I opened a new sub-site on living and striving alone at https://strivingalone.wordpress.com/.
Feel free to join me in this concise, honest, and sometimes humorous journey with every post being only #In8Sentences 🙂
I opened a new sub-site on living and striving alone at https://strivingalone.wordpress.com/.
Feel free to join me in this concise, honest, and sometimes humorous journey with every post being only #In8Sentences 🙂
My mom’s little bird has died after a couple of week’s illness. It was loved, cared, pampered, and cherished.
My mom and sister are feeling the pain of losing something that they loved so much. They feel like they have not done enough to care for the bird and blame themselves.
Nothing could be far from the truth; they cared for it while she was healthy and especially when she was sick. They have got an expensive medical care for the little one and gave water using syringe and kept it on their chest when she needed warmth and contact. They monitored it around the clock. They have done more than many people I know respecting and caring for that life. Yet, it was just her time to go and here my sister and mom feeling the blame and sadness.
It is natural to feel the sadness and grief, but I wished they did not blame themselves for what happened to this lovely creature.
I told them what I experienced when my father had died 1.5 years ago. The sadness was nothing like I knew before, grief was overwhelming, I too blamed myself for not caring for my dad while he was alive or while he was dying. I still do. But I remember my wish to walk and see the nature as it is at that time, as life and death are a part of our life cycle and seeing nature I was able to put this in a rational frame. I remember looking at the trees, some naked and dried up, some looking like dying, but I knew that in spring some of them at least would flourish. I also remember seeing a man with a little child…. Life was continuous, only the life forms would be changing. We may lose one, heck, we will lose ourselves one day, but life will continue with a different tree, in a different place, with a different human.
It is impossible not to feel sadness and grief upon losing someone or an animal that we have loved. We have two options; either not love anything/anyone to protect ourselves from this, or love and go through the consequences. That is a natural dilemma of being human and having a consciousness. There can be no good solution to deal with death of a loved one…
But we can care and demonstrate our love while pets and humans are still alive.
After all, life is short and we have a tendency to focus on what we have in our plates at the time being, and forget the reality to come.
Go hug someone, a pet, or a tree today. Tell them or show them you care. Love yourself too and receive the love from others. Do not be shy.
It is another Sunday, another beautiful morning, and another opportunity to get excited and joyful about life.
Somethings can help:
Go lose yourself 🙂
Let me tell you something about the X-Files.
I am currently on Season 7; why have I been watching The X-Files in the last months or so?
Mulder and Scully – that is all. I like the characters and how they complement each other like Ying and Yang.
But the stories do not attract me: I do not believe in supernatural. I do not believe in E.T. I am more like Scully, I guess.
Only things that really attract my attention are the personal struggles and pains of the two characters; I like it when the stories are around them.
However; I do not know what to think about the romantic moments between these two characters that are scattered here and there. Nothing serious up to the Season 6 yet, but a new year’s kiss (somewhere in the Season 6 or 7) somehow threw me… Thankfully this moment was only temporary (although beautifully executed; you would swear that these two were in love so deeply and so unbelievably), as the next episode had no romantic or close encounters between the two. Like nothing happened and it was an everyday encounter…. Meaningless and weird stuff.
Anyways, I do not know whether I want it for these characters. I know that in the future episodes/movies they get together and then they broke up. There is a child that is likely to be Mulder’s and Scully’s. Looks like it is a natural extension of trust, years of watching each other’s back, saving each others arses, and sharing personal moments (like the deaths in Scully’s or Mulder’s family) that bring these two characters together.
If you ask me, the romantic part between Mulder and Scully was unnecessary.
It is because it was like growing to love someone rather than falling in love.
I somehow prefer falling in love than growing to love over a period of time because the last time I did this (a thing, not a person), it took me 15 years to love!!!!!!
Love should be spontaneous. Un-calculated.
I know many people will reject this idea, but this is what I believe.
Today after a month or so I am finally back to my regular routine; home cleaned, laundry done, sourdough stater fed, and more importantly I am not working.
This feels good.
There is something nice about our daily life and routine. It helps us to pay attention to our regular surroundings and activities. I kinda look around and notice things to be grateful for; my yard for example has considerably improved this year with the new back fence and new plants showing up. I love going around it everyday and noticing how the life in my yard doing and remove unnecessary weeds and stuff. It is great to be feeling content, excited, and hopeful about a part of my life.
I also find a chance to notice things that require care and fix them before they get worse. One of my household plants seem to have too much water in the vase, and as such has started to reek (possibly the microorganism growing in the water at the bottom). I cleaned it well and now hope that the plant will regain its health and vigor. It is a life and deserves the best from us.
I am watching the X-Files and am happy to be doing it.
I will prepare a nice dinner today with healthy ingredients, which will help me to gain my strength back and reduce the toxic effects of ongoing stress.
My windows are open and fresh air is caressing every corner inside.
My street is quite and eventless, encouraging an easy rest at home.
I have had fruits and home-made kefir cheese and sourdough this morning, which gives me the necessary energy and encouraging thought that I am back to healthy life-style.
My kefir grains are doing just fine and my sourdough starter is raising.
I have not got any negative news or annoying emails just yet and I am very grateful for this.
I appreciate this opportunity to just relax and give my mind and body a break.
I am excited for being free this evening and tomorrow and all the things I can do with my time.
And more importantly, I am happy to be with myself and reflecting on life and my life, which was much needed. Like this morning, I woke up with the thought that one day I would cease to be and whether what I was stressing myself about at work or at life would worth it. The answer is no. There are so many other important things to do or pay attention to. Time is given and passes pretty quickly. Life is bigger than what I have been focusing on lately. Loved ones and our own well-being and happiness are the most important thing. So much stress and its negative effects on body and mind are foolish. It is time to have a much wider look at life as a whole and re-adjust the priorities and plans. I have not got much of an idea about what they would be, but I am grateful that I have the metal sanity and clarity at least for this moment to even think about this.
Routine is good my friends.
You know that I am going through and stressful patch in relation to my work in the last one month. There is too much to be done and too much emotions and exhaustion to deal with. But there has been great things as well, which I should acknowledge.
One of the things about my profession is to be recognized by others in my field as an expert. I have had three invitations in the last one month as an expert. One of them from a national organization that I have not worked with in the past. Another one is an international organization that I had interacted with last year. And the third one I have just got an invitation from is the biggest organization of its kind in Canada. All of these organizations coming up with my name and their trust in my professional abilities made me feel really good about myself; I have national and international recognition after all 🙂
These invitations not only strengthen my own confidence and self-appreciation, but also help me show my own organization that I am a recognized expert. This increase my chances of being respected here.
It is funny that I have had many such recognition in the past and my organization never made a good remark about these. This is strange, but as day goes on, my list is increasing and so does my case to present myself to my own organization. Lovely 🙂
These invitations require me to set up time and evaluate important reports. I am usually good about this and am looking forward to doing good job and writing great evaluation reports. At a time that I have been looking for ways to expand my credentials and move into the directions that will be good to me and where I would perform my best, these additional work only makes me happy and trusting the magical way of life in helping me move forward.
As a high level administrator told me a couple of days ago “when there is a challenge, there is the opportunity“.
I know that well now.
My tummy was aching yesterday and this morning, and I have a terrible headache since morning. I have eaten lots of carbs and drank too much soft drinks, and my face is puffy and I feel lethargic. I believe my blood tension is also high.
Where am I going like this?
I may not have managed my work-related stress effectively so far, but I think it is time that I start doing this.
Action item 1. Stop thinking work at nights. Watch the X-files instead. Give my mind a break.
Action item 2: Breathe. Deep breaths. Continuously. For 5 minutes or longer. Try time to time.
Action item 3: Stop drinking soft drinks. Replace it with water. Drink milk.
Action item 4: Get out of the house.
Action item 5: Eat better. No carbs for some time. Eat delicious veggies and fruits for a change. They energize me.
Action item 6: Do not work this weekend, if I can.
Action item 7: Work at the office tomorrow, not at home. Get some human interaction. Get away from isolation.
Action item 8: Write down the things that go well.
Action item 9: Cuddle with a nice book.
Action item 10: Watch these lovely creatures and put on a smile 🙂
The day has been good and I like being able to say this 🙂
My hair is doing fine. It has been almost 3 weeks since I have had highlights. I have washed my hair a little bit more frequently than usual, and as such it grew faster relatively to past. In the past, 2 weeks after dyeing my hair my roots would start showing up and I would get depressed over the grays showing. This time, grays are showing but it is not that bad. As a matter of fact, I must very carefully look for them to see them. So I would say despite my epic tantrum at the hair saloon 3 weeks ago, my hair dresser was right – the highlights have lightened up and for now the roots are somehow blending in.
Of course it is quite early to have a final conclusion; I noticed that my hair dresser have done a much better job dyeing my hair than myself, and as such the roots are only coming out to visibility. If I have the same good feeling in the next two weeks, I will conclude that whatever she did, she did it right. Time to make the next appointment! 🙂
Works is stressful, but at least there are nice people who are helping. One of my collaborators and I have good conversations and we are both humbled by our work experiences. It is time to move up and we will be doing this. Good to have support and empathy, even though time to time we have our own clashes with this collaborator. I come to my senses, she does the same, by comparing our relationships with others (which are much more complex, pressing, and sometime even down right problematic). Among all these turbulent work relationships, the one between us at least work and move both of us up.
Also a staff from another unit has helped me clarify somethings; it was needed and solved a couple of issues. This staff and I have had some turbulent moments in the past, a few years back, on similar issues. I was resentful at that time, but today everything was positive and I could not help but think how well and naturally some relationships heal over time, or after a while.
Both of these recent experience say me that not everything is as bad as I expect them to be, and some work relationships are quite dynamic and require a new look and attitude time to time.
My potatoes potated! Yes, they have!
I have checked one of the plants out of curiosity and there were around 10 mini potatoes at the root 🙂 I am filled with love and awe…. I planted them back, hoping that maybe they will potate later, or could be food for soil animals 🙂
I have just completed a critical task and I feel the freedom coming out of letting it go. It is not over yet, but knowing that this one step is done gives me an unexpected relief. I will take it.
Work continues to be hectic and stress levels are still high. But at least I am preparing myself dinner this evening. This is a nice change and makes me feel better about everything.
The work will continue, I will fail, and I will go up. Somewhere, somehow. I wish there were no pressure as we have been under that restricts our minds and negatively affects our quality of life. This is one of the worst summers of my life, all because of work stress. Imagine….
The irony is that it has also been the warmest and brightest here where I live.
How do we enjoy what we are given and how we waste our times thinking, worrying, stressing
C’est la vie?
They say that difficult things happen and we make mistakes to learn and develop.
While I do not enjoy going thru a hard time on things related to my job right now, I also learn.
Today I realized that:
I most need to write this journal today; nothing seems to go right and I feel some strange type of being over-whelmed.
1. I am grateful for not losing my sanity yet, despite all the turbulence, issues, and decisions made. All work-related.
2. I am grateful for not resigning.
3. I am grateful for deciding again and again not to resign. Not without finding a job to replace what I already have. Some things are really going unkind and downhill. But no matter what, I cannot resign and leave. It is a good feeling to be able to leave everything behind, but this would not be a wise thing to do; there is me and other people who are dependent on me having a stable life and work. It is easy to quit but not easy to find a job that will satisfy me. Can I change myself? The way I think? The way I cannot handle things? What will the future bring to me? What am I doing right and what am I doing wrong?
4. I am grateful for sitting down and listening to a relaxing music. What the days will bring, I must take it. I just wished I did not have to find myself in these situations. But then what can I do? In all cases I try to be fair and just and do the right thing. Sometimes there are no good thing and sometimes there is too much pressure. I bend under this much of a pressure. I just hope not to bend more or unnecessarily.
5. I am grateful for one of our work being assessed favorably. I got the news in the morning. Our efforts are not completed yet, but at least this is a good sign. I hope the final decision will be favorable or at least manageable so that I can feel better.
6. I am grateful for hearing from an ex-trainee of mine who had worked with me something like 5 years ago. Hearing good memories and how their time under my supervision changed and improved their skills is always a delight 🙂
7. I am grateful for taking the bus in the morning and walking in the afternoon.
8. I am grateful for the coffee I have had at the office.
9. I am grateful for the internet connection and my computer that allow me to work and enjoy my time at home.
10. I am grateful for logically analyzing the difficult time I am going thru and realizing that this is a learning opportunity and it will help me with other experiences in the future.
11. I am grateful for not having anxiety or panic attacks, and keeping my cool.
12. I am grateful for slowing down this evening. Tomorrow is another day. This is a period of time that is supposed to happen.
13. I am grateful for breathing and having a healthy body.
14. I am grateful for trying.
15. I am grateful for having loved ones.
16. I am grateful for hearing bad news from others and realizing I am not in such a bad situation. This may sound selfish, but realizing that there are bigger problems in life brings me back to reality and big picture; I must keep my sanity and well being so that I can help others.
17. I am grateful for my blog for letting me vent my frustrations and confusions, interact with others, and express myself.
It is a beautiful morning 🙂 Birds are flying, trees are washing with the breeze, sun is warming and inviting, and coffee is just great 🙂
When we grow up we listen to a lot of fairy tales. After a period of hardship, difficulty, and loss of hope, lost of great things, opportunities, and beautiful things happen in those tales. I once or twice reacted to this in my adult life, saying that the reality is in fact not like this and they fooled us by believing in that everything will be beautiful at the end. I felt like these tales were not representative of real life.
Today I think a little bit differently. I think we needed these tales to realize that things can turn to better way. That we should have hope and faith that things can and will be better in the future. It is not realistic to assume this is always to case, but the truth is that there is a chance that it will turn better and we must believe in this and find some kind of relief, hope, and optimism, rather than dwelling into negative chaos.
So I repeat this sentence since yesterday:
“Everything will be great”
To recognize this chance and shift the focus of my mind from negativity to positivity. It worked this morning and may work at other times. I will use my chances. After all life is all about learning, experiences, growing, shifting, and most importantly about noticing and enjoying everything it can offer to us.
And today I enjoy not only my coffee, but being alive, safe, healthy, and the well being of my loved ones.
It has been a long time that I have written this journal.
I must remember to do this especially when I am feeling down – there is nothing uplifting more than being grateful for events, memories, things, people, and experiences that give us hope, positivity, happiness, opportunity, and a break from all the chatter and clutter.
1. I am grateful for waking up early today; 6.30 am to be exact. When you wake up so early you have all the time in your hands. Also it is such a quiet time of the day; no traffic no phone calls. Precious.
2. I am grateful for being off today. I worked only lightly in the morning. It was enough. I have had enough. The rest of the day except email correspondences I have not dealt with work. This gave me some chance to just sit down and relax. I was tired too – at noon I have felt quite drained and lied down for a while. It was beautiful.
