May it bring every beautiful things your heart desires, good health, lots of opportunities, wisdom and understanding, and serenity.
2022 was a good year – it healed me from the grief of my mom’s passing in late 2021; I paid off my mortgage; I dumped some extra work load; I said “no” more often; I prioritized my wellness and enjoyment of life; got a couple of recognition at work; and I accomplished quite a bit at work.
2023 I feel will be a very smooth year, with work-related recognition, personal wellness, and opportunities flowing easily.
I am looking forward to this.
It is an adventure, the new year. I have hopes and good feelings.
I hope you all have great feelings and plans for the new year.
I have nothing to do today, so I will pay a visit to my office. Just to slowly get back into the grove and prioritize things to do in the new year.
I have come up with my New Year Resolutions:
limiting animal meat in my diet
losing 30 pounds of weight
reducing fat and salt consumption
None of these – except the walking part – are new wishes.
I have tried to be vegetarian for a very long time. My first trial in almost 20 years ago ended up with altered brain chemistry (I think Vitamin B deficiency). So I ate animal meat every once a while, sometimes more than once in a week. I remain however being mostly a plant eater. I will try again – I feel for the animals.
Losing weight has been my life long goal. It hardly happens 🙂 But every little bit of consideration and exercise helps.I should have hope that even small actions will bring me small but significant positive effects.
Now that I am over 50, I am more and more concerned about potential health problems. So salt and butter/olive oil can get less consumed now.
I am an avid walker, but I hear that walking fast even for a shot period of time can bring extra cardio benefits. So, I will aim for it.
As per New Year Resolutions – I too am skeptical that they work, but what I like about them is that it gives us a chance to reflect and realize what we want for ourselves. Having these goals in mind is important. Sometimes we find new inspirations and goals, and they change our lives, too.
If you have resolutions and cannot complete them, do not worry. Give yourself a pat on the shoulder as you have actually prioritized yourself and wanted to improve your life. This is a golden act.
I am grateful for the Holidays Break that makes me reflect on myself and realize my wishes.
My break is going well. It is relaxing, I do not have to deal with work emails, I do not have to attend meetings, and I do not have to stress myself over sleeping on time or getting up on time.
Freedom is a great thing 🙂
While I love my job and what it enables me to do, I enjoy those parts that I do want to do, rather than those parts that I must do or someone is expecting of me to do. I know it sounds too childish, but in my profession, you have some sort of freedom to conduct work on your own interests, as long as they align well with the organization’s interests (which is very wide).
I have been working for a long time. But not all work years are covered by a pension plan, so the retirement looks like a far away dream. I nevertheless would like to try if I can retire early. There is so much in life that I have put aside to establish myself and move up the professional career. Life is really too short. I know because I am now over 50 and I have lost both of my parents. May they rest in peace.
Retirement is a great dream but I need to be careful in terms of financial security. It is the old age when we most need finances to take care of ourselves and maybe the aging family members. One of my friends was saying the other day that they also started to think about retirement – which country/province do I wanna live? Rural or urban areas? House or a condo? How would my life style be like?
It is never too late to start thinking about this. For me, if I wanna stay in Canada for my retirement and if I wanna retire early, my pension plan will not be able to cover my expenses. This is the sad truth. So I will either keep working, or will move to somewhere else where my income/retirement/investments will be good enough to care for myself and family members.
I do not wish to leave Canada. It has been a great place to live and be a part of. However, life does does not wait and is awfully short. That is my dilemma.
I hope you have your retirement figured out and secured.
It was a great year in terms of saving and investing, while also taking care or myself and house, except that the investments lost value due to the situation with the markets. That is okay. I learnt that I have no control over markets and investments.
But others, I have some sort of control.
First, my expense categories (rounded):
Grocery, personal care, cleaning and other items: $6,700
Eating out(!): $50
Medication and healthcare related expenses: $1,000
Cash donations: $1,300
House and yard maintenance/repairs: $1,700
Expenses voluntarily made to support Mona, my foster cat: $1,000
Other miscellaneous expenses: $1,100
Bills for services and power and so on: extra
TFSA and RSSP: $14,000
Third, overall wealth (house, investments and so on):
Change from 2021: +$30,000
I am grateful for my job and benefits that allow me to invest for my future and take good care of myself.
I am grateful for Mona, my foster cat, and my ability to support her (and her rescue organization) by providing food, medication, and litter to some extent.
I am grateful for taking my team members out for a lunch or two during summer in open air so that we all could get bonded.
I am grateful for my RRSP and TFSA investments – even though they have not done well this year, I am lucky that I have these accounts. Every bit helps.
I am very grateful that I paid my mortgage off, by using a part of my TFSA account, this year. It is a huge milestone…
I am also so-so grateful for the flexibility to work from home, which certainly decreased transportation expenses (while also increased others, like power)
I will continue to plan, but I think a number of things really work out well: thrift store purchases; taking the bus; investing in good quality shoes/boots that are in good condition for many years; automatic payments for investments; not wasting food – as much as possible; and stocking up durable items while they are on sale.
Also, keeping a record of finances and seeing the progress over time 🙂
All of these have helped me save and maximize the value of my money.
I thank those bloggers here who have informed me about the thrift stores, food preservation, and financial literacy – you all are awesome!
I never thought that I would find myself as a home owner 10 years ago. It was such a hard time at the beginning – the pre-mortgage payment, mortgage and insurance payments, repairs and so on….. I had to cut out taking the cab (which saved me around 500 bucks a month), and then adapt a frugal life style (for example, shopping from thrift stores, baking my own bread).
Yesterday I did shopping and donated some books to thrift store. The books have been with me for some time, in great condition, but their pages have not been turned in many years back, so it was time to depart our ways and let them be enjoyed by others. I also purchased a lovely blouse and two trousers from the thrift store. I cannot wait to enjoy them 🙂
I am so grateful that I have a thrift store close by that allows me to both donate and shop great items at great prices.
I purchased a few puzzle books from the book store that I wanted to and I am very grateful for them too! I do puzzles at nights and it is a great, fun activity 🙂
I then went to a mall and shopped pet items such as, cat food, litter boxes and scoops (I change them every two weeks), some grocery and personal care products. I am well stocked up except for the toilet paper. I hope that I will get a big pack of it today.
In other words, I am slowly getting ready to the New Year.
I still do not like to think about work. I like my freedom to get up anytime and not reading or replying to my emails. I am getting ready to reflect on my new plans for the new year 🙂
I will now go look at my fiscal situation for 2022 and post my main findings.
I could not write yesterday – in a snap shot, yesterday was a great day of cooking and sharing them with a couple of great friends, who were feeling lonely. I also continued to clean and re-arrange the house, It feels great.
Today I hope will be the last day of cleaning, after which I will only fine tune the house, and focus on reflection as well as shopping 🙂
The hardest part of the cleaning is the fridge. Do you also dislike working on that very demanding appliance? Its shelves are only a milimeter or so shorter than its doors. Taking them out and putting them in is such an ordeal. BUT, I can do it 🙂
Tomorrow is the day of shopping.
I hope to collect books and unused items and donate the thrift store, and then shop there for clothes. Maybe another pair of trousers or a nice shirt. We shall see. I will also visit the book store and check a couple of books and journals. Cannot wait.
Then, I will go to a shopping centre to get some food for Mona, my foster cat, and a couple of personal care items. I have so far stored up what I need, except the dishwasher detergent, toilet papers, and hand moisturizers. I think I will be ready for a frugal life after this shopping day 🙂
Have a lovely day folks – wherever you are I hope you will enjoy it with yourself, family or friends.
This is a special day for many of you – Merry Christmas to those who celebrate today!
I am not christian, and as such, Noel – New year break has a different meaning for me. It is a time to stop working as much as possible, wrapping up the past year and getting ready for the new year, having new hopes and plans (I come to conclude that I have no problem with new year resolutions, and I can in fact be excited about them – even though I do not follow them – as they represent new hopes, new plans, and self-reflection. All good).
Today I slept in a little bit but thanks to my foster cat Mona, I am finally up. It is home cleaning day – number two! 🙂
Yesterday I progressed quite a bit – four loads of laundry. Today I am continuing. Pillows, comforters, all covers are to be refreshed. I will also finish cleaning upstairs. Dust behind the small cabinets are to be removed and floors to be wiped. I also will wash the garbage cans. Lots of fun stuff 🙂
Not really :))))
I do not really like the act of cleaning, but I LOVE clean home, clothes, and so on. Well, I may not like it, but I am still doing it. So that is okay.
