Saturday morning musings

Folks,

it is a beautiful morning. Coffee is great and the background music is relaxing and joyful. There is no rush to attend a meeting or do work that has a tight time-line. Things are well on this side at the time being.

Today is a chance to start anew – whether it is our plans, daily life, goals, or experiences.

I welcome the day and the opportunities it will bring to me with warm arms.

Sending positive thoughts to all around the globe. Stay strong and hopeful, and know that collectively we will go through this pandemic and anything else that affects our well-being and existence.

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random thoughts

My relationship with food changes time to time. Sometimes I love eating food, sometimes I just go by it. Neither of these explain the extra weight, but it is okay πŸ™‚

Life is alright, folks. I had to take the cab for the first time in 6 months for an appointment. The ridiculous thing is that they let you in only at your appointment time, so I spend 30 min outside with wind sweeping my hair and cleansing my body and soul. I kind of understand why they keep you out till appointment, but then I do not. Call me spoiled.

I have not worked today. There is nothing I can do about this. I think I just need the break. Tomorrow is the shopping day – I am excited about it. I want to buy all the great food and feel grateful. In the last few months I have been eating junk food again, and as a result, I have been spending more money that I normally do. Such times make me forget being grateful for everything I have and all the food I get. So, I am trying once again starting today to cut out the junk food and rather use these funds to purchase awesome food and maybe make some pre-payments.

I have been good saving money until the junk food hysteria started, and in contrast to previous years, I decided to keep the cash in my chequing account. I suspect that the cash will be more important than the investments in near future. So I have not been making mortgage pre-payments, either.

Now, I regret this – pre-payments motivate me to save more. They excite me. Sadly, junk food got the most out of it. Perhaps time that I start making pre-payments and see how it goes.

one of these hollow days

It is one of those hollow days where no activity is stimulating or satisfying, and there is nothing much to be done. So boredom sinks. I know that this is a transition period, and I will pick up in a few days, if not the next moment.

I went to my office today for a few hours and it was good to be there. The empty halls, offices, and common areas are sad to see, but knowing that these measures keep us safe is wonderful. We are lucky in the sense that we can work mostly from home. It is somehow inefficient but we manage, and things move on at work, albeit at a slower pace.

While I was there, I had to attend a remote meeting online. It is a new group we are joining to. Observing how different certain things are has been interesting, but I was expecting this. The group dynamic is always something that interests me – there are many people who are quiet, some people who are pissed, and some others not knowing what to do when things heat up. It is strange that despite all the civilization our humanity has gone through, sometimes we all find ourselves subject to uncivilized attitudes or personal attacks (whether or not the attack should be taken personal does not matter – an attack is an attack). In those cases, I always miss a unifying voice that calls for unity, civility, and respect. There is not many people like this I guess, but all committees need one. A calmer. A negotiator. A leader.

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These are the times I also find myself needing to remind myself – be tactical. Smile. Think something else. What a waste of human potential and emotions. Do you also feel the need to change and fit in at your work? Sometimes being authentic does not work out well, even though it is the best and the right thing to do. The way our work environments shape our behavior and impose stress on our well being is very strange…..

These are the moments that my intention to resign intensifies. What is important? A livelihood and otherwise highly satisfactory career, or my well being? It is a silly idea to just stop and lose income, but I can always look for jobs as they appear in my life. I think this idea at least frees me and gives me a sort of peace.

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Nevertheless, it is beautiful outside. We have a bright sunny sky with cool temperatures. I enjoy such weather very much. I cut the grass in the yard and I saw birds and insects feasting on the cut grass. There is something great about the nature that we are missing. I was reading a blog the other day by someone who just retired and was making connections with nature again. I felt impressed by and happy for this person.

Freedom and wisdom, at last.

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Very random thoughts

Let’s rant first:

First thing first, I miss the previous editing system (classic, was it?) and dislike the new one. If I cannot get over this feeling, I can carry my blog to somewhere else. This was for you WordPress. Do a good job, not shitty.

Ooo. But, what is it with this potty mouth?

Shit happens all the time.

A few weeks back, someone in my neighbourhood committed suicide. I do not know him, but I had seen the ambulance in front of the house. It was remarkably quite and I did not even think that such a drastic thing could have happened. My heart goes to family who found him. May he rest in peace. It must be so hard to live that you have decided to take your life in your home, with your family around. What an unbearable pain you must have had. I am glad that I have not contributed to your pain but I am also sorry that I have not done anything to lessen it. I am sure you are at rest right now. I wish that I can help the family. Maybe I will knock their door tomorrow.

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Great things also happen all the time.

For example, yours truly is so fed up with mistreatment that she started to say “no” very easily. And It feels good and right. To be able to do that spontaneously and without getting emotional (aka, pissed off) is a blessing and a huge progress on my side. I thank myself for doing this πŸ™‚ I also started to not take shit from friends or colleagues. Very proud.

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6 months of lock-down, and we seem to be doing okay. I continue to like working mostly from home, with occasional visit to my office. Sometimes we see our colleagues, sometimes not. And that is okay. There is some sort of understanding that we will likely go on like this for another year. I am okay with this. As a matter of fact, even after lock down is over, I will make sure to work at least 2 days from home – I think this is a great plan.

Other than this, all is the same. I work all the time, sometimes I get exhausted and keep telling myself that once this or that task is over, I will take time off. Maybe I will.

I have reached a milestone age lately and I feel great about it πŸ™‚ there is something about getting old. I started to trust more on my own wisdom and less on my conscious mind. So far, it has been fantastic. I have read somewhere that our subconscious mind knows and remembers everything we heard, read, or listened. With this age, I feel like yes, this is so true. This is very empowering πŸ™‚ I find that I handle my anxiety better as well. Less suffering, more quality of life = new age motto πŸ™‚

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Random thoughts

It has been weeks that I have not blogged. No idea how that happened!

Must be the extra busyness due to lock-down and remote working? Or, plain exhaustion. Maybe a little bit of both.

Summer has been gorgeous, but between the limitless work obligations and lack of vacation time, I find myself tired. Some days are better, some others stressful. There was a few hours in late May that I had felt pure happiness. It was beautiful.

Rush, rush, rush. This is all we have been doing at work. I hear some people saying we are not doing anything and working from home is a myth. Some people even went far saying salaries should be cut. I will gladly kick a trash can in lieu of these opinions – how dare they?

Many positive things happened as well, I am getting better at saying no, even to my family. I still feel pressurized by this, but one day at a time. It is gonna be okay.

I am healthy and there is only a handful COVID-19 cases in my city. While like many people I am concerned about schools opening and cases likely increasing, till then I am committed to enjoy my days.

Summer fruits were awesome to eat and getting a tan was unexpected.

Netflix continues to be a daily interest, the Lucifer series particularly.

Stay safe friends and enjoy every minute of this peaceful Saturday night.

Saturday morning musings

Happy to type this post this morning; it has been a while that I put my heart, mind, and words here.

The great news is that it is a beautiful morning where I feel no rush to sip my coffee or start doing home chores. I am not in rush… What a powerful, positive, and attractive feeling.

There is this bird that I woke up to each morning. She sings like nothing I have heard. Incredible melodies, maybe 2-3 different tones. Remembering it even puts tears of joys in my eyes. My daily walks around my neighborhood continues to delight me – there are so many new trees, yards, and plants that I got to notice, admire, and love. It is these moments spent in nature that I realize the one organism messes up with much is sadlyΒ  human.

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What is going on in some countries with COVID-19, all the suffering and deaths, failure to control the pandemic and support people, and resistance to use even the simplest public health measures makes me angry, disappointed and disgusted. This is human life we are talking about – can you not implement policies that others are already successfully doing? Can you not put on a mask, or practice physical distancing of 2 meters? Can you not realize this is not FLU.

Rant over. But I needed to do this for the memory of all those who lost their lives needlessly to COVID-19.

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The effects of this pandemic is continuous, of course. I continue to feel depressed, but not sure whether this is due to pandemic and the changes it implemented in my life, or other things going on in my life, especially related to work.

It has been a mixed feeling at the beginning. I had enjoyed having a break from office and working fully from home. It was doable and I was feeling advantageous because working from home is not something new to me. BUT over time people I worked with could not keep up. We started to fall back and my productivity decreased considerably. This sucked. Only lately I feel like I am finally completing the lagging tasks and I can look forward to new, fresh ideas and projects. This is at least a great development lately.

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I also feel like I must take a break and I am starting with a few days the week ahead. I plan to do what I want to do most – contemplate about what is important and what is not. In life and at work.

Remarkably, it has also been a time of change for me. I try to remove my perfectionist attitude and relax the measures a little bit, which makes an awesome difference in the work load I shoulder and give others more responsibility for their action or inaction. There are other changes. I think I will write about these changes and the positive effect they have on me later. Change is an opportunity and gives me hope, makes me excited, and absolutely less depressed.

I think I am feeling depressive because there are things that are not working for me anymore. That is why change is powerful, needed, and feels hopeful.

I also feel very strongly about the fact that I have been feeling like shit for a very long time and it was time that I choose to feel better.

It is gonna be alright.

This too shall pass.

When it does, it will be much better.

I believe in it.

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Feeling down, but looking up!

I am feeling down today, a little bit more than usual, but I keep my chin up and look up as well.

I think I am just tired and vulnerable to feel nervous, shaky, and to have low self-esteem, or my nerves are fried to a point that I cannot even see what the reality in the issues I deal with is.

The first one can be remedied by a break, self-pampering, and so on,

The second one can be fixed by therapy.

Or, by quitting all the struggles, all the issues, and this effing job environment.

I admire those who quit everything and followed their dreams by making drastic changes.

I did follow my dreams but ended up with this job. It was the dream job once, but not anymore.

It is time to find another dream.

I actually have it – retirement. Early retirement that I am eligible to take with a little bit of pension is 5 years away.

I cannot survive comfortably with early retirement, but I can stop at least for sometime without thinking income. I can move to a cheaper country as well. I can. I can get out of this environment.

5 years is a long time.

This is not the first time that I thought about resigning my job. I think it was always there, the most serious ones being in the last 3 years.

3 years passed since then – can 5 more years pass?

It sure can, especially if I can survive this time. Pandemic – duh…

But imagine staying in this toxic unhappy environment and missing life somewhere else?

Take a leap of faith, be brave, and conquer the dreams and life?

or,

Take a huge risk, create and go through more anxiety & hurt, and be even fail ?

The problem is we do not know which one is actually better – here or the future place – what if it is bad as well?

What is it that I must choose?

…………………………

I know that eventually this too will pass.

I know that the real issue is why do I care so much about the toxic work environment and relations?

As soon as I think I let go and uncare things & people, I can have less emotions nagging me and I can be happy where I am and in my life.

Why can I not do this?????

random thoughts

How you all been doing?

I feel like this pandemic has got on my nerves quite a bit. Self-isolation, working from home, limited social life, limited store visits, and limited fresh food all suck.

There.

I said it.

It sucks!!!!

Today I went to a store just to pick a box of pastry. I felt victorious and free. I decided to do my grocery shopping every week to buy different food each time. I decided to eat better and a variety of food. I decided it was not yet a disaster situation. It was still safe where I was. And, it was okay that I get some sort of normalcy and provide my body and mind some sort of a relief.

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Summer is here and I love it. My yard is good – I cut the grass almost every day to control it. My trees are blooming and I just love nature and what it can do. It is the best time of the year.

I have saluted each tree, each plant in my neighbour during my daily walks. They are pretty – how come I have not noticed them earlier? This pandemic is allowing us to approach life a little bit different. Not necessarily a bad thing, as this new ability to pay more attention to our surrounding shows. Some says the current social activism around #BlackLivesMatter movement and the protests were able to involve more people because many of us are away from the workplace. I think there is a truth in this.

What is happening regarding the #BlackLivesMatter movement is certainly an interest to me. I hope that the words will be followed by actions by allies, public members, governments, and organizations, and things will permanently change and equity will be everywhere and racism, discrimination, oppression and increased violence and poverty and so on will cease to exist. I know it is not going to be easy or in a short time, but we can strive for these objectives. It has been a long time that these hurt and harmed. It is up to us to end and turn things around.

Let’s do it.

Let’s act.

Genuinely.

Persistently.

Happily.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

anger

Today I am angry.

It is as if there is a huge rock on my chest that makes it difficult. Like I am carrying a lot of weight around. What is going on?

I am angry with all the people who conveniently leave their work on me and pretend like themselves are great and successful.

I swear to something – if they ever come close to me again!!!

I want to resign again, but should not. First of all, what am I gonna do without a job during a global pandemic? Second of all, why do I leave my post but not those assholes?

I have had it enough.

They make me sick.

Sick!!!

Assholes.

All bunch of them.

Get the fuck out of my life and work.

 

random thoughts

I have been having interesting days. Overall, things are going well, with me head-butting an issue that creates an anxiety. yesterday and today – it has been solved. I am really happy with this. I am not afraid of it anymore, as I figured that the issue does not even exist… Sigh…

This is what anxiety does to you. It is debilitating and limiting. I cannot conquer it, but sometimes I can attack it. I mostly attack when I must. Otherwise, I just wait and continue my mental torture. What a ridiculous situation…. Fear of fear is the most paralyzing of all.

Also, yesterday I learnt about Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) from a blog, and it all made sense to me. Like a miracle. I also learnt that I was not the only person who cannot meditate and silence my mind, and maybe it was because it was the wrong thing for me to practice.

IΒ  believe I get anxiety because I do not listen to my inner voice. Since I do not listen to, I miss what it is trying to say, until the situation or possible future event becomes probable. No wonder why when I hear it, my inner voice is almost always alarming and panicking. How else would it get my attention??

I work all the time. I keep my mind busy all the time. What do I expect? I must take regular breaks and let my mind speak to me. Safely. I need inner connection. I do.

Yesterday I also have had fun with meeting my IFS components; the exiles, firefighter, and manager. I can easily see each one of this, as well as my Self, in my mind as of yesterday. They are all lovable. To be able to do this exercise was amazing. I am grateful.

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I cannot count anymore – has it been 2.5 or 3.5 months that we have been self-isolating? I find my work getting less and less efficient. I want to do more, but I do not know how else to kick my arse really. When will we be back to normal, if we will?

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The weather is awesome, and walking is a delight. The nature is awakening, and greeting each tree and flower on my neighborhood has been a cherished activity. Each one of them are beautiful – how do we still deserve and compare to animals and plants? When has human become the most destructive of all?

I continue to limit my meat sources to fish, and occasional chicken hotdogs. I have some minced beef and chicken in my freezer. When they are consumed, I wish to eat any meat other than seafood only when I truly crave or get sick (chicken soup). I may not be a strict pescatarian, but I sure am trying and keeping it the majority of the time πŸ™‚

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I am watching the news on #BlackLivesMatter in horror. I stand in solidarity with the oppressed, discriminated, and hurt. I stand together with the Black community and friends and colleagues. I stand together with all who experienced such nonsense in their lives. We must change how we approach one other. The worst is racism and other discriminating/stereotyping behavior to be institutionalized and politicized. You know that it is not one group or other, but many groups of human beings are treated unjustly. I stand with all of them.

Kindness.

Compassion.

Fairness.

Justice.

Love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gratitude for ever

I started writing gratitude journals years back to help remind myself all the great things that was happening in my life. Writing these almost always makes me feel good. That is for sure. It is therefore one of the ways that I help reduce the emotional distress coming out of anxiety or depression. For example, just to be able to remember that I walked in a warm and quiet day with blue sky (and, hence, not only enjoyed my moment but also did something good for my health) sounds great, is it not? It is. Obviously, it also says that I made a good choice that day. Extra gratitude!

But, this kind of approach is fragmented – I start everyday again and again, as if it has no link to previous days or the future.

A couple of days ago I realized that there may be additional things to consider while practicing gratitude journaling.

If I restrict things to write about to experiences, choices, and activities of the day, I almost always lose the continuity and being grateful for things that are continuous. For example, having the freedom to pursue my dreams. Having the ability to change things. Having the ability to feel happy.Β  Reminding myself that even the worst thing shall pass one day.Β  Good memories. Good friends. Good experiences.

There are things better and bigger than what is happening a day in one’s life.

Let’s focus on this greatness. Boundless opportunities. Bigger picture. The full life. The whole experience.

 

 

Happiness IS possible

I was happy for the entire morning yesterday. Really happy.

I was excited about the day. The great weather. The ability to walk, The ability to work. The ability to survive and do all bunch of other things. I had a life and it was going well.

Since it does not happen all the time, it was precious! It was beautiful! It was energizing!

πŸ™‚

………………………………..

Then, what happened?

Well, work related shit happened and I had to find a solution to a confusing situation that directly relates to me. It is important that I find the best solution so that I can feel that my interests are protected to best.

………………………………..

I increasingly realize that finding solutions to complex situations is one thing that drains me and stresses me…… Since it is an intense mental process, and I cannot help but have that urge to find the solutions right away, it means that my work and life are interrupted and I feel heavily overwhelmed until that solution miraculously shows up in my mind.