3. I am grateful for doing routine stuff today; house chores! How joyful it was to be able to engulf in a simple yet effective work for a change! I cleaned the house, did the laundry, did grocery shopping, and finally cut the grass in the yard! The last one was on my list in the last 6 weeks – the time was right today. I feel relieved – one more long-standing task is done and gone (for now, of course; I gotta repeat this in two weeks, but until that time….).
4. I am grateful for the little potato that one of my potato plants have produced! One of the plants turned yellow and I wanted to check it. And there they were, 6-7 little potatoes….. what a wondrous thing to experience… I am awed. Honestly 🙂
5. I am grateful for going through hardship and relaxing into it now. These were all work related and I am gaining somethings really good and losing somethings really important. Losing is not a great feeling, but that prompted to me to make plans for my future. I resist less to the issues and things I have lost, and focus more on what I can gain. I was right about that feeling last week or so; my life is shaping as a result. I hope it to be a good one.
6. I am grateful for the warm weather outside that keeps us warm and windows open. There is something lovely about having the fresh air inside and feel the breeze…. Lightness! Yes, this is the feeling it does give – lightness! Being free of worries and nerve-racking things. Being in the moment and enjoying this simple act. Precious! 🙂
7. I am grateful for being ready for the dinner tomorrow. I will have two couples as guest, good friends. I have everything sorted out and the menu being realistic. Tomorrow will be a busy day but hopefully a fun day, too.
8. I am grateful for feeling better now 🙂
I have made more expenses in the last three weeks than any other time since the new year. I possibly spent 3X of my regular allowance. This does not feel good. Most of the expenses are for junk stuff and cab rides while I was trying to keep my head over work and work issues. Throw in a social and hosting two dinners (one last weekend, one tomorrow) and you can get the idea.
I am determined to pay this mortgage off in the next 6 years. This means I am reducing the time into half. I must and can save more while I have a salary. This must be my priority.
From tomorrow on, I will be on shopping ban; no thrift store or other purchases till October, unless absolutely needed. I will not buy any furniture or clothes, either. Absolutely no cab rides!! I will have my hair done, though, since I am transitioning to gray now. The journey has started and will be completed. I do not expect socials either. At least I will not be inviting over anyone. Well, maybe a couple with lovely kids. We will see.
The only purchases acceptable are:
I also am going to do another pantry challenge and focus on consuming the food I already have before filling my pantry, freezer, and fridge again. That will be exciting and I am really looking forward to this.
I want to quit this job, but logically retiring from this job is the best.
I am looking at another 11 years, I have decided this evening. I can retire in 8 years but the pension is not good enough and the mortgage will be just paid. I need cash in addition to these.
So, my plan is to pay off the mortgage in the next 7 years and then save the mortgage payments I now make as cash. I will in the mean time continue to do my investments (RRSP, TFSA). These should give me some peace of mind. I hope I will not have a significant life event that requires a lot of cash. This plan is dependent on such an assumption.
I currently pay around 15K/year to mortgage. This year I started to make extra payments, totaling around 5K a year. I will make an effort to increase this a little bit more. No more fooling around with stress and making extra expenses, like I have done in the last 3-4 weeks. It is time that I return back to my wonderful budget I started in the new year.
I will make my life work here. I will make my work work here. There is so much I can do and perform. Maybe not what I want to do, but I will focus on what I can do. One year at a time. In two year comes a major promotion that I want to get. That means the next two years I am appliying for projects and forming better collaborations. My aim should be to prepare 4 projects/year.
I decided to become lean in terms of my work schedule and I will be removing myself from one of the committees I am a member of. I also will focus on work during the day and will not think about other stuff. Work is important and I am getting tired. My energy and efforts and time should be better protected.
I will also relax and trust more. Myself, universe, that something great will come. I hope I am not mistaken about this.
My pension 11 years later will not be huge, but just enough. That is good enough for me. I can always start a side kick and get occasional extra income.
I can handle 11 years. It is a definite time period. It has been 9 years that I have moved here. Time flies, but hopefully not so fast till then; I would like to enjoy my life, find my life’s purpose, and feel better about myself and life until then.
The moral of the story is that money is important. It does not matter how young or senior you are, you will need it. Keep it as much as you can while you have it.
I woke up at 6.30 am with lots of annoying thoughts in my mind.
Quitting and accepting failure crossed my mind, but something also kept me up beat and optimistic. It can be acceptance of the future, belief in a brighter future, or realizing that this is not the first adversity and issue filled time in my life, nor I am the first one to go through a similar time.
Things got better around noon and I realized things are not as bad as I think it would be or were. There were times that I have had similar experiences in the past. I guess our minds are programmed to consider all bunch of situation and focus on resolving the worst possible scenarios. This is taxing, is it not?
This being said, there were times that I thought things were better than they in reality were. Lack of insight? Lack of information? Lack of experience to think comprehensively? You decide.
I really miss my regular routine of walking to office, working, walking back to home, reviewing the flyers on Wednesday to decide my shopping list, grocery shopping on Thursdays, doing house chores on Saturday and sourdough baking on Sunday. Perhaps it is the best. Perhaps I was lazy and fell into the comfort of this routine. It is hard to know. What I know is that time to time life and work can get really challenging. Hold on to life at these difficult times and trust that it will get clear and better. It must be. It always is.
I today believe in this.
What is the purpose of my life, if I may ask myself?
I know I am supposed to do somethings that will change life as a whole. I will leave no legacy possibly, but memories and important accomplishments for many. I will leave information, knowledge, questions, and answers. I will leave this blog as long the domain keeps it and it is accessible through the internet.
I believe that I am here for a reason or two. I know, like all of us, I am unique in some ways and contribute to life and shaping it. I know there are many things I could do under the right circumstances. I keep coming to the same point that I am not where I am supposed to be and I am not engulfed in what I am really good at and can make a good difference. I should be wasting my energy, thoughts, and time with things that matter most.
What are they?
I have no current idea, but I know things are shaping in the horizon. Whether in this job or somewhere else I will be evolving to a point that rather than struggle and nerve-wars, I will be flourishing.
My best in life is yet to come. I strongly believe in this. Whether through failure or success should not matter.
I read in two different blogs the same question in the last 1 hour; how would you live if you knew you would die soon?
What an interesting question.
We will die, will we not? What then matters most?
I am a true believer of relativity and the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. I know I am at the top of this pyramid now and am trying to figure out my place in life and in my career. I question everything and looking for better opportunities. The use of term “better” should signal that I already have other, albeit less favored, options. I know I can find jobs that may or may not pay as much as what my current work pays. It would be difficult but not impossible. I know I could get jobs in other places/countries. I know I could switch to other professions and maybe just work longer than I have planned. Heck, I can stay where I am.
So the future may be blank and with less favorable circumstances, especially in terms of financial security. That is a risk hard to take. Maybe I will take it, maybe I will not. Only time will show.
At one point in my life, many years ago, I was feeling really bad. As a result I turned into books to understand these feelings, their causes, and how to better deal with the thoughts and emotions as a result.
One thing that misses usually from my overall look at life is trust; trust that things will turn out just okay. Trust that I will be able to handle things well. I now am somehow better in this area if I can remind myself.
My other big habit is to not let go of things, plans, wishes, or wants easily. I believe that they take quite a time and effort to come up with, organize, and execute. These, if not followed with success, eventually it leads to frustration and self-doubt. That hurts and amplifies the the first trust issue; trusting that I will be able to handle things well. This being said, not being an easy dumper is also good sometime, as many things in life require more than mere luck and rather lots of efforts and patience. I have good examples of relatively big success came by not quitting and constantly working towards the aim.
The third would be to have a sharp focus. This is great when there is a task at hand, but not great while dealing with life issues, which are often more complex and repeating in nature. Seeing the big picture, my own and the issue’s place within everything life offers can be quite illuminating; after all what is the big deal as long as we are safe, sound, alive, and able?
I once was silly enough to complain to one of my friends about my own itsy bitsy issues a few months after she has lost her dad. I apologized when I realized what I was being so selfish and insensitive to my friend. She did something amazing and gave a piece of wisdom; there was no pain little or big enough; pain is pain and it fills us almost immediately; fast and expandable. I love this definition, which is so true. But I still want to get out of the room of the pain and see the other things in life. This change in the perspective is healthy, promotes positivity, and eventually calms me.
if there is another thing that calms me is to surrounder to pain. I was not able to understand the meaning of this for years, but one day it just came; I was struggling to decide on something critical, very, critical, and after a long and painful internal fight, my shoulders just dropped. Decision was made by my body. I had failed to make the decision I so long wanted to make. But I could not take it anymore. Fight was over. Pain was pain, but less than the pain my internal fight created. Failed to make the best decision? Yes. Succeeded in surviving my turmoil? Yes. Life can be this messy sometimes.
We have so many examples of hardship in our lives. So many mistakes and resentful memories, actions, words, and behaviors.
What is the solution?
Forget these or forgive ourselves?
So much is going on, and a lot of these are going in a direction that I wish they did not. Under different conditions, even upon one such event, I would be pulling my hair and stomping my feet. But not anymore.
I think I passed the initial aggravation with the first adversity and now am going through the continuous agitation and issues with a calmer head. How is that even possible?
One thought that keeps popping on my mind is that “eventually something better will come up“. Yes, the things are not moving well, and I have issue over issue to think, plan, and resolve, and yes some of these issues will not be resolved and I will not be able to make things that I wanted to happen. These are all related to work, by the way, which is very important for me but not as important as the well being of myself and the loved ones. This gives me serenity.
There is a saying that one door may be closed but the other may open after that. I love this phrase and keep believing in it. This requires a little bit more care, careful look and research of additional opportunities, but time after time I find myself ripping the opportunities after such hard times. The wisdom of age is priceless. I just wished I knew what to expect from the future.
I am saddened, however, by all the efforts, emotions, and hardship endured during all of these hurdles. Darn transition from one failure to next opportunities is long, too. So my pain has not suffocated yet and brought me to the next level. But I am curious about what will come next and how these and I will shape my future work and possibly life conditions.
Learning about life, myself, my reactions, and my emotions is a continuous process, I see.
Basically you are either a natural, or you are pushed for it.
Being a female and international/foreigner professional on a high-competition work line, I have seen too many injustice, unnecessary pressure, back stabbing, sexism, racism, nationalism, mansplanning, bias, discrimination, stereotyping, and all bunch of other shit.
That is the annoying reality, which I hope one day will be eliminated. We gotta do this.
Working with others in such an environment also means that they will try, at one point or the other, to impose these on you, and control you or your work.
I have had a recent experience just yesterday that pissed me off too much. And this morning email reply has been sent; sane, professional, and firm that I will not accept this because of this and that. I am proud of my self for doing this. My consciousness is quite clear. There may be negative consequences, but hey.
Some people will need a break to understand that they are crossing the line. Assertiveness helps you to convey this message to these people and help you keep your self-respect and protect your rights. I never knew how assertive I could be. I am still hugely annoyed by the behavior yesterday, I hate the feeling and experiencing this, but I am grateful for finding the right type of reaction after hours of agitation, fuming, and pain (that is assertiveness, not attacking back, complying, or passive aggression).
By the way ladies, this is a separate experience, but do you not love it when male co-workers cut your sentences? Both my superiors and team members have done this to me and hopefully now have learnt not to cross their lines. Mansplanning, is it?
I need no this or other shit.
I managed to revive my sourdough starter from dried flakes! 🙂
The new one is very similar to previous one (that I accidentally used all in a loaf) and has had a great oven spring. Since it will be served to my guests tomorrow, I did not cut it up to see the crumb, but I am sure it is good.
I could not ask for a better one 🙂
I am taking the next week off to work. Am I funny or what?? 🙂
I have a number of things to finish and I am looking forward to this break. I have another 1-2 weeks to take off before the end of August, which is a relief. Maybe I will stop for a couple of days and focus on myself a little bit.
My plans are as follows for the next 9 days:
3 documents to develop and/or finalize
2 speeches to finalize
Email correspondences and other emergency stuff that will occur within the week (that is correct; I wrote “will” rather than may” because the past years have taught me that emergencies are a normal part of our work Yuppi! More stress hormone! )
Personal life and home:
Two dinner parties with friends; meaning lots of shopping, cooking, and cleaning. We will see how this will go. Two dinners in a week seem too excessive for me. It is like a marathon! It is great that my friends are understanding. The worst we can do is to take out.
Staining and painting the patio and the wooden parts of the outside doors and windows; I resent this task, but it must be done so that I can protect my property better.
Reading a book…… It has been almost 2 years that I have not read a full book, from start to end…. I have the Game of Thrones series at my hand, which are so interesting. yet, where is my book love? How did I lose it? How can I get it back?
Taking more pictures of the natural beauties. The photos I posted in the last few weeks, the photos of the plants and flowers in my yard made me realize what a great yard I actually have. Many of these appeared in the last year or two, and when I first purchased my home, the yard looked incredibly bad. I digged and almost leveled the back of the yard, planted a little maple tree, trimmed some unwanted ones, planted a number of seeds, some of which germinated (let’s see how they will survive), planted potato, onions, and garlic. The potato plants are doing great, onion has almost seeded, but the garlic does not seem to be producing anything (I checked one of them). I had heard about sterile garlics, which I seem to have planted. In the fall, I will plant again, potato as well, to see whether the time of planting makes a positive difference (they say these plants should be planted in fall before the frost).
I also plan to print some of the photos and hang them on my walls. This is a massive undertaking for me because I want to hang around 15-20 frames…. Since I cannot do this myself, that also means that I will hire someone to put the nails on the walls. Fun stuff…i repeat that we need a “handyman/woman” registry or company that can do this kind of little work for people like myself.
And, I must do some back/ab exercises to keep my back strong. I have neglected these exercises for some time now and I feel like I must prioritize them again. Since at home I sit mostly (rather than using my standing desk at the office), my chances of hurting my back increase. I do not need that type of “emergency” situations, do I? 🙂
Have a great Friday night everyone!
Following a previous post, here are additional pics from the plants in my yard.
They are magical.
I have not posted in this category lately mostly because I have been spending a lot of money lately.
I am saddened somehow (but not fully) by the fact that I over-spent my weekly allowance ($120) in the last two weeks for the first time since the new year. The total for two weeks is around $400….In addition, I have had my hair done for over 200 bucks and made some expenses for a social gathering. I am not sorry for the social’s expenses, somehow pissed about the hair dresser’s fee but I am ready to forget this for now, and it is my own careless expenses that bother me most.
I made these expenses to feel better about myself the last two weeks, which was a rough time. They helped at that time, but it is time that I go back to my regular responsible, waste-free, and frugal self. Noting this here gives me hope and determinism to do this transition. I hope I will not fail in this.
