Work, material success, and joy

July 1 is Canada Day – so we have had yesterday off πŸ™‚

This is the 3rd summer with the pandemic and the 3rd straight summer I am not traveling, I have committed to myself a few weeks ago that I was gonna enjoy my summer. It is often a time of travel and tight work schedules, and as such prior to the pandemic, summers were not something I have witnessed much or enjoy here. It was a mistake.

Since I started to work from home and made it to the neighbourhood more, I realized there were many scenic houses as well as yards (in summer). Having these walks therefore give me such a joy and appreciation of the city I live in. That is fascinating really. Take a walk around your neighbourhood, folks, if you do not. You may be surprised like me to find out what treasures are hidden there.

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These being said, a 3 days long weekend is far from refreshing me, so I am looking for days to take off next. I need at least a good full week. Doing nothing or everything. No work responsibility. It will be awesome πŸ™‚ I feel like July is a good time to close the old chapters and create new ones. Then August is a good month to start planning next steps and implementing. These are all related to work, of course.

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I am scared of thinking about my life, now that I am getting older. Yesterday I identified 3 priorities for my life:

1. Connecting more with the people important to me. My siblings, only alive uncle, other relatives, and friends

2. Continuing with good healthy practices (like walking), but also losing weight that has been increasing lately. Also importance of quality of life, including my mental wellness

3. Doing meaningful and joyful work at the office

This last one is particularly important ( I know, I know..). In my field of profession, there are many indicators of success, and the materials ones I do miss, sadly. But all other stuff I do and achieve are great. So I feel kinda unsuccessful. I cannot help it. BUT I also feel like maybe I was supposed to other things and succeed in them. That there is a good reason that I am not so successful in material success.

What do you think?

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This actually takes some stress off my shoulder. When I was young and a student, I was on top of the world. I was confident. As I progressed along the way and climbed higher and higher, I started to feel less confident, less successful, and as a result of all of these, I started to get much less joy out of my work. Except that in the last 1 year, I have been working with a new type of collaborators and our work is so much successful together. They motivate me. I am excited. We are a great team together. I know we are making a difference. I know it is well worth it. Joy is there, and I love it. Perhaps this is the area I am supposed to grow further! πŸ™‚

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Happy Sunday

Happy Sunday folks – hope you all are having a relaxing and joyful day.

The summer has shown its face with increased temperatures. The time of the mighty fan is approaching real fast. Where I live the summers are mild, but still. Once you get to use to cool weather anything above 25 C feels a little bit too much πŸ™‚

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Like many of us, I run and run after the Holiday season. Now is a great time to take a break. I have taken a couple of days off and it was very refreshing. yet, in a couple of days back at the office, I felt the same exhaustion again πŸ™‚ I need to take more time off. In the coming weeks I hope. Life is good – at least I have paid vacation times.

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How is your life with COVID-19? many places lifted the mandatory masking. I see maybe more and more people without a mask indoors, in public transportation, in workplaces. I am terrified for these people somehow – it is such a contagious virus. Is having a mask on more dangerous than catching up this virus, the risk of long covid or worse yet, giving it to someone else particularly those who are at high risk of serious consequences?

I am lucky that I have an office, but one coworker came talked to me without a mask. I was surprised and could not know what to do, but next time I am asking everyone in my office to wear a mask or stand out of the door. The reality is that this pandemic is not over, the virus is not mild, our boosters are nowhere to be replaced, and I love life more than I can imagine.

I cannot imagine how we all will feel when the in person meetings are back fully. I see pics of people indoors with no mask, and I think I am losing my mind. This is not the message we would like to send out – the pandemic is still on. Sadly.

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Stay safe till next time, folks

Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to all who remember our dads and their love.

They may not do well all the time, heck, they are not as good as mothers (at least in my family), but they do so many things for us so silently. Their love is too silent, I find.

To my late dad – I love you. Once day, I will find you again. I believe in this. I knew you loved me, and I did love you. I would not choose another dad, but you. Thanks for everything, even the bad days and years. They have no meaning now, only you, you being loved, and your love.

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Sunday morning musings

Happy Sunday, folks!

Hope you all are having a lovely day.

It is slightly raining here, but I think I will dare walking around the neighborhood. Fresh air is awesome, so is breaking a sweat – it really does help me feel better and relaxed.

While my antidepressant works wonders, I have been feeling kid of “stretched” lately again. I wonder whether I need a dose adjustment, or I am just going through a rough patch. I do not think that anything has been pressuring me more than what normally is, so I think it is likely that I may need dosage adjustment.

However, I also think that I must try other ways to help me feel better, like exercise/walking and being grateful – they always have made me feel better. I can also take some time off. The fact that I did have a 4 days long weekend lately and it helped me feel fresh was amazing. So, I think taking a week off soon should also be in my to do list.

Works is as usual. Sometimes very exciting and sometimes just pain stressful. I missed when I was a graduate student when everything I have done was exciting! Studying. Researching. Finding solutions to problems. I missed that feeling a lot. My current stress comes from managing others and political issues, more than the work itself. I blame myself somehow that after all these years, I am still not skillful enough to handle this stress. While this sounds harsh, I also think that it is an opportunity to maybe sort things out better.

My family and I have always been value-oriented. We work hard, be fair, like to be treated fair, protect the vulnerable, help others in need, and appreciate and compensate when someone deserves it – whether through genuine words or through financial means. Nobody’s rights have been dismissed by any of us, or taken advantage of. We do the right thing.

How does such a value-oriented approach to life and work/workplace work in the workplaces?

The fact that the so called developed countries and cultures have just been getting into the EDI – equity, diversity, and inclusion tells me that I and my family are ahead of times…..

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I am proud of this. For sure.

This also explains why we find it difficult to survive, function, and get appreciation in workplaces that did not bother focusing in fairness, equity, inclusion, and basic human rights so far.

Yes.

I am very proud of myself and my family! Despite all the set backs our approach has generated in such environments, we know that we are making a difference and are ahead of the game, not because it is a buzz thing to do, but because it is the right thing to do.

Priceless feeling πŸ™‚

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Happy Sunday

Folks, it is yet another beautiful Sunday. Hope you all are having a peaceful, safe, and fun day.

We have a slightly rainy day. Like many Canadians, I had planned to work on my yard, and clean and tidy it up. Not been happening so far, but I hope to get to it this afternoon, if not, tomorrow the latest.

So far, I have mowed my yard only once two weeks ago. I am not an enthusiastic mower. But more importantly, I have seen posts about the need for dandelions and other wild plants with flowers, that feed our bees. So, Win-Win. I am keeping my dandelions as long as they are with flowers, and hope to clean the plants out after that. I am sure they will appear again next year.

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I have however mulch that I want to use to replenish some areas with heavy grass. Like the underneath of the trees. It was two years ago that I carried over – on a shopping card – 20+ bags of mulch to finally make my yard a little bit better. It was quite a success and thanks to staying at home during the pandemic that helped me save time and finally do something about it.

How is your pandemic life going like? We have a lot of cases here. And deaths. It is heart-breaking. So far I have avoided the virus – I think; unless I was one of the asymptomatic ones – and I feel like I am absolutely too lucky to be so. Is this what is called as Survivor Guilt? Boy, I do not wish to get this virus, at least repeatedly, so that it can wreak havoc on my systems. Nope. Long covid scares me and for the right reasons. Please take care of yourself and those around you.

On the positive side, I have taken Friday off and tomorrow is a paid holidays, too. So I have been enjoying my long weekend with minimal work. I have been studying information for an upcoming interview, a voluntary but very important position with a national organization in my field. I am excited about it and I feel confident with each information I gained. I passed the pre-interview processes and now will be interviewed by the CEO and that feels amazing to me πŸ™‚ Wish me luck, good folks. It is only every once a while that I get this much excited AND confident to make moves & applications. I am very excited about this opportunity and what I can do in that capacity. We shall see how that goes. but so far so good.

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Tonite, I had the most wonderful dream. My mom was with me and my sister and hugging us tightly. smiling, and speaking to us so vividly. It felt very alive and real to me and it makes me happy! My mom, my beautiful mom. I love you We love you. Rest in Peace and wait for us – we shall meet again.

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Sunday morning musings

Is Spring there where you are, too?

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It certainly is here πŸ™‚

The last one week was particularly amazing. Blue and open skies, warm temperatures (nothing too fancy – it does not get too hot where I am, but just good enough to feel that winter is over), and a sense of renewal and hope (mostly in nature, as the trees started to get their leaves and flowers are bursting out of the soil).

Yes. Spring is here and it feels great πŸ™‚

I have been doing okay, kind of both busy at work and tired of work, so the more I tried the more things seemed to be delayed. But now I can see that except a few things, everything has been moving and I have been getting what I wanted. So, this is also an awesome news.

I sure have a friction with a colleague of mine on a project we work together on. Not the first time I have experienced, but honestly it costs me morning hours of sleep. I want to take this constructively. I keep saying myself that “everything happens for a reason, and I will know what to do when the right time comes”. But, still…

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Other than this, this week I have learn about the importance of hope once again. I had made an application for a role in a national organization. I never heard and did know that elections were ongoing (I got an email myself as a member of that organization). Naively I had thought that my application was dismissed (yes, how naive can I be?? πŸ™‚ They would not send an election email with my name on, right? Right! πŸ™‚ ). And, just a few days ago, bam! I have got an email stating that I am in! My goodness – I am so excited! It was something I really wanted and I got to learn about hope (and confidence) again. Double win!

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On the personal side, I am still trying to get slimmer. Sometimes I can lose a couple of pounds, but mostly it seems like stuck. So, there are moments of both excitement and dread. I feel like I am not trying hard enough to make this a priority for myself. Every reminder is a good reminder.

With these, I leave it to you to enjoy your day and the week ahead – I hope you all have awesome memories πŸ™‚

Sunday morning musings

Happy Sunday folks – hope you are all feeling well and joyful, in anyway you can.

This is the 4th day of my long weekend and I could not be happier. I had no reason to get up early or work, or get ready for a virtual meeting. Being away from work meant that I could hardly pass the day yesterday and was feeling bored! It is a great sign that I was ready to work again πŸ™‚

We have had warm weather during the weekend. The shiniest and bluest skies I have ever seen! I changed my coat to spring/fall coat. Getting rid of the heavy and bulky winter coat is a joyful act πŸ™‚

I have walked yesterday and the day before that and made sure that I sweated. It was great. It is amazing how much climbing up/stairs can work our cardio system! I am very lucky to be in a city full of hills and long stairs connecting different sections of the neighbourhood.

While I love winter/snow, I am also looking forward to welcoming rejuvenating nature, greening trees, and blooming flowers around my neighbourhood,

Having the windows open is possibly the most significant source of joy in spring and summer. I know I am not the only one.

I wish you warm and joyful days ahead – please remember to celebrate every single lovely thing in life, give yourself and others credit, and help our planet and all those living creatures whose livelihood is dependent on it.

Long weekend

The much needed long weekend is here! If you celebrate Easter, Happy Easter Folks – please enjoy your day and long weekend.

I am taking today off as well, making it a 4 days deal. Sweat πŸ™‚

The last few weeks were slow at work. I do not know why. I desperately want to pick up the pace. This long weekend will be a good time to get to the groove.

Personally, I continue to feel okay (thanks to the antidepressant), make a serious effort to get slimmer (I packed 10-15 pound in the last 6 months), and appreciate myself and my achievements whenever I can. I also support my siblings, one of them still taking it hard after the death of my mom. The agony they are going through pierces my heart. They are very strong as well, but I sometimes worry about their wellness.

If you have a good mental and emotional health right now, please take a moment to appreciate and be grateful for it.

If you can give a hand or be kind to someone in need, let’s be that person.

And, when you feel like the world is turning upside down, lets’ remember to ask for support. It is there.

Have a wonderful day , folks.

Random thoughts

Happy Saturday, folks – I hope all is well, safe, and enjoying today.

I have not been blogging as much as I want, but I hope to write more in the coming days. The more I write, the more I understand. The more I understand, the better I get. Life also gets more exciting πŸ™‚

Anyways.

My antidepressant dosage is working and I feel great again. That is, my friends, priceless.

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My work performance eventually got to the level prior to my mom’s passing in Fall 2021. I am quite satisfied with that. Being content with oneself is important, isn’t it? One more thing to be grateful of.

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Spring is around the corner. We have more and more bright sky-days that give me hope and energy. I must say though that I will miss snow and cool weather. It was great to walk on snow and breathe in cool weather. It does soothe my nerves. How about you? I know many people who would not like Winter. That is okay, my friends, as long as we like something about some weather/season.

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I got my taxes done a few weeks ago, and for the first time in my life, I got a good return that I did not expect. So, I was naturally happy, but also feel feared, feeling like maybe we missed something during the filing process (I hope not). I used the return to make a mortgage pre-payment and then to complete paying off my Home Buyers Plan (Canadian folks would know this – it is basically an interest free loan from my own RRSP, an investment tool for retirement). This means folks, I have only my mortgage left to pay off to own my house.

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Unless something catastrophic happens, I plan to pay off my mortgage at the end of the term this Fall. I will use a part of my TFSA investments to complete it. I am excited about this. I am VERY excited about this. It is too early to get happy about this, but I think of the times that I first purchased my home and how financially it changed my life. I was not abundant and feeling rich anymore. I rather felt like unless I took charge of my spendings, I could end of being in more debt than the mortgage. So drastic cuts followed, and I am glad, it did. Now, I have a life long habit of being resourceful and abundant while also protecting my money and maximizing its value.

My foster cat Mona is still with me and I could not be happier. Everyday with her is a blessing. She truly heals me. Mentally, emotionally. May she have a great, long, happy, and healthy life free of suffering, dirty litter boxes, and cruel people around.

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Well, these are what I have got at the time being. You all stay well and safe, my friends. Talk to you next time πŸ™‚

Saturday morning musings

Beautiful day – we have had snow at night and it looks so amazing, The sky is blue-white, and it just feels fantastic. I love snow πŸ™‚

I have been busy for the last few weeks. Lots happened since then. Our Ottawa has been occupied by the truckers/freedom seekers, or whatever they must be appropriately called, for 3 weeks. It showed the ugly face of the nation. I was worried for the first time about the future of Canada. I may be an immigrant but I am also a Canadian and I love this country. I wish the best for it.

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Then, on Thursday Russia started to invade Ukraine. I have no idea about what prompted and why and so on. But I feel for Ukraine – they show an amazing fighter spirit and resistance so far. I hope a ceasefire will follow soon, without much blood shed and without compromising what Ukraine has been prior to this invasion.

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We do not need yet another war. To me wars are something left behind in the history. Obviously this naive thought does not align well with the current situation. Heck, do you also feel like pandemic and then these events, things are ever changing, and who knows, the future may be at risk at a level higher than we would like to think…. Go hug your family, a tree, your pets.

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Work has been busy. We are called back full time to our workplaces. I use my privilege(!) and stay at home when I can. The number of COVID-19 cases that are the people I know increases almost each week. That is so scary… On one hand I accept the inevitable high risk of getting it in my life-time, and on the other hand, I wish not to get it more than required.. Do you know what I mean? What are the consequences of getting it multiple times? How will my body react to it? Long-covid is a reality. And it is scary. Goodness help us.

On the personal side, the current dose of my antidepressant medication works. I still am not feeling as joyful as last year (when I was on it), but I think this is because of the busy work and stress levels. So I am hopeful that I will get to feel much better in the coming weeks.

While I am doing great re; quitting junk food (did early December), I am not doing so well with my other long-term goal – getting slimmer. I gained weight in Fall and it kept. Dislike!!

Anyways – there will be a better time to deal with this. I should not worry. I will too achieve this goal! πŸ™‚

Have a great Saturday everyone – be safe and well.

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Emotional health, mental health, depression

Yes, indeed – what is mental health? Is emotional health a part of it? Are are they the same thing?

I do not know. But as someone who found health and joy with the help of an antidepressant, and who has been trying to reduce the dose, only to find themselves returned to square one (and hence, is returning back to the previous dose), I can say my emotional and mental health is the most important thing for me nowadays.

I am lucky I have a good doctor, who understands my needs and a medication that works for me (I still need to wait a few weeks before the current dose shows its beneficial effects, but hope is on the way).

I am also lucky that now I know how it feels to have a “normal” mental health (experiencing joy; reduced depression; increased confidence; less focus on the negative and more focus on the positive and beautiful experiences; having hope, etc.), I think I also realize how stupid I have been to not try medication all these years.

Silly girl.

But again, I now know and have the remedy.

Also, I am lucky because now I can empathize with others going through depression. I have one loved one, who is in more pain than me… Before I try to give them an advice, I should remember how I feel now. I think it will help a lot to understand and support them appropriately.

Let me describe how I feel now, nowadays, since I reduced the dosage of my antidepressant at around the new year:

Shallow breathing.

Feeling like crying (or crying easily).

Anxiety.

Restlessness and hopelessness.

Being easily overwhelmed.

Feeling like stretched. This one is such a weird feeling. It feels like I am pulled around and down by lots of weight…while the thing that bothers me is not a huge issue (or can be resolved). But that feeling… That feeling makes me feel like I understand why some people would like everything to not feel like this.

Like shit.

Alright, folks. I noted these here because I want to remember how bad this feels and in the future I can genuinely support others feeling this way.

Stay well and hope everyone has mental health or resources to mend their mental health.

Life is too short to feel like shit – enjoy it when you can.

Random thoughts

A lovely Saturday.

We expect some weather this weekend, bu who does not in Canada πŸ™‚ We will go through it as we have gone through others in the past. My only worry is that the company that accepted to look at my roof has not come over yet, and I am freaking out about having another leak and more damage to my house.

As a matter of fact, I think this is a trigger that deepened my depression. You may remember that I had decided to reduce the dosage of my anti-depressant, after consulting my doctor. Well it did not go well and I am back to my regular dosage now, and hope that it will kick in in a few weeks so that I can feel good again, and handle life better. I am okay with this. I know that I will try again in the future, it is just not the right time. And who knows, maybe it will take multiple attempts, or maybe I will never be without my antidepressant. Honestly, quitting this medication is not more important than how grateful I feel for having a medication that works for me and how good I feel (after decades of feeling miserable and like shit) with its help. So, all is well on this part of my life.

Except that I gotta find the contractor… Damn – why is it so hard to find one? How do you repeatedly contact a contractor and make them come to your house? That person said they were sending someone to look and fix the roof. That was two weeks ago. I reminded them this week and no response so far. But after that I have no idea how to proceed. Do I call them again? Do I look for another company? Help….

Anyways. The number of people I know and are infected by COVID-19 increases every week. So surreal…. I keep checking myself.. Do I have anything unusual? I use n95 masks with blue masks over, so that I can use the n95 a little bit longer and also have a better protection (as the n95 doe snot fully fit my face; the blue mask kind of help with that and they are easier to replace than n95s). Still… How scary is this virus? How silly it is to open schools when we have the most infections going on? beyond my understanding…

Anyways, folks please stay safe and well. Enjoy your weekend and the days after that. better days ahead.