If only I could develop some sort of confidence that I am capable of finding solutions without getting into an intense thought process.

Another thing is when I need to write an email. Sometimes I find myself revising it so many different times until I find it making the point clearly and without giving away more than what it is intended to. With work-related emails, there is always a chance of being mis-understood or having negative consequences if the email does not sound right. So I draft and sometimes revise them multiple times, which is another annoyance for me. BUT today I realized that I revise them to make these emails better, which is better for me – so I should actually trust my instinct, keep revise until I am satisfied, and be happy to revise at the same time.

It appears that a change in the perspective is something I can benefit from.

And, the more I analyze, the better I can see why I experience certain annoyances…. This reminds me my worry journal that has been therapeutic. Time to get the dust off it.

………………………………..

Regardless of what, though, it has been great to remind myself yesterday that happiness was possible.

πŸ™‚

the benefits of the COVID-19 pandemic

It sounds odd, but there are benefits to this fatal pandemic.

Our lives have been interrupted and changed. We do not know what the future will bring, and whether we and everyone else we care about will survive this virus.

We do not know whether we can keep our jobs and mortgages, and put food on the table, and if so, for how long.

We do not know.

Every morning I get up with one thought on my mind – that we are in fact going through a disaster. Some of us, like me, are experiencing it mild, some others are experiencing with daily death and suffering around them.

It is a very depressing and anxiety-creating situation. But, I think I am also good at keeping myself busy and pretending that nothing is happening. This must have kept me sane so far.

I feel horrible writing these words, but this pandemic has been good to me. I realized that I have a high quality of life in my personal life, but low quality of work life.

While I knew that I had a stressful job, I did not know that my life outside of it was a blessing!!!

There are things at work that I fully dread and would love to get rid of, like some roles that drain me but bring me little or no recognition or benefit in return. There are some colleagues who are the worst and I would not like to see or interact with them anymore. This is in fact a great time for me to shake shit out of my shoulder.

It is also strange to be happy that I am not going home this year (my flight has been canceled). I am not feeling bad about this. I will enjoy staying here and experiencing summer. The good weather. The peaceful working from home order. I will. I want to.

All the good things – check

It has been sometime that I posted in this topic πŸ™‚ Lots to be grateful for!

  • sleeping well and getting up early – check

as I had expressed a few times before, the self-isolation and working from home have been good for my work-related stress and insomnia. I am very grateful for the restful sleep I get almost every night and the optimistic mornings πŸ™‚

  • enjoying my morning coffee and afternoon tea – check

coffee may be the most exciting treat I can ever give myself. Every single morning I find it loved, enjoyed, and wanted. Isn’t this real love?

And tea with lemon, honey, and ginger. It can be the second best treat I can give myself, almost every day now during the pandemic. I kind of feel that it is therapeutic and I am so eager to have it. A very soft, enjoyable drink. We are lucky indeed to have coffee and tea in our lives.

  • walking an hour while also enjoying the soft, bright, and cool air around me – check

it was delicious. The walk. The softness of the air around me. The feeling of being surrounded by a healing air….Delicious.

  • working from home and making things happen – check

it was yet another day where I was able to handle a number of things nice and easy, and bring solutions to them. I was not stressed at all, and things went well.

  • being anxiety free so far today – check

I have not had fear or anxiety-creating thoughts today – how wonderful is this? πŸ™‚

  • for completing mulching my yard – check

yes, I have completed the mulching saga! I think it is good, but I will have to see how the mulch stays and behaves over time. I have additional bags of mulch in case I will need them – this makes me feel good. I want to buy some bushes and plant flowers in pots and place them around the yard. I hope I can do this this year. Looks like we will have a warm summer and I would love to spend some time in my yard. It is going to be so good πŸ™‚

  • speaking with my family and having laughs – check

I spoke with mom, sis, and bro – the complete family πŸ™‚ we had great laughs. They feel the stress of the pandemic as well, but are trying to keep things and minds in place. It was lovely to be with them, even through internet. It is funny how now online meetings are becoming a norm…...

  • eating healthy and tasty food – check

I ate a broccoli salad

(steam it; add garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, sesame seeds, and vinegar together and whisk into a sauce, and Voila! – you have a beautiful, healthy salad)

and my specialty soup

(add 1 cup of red lentil, 1/3 cup of wild rice, 1 potato (diced), 1-2 tbs of butter and 2 cups of water, and cook till the wild rice is soft – and Voila! you have a hearty and healthy soup that will fill your stomach and make your body happy!)

It was awesome to have these two together – give it a try πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

cabin fever is real

I have had it enough.

The revolution started this week (e.g. making the decision to do the grocery shopping every two weeks, rather than every three weeks so that I can eat and enjoy fresh produce) is continuing.

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Today I made the decision to go to store AGAIN and get some more fruits.

And what did I see?

Mulch being 50% off.

Whaaaat? Forget the fruit.

I have been meaning to get mulch for years so that I can make my yard look a little bit better. Friends, since I do not have a car, I needed to make multiple visits to the store and get around 12 bags of mulch. Luckily I have had a shopping cart that can handle 2-3 bags at a time. It was tiring, but I made it πŸ™‚ Tomorrow, I will start cleaning the areas in the yard where I want to place the mulch on. Hopefully what I have will be enough – if not I will make other visits to the store. It is going to be awesome. I am excited πŸ™‚

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But before I forget, I must say the most revolutionary step I have taken. All multiple visits to the store today were made without a mask on. That is right. I made the decision to not put on the mask. Maybe a stupid idea, but I wanted some sort of normalcy in my life.

Protecting yourself every minute sometimes creates its own stress. I wanted freedom.Β  Luckily, nobody sneezed on me or talked to me.

I am still scared of this virus – do not get me wrong. I am not trying to be reckless and increase my risk of contracting this virus. Please don’t take my lead and forgo putting on your mask. Do what you need to do to protect yourself.

I was just scared of that feeling of having a limited life, being limited/isolated, and eating limited food. It has been 2 months.

This thing called COVID-19 affects us in more ways than I initially imagined.

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COVID-19 (May 13, 2020)

I am sick of eating canned and frozen food.

I want fresh produce and I am going to shop this Friday. While I am very much scared of catching this virus, I am also scared of the quality and nutrition value of the food I am getting. So, instead of every 3 weeks, my decision today is to do the grocery shopping every two weeks.

It has been only 2 months and I feel like it has started to get on my nerves.

Netflix diary – May 11

I have watched two series on Netflix lately.

The first one is Lucifer. I loved it generally speaking, the Lucifer character is interesting. I do not think the actor who plays Lucifer, Tom Ellis, is particularly handsome, BUT he and the character, is indeed incredibly charming……. Very interesting.

I was not very enthusiastic about the relationship between Lucifer and his love interest – Detective Decker, as it did not give much of an excitement to the story.Β  Not so much and until now, at least. The crimes that they solved together were not hugely challenging, either.

I loved the therapist character, Dr. Linda Martin; she ended up being a psychotherapist for most of the main characters in the show. It is delightful to watch these scenes.. I kind of learnt a few things out of her talks with her patients. I also loved the interest of Lucifer changing and longing for acceptance – whether he was able to have these is a matter of question. In terms of character development or so, Lucifer would be the only one that I would be interested in following.

The other character I loved was the tough girl-demon Mazikeen. Despite all the toughness and being familiar with the evil acts and torturing/paining, both Lucifer and Mazikeen bring in human qualities of caring, insecurity, love, failure, and courage to this show.

The second one is Marianne. This is a French horror series. I find it really horrifying. which tells me that it serves its purpose well. The acting is amazing, so is the certain parts of the story-line (e.g. Marianne not being able to tell a lie about its name). The book pages turning every once a while as a transition point is very refreshing and creative. I love French art – there is something very strong and cinematic about it. The acting of the lead, Victoire Du Bois, is amazing and worth every single moment watching this series. I hope we will see her in many other great pieces in future.

There! I did my first reviews πŸ™‚

 

Sunday morning musings

I came to realize that;

  1. I am tired and need a break
  2. I have filled my plate with more things than I can handle – again
  3. I secretly wish that this pandemic and social isolation continue like this for at least a year so that I can take my break, make my mind, and finally start doing things differently

 

I have been longing for changes or so long – this pandemic may be my opportunity to do so.Β  This being said, I have been on this quest for so long and it is strange that I have not moved up a bit (okay, maybe a little bit). Why all this waiting?

Sometimes a drastic step taken in a new direction without much thinking and saying good bye to status quo is the way to go. I want that. I just do not know how to do it…….

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With my summer vacation went out of the window, now is the time to plan a home-vacation……… The predicament is that – what different things can I do to make it a vacation? Challenge?

Oh, on a second thought, I like it πŸ™‚

Just like the song below – isn’t it wonderful everyone?

There are things that energize me. Like Freedom. Freedom to sleep, freedom to watch Netflix, freedom to speak, freedom to get up late, freedom to walk, freedom to not do what I do not really want to. Like walking – honestly it is one the best things that I can do to my body and mind. Like eating healthy food and keeping a healthy body. I am good at cooking and eating generally speaking healthy food, but not necessarily keeping my body fat down. Like journalling and blogging that help me vent out, realize, and reflect. Like doing exciting work and completing important tasks.

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At work, I am completing some things, some others are still hanging out, and new tasks keep appearing (mostly generated by myself). I have been kind of slow in the last two weeks. It felt needed and okay, but I think it is time that I speed up now. I know that every once a while I slow down, and when I come back, things go very efficiently. So, I take this as one of such mini breaks. Tomorrow, I can start again and move fast and high. This feels great, my friends.

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Do you think we can continue with this altered life style for another year or so, until we have a vaccine that works? Assuming that we will survive this time period, of course (I really hope so!). Or, do you think the negative effects will accumulate and come to a point that it will become quite a strain on systems, governments, and businesses that we will see an incredibly drastic changes and hardship?

This last hypothesis is kind of cruel, and also not so much realistic – I would say. The world has seen worse things, like the 1918 flu, conflicts, two world wars and countless of other wars, famine, lack of services, diseases, injustice, shit and bit – we always found a way to come back and stand up.

Have we not?

Viens, viens… Come, come………

random (morning) thoughts on anxiety

Good morning World – I hope all are doing well in this beautiful Saturday morning.

The Spring has been showing its face in the last while. We have shinier days. Being outside is fun and comfy.

I have been feeling kind of anxious lately. It is one of these episodes that I easily get irritated and scared. They say growing is always painful, but pain is an indicator that something has been tried/done and once you are over the pain, you are wiser. Better.

I hope so.

In addition to its pain, anxiety and irrational fear also stop you or limit what you want to do. After all, trying to move away from the fears and worries is only natural.

The other option could be to de-sensitize myself to criticism, failure, worries, and fears. I have been trying that by undertaking bigger roles (which can create more issues) and by addressing challenging issues. I kind of think that the more issues I have to deal with the better I can sort among what is important what is not. I sometimes, just sometimes, can achieve this. Is this a progress or just lucky encounter, I do not know.

What I want to know is what is best for me?

Am I doing good pushing myself like this, or should I just omit things that bother me? The latter option is really tempting, but I also know that one worry-some thing goes, and then another one comes. So changing the perspective and the attitude seems to be the best way.

It is also the hardest.

I think I would like to take time this weekend to reflect on this. Who knows, maybe I will realize something, read or think about something.

These being said, these existential issues somehow help me forget about the seriousness of the COVID-19 situation. I shopped after two weeks yesterday. I wanted to shop, as it excites me πŸ™‚ I bought cleaning products and some canned food, and it felt great. But putting on a mask and gloves, and then taking them off once I was out of the store, coming home, changing clothes, washing them up, and washing my hands and face up until they felt all red was not fun. These are the moments that make me realize how serious this virus situation is (duh!). I think I have been ignoring it so that I would not experience the anxiety it creates.

Perhaps the anxiety I am having over other points are actually a good thing – who knows?

I cannot claim to know how life works. But I sure need some guidance and reading to do on anxiety and how to manage it.

 

 

COVID-19 (May 4)

The 5th month into the COVID-19 pandemic – how are you all doing?

Seriously – how are you doing?

Sometimes I think that I am denying the seriousness of this pandemic and keeping myself busy just to not think about it.

Thank goodness, at least I can walk and talk to the people who most matter to me.

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Have I gotten a little bit soft as a result of this pandemic? Perhaps.

Have I shed the emotional baggage off my shoulder? Not yet.

Have I gotten a little bit more determined to turn my life around? Not even close.

So……..

What is happening?

Perhaps the lessons I must get out of this are; a) patience is needed, b) we cannot get what we want all the time, c) sometimes more is needed for something to work out in our lives.

Realizations… Wisdom… All great words… Not so much action.

I need to act on things that have been bothering me.

Sunday morning musings

Good morning everyone.

πŸ™‚

It is Sunday.

Does it make a difference that it is being a Sunday in an epidemic when we self-isolate?

It seems it makes a difference in me. I just slept in a little bit longer today after I remembered that it was a weekend. No matter what, the work continues to rule our lives, it seems.

I am one of these individuals whose work-related stress went down with the self-isolation. I was speaking to a long-term friend yesterday. She said that it has been good to people like me who were always rushing, rushing, rushing. Now we all have to sit back a little bit. She is so right. Do you feel the same way?

Do you feel you have slowed down and had the chance to notice other things about life? Yourself? What is and who is important?

There are unexpected gains due to this COVID-19 pandemic.

This is of course quite insensitive to say when there are thousands of people who have lost their lives to this disease. Or, lost their wages and jobs……

They say that our lives will not be the same even if survive this disease/pandemic. I would like to believe in this. In a good way.

Dog Love GIF by Red & Howling - Find & Share on GIPHY

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gif by:https://giphy.com/gifs/dog-grateful-dogmom-jslqD89flMlWrKUZsT

 

 

morning musings

It is early morning πŸ™‚

One of those peaceful times of the day. Do you also find the early and late part of the day the most peaceful, most yours?

I had a very busy day yesterday with a 6 hours of online meeting going up late in the evening. I volunteer in that committee, but I keep thinking why I do that year after year. Maybe next year it will be wise to skip this role.

I am sometimes surprised by my (optimistic) thinking. I am still mostly focusing on work, its stress/issues, and completing tasks. However, I do not even know whether myself or people that I care and love most, will be here next year in the face of this pandemic or another reason…..The ambitions I feel for my job performance and the sourness I feel because of the recent rejection of my promotion request – do they really matter? Will they matter if something happens to me or my family?

Group Hug Family GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

The absolute answer is no. But I must remember this context and ask this question to come to this answer.

The mortality risk due to COVID-19 is real. For someone who has a tendency to be pessimistic and having depressive thoughts, I think I actually try not to think so much during this difficult time. I think keeping busy with work actually helps my mind not focusing on these highly depressive but somehow realistic thoughts.

A strong part of this silent pain is because I am away from my family. I feel trapped, and I would feel kind of terrorized if something happens to them now. I cannot fly, I cannot reach. Goodness help me.

I am sure I am not the only one.

I Love You Corona GIF by Chippy the Dog - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

But, enough with that negativity.

  • I am grateful that my family and myself are safe and well.
  • I am grateful that I have a shelter, food, and a job that pays the bills and mortgage.
  • I am grateful that with each day passing, we are getting a little bit closer to a medical solution to COVID-19.
  • I am grateful that the morning is peaceful and I am free to walk and enjoy these hours all by myself.
  • I am grateful that I have coffee and I enjoy it every single morning day after day.
  • I am grateful that I have this blog that helps me connect with the rest of the world.

Season 5 Thank You GIF by PBS - Find & Share on GIPHY

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COVID-19 (April 28)

Just yesterday I was thinking how much I enjoy working from home. It works for me.

I am not sure of my work-place’s future steps. So far we all have been increasingly distancing ourselves from work. There will come a time when they will say “hey, what have you produced during all these times? What else can you do for us?“.

I will be ready then.

This is the 6th week. I kind of have a routine. I wake up around 7 am, brew coffee, browse news and emails, and start working. I often continue till 4-5 pm. I also walk twice a day; one short (around 25 min) and one long (around an hour). The weather is permissive, sky is blue, and walking is relaxing. It is one of my quality of time activities.

The other would be tea. At around noon every day, I brew tea with lemon and ginger. Top it with honey and Voila! You have a great, healing drink at your hands πŸ™‚

The news are often negative and pessimistic. While I like to read each day, I try to stay away from thinking too pessimistically about COVID-19. I want to remind myself day it has already been 4 months that we have been surviving this pandemic. We are going through it. My sympathies to all who have lost a loved one to this disease. Or jobs.

I do not know how long the Canadian economy will hold up. I do not know how long my work-place will keep floating, either. I try not to think about the potential lay offs, but honestly. If there is a time that they will attempt this, it is this time. I am grateful for each salary cheque I receive. Honestly. One cheque at a time.

Life has changed so much. I could make plans for long-term investments and so on. Not anymore. I already lost a portion of my investments when the markets went down. I do not want to get crazy about it. I hope that things will get better.

