚

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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™‚