A rainy Saturday

We have quite a weather today, with high winds, rain, and slight snow in between. Looking at my yard I can see that my trees are holding up and there is no new broken branch or so, which gives me a peace of mind. However, my first floor roof is leaking and I am worried. How am I supposed to find a general contractor, roofer in this horrible weather/winter? Should I wait till Spring or call now? Who should I call?

Living solo is hard, especially when it comes to answering this kind of questions. No wonder I have anxiety and need my anti-depressant to have a cool, healthy mind and feel good.

If you are like me living by yourself, I hope you have family and friends who can give you a hand with issues you cannot deal with yourself. If you are not, then, I hope you give a hand to others, particularly elderly, vulnerable individuals, and those who are like me and live solo – we really need support, sometime even for a small stuff like a leaking roof.

Thank you and enjoy your

Omicron and grief

Happy Sunday everyone – hope you all are safe and content in this beautiful day.

First, the Omicron variant. Hell.. Where are we going with this virus? I am glad that I have got my 3rd shot (booster). Yet, virulence of this variant is so high that we are told the majority of us would get it eventually. Boy, do I want to get it? No. The later is the better, when we have more understanding of this variant/virus. I do not wish to get this virus at all and am doing my best, but I know it may not be possible, as many people have been trying hard to prevent infection, yet they are infected now. The number of people who I know and are infected with Covid-19/omicron is increasing every week. Please be safe. Get vaccinated if you can to reduce the chance of severe infection, hospitalization, ICU admission, and death.

At one point, I want to say that we will and can go through this. On the other hand, I feel like we take one step forward and then another hurdle to overcome appears. Sometimes tired, sometimes resilient and hopeful, sometimes depression/anxiety, I do not know how I feel anymore. But I know that we should stick together and hope and work towards a better future. Please be kind to yourself, and realize that there are many of us out there supporting you and the wellness of our communities and societies. Do not give up.

My current feeling of depression is linked to both the risks and alarms created by Omicron and the grief I and my siblings are going through because of my mom’s passing. I am very concerned about my sister who has been taking it the hardest. I am very worried about her. What can I do? How can I help? Life can be so tight sometime. I have been contemplating during the Holidays that even the smallest thing can be a burden of thought for me, as I do not have a close social circle where I can ask for opinions or solutions. If you have good relationships with others who are helpful to you when you need it, please take a moment to cherish this.

Have a great Sunday.

Reflections while a year ends – II

I find a deep serenity in the practice of reviewing the year we are leaving and opening ourselves to the new year. I am not into New Year Resolutions (though I make many each year), but I do believe that this resting time gives us an opportunity to reflect, close or leave what is not good for us, and be open for new opportunities and experiences.

1. My ongoing issue is not knowing what to do with my future – I have no long-term objectives personally. This happened maybe in the last 13 years or so, and has been bothering me since then. This year, I decided that it was maybe an opportunity – just be open for life and what it brings, and realize your new objectives!! Why not?

I am excited about this. In the last few weeks, I have been asking myself “which opportunities did you take today?”. They may be small but nevertheless, are amazing examples of “realizing” what is available out there that are good for me. So maybe sometimes, the unknown was not so bad, just needed to be seen and taken advantage of. Quite optimistic, if you ask me. I will go with this as much as I can – as unknown is also scary considering the pandemic and its fluctuating & significant effects on all of us.

2. I want to take care of myself and protect my interests better this year. These include my mental health, my physical health, my “me time”, my social life and relations.

A. WORK

The majority of the stress and mental health issues are due to my work – it is a high volume sometimes quite thankless job that requires my involvement constantly. Thanks to the pandemic, I was saying no to many unnecessary activities and tasks, and was able to take roles that most interest and benefit me. I would like to continue to do this. I still have to deal with stress-inducing colleagues and conditions, but I will have to live with this. On the other hand, my job is also a source of joy, as at least half of the time, I can focus on what I really want to do! So it is not bad all the time and I overall love my job πŸ™‚

At work, 2022 is a good opportunity to start something new. I am not sure what that would be but the idea itself makes me excited already! Let’s close some old chapters and start new interests. Joy.

I really want to implement “Right to Disconnect” within my circle and communications. I do not want to deal with the emails after hours. The fact that we often work anytime (we have no fixed work hours or days), emailing and requesting work at anytime become normalize din my work environment. Sometimes it is good, sometimes it is too much. How can I implement such a practice for myself and my team? I will think about this. Of course, I can also close the email box after hours and at weekends…. Will I be able to have this self-discipline?? We all will see πŸ™‚

B. PERSONAL LIFE

I am happy to see that over many years I was able to implement many good practices that make my life more joyful, easier, and abundant. Take my antidepressant treatment that I started over a year ago. It has been a life-saver – literally. My frugal life style that allows me to protect my finances and use / invest them for good causes. Limiting food waste. These all positively changed my life. I hope that I will not fall into the junk food trap (that I recently quit once again) anymore.

As per to improve the quality of my life and wellness, there are a few things that I must seriously implement into my life style. For example, eating a variety of food, getting slimmer (I like this term better than losing weight πŸ™‚ ), building muscles and bones, cardio-health and exercise, and so on. These are among my recurrent New Year Resolutions. But I think it is time that I commit strongly to these aims.

We shall see. I will have to think a little bit deep here.

So folks, take this opportunity to close old chapters and hurts, open yourself to the new opportunities. May you all have a great transition to the new year.

Reflections while a year ends

This year I am unable to enjoy my 12 days of off time, as I am still not over the death of my mom.

I nevertheless reflect on life, myself, and my experiences. I also finished cleaning up my home, decluttering and shopping. I lack nothing and I still have another week to rest and reflect.

As per the reflections:

I miss my mom and still cannot believe that she is gone. I want my mom and dad to feel how much I love them. I want them to feel happy. I cannot help these wishes.

I love Mona, my foster cat, and have been seriously wanting to adopt her. It looks like the break we took while I was away visiting home was good for us, as when she came back, she was closer to me and since then she has lied on my side almost every night. It gives me such a joy, as it means she is comfortable with me, she trusts me, and I am trusted. I love her and I am loved by her, too.

So why don’t I adopt her?

At first I thought I would not be free enough with her (cannot leave for trips without finding a place for her to stay, for example). Then, though she made me realize what love actually means. Loves requires commitment and effort. And if needed, willingness to fight for and not to leave her for no good reason.

I am not convinced that I will commit to her fully and will not leave her at the face of a difficulty. There is some sort of heartlessness in me that I dislike. This is just one example of this. Then I take one look at her, and I realize how good she has been to me and how important she is to me. So I keep moving between adopting and not adopting, to such a degree that it made me tired. I will not think about this for some time and I hope that life will show me what the right thing to do is….

2021 was a hard year. It is almost over. I will think about how I would envision 2022. Slimmer, more muscular, more focusing on self and protecting my mental health, time, and energy. Being open to new things and opportunities. We shall see how it will evolve.

The pandemic and the omicron variant is hanging above our heads. I developed a taste for apocalyptic movies. I do not wish to find our-self in such a situation, yet the pessimism is so frequent and deep that I wonder whether we do not have the daily small life and work related issues, but rather focus on survival, how would we be.

Take care.

Finances – 2021

As my usual late year topic, here is a breakdown of my expenses and savings in the year of 2021.

EXPENSES:

Grocery+cleaning+ personal care products: $4,022

This sounds reasonable to me. It is also around $1,200 less than 2020. Perhaps I had hoarded a lot in 2020 (due to the pandemic), which were consumed this year. I am pretty sure this is the case.

Eating out (myself): $21

Cab: $152

Junk food: $2,623

Clothes/shoes: $312

Medication and healthcare related expenses: $543

Dining out with others: $667

Gifts and donations: $500

House maintenance-related expenses: $312

Foster cat expenses: $1,160

Some of the expenses are lower than in 2020 (like healthcare related expenses. I believe it is because of the eye care and change of lenses and glasses every 2 years – this year I was spared of these extra expenses).

I cannot believe I have spend over 600 bucks in dining out with others, during the pandemic. This needs to stop. I am 100% sure that they all were work related functions, but still….

I am happy to make contributions to the care of my foster cat Mona, but I was surprised how much it totals over time πŸ™‚ Nevertheless, she is worth every penny

And the Junk food…. my eternal enemy… Years after years I pay a significant sum to it…… Together with getting slimmer, getting rid of junk food in my life has been an almost life-long objective. I am fed up with it…….


INVESTMENTS:

TFSA + RSSP: $15,500

Not bad. I have been consistently trying to maximize my TFSA and RRSP rooms every year. I had also borrowed from my RRSP my down payment, which needs to be paid back – I have been doing that, too. So things are going really well in terms of how well I can save and invest and pay my mortgage.


MORTGAGE and PREPAYMENTS:

I paid around $32,000 of my principal this year. It was also a good year in terms of prepayments: I made a total of $15,000 prepayment. It is awesome. I think the highest pre-payments I have ever done in my home-ownership saga.


OVERALL NET WORTH

Overall, my net worth has increased by $59,231.


PLAN for 2022

The pandemic is helping me to save money, by reducing my transportation, dining out, and work related expenses. I wish though we were out of this pandemic so that we can feel kind of victorious over it.

I would like to continue as before, having a frugal life style, save, and invest (or make prepayments). I plan to pay of my mortgage this year, if that can happen. My term is ending and I have some investments that do not earn much money, so it is better to use these investments to pay the mortgage fully. I am actually very excited about this idea. My mortgage was the highest debt I have ever had, and cannot wait to be debt-free!! I will also be paying off my home-buyers plan (aka the money I borrowed from my RRSP for my down-payment) this year.

I hope I will be able to achieve these in 2022.

My current journey through grief

I continue to be unlike myself that I was prior to death of my dear mom.

I need more time to just sit down and not deal with to-do lists. It is such a powerful urge to resist pressure. Particularly the pressure that I put on myself. Do I need to clean the house on the scheduled day (Saturday)? Do I have to do the laundry on the same day? Do I need to fill my days with mundane work?

Nope.

I resist the idea of having thoughts about when to do what. Even a simple task like repairing a piece of clothing.

Result?

My self-imposed pressure and as such structured life practices are lowered, and I am more spontaneous and happier with myself and my life.

Loss of a parent changes you. It has been happening with me too.

I cry as well, here and there. Remembering my mom and dad at the same time…. May they be free, happy, and peaceful through the eternity. I wish to be joined with them sometime. It is a hope, and it makes me happy and excited. It lessens the pain.

Yesterday was a good day with some shopping done. I also walked to the store, like 15 min. I was happy to see that my walking speed was normal, not slow or dreadful, so it gave me confidence. My body is okay.. I also cooked a wholesome chicken meal – I am one of those who thinks that the chicken broth is health-giving & healing. I can sleep, with dreams every night, and the morning sleep continues to be sweet and preventing me from early mornings. But I will take it positively – it has been sometime that I actually enjoyed sleeping (long term insomniac here).

Today is a beautiful day with warm and relatively sunny day. I have no plans, which is great. I can do whatever I would like to – whether this will be reading a book, contemplation, or something else. I certainly have no plan to step outside. I will see how the day will develop. Today is certainly giving me healing and peaceful feelings. I love this.

My foster cat Mona – she has been a blast and heaven-sent to me. She and I have a great relationship. She loves and trusts me, and I do love, trust, and appreciate her. My beautiful girl is lying on my side every night now, previously a rare treat. I could not be happier to feel her trust and warmth in this chilly autumn and during this awful grieving. She has been with me over a year now. I know that she will find a great home and leave me one day, but you know until then, I am determined to enjoy every minute.

I have this urge to declutter and clean my space, starting from home. Perhaps today is a day to start it. I have already a bag of items to be donated. Anything not used or not giving me a positive feeling will either go to donation bin or the garbage. I am excited about this idea – both donations and cleaning and changing my space. I am a firm believer that the change and peace start with the environment we create for ourselves.

Enjoy your Sunday and please be kind to yourself, others, animals, and nature.

Grief is a strange thing

I am still grieving the loss of my mom, in a very strange way.

My energy has dropped, so did my work performance. I have difficulty getting up in the morning. Every day, even the very mundane thing, is an annoying thing to deal with and I am feeling very overwhelmed. I am, I think, angry deep down and not in the mood of pressure. I thought I just needed time to process my emotions, rather than focusing fully on the work. Just today, I thought maybe this was depression. I do not know what is the right one, honestly.

It is strange to me – I know I am not the only one who suffered or is grieving. But while I accepted that it would make me sad, I never thought that it would stop me…. That is why it is strange..

It is unrealistic to expect someone going through the loss of a close family member be fine and fully functional in the weeks/months to come. I think the work places should be flexible enough to recognize this and allow compassionate leaves longer than what is in the work contracts. In the few past days, I have been contemplating about maybe having a medical leave, if this gets out of my hand. That would have negative effects on my career, but honestly, I cannot care about this right now.

For now, I take one day at a time, and at the end of the work day, I am just grateful that I could live it and let go. What a strange thought. I semi-force myself to focus on my tasks and have reduced the expectations from me. I also have dropped a couple if extra tasks that I loved but have got no recognition so far. It breaks my heart, but at least I have one less thing to think about. I have yet another tasks/roles to drop if I cannot gather myself and energy anytime soon. Considering what a high energy and high performance professional I have been, I feel shaken, broken, and somehow relieved as well. Perhaps, I was putting too much stress on myself (i know that actually this is true). Perhaps my current level of work and work speed is what it is supposed to be.

Anyways. Yesterday I realized that I lost my both parents – my dad almost 6 years ago and my mom a few weeks back. My dad was the best and perhaps the only person who openly was proud of me and excited of my achievements. Recognition, he gave me abundantly. My mom was the only person who loved me and treated me the best in the world. Now, I have neither of them. I am broken, no matter how old and mature I am (around 50 years).

I feel for my siblings, as they have lived with the trauma of sickness and death of my mom much closer and vividly than me. They are in poor conditions, psychologically, and I do not know how to help. One of them is seeking counseling and the other one is just a closed case – he needs to fix it himself by his internal dialogues. I wish we did have much better, closer relationships and talk to each other sincerely so that we could support each other better. While my siblings are close with each other, sadly, I am not – living away from home sadly does this over time. You just become distant….

I wonder how my relations with my siblings will develop and progress. I realized that my mom was the glue. A strong glue. Will we stick around each other? Or, will I continue to have strained relationships with my siblings? The future days will show.

For now, I just realize that our lives have changed for ever. I wish for the best for me and my siblings in the coming days.

My mom died on a beautiful Fall day

My mom passed away on a peaceful morning hour on a beautiful Fall day, with light rain falling, wind caressing the trees’ leaves, clouds dancing on the sky, and forests rejoicing the red, orange, yellow, green, and brown colours all at the same time.

I am still trying to process my feelings. I do not think I am feeling my emotions yet.

I was able to visit my mom and see her before she passed away. I was able to support my siblings during the difficult times. I helped with the funeral of my mom, too. All sounds quite surreal to me.

How did this happen?

And why??

She was loved and loved, especially her children.

I cannot believe she is gone. I cannot believe she is gone because she could not get medical care on time. We have tons of doctors and hospitals, yet due to the pandemic, they were full and as a results she was late in getting hospital care. I am so sorry and angry.

My mom could live a longer life. She was in a good shape. The fact that some people erroneously choose to not vaccinate/protect themselves & others, and some policies were not effective in handling this pandemic brings my blood to BOIL.

Please, please vaccinate. Please think about not only yourself but others, too. My mom’s death is just one example how directly one can lead to suffering and death of another innocent person.

Please please vaccinate. If you are hesitant, please talk to someone eligible to provide clinical info and you trust, like your nurse or physician.

Please do it for yourself AND for others that you do not even know.

Awkwardness

My mom is still sick and she needed to go to an ER to get some serious care today. She is still waiting in the ER. After more than 12 hours, and all alone, as the hospitals are working on full capacity.

I am not sure which one I am more angry at: COVID-19 pandemic policies, or those who refrained from believing this pandemic’s seriousness, did not mask or vaccinate. You all have blood on your hands. There I said it.

I also have a strong dislike and confusion toward myself. Since the news broke, I have cried a few times. But I am unable to feel much sadness and sorrow expected from a loving and immensely loved daughter.

I keep asking myself, WTF is wrong with me?

I am likely gonna lose my mom to an unknown medical condition, as we were not able to find a suitable hospital in the last few weeks. She is strong and resilient, but she is not in good shape. How long can you go against the ocean’s tides?

And, WTF don’t I feel much? Do I not love and care about my mom? Did my father’s passing prepared us to death? Is it the anti-depressants I do take? Is it my foster cat Mona that gives me unconditional love and joy, no matter what? Is it work that keeps me busy? Am I just a self-absorbed shit? Have I detached from the reality? AM I repressing my emotions?

Or, are these all an illusion, and when the time comes, will I break into two? Perhaps I am denying the situation? Perhaps I am still hopeful.

Does not matter.

I cannot understand myself.

If there is any positive out of this, it is the fact that I find myself supporting my family members in an unexpected way. See, I am the youngest, so they always provided support to me. This time, I am the one who gives hope, different perspectives, and appreciation for their efforts.

Still.

I must feel like shit. Yet, I do not.

Curious about the future days.

Sunday morning musings

Hard to believe it is Sunday.

I had kind of taken Friday off, so it was good. I did the regular house chores that day, as I had a work function to attend yesterday. When I returned back from the work function, I felt drained and tired, and did not want to do anything.

This feeling continues today.

I had planned to do some more cleaning today and perhaps make some pickles. However, the more things I have in my to-do list, the more reluctant I get to start, so I am taking it easy and puting my plans on hold. Browsing internet and news always gives me a chance to just be, and I am savoring this feeling right now.

It is great that tomorrow is Labour day, and is a holiday. One more day to recuperate and do or do not do whatever I want. Freedom is the sweetest, isn’t it?

My mom is doing much better but we are still worried of course. My siblings are great taking care of her, but I am feeling so guilty and selfish that I am not there to give them a hand and spend time with my mom. I have no solution to that, other than taking the caregiver role for a while later in the year.

Fall is here, my favorite season. It is peaceful and weather is more or less perfect for me – lower temperatures and less humidity. There is some sort of grief that the summer is over – it is such an energetic season. Hopefully we will see the future summers and immerse ourselves in it.

Until next time, please enjoy your day and life.

While I cannot decide, I can nevertheless assess

Pertaining to my last post, I have been taking steps to see the feasibility of a short trip home to see my mom. I really want to see her and I think it would also increase her morale. I talked to my boss and got a compassionate response, I worked hard to finish urgent work matters, and arranged for a covid test that may be needed to board the plane. I have a list of things to do before I leave and things to pack with me.