Next week I am officially off and will keep working at home (my “work staycations” are becoming an interesting yet effective habit now…). But I am going to host friends this and the next weekend at home. I am looking forward to these events because I have seen nothing but support and friendship from most of the invitees. The expenses I will make for these dinner parties should not exceed 100 bucks each with some luck.
On the good side, within the last two weeks I have saved $70 from some expenses I was supposed to do, but did not. Also, my “fun funds” accumulation are around $1,230 as of today. These funds are critical for the short Europe visit I will make in October. I am so looking forward to this trip, which will give me some time to focus on my own enjoyment and relaxation. And it could not be possible without the fun funds 🙂 As a reminder, fun funds are those money that I saved from my weekly allowance since the new year. This is at least a successful product of my overall spending and saving adventure 🙂
I love ice cream in a hot summer day – there is something child-like about it that makes me look at the world with the eyes of an 8 years old. I love this feeling of carelessness, pure joy, and being in the moment 🙂
My aim to reduce the shopping bags at my home and not picking up new ones continues with 80-90% success. There were times that I had to get the bags at stores, but at least I do not have an over-flowing amount of them in my kitchen drawer anymore. I am determined to keep only around 20 or so of them at home to use as garbage bin liner, but not more than that.
And I have been trying kefir cheese for some time. I think I have had my forth one this week. You simply collect 700-1000 ml kefir, pour down a strainer lined by a clean cloth (not necessarily a cheese cloth), and put the strainer in a large bowl where the strainer will have some room (so that the strained liquid will collect at the bottom of the bowl away from the strainer), and place the assembly in the fridge over night. The majority of the whey would have drained until then. You can also gently squeeze the curds/cloth to remove extra liquid.
One can eat this – it is delicious, but if you are looking for a thicker one, then change the cloth (cheese cloth is fine now as the curds are large enough so that they will not be strained through the cheese cloth), and place in the fridge. I found that at that point the liquid drainage is not strong enough and the majority of the draining is actually made by the cloth. So change it frequently to encourage further removal of whey. I sometimes place the cheese/curds between two plastic tubs (the one at the bottom would have holes in it to help drainage) and put weight on the top tub to encourage further drainage. But, I find that this is not necessarily an efficient and practical solution, so I rather change the cloth as it gets wet to help it thicken. It is that simple.
Use it as it is, or mix with herbs or even fruits (like mushy berries or banana).
My next trial will be a ricotta made by milk and whey; cannot wait! 🙂
Healthy and fun to do!
While I have had a relaxing weekend, the stress of work has already caught up with me. Since yesterday I have been running, running, running again. I can feel all the stress hormones rushing in my veins and my emotions fluctuating. I feel like emotionally unstable, and sometimes, just sometimes, I realize that I must do things differently.
When you work with others and dependent on their commitment, time, and efforts, you know that this kind of work takes more time and there are times that you need to “trust” that the other party will do their absolute best to finish the work with a level of quality required from you. You also know that this is not an optimistic expectation, because in reality a lot of things can go wrong. So, how do we get the best of the other parties? How do we involve them more, and make them do the things on time? Especially if they are your colleagues, or even worse, your superiors?
I do not have the answer to this. If you have any opinions, please leave me a comment. I will seriously consider it.
I continue to work mostly at home this week, even though I am back to work (i.e. not vacation time). I do not know whether this is good or bad, but it seems to be working for me. I just wished I could do better. But then, who would not?
One of my colleagues could not believe today that I took vacation time to actually work. Is that so weird? I concur that it is weird, but at least please respect my wishes – I too know to just do things out of work and enjoy my life. But with the work-related congestion I have at my hand, finishing the work is going to give me peace of mind. I am so looking forward to the mornings when I wake up feeling good about life, not stressed by the work I must do. My quality of life is important.
Among all of these chaotic circumstances, there has been good things as well. First of, I managed to revive my sourdough from its dried flakes. Objectively though it is questionable that whatever is growing in the starter has come from my original starter (I have been feeding it the last four days); it is quite possible that this is in fact a new culture that I captured from flour, water, or air. It is so hard to know. I want to believe, though it is the original one so that I can brag about my sourdough starter lasting for years and years…What a childish but important wish for me. Unfortunately none of us will know the truth. I wish I could do DNA test or something to figure out :)))
Another good news is that with each wash, my highlights are getting more lighter and I am capable of seeing some light patches in my hair here and there. I am still pissed about the highlights not being strong enough, but considering it has been only 5 days since I have got my hair done, I am hopeful that in two weeks or so, I may get better-looking and stronger highlights. I want to believe…..
Also, I finally chopped down the little trees shooting out of the trim of my house. Somebody told me that they can grow and start damaging the house/foundation. What!! I do not need that. I feel weird cutting little trees, one because they are little, and second, they are trees. Trees are magical and absolutely wonderful. Why do they show up where they do not belong? I made a mental note to plant one to my yard to ask forgiveness from nature.
Last, since I am not eating well during this stressful time, I seem to be losing weight. I am okay with that as long as I eat at least a vegetable and fruit at least once during the day. However, it is strange that even planning for one of my weekly pleasures, grocery shopping, is not making me excited.
The situation, my friends, is that dire.
While trying to revive my dried sourdough starter, here is the bread I have baked using the commercial yeast.
1/2 tbs yeast, 1 cup 2% milk, 1 cup water (warm milk and water together first), 2 tbs sugar; mix well and activate the yeast for 10 min (cover the bowl)
add 3 tbs salt, 9 cups of bread flour, mix and form a dough
cover and stretch and fold 3-4 times (around 20-30 min rest in between)
rest at fridge over night
in the morning. take the dough out and bring to room temp ~3 hours
shape the dough and rest 5 min
work on the shape of the dough, and place it in a bowl with clean cloth and sprinkled with generous amount of sun flower seeds
put in a large plastic bag and prove at room temp for 4 hours (in the last 30 min I put it in an oven warmed to 100F)
score and bake at a non-pre-heated oven at 375F for 45 min (oven on) and an additional 15 min (oven off)
take out, sprinkle some water over the loaf, and let cool down
PS: since this loaf is going to a friend of mine, I did not cut it out and hence I have no idea how the crumb is. But the oven spring was amazing and the fact that the loaf kept its round shape, I am hopeful that the crumb too is good 🙂
Have a great Sunday everyone!
May it be filled with joy, dancing, happiness, and good memories! 🙂
I am back to my normal routine as of today and it feels good.
Yesterday after the noon, I was busy with socials and having great time with friends. That felt good. It was also expensive (the cab ride only took 51 bucks). Add to this the treats and gifts. But what can I do?
Today I have gone to thrift stores. It was one of those days that I have no interesting stuff to pick. I could probably pick a number of things but none would be something that I would absolutely need. I tried around 20 blouses/cardigans and it is interesting that I did like none of them 🙂 That is okay too – there will be times when I find something really lovely and excited to purchase it.
My hair is doing well. I think because of the exposure to sun today, it looks a little bit lighter. That is what I need to see. I am scared, however, to find out how it will turn out in 2-3 weeks when the roots start to come out. Goodness, help me.
Did I mention that I lost my sourdough starter? Yesterday I was about to feed it, but i could not find the glass jar in the fridge. It was an awkward 15 minutes of my life where I just stood there, looked around, tried hard to contemplate the situation, believed that somebody was messing with me, believed that a supernatural creature was messing with me, and eventually I came to the conclusion that with the stress and the agitation of work last week, I had forgotten to spare starter and put all of the fed starter into my loaf last week.
That starter worked really well. Thank goodness, I have had dried it up last January. I have dissolved some of it in water, and fed with flour yesterday and this morning. To tell you the truth, it just smells like flour but not starter. So I do not know what will happen, whether there is an microorganism to revive in the dried starter, and if so whether I will get a robust starter as before. But all I can do is to trying. The worst case scenario is that I start a new starter, even though I really would like my first starter to revive and be present in my life….
My kefir grains, on the other hand, doubled. I think I have got them in May and it was just a table spoon of grains. Now I have double or even triple this initial amount. This has happened lately, in the last few weeks which I think is because of the warm weather. It has not disappointed me at all. I should find ways to preserve these grains; freeze them? Dry them? I gotta look at the internet again.
Tomorrow will be another lovely day. Until then, enjoy your day and night!
Farewell red hair – I will miss you so much….
I have got my hair fixed today. I had prepared myself for quite a light-colored hair, with lots of highlight. I had two options: I would either have it dyed to platinum colour and have dark brown low lights all over. Or, have it dyed to close to its original dark brown, and have lots of highlight. The colorist gave me two options: one: colour correction, which would take multiple visits (and a longer time frame to get a decent hair in the short term), or second: dyeing it to brown and have highlights. I chose the second option.
I was not ready to leave the current shade. I kept looking at the red colour and got very saddened….
It was a meticulous process that took around 5 hours; highlights in foils first. Root treatment second. Dyeing the rest of the hair next. And finally a toner application.
I was suspicious that the hair colour would turn too dark and as a result when the roots start showing up, the contrast would be weird. This is mostly because while washing out the toner, the colorist said that the highlights were somehow dark…. Argh…..
The moment I looked at my new hair was disappointment. All I could see was dark brown and no highlights…. Poor colorist needed to talk to me defensively 15 minutes or so, and try to convince me that the highlights would get lighter in two weeks. I was not convinced. Until she moved me over to the window where there was a lot of light. There I saw what she meant. Yes there were highlights, and yes there were not very strong, but I have had some lightness to hair colour that gave me hope and realize that we were on the right track! I apologized sincerely.
Of course transitioning to my gray hair is a process that will take around a year. There will be times that I will lose my cool again and attempt to change it to platinum or something. But, today I feel like at least I have started the process and so far it is okay.
Tomorrow is another day. Let’s think about it then.
My hair after today’s treatment:
And this was a day ago
While dealing with work stress and feeling a disastrous low self-esteem, life has reminded me once again that it is full of surprises and can be indeed a delightful experience.
Today I have given my old (but still quite good looking and functional) recliner to someone I do not know free of charge. She just loved it and the joy was very visible from her own eyes. She thanked me more than once, was very excited to have it, and her joy filled my eyes with tears. This experience literally made my day and gave me an unexpected dose of happiness. Even now I can feel her joy.
I am so grateful that such a wonderful match could happen and I was a part of it.
Have I mentioned that I made an appointment for Thursday to get my hair done?
My current plan is to dye my hair similar to its original shade (it is dark brown – that I remember…) and then have low-lights over. I do not know what portion of my hair is gray and what portion has the original colour. I trust that the dresser will figure this out. I want to have streaks right around my face. Like in the character in the Addams family movie.. Yuppii!!
Of course that is what I think it is gonna be, but I will also be open for the suggestions by the hair dresser. I hope not to come back with a hair that I cannot live with. Like complete platinum or something – I m not ready for this. I also hope that we will not need bleach and the current reddish/grayish hair can be dyed to brown. I want to believe in this.
This is also gonna be an expensive adventure. Over 200 bucks for a cut, dye, and low-lights. If bleaching is needed, that will be an additional expense. I do not think I can handle bleach. This is already too much of a money to pay and even though I am capable of paying more, my guts say absolutely not!
I called a number of hair saloons today and except one all give estimates around this range. The one with a lower fee was not exactly a good saloon. Even though it would be nice to save some bucks, I did not wish to risk it. This transition for me is important.
I never have had high-lights, low-lights in my life. I cannot remember but I think I did not even have perm. I believe it was only once or twice that I have had my hair dyed by a dresser; both times with bleaching and both times to become a red head. I never had manicure and pedicure at such saloons either. So my consciousness is clear – I deserve this hair and am eligible to pay such a high amount for my hair. My first ever, in fact.
I do not know what to feel about this transition. Will I like it? Will I hate it? Will I look old? Considerably old? How will my mom take it? I do not want her to feel sad. I am her youngest child. Sadly, I am also gifted with early gray hair. There will be a lot of adjustments I can say.
My hair has been red the last few years and I have been loving it. It is sad to know that I will not have such a shade again. It feels like an end…… This is kind of hard to digest. Knowing that not even once in my life I will be a red head gain. This is sinking now. And it is heavy….
Thank goodness that there are also other stuff I can try with my gray hair. I would like to try having the tips dyed to dark blue, for example 🙂 Or, dark brown 🙂 Would that not be fun? 🙂
The morning went well, but I lost my hope for success in the afternoon again. Being a naturally skeptical and highly critical person, especially towards her own, I am not surprised with this.
I work, work, and work, and only a small fraction of it goes into “recognize me” bin. All these efforts, careful and meticulous work, time, energy, and deals with stress I put into this work seem to wash away and bring me from all the way bottom to all the way top, the feeling of being inadequate. Its pain and heaviness are inescapable.
I wish I could retire. I do not want to say that I wish I was old enough to retire – I have a life to enjoy and explore still. I want to fully immerse in it before it becomes too late to do whatever I can do with my healthy and able body and mind. But nothing makes me feel more remorseful of having only a little amount of money saved, which prevents me from even thinking about retirement.
They say education is great and a must, and what an education I have had. I have got a PhD degree, worked in four different countries, did countless of interesting work. Yet it was not only after 36 that I could get a job with benefits (including pension plan) and only after 38 that I have got a job with a decent salary. I want to ask; where is all my knowledge, skills, and experience now? Obviously while my efforts, tears and sweat have benefited many organizations, countries, and people (for which I am actually happy), here I am at mid-40s struggling with the idea of leaving a job that constantly makes me feel low, stressed, and unappreciated. Where are the benefits of all my education and capabilities when it comes to me?
Low self-esteem should be broken by all means; nobody is as “low” as one can think. I cannot do this in my case, however. This has been like this for years, fueled by my current position. I competed with many talented individuals to come all the way here and here at this position I am not capable of going any further. I cannot blame others or the conditions, but I cannot blame myself, either. I gave my best and countless numbers of hours and brain cells to this work over the many years. I cannot take this feeling anymore.
I want to believe that even without attaining the level of success I wish for myself, I still can and do great work. I know many people at my position going through the same struggle, and even performing less than me. Yet, they are good at standing, talking, and walking tall, in contrast to me. My own hardship on myself, my own expectations from myself, and my own frustration are the ones that drag me down in my own eyes and then in others’. I sometimes think that this job is more about mental stamina and confidence, however false it can be, than having the capabilities, skills, and excitement for creativity, quality, and effective work. I lack that stamina.
I once had told another colleagues of mine at administrative level that I was more of a manager than a leader; I get things done. He was understanding and said that “….a leader is great, but a manager is even greater. Leaders open the way and develop the ideas, vision. Managers are the ones that make it reality….” How great is that?