In the middle of all of these, what is more important is that I try to sort what and who is important and what/who is not. It is fun. The best way to do this is to take a break from work. In the last while, I worked almost everyday. I have been meaning to take a break since February. Perhaps next week I will take a couple of days off and read books. Reflect on life. Reflect on issues and wishes.

Stay well, everyone. Wherever you are, I hope you are healthy, have food, shelter, and safety.

 

Good morning

Good morning everyone!

Let’s start the day having good wishes and vibes. Are we not fed up of the news and worries the current pandemic and other life conditions & experiences generate.

Let’s make today a day of positive thoughts and experiences. Whatever our life conditions are.

It is a choice.

I will not work today and tomorrow.

I rather want to cool down, connect, and reflect.

Time to get the mental strength back out of the confusions, disappointments, worries, and other limitations.

Once my mind is clear, I am strong.

When I am strong, I can take care of many things.

When I take care of things, I feel confident and satisfied.

When I am confident, I can grow bigger.

When I grow bigger, I can do more.

But first, I must get my mind clear and free.

Today is the day.

Happy Shaq GIF by JCPenney - Find & Share on GIPHY

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gif by:https://giphy.com/gifs/jcpenney-shaq-shaquille-oneal-dJGYFScvBjfRabiH7m

do you have fun in life?

I was reading a book and I came across a question it asked: Do you have fun with your life?

A STUNNING question.

My answer was no and it was weird, very weird. Why do I not have fun in life??

Because of my ridiculous focus on work in a highly competitive environment, overloaded work, and working with fear rather than enthusiasm.

I do not know when I stopped having fun…. Must be a long time…

Was it worth it? Job I mean.

I know why I work so hard – one part because I enjoy it and one part because I need my job and the security it brings.

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Do you have fun with your life?

 

to hope, or not to hope

This is the 5th week of self-isolation and working mostly from home.

I have been thinking a lot about hope (especially, since the recent rejection of my application to promotion). I think hope is one force that helps us keep going when the conditions are particularly challenging. Whatever we hope for may not happen, but the thought of it happening gives us the wings. It also gives us the perseverance.

So we try. We try our best and take further steps towards the goal even though it is very challenging to get there. Pretty much like needing a miracle, sometimes.

When we get there, it is fantastic.

When we do not get there, it breaks our heart.

So.

To hope or not to hope when the goal is not likely to happen – which one do you choose?

 

 

COVID-19 (April 15)

Yesterday and I today I worked long hours. I am writing an objection letter to rejection of my promotion request.

I know that it will not make a huge difference. Goodness knows, I wanted to quit putting energy in that, but could not. I had to do this.

But I seriously want to quit my job, and I cannot afford it, either. Not yet.

This is how you lose motivation towards your workplace.

I have been to this point a number of times. This is not the first time. But it can be the best time.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Time to finally change priorities.

I want to prioritize:

  1. my survival
  2. my family’s survival and supporting my family during the pandemic and beyond
  3. quality of my life
  4. being grateful for each pay cheque
  5. being grateful for each dime saved
  6. having hope that I will look for jobs once this pandemic is over
  7. dumping all unnecessary work off my shoulder

The rest, like promotion, should not matter.

 

Quality of my life

I have been thinking – what is it that I want from my life?

I am close to 50. It is a significant age.

All my life, I have studied and worked. School and workplace have always had a strong place in my life and decisions. It has been quite stressful, though. Especially in the last few years. You know I developed sleeping problems.

Some of this stress is self-created because there are things that I want to do and there are recognition that I want to achieve. Today I have learnt that my request for promotion has been denied. It does not feel right… I worked so hard and so much, and put in a great application file. I applied because I find my qualifications satisfying the criteria. External evaluators also said the same thing. When it comes to internal evaluators, this is where they rejected the idea. It really hurts that there are negative opinions about my performance within my organization, while outside of here my qualifications are well recognized. What a mess.

But I wonder – is it the most important thing?

I wonder this because for some reason, I do not feel discouraged or down by the denial of my request for promotion.

One thing that I kept thinking while preparing my promotion file was that I would undertake only meaningful and really big tasks once I receive my promotion. I would also care about the quality of my life. Well. I feel like I can do this right now as well (I hope I will continue to feel this way about it). I feel like I have reached that objective of promotion anyhow.

I believe in my qualifications and it does not matter what they say anymore. I can slow down and I can undertake less.

My quality of life.

How to elevate it?

Hmm.

I need some thinking to do.

 

Sunday morning musings

Good morning everyone – hope you are all safe, healthy, and free of COVID-19 related anxiety.

I know, I know….

It is hard not to feel anxiety about the situation; about ourselves, our and other loved ones’ well-being, and the current and future financial outlook.

….

Like any of you, I am getting more and more aware of the global and national situation, issues, and future predictions on a daily basis. The fact that I have been stocking up essential items and food in the last 3 weeks or so states this very well. I sometimes think quite drastically and assume that we will be only dependent on the food that we can grow in our yard and homes. Funny I know, but I cannot help but think about this. We will not have that panic-situation, will we?

I am quite aware of the importance of the cash right now and keeping my job. Goodness…

I wished somebody deferred the mortgage payments for 6 months or so – without interest – so that we all could save some cash and feel more secure…

I do not know what to do with my RRSP and TFSA contributions, either. I keep going as before. Since the market is down, it seems like the perfect time to invest. Yet, I cannot think about yet another blow to the market and the value of the investments getting even smaller. Since I used a portion of my RRSP to pay my down payment, I must continue with my RRSP contributions, but what about TFSA? Shall I rather stop my contributions and keep the cash in my chequing account?

I took so many things granted…Like many of us I guess.

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It is a beautiful, shinny, and peaceful morning out there. Perfect time to walk without even thinking about where to go.

I checked on a couple of people who I worked with in the past. I hope they are doing well. It will be awesome to hear from them. It also feels great to reach out to people I care about.

These being said, it is sad that I am away from my family and who knows when I will be able to visit them. I had purchased a ticket for this summer, which I am sure will have to be canceled. Next year? Will this be over next year? if so, how expensive will be the tickets? Will I be able to make it home then? I must confessed that this year I did not want to go visit my family – I have posts about it. I never thought that it would become a necessity like this. Life is so strange.

Over and over, I come to realize that while my mind is busy getting stuck at little pains of the past, it misses the chance of living what is important.

Here is to a painless past and vivid present:

random thoughts

The second day in the row that I am not working. I like this break.

I started watching the Black List on Netflix and I am really enjoying it. I did the mistake of looking for some information about the plots – it really downs the excitement. So a mental note to not do that for future episodes/other shows.

I went to Shoppers today. I had difficulty finding liquid hand soap at Sobeys – my regular store. While I meant to limit my visits to crowded places, I thought it was a good idea to visit Shoppers and get other personal care and cleaning products at the same time. I went there early,Β  waited in the line to get in, and got in together with around 40-50 other customers.

They counted the people at the entrance, which tells me that they allow for a certain number of individuals all at the same time. But I still thought it was crowded. Some people do observe 6 feet distance, many do not. So, it is really up to you protect yourself in such environment. I put on disposable gloves and mask on the entire time. They give you some sort of peace, but it is also uncomfortable to have something on your face. Alas. Shopping my friends, which was fun in the past, is now a hurdle and risky business.

Shopping GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Nevertheless, I am grateful for the eggs I purchased, hand soap, hand creams, and facial tissues. I feel like I have no cleaning or personal care products that I need for at least 3 months. This feels good.

 

gifs by:https://giphy.com/gifs/animated-gif-3d-animation-nKERd2uhn8hhe

 

COVID-19 (April 9)

It has been a bright day with a beautiful blue sky… Under different conditions, we would have been jumping up and down with excitement. Alas. We have a pandemic to go through this Spring (and beyond).

Despite the negative air it carries with itself, we must find ways to appreciate and love the life we are having right now. It is possibly the best day and best life we can have compared to what we will have in the next while. It is true – we may get sick, we may get more isolated, we may experience financial hardship, and we may lose loved ones. But today we are okay. Let’s appreciate this for a moment or two.

Tomorrow will mark the 3rd week of self-isolation, working mostly from home. 3 weeks – can you imagine?

I think we are doing it. I think we get used to this new life. I think we adapt to it better than we thought we would.

What do you think?

 

COVID-19 (April 8)

How is it going everyone? Hope you are all healthy and staying inside, washing those hands, and keeping sane in the face of anxiety.

Canadian provinces have been projecting numbers based on some models, and the numbers of cases and deaths some of them are estimating are horrifying. I increasingly become aware that we are looking at a long and serious ordeal. Whatever I must do, I must keep healthy, isolated, strong, employed, engaged, and connected.

As long as I have my job, I can do any of these. Goodness help us – my organization has been under financial crunch for sometime. It is, I hope, not the time that they start let us go. I doubt it – they can reduce our numbers to some extend, but I as a moderately senior employee should not be in the immediate line. I hope.

I can continue to walk everyday (around 1 hour), keeping away from others in the street. The majority of the time this is quite possible, but today three gents were walking (they were side by side – are they not worried at all?) and I was not able to navigate my way away from them, as they decided to walk right towards me in the last second. This kind of things make me nervous. Anyways – walking is good for my physical and mental health. So I am looking forward to continuing this activity.

I can continue to eat healthy, drink tea with lemon, ginger, and honey everyday. I like it. In the last few weeks since I started self-distancing, I have been having light coughs and sneezes every once a while (nothing serious). It feels like cold, and what better remedy than tea? I believe tea, ginger, lemon, and honey are therapeutic together and keep my body strong.

I can do grocery shopping only once every two weeks or so, and not go to office unless it is really needed. My plants will dry up, I am afraid.. They were so nice and beautiful. Some of them were just flowering… This is sad. But they drying up is preferred than me getting this virus. So we will take it easy.

I can continue to frequently wash my clothes, gloves, and others that I use while outside. I can sew and put on masks while outside, particularly while shopping. I can continue to wash my hands and keep them away from my face (boy! how hard is this? Just right now both my nose and eye are itching!).

I can continue to contact and communicate with my family, friends, and colleagues. The daily human interactions are for sure important and help me against the threat of psychological isolation.

I wonder whether I can cut out some more expenses. I am pretty frugal anyways, just pumped up shopping lately to stock up essential items. I plan to do yet another big shopping next time, but after that it just must be the food. I cannotΒ  keep fearing the financial hardship to come during and after this pandemic. I think we all feel this one way or the other. As a bank official said today, we will get out of this pandemic “a little bit less wealthier”.

Well.

As long as we get out of this pandemic healthy and with healthy family members, I will be okay with this.

 

 

 

 

 

fake news, unscientific news, and supernatural

Gotta tell you – I just un-followed an account I have been following for some time.

The reason?

If I understood correctly, promoting fake/un-scientific things about COVID-19 (such as it is being caused by 5G) was okay and considered an example of freedom of speech.

Well.

No.

I have no idea what 5G is exactly and whether it is related to COVID-19 (I doubt it, but anyways we need scientific evidence I guess).

However, if it does NOT cause COVID-19, then I know that with such a logic, we would also have telling lies, deception, and making up things related to people, events, and things being okay under the notion of freedom of speech as well.

So.

No.

 

 

Sunday morning musings

If it is anything, it is Sunday πŸ™‚

A day to be excited about. Normally! πŸ™‚

I woke up early, spending the next 1 hour drinking coffee and browsing the news. It is like I expect some miracle good news to show up and tell us that the pandemic is over.

Not gonna happen anytime, soon. Logically, I know. But, hope is a good thing πŸ™‚

It has been two weeks that I have been away from the office (went there only once). I keep myself busy with work and, on the average, 7 remote meetings every week. I kinda feel like I am not feeling the heat of this pandemic yet…For example, I or my family members can contract this virus. They may have medical hardship to deal with it. Heck, we may die.

Sh.t.

I know deep down that I must do whatever I can to limit my exposure to outside world. My family is better than me and thanks to them I implemented some measures, like changing the clothes right away upon returning from outside; aiming to shop only every two weeks or so; wearing masks and using vinyl gloves (yes I have started doing this. Whether they protect me at all is questionable. Whether I protect my mental health and reduce my anxiety; without question the answer is yes. So I do put them on when I go to stores, for example. Then I discard the gloves and refresh the mask.). I wash my hands frequently and clean the fresh product that I purchased, and leave those in cans and bottles three days in a room. After that, they go right into the pantry.

Shopping was once a delight. A pleasure.

Work From Home Health GIF by Joan Kamberaj - Find & Share on GIPHY

Perhaps it is a good thing that I still have my job and we still work remotely. Another fear I am developing is losing my job or significantly reduced salaries and benefits because of this crisis. A lot of people have been laid off their work. Considering the economic hardship the pandemic is adding up to, I would think – similar to politicians and other authorities who are hinting this – that we may be looking at a financially very insecure and tough times. I must do whatever in my power to keep my job and make the best out of my salary and benefits. Will there be a retirement for any of us, I wonder.

Anyways. At least we all will be in the same boat.

I bought a large amount of food and other essential items yesterday. The first time I ever spend more than $200 in a grocery store….I think as the pandemic spreads, and as we hear more of the stores closing due to staff being diagnosed with COVID-19, the more I realize that there may be food shortages as well. I believe I have a good amount of food right now and will not need to shop the next two weeks.

Food Shopping GIF by MOODMAN - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

Using food wisely is becoming a reality. Can I dry them up? Can I freeze them? Can I grow my own? Can I can food/meals?

Well.

To some extend I can do any of these, but none will be a permanent solution. My freezer has a limit; my yard is still under snow; I do not have a dehydrater or a sunny climate but certainly I can try to dry up some veggies at home; and I can pickle a couple of more jars.

See; self-sustaining communities become more and more relevant and important.

Canning Pickling GIF by US National Archives - Find & Share on GIPHY

if anything friends, grab a cup of coffee or tea.

Have a great Sunday.

Coffee GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

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COVID-19 (April 3)

Friday.

Yay….

The day started early, which is awesome. I worked a few hours and then spent the afternoon on a 4 hours remote meeting.Β  4 hours…

I walked twice today. In one of these walks my roads crossed with an aggressive big doggy. I screamed in horror when he came literally a centimeter away me and showed me his teeth. He was weird. He seemed to be very friendly. Maybe he was playing – I don’t know. But it was very scary. Luckily he run away for an unknown reason. I was sure that he was going to sink his teeth on me. I am lucky…

I am also lucky as there are friends that check on me. One just emailed. How wonderful is this?

πŸ™‚

It has been 2 weeks that I have been mostly working from home.

While I had decided to do grocery shopping every two weeks, I decided that I better do one big shopping tomorrow. I just heard a grocery store being closed because an employee was diagnosed with COVID-19. If something like this happens to my store, my chances of acquiring grocery significantly reduce (I have no car..).

So tomorrow morning first thing first, I want to grab my shopping cart and purchase as much food as I can. I am not gonna hoard, but will get a significant amount of dry/canned food. I must do this.

 

Stay safe and be kind

First to yourself, and then the others

Give someone in need a hand

Smile at least

 

πŸ™‚

That turned out to be fine,Β  “pandemic poem” πŸ™‚

COVID-19 (April 2)

It has been a more or less pleasant day.

I could not sleep yesterday night. Felt kind of sick and it worried me. But then in the morning all was okay. That is good.

I walked twice today. Once prior to a meeting, around 25 min of walk, It was nice to get fresh air. The second was longer around 45 min. It was beautiful out there, just walking.

My stress levels are low. I think this may be the best thing coming out of this pandemic.

I find that my work communications are kinder and more compassionate. While we still continue to talk about work, we also talk more about how we are during this time. It is good, There is a sense of community in the air. Maybe it is true that once we get out of this pandemic, the entire human species will become enlightened, selfless, compassionate.

I wanna believe in this beautiful picture, BUT I also know that once this ordeal is over, we will likely go back to where we were. I suspect though some things can change. For example, there are more emphasis on caring ourselves and s.l.o.w.i.n.g d.o.w.n…….

Slowing down can be the best thing we can ever do. Indeed!

We are so competitive; always running against time. We always have deadlines – even our bills have deadlines. Our food has expiry dates. Like, what is it with us and time really?

I like the idea of slowing down and savouring it – whatever we are doing.

Let’s slow for a day and savour the moment…

————————————————–

 

COVID-19, April 1

So, Spring is here!

My, my, my..

It should be feeling great, but with what is going on with the pandemic, the sad sorrow and fear it creates, it is hard to get excited about the Spring.

Are we getting depressed?

Sort of…

……….

Maybe just depressive, not depressed.

……….

Let’s keep our chin and hopes high, friends. It is a strange time, but we are going through it.

Brighter days to come.

 

COVID-19 (March 31)

Cannot believe we came to the end of March. Spring must be here πŸ™‚

I slept well again and woke up at 7 am. It was a great morning and I decided it was time that I went to the office. It was quiet there, which is great for work. It was a productive day.

I am tempted to go to office and work there, but I came to my senses this evening. I must limit my risk to be exposed to COVID-19. To do so, I must limit my out of house adventures. I decided that unless extremely needed, I can visit my office once every two weeks or so. Not more frequent. Nope.