I am ready to purchase my ticket.

Goodness knows starting to take these steps was a hard one. I know from my anxiety past that making a decision that can change the life for ever is hard and sometimes paralyzing as well. I was more functional as I took one step for the trip. I cannot explain it, but I think I was just too overwhelmed by all the things I must do for leaving Canada and entering my home country, and then coming back. Damn pandemic…….

Anyways, I talked to my siblings today and while they recognize my wish to see my mom, they also recognize that it could be of little help. I have been contemplating about this – my thinking shifted after this.

What is best for my mom?

When I think about this, my thoughts get clearer. It is not about me, but my mom and my siblings who are caring for my mom now. What is good for them? Is my wish to see my mom more important than my mom’s wellness and treatment?

Certainly not. We may be looking for a short disease or a long one. We may lose her soon, or she may recover. I may regret not seeing her in the first case. But, what if instead of seeing her I focus on what is best for her?

See, I think what is good for her is getting the best medical care possible and comfortable life. My siblings will be burnt out soon, so their comfort is also important. I can spend a week traveling, or I can use the efforts and energy (and funds) it has been taking to make a decision and have the trip to their benefits.

Evey minute is a new opportunity to realize and feel. I think now that the most logical thing is to think about their wellness (but not my emotions). While I like this rational thinking, I know from my past experience that tomorrow, I may feel differently, and may want to go again. So one day at a time…. If this is the right decision, then, it will be stable over days. We shall see, my friends.

I feel like a parent making the right decision, not the emotional one, for their kids while they are growing. I do not have kids, but I think this is what it is.

We wanted to be brave, but we were not

My mom is sick. She suddenly became ill and has not been getting better. We hope that she will see a really good doc in the coming days and will find some relief.

My minds does all the tricks. It is as if I either accepted the fact that she will be gone soon, or there is nothing wrong with her. Neither of them are evidenced, but this is the reason I hate my reasoning so much nowadays. It is as if, I do not care.

But that is not true, either. I do care. She is my mom. She is the only person who treated me well.

So, why are my emotions so frozen? I wonder whether it is a trauma caused by the thought of losing my mom; the antidepressants I take; or the fact that my dad’s death 5 years ago prepared me for death of yet another loved one.

I wanted to explore life and overcome challenges. I wanted to have a life and have a job here in Canada, but not in my home country. I built a life I was more or less content with. I was, this year, finally feeling good, with the introduction of my foster cat and antidepressants to my life. I was brave when I was young, then got scared (aka anxiety), and I could not be brave enough to solve my problems with my family and build a life there.

I am sorry that I have not spent more time and be with her when she needs me most. I am also ashamed that I lost my courage in life, thanks to traumatizing events and anxiety, and could not fix these issues earlier in life.

I am just dropping these thoughts here to let it go.

Please do not leave any comments. I know you will be supportive.

But right now, I need to face my emotions as they are.

Change is good and is here

Happy Sunday, folks – I hope you all are safe and well.

Do you know this feeling when you constantly run from one thing to the next and wish you could just stop and process what has been happening?

Run Away GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I bet you do.

Those who follow my blog knows that I have an intense work that makes me run from literally one meeting to the next, from one task to the other.

I hardly have that life-work balance, and work most of the time, even when I am exhausted.

The good thing is that I have been taking a couple of days off here and there, and this gave me the much needed opportunity to just stop and process.

Relaxing Space And Time GIF by Mya - Find & Share on GIPHY

What did I find during these self-reflection moments?

I have done so well within the last few years, and especially since the Holidays since when I was non-stop working. Yes, things are slower and requires much more effort and time (working from home..), but I have actually done quite a lot, and also entered into new areas and experiences professionally, so I actually admire my interest and resilience now.

I also found out that I was in peace with my past and was peaceful in the present. Whether this is because of my age and wisdom coming from it, or something else (like my antidepressant medication), I do not know. What I know is that I feel good and I am aware that everything happened and every choices I made, even the bad ones, brought me to today.

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I also realized that I had changed a little bit, especially during the pandemic. I can so “no” more easily and reduce my workload (and stress). I can stop being too meticulous on things that do not matter that much. I still do a great, high quality job. I just better sort what needs my meticulousness, time, and efforts at full extent, and what does not.

And, I found out that I need to change a couple of things in my daily life. I struggle with eating a variety of food – I tend to eat the same greens and fish all the time. Recently shopping became just an automatic act, picking up the same things all over week after week. I always fell into this routine. I made a mental note that I could make an effort to diversify the food I am consuming, and make cooking and eating a little bit fun.

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I also need to care more about my bones, muscles, and flexibility as a mid-age lady. I know walking is great but it does not help much with the bone density, so light weight training as well as stretching need to be an integral part of my daily life. These are not new aims – in the past I was able to keep up with them for sometime, and then they slowly slipped out of my routine. Why? Because I have so many things in my to-do list. By having a me-time, which will help these permanently integrated in my life. is thus more important than ever.

Workout Gym GIF by Petter PentilΓ€ - Find & Share on GIPHY

My weight. I was always a big girl, which I do not mind. But with age came the fat in the belly area, which I do not like. I know what makes me lose weight and what makes me gain weight. Exercise will not make me lose weight, only what I eat. So more greens, less starchy food, and more protein. That is my best dietary strategy to lose the fat. Since I many times in my life wanted to lose weight but never kept it, perhaps this aim is now more important than ever. Why not to make the weight loss one aim that will stamp my mid-age years? Worth trying πŸ™‚

Professionally, I looked at my to do list and I have seen a couple of things only πŸ™‚ That means I can start new projects, undertake new roles, and develop more as a professional. I am very excited about this πŸ™‚

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Somethings however does not need to change. They are well established in my life and they are good. for example, saving, investing money for my retirement. Cleaning the home regularly. Visiting the thrift stores for items I may need and use. Helping others in need, such as family or animal shelters. Limiting waste, especially food waste. My furniture or other items in the house. All good for now.

The moral of the story is that sometimes we need to stop and help our mind bring us what needs to be cherished and what needs to change. Both are good. Take that time off, folks.

Has the pandemic helped save money?

I have seen a couple of articles suggesting that Canadians saved a tons of (billions) of money during the pandemic.

Some of the expenses cited as cut, and hence, saved money from, were child care, extracurricular activities, and commute-related expenses.

For those lucky ones, like myself, who kept their work and salary, things might have been better than those families and individuals who struggle with affording daily essential expenses. That is for sure.

I know many people lost their jobs and many businesses had to spend extra money to adapt to pandemic style business. So, hearing that we have overall saved billions of dollars during the pandemic sounds a little bit brutal to me.

I do not have kids or dependents, so the first two factors do not make a difference in my life. I take the bus or walk mostly, so commute, or lack of it, did not help me save a good sum of money. But I still did save money during the pandemic. My income also increased because of my recent promotion.

My most important expense is my annual visit to my family overseas, which used to cost me around 5K each year. I have not traveled in the last two years, so my major savings was the lack of these trips.

While I am not very social and hence do not get together with my friends frequently, I nevertheless had a few lunches or gifts to pick, so while there is some sort of savings in this area, it is not substantial.

My innocent yet kind of expensive interest in thrift store hunts, however, seems to make some sort of difference. I used to visit thrift stores every two weeks or so pre-pandemic, so while the prices are quite affordable, you can imagine the annual expenses.

On the other hand, I think like many, my food and personal care/cleaning products expenses increased. This is mostly because of working from necessitating use of the cleaning products more; starting fostering a cat; and the inflation or increases in the prices just because of the pandemic’s effect.

I am one of the lucky ones who comfortably has gone through this pandemic financially. I am feeling lucky and grateful, but you know, things will not get better anytime soon, the economy will continue to be unstable, and who knows what will happen to our investments or jobs.

Until, then..

Random thoughts

What a beautiful morning.

I took my time to get up, at the expense of feeding Mona, my foster cat, an hour later than usual. She only eats wet food and that means it needs to be replaced or removed after 2 hours or so during the day. Naturally in the mornings, she is hungry. Yes, my consciousness is not clear and I have had a huge debate in my mind about this, but eventually let the guilt go. Every once a while, I simply cannot get up as early as usual.

Hungry Cat GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I took yesterday off and made it a long weekend, which feels great. It gives me freedom and time to recuperate. We have had a hard year and very intense work schedule since my last break (Holidays in December). There were many times I was simply exhausted yet continued to complete work. Now is a great time to simply rest and enjoy the gorgeous summer we have.

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Where I am in Canada, often we have cool summers and a little bit rain. But this year has been exceptional, like last summer, with lots of sunshine and a little bit higher than normal temperatures (and yes climate change is a real thing). The blue, clear sky lifts the mood immediately, and the nature around my neighbourhood and yard makes it even more beautiful and appreciable. If you have a good summer and opportunity to enjoy it a little bit more, please do so.

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I am at an age where I know that today may as well be the best day of my future life. I know that I am alive and my family is well, for now. But there is no guarantee, right? Things change like this – bam. We have had a global pandemic just like this; economy is shitty and many lost their jobs; there is social and political unrest here and there; and yes, the climate change is already showing its disastrous effects and unless we take radical moves to stop and reverse it (is it even possible to reverse it?), we are looking at a huge disaster. even the Hollywood movies and their heroes cannot save us, believe me.

I am reading about Indigenous worldviews (what wonderful views, by the way – if you are interested in please check it out) and how west and Indigenous nations (at least in Canada) are approaching to all living and non-living things in our environment. They got it right – human is NOT on top of the hierarchy to exploit and harm its environment for its own benefits. Rather, human is a part of this ecosystem with a role to honour, respect, and protect it.

We have done so much harm – to nature, to animals, soil, sea…

Without a healthy environment and ecosystem, there is no human.

And, we all have played and are still are playing, a huge role in this.

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Simple fact.

Let’s take a moment to re-align our views.

Climate Change Earth GIF by Bhumi Pednekar - Find & Share on GIPHY

Sunday morning musings

Happy Sunday, everyone – I hope you all are safe, well, and having a joyful day.

My coffee mug next to me, ABBA songs on the background, my sourdough loaf in the oven, and my foster cat Mona on the floor, I am all good πŸ™‚

Life has been good, though I know I can attribute it to both Mona and the antidepressant. In any case, I will take this feeling and cherish it.

I cannot believe I have been feeling like shit for almost half a decade…. Such a long misery to endure, especially when we have medication or pets to help overcome it. I am glad that finally life was too much, or I was too tired to try ways to feel good, think positive, and so on. Sometimes, the remedy is what you refrained from. Irony.. Nevertheless, I am proud of myself for trying relentlessly to feel good for a long time, and then eventually quitting this endeavor and try medication (of note, I also tried therapy – it was great but not affordable..).

I feel like I must say more about my experience with the anti-depressants for folks who may be looking for perspectives of patients.

I was depressed and experience anxiety quite frequently. Thoughts would run around my mind, and lately my sleep was affected and I was sleeping maybe 4 hours a day. I was extremely functional, however, working, doing things, and doing well. Of course, with depression and anxiety comes self-questioning and loss of sell-esteem, in addition to the attempts to feel better. These attempts included a variety of coping mechanisms, from junk food consumption to reading self-help books.

It was simply a continuous struggle. But I have never lost the interest to feel good, My only mistake was that I thought I could handle it. Over time, finally, it became apparent that whatever coping mechanisms I was applying – while they worked in the short term – were not permanent solutions.

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There is only that much one can endure. Eventually, this fall, I decided to talk to my family doctor. Surprisingly, they were VERY supportive and prescribed me cipralex. The first dose did not make much difference, but I was thinking all the time that there was hope that this feeling of being and feeling like shit would eventually come to end. It was therapeutic in a way. I was feeling great about finally asking for help.

Here, I must also mention that this was not the first time I asked for help. A decade ago, I asked my then different family doctor for antidepressants, and they were like – try a vacation. Oh, goodness. I did that and back to square 1, of course.

Then, when it became so much, especially the anxiety, I tried counselling. Found a great therapist. The only think is that my current health insurance plan covers like maybe 3 sessions a year. So, where do we go from here??

So, in a way I am grateful for my current family doctor. They said “life is too short to suffer”… Imagine how I felt when I heard these words from them… What a great physician, for whom I will be always grateful. I am now on an increased dosage, which works phenomenally. I experienced no side effects, and sleep and feel much better. I can handle stress better and I find myself enjoying life better.

My doctor is about to reduce the dose and then stop it. I was scared of this at first, but when I accidentally forgot taking the pill for a couple of days and feeling no side effects, I have some sort of naive hope that I will manage the withdrawal symptoms, if ever. But this part of the story will have to come later, when I reduce and stop the medication.

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Please go ahead and volunteer at or donate to an animal shelter. Adopt or foster. Animals are simply fantastic and we owe them a lot. More than we can think of…

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Father’s Day

Happens to be Father’s Day.

My dear dad – I miss you…and I love you… I have not forgotten you, as I was afraid of in the initial phases of grief. I am very happy with this πŸ™‚ Till I see you again, rest in peace.

Happy Father’s Days to all fathers, all who want to be a father, and who were once a father.

You are loved more than you can imagine.

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Happy Sunday

Folks, I hope you all are having a great Sunday.

We have an incredibly sunny and warm day that makes me feel so grateful. I may not realize deep down, but summer is here and it is time to enjoy it (I am advising to myself right now πŸ™‚ ..).

Last year, 2020, was interesting in so many ways. Being at home due to lock-down, I was able to walk every day, sometimes multiple times, feel the breeze on my face, enjoy the scenery, sweat and feel all good. This year, I have not done this much and I think that is a mistake. With walking and fresh air comes the serenity, dopamine, and feel good thoughts.

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These being said, in rare occasions that I found myself walking out, I noticed a lot more dandelions than before. They are everywhere and I think this year we are not so much into getting rid of this beautiful plant. I know, I know.. It is too invasive and if you let it grow and pollinate, we get more. But I kinda think that leaving a good portion of dandelions in the yards just makes them look great.

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I am enjoying my morning coffee. What would we do without this little treat that is mostly affordable and available?

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My foster cat Mona is well and we are doing just fine. My beautiful girl. I am still okay with cleaning her litter box and occasional drops on the floor without dislike, disgust, or annoyance. Somebody here said that she was sent to me to learn about love. I kinda think now that this is true. Is this how parents feel towards their kids? Unconditional love and care?

Of course, I cannot one-to-one compare parenthood to being a foster carer of pets, but honestly this is the closest I can get. If I can do this, anybody can do it too. Friends, please foster a pet in need or donate/volunteer at an animal shelter. They need our support, and most importantly, we owe their comfort, safety, and wellness to them. We shamelessly occupied their environment and manipulate them and their living conditions based on our needs or wants. Time to fix things a little bit. Please support animals and shelters/rescue organizations. THANK YOU πŸ™‚

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I have no plans and pressing work timelines today, so I am looking at a day that I can do whatever I want to and enjoy. Perhaps a walk, light cleaning, cooking a nice meal, and reading a book. Aaaaah.. How long has it been that I actually sit down and read a book? Maybe a year or so. Time to fix that too πŸ™‚

Enjoy your day. I wish you all a great day and week ahead.

Happy Sunday

Happy Sunday everyone – wherever and whoever you are.

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We have a somewhat foggy day but that is okay. Summer is here and sometimes we can get tan πŸ™‚ Not today, but that is fine.

I am enjoying my weekend. Last few weeks were too busy and stressful with deadlines, but the end of the tunnel is showing. So, on Friday evening I felt the right to simply enjoy my weekend. That means I will do whatever I want to do and I will not think about work. This works wonderfully.

You may ask what I am doing this weekend, then?

Well, first of all, some sort of more intense than usual cleaning ensured. I love my home when it is well ordered and clean πŸ™‚ So, it works so well for my mood.

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Second of all, I just sit, browse the internet, and get bored of not doing anything particular πŸ™‚ yes, indeed. This boredom is important because it makes me want to work, so I am certainly looking for a highly productive week πŸ™‚

It is interesting that at my age (around mid century), I am still figuring out the best way to work. There is no limit to when and what we can learn, I guess. Also, sometimes we learn when we really need it – yes, I can be stubborn and may not learn what life offers me as a learning opportunity. Also, things change and adaptation requires noticing and fixing things. These are my justification for today πŸ™‚

Do you also feel that as you age, you get better? There is so much to do and offer to others and work? Past generations would retire and perhaps die at around my age. What a waste of human potential. I am so full of energy and motivation to do more. I hope I will have the opportunity to live and make my contributions.

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I am saying this because I also see many people at my age or 5-10 years older passing away…. This is a real reminder that I cannot take any day guaranteed anymore. When my father had passed away 5 years ago, I had felt that reality for the first time. That one day I would pass away too and cannot enjoy my coffee (I was depressed at that time and coffee was something that has always given me some sort of pleasure). It was painful. I wanted to live and enjoy every minute. I just did not know how to do this.

I am still not good at that, but my anti-depressant work and gives me relief, at least. My foster cat Mona is pure love and makes me feel happy and loving. My latest promotion made me feel good and more motivated to do accomplish more. I have my first covid-19 shot and looking forward to getting the 2nd one soon. My family is safe from the pandemic so far and are vaccinated, too.

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That is pretty much it. Still many things are missing to reach a really joyful life where I enjoy it more (like music, art), but this is a progress. Right?

Right.

Today I am grateful for progressing in feeling better and having more positive experiences relative to my recent past, and for realizing that I can integrate more in my life to even enjoy it more.

stop the rush

I am taking a break today from work. Yes, I am.

I have to.

There are many things are happening, some of them just amazing and one of a life time opportunity. They need to be digested, cherished, and became a part of who and what I am.

Rather, what happens is that there is so many other things in the to-do list that as soon as one is taken care of, I move hastily to the other tasks in the list.

I know. I know. My bad that I do not take a moment to cherish what is accomplished.

True.

Luckily there are two things that help – first, my body requires some care, so I take time. Good body – always there when the limit is reached.

Second, the nagging feeling that straining myself by over-working takes the joy out of everything. With experience I got to learn that something that looks like a mountain can be climbed in an hour, if I am refreshed and bored enough from work-free time. So, why to spend more time on something in a straining mood, while it can be taken care of much easily and in a shorter time later?

Ambitions are great, but having the joy and confidence (and mental clarity) to work is even greater, even at the expense of some urgent matters. Urgency I create for my own ambitions, and urgency others I work with create by the quality or timing of their work.

This brings me to people I work with. We work with a lot of people, all fascinating and highly talented. I must say that it is really amazing what we can do together. The group dynamic is something strange though. Do you also find that often in a team, there is one person who is lifting the weight and moving things and people up and forward? I am that person, almost in all teams I have worked with.

Often times, I am happy and proud of doing this. There were many projects done, many teams and people lifted up. I have so much satisfaction out of this.

But sometimes, just sometimes, it becomes unbearable.

First, when people do not follow the things and it is reflected on their comments and the work that I lead.