I am affected by the lack of effective leaders at my organization as well as the lack of transparency, trust, and presence of lots and lots of silos. I need a leader that can open the way for me and provide me with better resources so that I can soar. Yet, nauseating truth is that I am supposed to be a leader of myself and do all of these. Nobody is going to care about my conditions, needs, or improving my morale. It is all on me.
I wish I could just stop resisting this frustration and accept myself as a failure to find some kind of peace and perhaps identify new paths to explore and move forward, but I am not capable of doing this. I have either a competitive nature that I am not consciously aware of, some kind of hope that does not go away and keep pulsing in my mind, or I am in fact better than I think I am. Not necessarily awesome, but just better. Whatever the reason for not accepting myself as a failure is, I am not sure whether I am grateful or not. What I know is that my time did not arrive yet, so I will keep going, even under harsher conditions. Eventually I will figure out how to make “lemonade”.
Today went well, too. I was up and off to office before 8 am. Our administrative personnel was shocked to see me work intensely the whole day. How would one not? I took vacation time, but I am working harder than ever!! 🙂
At least things are going well. I was grateful once more to make this decision to use my vacation time and work at home. Distractions, distractions are huge at the office. I realize once more how many times people come to my office to just chat or ask something. Thank goodness, none of my team members were around (some of them are off too). Otherwise I would have to meet with them, too… It is great to be helpful and have chit-chat with the colleagues, but it divides my attention and time.
I decided to take some more time in August.
You know I love being resourceful, self-sustaining, and reducing waste.
I am not 100% in any of these, but I do try; nowadays better than before.
I cut out an old t-shirt and will use the pieces to clean my bath tub. I was not gonna use this t-shirt, it was not in good enough shape to be donated, and I could not let it fill the landfill just yet (horrible, I know… ). So, why not to use it as a cleaning cloth? Of note, it will still go back to landfill after I use it, which makes my heart tightened somehow. When are we going to have bio-degradable clothes?
I have a large amount of plastic shopping bags. I made the decision to rather use a canvas purse during shopping. The last few weeks that is what I have been doing and it is going well. My aim is to keep doing this until I have something like 20 of them left. I re-use these bags as garbage bin liner, so not getting new ones after that will not be feasible, but still at least I will be able to make use of what I already have and save the companies and earth some plastic bags. Feeling good, however little that can be.
One thing I am missing is composting. I have been meaning to do this the last 9 years, but honestly I cannot think about it during winter (when we get a lot of snow and me going in to back yard is usually prevented by the snow at the back door). I thought today that perhaps I can do that only during spring-fall when weather is permissive. That sounds good to me and I will be checking on internet to see what practical options I do have.
It is a bright and warm summer day; who can complain about these? Certainly not me 🙂
It is a routine Sunday morning, which is good. It feels great to be back to my routine after a couple of agitated days.
There are things that I realize after the recent ordeal:
a) I feel better within my own so called “highly structured daily life”, where every action and activity has a time and meaning. I do grocery shopping on Thursdays, purchase milk on Saturdays, clean the house and do the laundry on Saturdays, read, write, and watch movies/TV series during the evenings, and work during the weekdays between regular hours. I miss spontaneity time to time, but losing my routine when I most need it (i.e. when I am agitated and stressed) is worse than the boredom that I feel when not having spontaneous activities. You may call me old, hey, I may call myself old, but honestly I like the way my now middle-age mentality works for me, and knowing what works and what does not work for me. One can call this wisdom that comes with age….
b) I may need to reduce the amount of distractions I have at the office so that I can focus on what is important for my work. I lead a small team of talented individuals, some of which requires more supervision that the others. I also have collaborations with other groups and roles in committees in my organization. Late Spring, I started to aim for having at least 2 work day with no meeting, which turned out to be quite beneficial for me. I would love to keep doing this with some luck, by saying “no” more often, and by organizing my time a little bit better. I contemplate on increasing the work hours, either during the week or assigning a week night for work. Fridays can be a good option, but I will have to see that. While I am aware of the fact that I must work harder or longer, I also would love to keep my “me” time that relaxes me and lets me engage in learning, writing, and fun activities. I am a strong proponent of having “me” time. I do not wish to let go off this now.
c) The recent agitation was triggered by me being not prepared well in advance. When I realized that the work I was working on was, although bright, not feasible, I felt anger. Towards myself, towards everything and everyone that kept me away from having more time. This is not right and this is not healthy; others have nothing to do with this. It is my own responsibility to protect my own time and manage it better. I should take full responsibility for my own actions, or inactions, and stop being a drama queen. I cannot keep failing myself. This gotta stop.
d) These being said, I must also say that stress sometimes makes me work way productive than the rest of the time. Like the rest 3 days, when I actually fumed a lot but also did a lot. Stress is counter-productive when it is too much, but as the others would also say, it also facilitates some action. Thus, as long as I remind this myself during high stress times, perhaps I could go through those times smoother.
Lessons learnt… Sometimes over and over… But, hey I am a human being with all the fails and limitations.
I am looking forward to today; there will be a thrift store visit (I hope), conversations with my family, a sourdough to bake and give to my good neighbours next door, and some X-File episodes to watch at night! Boy, the later parts of the Season 2 was just heart-pumping and the first episode of Season 3 is making me jump in excitement! Thank goodness that we have such joys and excitements in life!
I believe it is gonna be a fantastic day!
Have a great Sunday everyone 🙂
Today went really well in terms of the work I have been trying to fix. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! 🙂
Honestly the stress levels I have right now is huge. I want to take things one thing at a time, but how do we achieve that when there are multiple things at hand? Challenge… I need more than ever my logical self and sound mental state.
Overall, though I am feeling calmer and more optimistic after finding solutions to the work at my hand. Until next time…..
I have not dwelled on my Saturday routine today, except I prepared sourdough to bake tomorrow. For some reason I do think that my home is clean enough and the laundry can wait till I run out of clean items (boy, did that ever happen to me? Never…). I did not go pick up milk, either. Luckily I have some at home and my kefir granules are all fed and happy.
Tomorrow is another day and another work marathon, but I must take it as it is. While work-list is stressing me too much, I also find the satisfaction in taking care of them. Those times require complete focus and I do have it for now. But i am feeling like having no human contact and confined to home for extended periods of time will take its toll on me. So I am likely to go to office and do some work there on Monday. Talking about “work” staycation.
I wonder why I always loved my line of work but could not handle stress very well. I know my remedy is cardio exercise. It clears up the fogs and illusions in my mind like a wizard’s rod. Terrific and electrifying truth. So electrifying that I cannot get myself up and do some hiking. How great I would feel! So why is this laziness and reluctance?
Am I funny or what?
Making fun of myself always feels great 🙂
Have a great Saturday everyone!
Today went well too; worked more or less without much of a distraction and it felt good to be able to do this.
My anxiety levels are still high, though, and unless I find a way to reduce it, I am afraid it may escalate. So I will be making a good effort to go back to my routine tomorrow; thank goodness it is Saturday tomorrow and I will fill it up with my regular activities, such as cleaning the house, picking up milk from a store, doing laundry, preparing my sourdough for over night rise, and speaking with my family. I must also clean up the yard and pick the weeds and other unnecessary life forms. I never knew how much I would appreciate my daily (and often times boring) highly structured life-style.
I am familiar with anxiety accompanied with shallow breathing and the feeling of being scared of something, someone, a thought. I try to not resist but rather relax into it and mediate the situation with some meditative music and focusing on the positives; I have a great family who supports me; I am doing great work; my home and yard are at a much better shape than last year; I keep budgeting and living frugally; I try to find joy and happiness in little things; there is a wonderful weather outside; I was able to keep my window open the whole day and have fresh air inside; I have good friends who are happy to socialize with me and help me if needed; I have usually a great job that provides me with more than enough money (even though it also makes me feel inadequate – the main reason of my latest anxiety boot).
I feel angry at the conditions that limits me at work and my performance; i am angry at the funding situation for our projects; I am angry at the endless competition we undergo to achieve something; I am angry at the economy; I am angry at myself for not saying “no” more often and often ending up doing other peoples’ works. I am angry at myself for not focusing on the positive and the big picture we call life, rather than all the little antsy bitsy things that I let to annoy me.
I want to feel good and I know that as long as I have this wish, this anxiety will not go anywhere. Wishing to feel good by running away from what I am experiencing is a form of resistance that makes things worse. It is so counter intuitive. I know there are things that I will change and improve as a result of this experience. I just do not know what they are.
The best remedy for anxiety is to trust the unknown. I need to trust to life, the universe if you will, people around me, and more importantly, myself. I may fail at work according to my own or others’ criteria, I know I will get up being better and stronger out of this hurdle. Maybe I will turn things around by being a little bit more smart in protecting my own time and energy, a little bit more lucky, or by changing my own attitude towards myself, my life, my work, my colleagues, my hopes, and my failures.
I know all of these.
Now it is time to believe in them.
I am hesitant to call this a “staycation” because I am doing anything but relaxing.
I got up before 8 am and started working right away. I realized one of the works I have been working on the last 1 month or so had a significant flaw. Naturally, I fumed and my agitation that started yesterday heightened again.
I was so pissed and lost my hope in doing a good job that I contemplated about quitting this line of work and leave here for good. Oh, how lovely my life would have been then? (ah, no really… it would come with its own problems that is for sure, but at that time the idea of leaving these behind looked so appealing, so lovely…anyways).
I talked to my family and it was great to know that they were well and sound. Yet I think with my toxic mindset, I negatively affected their morale. Boy.. At least I felt a little bit better. But, at what cost, I should ask. I will apologize tomorrow…
After that fiasco, I realized that I may not be able to solve that flaw just yet, so I moved on with other tasks that I must be taking care of. Two of them have moved quite nice and easy. I must say sometimes being pissed off or feeling inadequate makes me quite productive. After all, if there is one feeling that makes me feel better is to be able to move/progress something.. Anything!
I want to remind myself that all hurdles are an opportunity to grow and do better….
I want to think that realizing that work of mine was bad earlier than later was actually a great thing for me overall…..
I want to believe that whatever I am going through right now will pass and I will feel good again…..
As my sister said today, there are so many insoluble and serious problems in life that these kind of things do not make sense after all.
I want to feel these.
I want to.
I am starting my 11 days staycation as of this evening. I am not overly enthusiastic, but grateful for this nevertheless. You know I chose to take these days off to actually focus on my own work (not on others’ like my team members) and to do some work needed at home, such as decluttering, too. Everybody needs a break every once a while.
Interestingly I am feeling kinda sick as of this afternoon. I am not sure what triggered this but I was attending two meetings/presentations this afternoon back to back, and I realized my heart was kind of racing (or the feeling I have had was that, because the physical heart was working just fine – I checked my heart rate), I was feeling down, tired, and worn and torn all of a sudden….
I felt like something really bad happened to a loved one of mine (my mom came to me my mind; since I did not get any bad news yet I am assuming this feeling was not real….how could it be real, by the way? Am I psychic now?? That being said I had felt something at around the time that my dad had passed away.. it is scary.. anyways).
It was like I was having a heavy anxious state or depressive mood. I could not solve it, but I did not like it either. But then years of life experience taught me not to resist but take it as it is and go home and make yourself chicken noodle soup. That is exactly what I have done. I believe in its healing properties – there is something unknown and great about the smell and taste of chicken noodle soup….
When I came to my senses, I thought that perhaps I am feeling down because I have been feeling kind of excited lately. The facts that I have re-arranged the furniture and created a much better living space and found some great stuff at the thrift stores that excited me, I wonder whether this is a way of my mind and body saying “enough is enough, let’s go back to regular”. Maybe subconsciously I realize that my joy and happiness is not hidden in these material things, but is rather internal and this is what I must be looking for. And I think the timing supports this idea because now I actually have time to “reflect” on my life. What are the things that I want? How do I attain them? What is important for me? Is my life really working for me? Do I work well for my life in turn? When and how will I fall in love? Will I leave here? And if so, when?
These are serious questions I must address. No wonder that I have had a little anxiety today..
These experiences reminded me two things:
1) I am scared of being bipolar because sometime after being excited about some good stuff going on in my life, I lose my interest in them (or the excitement they give me). I know that clinically this does not make me affected by bipolar disease, but I cannot not keep thinking about this elation followed by so-felt down experiences.
2) I knew someone that I cared a lot about who had a heart condition. He would go extra miles, 1,000 of miles, to not get excited… he would say the racing heart symptoms that he was experiencing at those times were too painful, too scary.. Poor guy. Like myself, he could not live his life to its full potential. I at least have a chance still… I want to take advantage of this and find my true call. What is it? Where is it? How am I gonna identify and reach it?
Important questions for me to deal with…
That is right.
Today at noon I found myself wanting to take a break. So I walked to two thrift stores nearby. This was mostly because of the great treasures I hunted this past weekend – i can see how easily it can become addictive 🙂
Today I bought a couple of empty frames, a coffee press, two art work, and a blouse.
Both of the artwork are giving me delight and making me very excited and happy! They were the most expensive things I have ever bought from thrift stores (both over 25 bucks together), but I think this money is well spent.
I have lots of photos to post in the empty frames; I cannot wait to hang them on the wall 🙂 Together with the art works, these frames will help me turn my house into a home. With character. And beauty.
And the coffee press was a great deal; I bet it is new and never been used (i could not detect even a light coffee stain on it or on the filter) and it had the best deal: it was only 2 bucks.
And last but not the least; the blouse I have bought is so cute, so lovable that I am in love once again! This is the 5th blouse I have purchased from thrift stores this year and I could not be happier with my choices.
Life is good my friends 🙂
I have baked two sourdough loaves today: one plain, and one with tomato, bell pepper, and garlic shoots.
Next time I can leave the garlic out, but this sourdough was interesting to bake and eat. I would recommend for those who like a taste of sunny and healthy Mediterranean food 🙂
Why am I so proud of myself now?
Because I worked like 5 hours carrying, pulling, pushing stuff around; re-arranging, arranging, and re-arranging again; sweating, feeling depressed, a failure, and then a genius; and finally there it is; a new living room/dining room with a proper dining table/chair arrangement, rugs freely presenting themselves, and book cases and CD racks finely standing tall. The only thing is that I need to get rid of my recliner, which is an old, heavy thing that does not fit anywhere and crumbling my seating area.
Since I took my dining table from kitchen to dining area and placed my little desk in the kitchen, my kitchen looks quite big now. As a matter of fact the entire living room/dining area looks larger and wider. I have bulky couches – maybe they should be replaced with slimmer ones so that I can have a much spacious 1st floor.
Now; what I want to do is to get new decorative artwork and make my walls smile and talk.
I cannot wait to host at my house 🙂
Another lovely summer morning – hope everyone is gonna have a great day!