Tomorrow, I will be with two of my good friends for a brunch and I cannot wait. This is another great thing about this break that many find time to see each other, friends, and families. That is wonderful.
Yesterday, I also did wrap up my 2022 financial calculations – I will post it sometime soon. Overall, my net worth increased, but much less than lately, and this is mostly because of the markets and investments going down. we will get to that later.
I hope you all are having a wonderful time with family and friends, or at least have the plans to do so.
I have completed many critical work pieces prior to yesterday and I could not be happier that nothing urgent (for now) is in my list. This feels like a miracle. Hope it will stay this way till the New Year.
I missed blogging. I missed reading your blogs. This break is an excellent opportunity to do these.
Hello dear folks, hope you all are doing well and are excited about December.
There is something great about this month.Things naturally slow down and nobody, I repeat nobody, has a problem with this. This is amazing.
I do not come from a culture that celebrates Christmas, but New Year is a big thing. It is a time for new hopes and plans, and closure. Whether or not New Year resolutions work or are silly is not my point. You are free to actually close the door on somethings and open new doors for new experiences. Hope is a great thing.
I am very much looking forward to the break through the end of December. I have been kicking and completing things at work, which gives me quite a satisfaction. This way when I just focus on myself and house cleaning & shopping, I will feel free to do so as well 🙂
We have a very mild winter so far with only a little snow. It is warm and pleasant.
This is it for now, folks. Sending warm wishes and positive thoughts your way.
I cannot believe how much more the food prices have increased in the last couple of weeks, particularly.
As you know I spend my money consciously and do not like to waste food, but yesterday I thought that I must go back to being really frugal about my expenses again.
Frugality is not something new to me. I have done it at various levels in my life; first as a student and lately, as a mortgage holder. I still shop from thrift stores, stock up items when they are on sale, and walk or take the bus 99% of the time.
I am able to do these. But I keep thinking about those who have little or no opportunity to further cut their expenses.
Happy Saturday folks – hope all are doing well, are safe, and can find the joy in this otherwise a little bit hectic life.
I have been busy lately, but now I am looking at a few weeks of less busy schedule. I like the freedom to get up anytime and with a mind that is fresh and hopeful. My sleep continues to be fragmented, yet, thanks to Mona, my foster cat, things are much better. It has been almost two years that Mona has been with me! I am so grateful for her and the animal shelter organization that allows me to foster her. What a blessing. What a love. What a joy. I am very lucky.
Fall is such a strange season. I have so much to remember and cherish. Starting the anti-depressant and finding relief from decades long mental anguish and pain. Starting to foster Mona. And losing mom last year. My beautiful mom… I love her so much.
I question why I cannot get devastated, though. When my father had passed away, I was a wreck and so, so sad. With my mom, I am taking it much better. I sometimes feel guilty. Did I not love my mom? Did I not care?
I give it to three factors: my anti-depressants making it easier to go through this time; my dad’s death preparing me to understanding death and dead; and my mom’s strong faith.
Life is interesting. In so many different ways.
Enjoy the Fall, folks. There is also something nice about it. Shedding the old scars. Getting ready for renewal. Nature leads the way. Always 🙂
Happy Sunday morning to all – hope you are having a lovely day. Here in Canada, it is Labour day and we are off. An extra day before the schools start 🙂
I have BIG news for you – I paid of my mortgage a few weeks ago! Yes I have! I used my TFSA to pay a year’s worth of remaining mortgage!!
I own my house – can you imagine?
I never thought I would. It was such an expensive adventure. I needed to reduce my spending very significantly, adapt a frugal life style, and had to save every penny and made a pre-payment whenever I could. Finally that day came that I am now the owner of my home.
Ha, is it a big new and expensive house? No
Is it something that I could afford and lovable by me? Yes
Not bad as a single woman and immigrant – I wish my parents have seen this day too 😦
They would be so excited, happy, and proud of me 🙂
It is a big personal milestone. I will celebrate with a cone of softserve!
Hello folks, are you having a good Saturday morning?
Got a little bit early, which is great. Getting up early makes the day full and efficient. I have coffee next to me and my foster cat Mona is dozing on the carpet. House is clean and I have food in my fridge. People that are most important to me are alive and well. The frigging pandemic is not over, hurt a lot of people and families, but we still kick in. Hang in there, folks.
I am off and it feels good. Except that I did not have any plan so I feel like I am not utilizing these days well. Oh, well 🙂
I still have a week to contemplate on the summer and life. I made a pledge with myself to enjoy this summer. And I did. Thank you for this universe (or my mind and pain of losing my mom).
Life is literally too short and too unpredictable (duh!). Please enjoy it. Starting now 🙂
This year, I made a commitment to enjoy my summer. This means walking freely around the neighborhood and taking pictures of yards, houses, blue sky, clouds, interesting mail boxes, bird houses, and anything else that I paid little or no attention earlier. I love, love it! It gets all mind off the daily struggles and stress, and make me enjoy the moment. I also get to realize how beautiful my neighborhood is 🙂
Looking at the pics and remembering the conversations I had had with the neighbours put a large smile on my face. It makes me happy. It is a, well cherished and appreciated new item on my hobby list.
It is not the first hobby of mine. In 2016, I became interested in bread making and sourdough – it has been an amazing journey. Each dough, each bread is such an exciting experience. Healing in a very smooth way.
Then, I became interested in jamming and pickling. Cannot tell how much I enjoyed planning, doing, admiring, eating, and sharing them with neighbours, friends, and co-workers.
At around the same time, I also got interested in succulents. What a wonderful interest. I made friends with other plant enthusiast and shared many of the plants with tons of people. I still get pictures of the grown plants by the proud owners. Isn’t that something lovely? Joy. Joy. Joy 🙂
Folks, if you have a hobby jut for your enjoyment (at least initially – you sure can share the products with others and get an extra joy out of your hobby), you are one of the lucky bunch. Cherish those moments. I found that the memories made of these hobbies are the ones that really gives me happiness even after many years.
Have a good life. Have great hobbies. Have wonderful memories.
Hope you all are having a wonderful Sunday, folks! 🙂
I have taken a couple of days off lately. This gave me a chance to reflect, stop, and do other stuff 🙂
On top of that the Friday’s Rogers outage (that left me without internet, cable, or phone) gave me the a chance to realize that I had time to do anything. But during normal times, with work and daily routine of browsing the internet, social media, and Netflix, I had little time committed for anything else. It was a hugely interesting finding. So I have time. I just am too busy with certain things…
I have been thinking lately that maybe I would like the idea of retirement. It would mean a complete life change but that is okay (why not to get excited about yet another new chapter in life?). I am usually very energetic, works very hard, and I am highly functional as well. But this year I feel like I take bullshit less and rather spare my time on new things, so I keep thinking maybe I was getting lazy OR I was choosing what was important. Hard to know right now. But time can show. Throughout my career, there were times that I worked like hell and then slowed down prior to great changes. It can be just one of these episodes.
Or maybe getting older, I was getting wiser and interested in more enjoying life. Like this year I made a commitment to enjoy the summer more. In previous years, time just flew. What is the point? I am over half a century. My parents died. I too will die one day. So will the people I care about. So what is the point of all of these if we are not going to enjoy life, cherish family and friends, and be hopeful and rested?
So dear folks, I may be slowing down and enjoying my environment a little bit more. Maybe I am getting lazy at work, but I doubt it – I think I rather sort better and act on important things now, which saves me time and nerves. So life is good right now and I submit myself to its flow. Whatever it will bring, I hope to take with ease.
July 1 is Canada Day – so we have had yesterday off 🙂
This is the 3rd summer with the pandemic and the 3rd straight summer I am not traveling, I have committed to myself a few weeks ago that I was gonna enjoy my summer. It is often a time of travel and tight work schedules, and as such prior to the pandemic, summers were not something I have witnessed much or enjoy here. It was a mistake.
Since I started to work from home and made it to the neighbourhood more, I realized there were many scenic houses as well as yards (in summer). Having these walks therefore give me such a joy and appreciation of the city I live in. That is fascinating really. Take a walk around your neighbourhood, folks, if you do not. You may be surprised like me to find out what treasures are hidden there.
These being said, a 3 days long weekend is far from refreshing me, so I am looking for days to take off next. I need at least a good full week. Doing nothing or everything. No work responsibility. It will be awesome 🙂 I feel like July is a good time to close the old chapters and create new ones. Then August is a good month to start planning next steps and implementing. These are all related to work, of course.