Second, when they ask or need me to update them, or worse, do their part.

Third, when with their non-understanding, they put me in a position to defend things, decisions, and actions.

These are the moments when I really question what a team work is for some individuals and how do they feel making comments or work that have no relevance to the situation at hand?

So, today I am taking a break mandated by the need to reflect on this and how to move on in my future activities.

All good, in other words.

How is your day going? Wish you all a wonderful, safe, and joyful Wednesday.

random thoughts

Have not been blogging lately – time to pour my mind into this page πŸ™‚

First of all, what a beautiful weather we have been having this year! It is still chilly but the days have been bright and sky has been blue. My heating temp is low now and I have been opening the windows since late March. Trees in my yard are getting full and blooming. What else do I wish? πŸ™‚

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Work is going crazy and I am so behind of so many tasks that I am stressed again. But the great news is that I got promoted (yes, I have!) and it is the highest position for my profession!! It has not happened over night – for decades I have studied and worked my ass off, moving from one country to other to develop myself further, and today here I am! I am proud. So is my family. I am so happy that I was able to give this news to my family. Should my dad be alive, he would be absolutely delighted.

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While I dreamed of this promotion for so long and worked so much for it, I still do not feel extremely awesome πŸ™‚ It is interesting. I think it is important but not the most important thing for me. Yes, I have the satisfaction of reaching this point and making my family proud. But I have not changed as a person and as a professional. I keep thinking that I have tremendous experience and I cannot wait to do my biggest work yet. So, my future goals are vivid and I am striving to achieve them. I think for people like me, the journey itself is the most exciting part.

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My foster cat Mona is doing well. We took care of her main health issue, but ended up with a new one. Now we are trying to fix that and I think we will do this easily as well. She is such a strong girl. Not sure why we end up with one minor issue after the other. I want her to be well. I know that once she is free of health issues, she will be up for adoption, which breaks my heart. But I would rather have her healthy than having issues. My beautiful girl. She has never lost her energy or enthusiasm to play with me hide-and-seek, or given me a huge anxiety. Always ready for a head scratch and affection. I love her so much.

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Today has been filled with working, cleaning the home and doing laundry in between, shopping, and cooking. I cannot believe I have done all of these all within a day. Sometimes stress can be helpful I guess. For example, in a few hours I prepared a speech to be delivered next week. Generally, I would have the speech ready a few week before the date so that I could feel confident. This time, I needed to leave it to last week. Stressful? yes. Has stress helped to get it done in a short time? Yes. Go figure πŸ™‚

Anyways folks, life is continuing and it is good right now. I have booked for my vaccination and I cannot wait. Tonite, I am relaxing with watching movies. Tomorrow is another day. We shall see what it will bring. I hope it will be a wonderful day for all of us globally.

random thoughts

I started the week high energy and started to feel tired again since Wednesday. Since the Holidays it has been non-stop – what was I expecting? I need a break.

How are you all holding up? Did you get the vaccines yet? I am still not eligible – because of my age, but hoping soon it will get to my age group. I cannot wait. The new announcements that it is an aerosol transmission/airborne is alarming me – how are we going to ventilate all these workplaces, schools, and residences? If my work place offers half working from home program, boy, I will take it right away. Vaccine or not, have no interest in getting anywhere close this virus.

Our weather is gray nowadays. Maybe we will see blue sky and sun this weekend. It would be so nice. There is something so great about the Spring. It is energizing and tell us that the hibernation season is over. We can rejuvenate.

So, how exactly am I planning to rejuvenate? I have done well walking just for the love of walking in the early week. Seeing the neighbourhood, trees, and houses are always a delight. I love the crisp air that “washes” my face and gives me tremendous peace. Walking in the mornings and evenings are certainly great. I cannot wait to do this more regularly. But, what else? Will I declutter? Will I change the furniture? What will I do?? Dilemma. And mystery πŸ™‚

Despite being in a lock-down in the last 14 months, I have not gained weight. What a miracle… Did you? Many people have. Maybe this is one of these fortunate times that I was spared of extra fat. I wanna laugh, but I am also serious. It feels great to be on the lucky side πŸ™‚

My foster cat Mona is doing well. Such a sweet heart. She eats less now and is losing weight. We waste quite a bit of wet food, but honestly, as long as she is well, I am okay with this. Why are the cans so big? A kitty cannot eat the entire 156 grams of food in 3-4 hours, so what is the point?

Anyways, let’s focus on the positive that Mona is well. I am well. My family is well. Spring is here. I had a little increase in my salary so I feel great about it. I am abundant and have everything I need. I can contribute to the animal rescue organization by covering cost of some of the food and litter. My friends check on me. I can walk, I am functional. My antidepressant works. I can take things much easier and and feeling absolutely better.

I saw a blog by a medical practitioner the other day with a title asking Do antidepressants work? Boy, please do not use this kind of titles – it sounds like you are suspicious. In my experience, yes they do work. My medication may not work someone else, and they can hopefully find relief in another drug (if they are interested in taking a medication). I feel like the fact that sometimes we are put in places where we need to defend our choices or our antidepressants is mind-blowing. Ask me and my experience.

How is the economy going on where you are? It is surprising me that the market is still doing high. Prices are going up, though. My favorite yogurt has increased like 50 cents a tub, and I am hoarding it whenever it is on sale. I can eat around 5-7 tubs of yogurt per week, so hoarding is for a short time only, and it works well, In a given day I probably have like 10 tubs in my fridge. You can call me freak if you want, but it does not change the fact that it is my favorite evening/night snack. I also use it liberally with meals and soups. Yogurt is good and much better than McDonald’s.

When was the last time I ate from McDonald’s? Hard to remember. Wendy’s possibly, yes. But not McDonald’s in decades..

Anyways, seems like I am very talkative tonite πŸ™‚ I will cut it out here and say that please keep yourself safe, have hope that this too shall pass, and enjoy whatever you have and give you joy.

random thoughts

Life is good, as Spring is here πŸ™‚

Other than this the news coming from India about the lack of oxygen tanks and the huge number of deaths are simply depressing me. I am so sorry for the residents of India, and all those who are affected by COVID-19. The health care services, like education, should be on the priority list of any governments. Perhaps they did not have the means to do so, but the numbers are so high and the stories are so heart-breaking that I cannot feel but angry for all the lives lost..

Tu Bhoola Jise India GIF by bypriyashah - Find & Share on GIPHY

I visited to my yard this morning. Grass are growing and trees are about to get leaves. It has been great lately, with clear and blue skies. The temperature is not too high yet, but I can open the windows for a few hours everyday, just to get fresh air on my face… What an awesome feeling…

I was almost sick last week, so decided to take a few days off and rest. It was the best decision. I have not rested – but I found a chance to stay away from online meetings and just focus on what I want to do. I really dislike the meetings… We have so many.. Why do we have so many meetings????

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I decided that I want to keep Fridays to myself, and refrain from meetings if possible. The 3 days – together with the weekend – just make it a stress and distraction free time period. Sounds like a mini vacation to me πŸ™‚ I could not be more excited.

Mona, my foster cat, is doing really well. Her last set of medications seem to work and she is feeling much better. She has a little rash on her skin, which worries me. For now, we are tackling it by limiting the food to her regular brand and refraining from using chemicals, especially those that I used to apply while cleaning her litter room (lysol). I clean that room everyday now, with hypo allergenic baby wipes and vacuum the floors every day. Her blankest are also washed regularly and I try to pay attention to her grooming habits. My good girl. She will be fine. She will get better. I love her so much.

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Do you have plans for summer? I know this does not sound right as many of us are under lock down still. But we all must try to enjoy and celebrate summer. Nature is amazing, so is weather in summer. We can spend more time outdoors, as many experts recommend, and enjoy gardening. This is the 2nd year that I will not be visiting my family. I cannot complain, I love walking in the city and enjoying the fresh air. I like looking at the yards, trees, plants, and listening to the birds chipping. I like having the windows open. I simply love the blue skies and having people talking on the street. Life is fuller when these happen.

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I am looking at a busy summer though. I just got a new team member last week and another one is to join in two weeks. That means a lot of one-to-one meetings and trainings. I have work to be completed and new ones to start. I am so looking forward to accomplishing all of these, and start new projects.

At least, I will keep my Fridays to myself (I hope), will continue to say no (which I have been getting really good at), prioritize my work better, and take it easy. We are going through a global pandemic and our lives are not the same. Our mentality and emotions are not the same. Our priorities are not the same. We simply cannot keep up with everything and that is okay. I came to accept this a while ago and this reduces the pressure on me. I also expect less from my team members – we all are struggling in one way or the other.

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But I am truly grateful that we are all safe now, my family, my team, my friends, and myself. So far so good. What the new days will bring, nobody knows. but until then – keep safe, folks, wherever you are, take time for your and your loved ones’ wellness, enjoy the summer as much as you can.

Better days ahead.

random thoughts

Time flies. We are at mid-April. For many, it means Spring. Happy Spring everyone.

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We have a foggy day and I cannot help but admire the scenery. It is so mystical. I am sure many writers and novelists have been inspired by such scenery.

Anyways – life has been going well, thanks to my antidepressant and my foster cat Mona.

Mona is well and going through some medications. Hopefully these are the latest in the round and she will be just fine to be put for adoption. I say hopefully for her being well and healthy, and finding her forever home, but not for being separated from her. It has almost been 6 months and every day I get more bonded to her. It will be difficult, but we will do it. Then, another kitty in need will come… I will love that kitty, too.

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I have had otherwise quite a stressful time in the last one year, and honestly I think that without my antidepressants that I started taking 6 months ago, it would break me. I am so grateful for this medication. I can take events and people easier; I can enjoy and feel much better; and more importantly I fear and worry less. Unbelievable. Why did I torture myself all these years, denying myself the medication option?

One reason was that I thought I would lose control, get lethargic, or just do not care about anything anymore. How silly are these. These do not happen. At least, not in my experience (my medication fits me; no side effects and effective in managing my depression/anxiety).

My doctor was happy to hear how well I was feeling. He said that he will likely drop the dose in a couple of months and then stop all together. I knew that one day I would go off this medication, but honestly I was not expecting it to be soon. While there are many horror stories out there about weaning off anti-depressants and increased side effects, I want to be courageous, but honestly I am scared!! I am scared of getting brain zaps or other effects of stopping medications, or feeling like shit again….. Logically, the brain zaps may or may not happen, and are temporary. Second, nothing prevents me from taking the medication again. So I must keep brave πŸ™‚

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For the second time during the pandemic, I went to thrift stores yesterday πŸ™‚ I was so craving for an excitement, something away from my routine life. I bought really lovely and useful things and I could not be happier. for a total of 28 bucks, I bought a kitchen knife, a sturdy belt, a pair of pants, a new pairs of sports pants, new socks, and a large pillow for Mona. All worth the bucks I spent πŸ™‚

Anyways, these are the main things in my life nowadays. Wherever you are I hope you and your family are keeping safe and you have access to vaccinations. I am not eligible for vaccination yet, but cannot wait to get it. If you are in Ontario, my sympathies. The situation got so bad there that I cannot help but get angry at administrators. They failed the people. Please stay safe. You are in my thoughts.

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No plans for the long weekend, and this does not feel right

Boy, one more day and then we have a long weekend. But, where is my excitement?

I think I am not tired anymore, and as such, having an extra day caving in at home does not excite me. You know what they say; anticipation makes it all better. Yeah, I have no plans, and as such, nothing much to anticipate or get excited about. So, here I am, thinking how to take advantage of this long weekend.

I think I will make sure that I bake sourdough this weekend. It has been sometime. Since the lock-down, I think I baked once or twice. I love sourdough, but I did not want to have yet another item in my to-do list. This is just one indication of how difficult and busy the last one year was….

Another thing I want to do is to clean a little bit deeper this weekend. Maybe I can dust the blinds as well – damn things collect dust like a vacuum πŸ™‚ Will be great to get rid of the dust this weekend.

Yet another thing I want to do is to visit a thrift store. In the last one year, I think I visited it once. ONCE!! Imagine. I cannot wait to check the stores and see whether I can find something for my and Mona (my foster cat)’s use. One thing I would like is a wood shallow container/furniture that I can turn into a bed for Mona. She has two make-shift beds, but I think I would love something better, which I can also decorate. But, I really am not in the mood of getting in places and being in a crowd. So I think I will pass this idea for now.

I also would like to cook something new. I keep eating the same things over and over. It is, interestingly, not boring. But I would like to eat different things, for a change, and make it a some sort of celebration meal. So, when I go for grocery shopping, this should be in my mind. Perhaps a pastry, or an eggplant dish (which I love), or meatball. And, I cannot wait to put my teeth in watermelon (oh, summer – please come quick).

We shall see πŸ™‚

random thoughts

What a beautiful day, with sunny skies and a temperature above 15 degrees! Yes πŸ™‚ Amazing. A wonderful Spring day. It was so enjoyable.

One of those days. Cannot believe it is Monday. Where did the weekend go? Miraculously I have no meetings scheduled for the newt few days. That means right before the long weekend, I can just finish some stuff and do nothing during the long weekend!. Sounds like a fantastic plan.

That is all I have to say today. A short, but positive blog πŸ™‚

Enjoy the rest of the night, folks.

random thoughts

What a beautiful, bright day!

We still have snow here and there, but since the daylights savings stuff ending, we get to see much better weather and day outside, I want to walk so badly, hopefully tomorrow.

Tomorrow I am getting my taxes done. I admire those people who do their own taxes. Hats off! I never tried it in Canada, Honestly I am scared that I will do something wrong, and the CRA will get back to me after πŸ™‚ So, I pay over 100 bucks each year for my taxes to be filed. Peace of mind, that is. Hope to get a return and add up to it a little bit more, and make a prepayment next week πŸ™‚ this is so exciting – I am looking forward to it.

I was able to get up around 8 am, and it made my day very productive. I know that getting not later than 8.30 am is a factor in my productivity.. Since we started working from home, my sleep has been really good (sleeping 6-7 hours/night) and since Mona – my foster cat – came to stay with me and I started to take antidepressant medication at around the same time, it even got better. Now I can sleep around 8 hours, without anxiety and negative fears/thoughts filling my mind during the night.

However my morning sleep has also become too sweet, and as such, I love, LOVE sleeping in, an hour or more in the morning. This means I usually get up around 9, 9.30 am. With the morning routine of feeding Mona and cleaning her bowls and litter box/room, that means I do not start the work till at least an hour later. Staring the work around 10 am almost always makes me feel like I am late, and as a result, I feel stress to catch up. Oh well.

So hope to make it a habit to get up around 7.30 – 8 am so that I can feel a lot better, despite cutting from the sweet morning sleep πŸ™‚ Wish me luck πŸ™‚

Anyways, all is well on my, my family’s, and Mona’s side. So there is so much to be grateful of. I am grateful for:

  • sleeping well and getting up relatively early
  • having a productive, calm, and peaceful work day
  • we all being well and healthy
  • eating home made meal and apple
  • getting a highly positive comment from the organizers of an event I participated last week – their note was short but specific to what was amazing about my talk (engaging the audience with my talk during this virtual meeting), so I especially loved it πŸ™‚ Great motivation to keep going, making interactive talks, and knowing that my efforts paid off,
  • beautiful, bright day that gives the impression that Spring is coming
  • resting and relaxing tonite by blogging, surfing on the internet, and watching Netflix

have a great night everyone

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breaks, break-throughs, and burn-outs

Whatever they say or you say to yourself, I hope you are good at taking breaks.

I am not.

The only time I took regular breaks were last Spring when we were working from home, and I could walk around the neighbourhood during the day, to take a break and enjoy the Spring.

Certainly, it made me happy and relaxed.

Then came high volume of work, well because, hello! working from home is so inefficient for some tasks and things started to pile up on my to-do list. Then came winter, and the to-do list became longer and more painful.

I have been tired since the beginning of the month, and am hoping to take some time off in April. But the lagging works, uncompleted work – some urgent and critical -, the stress and un-satisfaction coming out of all of these naturally have brought me to near-burn-out.

I can work with great energy 2-3 days a week (rather than 6 days a week, as before) now. Still good performance, but not good enough. Since I am tired, I want to rest during the weekends, but if I do not work even for a couple of hours each Saturday and Sunday, my week work load gets bigger. And I am back to square one. Tired, but cannot rest to prevent further tiredness, or goodness prevents, a future burn-out.

I try to be compassionate and tolerant with myself and with people I work with or need for my work. My stress levels are manageable, thanks to the antidepressant medication I have been taking and my foster cat Mona, but my frustration is at high levels. The demands from us gotta reduce. The aftermath of this lock-down and its effects gotta be considered quite seriously, and risks to people’s not only career progress but also mental & physical health/well-being need to be addressed in any future professional plan.

It is insane. What we are going through.

It is also insane that organizations and some colleagues behave like nothing prickly has been happening, we all adapted with maximum efficiency, everything is going well, remote working is an opportunity and only an opportunity (what?????), and things are moving forward well. All sugar-coated mess.

Insane.

Since I cannot reduce the quality of the work I do, I reduce the quantity of the work I am asked to do. Many of these are voluntary roles. I say no more often and it feels great. Last week I notified a committee that I was only gonna look at one part of the document, but not the rest, as I have no time. It felt good.

While I had started to say no occasionally in the last few years, it is becoming more “normal” for me. I do not feel guilty or apologetic anymore. Just the other day, a departmental administrative assistant, who was supposed to help me draft a document, gave me directions to draft the document – all format related – and that. was. it.! Did not follow the directions and sent it as I drafted, leaving it to them to figure out whether I formatted it as they wanted, and to format it themselves as they wanted. Honestly, is this my job, too?

No it is not.

Words of compassion. Words of kindness. Words of support.

What needed from leaders is deeds. Walk the talk. Help people go through this difficult time without further damages to our health, abilities, and motivations. Reduce the expectations. Increase genuine support. Have future plans at hand to minimize the long-term effects of this lock-down and frustration. Otherwise, honestly I am not sure who you will find to work – with adequate experience – and expedite things.

random thoughts

Mona – my foster cat, my family, and myself are well. What else do I want?

Wellness is important. I am glad I have health. So do people and creatures important for me.

I had a shitty, quite fragmented, and inefficient work day yesterday. I went to bed thinking, “I want to work!” Thank goodness, today was productive and I feel quite energized again πŸ™‚

I will get my taxes done this weekend and I cannot wait to see how much return I will get. I hope to add up on top of the tax return, and make a mortgage pre-payment πŸ™‚ It excites me – this simple idea of reducing my mortgage. My plan is to pay it off completely in 2 years. I will use some of my investments to pay a chunk of the remaining mortgage at the end of my current term. Since the investments have been losing value, I think this is just the right way to make use of my money.