I am enjoying my coffee and the bright day outside. Already walked in the yard to see how the plants/seeds were doing. Some of the seeds germinated alright and my potato and onion plants are growing. It seems like a spider formed his net where my potato plants are. Yesterday there was no such thing. Nature is an amazing thing. Perhaps I should start studying zoology 🙂 The yeast and lacto bacilli bacteria in the sourdough starter, yeast and all bunch of bacteria in kefir, and all the lives in the yard….. I have a little piece of nature here 🙂
My plans for today is to start re-arrange the furniture in the living room, while also decluttering that area. This is gonna take a number of days as the arrangement in my mind is something new and I do not even know that in reality it will work. So I will take it easy and will come up with alternative plans if needed. But I am determined to change the current face of the room. The items that I bought yesterday from the thrift store are making this room look quite better already. I am so excited about this 🙂 One of the best times of my weekend time spent 🙂
I also am trying a vegetable sourdough today. It smells gorgeous but not sure how I would like it in a bread. We all will see this this afternoon.
And in the evening, of course I will keep watching the X-files! Friends; when I was young I knew about this show but was never mesmerized by it. Now, I am hooked! I started from season 1. Mulder and Scully are so young, so different from each other, but also so sweet and innocent. These actors should have had lots of fun and development during this series.
When I retire (!), one of the plans I should have is to have a fan review of these and other series and characters (like Game of Thrones). So mesmerizing is this thing between Scully and Mulder, and Brienne and Jaime. Damn!
And, I have reached 1,000 followers today… I never thought that I would have such a large number of bloggers finding something in my blog. What a significant milestone. Thank you each one of you….
When I started this blog in Nov 2014, I did not know what I wanted to do with it. But I had things to say and boy, did I say them. This is one of the 1225 posts that exist in more than 15 different categories.
Notable categories include:
baking bread: which has been an intense interest since May 2016. I failed quite a bit but after a year or so now I have generally nice quality of loaves. Every weekend is an excitement because every weekend is an opportunity to try a new recipe, a new sourdough loaf. Could not ask for a more exciting hobby.
joy Journal: where I write the things that I am grateful for. The most healing experience that I have had for years. There is something exciting and surprising about finding the so called little things and experiences that fill your heart with joy, excitement, and happiness 🙂
Conscious spending: is where I documented my financial hardship, plans, failures, and achievements. It has been 2 years now that I have a budget that ever evolves and bring me not only savings, but also gratitude and joy.
Random thoughts: is where I write about no particular theme, but whatever comes to my mind, often unrelated things and events. It is one of my busiest categories of mine. Truly loved.
Kate’s short story, poems, The life in the diary, Sasha’s story, fiction bits: are my literary trials. I started this blog mostly focused on these, especially Kate’s short story and poems. i am not a professional, but i love writing free style and putting those words that come to my mind without much of a revision. Every once a while something, a sentence, a paragraph, a poem comes along that surprise me. These are precious…
Sunday morning musings: is a new one that I started lately to write solely on the joy, relaxation, and beauty of this wonderful weekend time. It is the most optimistic of all my writings and I really love this. So for so great 🙂
Now I am gonna go there and start my day. But, first let me get another cup of coffee.
Have a great Sunday everyone!
It has been a fine day 🙂
I got up early and that is why I did quite a bit today. For example, I deep cleaned the upstairs and I am now ready to clean downstairs and re-arrange the furniture. It is gonna be tough, but the end product will be awesome. I am hopeful 🙂 And excited 🙂
Anyways.. Most importantly, I have taken the clothes I sorted out while decluttering to a donation centre/thrift store. In turn, I grabbed a lovely mirror, two empty frames, and a great ancient Egyptian figurine. Friends, you would not believe how great I am feeling about all of these! All loved. All looking great. All excite me.
I have painted one of the empty frames. I want to frame a piece I have bought in Athens a couple of years ago. I always thought that I would have a green wood frame for it. I did not have it, so I painted one 🙂 Now, I have it 🙂
I display the dried flowers (those that were sent to me by my work place when my dad died, which I had dried) in the second empty frame. I used to have them in two small frames with white background. But this frame is large enough to have all of them inside. And it has a black background which beautifully contrasts the flowers. It looks so great. It looks so great… As my dad would have deserved. May he rest in peace.
I think this has been a day that I really found awesome pieces by luck. I think it is true what they say that you gotta keep checking them. Many days one may not find exciting stuff, but someday, you get what you ask for 🙂 Like Hugh dancing like noone is watching. See, what I say?
PS: this movie was really great 🙂
…are a lot.
I started doing my bedroom and master bathroom. I already found a nice facial mask, wash cloths, nail polish, other make up materials that I was looking for, and many blouses and t-shirts that I either did not like at all or did not remember that I have had.
So as you can guess, a number of things will be gone soon, either donated or cut down to be used as cleaning cloths. A number of things will find their use too. Hello nail polish! It has been sometime that we saw each other. Now, remind me how it felt to have nice, decorated, and good looking nails. Right? 🙂
hmmm. I have started and I am feeling good. Decluttering always feels good. I wonder what other treasures and trash I will find during the entire process 🙂 I will keep you posted!
We have a summer alright… A nice warm summer with heat and clear, blue sky. Like I have never seen here kind of sky. What a blessing we have had this year! I am grateful 🙂
The week has ended and I feel like time is flying and that is why I am not feeling overly enthusiastic. I have had a look at the important things I must do in three months: three projects to be written and submitted; one report to be finalized and submitted; two business trips to Europe; a short vacation in Europe; a new team member to hire among many others. And I am thinking about taking some days off to work comfortably at home or at the office, while also relaxing somehow, cleaning and decluttering my home, and having some free time to contemplate. How are all these gonna happen? I am feeling stressed rather than joyful, and that is not right.
Thankfully it is true that if I am not distracted and have no meeting during the day, usually I do generate a great amount of work. Like today. This pleases me a lot and gives me hope. I can do all of these if I can be smart enough to keep the distraction by others to minimum. Yep.
I have had a nice sleep yesterday and as a result in the morning I woke up feeling positive. I wanted to wear something different and eventually tried a white cotton shirt that I had bought years ago. I was surprised when I looked at the mirror that it actually looked pretty good on me and I was lucky to have it! Considering that I was contemplating about donating it soon, this is quite a surprise, do you not think? I wonder what other treasures I will find while going through my stuff during the decluttering activity and what items I will dump/get rid of? I really cannot wait to start this tomorrow 🙂
My grey roots are showing and seeing them like 50 times a day annoys me big time. I am feeling like I am getting close to visiting a hair saloon and starting the process of grey hair.
I am conflicted because I want to visit a number of people in a couple of months and I wonder how they will react to me transitioning to grey hair. Perhaps I should leave it to after that time? I really do not know. I think everybody would be okay with me being happy with my new hair.
I am assuming I will be happy with it, by the way.. Is this a big assumption? Perhaps I should really let this annoyance of grey roots sink so that I can be happy when I no longer have that issue with even a larger patch of gray showing on my head… Who knows?
I was not sarcastic here… No, really.
Talk to you next time 🙂
I jut learnt that I cannot carry my annual vacation time to next year. So I decided life was too short and I could make excellent use of my paid vacation time.
You may think I will be going away, but this is not the case. I plan to spend time, thankfully free time, at work and home.
Let me tell you my exciting plans:
Work: One may say that I am taking time off to finish work and that would be the truth. My expectation is that I will be free to work on my own work without any meetings or commitments to my team members or the committees I work in. I may work at home or in the office – does not matter. I am so looking forward to this and finishing up important tasks that are good for my own success.
Home: I have exciting plans. Let’s see…. I have started decluttering my wardrobe and I would love this to be extended to the whole house. This is very exciting!
I would like to get decluttered items either donated or chopped down to be used as cleaning cloths.
I want to deep clean the house – the last time I could do it was the holiday season.
I also would love to re-arrange my furniture on the living room/dining room. This will take me some time to do but i am very excited about this. Finally it will look like a welcoming house.
I want to buy a new dining table and chairs set, but not sure whether I can find something that I can afford. We will see how that goes.
I want to visit the thrift stores during the weekdays (somebody suggested that there may be new items right after the weekend when people usually drop their donations) and build my new wardrobe. I grew so tired of my current wardrobe 🙂
And I will binge-watch the X-files! 🙂
You know, being a Canadian is a unique experience;
“eh”, “poutine”, “Canadian beer”, “Tims/timbits”, “Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)”, “Canadian kindness”, “universal healthcare”, “sorry – not sorry”, “snow/winter” and many more 🙂
The most important one, however, is that you may be bothered with heat and sun.
That is right! 🙂
Yesterday was 22 C and I walked to a shopping mall at noon. I believe I have had sun stroke and had to take a long cool shower to cool my body and reduce my heart rate. The same thing today – it was 27 C, sunny, and hot, and here I am trying to cool my body..
Boy, no hesitation here.
I am Canadian and I am loving it.
It is Sunday! Hope every one of you will have a lovely and relaxing Sunday 🙂
We have had a great day yesterday. Two friends of mine, a couple, have just moved in my neighbourhood yesterday. We met in the morning, went to their house, moved their boxes and furniture, and them brought back to their new house. We were around 7-8 people and I cannot believe how smoothly and easy it all went! We had a lot of laughs and excellent meals too. Even though it rained whole day I guess nobody could ask for a better moving day.
It is great that we can have friends to help us move, friends. I guess it makes it not only an affordable thing, but also memorable and personal with all the interactions, laughter, and efforts done together. Well done 🙂
Now somebody give me a hug because my body is aching from all the carrying and lifting boxes and stuff ! 🙂
Have a great Sunday everyone!
gifs by: https://giphy.com/gifs/txf-good-times-txtOhfjkytFyE:https://giphy.com/gifs/supergirl-superhero-cliickcliicksnap-6IdOsvjE0tQk0
It is a great day my friends; I made a lump sum payment today that I have been saving money for since the new year! I am so happy that I could make it, that I could save money, and that I did not need to use the line of credit to pay it off. I am quite proud of myself! 🙂
This means my chequing account is back to a level that I must keep an eye on and make sure that it increases every time I get my pay cheque. My plan is to keep going like this till December and then make a lump sum pre-payment to mortgage. I am hoping this will be around 4K or something. It is such a pleasure and joy to be able to have such an effective budget, reduced spending, great savings, and ability to feel abundant and not poor(!). I am so happy with these right now.
As per my weekly budget check; in short I have had regular expenses (such as for grocery), bought two blouses from the thrift store, and purchased some medications within the last week, but my expenses were still within my limits and all work out really well.
I have $1,320 accumulated in my fun funds, which I plan to use for a short vacation sometime in October (yay!).
During summer months my salary increases because I guess the CPP payments are done till then and that means there are more money left in my pay cheque. This is a pretty nice sum for me, which always excite me. Together with that extra money, my aim is to save at least $650 from my biweekly salary till December. This money is what I want to use primarily for my pre-payment in December.
This being said, I put a pre-payment order today for next week in the amount of $350. I saved this money in the last 4 weeks by lucky encounters (such as expenses at socials that I did not have to pay for others), having breakfast at home rather than at a cafe, savings from discounts etc. This is the highest amount (other than my tax return) that I put in as a pre-payment this year – this excites me 🙂
I am excited. I am happy. I am proud. I have a budget that works wonders for me, financial aims that excite me and I keep working towards, a simple life-style that makes me happy, relaxed, and abundant, and a great job that pays me good enough so that I can do all the savings, necessary expenses, mortgage payments, and investments for my future.
I am very grateful.
I have started to have grey hair quite young (in my late 20s, early 30s). Since I started this current job almost 9 years ago, it has been getting worse. I believe more than 50% of my hair is now grey. I have been dyeing my hair regularly in the last 9 years and I can say that I forgot the real shade of my hair. More than that, lately I started to need dyeing my hair every two to three weeks. Boy, who has got time for this. Also and more alarmingly, what the heck is happening – why needing so soon??
I have been meaning to stop dyeing my hair for quite sometime, but it was my mom and sister who convinced me otherwise. They think I am too young to have grey hair and I agree, but the current situation states otherwise. I am one of these people who have prematurely grey hair I think it is time that I embrace it.
I hate seeing my hair half dyed half natural, so I will go to a hair dresser, a good one who is not afraid to cut it short!! (see a previous rant), show her or him some pictures as inspiration, and will get a dark grey colour with light highlights so that my grey hair can blend in well.
I have one last bottle of hair dye of the current shade that I plan to apply in the coming weeks. After a few weeks after that, the time of the grey hair will start. Let’s hope I can find a great hair dresser, can wear the grey hair well, and my clothes are compatible with it.
Dear hair dressers,
I have great respect for your profession and I admire your stamina; standing there whole day and working without a margin of error cannot be easy. But, please cut the hair short if your customers ask it to be so. We would appreciate it when you understand what we want and do your best to deliver it. It is not cool that you argue against things that we ask, especially if it is a short one that we want. There must be a way; come on.
It is Tuesday already….The long weekends make the week quite short. A three day long weekend and a shorter week following it. What do you say? Double win! :))))
We have a great day today, which is supposed to chill down tomorrow. My windows are open. There is something nice about walking through the front of the windows and feeling the cool fresh air on your skin. All these things that I am grateful for during Summer 🙂 Add this list the ice cream and imagine how happy I can be 🙂
I have some serious work to do within the next 3 months. This means I gotta organize myself well and use my time like a tiger. I must focus on this…. Doing what matters most. It is a challenge for me to do select things rather than everything in my list, but we all will see how this will go. Who knows? maybe I will do this 🙂
In our interactions with a unit in my organization, we have been having some mis-communications and rejections only because of mis-understanding and lack of standards/clarity. I volunteered to work in that unit/committee with the hope of improving things and also my own understanding. I fear that they will not approve it, but if they do, then this will be awesome. You know I applied for a job last week with mixed feelings, and I wanted to note what I really like about my current job: this freedom to decide myself to undertake new things, and ability to learn new stuff is what make this job really unique and beneficial for my own development. Totally awesome! There is not any other job that can provide me with such a great mental stimulation. It will be hard to leave this job.
Good to know! 🙂
The 3rd and the last day of the long weekend. It was so welcome and so refreshing – I am grateful for this long weekend.
Notable activities include the trips to the thrift stores and getting two blouses, a little and lovely decorative porcelain shoe, and some sewing thread 🙂 needless to say, they are all loved and the prices are incredibly good.