I am scared of thinking about my life, now that I am getting older. Yesterday I identified 3 priorities for my life:
1. Connecting more with the people important to me. My siblings, only alive uncle, other relatives, and friends
2. Continuing with good healthy practices (like walking), but also losing weight that has been increasing lately. Also importance of quality of life, including my mental wellness
3. Doing meaningful and joyful work at the office
This last one is particularly important ( I know, I know..). In my field of profession, there are many indicators of success, and the materials ones I do miss, sadly. But all other stuff I do and achieve are great. So I feel kinda unsuccessful. I cannot help it. BUT I also feel like maybe I was supposed to other things and succeed in them. That there is a good reason that I am not so successful in material success.
What do you think?
This actually takes some stress off my shoulder. When I was young and a student, I was on top of the world. I was confident. As I progressed along the way and climbed higher and higher, I started to feel less confident, less successful, and as a result of all of these, I started to get much less joy out of my work. Except that in the last 1 year, I have been working with a new type of collaborators and our work is so much successful together. They motivate me. I am excited. We are a great team together. I know we are making a difference. I know it is well worth it. Joy is there, and I love it. Perhaps this is the area I am supposed to grow further! 🙂
Happy Sunday folks – hope you all are having a relaxing and joyful day.
The summer has shown its face with increased temperatures. The time of the mighty fan is approaching real fast. Where I live the summers are mild, but still. Once you get to use to cool weather anything above 25 C feels a little bit too much 🙂
Like many of us, I run and run after the Holiday season. Now is a great time to take a break. I have taken a couple of days off and it was very refreshing. yet, in a couple of days back at the office, I felt the same exhaustion again 🙂 I need to take more time off. In the coming weeks I hope. Life is good – at least I have paid vacation times.
How is your life with COVID-19? many places lifted the mandatory masking. I see maybe more and more people without a mask indoors, in public transportation, in workplaces. I am terrified for these people somehow – it is such a contagious virus. Is having a mask on more dangerous than catching up this virus, the risk of long covid or worse yet, giving it to someone else particularly those who are at high risk of serious consequences?
I am lucky that I have an office, but one coworker came talked to me without a mask. I was surprised and could not know what to do, but next time I am asking everyone in my office to wear a mask or stand out of the door. The reality is that this pandemic is not over, the virus is not mild, our boosters are nowhere to be replaced, and I love life more than I can imagine.
I cannot imagine how we all will feel when the in person meetings are back fully. I see pics of people indoors with no mask, and I think I am losing my mind. This is not the message we would like to send out – the pandemic is still on. Sadly.
Happy Father’s Day to all who remember our dads and their love.
They may not do well all the time, heck, they are not as good as mothers (at least in my family), but they do so many things for us so silently. Their love is too silent, I find.
To my late dad – I love you. Once day, I will find you again. I believe in this. I knew you loved me, and I did love you. I would not choose another dad, but you. Thanks for everything, even the bad days and years. They have no meaning now, only you, you being loved, and your love.
The much needed long weekend is here! If you celebrate Easter, Happy Easter Folks – please enjoy your day and long weekend.
I am taking today off as well, making it a 4 days deal. Sweat 🙂
The last few weeks were slow at work. I do not know why. I desperately want to pick up the pace. This long weekend will be a good time to get to the groove.
Personally, I continue to feel okay (thanks to the antidepressant), make a serious effort to get slimmer (I packed 10-15 pound in the last 6 months), and appreciate myself and my achievements whenever I can. I also support my siblings, one of them still taking it hard after the death of my mom. The agony they are going through pierces my heart. They are very strong as well, but I sometimes worry about their wellness.
If you have a good mental and emotional health right now, please take a moment to appreciate and be grateful for it.
If you can give a hand or be kind to someone in need, let’s be that person.
And, when you feel like the world is turning upside down, lets’ remember to ask for support. It is there.
Beautiful day – we have had snow at night and it looks so amazing, The sky is blue-white, and it just feels fantastic. I love snow 🙂
I have been busy for the last few weeks. Lots happened since then. Our Ottawa has been occupied by the truckers/freedom seekers, or whatever they must be appropriately called, for 3 weeks. It showed the ugly face of the nation. I was worried for the first time about the future of Canada. I may be an immigrant but I am also a Canadian and I love this country. I wish the best for it.
Then, on Thursday Russia started to invade Ukraine. I have no idea about what prompted and why and so on. But I feel for Ukraine – they show an amazing fighter spirit and resistance so far. I hope a ceasefire will follow soon, without much blood shed and without compromising what Ukraine has been prior to this invasion.
We do not need yet another war. To me wars are something left behind in the history. Obviously this naive thought does not align well with the current situation. Heck, do you also feel like pandemic and then these events, things are ever changing, and who knows, the future may be at risk at a level higher than we would like to think…. Go hug your family, a tree, your pets.
Work has been busy. We are called back full time to our workplaces. I use my privilege(!) and stay at home when I can. The number of COVID-19 cases that are the people I know increases almost each week. That is so scary… On one hand I accept the inevitable high risk of getting it in my life-time, and on the other hand, I wish not to get it more than required.. Do you know what I mean? What are the consequences of getting it multiple times? How will my body react to it? Long-covid is a reality. And it is scary. Goodness help us.
On the personal side, the current dose of my antidepressant medication works. I still am not feeling as joyful as last year (when I was on it), but I think this is because of the busy work and stress levels. So I am hopeful that I will get to feel much better in the coming weeks.
While I am doing great re; quitting junk food (did early December), I am not doing so well with my other long-term goal – getting slimmer. I gained weight in Fall and it kept. Dislike!!
Anyways – there will be a better time to deal with this. I should not worry. I will too achieve this goal! 🙂
Have a great Saturday everyone – be safe and well.
Yes, indeed – what is mental health? Is emotional health a part of it? Are are they the same thing?
I do not know. But as someone who found health and joy with the help of an antidepressant, and who has been trying to reduce the dose, only to find themselves returned to square one (and hence, is returning back to the previous dose), I can say my emotional and mental health is the most important thing for me nowadays.
I am lucky I have a good doctor, who understands my needs and a medication that works for me (I still need to wait a few weeks before the current dose shows its beneficial effects, but hope is on the way).
I am also lucky that now I know how it feels to have a “normal” mental health (experiencing joy; reduced depression; increased confidence; less focus on the negative and more focus on the positive and beautiful experiences; having hope, etc.), I think I also realize how stupid I have been to not try medication all these years.
But again, I now know and have the remedy.
Also, I am lucky because now I can empathize with others going through depression. I have one loved one, who is in more pain than me… Before I try to give them an advice, I should remember how I feel now. I think it will help a lot to understand and support them appropriately.
Let me describe how I feel now, nowadays, since I reduced the dosage of my antidepressant at around the new year:
Feeling like crying (or crying easily).
Restlessness and hopelessness.
Being easily overwhelmed.
Feeling like stretched. This one is such a weird feeling. It feels like I am pulled around and down by lots of weight…while the thing that bothers me is not a huge issue (or can be resolved). But that feeling… That feeling makes me feel like I understand why some people would like everything to not feel like this.
Alright, folks. I noted these here because I want to remember how bad this feels and in the future I can genuinely support others feeling this way.
Stay well and hope everyone has mental health or resources to mend their mental health.
Life is too short to feel like shit – enjoy it when you can.
We have quite a weather today, with high winds, rain, and slight snow in between. Looking at my yard I can see that my trees are holding up and there is no new broken branch or so, which gives me a peace of mind. However, my first floor roof is leaking and I am worried. How am I supposed to find a general contractor, roofer in this horrible weather/winter? Should I wait till Spring or call now? Who should I call?
Living solo is hard, especially when it comes to answering this kind of questions. No wonder I have anxiety and need my anti-depressant to have a cool, healthy mind and feel good.
If you are like me living by yourself, I hope you have family and friends who can give you a hand with issues you cannot deal with yourself. If you are not, then, I hope you give a hand to others, particularly elderly, vulnerable individuals, and those who are like me and live solo – we really need support, sometime even for a small stuff like a leaking roof.
Happy Sunday everyone – hope you all are safe and content in this beautiful day.