Once I pay off it all, I will focus on saving cash. My ideal dream is to retire in around 5 years. I am still young and I am getting better each year, but I cannot take the stress, and lack of recognition and appreciation at the work place. The early retirement will not provide me a lot, but if I return to my home country, I can live comfortably with what I have. I wish I did not need to leave Canada – I really like this country and living here. Why is money so restrictive??

Canada Conan Obrien GIF by Team Coco - Find & Share on GIPHY

Anyways. Early retirement is not necessarily a bad thing. I can still work and make money. I also feel like I need this, because I feel like I was born for something else. My current profession – I love it, it is meaningful and useful to community and humanity in many ways, yet I feel like I gotta stop it so that I can find my own true gem, I have a feeling that this will be something related to literature.

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Yes, I am talking about writing stories, or novels. My imagination has always been wide and vivid (one of the reasons for or consequences of my anxiety, I think…). Anyways. I really would like to try literary writing and coming up with stories. I have always had a heavy, dark, emotional side in me that knows what suffering is. I also know what struggle, mystery, and victory means. I am such a fighter.. Even though, most of the time, I down-value myself, I have always fought by putting extra energy, effort, and thoughts on my life, and others’ lives. Digging into human psyche and nature, detailed description of human conditions, experiences, and emotions.. These concepts just fire something in me. I am excited πŸ™‚

These being said, until I started to seriously think about early retirement, I must say that I did not have any future plans. None…. It bothered me so much, for so long… A void future is not fun, friends.

Having retirement dream is literally priceless.

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random thoughts

My long-lasting and recent favorite Netflix series ended the other day and I am desperately looking for a series that will keep me occupied with interest. Shout out any suggestions.

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I am having another loooong week, but that is okay. Slowly, many things are progressing and I feel okay with this. Some good news are also coming to my way, too. Just yesterday I got an invitation to speak at a professional meeting and I am delighted. A colleague of mine helped solve an issue this evening, and I could not be happier. He is my partner in a project and he has done his part really well. Respect. This morning I had a 2 hours presentation, the longest I have ever done remotely, and it went so well! Lots to celebrate. Lots to cherish.

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My two hours presentation had concerned me quite a bit until I delivered it. I have yet another one coming in a couple of months. I do not like to just speak, but involve everyone – as much as possible – in the discussion, questions, or comments. In a remote environment, many of these things are quite challenging. Today’s session was a small group, so it was easier to make it interactive. But I have a large one coming, with potentially around 60 attendees. How to manage such a size and make people engaged and attract their attention?

One thing I want to try is to use the poll function. I have tried it myself but was not sure whether it really worked. So I opted out using it today. But with the big presentation, I need to establish it and get experienced with it. The good thing is that I have time to figure this out. I can also ask for IT’s help – but honestly I want to learn and apply it myself so that I can keep doing it independently. So next week or so, I will rush after learning the poll function.

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My foster cat Mona is doing well. Her latest health scare is healing and I could not be happier. The panic I felt was very real. In a couple of days it subsidized. I was able to look at her belly closely and take pics and video clips (to send to rescue organization). The general idea was to “keep an eye on it, and if it gets worse in a couple of days, we will get her to a vet”. Thankfully, it started to heal at that time. Happiness πŸ™‚

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This incidence made me think quite a bit. This is the first time I have someone else in my home since my late 20’s (yes, I treat her like a person..). First time I am closely responsible for helping someone else. The panic I felt – many people felt it so much earlier in life. They got experienced and dealt with such things much successfully while I was living my solo life. Imagine, how late I am in experiencing some of life experiences? πŸ™‚

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Spring is still far away but at least we will have brighter days, starting this weekend (daylight savings). I am not naive to think that Spring will just show up in April – April is often our most turbulent and unpredictable month. End of May is a much better approximate time for the start of Spring. I cannot wait to work in my yard, hug my trees, admire all the life forms, and gaze at the neighbourhood. Ahh, the sweet Spring. Hope you will bring us a much safer and enjoyable days.

Stay safe folks.

patience

The moment we think that one thing is over, something else appears.

You may remember that my foster cat Mona was scheduled for a vet appointment for an ongoing issue. Well, the good news is that it is something benign, so it is great news!! Felt like she would be great for ever and would be sending her new home – upon adoption – with tears, joy, and happiness.

The bad news is that now she has some sort of discolorization on her skin and I am freaking out. She is not a very timid cat, so looking and examining her belly is not an easy task. It is great that the vet actually examined where the discolorization now is, so I am assuming unless it gets worse, it is normal. but I cannot be sure…I tried to get pics to send to the rescue organization, but one thing and the other, it seems I forgot to turn the camera on. I will look into it again to this again tomorrow in the daylight. Hope she will be okay till then.

Patience is something I am familiar with but I easily fail to practice it. I know that I need to trust the process – neither assume that once one thing is fixed, nothing else (aka, bad) will happen, nor not celebrate the good news because of future possibilities of bad things. But I cannot help but feel like anxious and disappointed by life because of the possibility that she may have something serious that I may be late to report and late to get vet care for Mona.

It is silly but I am glad I never had a child. Imagine how I could react to daily adventures of rising a child.

My goodness. Perhaps Mona came to my life just to fill this void, just to learn patience and trust the life a little bit better. I would be grateful for this, I really would. But I pray that this life lesson will not come at the expense of Mona.

Start of a new month

Tomorrow is March 1st.

I am glad that the harshest months of winter – January and February – are behind us. Yet, I feel like time flies and I have some sort of grief coming with this.

Nevertheless, I think we must celebrate reaching to the middle of winter. Spring is always joyful, and makes us feel much better. Nature awakens; yards, tress, and birds become alive and joyful. Having a window open and getting fresh air in are certainly priceless and delightful.

This weekend was fine. I worked in the morning and am ready for the week. I must say the weekdays continue to stress me and weekends continue to relax me. They say so much about the life-work balance. I wonder if this balance is ever achievable?

What is that balance, anyhow?

I was reading an essay about it the other day, and the author claims that there is no such thing as a balance, as there is no true border between work and life. Also, the term itself implies that either our work or life – or both – are miserable and unbearable.

Truth.

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In my profession, having this balance is almost impossible. We work anytime and any day, as we always chase for new things and have serious obligations. The expectations increase day by day, especially happened during the COVID-19 pandemic for some unsensible reasons – as we have a highly competitive job. So either we will perform normally and risk being called and feeling unsuccessful and a failure (duh! even with a little bit of or work, we do amazing and incredible things), or hurt ourselves with countless of hours of work, stress, thinking, writing, reading, discussing, training, and presenting. All to feel competent and successful. Whoever has implemented this self-inflicted, unhealthy, and counter-intuitive system must be very proud of themselves. There seems to be no way out of it, unless the vast majority think the same way and stop slowing.

Slowing down is a term I have been associating with the pandemic. I heard it from many of my friends and colleagues, and it kind of makes sense. I believe that I could be not only healthier, but also more creative if we could slow down a little bit.

On the positive side, I feel like I have slowed down somehow and tipped to scale towards the life part of the work-life balance, especially now that I have a lovely foster cat with me. Spending time with Mona, even feeding her or cleaning her litter box are giving me much needed mental brake. I am determined to continue with fostering even when she is adopted. My beautiful girl. May she always have the best, kindest, and most compassionate people around her, the best meals and cleanest litter box, and the best vets.

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long weeks

Some weeks feel, like, consisting of 30 days or something. They are full packed, lots happen, and yet it is just the beginning or the mid of the week.

The last few weeks have been feeling like this. I am not sure why. Perhaps I am doing good not working during the weekend too intensely, and rather work harder during the week, or a lot of things come to conclusion and this makes me feel like accomplishing a lot. I think it is a little bit of both.

Working from home is hard. It is good every once a while, to focus on the work at hand without distraction. But not continuously. Cannot believe it has been almost a year that we have been doing this. Except a few times a month, I almost always worked from home, myself, with my team remotely, and with all bunch of committees I am a part of. Lots of things have not happened on time. Lots of things lost their priority as new ones merged. Things that we could normally do in a year expanded into two or more years. Some things have just needed to be cancelled altogether.

Since new year, some mid size projects have been coming to conclusion and new ones have been emerging. This is one reason why I feel like lots are accomplished, and as a result, time becomes longer. Good. Very good.

The overwhelming feeling of the pandemic and working from home are getting a toll on us. I know I am not the only one. I want to say, no scream, STOP sometimes. To all new obligations, new requests, new roles. We cannot breathe sometime – where are we going like this?

Many people are behaving like all is okay. Let me tell you something – it is NOT ok.

Organizations are good at saying compassionate things, like how much they appreciate our hard work during this difficult time. But they keep pushing us to the limits. Adapting to changes takes time and sometimes it is not even possible. How do you train new staff for specific work tasks, some of them requiring high tech applications? How do you correct processes that go wrong, which can only be corrected by hand and by being there physically? Not everything can be done remotely, and not everything can be done good remotely.

These being said, sure, there are positives about working from home. Comfort of the home is a good plus. Ability to take breaks when needed. Remote learning opportunities, which are now more wide spread and more affordable. Having fresh lunch (which is a treat for me). Not combing the hair unless it is required for a meeting or something πŸ™‚ The pj’s and slippers (I feel like my feet got longer – do you have a similar feeling??).

Anyways, the moral of the story that we have challenges and less needs to be expected. If you are a boss like me, remember it. Also make sure your bosses know – just saying it is important to take care of ourselves while going thru this difficult time is not enough. They need to demonstrate lower expectations and obligations from you.

My two cents.

Sunday morning musings

Happy Sunday everyone – wherever you are, I hope you all are safe, healthy, and comfortable.

I really appreciate today. Yesterday had elements of work (two remote meetings), one in the morning and one in the afternoon, which made me feel like unready to relax… So today is my good day to relax, do whatever I want, and get ready for yet another productive and intense work week tomorrow. I also made a mental note to not schedule work meetings at a weekend day anymore – except that I must go through a couple of them till April. Since it will end at a near future, I feel okay with this. But, not after that.

It is a bright day. While we have lots of snow banks on the side of the roads, at least we are still mobile and able to walk on the road. Our city needs to do better and clean the sidewalks. This has been an ongoing issue, mostly prevented by budget issues, but pedestrian as well as riders safety is at high stakes when we keep walking on the road, rather than on the side walk. I am sure we are not the only one who is experiencing this. Please watch yourself and the traffic.

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Mona, my foster cat, is good, but she is having some sort of health issues. She will be visiting a vet hopefully this week. A new vet. The rescue organization thought that getting a second opinion will be beneficial. I really loved this attitude. She has been given medications, possible diagnoses, and went through a couple of vet visits, but her main problem remains unsolved. I feel for this magical creature. Is she in pain? Is she comfortable? What does she need? How can I make her feel better and more comfortable? She means a lot to me.

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I recognize that each vet visit costs a lot of money to the rescue organization. I have been thinking about increasing my contributions and support to this organization, but I am not sure whether I should do it right now, or later. One thing I am scared of is that then each time there is a need for help, I may find myself, consciously, forcing myself to make a donation. I do not like the feeling of being forced, even by myself, so this is my dilemma right now. Wait, or do it now?

Perhaps I should do it now to help make sure that Mona will get adequate and complete care right now. I can handle my consciousness later. It would be great if I could create some sort of budget to help support this organization. Perhaps and annual cash donation amount. I can cut out some of my unnecessary expenses. Believe me, I can find expenses to cut. So what should it be?

Right after writing the paragraph above, I made a donation to the rescue organization. I know it will help and I know I could make this donation, It felt right. The great thing is that until I wrote my words and thoughts in this blog, I was not sure at all…

Thank you for listening.

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random thoughts

A cold day here. I can notice it in the living room. Gotta increase the temp a little bit for Mona, my foster cat. She is sleeping comfortably, yet, who knows what they feel? Cats, I heard, are notoriously private animals. You will not know the challenges they have, especially health-related, until late. Cannot risk this. I love her.

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I have had a productive work day, with only one meeting in the afternoon. I cannot say how beautiful and stress free and productive days without meetings are. How did we end up with this meeting madness? There are only a few meetings that are really worth our times. There must be some regulations against unnecessary meetings. I should start with the meetings I organize myself. Are they really necessary? Some of them are not. There is a saying that I had heard once from a colleague – use the needle on you, but the blunt nail on others. If I can not do the right thing, can I expect it from others? If I complain about others’ behavior while I do the same thing? So, I am off to reduce our meeting frequency now.

The week gets longer and longer, but I am excited about the weekend. I hope not to work too hard during the weekend. The pandemic gets on my nerves and I feel the urgent need to celebrate somethings to feel better. Tomorrow I hope to cook something fancy and maybe serve them on fancy plates and with candle light, like my good virtual friend declutteringthestuff does! What an inspiration. Thank you my friend. I certainly am looking forward to my dinner tomorrow!

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I think I had mentioned that we were getting increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases lately. This makes me anxious and also extra careful. Now I use double mask and limit my visits to stores. Shopping, turns out to be, a quality time for me. Last week I noticed it once again (initially I had decided not to go for shopping…). The pleasure coming out of it is noticeable. But I must limit this seemingly safe practice during the pandemic. It hurts, to tell the truth. But it needs to be done.

Mona has a vet appointment in the coming days and I hope that she is okay. I know that when she gets the clear health, she will be up for adoption… The bond I formed with this magical creature and the joy I got with having her in my life have been, just, beautiful… I will miss her… I will cry… I will curse to life that prevents me from adopting her, but I hope to move on when she gets adopted. I hope she will choose good people and be always comfortable, healthy, happy, loved, and well cared.

Then, another kitty needing shelter and love will come πŸ™‚

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On the positive side, NASA had yet another explorer on Mars. How fantastic is this?? Amazing… I am so excited.

Humanity is able to do a lot of things.

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random thoughts

A somewhat boredom-filled weekend. I keep reminding myself that I have all the opportunity to feel good, but can not stick to it. This is pretty much how I survived the last few decades, prior to the start of the antidepressants. In the last 3 months or so, this is the 2nd time I feel like it does not work.

Logically, the medication works. I generally feel much better, more optimistic, and more effective. I do not get bothered by small stuff and do not get stuck at miniature shit. Expecting that I will never experience these while taking this medication is what my fault is. Expecting that the medications will fix everything.

These being said, things have been spiraling up and far regarding the pandemic. While we are still doing much better, now we have a case or two of the variant virus. The cautions are highlighted, as a result. Naturally, as a person who lives in a place where the case load is low and life pretty much continued as before, except with limited social interactions, use of mask, and working mostly from home, I took it kind of hard. It took me sometime to remind myself that this virus is nothing to be taken lightly. With or without the vaccines. And, where the hey are the vaccines? Has any of you been vaccinated yet?

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There is no mention of when we can get the vaccines. I am not in the risky group category, so I think that it will take some time.

Our works have been tremendously affected. We continue to work and produce ideas and results, but honestly I keep thinking that this focus on work has made me forget the reality. The reality is that we all are going through a very tough and serious patch of time. I have hope that things will get better, but when? Perhaps none of these that we keep doing at work will have any value in the long run if we cannot keep ourselves and the rest of the globe safe from this virus. How long are we looking for? At least a few more years is what my prediction is.

I can forget traveling and visiting my family for at least two years. Will my family be okay during this time? My friends? Myself?

Our lives have changed, whether I realize it or not. Things have changed, we adapted, but harder days are yet to come. One thing I really find peace in is that this is a collective journey. There is so much compassion and understanding in so many different people, communities, and institutions.

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Perhaps, in the post-pandemic era, our lives, work places and practices, and how we go through our days will be much different. Many of us will be out of work. Some of us will have new jobs. There will be different values, different priorities. Perhaps we all will start homesteads and happy with our simplier, more frugal lives.

I have no issues with frugal and simple lives, as long as the basic rights are protected and healthcare and education are accessible by all.

I predict that in the years coming, I will volunteer more, and support the community and the vulnerable. I please ask once again you to help foster animals. It does not have to cost you anything – just talk your animal rescue organization. Give these creatures a beautiful, safe and loving environment. Let them feel the love and care. You will feel the happiness of their companionship and satisfaction of helping others in turn. Please foster or adopt an animal from a shelter.

Be the hope for a life that was otherwise put in a very vulnerable position by humans. Do it.

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Joy journal – February 11, 2021

It has been some time that I wrote on my joy journal. Not that I have not been having joyful moments, or needed to remind myself the experiences, things, and people/animals that had some sort of positive values.

I was just simply engulfed too much in the COVID-19 matters, the lock-down, and work. Anyways.

I am grateful for the followings today:

  • for sleeping well and waking up feeling good – check

I have been sleeping much better because of the lock-down. I have no shame telling this. I also have been sleeping much better since I started my anti-depressants and my foster cat Mona joined my life. Insomnia is a terrible thing. Your mind races from one thought to other, without finding any solution to the situation or to the issues at hand. A tired mind leads to a tired body. Not a cool thing. For over 3-4 years I slept around 4 hours every night and then woke up, always feeling like shit and stressed.. It is over for now, for which I am extremely grateful

  • for Mona being well and safe – check

I really love my foster cat. She is the most joyful, kind, pleasant, and loving thing in my life. She changed my life for the better and every minute spent with her is precious.

  • for working well and without much of a stress – check

my goodness – my work stress has reduced quite a bit and I can work and enjoy completing things. I am so pumped up by these feelings. I must say I spend much less time on uncritical things than before – I do not need to check every word, every calculation. I can, rather, make it an effective and joyful experience by not straining myself and by not needing an extreme focus to work at hand πŸ™‚

  • for eating healthy – check

I love apples, but in the last few weeks I have not eaten any. I bought apples yesterday and this noon I enjoyed one. I really like this fruit that is neither too sweet nor too sour. I also ate yogurt, which is one of my daily snacks. It nourishes and hydrates my body. Feeling good πŸ™‚

  • for not going to the office – check

our case numbers have been good, but are increasing. So I keep to home mostly, without going to the office. The new variants are making us anxious and just because the COVID-19 situation is much better here than many other places around the globe does not mean I should relax. I must admit I had relaxed and did not care much about the pandemic (while also socially distancing and wearing masks/gloves). I was shopping like any other time. Now, I feel like I need to start being a little bit more cautious, as we will never know when the variants will hit my region.

Our workplace allows us to go use our offices, but I will mostly keep it to my home. So, I am grateful I have this flexibility

  • for tomorrow being Friday – yey!

I am very excited about this! Since new year, I have completed a number of things that were on my plate and handled many difficult people and situation. This weekend I will work again, only to finish small staff so that from next Monday on, I can start focusing on big plans. feeling excited πŸ™‚

  • for having all the essential items at home – check

I have been shopping to make sure in case of a strict lock-down I could still be able to comfortably feed myself (and Mona). I have everything, enough for at least 3 months. I can get some laundry detergent sometime, and maybe facial tissues, but that is pretty much it. I am glad that I stocked up on things that are durable and useful so that I can feel secure if pandemic starts to soar here again

  • for being alright and grateful for today and everything and everyone in it – check

πŸ™‚

having a foster cat – VI

Cats certainly train you.