Since I walked both in the morning and evening, I felt great today. While I was walking everyday, what is a much better way is to be walking long (around 45-60 min), just enough to break a sweat. This kind of walking is more pleasurable and more relaxing than short walks.

I cooked and ate home-made dishes.

I spoke to family and knowing that they are okay feels great.

I heard from two friends today – one through an email and the other on phone. It was awesome to hear from them and I feel very lucky to have them in my life.

Good night, friends. May you always be kind and loving to yourself and others, including animals.

COVID-19, March 30

Monday.

Really?

It feels like Tuesday already. Have you also lost track of days?

It was a productive work from home day. I also managed to have two remote/online meetings.

I continue to get up early. Today it was 7 am. Have I mentioned that I wear my work clothes? Yup πŸ™‚ I comb my hair as well. I don’t put make up, however. That is a nice break from the routine.

I want to go to office, but the weather is not permissive.Β  I hope that before the end of the week I can make it there. There are a number of things I must do to help my work. Like printing some documents; getting some files; and so on. I also want to have a kind of break to my isolation. A change in scenery. A change in activities.

Anyways; I continue to cook and eat at home. Today realizing the extra weight already put on, I decided to do some light exercise at home. Nothing major but I believe it helped at least stretch my muscles. It was also relaxing. I want to keep doing it.

But really, the weight gain is real. OMG – why is it so easy?

The COVID-19 situation continues to escalate. Some of the stories are very horrific. The rapid deterioration that some of the hospitalized patients showed is what makes me scared most. They say around 30% of the hospitalized patients have now passed away. Is that correct? My goodness – please help us. What are we up to really??

I have been checking online grocery shopping services, and it seems there is one at around my neighbourhood. This is very pleasing. If I must, I can survive at home.

How is our mental health in the midst of this pandemic, isolation, and fatality news?

I am grateful that I continue to work, otherwise I think the situation is not fun…. How long will we able to go on like this, before we develop serious or permanent mental health issues, I wonder. There is peace coming from knowing that we are all in this together. At least there is healthcare. At least we are not out there but inside (some countries did not lock down yet). At least we have connections – online and remotely. The community seems to care about each other and compassion is palpable. And so on. In the midst of this pandemic, it is worth remembering these.

Eventually we will survive it. I suspect, however, we will also be changed deeply. Somehow, I feel like it is going to be something better. I just wished we did not need to have people die for it.

Let’s flatten this curve, friends.

Let’s stay inside.

Wash those hands.

Be kind to yourself and others.

Call a friend.

Connect with family.

Take good care of yourself.

And have hope.

COVID-19, March 29

Sunday is here πŸ™‚

I do not know what I am doing with my days. I meant to enjoy being away from office and finding a chance to actually reflect on life, but this is not happening. Maybe it is not the time.

I had not meant to work today, but I was bored, and eventually, craved for work. So work I did. I am glad I have, as I love the feeling of things working and moving. It is motivating.

I ate more than I want to. I have no solution to this. I never had… Better let go?

I spoke with my family and seeing that they take this virus more serious than me is very inspiring. I am proud of them. While I want to go to store and do my grocery shopping, I think I will look for opportunities for pick up services or online orders. I am sure these will not be easy, as many people will be looking forward to these services. Oh, well. Whatever I can, I will take it.

Tomorrow is another remote work day. With two remote meetings. Somebody needs to abolish all meetings. I mean it. I dislike them. More so now than before. Many professionals love to brag about online meetings. I beg to be more genuine and say they may be good if done sparingly. Nobody wants to spend their time looking at a monitor and seeing the background of other people’s, unless there is a good reason and it is of a reasonable length of time.

 

COVID-19 (March 28)

I am enjoying my Saturday so far. Not to a great extend, but as much as I can.

First; I did not work and this feels great.

Second: I slept great yesterday night as well, and this is fantastic!

Third: I went to a local branch of Dolarama. It was a good walk. There were a couple of people walking, often with their pets. Other than that, it was a quiet and lovely morning. I bought a couple of things, including freezer bags which I now use to store my food in (I dump the store-wrappins as soon as I bring the food home) and pens. The store was awfully quiet. I wonder whether we will ever heal the economy after this pandemic.

Fourth: I did some pickling and strawberry jam/marmalade. The jam turned out to be really cool. We will see how the pickle is in a couple of days.

Fifth: I talked with my family and we are trying to support each other as much as we can. They are feeling the COVID-19 situation hotter than me here in Canada as where they are the resources and public health measures may not be as strong as in Canada. Like me, my family loves to spend time at home and have stocked up food that is enough for some time. But the morale is down, nobody knows when this will be over, and what will happen to us if we get infected.

While I have done implemented new measures to help minimize my risk now – like, minimizing the visits to the grocery store; cleaning the food/changing their wraps at home; keeping stuff in the front porch for 3 days before bringing them in the house; changing my clothes immediately after I come in from outside, and so on, I still am not 100% sure that I am doing my best. As a result, I am scared of getting sick…

Oh, well.

Sixth; over and over I come to the point that I must sort out between what is important and what is not, and this solitary period of pandemic may be just what I need. I have a long way to go, I know, but so seems the pandemic. My painful growth in this important area therefore seems to go on for some time…

…….

Stay safe, friends. Sending love.

 

 

 

COVID-19, Day 8 (March 27th)

A week is over and I could not be happier. I am determined to celebrate Friday!

This week, I worked only from home and it was full and packed. I have had 7 remote meetings and tons of email correspondences, now that everyone feels like speaking through the email and the administration takes this opportunity to tell us what we should do and how they help control things. There is certainly an email fatigue accumulating.

After shopping in the morning and doing some light work, I decided it was time that I let go of things and rather focus on personal life. So, I cleaned my home and cooked healthy meal. Watching Netflix and browsing the internet, if I want.

Today and tomorrow I will just let myself enjoy my moments.

Now that we are working remotely, I feel ambitious and want to get the best out of these times. My team is doing well and their work is going okay, too. But I want to finish a number of things that have been on my to-do list. One by one, I am taking care of them and it feels pretty amazing. This is cool. Once I move on with two or three of them, there will be an opportunity to start something new. This is exciting. I wonder what it is gonna be! πŸ™‚

I must also admit that I need to actually just stop and be with life….. I have been meaning to do this, by taking a break, for sometime, but it did not happen. Perhaps what I should do is to take time off from work till Monday. Two days would give me enough time to relax and rest, and on Monday I could go to office. I think I like this idea. I think I will benefit from the freedom from work, and connecting with life more.

Here is a great, peaceful music that I hope you too will enjoy.

Be kind to yourself and others. Stay safe friends and enjoy every moment.

 

 

 

random thoughts (in a time of COVID-19)

I went to do my grocery shopping this morning.

I figured that if I go early, there would be less people around and as such less risk of getting the droplets that contain the COVID-19. It was in fact quiet and easy to shop. Since yesterday I had realized that this may be one of the best times to even further stock the essentials – before it gets crazy here with the infected individuals -, I went with my shopping cart and I am glad that I have. It was full and heavy. Thank goodness that the roads were free of snow, ice, and slush. I made it home with my newly purchased essentials.

I bought a lot of food, including frozen veggies, canned food, and dry food (e.g. lentils, beans). I am sure I have quite a bit of them, but I found that if this is to go on like this for some and the numbers are to increase day by day, the chances of getting infected is lower now than in the future.

I cleaned and dumped the store wrappings/plastic bags and placed food in new storage bags. The rest of the items that are not required to be in the fridge or freezer are staying in the front entrance. My plan is to keep them there for around 3 days (this is what they say is the time it takes COVID-19 to die on plastic and metal surfaces?) and then place in the pantry.

I also stocked up laundry detergent. I am thinking that I may have everything I may need for around 3 months now….

I believe the only thing I was not able to get was liquid hand soap. I sure will have to get out sometime and grab that…..Maybe this weekend. I do not know.

Other than this, I am not in the mood of work today. I did some critical work and I have a remote meeting in the afternoon, but that is all for me. I think I will just clean my home and then relax.

Some of my friends checked on me today and I checked on two other, one single, friends, through emails. I think it is important to be able to do this and keep connected.

How are you all doing? I know many of you are at home and being creative with your time and activities. I have not just yet become creative and tried something new (it has been a whole week in physical distancing), but I bought some frozen strawberry that I want to turn into a jam. I also have cabbage that I want to turn into pickles. Maybe tomorrow?

Stay safe friends.

 

 

COVID – 19, Day 7 (March 26)

Cannot believe a week it has been that I have been mostly at home, leaving only for shopping and daily walks.

A week.

They say that it can continue yet another 2-3 months. I think we will eventually get used to this and, hey who knows, perhaps ask to work remotely after that πŸ™‚

Things are getting more and more serious. There are more people now infected than before, and more mortality.

I talked to a couple of my colleagues, and it made me get more scared. Well, first they do not leave the house (I have been walking everyday).

One of them said that they would even wait a few days before they collect their mails πŸ™‚ Wow. Never thought of this. Am I naive?

The other one said that they wash and disinfect everything they purchase from the store, including food. What?

Why have I not thought about these??

Do I take it light?

I do not know. But after today I decided to take it serious. I am aiming for grocery shopping every 10 days or 2 weeks. I do not need to be at the store every week. So tomorrow morning I will go there with my shopping cart and fill it with durable as well as frozen food. Then, I will just leave home to walk. Hopefully I will not need anything till the next one.

Stay safe, my friends.

Be kind to yourself and others.

Give someone in need a hand.

 

 

 

COVID-19 Day 6 (March 25th)

Cannot believe that it is the 6th day away from office and in the house (mostly).

We had a kind of rainy/snowy day. As a result walking was kind of not fun, but still okay. I walked twice for short distances, worked in between, and stopped working at around 4 pm. Works is going extremely productive, for which I am grateful. Lack of distractions works for me πŸ™‚

On the personal side; I cooked healthy food but ate a lot. The weight gain is immediate…

My stress levels continue to be low and I can sleep long and deep.

The pandemic is catching up where I am and it is scary. I think the worst is yet to come. Are we prepared?

Am I prepared?

Are you? I hope we all are well prepared.

This feels like a Zombie attack sometime.

 

COVID-19 Day 5

Can’t believe it is the 5th day.

I worked today from home, but nothing too exciting. One remote meeting, some emails, and a couple of correspondences. It was not one of those days where I would focus on something and significantlyΒ  move things. That is okay.

On the positive side; I received a couple of appreciation emails and it really made me feel great. Good vibes are amazing! Send some good vibes to others, friends.

 

On the personal side:

Interesting that I sleep well and long. This break is working for me πŸ™‚

I cook and eat healthy food. Nevertheless, the slight weight gain is obvious and concerning…. Oh, well πŸ™‚

I walked twice again today. In the morning I took a long walk, around an hour. It was good. We have a cool but bright day. I have seen more people walking today than before. Some people make an effort to keep around 2 meters distance between themselves and others. The majority do not. I try hard to keep this distance. Maybe as time goes on, more people will pick it up.

I saw people lining up at around a church, which I believe is soup kitchen or something. It broke my heart to see so many people lining up, and so many people in close distance to each other. Once this virus spreads to less fortunate, you know it affects them more drastically. Prayers and good wishes are on.

My stress levels are low and it is a good thing.

How long do you think we will continue like this?

Wherever you are; stay safe and well, my friends.

 

COVID-19 Day 4

A regular day filled with work from home. Lots are done, which is pleasing. Otherwise, being isolated is somehow starting to get on the nerves. This is how I understand how important is the freedom to do whatever I want to do. If I ever complain about boredom or not knowing what to do at a weekend, please smack me in the head…

Two things I have done well and for my own enjoyment were walking twice during the day and getting fresh air, and cooking a great bean meal and enjoying it. Lovely.

I cannot believe it is only Monday. I decided that I would shop on Friday morning to limit my exposure to people around. Honestly I cannot wait – shopping will give me a chance to see and think different things. Wow. A child who was about to visit Disneyland would probably feel that way…..

The great thing about social distancing is the quietness around. Have you noticed? I feel like my mind is just resting.

Another great thing about social distancing would be limited shopping. As a result, we all are about to save some money, I guess πŸ™‚

I plan to visit my office Friday afternoon to print out some documents. Honestly I am not looking forward to this, but it needs to be done.

I believe the death numbers in Italy are going down, which is making me hopeful and happy for my fellow Italians. Everywhere else the numbers are increasing, though.

Please be safe everyone. Wash those hands. Stay away from people (around 2 meters, if possible), and stay inside. Please quarantine yourself if you have traveled. Follow the Public Health Officers recommendations.

Protect yourself and protect others. Both go hand-to-hand; without one, the other is not possible.

 

COVID-19 Day 3

Sunday is here!

Friends; I continued my day as usual; baked my sourdough (my goodness; can something smell better?), did some work on computer, planned for my week (yes, we are still working), made two jars of pickles (jalapeno and radish pickle), cooked food, and walked twice – one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

The roads are almost always empty with occasional cars and walking/jogging people. I question sometime whether I should still be out there.

I know my chances of getting the virus from those who are walking on the road is low, as I keep at least 2 meters of distance from anyone, but still; paranoia is paranoia and I tend to think conservative when it comes to serious things. Thoughts?

My plan for this evening and tonite is to chill back and enjoy my time as much as possible. My plan for tomorrow is to get up early – as usual – put my work attire on (it helps to work at home!), attend two remote meetings, and do work that has been on my list. I also want to walk twice again; one in the morning and one in the afternoon to keep my body engaged and get fresh air and sunlight.

Have a great Sunday evening everyone. Wherever you are I hope you are safe, washing your hands, staying away from people, gatherings, and social functions, and taking great care of yourself and others around you.

 

 

 

COVID-19 Day 2

I slept like a child and got up at 7 am.

When you start the day early, the day welcomes you, nourishes you, and slows you so that you can enjoy more of it without stressing for time. I love such days.

I have not worked today. This is a wonderful development on my side. And it feels great.

As usual, I cleaned my home and did the laundry. I also fed my sourdough starter and have a dough to be risen overnight. I have not been baking bread in the last 2 months or so, so having my hands in that dough and working with it was an amazing feeling. I cannot wait till tomorrow and smelling it, right out of the oven.

————————————————————————————————————

I did some more shopping. I feel like I am hoarding. Nowadays my shopping is almost doubled. It is not necessarily a bad thing – my freezer and fridge are full, just in case, and I have all cleaning and personal care products, except liquid hand soap. I feel confident this way and it is a plus on my side, but from this week on, I must just focus on getting fresh food and other essentials, but not necessarily stocking up.

I walked in the afternoon as well. All of a sudden it turned out that I ran out of garbage bags. Now. I was one of those who used the plastic shopping bags as garbage bags. Since they are not offered anymore in the grocery store I often go to, that means I must purchase them…… Okay…. I have. I am good for another 2-3 months – thank you. Who knew?

I found a chance to talk to my good neighbours and they are scared. They are both above 60 but very active people. She said that she could not look at facebook anymore as she only saw scary stuff. Sometimes I think that we must be scared so that we will take it serious. Is this really the only way, however?

The death rate in Italy and other parts of the world – due to COVID-19 – is continuing to break my heart. I do not think anyone see that coming. Or, maybe someone did but many people did not hear or listen to.

———————————————————————-

Overall, I enjoyed my Day of self-distancing. But it is just the beginning. I want to feel like this is an adventure (no disrespect to those who get sick or die is meant here). A change in my daily life. Hope that does not mean that I will gain weight, but, oh well…. Just for the record and to keep myself accountable: I am 217 pounds today. Cannot gain more!!!

Also, when I think about the economic consequences, I cannot help but think that if this continues like this – and by all predictions it looks like it will continue for months – what will happen to our workplaces? Will they try to get rid of us? OMG.

But, no.

It is not a time to feel discouraged and pessimistic.

We will get through this.

 

 

 

COVID-19 Day 1

I was supposed to be away from work since Tuesday, but it was not possible. I was called for meetings and I had things to take care of that could be done only in the office.

But today is the day.

I collected almost all of my personal items from my office, leaving plants behind, and walked to home. I am self-distancing myself as of today and will only go check the work-place once a week, or as needed.

They say that we may be on and off this self-distancing for a year or until a vaccine is developed and become available.

This is a scary thought. Are we witnessing history?

Perhaps.

I feel for those who got sick, those who lost lives, and those who lost someone to this disease. I am very sorry. I wish we were in a much better time medically, politically, socially…

…………………..

I am trying to keep my chin up under this situation. I will likely not be able to visit my family this summer. I feel restricted. I also worry for them. Hope they will not get this virus. Please.

Thank goodness that neither me nor my family members have underlying health conditions that make the COVID-19 infections fatal. This gives me some kind of calmness.

I wonder how long I will be able to manage to have such a limited social contact for an extended time period. Living alone is not something new to me (20+ years), but extended periods can be quite challenging to manage. I should get ready and strengthen my social media connections and interactions with family and friends.

I plan to walk everyday, if I can, so that I can get out of home and get fresh weather. Thank goodness that spring is coming and we all can enjoy the fresh air.