First, the Omicron variant. Hell.. Where are we going with this virus? I am glad that I have got my 3rd shot (booster). Yet, virulence of this variant is so high that we are told the majority of us would get it eventually. Boy, do I want to get it? No. The later is the better, when we have more understanding of this variant/virus. I do not wish to get this virus at all and am doing my best, but I know it may not be possible, as many people have been trying hard to prevent infection, yet they are infected now. The number of people who I know and are infected with Covid-19/omicron is increasing every week. Please be safe. Get vaccinated if you can to reduce the chance of severe infection, hospitalization, ICU admission, and death.
At one point, I want to say that we will and can go through this. On the other hand, I feel like we take one step forward and then another hurdle to overcome appears. Sometimes tired, sometimes resilient and hopeful, sometimes depression/anxiety, I do not know how I feel anymore. But I know that we should stick together and hope and work towards a better future. Please be kind to yourself, and realize that there are many of us out there supporting you and the wellness of our communities and societies. Do not give up.
My current feeling of depression is linked to both the risks and alarms created by Omicron and the grief I and my siblings are going through because of my mom’s passing. I am very concerned about my sister who has been taking it the hardest. I am very worried about her. What can I do? How can I help? Life can be so tight sometime. I have been contemplating during the Holidays that even the smallest thing can be a burden of thought for me, as I do not have a close social circle where I can ask for opinions or solutions. If you have good relationships with others who are helpful to you when you need it, please take a moment to cherish this.
I find a deep serenity in the practice of reviewing the year we are leaving and opening ourselves to the new year. I am not into New Year Resolutions (though I make many each year), but I do believe that this resting time gives us an opportunity to reflect, close or leave what is not good for us, and be open for new opportunities and experiences.
1. My ongoing issue is not knowing what to do with my future – I have no long-term objectives personally. This happened maybe in the last 13 years or so, and has been bothering me since then. This year, I decided that it was maybe an opportunity – just be open for life and what it brings, and realize your new objectives!! Why not?
I am excited about this. In the last few weeks, I have been asking myself “which opportunities did you take today?”. They may be small but nevertheless, are amazing examples of “realizing” what is available out there that are good for me. So maybe sometimes, the unknown was not so bad, just needed to be seen and taken advantage of. Quite optimistic, if you ask me. I will go with this as much as I can – as unknown is also scary considering the pandemic and its fluctuating & significant effects on all of us.
2. I want to take care of myself and protect my interests better this year. These include my mental health, my physical health, my “me time”, my social life and relations.
The majority of the stress and mental health issues are due to my work – it is a high volume sometimes quite thankless job that requires my involvement constantly. Thanks to the pandemic, I was saying no to many unnecessary activities and tasks, and was able to take roles that most interest and benefit me. I would like to continue to do this. I still have to deal with stress-inducing colleagues and conditions, but I will have to live with this. On the other hand, my job is also a source of joy, as at least half of the time, I can focus on what I really want to do! So it is not bad all the time and I overall love my job 🙂
At work, 2022 is a good opportunity to start something new. I am not sure what that would be but the idea itself makes me excited already! Let’s close some old chapters and start new interests. Joy.
I really want to implement “Right to Disconnect” within my circle and communications. I do not want to deal with the emails after hours. The fact that we often work anytime (we have no fixed work hours or days), emailing and requesting work at anytime become normalize din my work environment. Sometimes it is good, sometimes it is too much. How can I implement such a practice for myself and my team? I will think about this. Of course, I can also close the email box after hours and at weekends…. Will I be able to have this self-discipline?? We all will see 🙂
B. PERSONAL LIFE
I am happy to see that over many years I was able to implement many good practices that make my life more joyful, easier, and abundant. Take my antidepressant treatment that I started over a year ago. It has been a life-saver – literally. My frugal life style that allows me to protect my finances and use / invest them for good causes. Limiting food waste. These all positively changed my life. I hope that I will not fall into the junk food trap (that I recently quit once again) anymore.
As per to improve the quality of my life and wellness, there are a few things that I must seriously implement into my life style. For example, eating a variety of food, getting slimmer (I like this term better than losing weight 🙂 ), building muscles and bones, cardio-health and exercise, and so on. These are among my recurrent New Year Resolutions. But I think it is time that I commit strongly to these aims.
We shall see. I will have to think a little bit deep here.
So folks, take this opportunity to close old chapters and hurts, open yourself to the new opportunities. May you all have a great transition to the new year.
This year I am unable to enjoy my 12 days of off time, as I am still not over the death of my mom.
I nevertheless reflect on life, myself, and my experiences. I also finished cleaning up my home, decluttering and shopping. I lack nothing and I still have another week to rest and reflect.
As per the reflections:
I miss my mom and still cannot believe that she is gone. I want my mom and dad to feel how much I love them. I want them to feel happy. I cannot help these wishes.
I love Mona, my foster cat, and have been seriously wanting to adopt her. It looks like the break we took while I was away visiting home was good for us, as when she came back, she was closer to me and since then she has lied on my side almost every night. It gives me such a joy, as it means she is comfortable with me, she trusts me, and I am trusted. I love her and I am loved by her, too.
So why don’t I adopt her?
At first I thought I would not be free enough with her (cannot leave for trips without finding a place for her to stay, for example). Then, though she made me realize what love actually means. Loves requires commitment and effort. And if needed, willingness to fight for and not to leave her for no good reason.
I am not convinced that I will commit to her fully and will not leave her at the face of a difficulty. There is some sort of heartlessness in me that I dislike. This is just one example of this. Then I take one look at her, and I realize how good she has been to me and how important she is to me. So I keep moving between adopting and not adopting, to such a degree that it made me tired. I will not think about this for some time and I hope that life will show me what the right thing to do is….
2021 was a hard year. It is almost over. I will think about how I would envision 2022. Slimmer, more muscular, more focusing on self and protecting my mental health, time, and energy. Being open to new things and opportunities. We shall see how it will evolve.
The pandemic and the omicron variant is hanging above our heads. I developed a taste for apocalyptic movies. I do not wish to find our-self in such a situation, yet the pessimism is so frequent and deep that I wonder whether we do not have the daily small life and work related issues, but rather focus on survival, how would we be.
I need more time to just sit down and not deal with to-do lists. It is such a powerful urge to resist pressure. Particularly the pressure that I put on myself. Do I need to clean the house on the scheduled day (Saturday)? Do I have to do the laundry on the same day? Do I need to fill my days with mundane work?
I resist the idea of having thoughts about when to do what. Even a simple task like repairing a piece of clothing.
My self-imposed pressure and as such structured life practices are lowered, and I am more spontaneous and happier with myself and my life.
Loss of a parent changes you. It has been happening with me too.
I cry as well, here and there. Remembering my mom and dad at the same time…. May they be free, happy, and peaceful through the eternity. I wish to be joined with them sometime. It is a hope, and it makes me happy and excited. It lessens the pain.
Yesterday was a good day with some shopping done. I also walked to the store, like 15 min. I was happy to see that my walking speed was normal, not slow or dreadful, so it gave me confidence. My body is okay.. I also cooked a wholesome chicken meal – I am one of those who thinks that the chicken broth is health-giving & healing. I can sleep, with dreams every night, and the morning sleep continues to be sweet and preventing me from early mornings. But I will take it positively – it has been sometime that I actually enjoyed sleeping (long term insomniac here).
Today is a beautiful day with warm and relatively sunny day. I have no plans, which is great. I can do whatever I would like to – whether this will be reading a book, contemplation, or something else. I certainly have no plan to step outside. I will see how the day will develop. Today is certainly giving me healing and peaceful feelings. I love this.
My foster cat Mona – she has been a blast and heaven-sent to me. She and I have a great relationship. She loves and trusts me, and I do love, trust, and appreciate her. My beautiful girl is lying on my side every night now, previously a rare treat. I could not be happier to feel her trust and warmth in this chilly autumn and during this awful grieving. She has been with me over a year now. I know that she will find a great home and leave me one day, but you know until then, I am determined to enjoy every minute.
I have this urge to declutter and clean my space, starting from home. Perhaps today is a day to start it. I have already a bag of items to be donated. Anything not used or not giving me a positive feeling will either go to donation bin or the garbage. I am excited about this idea – both donations and cleaning and changing my space. I am a firm believer that the change and peace start with the environment we create for ourselves.
Enjoy your Sunday and please be kind to yourself, others, animals, and nature.
I am still grieving the loss of my mom, in a very strange way.