This being said, at one of the trips I have noticed the fiancee of a colleague of mine at another cashier. I did not know what to do first. I thought “this is what I always wondered – how would I take it to be known that I shop at thrift stores? I tried to convince myself that shopping at thrift stores is not only good for me, but for the thrift stores/charities, people work there, people benefiting from the charities, and the environment. Yet, I could not manage to not feel “cheap” and thus I left the cashier after 2-3 minutes and went around the store again to give this individual time to pay and leave the store so that the chances of them seeing me and them spreading the word to my colleagues first and then to others would reduce. I hope I could achieve this…
It turns out interestingly that I am ashamed with shopping or being seen at thrift stores. That is very strange. It is also strange that I found shopping at thrift stores synonymous with “being cheap”. I should stop doing that, but….I cannot help it 😦
I read in a blog yesterday that the lady explained using thrift stores and purchasing second hand items actually quite similar to staying at hotels and using their bed sheets, coffee mugs, and anything else they do offer you. Goodness know what happened in those hotel rooms and around those items…… That was the best explanation of why the second hand clothing or items are not worse than many other things we do at life. I even told my best friend about this and she too agreed.
My best friend and I agree on a number of things; she like myself would not buy pants/shorts/pajamas, undies/socks/foot wear/shoes and anything else that might have a risk of risking hygiene. But we both are okay with shirts/jackets/blouses, purses, kitchen items, books, sewing notions, fabric, stationary items, and decorative stuff that can be cleaned/sterilized pretty easily.
For me visits to thrift stores is a nice and exciting activity during the weekends. I happen to love old stuff and I like saving money – so it is a win-win situation. I read some inspiring blogs that find really unique and valuable items, like metallic vases and items, which I would like too. I wish I had discovered thrifting long time ago, but there is always a start 🙂 I know I need to work on this feeling of “being cheap” by being there and shopping there. Maybe I will never get over it, maybe I will over time – who knows? – but I am not giving up on this exciting activity yet.
It is Canada day tomorrow and we have the long weekend with Monday off.
I may be working on Monday but I am so excited for this long weekend! I just feel tired and too strained lately, and I am looking forward to winding down a little bit. This weekend will give me this opportunity 🙂
What are my plans?
Other than the regular stuff (i.e. cleaning the house, doing the laundry, cutting the grass – which I have done this afternoon), I plan to bake an unconventional type of sourdough this week. What could that be? Something that has not been done before…. I do not know really – I will have to really get creative here, or bake a regular sourdough – in any way it will be awesome 🙂
I would like to visit the thrift stores tomorrow and see whether i can find something interesting. I may buy some sewing material.
Sewing… Yes… Why do I not try sewing a blouse again? I have tons of fabric that I hauled last year from thrift stores 🙂 What a great idea – I hope I will not chicken again and do it!
I may also visit a nearby international food store and get some dry beans and bulghur – these could be excellent choices to prepare office lunch for me. Good idea! 🙂
I also would like to start drying some lilacs from my yard. I have incredible lilacs that I have been thinking about drying up for some time. I think it is the time…. Once they dry up, I want to hang them on my wall in a frame. The beauty of the flowers and plants in my yard…. How nice is the nature? I have daisies blooming up. They are all so exciting 🙂
And other than this, I will look ahead my life, and plan and hope for the best. It is time that things change for the better. Now that I appreciate my life, how simple and easy going it is, and how well it works for me, including my budget, increased savings, and investments. There is a lot to be grateful for in my life. This weekend will give me an opportunity to re-think about them and re-feel my appreciation.
I am making a job application tonite and I am pretty shaken up about it; I feel like they will make me a great offer and another highly toxic thing will happen at my current work place, and therefore, I will take the offer.
For some reason this does not make me happy, even though such a thing would make my leave highly justifiable and me a highly fortunate person.
I do not understand my dilemma. Do I want to go? Do I not want to go? What is it that keeps me from understanding it?
I know that I am looking for reasons to make my mind to leave here. This afternoon I have had such a thing occurred at the workplace. I was like “okay, that is it. I do not have to take this sh.t anymore”. But an hour later it was fixed and actually I could see it was not a big deal at all. I think I want to make my mind and I want to leave here. I think that is why I keep looking for things that can annoy me and make me realize what I do not want about here.
Yet, I also feel incredibly responsible towards my team members and cannot think about leaving them behind. This is huge for me – can I be that selfish and leave them here for a job somewhere else? Can I transfer them to other groups here so that they can still have their jobs secured? Even so, will they want to be parts of these new groups? Do I have the right to do these to them?
If you ask me no, I do not have this right. But when it is actually right to do this – if I cannot be a happy boss, can I be a good boss anyhow? Could they make better at new teams? Maybe I am just exaggerating and in reality things would work out just fine. Really…
Maybe all I must do is to care less about all of these now, go through it as it develops, and make a sound decision if it comes to it. I can even talk to my team members before I make any decision and get their opinion – if they are genuinely okay with it, who knows, maybe I can take the job with a clear conscience.
But before any of these, they must offer me the job and they must offer me a job with much better conditions, salary, and benefits than my current one. I am thinking if the salary is at least 30% more, benefits are more extensive, pension is more generous and transferable from here to there without extra payments, there is at least five weeks/year paid annual leave, flexible schedule, and of course a standing desk at the office :))) I want too much – I know 🙂 🙂 🙂 Am I spoiled or have lost track of reality, or what?
In reality: I love this unnecessary but interesting mental judo. It helps me understand my needs and wishes related to my life and career.
Now, I must go and make this application.
Wish me luck friends! 🙂
It is a true summer day; bright, blue, and warm 🙂
I have had a good work at the office but left early in the afternoon as I was trying to find a solution to an idea. I must apply for new projects to get interest in them and then lead them to completion. I am traditionally good about this, but the two ideas that I was brewing lately seem to be done by others, which necessitates me to find new ideas.
Finding new ideas is not the problem, but finding an idea that others will find interesting is. I realize that this is bothering me more than before and I feel at that point again where I just want to quit this line of work and do something that is more interesting, challenging, and awarding. Where I can feel great about my performance, abilities, and work. Enough is enough, is that not?
I am making an application this week. If it comes through I will be interested in making the interview and learning about myself (Will I really want this job? Will I really be willing to leave my job and life here?) and this job. I believe I can do it really well, but the question is whether or not there will be others who can make it better than me, or whether or not the human resources personnel or whoever is going to screen the applications will find me good enough for this position. All these possibilities make me feel fuzzy, but I will go ahead and make this application anyhow because I want to. Also because I can.
My appetite is quite big nowadays, especially today. All I want to do is to eat, especially ice cream. I also want to eat pasta but goodness, if I eat it I sure will gain a pound or two (mostly water retention of course, but…). I think I crave for carbs to feel good…
One of my aims for the summer was to reduce the consumption of canned food, especially those that I munched on in the office. I have done good so far and reduced my purchase and consumption of canned fish, yet now I feel hungry at the office, and need to bring food from home everyday. I purchased a plastic container (BPA-free) yesterday to put food in and carry it in my purse (it is large enough), and today I have had some veggies and tofu as the lunch. It was great but not enough to curb my appetite. Tomorrow I am bringing in some veggies and canned bean, and I am laughing at myself knowing what an ironic thing that is to be consuming canned food again..
I have serious concerns about this – will I really be able to eat well at the office?
I guess what I need is to plan a little bit better. Obviously the status quo is not optimum and I must refine and revise it. The objective of reducing the exposure to canned food is a good one. Finding alternatives to canned food, on the other hand, is a challenge. What can I bring in? I think cheese and hard boiled eggs as well as meatballs are great options; hard boiled eggs are awesome, I love them, but then I cannot keep eating them everyday. I have concerns re; cheese and if I can make my own cheese then I can have it, but the chances are slim to have this everyday. Meatballs are versatile alternatives and all I have to do is to prepare and cook them at the weekends (see how lazy i can get?). Also, sandwiches. If I must eat bean, the better option is to cook them myself from dry beans. I think this is what I can focus on this weekend.
And I think I should increase my purchase of veggies so that I can supplement the protein source with them.
Sigh…. So much to figure out. All in order to eat better and healthier! 🙂
I am hooked to this combination and I suspect that I will always bake sourdough with kefir from now on.
I have not tasted anything quite like this, nor eaten a softer sourdough that I have baked. The slight salty taste, the crumb (the best so far), and the smell of this sourdough will fill my dreams – I can tell you that with confidence.
The recipe is quite basic like any other sourdough I have baked;
1. I added to 1 cup of whole wheat starter fed twice (Friday night and Saturday morning), 2tbs of sugar and 1 cup of kefir – mixed well with a spoon until it become somehow frothy (it does become frothy quite easily). Then added 2 cups of bread flour and 1.5 tbs of salt. Mixed and formed a shaggy dough.
This dough formed quite fast without needing to mix too much – I give it to kefir. Somehow it helped bond the dough and voila! I had that healthy looking and soft dough. As it was my practice the last few weeks, I made sure the dough was slightly sticky while adding the flour.
2. I then left it at room temperature covered with a clean towel and stretched and folded 4-5 times time to time. The next day, I shaped it, and left for proving in a bowl covered with a clean cloth and sprinkled with generous amount of sesame and poppy seeds. It proved for 6.5 hours at room temperature in a plastic bag.
3. I baked it in non-preheated oven; 375 F for 15 min first, then 25 min at 350 F (the seeds burn pretty quick if the temperature is high), and then left in a turned off oven for an additional 5 min.
Give it a try and let me know whether you also agree that this is the best sourdough ever! 🙂
This Sunday morning too I am plain lazy on purpose and focused on lovely activities.
For example, my usual and long (3-4 cups long) rendezvous with coffee is going well and very enjoyable.
I have already walked around my small yard with my coffee mug in my hand to see how the seeds and flowers were coming out after the long rain yesterday (and they are all good).
I have had a light breakfast with the beet sourdough loaf I had baked last week and strained yogurt, which makes me feel quite light (not bloated).
Weather is great outside, warm and inviting and there is sunlight everywhere which opens my spirit and joy box.
And I am listening to some songs that I have not for years, which makes me nostalgic and wanting to do more of enjoyable things today and the days to come.
I have little plans shaped for today. I think I will talk to my family first thing first and then go out for a walk and to buy some sewing stuff. I am really excited about this opportunity – hopefully what I need are all available in the stores that are open today (not too many choices, but we will see). As usual, I will bake my weekly sourdough loaf (with kefir – the first ever trial of mine – we all will see how that will turn out tonite). I will also cook a nice dish with minced beef and eggplant. It is great that summer is here and reminded me about this dish. I am guilty of not cooking great recipes that take time and require care, but yield the best taste ever. This one I am really looking forward to.
Now let’s go find something to do that comes spontaneously and makes me feel like on top of the world! 🙂
After 6 months or so, I did some back and ab exercises yesterday and today I feel like my big belly has shrunk! 🙂
I am serious 🙂
I know I did not lose whatever fat I have but I must admit that the ab muscles do an awesome job keeping things in place and firm once they are active.
My belly is all tucked up very nicely and my posture is a lot better. I even feel taller.
You know when the abs are strong and supportive, these are all expected to occur.
I used to be physically very active and quite muscular in the past, prior to starting my current job. I know that muscles have their own memory and they are quite forgiving. So if you want to remind your muscles how great they can be, go ahead, take a walk, lift a weight, or just find a way to use them. You will know the difference.
I have had a good day today. I got up at around 9 am, did the laundry, talked to family, and prepared an interesting dough (sourdough with kefir – cannot wait to see how it will turn out tomorrow).
I wanted to get out and buy some sewing notions but boy, do we have a rainy day? It is raining cat and dog, and I hope tomorrow we will have a better day. On the other hand, I am grateful that it rains – my yard and seeds/plants needed it. Had I mentioned that I have potato plants? Yes, I do and this is such a fantastic feeling!
Anyways; back to sewing. Sewing relaxes me, even thought I am not sewing frequently or with confidence. Nevertheless this afternoon I felt like I needed to sew (that is a strange feeling; it is like the need to eat… the need to sew… strange but true…), so I have sewn two simple pieces of clothes to be placed over my washer and dryer. They are cute but can be cuter if I can find nice ribbons (which I hope to find tomorrow). They will keep the dust away from my machines and also make that area look a little bit homey. My washer and dryer are in small room with boiler, ventilator, and garbage bin, so this area does not traditionally look or feel nice at all. But after these cloths it feels a little bit better. I also am interested in sewing a nice cover for the garbage bin – maybe with a flowery fabric so that it may look and feel better too! Many can find this idea weird, but I have been meaning to do this for some time and I believe that it is gonna look cute, so I am all for it 🙂
Now that almost 6 months have passed, I wanted to have a look at what I had budgeted and what I had spent. Main numbers for variable expenses (i.e. not including the bills, mortgage etc.) are as follows:
1. I spend around $66/week for groceries, occasional cab and eating out.
2. I so far have not over-spent my weekly allowance that covers the expenses listed above ($120/week budgeted)
3. However, I spent $232 for cab so far – the majority of the time I could take the bus or walk. That bothers me, but I must let go.
4. My “other”expenses including socials, treats, donations, gifts, medication/other health related expenses, personal care (such as hair cut), hobby/sewing notions, clothes, and cleaning product purchases constitute a higher amount than my “weekly allowance” expenses: a total of $2,281 or $88/week (averaged) so far. I have budgeted a total of $6,500 for this year.
5. My total expenses per week (weekly allowance and “other” expenses together) come to a total of $154/week (on the average)
6. I also save by following the discounts, using coupons/loyalty card points, etc. This amounts to $1,899 so far – $73/week (which is an amazing amount, by the way)
So some categories are doing awesome, others need some more careful thinking, but overall these are very good numbers.
This year’s budget has been really good and I have been doing really awesome – so let’s go get that ice cream!
This week has been going non-stop at work and I am very pleased with this.
In the last few months the work has been going well – albeit slow sometime. I am feeling like I have geared it up a bit, things are moving faster (although not as fast as I would hope), and I am feeling satisfied and happy as a result of these 🙂
This week we are having a summer time. I tell ya – it is warm during the day, even too hot at nights for our Canadian bodies (like, 23C hot?!!), I am wearing no winter coat or trench coat, and everywhere is green and flowery. Beautiful!
I feel like I am missing a huge opportunity every minute I spend inside the office. After all, we are at around the end of June and my goodness we have only 5-6 weeks of summer. I am so conflicted – should I keep working during the summer or take 1-2 weeks off to enjoy it without work? Argh… I really want to do both. Perhaps the best solution is to make sure I walk out during the noon and work during the rest of the day. Since I get up and go to office early, walking during the noon should not affect my work.
I think some of the seeds I planted in the yard are coming to life! This is so exciting for me – I hope they are not weed but real flowers and plants! I got lazy and did not water them this evening upon returning from office. But later I realized how unfair that was to my little seeds and threw myself and my pitcher out to yard. It felt good to do this for these lovely life forms 🙂
Overall, I am excited about summer, the seeds that seem to be germinating in the yard, and my work performance. I will meet with an ex-team member of mine tomorrow afternoon and I plan to play with her 1-year old son and totally enjoy my time 🙂
Life is good, my friends.
One of the common frugal practices many bloggers would recommend is to hang-dry your clothes.