I bet that I will gain weight.

Challenging times.

That is okay. We are all in this together.

We will pull this around. Hopefully soon.

Please stay safe and sweet.

COVID-19, Day 0: social distancing and working from home start

Looks like my organization finally decided this COVID-19 virus is worse than anyone wants to think about and they needed to be more cautious.

Yes, as of tomorrow, we will report to work only in the case of emergency situations. Other than these, we are to work from home.

Sure. I have no problem with that.

I only have one meeting on Friday that I wanted very badly to attend. If we cannot make that meeting, many things will be delayed. Will it go ahead remotely?

Other than this meeting; I am looking forward to having some home-office time, having no meetings in my life, having no unnecessary distraction at work, and staying away from office stress. I also see this as the best opportunity for me to learn a software I was meaning to learn for years.

Terrific! πŸ™‚

This evening, just in case, I did some grocery shopping. I stocked some frozen veggies and this feels good. Also fresh cabbage and carrot, as they usually stay fresh longer than any other veggies I know. Since my freezer and pantry are packed with food, I feel secure.

So, here is to Day 0 of COVID-19 home isolation/quarantine.

 

COVID-19 and ambiguous days ahead

Hello everyone,

Hope all is having a great Sunday.

These are interesting times, indeed.

First of all, I am really sorry that so many have died of COVID-19, aka corona virus.

At first, I had not understood the lock downs, but now I understand it very well. China and South Korea have done well controlling the disease so far. The situation in Italy seems bad, with a large number of deaths in the last day or so, which makes me wonder where they have gone wrong.

Experts say that they were late in social distancing and isolation measures.

Pretty much similar to the USA right now. My fellow Americans, Italians, and all other nationalities affected by COVID-19, please be safe. Please exercise vigilant hand-washing and social distancing.

When it comes to Canada, we have cases but overall it seems to spread just slowly yet. My work place has implemented a number of measures, but we still are expected to report to work. I have no problem with this, but wonder how long this will go on. I have a feeling that we may be asked to stay away and work from home soon. As someone who likes to work, I find this somehow annoying.

But come to think about it, it can also be a great opportunity to break the routine, let go off some of the unnecessary tasks, and re-evaluate what is important and what needs to be kicked out – whether it is tasks, committees, or relationships at work.

So, my friends. Let’s stay safe. Let’s take this time to help others and neighbours (elderly particularly – let’s help them keep safer by shopping for them, for example). And let’s take this time to come to our true nature. Free of the clutter and hurdles of the daily life and workplace.

 

 

coronavirus COVID-19

Well. I do not know what to think or feel about this viral endemic (or is it pandemic now?).

I am in a kind of isolated place and my province has no diagnosed cases yet, so I do not think we feel the heat of this virus and what it does to infected individuals. Naive? Silly? Ignorant?

I do not know what I am, but I am getting scared. Have you heard that the entire Italy is now in lock-down and first death from COVID-19 from Canada has been reported today. I read a news yesterday talking about a young physician getting infected and rapidly deteriorating, which made it even more scary for me. As we all want to think that if we are young enough and without serious health conditions, or with the help of the healthcare (hello? In the case of an endemic, finding a hospital bed can be so hectic), we can heal a viral infection. Naive?

I think in this case, yes I am naive to think so.

I am scared friends, for not only myself but everyone else in the world.

Here are some recommendations by Public Health Canada – have a look to get informed and be prepared.

Stay safe.

In solidarity.

How are your relationship with your family?

How are your relationship with your family?

It is clear from my many posts that mine is not great.

I love my family; sister and mom particularly, and to some degree, my brother. But they drive me crazy with their expectations and non-appreciation.

I love my mom, though. She is the only person who treated me well most. I think everyone else broke my heart more than enough. But not my mom. She is an angel.

My sister and I have always had a rocky relationship. We are very different, see. We got close when she got sick like 10 years ago. We have been getting distant again recently. She also has clinical depression, so I try not to care about her attitude. But it is hard sometimes.

My brother…. I could never liked my brother as a person, but I do like him because he is my brother. Do you know what I mean? My brother was not one of those that you would look up to while you are growing up. It was the opposite. I remember him as someone hurtful. I dislike him mostly now because of the way he exaggerates everything. I am also suspicious that he feeds things about me to my mom and sister. Like how much money I make and should be sharing with them, etc. As if I am under any obligation to give money to anyone. Especially when I need it myself. This is how they always have treated me like. It made me feel guilty for so long. I am sick of this.

I hate money getting in between me and the people who are most important to me.

I want my money to myself, honestly.

I want my life being free from them.

I want to spend my vacation time the way I want (I always go visit them).

I did not call them today. I do not want to next week, either.

And, starting next year I want to visit them only once every two years or something.

I want to visit south America, North European countries. I want to use my money to have a better quality of life for myself (rather than around 4K/year of money spent to visit them).

I want freedom from my family.

It is so conflicting. BUT it is necessary.

 

 

on getting pissed, caring and non-caring, forgiving, and not giving a rat’s nose

I have been organizing a professional event in the last while. The amount of time and nerves I spend on it is HUGE. I mean, really huge. Only someone like me who is interested in, determined to deliver, and not giving up easily can go through this without throwing the idea out of the window. Or, a few people. Well, come to think about it, getting rid of the idea is much better and suitable to my character….

Anyways.

You have got the idea that I was furious at one point.

This was because three people have tried to treat me like a door mat along the way. One of them repeatedly showed rudeness including throwing documents almost to my face; another one jokingly said that they will sue me if one of the pieces we work together on was not selected (or something like that), and yet another one decided to change a part of the event without asking me and yelled at me when I asked about it and objected to their plans that somehow put me at risk as the organizer of the event.

Mean Taylor Swift GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

In all cases, I did something I am proud and surprised of, and showed reactions in a logical and cool way. In two out of three cases, I have got an apology. Not that this meant anything – it did not. Anyways. In all cases I did see that I can stand up for myself if the situation arises (honestly I do not get to experience this kind of shit and mistreatment often). But most importantly, this is how one loses respect for others.

I do not care about these people anymore, not more than just any other human being (they used to be close/respected colleagues).

Next time, I am sure I will be less willing to listen to them or speak to them.

I really do not care about their behavior and their problem.

I move on with my chin naturally lifted up without any effort….. (this is beautiful).

I just wished they did not go around and identify yet another good soul to mistreat.

Flowers Spring GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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Sunday morning musings

Hello folks,

It has been sometime that I have engaged here. How could I stay away from blogging ???

πŸ™‚

The month of January went fast. Unbelievable. The other day I was telling a colleague of mine – do you also think that as we age the time goes by faster?

This is certainly my experience.

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January 1st

My day has started early, at around 6 am. That makes it a quiet start to the day, which is very enjoyable.

It is January 1st.

It is 2020.

It sounds like a great year to me; I may have got a cold, sneezing and with runny nose, and having headache as a result, but new year is new year, and I am hopeful.

Do you also think that 2020 (twenty-twenty) looks and sounds full, energetic, hopeful, real, and soft to you?

Perhaps it will be a kind year. Perhaps we will finally have that world peace, a positive and global economy, perfect access to human rights, education and health care services we all deserve, and bounty of opportunities and positive experiences.

Who knows?

Hope is hope. There is a reason that hope has survived centuries – these may all happen.

Wishing all of us a great 2020.

Personal plans and excitement for 2020

It is the last day of the decade….

We are closing a year with all the happenings and entering into a new chapter in our lives with great expectations. This day deserves some closure on our emotional world and some new paths in our life directions.

While reflecting during the holiday season this year, I noticed that in terms of having plans for the new year, I felt like floating randomly rather than swimming in a direction towards where I want to land.

Was this a bad thing? A good thing?

Upon further reflection, I have seen that I have achieved quite a bit of what I wanted in the last years, and was maintaining these in my life as well. This meant that I did not need to have specific plans to integrate them in my life. These included my financial plans/savings, being resourceful, keeping hobbies (like books, baking) and work-productivity and all. I had a great job (even though stressful), a house (even though still paying off mortgage), a simple and effective life-style, and was constantly reflecting on life, myself, and my work. I was healthy and did not have a chronic health issue and such. In the book of many, these meant I had a good life.

So, eventually that sensation of floating turned out to be an indicator of a good thing πŸ™‚

It also meant that there were other things to change and improve in my life, I could work towards higher levels of satisfaction and meaning in life.

Eventually, my wishes and plans for my life from now on all came on the following four areas:

  1. Wellness and well-being
  2. Recognition
  3. Success
  4. Sorting out what is important and what is not

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  1. Wellness and well-being
  • I want to lose fat.

I am over-weight. I have always been, I guess. But this is getting a little bit our of hand.

My weight-related issues have controlled me and my life my entire life. I was fat. Ugly. Disgusting. Unwanted. Unliked. Unloved. I feel resentments towards those, including my own family members, that unknowingly sow the seeds of low-self esteem in me because of my weight, and making me resentful towards them.

I want to feel better about myself; I have that years of training – by both the family and society – that I can only be pretty if I am slim. I cannot shake this up. I believe that I will feel better, pretty, and confident if I lose weight.

A second and perhaps a less important motivation is health-related. I want to drop the extra fat so that my knees, back, and feet experience less pressure & less wear and tear. I want to feel strong and able for a very long time. With my lower back issues in the last 4 years and my feet/knee problems since this summer, it is becoming at an alarming level. I believe that it will also help with metabolic disorder – if I have that – and heart health should I lose 15% of my body weight. This is, my friends, 33 pounds.

They say that in order to accomplish a goal, it must be as specific as possible, have a time-line, and be measurable.

My timeline is a year from today; by the end of 2020 I plan to lose 33 pounds off my current body weight.

The plan for this?

I must just control my out eating; when I eat what I eat regularly I slowly lose weight. But when it is the holidays, there is a social, a trip, or visit to home, I eat and eat and eat. End result is gaining what I have been losing.

There must be a way to end this process.

I will also cut out wheat – I will try to bake breads using different flours and see whether this makes a difference. And will be drinking green tea. The rest can be pretty much like before.

  • Exercise, bone health, and supplements

I have been walking steadily almost every day, which is great. However, winter is here and it will be kind of difficult to walk on the icy weather. Nevertheless, I am determined to keep walking as much as I can. In addition to this, I re-introduced my in-home exercises during the holidays. They are light stretches and weight-training exercises, such as push-ups or lifting dumbbells. I also have back exercises that straighten my abs and back muscles. I can feel the sore muscles on my back, abs, and arms which tells me that these exercises, however, light they may be are working πŸ™‚

In terms of bone health – I must pay more attention to taking my Calcium supplement and drinking my milk. I have no hots for the milk, my friends. Yogurt is great, but not the milk. So, I do not know what else can be done, other than reminding myself to take my supplements.

I also have iron, vitamin Bs, and vitamin D supplements. I want to use them time to time, even though a regular use is not needed. Iron particularly may be needed as I am moving away from eating animal meat again. Vitamin D is great as it is the winter season and it helps absorption of Calcium.

 

Β Β Β  2. Recognition and 3. Success

I have been working very very hard and meticulously, and I have made lost of positive contributions to my field and work-place.

I rightfully now accept and welcome all the great recognitions, awards, thank you notes, and letters by my unit, institution, and national and international organizations. I also welcome and accept with open arms the success that I deserve, promotions, invitations, awards, acknowledgments, and all the other indicators of success that are a part of my line of profession.

I have no hesitation to welcome these.

2020 is that year – once again but in a very longtime now – that I lift my chin up with confidence, satisfaction, and pride & be excited about my work and my accomplishments.

 

Β Β Β  4. Sorting out what is important and what is not.

This is a must. Does it take minutes even hours to decide what gift to pick, what action to take next?

Both in my professional and personal life, I do find it increasingly difficult to confidently make decisions for no apparent reason.

I have no plan for this, other than to ask my self each time whether it is worth my energy, time, and mental efforts. I must remember that these are important too and should not be depleted so easily. Luckily, I picked a book yesterday just on this topic – I believe it will be helpful to me.

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With these and with love, I end this post. I wish all of you a great new year, my friends. May it bring to you whatever your kind heart desires and deserves.

Sweet 2020.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An account of the holiday season – 2019

I have had a long and positive Holiday season this year. I had to work on Mondays and Fridays, but this did not prevent me from feeling relax and peaceful, and enjoying my life a little bit better.

Notable positive experiences include:

  • cleaning the house – which took three days but was worth every minute & huff and puff
  • decluttering and donating unwanted or unused items – which felt great. It was like many of the unnecessary burden have been lifted off my shoulder and my life was in order again. Highly recommended
  • visiting a sick friend – which felt great
  • purchasing some items from thrift stores that made my life brighter, easier, and enjoyable. Among them are a little night lamp that fit my bedroom so well, a food processor that I wanted to have for a very long time; now I can have carrot salad more often; a porcelain teapot that I have been trying to find for a few years to replace my current highly battered one; and several pots that are adorable and admirable – this is always a unique pleasure. I feel like I have got the best of pots from thrift stores
  • finding time to recuperate and feel less pressured and stressed; watching Netflix and enjoying my time; cooking wholesome food with pleasure now that I spend more time on my 1st floor thanks to the new TV and Netflix
  • having an account of the past year and entering the new year with hope, great plans, and determinism
  • reflecting on my relationship with my family

I feel lucky to be able to find the items that I have been looking for with such an affordable prices.

I feel great to have assesses my last past year and see how much I have accomplished.

I feel proud of having a routine more like a “normal life”.

I feel encouraged to make even further changes and improvements in my life.

These are all positives.

I feel, however, conflicted about the thoughts and feelings I am having on my relationships with my family members. At one hand, I love them so dearly. But on the other hand, I resent. I realize that I feel guilty for not being there with them and caring for them. This is especially true for the parents. This is not something new, but facing it that raw is.

I came to a point that it will be better for me to accept this guilt and move on. I have done my best to keep contact with my family and help whenever I can while also tried very hard to build a life for myself. Having a family somewhere else with expectations from me and frustrations about myself have always been nagging and dragging me down…. The more I sought for acceptance, I think the farther possibility it became. Or, it was always there, but I could never expect it and, hence, could not see it. Hard for me to know. But this explains why I always felt like not settling anywhere and feeling low self-esteem as a person. Family approval, believe or not, is so important in one’s development. But I am at an age (around half a century) where I can let go off this need, right?

Right.

As, I said earlier, it will be challenging to accept this guilt and end seeking approval from family and their consequences, but I must.

With these in my mind, I also have great plans and wishes for 2020. I plan to pen them later in the day.

I wish you all a great relationship with yourself, your family, and the world as a whole in 2020! πŸ™‚

random thoughts

It is a beautiful morning.

I am sipping my coffee with no rush, however, I have plans for the rest of the day. So I am alert.

First, I will donate the extra house and personal items I found in my home during the cleaning + decluttering saga last week. I plan to take the bus, which will be a challenge. But I will try.

Then I will shop at the same donation/thrift store. I need nothing particular but would love to see whether I can get a great item or two that I will love to have.

Then will come the book store. There is a book that I want to buy. I am hoping maybe it will be on sale this week. Who knows? Unless I check it..

Then I will go back to office for a short time. I did some work last week which I want to check and finalize. It is not supposed to take a long time, and knowing that that work will be done will feel awesome – cannot wait.

Then I am supposed to visit a sick colleague of mine. She is doing well now, recovering, which is great news. But I am invited and I will go. It feels good to be supporting someone in such a stage. I am looking for an elegant visit.

Then, I will find myself in front of the TV watching Netflix. Have I mentioned that I have got Netflix a week or two ago? Yes, I have! Man, what was I waiting for – it is amazing! It helps me empty my mind from the daily clutter of thoughts, spend more time in the living room, cook meals, and go to bed a little bit later than my usual 8-9pm ritual. These are all positive things so far, including going to bed late. I think it actually helps me with my insomnia – that I sleep well till later, say 8 am, rather than 5 am. A shift in the perception of insomnia. It helps πŸ™‚

Netflix means an extra cost in my monthly bills, but it is a great entertainment. So, for 11 bucks a month, nothing better comes to my mind. It was silly of me to think that I was saving money without it – but I know.

Some expenses are good expenses.

Have a great day friends – all and well.

A look at my 2019

I have had an interesting year, for sure.

I remember that at the beginning, I was frustrated with my family a lot and was ready to cool our relationship. Then, a dear family member of mine had a near-death experience, which made me re-think about my stupid frustrations. It was a very rocky and startling start to the new year…

I was working hard and stressed, and frustrated. On top of these, I also had developed insomnia, with 4-5 hours of sleep every night. There were toxic colleagues around, which made things worse. I knew I was going for a tough time, but also kept my hopes high. I took a couple of days off in mid-winter and did not even check my emails during this time. It was refreshing and one of the best decisions ever.

Then I went to visit my family and had a pleasant time with them. It was also quite relaxing for me. Since then I hardly have had insomnia.

Upon turning from this visit, I made important decisions. Two things have controlled me during my entire life – my weight and junk food. I decided to end both of these and take the control of my own life. I succeeded in refraining from junk food (almost 5 months now πŸ™‚ ), but my weight loss saga is far from a success. I am still determined, however.