My energy has dropped, so did my work performance. I have difficulty getting up in the morning. Every day, even the very mundane thing, is an annoying thing to deal with and I am feeling very overwhelmed. I am, I think, angry deep down and not in the mood of pressure. I thought I just needed time to process my emotions, rather than focusing fully on the work. Just today, I thought maybe this was depression. I do not know what is the right one, honestly.
It is strange to me – I know I am not the only one who suffered or is grieving. But while I accepted that it would make me sad, I never thought that it would stop me…. That is why it is strange..
It is unrealistic to expect someone going through the loss of a close family member be fine and fully functional in the weeks/months to come. I think the work places should be flexible enough to recognize this and allow compassionate leaves longer than what is in the work contracts. In the few past days, I have been contemplating about maybe having a medical leave, if this gets out of my hand. That would have negative effects on my career, but honestly, I cannot care about this right now.
For now, I take one day at a time, and at the end of the work day, I am just grateful that I could live it and let go. What a strange thought. I semi-force myself to focus on my tasks and have reduced the expectations from me. I also have dropped a couple if extra tasks that I loved but have got no recognition so far. It breaks my heart, but at least I have one less thing to think about. I have yet another tasks/roles to drop if I cannot gather myself and energy anytime soon. Considering what a high energy and high performance professional I have been, I feel shaken, broken, and somehow relieved as well. Perhaps, I was putting too much stress on myself (i know that actually this is true). Perhaps my current level of work and work speed is what it is supposed to be.
Anyways. Yesterday I realized that I lost my both parents – my dad almost 6 years ago and my mom a few weeks back. My dad was the best and perhaps the only person who openly was proud of me and excited of my achievements. Recognition, he gave me abundantly. My mom was the only person who loved me and treated me the best in the world. Now, I have neither of them. I am broken, no matter how old and mature I am (around 50 years).
I feel for my siblings, as they have lived with the trauma of sickness and death of my mom much closer and vividly than me. They are in poor conditions, psychologically, and I do not know how to help. One of them is seeking counseling and the other one is just a closed case – he needs to fix it himself by his internal dialogues. I wish we did have much better, closer relationships and talk to each other sincerely so that we could support each other better. While my siblings are close with each other, sadly, I am not – living away from home sadly does this over time. You just become distant….
I wonder how my relations with my siblings will develop and progress. I realized that my mom was the glue. A strong glue. Will we stick around each other? Or, will I continue to have strained relationships with my siblings? The future days will show.
For now, I just realize that our lives have changed for ever. I wish for the best for me and my siblings in the coming days.
My mom passed away on a peaceful morning hour on a beautiful Fall day, with light rain falling, wind caressing the trees’ leaves, clouds dancing on the sky, and forests rejoicing the red, orange, yellow, green, and brown colours all at the same time.
I am still trying to process my feelings. I do not think I am feeling my emotions yet.
I was able to visit my mom and see her before she passed away. I was able to support my siblings during the difficult times. I helped with the funeral of my mom, too. All sounds quite surreal to me.
How did this happen?
She was loved and loved, especially her children.
I cannot believe she is gone. I cannot believe she is gone because she could not get medical care on time. We have tons of doctors and hospitals, yet due to the pandemic, they were full and as a results she was late in getting hospital care. I am so sorry and angry.
My mom could live a longer life. She was in a good shape. The fact that some people erroneously choose to not vaccinate/protect themselves & others, and some policies were not effective in handling this pandemic brings my blood to BOIL.
Please, please vaccinate. Please think about not only yourself but others, too. My mom’s death is just one example how directly one can lead to suffering and death of another innocent person.
Please please vaccinate. If you are hesitant, please talk to someone eligible to provide clinical info and you trust, like your nurse or physician.
Please do it for yourself AND for others that you do not even know.
My mom is still sick and she needed to go to an ER to get some serious care today. She is still waiting in the ER. After more than 12 hours, and all alone, as the hospitals are working on full capacity.
I am not sure which one I am more angry at: COVID-19 pandemic policies, or those who refrained from believing this pandemic’s seriousness, did not mask or vaccinate. You all have blood on your hands. There I said it.
I also have a strong dislike and confusion toward myself. Since the news broke, I have cried a few times. But I am unable to feel much sadness and sorrow expected from a loving and immensely loved daughter.
I keep asking myself, WTF is wrong with me?
I am likely gonna lose my mom to an unknown medical condition, as we were not able to find a suitable hospital in the last few weeks. She is strong and resilient, but she is not in good shape. How long can you go against the ocean’s tides?
And, WTF don’t I feel much? Do I not love and care about my mom? Did my father’s passing prepared us to death? Is it the anti-depressants I do take? Is it my foster cat Mona that gives me unconditional love and joy, no matter what? Is it work that keeps me busy? Am I just a self-absorbed shit? Have I detached from the reality? AM I repressing my emotions?
Or, are these all an illusion, and when the time comes, will I break into two? Perhaps I am denying the situation? Perhaps I am still hopeful.
Does not matter.
I cannot understand myself.
If there is any positive out of this, it is the fact that I find myself supporting my family members in an unexpected way. See, I am the youngest, so they always provided support to me. This time, I am the one who gives hope, different perspectives, and appreciation for their efforts.
Pertaining to my last post, I have been taking steps to see the feasibility of a short trip home to see my mom. I really want to see her and I think it would also increase her morale. I talked to my boss and got a compassionate response, I worked hard to finish urgent work matters, and arranged for a covid test that may be needed to board the plane. I have a list of things to do before I leave and things to pack with me.
I am ready to purchase my ticket.
Goodness knows starting to take these steps was a hard one. I know from my anxiety past that making a decision that can change the life for ever is hard and sometimes paralyzing as well. I was more functional as I took one step for the trip. I cannot explain it, but I think I was just too overwhelmed by all the things I must do for leaving Canada and entering my home country, and then coming back. Damn pandemic…….
Anyways, I talked to my siblings today and while they recognize my wish to see my mom, they also recognize that it could be of little help. I have been contemplating about this – my thinking shifted after this.
What is best for my mom?
When I think about this, my thoughts get clearer. It is not about me, but my mom and my siblings who are caring for my mom now. What is good for them? Is my wish to see my mom more important than my mom’s wellness and treatment?
Certainly not. We may be looking for a short disease or a long one. We may lose her soon, or she may recover. I may regret not seeing her in the first case. But, what if instead of seeing her I focus on what is best for her?
See, I think what is good for her is getting the best medical care possible and comfortable life. My siblings will be burnt out soon, so their comfort is also important. I can spend a week traveling, or I can use the efforts and energy (and funds) it has been taking to make a decision and have the trip to their benefits.
Evey minute is a new opportunity to realize and feel. I think now that the most logical thing is to think about their wellness (but not my emotions). While I like this rational thinking, I know from my past experience that tomorrow, I may feel differently, and may want to go again. So one day at a time…. If this is the right decision, then, it will be stable over days. We shall see, my friends.
I feel like a parent making the right decision, not the emotional one, for their kids while they are growing. I do not have kids, but I think this is what it is.
My mom is sick. She suddenly became ill and has not been getting better. We hope that she will see a really good doc in the coming days and will find some relief.
My minds does all the tricks. It is as if I either accepted the fact that she will be gone soon, or there is nothing wrong with her. Neither of them are evidenced, but this is the reason I hate my reasoning so much nowadays. It is as if, I do not care.
But that is not true, either. I do care. She is my mom. She is the only person who treated me well.
So, why are my emotions so frozen? I wonder whether it is a trauma caused by the thought of losing my mom; the antidepressants I take; or the fact that my dad’s death 5 years ago prepared me for death of yet another loved one.
I wanted to explore life and overcome challenges. I wanted to have a life and have a job here in Canada, but not in my home country. I built a life I was more or less content with. I was, this year, finally feeling good, with the introduction of my foster cat and antidepressants to my life. I was brave when I was young, then got scared (aka anxiety), and I could not be brave enough to solve my problems with my family and build a life there.
I am sorry that I have not spent more time and be with her when she needs me most. I am also ashamed that I lost my courage in life, thanks to traumatizing events and anxiety, and could not fix these issues earlier in life.
I am just dropping these thoughts here to let it go.
Please do not leave any comments. I know you will be supportive.
But right now, I need to face my emotions as they are.
Happy Sunday, folks – I hope you all are safe and well.
Do you know this feeling when you constantly run from one thing to the next and wish you could just stop and process what has been happening?
I bet you do.
Those who follow my blog knows that I have an intense work that makes me run from literally one meeting to the next, from one task to the other.