This I believe is supposed to save money from electricity.
I am fine with the idea, but hardly do that. You may ask why?
Ok – here is my reason; I have work attire that I wash and my dryer (and dryer sheets) are doing an amazing job keeping them wrinkle-free. Do I really dare not use the dryer?
Not everything that works for one works for the other.
PS: how much money do we save by not running a load in the dryer anyhow? I am curious….
Here we go – the most interesting sourdough loaf I have ever baked!
What do you think?
I had seen a recipe here at wordpress once upon a time using beet (thanks whoever had posted it at that time). It always intrigued me and finally this weekend it was the time to give it a try.
My verdict; this is a very easy loaf to work with because wild yeast loves the beet (or anything else like carrots that provide some kind of nutrients and moisture to the dough/bread) and the colour is just amazing! It was a fluffy dough that rose pretty well. The proving step was also short (~5 hours at room temperature in my cool Canadian kitchen) – partly because of the hydration by the beet and partly because I tried to make it kind of sticky with less flour than usual. The crumb is open (one of the best, if not the best crumb I have seen lately) and it is soft and palatable. The only thing was that the smell of raw/baked beet somehow threw me away at the beginning. But the remedy is easy and available – butter, as usual, makes it perfect! 🙂
This being said, I think next time I will try it with raspberry and some more sugar!
Friday night: took the starter off the fridge and fed with whole wheat flour and water, wrapped in a towel and left at room temperature overnight
Saturday morning: fed the starter again and one hour later divided it into two portion: one portion went to fridge (starter) and the second portion left at room temp for 3 hours to flourish (to be used in the dough)
Saturday afternoon: added to 1 cup of starter, 2 tbs of sugar, and 1 cup of water. Grated 1 medium sized beet and added to the mixture. Then, added 2.5 cups of bread flour and 1.5 tbs of salt and mixed with a spoon. It formed a shaggy dough. After that I left for shopping, so only 5 hours later or so, I stretched and folded it once or twice before leaving it to rise at room temperature overnight (closed lid and covered with a towel)
Sunday morning: shaped on a generously floured work surface, let rest for 10 min and shaped again. I decided it was better if I proved it in an oven dish and directly baked it after proving. Hence, I placed the dough in the dish covered with parchment paper and put it in a nylon bag – that, I found a while ago, creates a green house effect and help dough prove faster
Sunday afternoon: After 5 hours of proving, turned the oven on (375F) and placed the dough in it. Baked for 45 min with oven on and then an additional 15 min with oven turned off.
Do not forget to cool down, admire, and enjoy it with butter and loved ones!
Bon appetite 🙂
Happy Sunday everyone 🙂 Wherever you are, I hope you are having a great day, joy, hope, safety, and anything else your heart may desire.
Happy father`s day too! Those fathers who have been great to their kids and families – you should be proud of yourself. Hope you are having a great day too.
I am having a rather quiet Sunday.
When compared to yesterday this is an excellent change I must say. So how was my Saturday? First of all, I prepared my first sourdough with beet and we shall see how that will develop this afternoon when I bake it (proving now). I also did quite a bit of shopping yesterday: as usual I went to a store 10 min away to purchase milk. And then to another one 25 min away (on foot) to purchase yogurt that was on sale; I consume them quite frequently so I was happy to get them yesterday. Also, weather was so nice (around 20C, which is Summer! for us here) that walking and being outside felt like I was on vacation somewhere exotic or something 🙂
Then, as if all these walking was not enough, I decided to walk (~1 hour each way) to a shopping mall, having a hair cut along the way and checking two thrift stores for pitchers. Well, at the end I did not find anything I really needed, so I also checked a department store. I found a pitcher but honestly it did not give me any joy, so I decided to leave it there (even thought it was affordable and do the job). I am glad I have done this because I checked another nearby store and guess what? I found the loveliest pitcher just like I wanted: affordable (and on sale), large enough to take all the kefir I produce (around 3 liters – I plan to collect a couple of days’ produce and store in the fridge), with a large neck/lid (so that cleaning inside is easy – kefir usually leaves it fat marks on glass quite easily), and the lid is adjustable so that you can tighten it up or loose as you wish (which is critical while dealing with kefir, because grains produce gas which needs to escape the container otherwise it can explode)! How happy I was with that purchase? Very 🙂 That is a great feeling.
When I reached back home it was already past 7 pm and my legs were just aching. I think I walked around 3 hours yesterday. I know I could stretch and relieve some of the muscle tension in my legs yesterday but I was too lazy to do this and rather I slept over it and now I am feeling much better.
So, what are my plans for today? I am taking it light today. I have an interesting sourdough loaf to bake, family to talk to, some laundry to do, and some work to seriously think about. I can also work on the yard and clean the weed up.
And, I can always enjoy my coffee and reading 🙂
Have a great Sunday friends 🙂
I have had the excitement of owning kefir grains in the last one month 🙂
At first I left the kefir grains+milk mixture in a jar on the counter with only the top/lid being covered by a clean piece of cloth (secured with elastic band). I replaced milk everyday, directly from fridge. It did not get thick (that is, curdy) but tasted tangy and salty in 24 hours. I kept it that way for a week or so.
Then I decided to wrap it with a kitchen towel and hoped that it warmed it and helped with fermentation. It did not make a huge difference in fermentation/texture/taste I would say.
Then I decided to put it in a cabinet and wrap with a thicker towel, away from sunlight. Again, there was no significant change.
Then, my sister convinced me to use warm milk; basically I put the fresh milk in a clean jar, covered the top, and put it in hot water bed for 10-15 min to warm it up. I then added the grains in warmed milk and also covered it with a thicker blanket. I replaced the milk everyday, and then started to change it every two days. These changes occurred last weekend (June 3-4). There was some thickening of the milk (curd) around the grains and there was some kind of mucus-like thing going on around the grains, but again there was not significant change in the texture.
Then my best friend gave me the idea to warm up the thick blanket in the dryer to help fermentation. I did this starting this weekend – 3-4 min in dryer is enough. I did this whenever I changed the milk.
And a couple of day later, yesterday to be exact, I have had the kefir fermented in 12 hours! 🙂
I have removed the grains, fed them with fresh milk (which nicely gave me another batch of kefir today), and left the fermented kefir at room temperature away from sunlight (not covered by anything, except the lid) yesterday. This is called “second fermentation” by sources in internet. It started to separate (the curd and whey) a few hours after that and this evening I planned to make cheese/spread out of it (total of 24 hours of second fermentation).
It was very easy.
It turns out if you leave it like that, the curd naturally moves up and it almost drains itself of the liquid part (i.e. whey). When used the spoon, I was surprised by how solid it felt 🙂 the bottom part where the curd touches the whey is naturally a little bit wet, but one can strain/drain this using a strainer (I did not this time, but I am planning next time). I added some salt, chili flakes, and dried dill to my first ever kefir spread! Yum 🙂
A couple of notes: I noticed that if I warm up the milk and the blanket, the jar/grains keeps warm for quite some time (for hours) and it is especially important to keep it warm where the grains are; my grains are always on the surface so covering the top/lid of the jar really good with a clean piece of cloth first and then with warm, thick blanket is a good idea.
Also, the fermentation temperature seems to make a difference; when it is colder temps, then it is more sour/tangy. However when it is fermented in a warmer environment, then it is not. There must be some bacteria that like colder temps and produce the tangy taste.
I used 2% or homogenized milk. I am not sure whether skim milk would yield such robust kefir grains. I must also say that there has not been significant change in the size or numbers of the kefir grains since I adopted them a month ago.
Overall, I am very excited and would love to try a cheese or two using the kefir curd. Here is one recipe that makes it sound really easy. Hope I can succeed in this 🙂
Lots of great things are happening, which deserve to be acknowledged and thanked for 🙂
1. I am grateful for a good sleep yesterday and waking up early.
2. I am grateful for walking in the morning to office. I am usually very absent minded during these walks and I hardly notice what I am up to, but that is not a problem – I feel relaxed as a result of these walks. I also know how useful walking for my bones, muscles, heart, vascular system, skin, and mind – so one activity in the morning does give these many benefits is amazing. I always feel excited and happy about walking in the morning throughout the day! 🙂
3. I am grateful for getting up early. I noticed that if I get up early, I am more inclined to walk. It is, I guess, because if I am late, I feel stressed and want to go to office as early as possible. So a reason to take the cab rather than walk. Being in the office early also gives me a chance to relax and start working early in the day. That means before noon I take care of quite a bit of work, which makes me feel efficient and I am not as stressed as I otherwise would. So, getting up early works very well for me 🙂
4. I am grateful for having a chat with a friend/colleague of mine where we both were frustrated with the toxic workplace environment and finally had realized that we were better than what we thought we were because surviving and striving in such an environment was not easy and not for everyone, but we were doing it. We should stop listening to others and go ahead with our work and plans to success. I also mentioned during this talk that how good I felt about my life, my daily routine, and everything else, except the toxicity of the work place and the feeling of “I am not god enough” that taxes my self-confidence. It felt awesome to be able to feel and say good about my life 🙂
5. I am grateful for walking in the nearby forest with two of my colleagues in the afternoon. It was refreshing and energizing – we all enjoyed it 🙂
6. I am grateful for my kefir grains! have I mentioned that for the first time since I have had the grains (the last 4-5 weeks) I had the milk fermented in 12 hours? I checked it this morning, as my usual habit and curiosity, and there it was! all thick and curdy! It was so exciting! I fed it this evening and cannot wait till tomorrow morning to check it out! I have so many plans; I would like to buy new and bigger jugs to preserve my kefir. I also would like to try kefir spread and cheese sometime. And tonite I also thought about fermenting my own yogurt! I had tried it last year and I was not successful, but I would like to give it a try again. Very exciting!
7. I m grateful for eating relatively healthy today.
8. I am grateful for today being a no expense day 🙂
9. I am grateful for tomorrow being Thursday,which is usually my grocery shopping day! I really need to buy fresh produce and shopping makes me feel good. So, happy Thursday everyone! 🙂
10. I am grateful for relaxing the entire evening and night and enjoying my time by reading, writing, and watching movies 🙂
11. I am grateful for the rain that we have had for a short time today. Thanks to it, I did not have to water the seeds in the yard. So far I was not able to see any seed germinate (some of them were planted 10 days ago), which is discouraging. But at least, i think I have 6 potato plants! Yuppiiii!! 🙂 Something other than a sturdy stalk of mint, weed, and grass grew in my yard! 🙂
12. I am grateful for the work I have done today and moving things.
13. I am grateful for brewing my own coffee and enjoying it a lot today.
14. I am grateful for the weekend to come and all the shopping I can do then!
Have a great night everyone 🙂
Is it possible for me to be frugal 100% of the time?
I have been thinking about this since yesterday. You know I take the cab sometime and then usually (not always – sometimes I like pampering myself) I resent it the rest of the day.
It is one of these activities that works against my frugal and effective budgeting activities; a ride to office costs around 10 buck – considering how much effort I put to save 10 bucks each week, it is understandable that taking the cab is quite counter-intuitive and counter-productive for me.
I thought about it and I know there are three other areas in my expenses that are against my frugal life-style;
Some of these I can handle better I guess.
First thing first, those friends/colleagues who take advantage of my generosity: obviously I am pissed off by them! Next time I can try to be assertive with them!
Gifting: when I bought my sewing machine I thought I could sew gifts, but now I can see that this is not gonna happen anytime soon. So, I better start shopping for the new year gifts while there are sales. There will be other gifts that I will have to get along the way, like a birthday gift I probably will need in two days – these I guess can be purchased when they are needed. I am afraid I have nothing additional to do about these expenses.
And social treats/donations that I must do at work: This is also an area of expense that I can hardly limit…. We have annual contributions for recognizing some of the employees’ work with us, which is perfectly fine and I am happy to do these (they so well deserve these). I am often asked to donate to causes that we all care, which I am again very happy to contribute to. And I usually take my team out for lunch several times a year, which is also great because we usually do that to celebrate a significant achievement or a life-event such as a wedding. It is also a great team-building activity. So other than choosing affordable places for lunch, I cannot see much of a thing to change here, either.
Alright. And the rest of my expenses seem to okay (not including the trips I pay to visit my family).
When I look for an opportunity to see whether I can further reduce my spending, I see that this may be possible.
But things that I can do are really small; like making my own detergent (which I do not want to), cutting my hair (which I do not want to), stop dyeing my hair (which I do not want to), buying grains and beans in bulk (like 10 kg bulk) and making them my primary staple (which I do not want to – I like grains and beans a lot but I want to eat fresh produce more), reducing the heating really low (which I do not want to), canceling my cable and risking the good price of internet-cable-phone plan (which I do not want to), not buying occasional awards such as a bar of chocolate or a drink/meal/breakfast for myself (which I do not want not to), and occasional waste like a bad apple here and there.
So, looks like for now, I am at a good shape and have a plan to tackle some of the the unnecessary expense areas. And who knows, once I reach the next level of frugality I may come up with new ways to cut my expenses and become more self-sustaining and resourceful 🙂
After all, there is always a chance of surprising ourselves – just like this bird/crow(?) in the gif below! What a smart animal! 🙂
It has been a while that I wrote down my gratitude for many things, people, and experiences in my daily life that makes me feel lucky, happy, optimistic, or better about myself and my life.
Here is today’s list:
1. I am grateful for sleeping well and dreaming. My recent dreams are not violent but somehow leave me feel heavy-minded, confused, and annoyed. I know I dream to work on some issues. I just wished I did not remember them – at least for some time 🙂
2. I am grateful for the cab ride and then resenting it the whole day. I took the cab because I wanted to feel good about myself (after the annoying dream in the morning). But by taking the cab, I not only lose 10-11 bucks but also all the benefits of walking, the most important of which is the “feel good” feeling that lasts the whole day. I need that free and ultra-positive feeling more than many things in life – so let’s get back to walking starting tomorrow morning. please 🙂
3. I am grateful for having a stress-free day at the office and doing some work. I was not as efficient as I wished but it went well.
4. I am grateful for walking at noon in the nearby forest. How lucky I am to have a work-place close to a large forest with little rivers and ponds…. what a blessing it was to just sit next to a pond and listen to the voice of the waves and looking at the blue sky.. it was there where I realized that my life was working out just fine for me; I have had a house, a job, a daily routine, a budget, and everything else I may need. I was healthy and still considered young. I did not have a huge problem that had no solution. I was mentally clearer and my psychology was stronger than before. My life was working just fine – it was the job situation that was kind of problematic. But, is it not great that at least an important part of my life was simple, easy, and comfortable? I realized that at least for that moment I was actually “happy with my life” – what a HUGE blessing!