I continued to work hard and got an international recognition mid Fall. This was one of the best feelings ever. I also took new roles and enjoyed them very much.

One of my most toxic colleagues has left my unit, leaving me with a sense of happiness and comfort.

I saved quite a bit of money, especially after quitting the junk food. It was amazing. My chequing account is now at the positive numbers, and I was even able to make a pre-payment order.

In so many ways, it has been a challenging year – personally and professionally. But I also see many positive developments in me; like taking time off from work, keeping my hope up, pursuing freedom from habits that drag me down, saving a good amount of money and appreciating my family better. I also see how lucky I am sometimes; the toxic people leaving my work environment is a blessing.

There are things, like weight loss, I must continue to work on. But I know I will. There is still a week till 2020 – this is the best time for me to formulate what I would like to change and improve/integrate in my life.

It is exciting πŸ™‚

Financial report 2019

It looks like it has been a great year.

I could save mostly in the second half of the year and boy, was it good πŸ™‚

  • My net worth increased around $62,000 in the last year. More than half of it is my investments and the return; as the markets have been doing good lately, this is reflected as a good increase in my overall net worth. Great πŸ™‚
  • I did not pay any mortgage pre-payments and it shows: I paid only $16,000 off my mortgage year. This feels very little, but nevertheless I am grateful for it πŸ™‚
  • My chequing account has increased to a healthy sum that I had aimed for; it feels amazing as I was hardly able to reach such a goal before. Amazing.. πŸ™‚
  • This being said; right after these calculations I put an order for my first pre-payment in the amount of $5,000 πŸ™‚ It will be in effect next week. This way, I will enter 2020 with less than 110K debt. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you πŸ™‚

I do not know you but we have less CPP contributions starting summers, so the winter means we get less of a salary and as a result, our savings are much less during the first half of the year. As also the power bill gets higher during winter, this translates into small accumulations. Kind of discouraging, but here is my plan which I hope will help me do well:

Continue the following practices:

  • taking the bus or walking, rather than taking the cab
  • continuing to take advantage of loyalty cards and occasional coupons
  • stocking up dry food and cleaning products when they are on sale
  • continuing to shop from thrift stores, especially clothes, trousers, house items, flower pots, and books
  • contributing the tax return, coupon and loyalty card savings, and anything else that comes extra or by luck to make a pre-mortgage payment. I am still not sure whether I will do these payments as I go, or at the end of the year.

My plan for the next year is to contribute $19,000 to RRSP/TFSA and save $5,000 as pre-payment, and have my chequing account increase by $5,000.

Wish me luck πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

Year of 2020

I want to make 2020 a year for my own.

I want to be free in 2020 and have a normal life.

Self-centered and caring – these are what I want for myself.

First thing first; I want to break my routine; have a smart TV and Netflix subscription; eat different food; try fancy recipes; wear good quality outfit.

I also want to stop responding to emails at the weekend and helping others achieve at my own expense.

I want my energy to be spent on myself.

 

 

random thoughts

 

I have had three long and unproductive meetings in the last two days. As a result, once again I ask for a world without work meetings.

There.

I said it.

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I have seen a colleague of mine in one of these meetings. She and I hit off quite fast a few years back. Even though we do not see each other much, we seem to get along just fine. She told me today that she has been sick for sometime and she had quite worrisome days. We talked. Our approach to health problems are similar, so I understood her well and treated her the way I would like to be treated if I were in her shoes. As a result, she was relieved and happy, and so was I. And our friendship, thus, got stronger.

And that feels good.

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I have been trying to lose weight since August and I am not losing it…… What is going on, really? How do I reach that goal????

😦

Haaaalp!!!!

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By the way; those that waste my time with these meetings where I am not even needed, do me a favor and get out of my head. I would love to feel rather peaceful and hopeful tonite than remembering and getting annoyed by your memory.

So, here is a beautiful piece of music that just washes my palate and gives me positive vibes.

Good night friends.

 

 

random thoughts

I lack my regular excitement for the upcoming holidays.

Why?

Because I have not been anticipating.

It is true – anticipation of having or doing something makes it more exciting. I still have a week before my 2 weeks of time-off starts.

So I kind of hoping that I will develop that anticipation and, hence, the excitement of the holiday season!

What could be my plans and therefore anticipation items for the holidays?

Hmmmm….

 

1. As usual, I will analyze my spending in the last one year and calculate the savings and net-worth next week. This is exciting.

Planning for the next year will also be exciting. Are there any areas in my financial plan that can be expanded, changed, or improved? How can I save more money? Can I get a side gig and earn some extra money?

Good questions.

 

2. As usual – again, yes – I could look at my life style and implement healthy choices; better eating; more diverse food; losing weight; walking everyday; home-exercises, especially to strengthen my back, bones, and muscles

When can I make them permanent efforts?

 

3. New hobbies! I am getting interested in stained glass now – can I find a workshop on it?

Can be quite exciting πŸ™‚

 

4. Cleaning and decluttering the home – yay!!! My most consistent holiday season activity :((( Hah haa…. or Argh….

I love decluttering, but cleaning not so much. Often times it takes around a week to do this cleaning…… I also need to declutter my computer files and email…. Well. one thing at a time…

 

5. I sure would like to shop.

There are a couple of items I am eyeing now – a TV and stainless steel kettle being the two of them. I can also get some furniture for home, especially cabinets. I also would like some new pants and a purse. These last items may be easily found at the thrift store, which you know I am a regular customer of πŸ™‚ I have not been to the thrift stores for some time, so I am looking forward to this.

 

6. Reading books, visiting cafe houses, eating different foods, and reflecting on the year going by…..

Just stopping will be so good… So good…. There are so many things to be realized and appreciated once I manage to stop running from one task to other, from one plan to the next. Reflecting has always been one of my most cherished activities.

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Reflecting on 2019 and welcoming 2020 with hope, excitement, and love.

Hmmm.

.

.

Yes.

πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

all the good things – check

 

  • feeling awesome – check

Some very positive developments have been happening with me lately. They deserve to be inked here. The most important being less of a control freak and feeling less anxiety. I do not know what prompts this beautiful feeling; my worry journal that keeps me company during anxiety and soothes me? having a good sleep over and over? having a highly toxic co-worker being removed from my work-place? focusing on the positive achievements and moving into a productive new field?

I do not know. But I am feeling great really. Hope to feel like this continuously πŸ™‚

 

  • eating healthy food – check

I have eaten a lot for dinner, but this is alright. At least they were all healthy food. Especially the kale. I sauteed it with lots of onion and it was awesome. I decided that I can try it more regularly. After all, it is considered a highly powerful veggie. Could not be more excited.

Also, finally realized that the bagged apples were not the best apples. I often get them rot (3 lbs/bag) anyhow and they are not necessarily the crispiest ones, so what was my insistence of purchasing those apples? I bought bulk apples this week (5Β  of them) and enjoyed one of them at the office. It was juicy and lovely – my love for apples is being restored again. Come forward you the healthy fiber! πŸ™‚

 

  • working nice and easy – check

I had a productive day at the office. I had a trip last week for a couple of days. Change was truly healing. I enjoyed flying, even though it was tiring; staying at hotels; eating different foods, and meeting with new colleagues. We worked as a team during the trip, even though we met for the first time. It was a good experience for me as well. All is well in my professional life πŸ™‚

 

  • having the night to myself – check

Oh the sweet nights where the only thing I care about is writing my blog and listening to a nice piece of music. Priceless

 

The 4th day of the 4-day long weekend

I took Friday off and together with today – Remembrance Day in Canada – that means I was off for 4 days.

Yes, I have not worked much and did not go to office. I mostly spent my time at home, with the exceptions of a thrifting adventure on Friday and a short visit to Shoppers on Saturday to grab a couple of things.

I often plan for how I am going to dedicate my time during such breaks. I had not planned anything this time, and till this morning this had annoyed me – I had felt like wasting this wonderful opportunity of 4-days.

Well, it turns out it was okay. This morning I understood it finally. I was supposed to stop (duh) and just notice. Well, I noticed a couple of things, some through analyzing my dreams.

I have been in a transitional period of my life where I am moving towards great personal and professional experiences.

I dare more. I focus on great causes and roles. I slowly but steadily change and prioritize myself at work. I gain confidence. I achieve. And, I get satisfied and excited by myself and my work. Again – like in my youth. Amazing.

A new chapter is opening.

This give some peace and also makes me quite excited and hopeful about myself.

I believe my personal life will also be positively affected by these thoughts. My weight saga, for example. All my life my weight – or what it means for the society – controlled me, and made me self-conscious and lose self-esteem. I noticed that as long as I keep my own eating/diet, I slowly lose weight. I gain weight, however, when I eat outside of home or with others. For example, when I have lunch or dinners with others. When somebody treats me with a chocolate/cracker or anything else at the office. When I attend a committee meeting, which offers pizza. When I go visit my family – goodness – I eat so much there. And when I travel to other places.

As long as I keep my own eating/diet habits, I may be just fine. This is something to try!

I also believe that there is someone out there for me. Yes. It is interesting that I am opening to the idea of a relationship, at this age, at this time. But, that is what it is and I think I am completely over my heart-breaks & and those men whom I once loved. Hmmm.

πŸ™‚

I leave you with a wonderful album by Emma Shapplin. When I was a young student, this album was quite popular. I love it to date and am happy to share with you.

Maybe some of you remember it as well πŸ™‚

all the good things – check

It has been sometime that I have noted down my gratitude.

Believe or not, they are right when they say that “it is the little things in life that makes a difference.”

But more importantly, since there are so many “little things or experiences” that are available to us every single day that by just reminding ourselves them and by being grateful for them, it is possible to feel good without needing a huge life event, a lottery win, or a miracle.

Try it yourself πŸ™‚

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I am grateful;

  • for sleeping well and getting up without caring for what time it was – check

honestly, when was the last time you got up only you wanted to get up? For me the last few days were exceptions – other times I always had work to do, an office to go to,Β  house chores to do, a bus to catch, etc. It feels amazing to sleep knowing that you can get up whenever you want and when your body feels it just right

  • for enjoying my morning coffee – check

this drink is the best thing to smell in the morning!

  • for speaking to my family and my uncle, who has recently been diagnosed with cancer – check

my uncle sounds good. His wife sounds hopeful. Or, maybe they are just not aware of what this disease and its treatment course are like. They show little concern. Not sure this is just a visible mask they put on. Nevertheless, I enjoy seeing them upbeat and well. My own family, on the other hand, is quite demoralized by this diagnosis. I try to keep contact and support. One day at a time…

  • for walking and seeing the first flurries of the year – check

we always get the first snow around this time of the year πŸ™‚ I love that white fluffy stuff. It is such an innocent thing. Cannot wait for the first serious dump of snow πŸ™‚

  • for eating a healthy and hearty salad – check

I have eaten too much yesterday, with a lot of junk food…. this shows on my face, which is puffy. I know that I must be changing my relationship with food, especially with junk and easy food. When I am presented with food, I cannot help but eat. Not always, but you know, I am tempted. So even though I steadily and slowly lose weight in my own routine, whenever I travel, eat at airport or at professional meeting meals/snacks, go out for lunch or dinner with friends, am offered a treat at the office, or go out for shopping, I find myself either wanting to eat or eating. I am trying to be mindful of this pattern now.

  • for appreciating the moment and taking everything light and joyful – check

it is strangely beautiful that when you allow yourself to just do nothing and immerse yourself in the feeling of freedom (to do nothing), positive feelings start to fill your heart and mind. Everybody should take “freedom weekends” like these! I certainly must πŸ™‚

 

Have a great Saturday everyone!

 

 

 

 

1st day of a 4 day long-weekend

I slept and woke up thinking “I am free”.

I had no need to rush; no bus to catch; no meeting to get ready for; no stress to handle; no plan to follow.

I was free πŸ™‚

I enjoyed my coffee; responded to some emails; talked to family; and then took off to a thrift store.

I was lucky – I found a couple of adorable plant pots and a lovely blouse. All for 14 bucks – how come 14 bucks can make you so excited and happy πŸ™‚

Thrifting is exciting. I still am not completely comfortable with thrifting certain items or being seen while thrifting (I know, I know….), but the excitement of treasure hunting is real (where else can one find all very unique items at one place?) So is knowing that I am saving chokes of money (where else can one find great clothing, books, houseware, small furniture, fabric, purses and so on all so affordable?. Sometimes they are even unused..).

Later, I returned home, cleaned it, and cooked myself some meal. Tonite I will be joining some friends to celebrate the birthday of a friend. I am looking forward to it.

Tomorrow?

Well, tomorrow is another day. I have no plans, but will likely end up doing some house chores – like laundry. I really would like to, however, cuddle with a nice novel and drink some hot chocolate! πŸ™‚

Have a great weekend everyone πŸ™‚

 

 

Sunday musings

Hello everyone,

We have a gray and rainy Sunday today. I am nevertheless grateful that I have that day to myself.

I needed to work whole day yesterday at a work-place function. It was exciting at first but got tiring in the afternoon. I decided that I could take Friday off, in lieu of the Saturday. It immediately relieved some of my frustration and tiredness associated with working on a Saturday and limiting my time to recuperate.

I also noticed that this was unexpectedly good of me – to be taking care of myself in this way, by taking time off work. I am proud of myself. Looks like my work is not the most precious or prioritized part of my life anymore, and I care about my health!

Lovely indeed πŸ™‚

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The gray weather somehow combined with the clocks being taken 1 hour back today, makes it an extra gray day… Do you feel the same way?

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I am not a huge fan of early set evenings, but I must say that I am looking forward to having some early sun rise in the morning. This is because I mostly take the bus now and before 7 am or so, it is dark and it makes waiting in an open bus stop as a single female difficult and annoying; each car honking, each car slowing down while coming on my way, or each person walking on the street makes me quite aware of the possibility that an unwanted approach may happen much easier in the dark than in the light. It is not fun. But now that the daylight savings started, I may get to take even 6.30 am bus should I want it. This feels good πŸ™‚

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Have I mentioned that I have been back to my frugal self in the last three months, and I have saved quite a bit of money as a result? What a fantastic experience πŸ™‚

I cut my cab and junk food expenses, and voila – it shows very nicely in my purse and chequing account. It feels amazing to have a positive chequing account and not worried about loaning money to pay the credit card balance. I also feel like I will be able to make a pre-payment in late December – I am really am looking forward to this. I know that it will make me feel great about myself.

These being said, some weeks are better than others in terms of savings. Like this week. I have had unexpected expenses this week. A friend saw me walking on the road, picked me up, and offered to have dinner together. We enjoyed it very much but the money I needed to use to pay the bill – which was luckily divided into two – was something that I could rather spend on some necessary expenses, such as a hair cut. Also, I needed to shop and get some coffee and canned food this weekend. While on it, I also bought other items – of course – such as notebooks, stationary items, and whatever else I feel like I would need or enjoy. So, it is true that once you open the purse, it stays open!! For sure.

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Thus, the best to keep saving money is to keep the purse closed, except for those expenses that you know you will and budget for.

I hope to be able to do better in the coming weeks.

Have a great Sunday everyone!

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random thoughts

I have not written in a while.

I have a number posts started and then halted. They did not feel genuine enough. As if, what ever I would write would be just an automatic statement rather than me speaking. Who needs the dry facts and reports? Nobody. But we need conversations.

That is right.

Lots happened since I last posted here. Some good, some not so much, some just meh. Overall, I could say there are positive progress in how I manage things.

For one; I started to lightly delegate the tasks that I am not even supposed to do, but end up on my shoulder anyhow. Very, very light improvement, but quite significant. It feels right and I am happy with it.

Two; I did not work this past weekend, which is again amazing. I rather wanted to shop, see other places, and do things that excite me. Well done.

Three; I did get a professional award, which felt quite good! It is an international award which makes it extra sweet. I feel confident. Much confident and this is so well deserved.

Four; I realized that as long as I continue to react to, rather than manage or just ignore emotionally, the adversaries, I will find myself in the same stressed or over-whelmed state. So, I am head-butting some small challenges, rather than avoiding them. Maybe I will get de-sensitized. Maybe I will get crazy. But maybe I will just float with the situation while also making realistic decisions and taking realistic steps. We will see. This is a classical getting out of the comfort zone trial….

Fifth: I continue to be mortified by death and my own aging. Fearing death has been a recurring theme since my dad passed away. I do not want to die, as I do not know what it feels like, whether I would have strong regrets. Not having the people, or coffee, or plants, or anything else that I in fact love around myself… This feels like horrible to me…. Even though billion and billion of people and animals have experienced this since the dawn of times. I also feel like I have wasted my life as I am now close to 50 and my hair is silver gray. Somethings cannot be done anymore. Some looks cannot be had. There are regrets. There are “what is it that I am missing today?” feelings. This one will require me some reflection and acceptance…..

Death anxiety? Middle age crisis?

Both are real.

So, let’s honour this sweet moment of life and peaceful evening.