Scratching the head: They signal when they want a head scratch. They certainly make it clear when it is too much or not done appropriately πŸ™‚

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Attention: They let you know when they want attention. They just sit there with their paws next to each other and look at your eyes. Or, they will walk around your legs, touch your hands, or head-butt. You cannot miss these signs.

Attention Pulls GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Food: They will let you know which food they like and which they do not. There is nothing to miss here. Mona just sniffs once and decides whether it is good for her royal stomach. The way that they turn their head and start walking the other way makes me feel like a failure, but that is okay πŸ™‚ Sometimes, she is simply not hungry, although she likes her food. I believe these are the times she does that covering act with her paws. I know that she will come back and enjoy her food later. No need to dump the food yet πŸ™‚

Mona is on wet food. I found that there is no one type of food she likes or dislikes for ever. Sometimes she likes shred meal, but mostly patee is her favorite. If your cats does not like a type of food, do not give away the food. I did that at the beginning, now I learnt after a while that she is ready to eat again most food she once rejected.

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Litter and litter box: I have had no litter problem with Mona, so I cannot comment on what they like or not, or why litter box problems occur. I clean the litter 3-4 times a day and dump the entire litter every 2 weeks. I take that she is happy with our litter situation. Whether you would use a closed or open litter box is mostly dependent on you. At first I considered it to contain the smell, but then ruled it out. I prefer to replace the litter box and closed boxes are quite pricey. And there is no way that I am washing those litter boxes.

These being said, I found that the level of litter is somehow important. Initially, I think the litter was shallow. Mona, although she intended to, could not cover her excretions. Sight of a pooh is not pleasant, but after a while I get used to it. Just recently I started to fill the box a little bit higher. This cause litter scattered around the box, but at least Mona seems happier as now she can cover her poops. I also noticed that the bottom of the box stays cleaner longer, and so does the scoop. So I after 3 months appear to have improved our litter situation quite a bit.

Does your cat use the litter box when you are around? A couple of times Mona decided to use the litter box while I was washing my hand in her bathroom. I found it strange – aren’t they supposed to be private animals? Not in our case, it seems.

Cat Box GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Water: Mona is not a fan of water. I think I have seen her drink from the bowl once or twice in the last 3 months. One of my friends suggested adding water to her wet food, which has been working out well, She does not like it if it turns into a soup, but you can try if your cat’s water intake does not seem adequate.

Catnip: We use catnip in toys and sometimes just to let her relax a little bit. Seeing Mona enjoying her time is really fun. Stress gets to the best of them as well, I think every living thing deserves a break.

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Cat grass: Cat grass is something she enjoys as well. Mona is a short hair girl, I regularly groom her, and she never vomited a hairball (I heard that it is not for the faint heart to watch a cat vomit a hairball).. So I try to grow cat grass using kits. She likes eating them. In moderation. I was fascinated to learn that cat grass was not a specific type of plant, but rather the sprouts of oats, barley, wheat, and so on. Easy to sprout and grow at home, especially if using a cat grass kit (all required things come in them, including the soil, seeds, containers, and directions).

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Exercise and play time: Somedays are better for exercise, and some other days are not. I try at least twice to work her body a little bit. Since she is currently over-weight, that seems to be especially important. She likes laser pointer but I need to be careful with it – you may also know that laser if applied directly to eyes can hurt the retina. Please watch it out, for yourself, for your cat, and everyone else around you. I just bought new toys yesterday, so hidden the other toys. I hope that she will get interested in them again once her excitement around the new ones passes.

Cat Kitty GIF by Kraken Images - Find & Share on GIPHY

It may be true that most cats like boxes, except Mona πŸ™‚ But she enjoys her closed bed (a make-shift carrier turned into a private bed) on top of a chair.

Scratch post and cat towers: A scratch post is essential, but Mona rather uses it as something to sleep on. Her favorite is my stairs’ carpet. I heard that this is common for cats. I have no problem. She sheds tinny nail clips πŸ™‚ She also has a cat tower, but Mona has never been a fan of it – interesting fact. Not all cats like the heights, it seems.

Groomer: I accidentally bought a groomer from a dollar store, and she loved it! We use it abundantly, as Mona asks for it by lying in front of me and rolling on the floor. It massages her and collects the shed hair. Win-win πŸ™‚

Conversations: Mona loves it when I speak to her. She listens to me and I feel like the tone and volume of the words attracts her attention. It is a great bonding activity and a lot of fun for me πŸ™‚

Purring: The best way one cat can indicate their pleasure is those magnetic purrs. Mona is a great purrer πŸ™‚

Ecstasy Happy Kitty GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Cat behavior fascinates me!!

Happy fostering πŸ™‚

Foster Adopt GIF by Best Friends Animal Society - Find & Share on GIPHY

having a foster cat – V

I bought some interactive toys for Mona today. She still prefers to play with me, though πŸ™‚

I think playing to break boredom, and interacting and bonding with your companion are not the same things for cats. They definitely enjoy socializing and being with you. They also like to play and explore themselves – that is for sure. But thinking that some toys will be enough for them to entertain themselves may not necessarily be correct for these magical creatures.

Kittens Lol GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Cats are social creatures

They may be independent and selective, but they do need some time with you. Some cats need more than others. Traumatized and scared cats will not let you touch for sometime. Others will just come to your right away. Mona was quite friendly with me from the beginning on. She loves me scratching her head and grooming her fur. But I held her only twice – both to put her in a carrier, and she ended up in my lap only once. I do not force her to come to me and be too close. After 3 months together, yesterday night she slept 30 cm away from me. That was the closest. I was thrilled πŸ™‚

So while she likes petting and playing with me, she does not like to be handled.

I respect her wishes and do not force her in any way. If she wants, I welcome her. I also like this, to be honest. I am not a person who would like to have a clingy cat around. My free space and freedom are also respected by Mona. We are good together.

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While fostering, we do not know which kind of cat we will end up with.

When I had visited the shelter/organization (consisting of a large office space with maybe 9 cats leaving there and tons of supplies for fosters) I was lucky to see and pet two other friendly cats cared for by the organization. I loved them right away. They are obviously very comfortable with humans. I felt great love towards these felines – shamelessly I thought maybe after Mona I will get these two to shelter..

Sometimes the organization is looking for emergency fosters to look after cats who were just rescued from the streets, or have had a surgery. Those who have had a surgery needs an comfortable place to heal. Those who just got our of street need to adopt to indoor life. Nothing is impossible, but some patience or experience may be needed.

Cat GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

So, if you are new to cat care and fostering, what tips can I give?

  • When I decided to foster a cat, one of my friends asked whether I asked that the cat is litter-trained. Never crossed my mind!! If you do not have time, experience, or interest to go through this training, please feel free to ask (luckily, Mona was trained)
  • Kittens, I heard, are more energetic and have health vulnerabilities different than adult cats, so consider learning more about their care if you decide to foster kittens
  • Whether neutered (for male cats) or spayed (for females) may be another thing you may want to ask – Mona was spayed and I did not have to go through the heat season, but I heard that it may be annoying to some people. Un-neutered makes may mark the house/furniture with their secretions (there is a name for this that I cannot remember now), that – I heard – may be quite annoying to some people. So feel free to ask their status
  • Diseases can be something you can ask about as well. I had not. I am not sure whether there are diseases that pass from cats to human, but I would not be surprised if there are. Also if you have little kids or other animals, or are pregnant, I think there are certain conditions that need to be considered. These all should be talked prior to fostering agreement
  • You can ask whether the vet and medication expenses, as well as litter and food are supplied. In my case, our organization provides them (with I making some contributions voluntarily). Ask just in case to prevent unexpected expenses. The first shelter I contacted required us to bring the fostered animals to vet ourselves. Our organization send volunteers and for someone like me who does not have a car, this is a significant advantage
  • You may also ask for how long the fostering period is. Sometimes it is for short time (a couple of weeks to recuperate from stress or sickness), and sometimes it is until a forever home is found.
  • Age or health of the cat may be something you may consider. There is a difference in care, time, and effort needed for a cat with a condition, and a cat that is just healthy or young.
  • Be prepared to do more cleaning, especially if the cat is shedding. Mona is shedding lightly and grooming her controls it to a degree. But I do more vacuuming and cleaning, especially her litter room (aka my extra bathroom). I often have an extra laundry load as well, for Mona’s blanket and other items

I have not thought, or asked about any of these, except the expense part prior to agreeing to foster Mona, I did not care whether it was a young, healthy, or sick cat.

I just wanted to help.

I am glad I have.

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having a foster cat – IV

The fact that I started taking antidepressants right around the same time as I started fostering Mona makes me question whether I feel better compared to before because of the medication or Mona?

I have no answer to that…..

I am continuing the medication because I am feeling better and it seems to make me take things lighter and have more time for myself. I can handle emotions easier and get stressed less.

Today I am convinced that she is an enormous support to my emotional health. She has been my support pet for the day and possibly many other days.

I am very grateful for Mona and the shelter organization that allows me to foster her.

May she always be safe, loved, cared for, free of accidents and fear, and have the cleanest litter box and finest meals.

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Mona has minor health issues, like constipation or some other small stuff. We are following vet’s recommendations but time to time she gets it again and it worries me. The fact that I love her so much means that her wellness related matters are painful for me. I am scared that I do not understand if she has a serious issue and cannot take the appropriate steps (like contacting the organization for a vet visit), or they will quit on her.

How painful are these thoughts?

Love is meant to be joyful. But pain is also a part of it. I find serenity in making sure that I follow all recommendations and report all issues, even if they seem small. They are experienced and can decide whether it is a serious issue or not. I also find serenity in praying and asking for protection, support, and love for her and improved understanding for myself to help Mona.

I sometimes feel guilty because I am a hard-working professional and especially during the day I cannot pay the attention Mona deserves or asks for. But evenings are ours and so are the nights. We spent quite some time, play, and interact. I love her when she listens to me and falls into sleep. I love her when she wakes me up in the morning when she gets hungry by walking on my pillow.

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Just today, I seriously considered adopting her. Emotions are high πŸ™‚ The hard reality is that I am capable of doing this, but I have to choose between her and my family – the only reason that I am fostering is that when I start traveling for extended period of times, I cannot take her with me. What will happen to her? Where will I leave her to? Fostering helps with this.

These being said, sometimes I think that life is too short to think about such things and we really do not know what the future will bring. Just today Canada announced that they plan to quarantine all Canadians returning from out of country. The moment I thought things were getting better (with the vaccines being administered now), now we have more restrictions for travel. I feel strained because I was hoping to visit my family next year. But who knows what will happen then?

Sometimes, there is no perfect solution that we can come up. Sometimes, life turns in unexpected ways. I will leave it to life to decide…

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having a foster cat – III

My sister just joked that “once Mona finds a forever home and leaves you, you may fill your home with new cats, but none will be like her. So be ready“.

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There is truth to this.

I am emotionally attached to Mona and I believe she and I have a great bond. She trusts me and I trust her in turn. She has never been an issue for me. She did not scare me, bite me, or hiss at me. She did not break anything at home. More importantly, she is not interested in counter tops and stove, so I keep my sanity (stove is the one that I am most scared off. Cannot imagine her or another cat jumping on and hurting their wonderful paws….)

My sleep is much better since she joined my household. I love talking to her at night and being woken up by her in the morning. She is not an early bird, so 7-8 am is our time. I spend around 5-10 minutes petting her and scratching her head, which she loves. Then comes cleaning her water and food bowls, and adding fresh food and water. We have a comfortable routine in the morning that works.

While she asks for attention sometimes during the day, she lets me work. Not even once she interrupted or asked for attention while I was having online meetings. She is not a fan of the computer or the keyboard either. Absolute, golden luck for a busy professional like me.

The love I feel for her is very strong and makes me happy. I always have known that she would leave one day…. But when she leaves, it will hurt. Until then.

It is impossible to have a magical creature like a cat at home and not bonding or being emotionally attached. I am sure I am not the only one who fosters a lovely cat and one day will let her go.

My fear has always been not knowing whether she is sick/uncomfortable or healthy and well. It is hard to know what they feel. What if I miss an otherwise important, silent clue and she gets hurt? Not one thing that I can risk. That is why it is really awesome that the shelter organization is very attentive to my questions and provides me with info and support whenever I need it. Nevertheless, I continue to fear (not in a way that it creates an anxiety., but in away that I keep watching).

Anyways, considering her wonderful character and our bond, my sister indeed made a great point. Since I was so lucky to start fostering by a cat like Mona, do I really think that other foster cats will be as mild, joyful, and non-problematic as Mona?

What about those stories we hear here and there about cats chewing cables; breaking TVs; ruining furniture; being hostile or aggressive; being clingy or too active; and so on?

These are potential experiences as well, with the future cats. Thanks sis, for making me realize things a little bit better.

I also keep in my perspective that it is also possible to foster other cats like Mona in the future, and each cat has many wonderful characteristics that will continue to awe me.

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having a foster cat – II

Some of you may not know the difference between adopting and fostering an animal. I did not know the difference for a very long time.

Simply put, fostering is a temporary care of an animal, in this case, until my foster cat Mona finds a home.

Fostering does not have to cost you anything. The organization that rescued Mona is supplying or covering all vet, medication, food, and litter and other expenses. Supplies are delivered to my home – imagine!.. All other things, including the litter box, scoop, and scratch post as well as blankets or a toy were also provided. Since I am free to donate to the cause, I buy litter sometimes and wet food. I buy toys, catnip, and cat grass kits myself. Since it is my decision to replace the litter box and scoop every two weeks, I supply these myself as well. And, believe me, it is just joyful.

So, if you are interested in, think about this cost-free and highly meaningful experience.

As a foster mom (dad, person, and so on), you have moral and legal obligations. For example, I signed an agreement that I cannot arrange for adoption myself – this needs to go through the organization. If there is any emergency or any unusual health situation, I must give a call to the organization immediately, day or night. Morally, I must take good care of the fostered animal and provide a safe space. I should give the organization a couple of days to bring me supplies and so on. Nothing too much or too demanding. Just making sure that the animal will be cared for.

My relationships with the director of the organization/shelter and the volunteers who take her to vet and bring in supplies are very good. I increasingly become grateful and inspired by their volunteer activities and serving for such a great cause. We also made friends – this is an extra bonus πŸ™‚ Whenever I have a question, I contact them. Together we make sure that Mona is well. It is a great team.

For someone who is meticulous, have a high sense of responsibility, and is kind of naive and un-knowledgeable about cats, their care, or health issues, I had to do a lot of google searches (only reliable resources – I have no time for vegan diet for cats who are natural carnivores and need high levels of protein, or herbal treatments for FIP kind of serious diseases). Many of my virtual friends here and in social media are also great help. My family also provided many useful tips. It is doable, friends – do not be afraid to foster and help an animal.

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Many people are appreciative of fosters, and shower you with gifts and supplies. Do not be surprised by these lovely gestures. I was surprised myself – it is so good to know that there are many individuals out there who share the same interests with you.

It took me maybe 2 months to establish the most practical and easy approach to litter situation. Eventually, I learnt the difference between a litter mat and a regular mat; importance of having a separate litter garbage box in the room (to temporarily store the poop and pees in poop bags); having yet another garbage can (to dispose unconsumed food and food cans); dumping soiled litter every day to keep the room fresh; importance of small, poop bags that are life-savers; the different types of bowls (porcelain is the best in my opinion); not letting Mona eat a wet food after 3 hours of serving (it is cold here but nevertheless the food not only may get spoiled, but also chemically react); mixing water with wet food to increase liquid intake (Mona is not a fan of water); watching the litter box usage to get a sense of her regular bowel movements (constipation is a real issue and can be quite serious after 24 hours), and so on. Now I feel like we have a good system that works for both of us.

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Giving a medication to a cat is a real art. I learnt that some medication can be crushed and mixed with the wet food, but not all of them. Some medications seem to have a protective coat, which, if disrupted, release the medication too fast. Keep this in your mind. Always consult a vet. Some liquid medication can be mixed with the meal, but in my experience if it smells or tastes differently, cat may not be well receptive. If you can, orally administer the medication using a syringe (which I could not, but you should try). Some pills also need to be orally administered. We had difficulty with one pill. I could not do it myself, so I had to find a way to trick Mona. So you can use pill pockets, or if they do not work, you can hide the pill in something soft that your cat likes. For Mona, that was cheese. Some other cats, it may be something else. Get ready for the experimentation πŸ™‚

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Many house plants and human food are toxic or poisonous for cats. Do your search and comply with the recommendations. Mona ate a plant at home, and got sick. It turns out I mis-labelled the plant even though I had checked its toxicity status. It is good to be on the safe side. Interestingly, Mona is okay with drinking milk and eating yogurt – so I take this as she is not lactose intolerant. Moral of the story – you never know what cats can eat or not, and whey eat, what might be the consequences πŸ™‚

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Our shelter/organization does not recommend treats. The way I see there is a lot of information out there for their potential mis-use/over-use, and health effects. Treats, as their name implies, is supposed to be given only every once a while, and they are not necessary. I used it to suppress the smell of a pill. Otherwise we are good with no treat.

The wet food is more expensive than the kibbles (hard or dry food), yet for cats they seem great – their water contents is high and they have generally less carbs than kibbles. Carbs are not so good for cats and can lead to obesity. Too many health problems are associated with obesity/over-weight in cats. Mona has become overweight under my watch, so now she is served less food than before. For her health.

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To be continued

having a foster cat – I

You may remember that since late October I am fostering a cat, Mona.

She has been my first foster cat and I could not be happier.

You may ask why I decided to foster.

I wanted to foster for a very long time, especially after I gave back my cat (whom I adopted a few years back and sadly had to return to shelter after 5 days… I know.. I know.. I am heartless. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. But I was not good enough and could not bear the idea of putting him in a kernel while I have extended trips. Luckily in a couple of weeks, he was adopted. Or, so I was told….).

How did I finally start fostering?

Anyways, my next door neighbour is a big fan of pets and adopting animals as much as she can. So, she encouraged me for years… So did my family… Eventually this Fall, right before I asked my doctor to prescribe me an anti-depressant, I took the step and contacted a shelter. They said they had frozen the program and would open again in a week. My neighbour said – do NOT wait. So I contacted another one. Long story short, I was interviewed in a couple of days, signed agreements, and in a week I had Mona transported to my home πŸ™‚

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Then, she arrived.

It was too soon, but in the meantime, luckily I had prepared my home and removed the sticky bands, secured the cables somehow, and prepared a room for the cat. I was planning to keep her in the room a couple of days until she felt secure. But it did not work that way. The vicious cat needed to be let go off the carrier right away, otherwise she would be hurting herself. That was a good thing indeed – she immediately checked the place and found herself a comfy place (the top of the couch). The fact that she did not display any fear or did not hide tells me that she was okay.