I hardly have that life-work balance, and work most of the time, even when I am exhausted.
The good thing is that I have been taking a couple of days off here and there, and this gave me the much needed opportunity to just stop and process.
What did I find during these self-reflection moments?
I have done so well within the last few years, and especially since the Holidays since when I was non-stop working. Yes, things are slower and requires much more effort and time (working from home..), but I have actually done quite a lot, and also entered into new areas and experiences professionally, so I actually admire my interest and resilience now.
I also found out that I was in peace with my past and was peaceful in the present. Whether this is because of my age and wisdom coming from it, or something else (like my antidepressant medication), I do not know. What I know is that I feel good and I am aware that everything happened and every choices I made, even the bad ones, brought me to today.
I also realized that I had changed a little bit, especially during the pandemic. I can so “no” more easily and reduce my workload (and stress). I can stop being too meticulous on things that do not matter that much. I still do a great, high quality job. I just better sort what needs my meticulousness, time, and efforts at full extent, and what does not.
And, I found out that I need to change a couple of things in my daily life. I struggle with eating a variety of food – I tend to eat the same greens and fish all the time. Recently shopping became just an automatic act, picking up the same things all over week after week. I always fell into this routine. I made a mental note that I could make an effort to diversify the food I am consuming, and make cooking and eating a little bit fun.
I also need to care more about my bones, muscles, and flexibility as a mid-age lady. I know walking is great but it does not help much with the bone density, so light weight training as well as stretching need to be an integral part of my daily life. These are not new aims – in the past I was able to keep up with them for sometime, and then they slowly slipped out of my routine. Why? Because I have so many things in my to-do list. By having a me-time, which will help these permanently integrated in my life. is thus more important than ever.
My weight. I was always a big girl, which I do not mind. But with age came the fat in the belly area, which I do not like. I know what makes me lose weight and what makes me gain weight. Exercise will not make me lose weight, only what I eat. So more greens, less starchy food, and more protein. That is my best dietary strategy to lose the fat. Since I many times in my life wanted to lose weight but never kept it, perhaps this aim is now more important than ever. Why not to make the weight loss one aim that will stamp my mid-age years? Worth trying 🙂
Professionally, I looked at my to do list and I have seen a couple of things only 🙂 That means I can start new projects, undertake new roles, and develop more as a professional. I am very excited about this 🙂
Somethings however does not need to change. They are well established in my life and they are good. for example, saving, investing money for my retirement. Cleaning the home regularly. Visiting the thrift stores for items I may need and use. Helping others in need, such as family or animal shelters. Limiting waste, especially food waste. My furniture or other items in the house. All good for now.
The moral of the story is that sometimes we need to stop and help our mind bring us what needs to be cherished and what needs to change. Both are good. Take that time off, folks.
I have seen a couple of articles suggesting that Canadians saved a tons of (billions) of money during the pandemic.
Some of the expenses cited as cut, and hence, saved money from, were child care, extracurricular activities, and commute-related expenses.
For those lucky ones, like myself, who kept their work and salary, things might have been better than those families and individuals who struggle with affording daily essential expenses. That is for sure.
I know many people lost their jobs and many businesses had to spend extra money to adapt to pandemic style business. So, hearing that we have overall saved billions of dollars during the pandemic sounds a little bit brutal to me.
I do not have kids or dependents, so the first two factors do not make a difference in my life. I take the bus or walk mostly, so commute, or lack of it, did not help me save a good sum of money. But I still did save money during the pandemic. My income also increased because of my recent promotion.
My most important expense is my annual visit to my family overseas, which used to cost me around 5K each year. I have not traveled in the last two years, so my major savings was the lack of these trips.
While I am not very social and hence do not get together with my friends frequently, I nevertheless had a few lunches or gifts to pick, so while there is some sort of savings in this area, it is not substantial.
My innocent yet kind of expensive interest in thrift store hunts, however, seems to make some sort of difference. I used to visit thrift stores every two weeks or so pre-pandemic, so while the prices are quite affordable, you can imagine the annual expenses.
On the other hand, I think like many, my food and personal care/cleaning products expenses increased. This is mostly because of working from necessitating use of the cleaning products more; starting fostering a cat; and the inflation or increases in the prices just because of the pandemic’s effect.
I am one of the lucky ones who comfortably has gone through this pandemic financially. I am feeling lucky and grateful, but you know, things will not get better anytime soon, the economy will continue to be unstable, and who knows what will happen to our investments or jobs.
I took my time to get up, at the expense of feeding Mona, my foster cat, an hour later than usual. She only eats wet food and that means it needs to be replaced or removed after 2 hours or so during the day. Naturally in the mornings, she is hungry. Yes, my consciousness is not clear and I have had a huge debate in my mind about this, but eventually let the guilt go. Every once a while, I simply cannot get up as early as usual.
I took yesterday off and made it a long weekend, which feels great. It gives me freedom and time to recuperate. We have had a hard year and very intense work schedule since my last break (Holidays in December). There were many times I was simply exhausted yet continued to complete work. Now is a great time to simply rest and enjoy the gorgeous summer we have.
Where I am in Canada, often we have cool summers and a little bit rain. But this year has been exceptional, like last summer, with lots of sunshine and a little bit higher than normal temperatures (and yes climate change is a real thing). The blue, clear sky lifts the mood immediately, and the nature around my neighbourhood and yard makes it even more beautiful and appreciable. If you have a good summer and opportunity to enjoy it a little bit more, please do so.
I am at an age where I know that today may as well be the best day of my future life. I know that I am alive and my family is well, for now. But there is no guarantee, right? Things change like this – bam. We have had a global pandemic just like this; economy is shitty and many lost their jobs; there is social and political unrest here and there; and yes, the climate change is already showing its disastrous effects and unless we take radical moves to stop and reverse it (is it even possible to reverse it?), we are looking at a huge disaster. even the Hollywood movies and their heroes cannot save us, believe me.
I am reading about Indigenous worldviews (what wonderful views, by the way – if you are interested in please check it out) and how west and Indigenous nations (at least in Canada) are approaching to all living and non-living things in our environment. They got it right – human is NOT on top of the hierarchy to exploit and harm its environment for its own benefits. Rather, human is a part of this ecosystem with a role to honour, respect, and protect it.
We have done so much harm – to nature, to animals, soil, sea…
Without a healthy environment and ecosystem, there is no human.
And, we all have played and are still are playing, a huge role in this.
Happy Sunday, everyone – I hope you all are safe, well, and having a joyful day.
My coffee mug next to me, ABBA songs on the background, my sourdough loaf in the oven, and my foster cat Mona on the floor, I am all good 🙂
Life has been good, though I know I can attribute it to both Mona and the antidepressant. In any case, I will take this feeling and cherish it.
I cannot believe I have been feeling like shit for almost half a decade…. Such a long misery to endure, especially when we have medication or pets to help overcome it. I am glad that finally life was too much, or I was too tired to try ways to feel good, think positive, and so on. Sometimes, the remedy is what you refrained from. Irony.. Nevertheless, I am proud of myself for trying relentlessly to feel good for a long time, and then eventually quitting this endeavor and try medication (of note, I also tried therapy – it was great but not affordable..).
I feel like I must say more about my experience with the anti-depressants for folks who may be looking for perspectives of patients.
I was depressed and experience anxiety quite frequently. Thoughts would run around my mind, and lately my sleep was affected and I was sleeping maybe 4 hours a day. I was extremely functional, however, working, doing things, and doing well. Of course, with depression and anxiety comes self-questioning and loss of sell-esteem, in addition to the attempts to feel better. These attempts included a variety of coping mechanisms, from junk food consumption to reading self-help books.
It was simply a continuous struggle. But I have never lost the interest to feel good, My only mistake was that I thought I could handle it. Over time, finally, it became apparent that whatever coping mechanisms I was applying – while they worked in the short term – were not permanent solutions.
There is only that much one can endure. Eventually, this fall, I decided to talk to my family doctor. Surprisingly, they were VERY supportive and prescribed me cipralex. The first dose did not make much difference, but I was thinking all the time that there was hope that this feeling of being and feeling like shit would eventually come to end. It was therapeutic in a way. I was feeling great about finally asking for help.
Here, I must also mention that this was not the first time I asked for help. A decade ago, I asked my then different family doctor for antidepressants, and they were like – try a vacation. Oh, goodness. I did that and back to square 1, of course.