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all the not so good things

Life is not all about feeling the positive, right?

Sometimes we must also face the sad, negative side of it.

Especially if it relates to people we care about.

Looks like my great uncle has been diagnosed with cancer. He will visit a specialist this week.

It broke my heart as he has been an important figure in my life. But I also know that he will be fine – he is in good health otherwise and has no other comorbidity. My family is experienced with cancer diagnosis and treatment, so is providing support, information, and access to specialists.

However, I also have a family member who has psychological issues when it comes to cancer and cannot handle this well . She supports my uncle and his family, but she is bored and down. Hope she will find a way to move to a better mental state soon.

I am here and away, and cannot do much other than thinking about and calling people.

Life is… well, life is brutal sometimes.

I am positive that my uncle will thwart this off with proper medical care. I am grateful for feeling this way and believing this full-heartedly.

Love – hate relationships

I have a few love – hate relationships that make me crazy.

I love my family and then they break my heart and here I am, fuming about them whole day and thinking about not calling them tomorrow!

I love my profession and then somebody or many-bodies leave their work to me, do not appreciate my meticulous and hard-work, or try to manipulate or use me, and here I am, complaining about them and almost resigning from my post!

I love my home country and then something happens, and here I am, thinking that it would not hurt to hear negative things about it or defend it if I had not loved it so much, and here I am wishing I had not loved it. But the truth is that this love is the strongest one. The love for the homeland.

I think the philosophers (or was it psychologists?) were right that it hurts if you care. Detachment is the path to happiness.

If only I could.

 

random thoughts

It has been sometime, folks.

I have been busy preparing a dossier that took longer than I imagined. For a person who is well-organized and well-prepared for such tasks (often times way before), this was interesting. The good thing is that I have two more days after which I will be done with this blessed and important dossier, and I will move on πŸ™‚

Somethings are going well in my life. For example, since my vacation In Iune-July, I did not experience anxiety just yet. Thank goodness for this. I am not highly stressed and I continue to work well. I spend quite a lot of time at the office now, rather than home office. My love and interest for plants are continuing, so is my interest for thrifting πŸ™‚ I also walk everyday, in the afternoons. It is beautiful.

Some other things are going without much of a progress. I still have not lost weight. I am eating much less carb and more protein than before, yet I do not see much of a difference in the scale. My carb cravings get strong sometime, but other than this it seems to be manageable.

I look old, considerably older than a few months ago. And knowing that this may not be true; that is, one cannot age so fast in such a short time, I decided today that it must be the style, not the gray hair or aging. I am getting a hair cut, preferably on Friday when I will be done with my blessed and important dossier. What a nice finish to this weeks-long run that I have had while preparing this file πŸ™‚

My friends; I missed blogging. I am refraining from checking the date of my last post – was it longer than a month??? By the way, WordPress sent me notification congratulating my 5th year with them. What? 5 years ago I opened this blog, did I? Wow… I remember that I was not active at first, maybe months, maybe a year, but then I had picked up.

4-5 years is a long time. I am glad I am here, I am blogging, and I have blog connections that I cherish. Thank you all for being a part of this experience πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

give me one reason…

Give me one reason to not eat junk food NOW!!!

It has been a week (today is the 7th day) that I refrain from eating it, and boy, do I crave?

DO… I… CRAVE..?

I crave like crazy – especially at around noon/afternoon.

I somehow manage it in the evenings (by eating healthier food). But the office cravings are sickening me, and making me want to go to the nearest convenience store and purchase bags and packs of junk food.

Will the cravings ever get better before I quit and start eating it again?

Because I can quit RIGHT NOW!!!!

Argh.

 

random thoughts

After a couple of days with temps around 30C, I welcome the cooler and slightly rainy today πŸ™‚

I continue to sleep well – the last 2 weeks since my vacation. I hope it will continue like this for ever. I really do! Insomnia and waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to go back to sleep have been such a recurring and annoying theme, in the last year particularly… I am grateful for the comfortable and easy sleep I have in the last while.

This is the 5th day that I gave up junk food (yes, again. I am trying again).Β  It is hard. Very hard. I know after a few weeks, I will get used to living without them, but the first days are the hardest – especially at around noon. Then, I crave for them. Yesterday and today were particularly difficult. I believe with each day it will get better, but goodness, is there a medication or something like that to get rid of the cravings!!!

It is quite a mental judo. But, I want to be in control of my life and quitting junk food is one the ways to do it. The second one is to lose weight. Interestingly junk food addiction and weight gain are linked, right?

Right.

And both of them have been a struggle for years (or decades). They both made me feel dissatisfied/angry with myself and with my life. Five days ago I decided that I wanted to remove these from my life, be content with myself, and take control of my life back. Do you think I can do these?

No more junk food (how am I going to “gift” myself when I am stressed or want to enjoy my moment?), eating better and cooking at home (I actually do this and enjoy it as long as I have time), looking better with better outfit (yes, I want to buy new ones as soon as I start losing weight; I have not updated my wardrobe in the last while) and a better hair cut (boy, I love my hair but it really does not look good in this humid weather. I want a short, modern cut that I will wear with love and confidence), and feeling more confident and self-pleased as a result.

I really want to do these, but it is hard, especially with the cravings I have for junk food during the afternoon.

I have little confidence in me that I will get over these and reach my objectives, but hey, maybe I am in a lucky period of time.

 

 

random thoughts on a random evening

I do not even know what I will write in this post πŸ™‚

Here I go.

Today has been a good day. It was bright and warm. I worked till noon at the office, taking care of a number of critical things. Then I walked back home (grateful for this decision of mine) and started a new a highly critical work. It went really well till now and I am quite pleased with my performance. Home office works for me πŸ™‚

I do not know how my colleagues interpret my absence from the work office… I sometimes hear things that make me nervous. Once my boss asked why I was mostly absent from the office. It was a couple of years back. The question was careful but made me feel defensive and nervous. I may be the only one who appreciates this opportunity to utilize the home office. I made a mental note to talk more about it. One last thing I want is its working against me. I do so much better at the home office and feel so much better..

I found a chance to chat with my neighbours and it was quite pleasant as well. It is so important to have good neighbours… I am one of the lucky bunch indeed. This is a very satisfying and exciting thought – I am grateful for this as well. If you have good neighbours, go appreciate them as well as yourself – they would not be so good to you unless you were good to them.

It is warm at nights, but it is manageable. I know how hard it can be to sleep at temps above 25C. I could not be happier in this regard. It is great not to need and AC. I am grateful for this as well.

I want to go back to walking. I have been walking almost everyday from office to home, at least. This makes me feel good about myself. I must admit that sometimes it is difficult – I find myself at the bus stop so easily. How do I make the decision to rather walk? Habit? Not wanting to wait for the bus? Finding a chance to relax my mind while walking? Any of them can be quite powerful. The end result, walking, is the best, but I wonder how I make my decisions?

I am such a habit-person, who has a routine and sticks to it; my work days are ordered, so are the weekends. Anything different that needs to be done requires most often a prior planning… Sometimes this is great, sometimes it makes me bored – especially when all of a sudden I find some time at my hand. Dilemma….

Anyways; other good things include eating apple at the office (very healthy), giving away a couple of more succulents to a colleague (always a pleasure to spread the love of plants), having a dinner with home-made chickpea meal and sourdough (yummy), and taking this time and evening to just relax.

It turned out to be more like a joy journal entry, but I am pleased what went through my mind while writing this post πŸ™‚

 

 

Sunday Morning Musings

A beautiful, sunny and warm day!

The day started with thanking all the nice things in my life and enjoying the nature from the back yard. Trees are tall and healthy; bees (or wasps) are around; flowers are dancing with the breeze; sourdough loaf is shaping in the bowl; coffee is brewing in the french press….

Happiness πŸ™‚

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all the good things – check

I have not drafted any joy journal entries in the last few months. This feels weird…

I often do this exercise to remind myself about the beautiful and nice things and experiences I have had during the day – this immediately lifts my mood. Hence, especially when I need to feel better, it is one of the things that helps me. Today, however, I am writing this entry to share the things and experiences that make me feel excited, happy, and elated!

All the good things:

  • sleeping well, safe and sound – check!
  • waking up early, taking my time to get ready, and taking the bus – check

getting up early gives me the freedom to go to office early and do work without any distraction. I am very pleased with this habit (which is newly formed in the last year or so). Taking the bus is great as it helps with my financial plans by saving money. Lovely πŸ™‚

  • walking back to home in the afternoon – check

I have been walking in the last two days. It relaxes me and it is so good for my body; bone, heart, cardiovascular health, etc. I know that it will also help me lose weight. I am grateful to be able to do this

  • enjoying the great cool but bright day – check

We have a cool summer here this year. I do not complain as someone who just came back from vacation from somewhere with a sunny and warm climate. Cool weather (around 18 – 23 C) is the best for me to function. I am happy with this year’s summer!

  • eating a healthy meal at home with raw radish as salad – check

radish is one miracle food for me. It helps me feeling better and with my digestion. I believe it also helps with my blood sugar levels, and as such, helps control my appetite. I love it πŸ™‚

  • realizing that there are too many things to do at work and as such getting a little bit stressed and organized – check

this is a good type of stress that drives me to do what needs to be done smoothly and effectively. After dealing with a couple of things in the evening that are urgent, I now feel much accomplished and less-stressed πŸ™‚

  • taking time to reflect on all the positive things in my life and profession, and being content with them – check
  • opening a new box of a hand soap with a wonderful scent – check
  • drinking a tall glass of milk – check

it is good for my bone health and my doctor recommends taking the Calcium supplements and drinking milk interchangeably to help with my bone density. Will do! πŸ™‚

  • accepting an invitation for a committee membership by a national organization – check

great for my development and to help demonstrate my organization my valuable contributions to other organizations πŸ™‚ Score!

  • taking things easy generally – check

even for a short time, to be able to approach life and especially my work with such a mind-frame is a huge success and blessing! I will savor this feeling as much as I can πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

Life-related objectives following a vacation

I just returned back from a family visit – it was great!

I found a chance to see my family and friends, and I have had a great time. Food, conversations, and visited places were all awesome. I am glad I have done this trip!

I also found a chance to stay away from work, especially in the last half of the vacation. I did not access and respond to emails, which was a blessing! I like this improvement in my approach to work.

My work-induced stress levels were down to zero as soon as I stepped on the plane. I still feel positive and relax. I hope to be able to respond to work related feelings and pressures better. I want to convince myself that I can do this.

One of the best things about having a break from the routine and engage in activities and thoughts that are different than what I usually have (mostly work related issues) is that it is a good opportunity to formulate new plans to remove the negativity of the past activities and have a chance to improve things that do not go so well. Today is a good day to do these:

Aims related to personal life:

1. Going back to frugal and abundant life-style.

I have been quite successful with this a couple of years back and then I broke it with junk food and can-fare expenses… I want to go back to that as of today.

My specific aims are:

  • to spend no more than 100 bucks a week on grocery and other needs (cleaning products, personal care products, etc.). This does not include medication and health-care related expenses (e.g. physiotherapy)
  • to utilize what I already have (dried food, frozen food, etc) to reduce my food cost, while not sacrificing from healthy and diverse food
  • to have another shopping freeze for flower pots, shoes/clothes, books (occasional ones are okay) and furniture
  • to keep all other frugal activities I already have (e.g. use of coupons/discounts, points, etc.) to maximize the value of my money
  • not to make any pre-payments unless an unexpected sum of money finds my way. This is to ensure that my chequing account will remain at a healthy level. I feel quite strongly about this because when it dips, first I pay extra money to the bank each month, and second, it makes me feel like I am in a financial crisis – not a great feeling
  • to eat the food that I have in the freezer and pantry (I have a lot of dried legumes/beans/rice that are waiting to be enjoyed)
  • to save around 7K bucks till December
  • to make a prepayment in December with the money I will save till then while also keeping around 5K in my chequeing account. This is an ambitious but doable aim. I feel like this will give me the best motivation to move forward and keep my frugal spending habits.

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2. Having a healthier body and weight

I have gained quite a bit of weight this year and its negative effects on my health were noticeable during my vacation: my feet ached a lot, my back gave me trouble (twice I have had my back pain/sciatica – they were minor compared to last year, but still I did not like having two episodes in a short time…).

I am aware of two reasons as to why I have gained weight this year: I did not walk as much as I did in the past years (I used to walk from office everyday – rain or shine) and I ate quite unhealthy food (pizzas and prepared food…). I still have two boxes of frozen pizza and some frozen, pre-made dinners in my freezer. I will consume them as well but with the understanding that my priority will be not to purchase them anymore so that I can eat better.

Thus, my specific aims are:

  • not to buy any pizzas or other prepared meals
  • to eat at least 6 different food (veggies, fruits, or dried food) every week
  • to cook meals at least 3 nights a week (I often consume them in two-three days)
  • to eat apples everyday at the office and to continue to eat carrots and radishes that I love so much (for some reason, these veggies made me feel much better and help me lose weight at the same time)
  • whenever feasible, to walk in the morning to office and in the afternoon from the office (this will help me feel great, lose weight, and also save from the transportation – win-win situation!)
  • to shop at the farmers’ market to have fresh local and affordable food
  • to keep take my calcium supplements and drink milk to keep my bones healthy
  • to re-start doing my back exercises to help strengthen my abs and my back muscles
  • to do light weight-lifting at home to keep my muscles and my bones healthy and strong

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3. Heaving a healthier mind and higher quality of life

I wish not to have stress and anxiety to my best anymore…. Work-related stress, sleep problems, and problems related to relations with the colleagues have hit the ceiling last couple of years… I am better at managing my anxiety by means of the worry journal exercise. But in terms of stress management I have not been much successful.

Hence, my specific aims are:

  • to walk everyday, to eat a healthier diet, and to exercise whenever I can find a chance to provide myself a healthier, nourishing way of life
  • to rest everyday. This I noticed is quite important for my stress levels. Whenever I am tired, I noticed I feel more pressurized and over-react as a result
  • to not access the emails in the evenings and the weekends, unless I have a good reason to do so
  • to take things a little bit lighter and not to react to problems when I am anxious or panicky
  • to trust the life and people around me a little bit more
  • to stop thinking that I am the only person who can do things well and on time. This is one of the main reasons that I feel resentment towards people I work with. Often times I have a good reason to think that the work is not done well and corrections/my involvement is needed. However, this also makes me over-work and over-stressed… Perhaps it is time to lower my standards without harming the quality of the work. I can also take it easy with relations. I can be more tolerant and less assuming… (wish me luck with this one. It is hard…. but I must do this)
  • to make it priority to feel calm at the office
  • to feel confident that I have solved many issues in the past and I can do so now and in the future as well. I must remind myself this everyday, especially when I face of an issue
  • to integrate a new walking route or an activity in my life over time – whether this would be going to theaters/shows, visiting a cafe on a Saturday morning, or reading about an entirely new topic does not matter. Something useful and enjoyable!
  • to continue to read my daily affirmations first thing in the morning to set my intentions for the day for the better

For example:

I am calm and can take care of any of the work-related issues easily

I am confident and successful

I have great work-relationships with everyone I see today

I am known by my high quality and meticulous work and I am respected for these

I am kind to everyone I meet today, especially, myself

I have time to do my work

Today has all the opportunities and beauties I may need

I welcome and appreciate the opportunities life can offer me

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Have a great Sunday everyone!

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Sunday musings

Happy Sunday everyone!

With the sourdough loaf being in the oven and giving all the beautiful scents and feelings, I am ready to enjoy my day.

Today, I am not working. The weird thing about this is that I am bored. I have alternatives, of course – such as, visiting a cafe and enjoying a nice cup of tea and a pastry, or visiting a bookstore and browsing the shelves. Yet, these are not appealing to me right now. So, I stay in.

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My TV is on. There is a movie with Meghan Markle in one of the leading roles. It feels weird and somehow exciting as well that her life is completely changed lately. The love she has found, the changes in her social status and obligations, and motherhood. She is a good example of how our lives can change from one moment to other. I wonder when the last time my life has had such an interesting twist…..

There is something boring about doing the same thing over and over – working hard and long, taking the same bus everyday, dealing with varying but constant issues and stress at work, shopping from the same grocery store week after week, and eating the same food. It is equally boring to find no new activity or experience to enrich my life experiences.

I have no solution to this. Simple and smoothly running life at one hand, and lack of stimulus and excitement at the other hand. We all have similar choices in life I guess.

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The little things in life that gives me joy are there. I still enjoy my plants, the awakening in nature with the arrival of Spring, and having a safe and comfortable life. Asking for more may sound like being ignorant to the realities of life and being ungrateful. Where do we draw this line and when do we need to jump over the line to the other side? Million dollar question.

I have read many times in the past about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Simply put, it says that in order to move up our activities and priorities, we must first satisfy the basic needs (such as shelter, food, etc.). I think this applies to my life and I am intrigued to see what my next level of needs will be. But first I must stabilize my mental health.