She also was friendly with me and did not hiss or otherwise show any aggressive behavior. I showed her her litter box, gave food and water, and let her be.

The fact that I am not interested in showing big attention to anyone helped.

I remember the next night she placed herself on my bed and groomed herself. I remember petting her (I was afraid!!) lightly and learning right away that there was a limit to how many times you can pet a cat πŸ™‚ (answer is that, you gotta stop after 5-6 times and if she wants, she will signal you to do it. Otherwise, be prepared to face an unhappy and determined cat).

How do I take having someone at home and arrange my life around them?

I never felt disgusted or tired of cleaning her litter box, washing her bowls, and giving her food (all wet food) or water. I continue to dump the litter everyday to keep air fresh at home, and dump the entire litter, litter box, and the scoop every two weeks. I vacuum the carpets and floors, especially the litter room, frequently and wipe with wet wipes (sometimes, but not always, with antibacterial wipes. Too much chemicals..). I play with her at least twice a day, generously scratch her head and groom her body. She often sleeps on the foot area of my bed during the nights, and during the day.

The smell of the litter / pooh made me annoyed once or twice, I had to learn to use a small amount of baking soda with litter and better aerate the house.

I was scared to give liquid medication orally by a syringe, which I could never managed to do.

I was scared when Mona got sick and needed to go to the vet.

Other than these, I am simply grateful that she is in my life. She wakes me up in the morning for meal (thank goodness, and let me pet her. I love my mornings now πŸ™‚ I talk to her, always wishing positive things and telling her the difference she has made in my life. She listens.

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She has a great community of people caring for her. My friends gave her many gifts and often send their love in messages. My family fell in love with her. She is loved, cared, and admired.

Why fostering gave me a huge satisfaction and has a deep meaning?

I started fostering by the idea of having a cat – I admire them – in my life.

But I had never thought how meaningful and satisfactory is to actually help an animal. Mona was a stray cat and had a rough start in life. She is now in a safe place, loved, fed well, and cared for. Fostering her till she is adopted is most certainly helping another cat to be rescued from the streets, or from abusive owners. To be able to contribute to such a great aim is incredible.

  • To be continued

Sunday morning musings

Good morning everyone – I hope you are enjoying this day.

We have a bright day outside, which is always a treat for us folks during winter. I plan to walk a little bit and get fresh air. Seeing snow all white and fluffy (sometimes; some other times it is just that dirty snow banks – ugh) gives me some sort of serenity. I love it and cannot wait for my walk.

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I am currently enjoying my coffee. I have already browsed through the news and social media. Feeling connected and informed by what have been going on around the world.

The COVID-19 pandemic is going on (duh!). Many folks are still in lock-down, some have stricter, some have more relax regulations. It is hard to believe that it has been almost 10 months for us…. I remember the initial days – how I sent my team members to home earlier, advised them to take personal items with them, and make sure their personal computers can function to continue work. I have been used to work at home, so it did not affect me too much, but going out and shopping was the one that bothered me most.

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Then came the news of more deaths, more people affected. International borders being closed and travel becoming a hurdle. We all hoped for vaccines to come along, which now are available to lucky countries and bunch.

The moment we thought we had hope with the vaccines came the news of the new variants. At first they said that there was no evidence of the new variant being associated with higher mortality, only higher infection rate. The last few days I have been hearing that now there is some sort of evidence that it may be more deadly.

One wonders how long we will go ahead like this and worry about ourselves, family, friends, neighbours, and global population overall.

I think the answer is as long as we all can.

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The other question everybody has in their minds is how we are going to recover economically, socially, or otherwise. I have no idea… Today may as well be the best day economically. For example, we expect some job cuts soon. Will it affect me personally? I have no idea. But it will affect many people, if it has not already. So, let’s enjoy what we have already, folks. Tomorrow we may not have jobs, or our salaries and benefits may be cut, or we all may feel like doomed. Let’s not let this get into our ways. Not yet.

I had heard once that a library was looking forward to the diaries that pen down the experiences of individuals during the pandemic. What a great idea. I feel like we are in the middle of a historic moment in human history. I expect many novels, collections, and movies describing our experiences in the future.

But more importantly, how we all have adapted to this situation. What worked and what did not. Just like the 1918 flu pandemic, perhaps we will leave important clues for the next generations, for the next pandemics and infectious diseases, or catastrophes.

I am aware that none of these are new to you, so this blog entry is rather meh (at least this is my own assessment). But I felt like writing these down. I am lucky that I have not lost anyone I know to COVID-19 and live in a place with rather low numbers of active cases. I am one of those lucky people, who just happened to be in the right place in the right time. I feel guilty rather than lucky, to tell you the truth….

The other day I was having a conversation with an acquaintance and she reminded me that we are all connected – all life forms. We in fact are.

Stay safe and connected.

There is light at the end of the tunnel.

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I am speaking

Recently I used these words to stop someone, who kept interrupting me during a conversation.

I immediately felt pride in for standing up for this behavior we often experience during professional meetings.

Later, I felt remorse because I was like “what if I interrupt others while they are speaking?”

I do not know the answer to that, but I sure will watch myself in the next while. If I do interrupt anyone, I should stand back.

I learn these words from someone else. That was the first time I had heard them and I thought they were much powerful than saying “Let me finish”, or “Do you mind if I continue”, or “Can I finish my words?”

What do you think?

It is Friday

Happy Friday, folks

I have had relax and somehow un-busy two weeks since the start of the year. I kind of find this strange, considering my often quite busy schedule. Perhaps this is a good thing.

For example, this afternoon I was able to clean my home in between meetings. I now partition my cleaning, with vacuuming both floors and cleaning of kitchen and bathrooms happening at different times during the day. Since I am fostering a lovely cat, vacuuming the floors and carpets as well as the floor of the litter room (aka my guest bathroom) has become routine. I also bought an additional vacuum so that I do not carry vacuum in between the storeys. Life is much easier this way and cleaning is not overwhelming so much.

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My foster cat Mona needs some medications and it has been quite a hurdle, to be honest. I got liquid medication to squirt into her mouth, which I could not. I then mixed them with her wet food, which she refused to eat. Then, we got pills for one of them and pill pockets. Again, she refused. Tonite I will be trying to cover the pill with cheese and follow with a treat. I hope for the best. The next solution is likely asking her to be cared by someone else during the next two weeks till her medications are administered completely.

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I gotta read and learn quite a bit about different ways to give medication. Some pills can be crushed, others cannot. The best way seems to be administer orally by syringe or putting the pill behind the tongue, yet that requires someone who has got the confidence. I do not have that. Mona senses that I am tense and gets even more tense, so trying to hold her, opening her mouth and placing the medications seem a very distant dream to me. Perhaps with some sort of help by another person, I could get to learn how to administer medications, but this will have to wait till the end of the pandemic.

How is your pandemic going on, by the way? We are still working from home and we are quite safe where I live – the case load is low and I could not be happier. I still dream for the day that I will get the vaccination, though. And I hope my family will get it soon as well. It is so surreal… This entire ordeal… I now know 3 close relatives or friends who contracted the virus. Most were okay, but one of them needed hospitalization. It is so scary to know and experience this. Please be safe, friends, and keep practicing the public health measures.

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I am looking forward to a fresh day tomorrow when I would like to just chill down. Honestly, un-busy or not, there is so much out there in life to experience and learn that I appreciate any day without the pressure of work. I hope you too will have a great, relaxing Saturday.

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Random thoughts

I hope you all have a great Holiday Season and a happy New Year’s Eve!

First, a note on New Year’s Resolution. I have been seeing on social media people mocking others for having New Year Resolutions. I do not understand this – resolutions are hopes and objectives for many people, and some actually can reach their objectives. Many cannot keep up with their resolutions, so what? Let people hope and plan. Whether it is time for them to reach their destination is none of our business.

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Second, I wanted to think about what I would like to change in New Year myself. I noticed that there were two things that have been in my list, like for ever. One, to lose weight. Two, to exercise more. Should I focus on these two? Absolutely. Even, for a short time if I eat reasonably (I am old enough to know what my body likes and what makes it lose fat…) and take my time and creativity to exercise, it will help me. I do not plan to become a model or an athlete. So, keeping my plans light and my expectations small helps, even if I fail to keep my resolutions.

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Third, I realized I had less to change this year compared to previous years. Why was that?

I thought maybe I already reached or integrated the necessary changes in my life permanently (like, being fugal, making good savings and investments every year, making pre-payments, and so on), or I trust myself that when a change is needed, it finds a way to get in my life anyways. These thoughts actually made me happier and gave me a sense of freedom that I had not felt at around other New Years. Liked it – I think aging with wisdom has been happening with me. Cool πŸ™‚

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————————————————————

My 13 days of Holidays break is ending tomorrow. I managed to work only a few hours during this break and enormously liked it. Having time myself helped me clean and declutter my home; donate what I had but did not use; shop and purchase great food and other necessities; and change the face of a couple of corners in my home.

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For example, I never knew how larger was my entrance deck than I thought until this Holidays. It is because I keep my coats and shoes out, rather than hanging them in the cabinet, and sometimes the recycling bags, too. I thought enough was enough, and found one of my racks and placed in on the wall. Now, my scarf, hat, and coat are nicely hanging there, right behind the door, without the need to use the cabinets (I am too lazy to open the cabinet doors to take my coat out each time I am out – simple truth…). Also, I placed all of shoes in the cabinet, and left two boots that I use during the winter out in the deck area. The space I have and the welcoming feeling this gives me is truly astonishing πŸ™‚

More over, I put three of my favorite plants to the entrance deck. It could not be more beautiful than this. For a person who is into plants so much, the fact that I just now could think about this baffles me. As, I said above, finding time for myself during the break has been an amazing experience for me. It also made me get excited about retirement – imagine all the new great things I can integrate into my life? πŸ™‚

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Overall, I truly enjoyed my break and am ready to start the work tomorrow. I am grateful for everything I could do and the rest I have taken during the last 2 weeks.

————————————————-

I believe one of the reasons that many cannot follow their New Year’s Resolutions is that we are simply too busy in the rest of the year….. To integrate things, like eating better or exercising, we need to find “time”.

One may say that we make our time, but if you are like me and have a highly competitive and high-energy job, then you will also understand that focus on work always takes over focus on myself. Time cannot be generated or saved. Not in such a society where the demands on ourselves increase constantly. So if there was one thing that the pandemic and lock-down did teach to many of us is that status quo of hard-work and not having a true, healthy life-work balance are not good for us, but are the norm.

I hope we will change this, though, I am less than hopeful, knowing there are always overly ambitious people and profit-oriented companies that will drive the glamor of over-work in the future as well.

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Happy New Year!

Folks,

I wish you the greatest year and wonderful experiences ever in 2021!

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I know the situation is far from being normal and positive, but we must keep the faith in wonderful things happening and our hope that it will get better with time.

I feel selfish to note this here, but I think 2020 was one of the best years of my life. I know… I am sorry that I can say this…..But finding good things in our ordinary life, slowing down, daring for things that I wanted but did not (aka fostering a lovely cat), and making good progress in some areas – both personally and professionally – are all what make me feel grateful for the lock-down.

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These being said, I continue to be worried about my own and my family’s health and safety during the pandemic. I also feel the burden of being one of the survivors of this pandemic, while millions have died so far in 2020…..It is a real burden.

  • Those who are affected by this virus or have lost a loved one, I hope you will find peace in being better now and in good memories with loved ones.
  • Those who are affected by the lock-down and lost their jobs/closed their businesses – I hope you will get support during these difficult times and receive opportunities to keep going.
  • Those who has got knowledgeable about the racism, double standards, femicide, domestic violence, homelessness, addiction and mental health sufferers during the pandemic – I hope you will continue to feel these people’s pain and do something, really something, to prevent further injustice.
  • Those who are working from home, while also caring for elderly or kids – I hope the child care will be free for all of you real soon. I know it is hard one to wish for, but I do genuinely wish this for you.
  • Those who got bored during the pandemic/lock-down and started new hobbies and life-styles with positive outcomes – I applaud you and I hope you will show this plasticity in the future and bring the best of creativity to your lives.
  • Those who sacrificed for the rest of us; the essential workers from healthcare providers to grocery clerks – I hope you realize your importance for the globe. Thank you for all you have done for the rest of us.
  • Those who has found something positive out of all of these uncertainty, pain, and worry – I hope you will keep going and share it with everyone around you.
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This last one is particularly important – let’s always remember that labeling 2020 with hardship and pain only, and wishing it be gone will not change anything…. Pandemic is here – people suffer and have suffered. We do not know what the next day will bring.

But, maybe it will bring A GOOD thing.

Let’s remember to remember the wonderful things happening in our lives and in others’ lives. We owe it to our collective well-being.

Have a great 2021 and stay safe.

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Financial summary – year of 2020

My financial year starts with the latest salary day before the Christmas/Holiday Season so that I can see how I have done during the last year and can plan better for the next year during the Holidays break. Hence, I found a chance to look at my records and see how I have done in 2020 financially.

OVERALL SPENDING
Grocery: $3,772

Eating out (by myself): $94; cab ($133); clothes: $132; hobbies: $39 (thanks COVID-19…)

Dining with others/home visits: $720

Junk food: $1,818 (whoops!!)

Cleaning and self-care products: $1,564

Medication/healthcare products: $1,117

Gifts: $200

House maintenance expenses/furniture: $384

Others: $1,675

TOTAL: $11,660

Mortgage, insurance, bills, and bus fare:

TOTAL: $30,704

TOTAL EXPENSES: $42,364

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Pre-mortgage payment:

TOTAL: $7,500

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INVESTMENTS

TFSA+RRSP: $15,711

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Increase in net worth (including mortgage paid off, investments, and the funds in the chequing account): $59,163

Overall, not a bad year in terms of the increase in my net worth. I am also happy that I made mortgage pre-payments and continued to invest and save. I am also grateful for having the means to pay for my healthcare related expenses, such as new frames and lenses, and medications. It is also good to notice that thanks to COVID-19 pandemic(!), certain expenses were low this year.

I could save more, certainly. For example, I cannot believe I spent such a large amount for junk food (soft drinks, chocolate, and so on)… It is an ongoing battle to cut junk food from my life. We shall see how it will go this year!!

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Holiday Season break starts this evening :)

I think I am done! I did close up a number of items/projects with my team members and we are ready to start the Holiday season. Yahoo πŸ™‚

Honestly, I was just struggling to finish all of these. Or, this is what I thought. It turns out that we actually did very well and things went well today as well. So, I have nothing left to do tomorrow. As of this evening, the Holiday Season Starts for me and my team.

Completing what you planned to do right before a break is one of the most satisfying feelings. I could not be happier πŸ™‚

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Today I also got notifications for the approval of a report by our group and the approval of a project of mine πŸ™‚ It is as if today was supposed to be a blessing for me. Let me cherish this for a moment…

Yest, despite all of these positive and satisfying experiences, I feel less excited than I normally would. I believe this is the phase where you are so tired that you cannot even enjoy your accomplishments.

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To commemorate this evening and the accomplishments of the day, I cooked fried beans and I am in love. Such a creamy and tasty meal. This was my second trial of friend beans and as a beans lover, I cannot imagine how much I was missing by not eating this food more routinely. It has become one of my top food in the list.

To further enjoy the start of my Holidays break, tomorrow I plan to go visit a thrift store πŸ™‚ Now, this is indeed very exciting – cannot wait!

Friends – hope you all are gonna have a relaxing, happy, and comfortable Holiday Season. Please take care of yourself and those around you and those who need help & support. Stay safe and all the best.

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Holiday season is here :)

We have 3 more days to work and then will have 11 days off – how fantastic is this?

Cannot wait πŸ™‚

This year is different than previous years. I will likely not go to any functions or meet with friends. But I still will do a couple of things.

  1. Gift my neighbours. The only people I consistently and lovingly gift during Christmas is my next door neighbours. They are wonderful and I could not ask for a better neighbour. I picked something nice for them. I hope they will like it
  2. Summarize my financial expenses and savings within the last year and make plans for the next year. I keep records of my expenses, which helps me to see where my hard-earned dollars are going. Some years and better than the others, but I think it was a good year and I was able to increase my net worth. It is also a good opportunity to look at where I spend most and see whether I can do better. I am planning to do these in the next weeks, Exciting!
  3. Clean and declutter the house!! I am unmotivated to do this, as it takes a big chunk of my holidays. I clean every corner and the carpets – by hand – which takes so much time and energy. Decluttering, however, is fun! I decluttered 3 cabinets last weekend and I have a lot of items to donate. I like this. I also cut up old clothes and made myself a nice chunk of disposable cleaning clothes. I am particularly excited about these πŸ˜‰ My plan is to clean two empty rooms hopefully tomorrow so that I can spare one day from my holidays
  4. I do not wish to work or check/get crazy about work emails during the holidays. Folks – it is such a freedom and I deserve it. You, too
  5. Clean the email boxes and organize & store the bills to open space for the next year’s bills.
  6. Copy the pictures and important documents in an external drive – you never know when the computer will crash (lesson learnt many years ago in a hard way) – highly recommended
  7. Call relatives and friends that I have not spoken in a while.
  8. Visit thrift stores!! I cannot wait – I went to a thrift store only once since the lock down started. I am excited about the prospect of visiting one again. I will also bring in my donations at the same time – win-win πŸ™‚
  9. Spend time reading a book or two, or binge-watch some Netflix series. I deserve this πŸ™‚
  10. And make pastry to celebrate the new year. It is my tradition to have pastry with beef for the new year’s Eve. I cannot wait – yummy πŸ™‚

Saturday morning musings

Happy Saturday everyone – hope you all will have a pleasant day, and find a chance to rest and be joyful.

I am excited for today as I am not planning to work. Rather I will be out going for shopping πŸ™‚ I did some shopping this week, thanks to a friend who gave me a ride. But I still have some stuff to purchase and some items to return, so today is a great day to do all of these.

Since I do not have a car, my shopping (in malls) is often restricted to one mall and a few stores in the mall in a given day. Carrying bulky or heavy stuff by hand around is not practical. This is just one restriction of not having a car, while there are so many other benefits of not having one πŸ™‚

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I had a rather less busy week at work, and that allowed me doing the house chores yesterday, leaving today to myself. I am quite grateful for this.

It takes longer to clean the house now, considering I have a foster cat (Mona) under my care. But that is okay. I would rather spent 2x time in cleaning than not having these magical creatures in my home. I feel so lucky and happy to have finally decided to take the step to foster cats. It has been 6 happy weeks πŸ™‚

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While fostering comes with almost no extra expense, I nevertheless supply around 1/4 of the food and litter to help the organization. I also am happy to make other expenses that make my and Mona’s life easier – these include disposable litter boxes and scoops (replaced every 2 weeks), generous use of litter bags (scooping the litter 3-4 times a day) and disposable cleaning clothes and disinfectant wipes. All of these make it much better experience. I also need a second vacuum (maybe a small, hand-held one) to help with the vacuuming (litter and cat hair, mostly). This is better than carrying my bulky vacuum on the two floors of the house everyday.