Then, when it became so much, especially the anxiety, I tried counselling. Found a great therapist. The only think is that my current health insurance plan covers like maybe 3 sessions a year. So, where do we go from here??
So, in a way I am grateful for my current family doctor. They said “life is too short to suffer”… Imagine how I felt when I heard these words from them… What a great physician, for whom I will be always grateful. I am now on an increased dosage, which works phenomenally. I experienced no side effects, and sleep and feel much better. I can handle stress better and I find myself enjoying life better.
My doctor is about to reduce the dose and then stop it. I was scared of this at first, but when I accidentally forgot taking the pill for a couple of days and feeling no side effects, I have some sort of naive hope that I will manage the withdrawal symptoms, if ever. But this part of the story will have to come later, when I reduce and stop the medication.
Please go ahead and volunteer at or donate to an animal shelter. Adopt or foster. Animals are simply fantastic and we owe them a lot. More than we can think of…
There are many things are happening, some of them just amazing and one of a life time opportunity. They need to be digested, cherished, and became a part of who and what I am.
Rather, what happens is that there is so many other things in the to-do list that as soon as one is taken care of, I move hastily to the other tasks in the list.
I know. I know. My bad that I do not take a moment to cherish what is accomplished.
Luckily there are two things that help – first, my body requires some care, so I take time. Good body – always there when the limit is reached.
Second, the nagging feeling that straining myself by over-working takes the joy out of everything. With experience I got to learn that something that looks like a mountain can be climbed in an hour, if I am refreshed and bored enough from work-free time. So, why to spend more time on something in a straining mood, while it can be taken care of much easily and in a shorter time later?
Ambitions are great, but having the joy and confidence (and mental clarity) to work is even greater, even at the expense of some urgent matters. Urgency I create for my own ambitions, and urgency others I work with create by the quality or timing of their work.
This brings me to people I work with. We work with a lot of people, all fascinating and highly talented. I must say that it is really amazing what we can do together. The group dynamic is something strange though. Do you also find that often in a team, there is one person who is lifting the weight and moving things and people up and forward? I am that person, almost in all teams I have worked with.
Often times, I am happy and proud of doing this. There were many projects done, many teams and people lifted up. I have so much satisfaction out of this.
But sometimes, just sometimes, it becomes unbearable.
First, when people do not follow the things and it is reflected on their comments and the work that I lead.
Second, when they ask or need me to update them, or worse, do their part.
Third, when with their non-understanding, they put me in a position to defend things, decisions, and actions.
These are the moments when I really question what a team work is for some individuals and how do they feel making comments or work that have no relevance to the situation at hand?
So, today I am taking a break mandated by the need to reflect on this and how to move on in my future activities.
All good, in other words.
How is your day going? Wish you all a wonderful, safe, and joyful Wednesday.
Boy, one more day and then we have a long weekend. But, where is my excitement?
I think I am not tired anymore, and as such, having an extra day caving in at home does not excite me. You know what they say; anticipation makes it all better. Yeah, I have no plans, and as such, nothing much to anticipate or get excited about. So, here I am, thinking how to take advantage of this long weekend.
I think I will make sure that I bake sourdough this weekend. It has been sometime. Since the lock-down, I think I baked once or twice. I love sourdough, but I did not want to have yet another item in my to-do list. This is just one indication of how difficult and busy the last one year was….
Another thing I want to do is to clean a little bit deeper this weekend. Maybe I can dust the blinds as well – damn things collect dust like a vacuum 🙂 Will be great to get rid of the dust this weekend.
Yet another thing I want to do is to visit a thrift store. In the last one year, I think I visited it once. ONCE!! Imagine. I cannot wait to check the stores and see whether I can find something for my and Mona (my foster cat)’s use. One thing I would like is a wood shallow container/furniture that I can turn into a bed for Mona. She has two make-shift beds, but I think I would love something better, which I can also decorate. But, I really am not in the mood of getting in places and being in a crowd. So I think I will pass this idea for now.
I also would like to cook something new. I keep eating the same things over and over. It is, interestingly, not boring. But I would like to eat different things, for a change, and make it a some sort of celebration meal. So, when I go for grocery shopping, this should be in my mind. Perhaps a pastry, or an eggplant dish (which I love), or meatball. And, I cannot wait to put my teeth in watermelon (oh, summer – please come quick).
Whatever they say or you say to yourself, I hope you are good at taking breaks.
I am not.
The only time I took regular breaks were last Spring when we were working from home, and I could walk around the neighbourhood during the day, to take a break and enjoy the Spring.
Certainly, it made me happy and relaxed.
Then came high volume of work, well because, hello! working from home is so inefficient for some tasks and things started to pile up on my to-do list. Then came winter, and the to-do list became longer and more painful.
I have been tired since the beginning of the month, and am hoping to take some time off in April. But the lagging works, uncompleted work – some urgent and critical -, the stress and un-satisfaction coming out of all of these naturally have brought me to near-burn-out.
I can work with great energy 2-3 days a week (rather than 6 days a week, as before) now. Still good performance, but not good enough. Since I am tired, I want to rest during the weekends, but if I do not work even for a couple of hours each Saturday and Sunday, my week work load gets bigger. And I am back to square one. Tired, but cannot rest to prevent further tiredness, or goodness prevents, a future burn-out.
I try to be compassionate and tolerant with myself and with people I work with or need for my work. My stress levels are manageable, thanks to the antidepressant medication I have been taking and my foster cat Mona, but my frustration is at high levels. The demands from us gotta reduce. The aftermath of this lock-down and its effects gotta be considered quite seriously, and risks to people’s not only career progress but also mental & physical health/well-being need to be addressed in any future professional plan.
It is insane. What we are going through.
It is also insane that organizations and some colleagues behave like nothing prickly has been happening, we all adapted with maximum efficiency, everything is going well, remote working is an opportunity and only an opportunity (what?????), and things are moving forward well. All sugar-coated mess.
Since I cannot reduce the quality of the work I do, I reduce the quantity of the work I am asked to do. Many of these are voluntary roles. I say no more often and it feels great. Last week I notified a committee that I was only gonna look at one part of the document, but not the rest, as I have no time. It felt good.
While I had started to say no occasionally in the last few years, it is becoming more “normal” for me. I do not feel guilty or apologetic anymore. Just the other day, a departmental administrative assistant, who was supposed to help me draft a document, gave me directions to draft the document – all format related – and that. was. it.! Did not follow the directions and sent it as I drafted, leaving it to them to figure out whether I formatted it as they wanted, and to format it themselves as they wanted. Honestly, is this my job, too?
No it is not.
Words of compassion. Words of kindness. Words of support.
What needed from leaders is deeds. Walk the talk. Help people go through this difficult time without further damages to our health, abilities, and motivations. Reduce the expectations. Increase genuine support. Have future plans at hand to minimize the long-term effects of this lock-down and frustration. Otherwise, honestly I am not sure who you will find to work – with adequate experience – and expedite things.
The moment we think that one thing is over, something else appears.
You may remember that my foster cat Mona was scheduled for a vet appointment for an ongoing issue. Well, the good news is that it is something benign, so it is great news!! Felt like she would be great for ever and would be sending her new home – upon adoption – with tears, joy, and happiness.
The bad news is that now she has some sort of discolorization on her skin and I am freaking out. She is not a very timid cat, so looking and examining her belly is not an easy task. It is great that the vet actually examined where the discolorization now is, so I am assuming unless it gets worse, it is normal. but I cannot be sure…I tried to get pics to send to the rescue organization, but one thing and the other, it seems I forgot to turn the camera on. I will look into it again to this again tomorrow in the daylight. Hope she will be okay till then.
Patience is something I am familiar with but I easily fail to practice it. I know that I need to trust the process – neither assume that once one thing is fixed, nothing else (aka, bad) will happen, nor not celebrate the good news because of future possibilities of bad things. But I cannot help but feel like anxious and disappointed by life because of the possibility that she may have something serious that I may be late to report and late to get vet care for Mona.
It is silly but I am glad I never had a child. Imagine how I could react to daily adventures of rising a child.
My goodness. Perhaps Mona came to my life just to fill this void, just to learn patience and trust the life a little bit better. I would be grateful for this, I really would. But I pray that this life lesson will not come at the expense of Mona.
I am glad that the harshest months of winter – January and February – are behind us. Yet, I feel like time flies and I have some sort of grief coming with this.