5. I am grateful for being excited about my yard. Yesterday and today I was just thinking what a progress I have had and how beautiful my yard would be looking in two years. I have plans and I hope that I can do these slowly and one by one. It already looks a lot better than last year 🙂
6. I am grateful for my kefir 🙂 I ferment it for two days now, which makes it thick. But I miss the slightly carbonated and sour taste of it that I have had at the beginning (24 hours ferment). I really would like to see the grains get bigger so that they can start fermenting faster. This would help me get a large volume (around 3-4 cups) of kefir daily. Oh, well… Those days will come!
7. I am grateful for the food I have had today at the office and then at home. I have eaten some cheese, which I think makes me gain weight, but I had that huge appetite this evening and I felt compelled to eat it…. Luckily I have a couple of hundred grams of it left. I promise to myself not to but another one for some time.
8. I am grateful for having the evening and night to myself and enjoying it by watching movies, writing, reading, and contemplating.
9. I am grateful for changing my purses and now using a lovely one that I had bought from Rome a few years back 🙂 It is a beauty!
10. I am grateful for improving the cover letter I am preparing for the job opportunity I am interested in. I am taking my time with that application. The deadline is in 2-3 weeks and I honestly think about making the application the last day or something. I do not know why, but those applications that are submitted to me later (but not right away) are usually the better than the first applications. I think maybe it gives the impression of rushing by the applicant, which may mean either desperation or carelessness while preparing the application. So, I am taking my time. While I am interested in this job, I am not 100% sure of me being able to take it. Unless it offers me an excellent package of course and unless my trainees are okay with me leaving. This makes me feel conflicted about it. But, I must remind myself that I am appliying to this job to understand my needs and wishes better and to gain some kind of confidence. So, for now everything is going well and I have no reason to feel confusion or conflict.
11. I am grateful for having walking shoes that make walking/hiking a comfortable and enjoyable activity.
12. I am grateful for all the food I have in my fridge, freezer, and pantry 🙂
13. I am grateful for my hand and face moisturizers 🙂
14. I am grateful for my computer and internet connection that make blogging experience possible.
15. I am grateful for being grateful and taking my time to note these down.
It was another summer day and it was evident from the shoes we have worn; the smiles we have exchanged; and the tan some of us got on their arms and faces 🙂
Boy, summer feels good! 🙂
It has been a good day; I have planted a number of seeds and I hope that at least one or two of them will germinate and grow! Please! 🙂
Since my arm is still acting, I take it really easy with the yard. I still have some digging to do, but I guess it will be spread over the summer. I think the main problem is resolved, or almost resolved (which was an uneven surface at the back). I bought some flower seeds today and together with my mom’s seeds I have planted them in the yard. I also planted mint, basil, and parsley seeds today. It was fun to give them water this afternoon, thinking that water will help these little seeds start their lives.
Did I mention that my potatoes indeed potated!!? Ahem – yes! I think I have 3-4 potato plants growing in the yard 🙂 Also two onions and 6-7 garlic sprung. These are so exciting for me 🙂 I read somewhere that the best time to plant the garlic is fall. I will do that this year. I also would like to plant tulips and other bulb flowers. Next year I hope to have a much decent looking and pretty yard. What an excitement 🙂
Other exciting activities of the day included baking sourdough bread, walking around 1 hour to a shopping mall, and shopping some canned food and other needs. I had not done this kind of shopping in the last 8 weeks or so, so it was the right time. And I was lucky and could catch the bus right on time on the way back, which is always pleasing (who wants to wait 30-40 min for the bus? No one 🙂
I have been eating better lately, which always pleases me. I can see that it has an effect on my scale so I would love to keep eating better (e.g. no peanut or peanut butter, or refined carbs like pasta). i do not know why I feel the need to share this info here – I guess it is just a mental note – so bear with me!
Have a great Sunday evening and night everyone! 🙂
Here is another Sunday sourdough with a touch of rolled rye – a slice of it and butter – yummy!
The recipe is very similar to an earlier loaf with slight changes: I did not wait 30 min after adding water to rolled rye (rather mixed it with the rest of the ingredients right away – I have got lazy here 🙂 ), used one cup starter, 1 cup water, 2 tbs of sugar, 1.5 tbs of salt and 3.5 cup of bread flour. Since the bread flour is a little bit less than the previous recipe, this was a slightly sticky dough, which I prefer the last few weeks. I also did not pre-heat the oven; just put it inside and let it oven spring 🙂
In my experience rolled oat, rolled rye, or semolina flour in small amounts (like 1 cup in addition to 3-4 cups bread flour) help with proofing and oven rise – these kind of loaves never disappointed me in terms crumb.
Here is a pictorial recipe for this hearty and tasty loaf:
I am not having an extraordinary Saturday, but it is beautiful like the other ones.
I always loved, loved Saturdays. The day after the school/work week where you are free to do everything you want to do, every store is open, every cultural or entertainment-related attraction/event is available. It is beautiful and I like the sense of “freedom” it usually gives me.
Like any other Saturday, I may be involved in cleaning the house, doing the laundry, feeding my starter/preparing levain for the Sunday sourdough, getting milk and egg from a store 10 min away, and speaking to my family. It may be all routine, but I still love it!
It is Saturday! Wherever you are, hope you are having a wonderful day 🙂
I have not posted last week, but it is similar to this week’s spending; my grocery spending is more or less around the same level across the weeks; I continue to be generous with great people and gifting them (which is a delight); and I have reached one of my financial goals for this month, thanks to the budget for the year 2017! What a success 🙂
Here is this week’s spendings and savings:
Weekly allowance: $120
Expenses related to the weekly allowance (grocery and cab ride x 2): $68.5
Fun funds saved this week: $120 – $68.5= $51.5
Fun funds expenses: $47
Total fun funds accumulated so far in 2017: $1,176.25 !!!
Other expenses: $64 (cab to an appointment and donation)
Savings from would-be-expenses: $49.75 (these are the savings from expenses that I would normally make, but decided not to; such as having breakfast at home rather than at a cafe, walking rather than taking the bus, using coupons/sales etc.).
Pantry and freezer treasures enjoyed this week: The ones I remember are: frozen veggies from the freezer; canned beans x 2, canned lentils from the pantry.
My pantry and freezer are in good condition, with old purchases being consumed – I am pleased with this 🙂 #endfoodhoarding!
And as part of my “eat more diverse food challenge”, I believe I have eaten some food that I have not eaten the week before, some of which are lentil, beet, celery, garlic, and lettuce. I am not paying attention as much as I want to, but I will get serious about eating diverse food again starting tomorrow 🙂
One positive experience I can note, however, is that my consumption of canned food is significantly reduced! This has been something that I wanted to do for quite some time! I am excited and quite satisfied with this 🙂
Thanks for listening! Happy savings and happy healthy eating!
I am feeling optimistic nowadays, which is awesome.
You know what I will do soon? I will apply for a job that I thought was suitable to me and is meaningful and challenging at the same time.
I had saved the link to this job ad for some time and today I started drafting the application letter.
I am not 100% sure that this is what I want to do; maybe things would change here and I would feel better with some change/some people leaving. But then maybe the fiscal situation would only go worse, and with that many other things like the way we run our organization, our work-loads, and the pressure on us – who knows? Seriously.
I feel obliged to trainees that I have recruited and believe that they are the only thing that can keep me here even if they offered me the said job opportunity….. Or, maybe I would talk to them and get them new places within the institution so that I could free myself from them and leave for the new job… I do not know.
This is an example of classical dilemma of being responsible for others versus being responsible for yourself – you can never know which one is better and always feel selfish if you choose to be responsible towards yourself, even though your primary responsibility is your own well being and happiness. Right?
Seriously – what if I am offered this job and also like what they get to offer and decide to leave my position here? How soon can I leave here? Would I really do this? How would I do this? Oh, boy – it must be a really great job to be able to leave my job here…. Unless of course, something awful occurs on top of everything and acts as the last drop to help me end my bond with (and suffering) here…
I know it is too early to think about all of these because I did not even apply yet and there is no guarantee that I will be even selected for an interview, let alone be offered the job, but I cannot keep trying myself with the future possibilities. It is good to know that I still have some kind of faith for my current work-place, care about my team members, and am hopeful that a positive change can occur. At the same time I should also be cautious about the possibility of issues increasing over time and the low self-esteem this position/institution left in me.
I think I will go and make this application mostly because I am eager to know whether I can get this great job. If I cannot get it, I will not get lost, but if I get it, then my confidence will be higher.
It is worth it.
It is a quiet morning.
I am sipping my coffee with gratitude and listening to a great song by Sia:
As usual, morning routine consisted of shaping my sourdough loaf, brewing myself coffee, checking the news, and planning the day ahead. Needless to say, news are depressing. Almost everyday something insensible or violent happens – the humanity better shakes itself up. Why can’t we just love all? I know love is complicated, one can prefer love for one over the other, and it is not always shaped by our feelings but by our thoughts, but I keep wonder anyhow. Choices, my friends, are interesting. All these choices we have made in our lives.
I have had another dream that I remember. I interpret this dream as being adaptable to the unforeseen changes in life and distinguishing between the fears in our lives and the fears in our minds: we just had a conversation about this topic a couple of days ago. Or, it can be interpreted like this: sometimes it is okay to take time and not rush at the face of an adversity to resolve it that can create more problems; this pretty much sounds like what was going in my mind lately about my work situation; it is not the best time to aggressively look for jobs right now. Things will change for the better – so stay put for some more time.
My plans for today is to bake my Sunday sourdough loaf, plant seeds in the yard, bring forward the summer clothes and hang into the wardrobe, speak with family, cook a cauliflower dish, and walk. Not overly exciting, but so far looks really good.
Have a great Sunday everyone! 🙂
But it would be awesome if I had won the lottery! 🙂
I have had a vivid dream this morning.
I was in a new dormitory. I was given a bed and locker in men’s unit. I have had around 8-9 roommates. I was pretty confident and comfortable being around them. They were young and kind. I felt like the boss – none of them could hurt me or could suppress me. Everything was gonna be fine. I was fearless. Nothing was a problem. I would make friends with them. Roommates alright!
Everything was so perfect. There was a lovely and clean kitchen. The bathrooms were very clean and sparkly with marble and everything. Then I could not find my locker – I have looked everywhere. Then I noticed that the bathroom doors were not secured – so I thought how do they manage privacy here?
I left the building into a busy and large street. And then I could not find my way back to the dormitory. Was it this one or that one? I was not too far away, so it must be one of these streets. But which one?
I realized at that moment that nothing was as perfect as it seems. I was not the boss. New places, new challenges had their own unique problems. I was stressed. I lost my confidence that I could survive in this new environment.
Sounds familiar? 🙂
That dream was life.
I have got a great day today.
We have had a career celebration event for a past associate of mine. It was such a great ceremony 🙂 After the ceremony we went for a lunch and had a cozy afternoon. I was care-free, comfortable, feeling being among friends/family, and we had candid talks and laughter. So what else did I want?
Nothing much really……
It was a perfect day.
Yesterday and today was warm. Like, really warm. Like the coat is too much, a thin jacket is enough kind of warm 🙂
Today is the last day of May and hopefully that means we are ready to have some kind of warm weather. Maybe Spring or something 🙂 I may sound exaggerating but you know, it is really cool here. June is usually rainy but at least we can be almost sure that it is not gonna snow again for some time. July and August will be hot, like 25 C hot 🙂 Our summer! Cannot wait 🙂
I have had a good day at the office, only that I was more useful for others than doing my own work. Also, I have had an annoying encounter with a negative person, but I will let this go. I cannot let her ruin my morale (which is going strong nowadays).
I crave for kefir, but I need to wait till tomorrow to drink it. I checked it this afternoon – there is no thickening yet (I changed the milk yesterday), so gotta wait till tomorrow to have it. I really hope that the grains can pick up and yield kefir everyday, now that the weather is warmer.
We have a celebration event to attend tomorrow for a past associate of mine. It is such a heart-warming experience 🙂 I feel lucky and honored to be invited to this event. It is gonna be a beautiful day tomorrow – cannot wait!
This week I have been feeling better in terms of my work, re; finding a new one. I have a better idea now; I think some people at my work place are bothering me and if they had left, perhaps things would feel better.
One of these people is the person I mentioned above who is vastly negative, likes to complain about everyone except herself, and overly-likes to show herself, her abilities, and performance up. I find this kind of people the most annoying. I have sensitivity towards negativity so I often pick their energies, which is not good for me. I also cannot help but react a little bit, especially when they brag about everything and never about their own faults/mistakes/limitations etc., which usually damages my relationships with them. Well, I am not interested in having or keeping personal relationships with this kind of people, but when it is for work, we gotta keep being in each others’ lives and as such when such eye-rolling encounters occur, they realize that I am not pleased with them, which in turn give them a reason to take on me…. Argh….
Be annoyed and then show being annoyed and then get a negative consequence. Who is winning here really? Obviously, not me 🙂 That is my main reason for hoping that they will leave. As a matter of fact, she said today that she may leave because she deserves so much better than this organization (!). Goodness, I hope so.
There. I ranted and feel a lot better already – thanks for listening! 🙂
These are what have happened today:
1. My kefir needs 48 hours of incubation – period. Since we almost never get hot temperatures here, I better get used to this.
2. I did not walk in the morning, but I did not take the cab, either. The honour went to the bus this morning 🙂
3. Chatted with a colleague today and he thought that a couple of people from our unit would leave considering the toxic and fiscal situation. That changes things for me, for some reason. I realize I have problems with them and their leave would be beneficial for us/me – we can change things in our unit if they go. More room to breathe and do things as we design, decide, and like.
4. Three work-related issues that I have been trying to overcome for months have finally resolved today. One of them is a potential partnership. It is preliminary but there is an interest. Things are moving at last! 🙂
5. I continued to contemplate about myself, my performance, my achievements, my strengths, and my limitations.
6. I gained weight nowadays, which I link to eating too much peanut! Every time I eat it, I gain the weight. So why do I do that????
7. My arm continues to worry me. Finally I made an appointment – I wanna know whether there is something seriously wrong with my arm. I hit it to my desk at the office 2-3 weeks ago. It was not bad at the beginning but after I started digging the yard, it acted quite badly and it has been like this since then. Time to get it checked.
8. I do not know whether I will apply for the job opportunity I identified at the weekend. maybe I will. maybe I will not. What do I lose if I apply?
Here is to all uncertainties and career problems; an amazing song.
Cool down those senses and have hope my friends!
This sourdough was wet; way stickier than my previous ones.
As expected, it turned out to be just great in terms of the air packets. It is not the best looking loaf, but it is expected from such a wet dough (which is hard to shape).
I could not help and enjoy a big slice with butter when it was still warm 🙂
I am very happy with this starter; it does not yield big air packets, but it is consistent and crumb is always well structured. See the little air packets all around? 🙂