As someone who is interested in saving money as much as possible, the fact that I am enthusiastic about these extra expenses are a clear indication that I get so much by having Mona at home. Money is not everything, right? Right.

We have a rather warm December. Looks like it is gonna be a warm winter this year, which I am sure is welcomed by open arms. We have had such a tough 2020.

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Are you looking forward to 2021? Honestly, I do not expect much of a change, maybe except for the vaccinations rolling on and mortality from COVID-19 going down. We still need to figure out the economy, the travel, and opportunities lying ahead in the post-pandemic future.

One of these opportunities is more virtual meetings & conferences organized. For professionals like me, this provides a cost-effective and comfortable professional development opportunity. I am really looking forward to these.

I still do not know when I can go visit my family, but summer 2021 does not seem to be an option. Have not talked about this to my family, but I think they already predict that. As long as they are healthy and safe, I am okay with this.

I really am.

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how is my foster momhood going on?

It is going very well πŸ™‚

Mona has been with me almost over a month now.

She changed my life for the better and I certainly feel a positive aurora around the home and pleasant feelings in my mind. Loving, petting, caring for, and talking to Mona have certainly helped me have positive thoughts and emotions. I have tons of good wishes for her and time to time, I tell them to her.

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I got used to clean the bowl each time I give Mona food and cleaning her water bowl every morning. Scooping the litter does not bother me at all, I often clean it at least twice a day. I think Mona likes this dedicated service πŸ™‚

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Cleaning the litter box, however, is another story. At first, I replaced the litter box, scoop, and litter after two weeks of use. Then, somehow she got constipation and I decided to have a second litter box on the other level of the house. I think Mona loved this as well. I liked it too, because I think it helped with limiting contamination of the floors with litter, pee, or pooh pieces (I think while digging the litter, sometimes she steps on her excretions).

The litter box and scoops are from Dolarama, so they are very affordable. I had no reason to bother myself clean them and use again. The only problem is that when last time I visited Dolarama, I found scoops, but not litter boxes. Hence, I had to clean the litter boxes today….

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Boy…

I am not doing this again.

I am lucky that I have an unused bathroom at home and a bath tub, which was helpful in cleaning and disinfecting the boxes. But it was not kind to my back, and I did not enjoy working on two litter boxes for around an hour of washing, rinsing, disinfecting, rinsing and washing again, and drying. Not to talk about disinfecting the bath tub once all were taken care of.

While I am hopeful that I can find litter boxes next time I visit Dolarama, there is no guarantee for that. So, I currently have one litter box for use for Mona. Hope she will be okay with this. If it goes negative, I will set up the second litter box. Then, they will have to be replaced in two weeks. That means this or the next weekend, I will be hunting for litter boxes πŸ™‚

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Mona is an incredibly gentle and easy cat. I think as the first time foster mom, I have been very fortunate. She just is asking for food whenever I eat something πŸ™‚ and started not to like every food I serve her. That is okay, I guess – she has the right to have favorite food types.

While the food, litter, and vet expenses are covered by the organization I volunteer for Mona, I often buy wet food and litter to help the organization, Mona, and myself. It is a pleasure shopping for her with excitement; great to change or add fresh litter frequently; and see her happy and comfortable.

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random thoughts

It has been a week that I am on anti-depressant medication. I think that there is a slight, at least, difference in my thoughts and emotional reactions. I think it is working and the best response is yet to come.

The foster cat Mona has been good, but had an episode of vomiting and constipation. A visit to vet has ensued and today she is fine, but I gotta watch her the next few days to make sure she poops. Yes, you heard right. I am looking forward to seeing her poop. Never thought I would be that interested in poop, but since it is important for Mona, it is important for me.

We have had a bright day today and even though it is chilly, life is good and easy. We will start to get snow soon, and I am excited about it!

A different kind of hope

For decades, I have lived with anxiety and depression. I have done or tried everything I can; from exercise to supplements to psychotherapy (which was very useful, but is also very expensive) to reading many, many books about the topic and trying different approaches to feel good.

I thought if I there was a solution, I would have already found it.

My great doctor did not hesitate to prescribe me anti-depressant after I told him that I was not feeling well for a very long time, I was struggling to keep up with the demands of life and work, I could not feel joy, and I could not afford psychotherapy.

I am highly functional, but sometimes I force myself to do even a simple thing. The pressure I put on myself to do many things eventually becomes unbearable.

It is also unnecessary, my doctor said.

I resisted the idea of medication for a very long time. Now I think that was silly. As my doctor said this may be a simple chemical imbalance. If the body cannot produce it, there is nothing wrong with supplementing it with medication.

My doctor’s positive attitude and support made my day.

Medication gives me hope. We do not know whether this particular drug or dose will be useful or not. But at least there are other dose and medication options. I have hope now.

Leaving resistance to use antidepressants behind and being open to support are additional incredible developments on my side. I feel like I can apply these to other parts of my life and at work.

I have hope.

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random thoughts

Much better day today compared to yesterday, and I could not be happier πŸ™‚

It was a busy day that was filled with itsy bitsy things, all work related. Sometimes our days are filled with little stuff with big hearts. They need to be addressed and they like our attention…sigh…

We have had a rainy, gray day. Looks like it is gonna continue like this for some time. I am okay with this, except that I was planning to go shop (by bus); this will likely not gonna happen as long as it rains.

We are now into 7 months of lock-down. How are you all doing?

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  • I am generally okay, though there are a couple of things that have changed:
  • I visited the thrift stores only once during the pandemic, can you imagine? I used to find great books, clothing and kitchen item, and unique pots for my plants so easily in the thrift stores. This type of excitement has been lacking from my recent life. Maybe that is okay, considering I actually have everything I need
  • I spent more money, now that everything is more expensive. I admit that I spent quite a bit of sum of money to stock up durables (for example, toilet paper, soap, shampoo) and food (for example, canned food, lentils/beans, butter, and so on). On the other hand, I saved money, re; bus fare (small, but significant savings)
  • I drink tea and crave for greens more often
  • I have initially gained some pounds, and then lost a few of them, and am still trying to drop pounds
  • I baked sourdough bread only once during the last 7 months – mostly due to getting even busier with remote work conditions
  • I started fostering cats, with the first one, Mona, being an angel πŸ™‚
  • I have not visited my family this year and I hope that I can do this in the next two years

When I think about the pandemic and see the news, I realize how lucky I am for being here, healthy, and knowing no one who contracted the virus or died from it

Honestly, thinking about future with COVID-19 in my mind is giving me headaches sometime. While certain things have changed for the better, I really do not know how the economy will recover, whether our jobs, salaries, and benefits will be protected, whether I will still be eligible to early retire on time, and whether we will have to deal with this virus even after a successful vaccine is developed and become accessible by everyone around the world.

The likely outcome is that many of us will find ourselves in worse conditions than today. I am grateful for my job, not having my salary or benefits being reduced (not yet), all the savings I have done in the last especially 6 years, and the fact that it could have been much worse… Thinking about the young generations – what awaits them in terms of economy and job opportunities is probably worse than ours.

The economic forecast is possibly the best motivator for me to look into my spendings and see how I can curb it. Maybe I will write about this later…

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Caving in today

The day has been strange. I have been feeling tired in the last few days, so I got up late. First thing first, I replaced the water and food for the foster cat, Mona. She is doing well, well adapted to home and me, does not bother me at all, and very loving and loved πŸ™‚ She is lovely and I am lucky.


I worked well in the morning, but in mid-noon, I have become overwhelmed. I felt weak, shaky, hopeless, scared, and feeling like the only solution to all problems I am facing was to quit my job.

This is not something new. I react badly to all negative emotions work-related issues create. I want and deserve a better quality of life.

Will I be able to feel absolutely better for ever if I quit job?

No. If it is not the job issues, then I am sure there will be issues in other areas in my life. Like family, or other relations. Will I quit them too? (No).

So, when I think like this, I start to find myself responsible for my feelings, which somehow hurts me. My thoughts in these situations are “I should be dealing with things better, I should not let annoyances and annoying people annoy me and put me in this emotional state, and I have not been able to do this all these years. Am I weak? Am I broken?

What is it? I do not know. Maybe I need a vacation (who does not?), therapy, or some medications.

The positive thing is that I want to feel better.

The negative thing is that I frequently feel like sh.t.

Maybe it is time that I ask my doctor to prescribe me an anti-depressant. They usually do not want to, but if I ask, there is a chance. We shall see.


These are the days that I “cave in” in my bedroom. For some unknown reason, spending time here helps me gather myself up, for which I am grateful. It mends me. Now that I also have this wonderful cat snoozing next to me :), I think the healing power of this room has grown quite a bit. Wonderful.

Mona has been good for me. Today is the first time I have had emotional collapse or stress since she arrived here. I always wondered how I would react with a cat at home. One restriction I felt was I did not feel free enough to do whatever I want to do to soothe my nerves. Other than that, I think she is an angel, heals me, gets me, and loves me.

I wish the best for Mona. I hope she will find a great permanent home soon. I will miss her and cry quite a bit when she leaves, but I will get over it eventually. I feel like her eyes are reading me, so I cannot look at her eyes for too long – can you imagine?? πŸ™‚

If only animals had spoken – we would learn so much from them.

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random thoughts

I am watching a movie on Netflix that made me laugh aloud πŸ™‚ It is a lovely experience.

It is also a beautiful Saturday night. When I was young, Friday and Saturday nights would be the best time of our lives. We would be free; get up anytime we want; and meet with friends and family.

Then would come the Sunday.

Sundays at that time were quiet… Most stores would close and traffic would be often silent. People would mostly remain at home, and get prepared for the next day, Monday. Sunday was the day of homework, studying, ironing clothes (yes, we have and still do iron our clothes, except that I became acclimatized to North America and except for job interviews, I do not put my hand on the iron).

So Sunday, like for most of us in North America, is now a fine day for me. I am still free; can get up anytime I want; and I can see my friends normally. Or shop. Or work.

What matters is that it is yet another day full of opportunities and comfort. So, I hope we all will have a pleasant Sunday tomorrow.

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Going back to the beginning of this post, I like comedy movies but hardly watch them. I now realize that this is odd.

As someone who has a tendency to get anxious (or depressive), I actually have an appetite for mystery and action movies. Sometimes I also watch horror movies – surprisingly they help reduce my anxiety if I am within an anxious episode. Drama is not for me, nor documentaries.

None of these, however, explains why I do not watch comedy movies more often, laugh, and have a chuckle or two every once a while. They absolutely lift my mood and as someone who laughs from the belly, each laugh makes my internal organs massaged and feel better (or, at least this is how I interpret the situation. I am sure thought it at least relaxes some of the muscles).

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Sometimes it is easier to not try whatever is better for my mood than continue with status quo.

Do you also feel the same way? “The effort” required to feel better (in this case, finding and choosing a comedy movie) may be discouraging. I was reading a blog a few minutes ago and our thoughts are kind of similar. The good thing is that both my fellow blogger, Snowbird of Paradise and I have found recently something that make ourselves feel better.

As she said, let’s not discouraged by the effort needed to feel better. We all have the same vulnerability to feel down. It may be hard to put the effort solo, so, let’s support each other, even virtually, even every once a while.

Let’s feel good, friends. Let’s feel good.

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random thoughts

The cool fall is upon us. It is very enjoyable. We can expect some snow in mid November. This will change the game to hibernation season πŸ™‚ Our winter is long and we get too much snow dumped. But, life continues and eventually Spring comes.

I have had a busy week. the more I try to focus on important things, the more small, urgent stuff appeared. That meant in some cases I did not get perfectionist and sent my letters/emails at around 90% perfectness. Acceptable, isn’t it?

It is.

I also, for the first time in a very long time, did not fill feedback forms I was supposed to, to help my unit’s assessment and future plans. Rather, I sent a short email with my main points. I will let the administrative staff to use my email to communicate to others.

You may ask yourself “What is the deal with these two examples?“. Well, I used to follow all directions meticulously and put my best mind forward. Sometimes, it is too tiring and requires too much of my time and energy. While I have energy, my time is getting less and less available with each big steps I want to take. So, to save my time for what matters most to me, I had to change things and how I operate.

I am proud of myself. The change and deviation from my usual work practice is little, took me a long time to implement, but I made it eventually.

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I have been thinking about love and fear. When I feel dependency or attention, I get scared. I get distant.

I have been extremely interested in my freedom. It works wonders for me and I love this life-style. I do not need to care for someone, or cook. I could not make a mother, to be honest. This is how I feel. But, sometimes, it feels okay to care for something, a cat for example, and provide love & safety. Even though it restricts my freedom. Loving a wonderful creature should not create fear. It should create excitement.

This is how I finally convinced myself and decided to foster a beautiful kitty, Mona, yesterday πŸ™‚

Sophie’s choice

Sophie’s choice is an amazing, heart-breaking, and quite an emotionally intense book.

I first got to know about it through its movie adaptation.

Since then, whenever I face a hard choice, I remember it.

A part of my anxiety is because I cannot decide what is the best choice. Shall I notify someone before I cc them in an email? Shall I take this collaboration, or leave it as it is? Shall I say something or not?

These may sound like easy choices, but when you try to calculate risk of your steps and cannot take the risk associated with either of the solutions, it becomes a trouble.

To be clear, I take risks. When I hire someone, when I step up for something, when I go for an interview, when I submit a report, when I want to move in a new direction, live in a new country/city, and when I decide what is best for me in life.

It is a some sort of dilemma that while I can take these risky moves, I sometimes cannot decide what to do with relatively less important things.

The idea of the book is that even you are forced to make decisions that are otherwise seem impossible, sometimes the end result may not change or differ. Not everything is in our power – it is sometimes highly dependent on other parties involved. Sometimes it is just screwed in any way.

Knowing this does not relieve my attention on the hardship of some decisions.

Let me hear your thoughts and advice.

Sunday morning musings

Life is good right now, with a peaceful mind and coffee on the side.

There are a lot to be said and comment on; the pandemic, the negative effects of the lock-down, and the itsy-bitsy things that keep filling my mind. BUT, this morning, I will rather contemplate on the positives.

It has been more than 6 months that we have been in lock-down. We work mostly from home, going to office only occasionally. One of my team members have not been to his office since the start – they really would like to limit their exposure to common areas. I respect that. They are doing as good as it can be with remote work. So there is no need to be worried about.

Rather, I am glad that he is that cautious and is a great example to many people who would not follow the guidelines. I am lucky as a boss that I have responsible people working with me.

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This brings me to the cluster at White House – I am so surprised by the lack of understanding of the real situation. That is all I can say. Surprised. We are failing in bringing knowledge to the public. While this is a negative thing to say, it should also help do better.

What I learnt from the recent Black Lives Matter movement and demonstrations was that once we accept that we are a part of this – directly or indirectly – then, addressing racism, inequities, and unfairness becomes much easier.

It is the resistance that blocks change or actions that will benefit most.

Accepting the fact that politicians, medical authorities, scientists, and media are failing in disseminating COVID-19 related knowledge out to public is the first step.

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One can argue that even the knowledge is there, its uptake by the citizens/readers is not. True. Then perhaps we must also look into the reasons of this. Obviously, knowledge per se is not enough.

I personally accept that I have not done my part as a citizen to inform others better about the dangers of COVID-19. I will with diligency think about what my next steps can be.

These being said, on the personal side my insomnia almost disappeared since the lock-down and I can handle the emotions and emotional reactions better as I cave in my home.

Home is healing in so many ways, isn’t it? πŸ™‚

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Home. Home. Sweet Home. Enjoy your home and surroundings, folks. The trees, the streets, the houses, the neighbours. When I look at all of them in the last few months, I have seen many beautiful trees and yards in my neighbourhood, and many people doing and talking sweet things. Paying attention to good and a little bit curiosity about life is the spice of life. Let’s enjoy it.

I am not walking as frequently as I had in the first few months of the lock-down. In a month or so, we can expect snow to start. That white, fluffy, and innocent thing always makes me feel more cozy, homey, and celebrate the slow pace of life.

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We cannot keep running; that is why perhaps we can keep enjoying the slow-down. Like what the pandemic has done to us. Like what Winter does to us.

As long as we are safe, healthy, and accept our failures and misses, I believe we will be in a much better place in the next day.

Enjoy your Sunday, folks.

very random thoughts

Today I decided to foster cats.

I emailed a rescue organization. Hopefully I will get some positive reply back. I need to shop, buy stuff, and make sure that the plants I have are not hazardous and my cables are well protected.

I can get anxious like 4-5 years ago when I had adopted a wonderful kitty. 5 days later I had to return him back. My heart still aches because of that decision. I still ask forgiveness by him. And I still hate myself and for being such a coward.

The fact that fostering is a shorter term commitment, I kind of think that I can make it this time. I hope so.

I want to love, care, and protect the foster cat. Maybe cats, even. Who knows?

We have obligations to care for others, including animals and nature. I am not sure how well I am doing my part. I hope this is what it is.

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Winter is coming. This week has been quite cool. I like cool weather and I am fine with it. In a month or so, we can expect some snow. That fluffy, innocent, clean white stuff…..Many people laugh at me when I say I love snow πŸ™‚ I keep saying anyhow.

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You won’t believe what happened.

I met someone who interests me. It is weird to say this. I thought it was just not possible anymore. I was wrong. Interestingly, instead of day dreaming, I keep saying myself “let it go“. I often manage not to think about him as well. Very different behavior than my usual self. I cherish this interest and the new type of behavior I display.

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Logically I do not see any possibility of moving forward with this person (I know myself). I am also tired of male behavior (I really am believing in males from Mars, females from Venus kind of difference in our behaviors) and the confusion they create in my life. So, what is the point of daydreaming anyhow???

The point is that it is a beautiful feeling.

Love is.

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random night thoughts

It is a peaceful evening. I am just cooling down after an exciting work day. Very enjoyable.

I had an early hour meeting with a group of colleagues from another organization. It is the first time that we met, in order to speak about our common interests. Goodness knows that I had not prepared what I was going to talk in this meeting until an hour before it started (I was one of the leaders in the committee and the person who initiated this contact). Can you imagine?

I did not, either!!

But I do not know what happened that my usual cautious and well-prepared self did not care or even think about this meeting. A very mysterious reason that I am deeply curious about.

When I woke up this morning, I thought “let’s materialize the reasons for this contact, what we would like to ask and hear from them, and what we want to say in turn”. Well, I am glad I have come up with this idea, as in 40 min, I had a good plan, which I presented verbally.

It worked. We clicked. I left the meeting feeling victorious.

This is one of the rare and recent examples of me doing things spontaneously and succeeding in it.

Voila!

Being a control freak and preparing everything days or weeks before is not necessary, it seems. I am on my way to become more effective and wasting less time worrying on things and my performance πŸ™‚

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 criticis