I am happy to say that my anxiety levels are very manageable and even sometimes non-existent. Yet time to time I experience it nevertheless, which makes me feel like my efforts in this area should continue. With this in my mind, I am cautious to move up along my priorities, but I am also continuing to develop into new areas at work. I just wished that I had showed the same interest in my daily personal life and make it a priority to develop my inner world and experiences. Once I have started this, I know that I will have a much satisfying and exciting life, yet its time has not arrived yet. I dislike the fact that my work takes up the majority of my efforts and thoughts. I wonder why I care about it that much?

Mostly because of the stress it gives me and the feeling I have that I can do much better, bigger impacts should I have had a different work environment or position, I long for my retirement. The earliest I can get entitled to retirement is 6 years later. It will not be a great income at that time and later, but at least I will have the freedom to leave this position and explore other things in life. I also will have to keep working to get income. But I do not really worry about it. I hope that life will be on my side and give me a peaceful and comfortable retirement, where I will also have a chance to reach the highest level in Maslow’s hierarchy – Self-actualization.

 

 

 

random thoughts at a random moment of life

Are you one of those persons who would feel thrill and satisfaction by the number of work/tasks done?

I certainly am.

What a waste of precious moments of life…..

I try to remind myself that life is bigger than what I occupy myself with – work, work, work-related issues, stress, and success (eventually). It is such a high octave thing that takes almost all of my focus and leave almost nothing for the rest. Like myself, family, or friends.

Doing nothing seems like something that can connect me back to life.

Just for tonite, I stop listing all the work I have done or will do tomorrow. And focus on doing nothing – how about that?

Let’s see whether I can succeed in this as well.

 

 

random thoughts

It has been a good day.

We have had frozen rain and the trees are surrounded by ice, making it an incredibly beautiful scenery.Β  While it makes it difficult to walk on the streets, when I am inside I could not help but fill with joy and amazement πŸ™‚

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It has been a good day also because while I worked I did not feel stressed. One of the things that I prioritize now is to keep good relationships with my colleagues. It is such an important and positive experience that I am glad I recognize it and make it a priority. Often times small gestures such as a smile, showing some kind of understanding, or complementing their work makes things warmer and better. I love this feeling.

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Talking about complementing others’ work; I found that my institution does not really have a culture of appreciation. Since I have craved for it for sometime, I decided I can start or contribute to build it by paying appreciations when it deserves. In the last few weeks, I have sent positive comments to colleagues, a unit I volunteer at, and my boss for the specific and great things they have done.

I am not kissing ass – do not get it wrong – I rather recognize the value and positive impacts of their behavior or actions. I think many of us do not take time to do this, while it is important. I think this kind of positive appraisals help keep and encourage the great behavior or work. I am glad I am doing my part. I also feel great having positive thoughts for others. Selfish? I do not know, but it is a win-win situation.

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I cannot believe it is Wednesday already. Time has flied recently. The last weekend was a long weekend. I mostly spent it at home working. I am glad I have, but then I kind of think that I could also use this long weekend to care about myself, enjoy my life a little bit more, etc. Oh, well. There will be other times.

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May is around the corner. Last year it was a time for me to get interested in plants and succulents. This year I am interested in bonsai :))))) Luckily and interestingly I think a small tree is bursting out of one of my plant pots. I will be looking for a shallow container to re-pot it into and with excitement see how I can grow it and keep it. Exciting!

Have a great Wednesday night everyone!

all the good things lately

Many things have been going better lately and I have been feeling better as well πŸ™‚

Notably:

My short and disrupted sleep pattern have been reversing slowly. I can now sleep till 7-8 am. I still wake up during the night and have fragmented sleep, but the improvement is that I can mostly go back to sleep.

My anxiety levels are almost leveled… This is amazing. It can come back (and sometimes I do feel that it is), but as long as I stop stressing myself about stuff and write my worry journal, I am in a more comfortable state. It is strange to notice that my anxiety flares up as soon as I think “I do not know what to do“.. Duh… Classical trigger of anxiety. Nevertheless, I am very grateful for this period of time.

I feel very confident and have self-respect, admiration, and esteem. Wohaaa πŸ™‚ This is HUGE. I owe it to a number of changes in me lately;

1) I am more initiative (such as in initiating new projects) and motivated to expand my skills to new areas. I do not try to calculate risks anymore – only big ones, not the small things that made me busy, anxious, and less initiative in the past few years. It goes well so far, I am forming new collaborations, I can ask people for favors of involvement easier, and I believe that all is much better now with these skills. I also appreciate my development and efforts more, knowing that this way I will be able to grow and do better professionally. I appreciate myself extra because these also takes guts. Seemingly, I have them πŸ™‚

2) I believe the reason I am less conserved and introvert and more initiative is that I care less.. Yes, you heard right. The less I care about the potential and negative outcomes (e.g. failure, being rejected, etc.), the better I do and get responses. Strange but works! πŸ™‚

3) These are all possible because I finally realize to take time for myself and my own value, personally and professionally. Good times πŸ™‚

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I am one of these individuals that benefited from self-help books. Not all of them, but some were quite influential. The idea of worry journal, feeling better with detaching from my immediate issues and seeing the bigger picture in life, reading positive messages and feeling better as a result, etc. were all good to me. I am not naive enough to think that I have a life-long habit of thinking and feeling better, but at least I know that these strategies can be re-applied, if needed in the future.

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I have other areas in my life that I must focus, though. My diet is not the healthiest, my weight increased lately, I hardly exercise, and my spending habits are still harming my saving goals.

One way to help implement them in my life is to write specific goals. So here I go:

My diet: Aim for eating 6 different foods each week; stop pizza and eating out; eat more protein; buy and eat more veggies, especially crunchy ones.

My weight: once I start eating better and walking everyday, I know that it will decrease to its usual amount. Also, stop eating pizzas, peanuts, and junk food!!

My exercise: I can walk in the evenings quite easily. I can also start walking in the morning (to office). Weather is nice and once I start it I know I will enjoy it. I can also do light exercise at home – like my back exercises and light weights.

Spending habits: If I lose the junk food, I am sure I will be in much better shape financially. I also need more specific goals….

MORE to come.

 

 

 

 

 

random thoughts

After a hiatus from blogging, here I am again πŸ™‚

Goodness knows, I missed it!!

The last month has been good to me. I still struggle with frayed nerves and occasional elevated blood pressure; insomnia and stress; but things are looking a little bit better.

I enormously benefited from the worry journal practice and I would recommend it to anyone.

I also do not work all the time and try to take a rest during the weekends. This also includes visits to cafe houses and enjoying my time on Saturdays and Sundays. Life is good.

I reduced my baking bread saga to every two weeks, rather than every week. This gives me a chance to just have one less task to do at the weekends. I bake two loafs at the same time and freeze one of the loafs. When needed, this loaf is as good to go as a fresh one. It works wonderfully for me.

I make a good attempt to take the bus and save money from cab fare. This has had a positive impact on my chequing account. I am excited. This was also topped up with the tax return – I am happy to say that I do not need to use my line of credit anymore and my chequing account is lifting up nice and easy. I feel quite excited about this!

I walk more often now. We have beautiful weather that makes it possible. I feel like energized and the hibernation season has surely ended.

Work is going okay. I still feel strained sometime when faced with difficult decisions. But I move along anyway and guess what – nothing is as bad as it looks.

I relaxed the self-imposed obligations and do not attend the meetings at work unless they are really interesting or absolutely required. This feels good as well.

I say “no” more often as well. I kind of prioritize my time over others’ needs. What a change! What a progress! πŸ™‚

I have taken a couple of days off in the last two weeks – only because I was not feeling well or enthusiastic about going to work. I was worried at first, thinking maybe I had lost my interest at work for good, but I rapidly realized it to be a wrong assumption. I love this – I love loving my job.

Spring is here, which signals a time to close the loose ends and start anew. Last year this feeling had resulted in me getting interested in plants – succulents and cacti to be exact. This year I am not sure what it is gonna be, but I wait life to direct me to my next exciting interest.

I have more positive relationships at work thanks to me getting some rest and things look brighter and more positive.

I have socialized with friends a couple of times and this also had a positive impact on me and how I feel.

My relationship with my family is also much better since new year and I am very grateful for this.

Pokemon Episode Spring GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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gif by:https://giphy.com/gifs/pokemon-adorable-spring-TcG7Tw3uq6tJS

 

 

 

 

 

time to really prioritize myself and my well-being

I have not written here for some time.

I took some kind of break from internet for a while so that I could rather read inspirational books and analyze my feelings by writing on my worry journal.

It all started with a two-days I took off work – my first time in my entire career that I used my vacation time to focus on myself and rest. This is 25 years of work, my friends. All other times I used my vacation time to visit family or friends (where are they now?)

In that two days, I wanted to do whatever I wanted to do – reading books, sitting at a cafe, ordering meal, shopping, reflecting.. Just about anything but working!Β  It was good. I did not check my emails during this time, which was a miracle, by the way.Β  I still try not to check the work emails in the evenings and at the weekend. I also try not to work at home and generally take things easy.

But I am also angry with anything that bothers me, and I think my blood pressure increases time to time in such a way that it is alarming me. Deep down I think I am also depressed. I do not know friends – I feel a lot of things nowadays and I think I should really prioritize myself and care about my body and mind, and I should let go off any past or current issues or negative feelings to feel okay.

Honestly, the other day while I was having elevated blood pressure (I think that is what it was)Β  I just felt that I could as well die at that moment and I would not even care.

This is scary.

On the good side, since I have started the worry journal practice, my anxiety is manageable.

This is priceless.

 

reconstructing when life needs it

I have taken significant steps to change things; the way I work, live, or interact with others. Just because I realized the amount of change I have been thinking about or implementing, I came to realize today that I am re-constructing myself, my work, and my life. I am also re-constructing my attitude towards myself, work, my family, my co-workers/friends, money, and my life.

It feels great!

I have done what I thought was best at times. I cannot regret, and I am not willing to. They serve me well over sometime, but not anymore. Time to change, time to do differently. For a better tomorrow as I want today.

I am fine with that.

As a matter of fact, I am encouraged, excited, and happy about these!!

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What progress I have had so far?

I am more compassionate and supportive of myself. I feel the need to take care of myself and my wellness is becoming important. This is very healthy and natural – I take that it is a real need and this is empowering.

I am less concerned about the mistakes I may have done, developed new interests and skills, and feeling successful after a 2.5 years of high stress and hard work season. I am very aware of my strengths and capabilities, and I am more confident. What remains to be implemented is to take it easier and maybe stop working regularly at the weekends. And say no more often.

I value life and am curious about it more like when I was young. I want to be out there with life, within life, and I want a fuller life that is not restricted with my work or how stressful or constrained I may feel. I want to taste it – whether it is visiting new places, meeting with new people, having a new outfit style, trying new things, or simply just buying myself a lovely meal, I want to experience life in a wider way. It is my birth right, like is yours.

I am forgiving more and letting go more. This positively affects my relationships. I also speak less and listen more. I am more authentic or genuine than before, less reserved, but equally loving. I am putting myself more out there without fear or fear of rejection, stigma, etc.

At work, I am speaking of my mind less and developing a political attitude to less annoy others, but still make the points I want to make. I do not need to insist on things that others would not agree to. Sometimes my job (at work) is just to bring them over for discussion. Let everyone think and decide.

I have stopped recording my expenses and savings as of yesterday. I realized that it was a constant battle for me to see how much I had spent and how much of it was extra (which meant I beat myself for it). I do not need this in my life. It served me well in the last few years, but came to a point that it started to harm me. So I am stopping it until next time I need it or benefit from it.

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All started in action by re-arranging the furniture of my bedroom yesterday. The “new direction” of my furniture made me realize it was needed, felt great, and was full of opportunities for me to realize. I then visited a nearby book store and purchased two books – both inspirational. I sat at a cafe and started reading it. It was quiet, and the 6 bucks I paid for the tea and scones were the best 6 bucks I have ever spent. This was one of my most enjoyable things to do at the weekends, which I had stopped in the name of saving money. Now I see that I can enjoy it still. And I will as long as it continues to be enjoyable.

Then, I met with some friends and decided to dress up. Boy, it was a great idea. I went there not expecting anything (that is, not having any prior plans or thoughts) and I just took it one moment at a time. All the new experiences I have had and all the new people I have met, and all the positive thoughts that went through my mind as a result, are priceless. Life can be very awarding if we step in it and watch what it can offer. Not all the time, but this does not mean that it does not. I will take my chances with life more now.

I also decided that it was time that I had stopped worrying about work. This week I am going to take a couple of days and shut my work email down. I do not want to think about work. Just myself. My plan is to be visiting new places, a public library or two, some art galleries, and simply sit and read a book at a cafe. All while dressed up like I would love. I also would love to smile more (honestly it makes one feel better right away), immerse in what life can offer, eat better with healthy food, and continue to reflect on and celebrate the wonderful change I am leading.

I have experience from which I have learnt. And I have faith that the next days will be better and everything is happening as they are supposed to be. I trust that this is true.

 

 

my worry journal practice

I have been looking for doing something different the other day and I found a book of mine about worrying. I have had the book for over 4 years. I had forgotten it existence.

One of the things this book suggests (the author, to be exact) is to have a worry journal where you jot down whatever goes through your mind during the episode. By analyzing and logically facing the situation/thought that creates the worry, instantly it helps with the feelings. I have been trying it for two days now and I carry a little journal with me. It is amazing how fast it fills, but not everything is negative. I happen to also note down potential solutions and how well I can take things.

Today and yesterday I have had 2 worrisome thought trains each day. They are separate issues and mostly related to work. My worries, as they seem so far, happen both at home and at the office. Most of the time, they are logically manageable. They also humble me and help me develop/remember compassion not only towards myself but others. Writing helps see and materializes these.

I like the fact that I am looking for ways to make my life and mental health better. I love the fact that so far this practice has been going well and useful. I hope to be able to see the patterns over time should I continue to keep journaling.

One of the ideas of this practice is also to identify the triggers and noticing body sensations. I for the first time noticed how faster my heart pounds when I go through a worrisome state.

Another way to deal with worries, this book suggests, is to have a “worry space”. There is an example in the book about a lady who chose a fire escape at the work place for this purpose. By attaching this particular place with the worrying, the lady was eventually able to not worry outside of this place. Is this not wonderful?

Not everything is dark. There are positive things happening at the same time, if we just can look at the situation with a logical, but not emotional mind. It is not easy or possible all the time, but it is worth giving it a try.

The book’s title is “The Worrywart’s Companion”. The author is Dr. Beverly Potter.

when enough is enough?

The question in the title of the post can mean many different things.

I have a tendency to revise my work heavily in a way that eventually I puke of it. For some reason, I cannot feel that it is enough until I reach to this state. Often times that means that I am working on the same documents over and over again. This also means it is improving, but it also means that my time is spent. I am increasingly getting aware of the fact that this is one of the things that makes me feel drained.

What is the right thing to do? I ask myself – to set myself a maximum number of revisions – which would help with focusing on each time. Or to heal that feeling that if I do not puke of it, then it is not good enough. I link this behavior to perfectionism and my interest in due diligence – I only feel good about something (and thus do not beat myself) when I convince myself that I have done what can possibly done and as such if there is a negative consequence (like a criticism), I do not blame myself much.

Sounds a little bit pathetic.

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I just had a conversation of a friend and she has had it and is planning to retire sooner than she has been planning to. She says she cannot take the anxiety and fear coming out of being in a work environment that threatens her well being and dignity (she has some managers that treats her like an outcast). She was upset that an early retirement means less money, but then she also questions whether her well being is less important than the money. I was very happy for her that she prioritized her well being and chose to end this toxic work-experience. I can easily see that she will be happier, free of the negative effects of her work, and start a new chapter in her life. She had enough.

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Today one of my team members and I finished a long, hard work…. It went so well so smoothly this week after a long battle that we both cannot feel the satisfaction coming out of this victory. It kinda feels like it was too good to be true. Looks like we are used to hardship, but not the relief coming out of overcoming it. We had more than enough hardship. It is time that we cherish the success. I will wait for this feeling to sink in….

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I continue to head-butt situations that scare me. Do not get me wrong, I am bone – chilled. I am that scared or do not know what to do. I feel beat and shaky. I feel like anxiety is all around me. I feel like I may be doing something wrong by taking the step or by not taking it. But I move on rather than caving. I feel like this is a learning opportunity. I may fail. I may make mistakes, but whatever I decide to do is the best at the time being and things will move into something better, one way or the other. Perhaps as a person – by walking through the fear. Perhaps as a professional – by taking steps that I am not sure where they will take me.

I gotta trust more. I gotta trust myself. I gotta trust life. I gotta trust other people (this one is hard, but not trusting myself or others is equally hard).

I gotta move on.

And I must take care of myself. The feeling I have nowadays – being cold, shaky, beatenΒ  – makes me extra anxious. And when I am anxious, I cannot think straight and cannot make good decisions. The most important thing for me is to heal this feeling. Once my mind is clear, I can make decisions easier and I can take better steps.

I gotta care about myself and rest. Tonite. Tomorrow. This weekend. Sometime, somewhere I must let myself find my core strength.

 

 

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.

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.

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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