Nevertheless, I think we must celebrate reaching to the middle of winter. Spring is always joyful, and makes us feel much better. Nature awakens; yards, tress, and birds become alive and joyful. Having a window open and getting fresh air in are certainly priceless and delightful.
This weekend was fine. I worked in the morning and am ready for the week. I must say the weekdays continue to stress me and weekends continue to relax me. They say so much about the life-work balance. I wonder if this balance is ever achievable?
What is that balance, anyhow?
I was reading an essay about it the other day, and the author claims that there is no such thing as a balance, as there is no true border between work and life. Also, the term itself implies that either our work or life – or both – are miserable and unbearable.
In my profession, having this balance is almost impossible. We work anytime and any day, as we always chase for new things and have serious obligations. The expectations increase day by day, especially happened during the COVID-19 pandemic for some unsensible reasons – as we have a highly competitive job. So either we will perform normally and risk being called and feeling unsuccessful and a failure (duh! even with a little bit of or work, we do amazing and incredible things), or hurt ourselves with countless of hours of work, stress, thinking, writing, reading, discussing, training, and presenting. All to feel competent and successful. Whoever has implemented this self-inflicted, unhealthy, and counter-intuitive system must be very proud of themselves. There seems to be no way out of it, unless the vast majority think the same way and stop slowing.
Slowing down is a term I have been associating with the pandemic. I heard it from many of my friends and colleagues, and it kind of makes sense. I believe that I could be not only healthier, but also more creative if we could slow down a little bit.
On the positive side, I feel like I have slowed down somehow and tipped to scale towards the life part of the work-life balance, especially now that I have a lovely foster cat with me. Spending time with Mona, even feeding her or cleaning her litter box are giving me much needed mental brake. I am determined to continue with fostering even when she is adopted. My beautiful girl. May she always have the best, kindest, and most compassionate people around her, the best meals and cleanest litter box, and the best vets.
Some weeks feel, like, consisting of 30 days or something. They are full packed, lots happen, and yet it is just the beginning or the mid of the week.
The last few weeks have been feeling like this. I am not sure why. Perhaps I am doing good not working during the weekend too intensely, and rather work harder during the week, or a lot of things come to conclusion and this makes me feel like accomplishing a lot. I think it is a little bit of both.
Working from home is hard. It is good every once a while, to focus on the work at hand without distraction. But not continuously. Cannot believe it has been almost a year that we have been doing this. Except a few times a month, I almost always worked from home, myself, with my team remotely, and with all bunch of committees I am a part of. Lots of things have not happened on time. Lots of things lost their priority as new ones merged. Things that we could normally do in a year expanded into two or more years. Some things have just needed to be cancelled altogether.
Since new year, some mid size projects have been coming to conclusion and new ones have been emerging. This is one reason why I feel like lots are accomplished, and as a result, time becomes longer. Good. Very good.
The overwhelming feeling of the pandemic and working from home are getting a toll on us. I know I am not the only one. I want to say, no scream, STOP sometimes. To all new obligations, new requests, new roles. We cannot breathe sometime – where are we going like this?
Many people are behaving like all is okay. Let me tell you something – it is NOT ok.
Organizations are good at saying compassionate things, like how much they appreciate our hard work during this difficult time. But they keep pushing us to the limits. Adapting to changes takes time and sometimes it is not even possible. How do you train new staff for specific work tasks, some of them requiring high tech applications? How do you correct processes that go wrong, which can only be corrected by hand and by being there physically? Not everything can be done remotely, and not everything can be done good remotely.
These being said, sure, there are positives about working from home. Comfort of the home is a good plus. Ability to take breaks when needed. Remote learning opportunities, which are now more wide spread and more affordable. Having fresh lunch (which is a treat for me). Not combing the hair unless it is required for a meeting or something 🙂 The pj’s and slippers (I feel like my feet got longer – do you have a similar feeling??).
Anyways, the moral of the story that we have challenges and less needs to be expected. If you are a boss like me, remember it. Also make sure your bosses know – just saying it is important to take care of ourselves while going thru this difficult time is not enough. They need to demonstrate lower expectations and obligations from you.
I have had a roller-coaster type of week at work. I needed to cancel a lot of things to complete on urgent matter. I think I am very close to finish it tomorrow. Then I will gladly work on the things in my list.
But not before I refresh, rest, and enjoy the rest of my weekend.
Scratching the head: They signal when they want a head scratch. They certainly make it clear when it is too much or not done appropriately 🙂
Attention: They let you know when they want attention. They just sit there with their paws next to each other and look at your eyes. Or, they will walk around your legs, touch your hands, or head-butt. You cannot miss these signs.
Food: They will let you know which food they like and which they do not. There is nothing to miss here. Mona just sniffs once and decides whether it is good for her royal stomach. The way that they turn their head and start walking the other way makes me feel like a failure, but that is okay 🙂 Sometimes, she is simply not hungry, although she likes her food. I believe these are the times she does that covering act with her paws. I know that she will come back and enjoy her food later. No need to dump the food yet 🙂
Mona is on wet food. I found that there is no one type of food she likes or dislikes for ever. Sometimes she likes shred meal, but mostly patee is her favorite. If your cats does not like a type of food, do not give away the food. I did that at the beginning, now I learnt after a while that she is ready to eat again most food she once rejected.
Litter and litter box: I have had no litter problem with Mona, so I cannot comment on what they like or not, or why litter box problems occur. I clean the litter 3-4 times a day and dump the entire litter every 2 weeks. I take that she is happy with our litter situation. Whether you would use a closed or open litter box is mostly dependent on you. At first I considered it to contain the smell, but then ruled it out. I prefer to replace the litter box and closed boxes are quite pricey. And there is no way that I am washing those litter boxes.
These being said, I found that the level of litter is somehow important. Initially, I think the litter was shallow. Mona, although she intended to, could not cover her excretions. Sight of a pooh is not pleasant, but after a while I get used to it. Just recently I started to fill the box a little bit higher. This cause litter scattered around the box, but at least Mona seems happier as now she can cover her poops. I also noticed that the bottom of the box stays cleaner longer, and so does the scoop. So I after 3 months appear to have improved our litter situation quite a bit.
Does your cat use the litter box when you are around? A couple of times Mona decided to use the litter box while I was washing my hand in her bathroom. I found it strange – aren’t they supposed to be private animals? Not in our case, it seems.
Water: Mona is not a fan of water. I think I have seen her drink from the bowl once or twice in the last 3 months. One of my friends suggested adding water to her wet food, which has been working out well, She does not like it if it turns into a soup, but you can try if your cat’s water intake does not seem adequate.
Catnip: We use catnip in toys and sometimes just to let her relax a little bit. Seeing Mona enjoying her time is really fun. Stress gets to the best of them as well, I think every living thing deserves a break.
Cat grass: Cat grass is something she enjoys as well. Mona is a short hair girl, I regularly groom her, and she never vomited a hairball (I heard that it is not for the faint heart to watch a cat vomit a hairball).. So I try to grow cat grass using kits. She likes eating them. In moderation. I was fascinated to learn that cat grass was not a specific type of plant, but rather the sprouts of oats, barley, wheat, and so on. Easy to sprout and grow at home, especially if using a cat grass kit (all required things come in them, including the soil, seeds, containers, and directions).
Exercise and play time: Somedays are better for exercise, and some other days are not. I try at least twice to work her body a little bit. Since she is currently over-weight, that seems to be especially important. She likes laser pointer but I need to be careful with it – you may also know that laser if applied directly to eyes can hurt the retina. Please watch it out, for yourself, for your cat, and everyone else around you. I just bought new toys yesterday, so hidden the other toys. I hope that she will get interested in them again once her excitement around the new ones passes.
It may be true that most cats like boxes, except Mona 🙂 But she enjoys her closed bed (a make-shift carrier turned into a private bed) on top of a chair.
Scratch post and cat towers: A scratch post is essential, but Mona rather uses it as something to sleep on. Her favorite is my stairs’ carpet. I heard that this is common for cats. I have no problem. She sheds tinny nail clips 🙂 She also has a cat tower, but Mona has never been a fan of it – interesting fact. Not all cats like the heights, it seems.
Groomer: I accidentally bought a groomer from a dollar store, and she loved it! We use it abundantly, as Mona asks for it by lying in front of me and rolling on the floor. It massages her and collects the shed hair. Win-win 🙂
Conversations: Mona loves it when I speak to her. She listens to me and I feel like the tone and volume of the words attracts her attention. It is a great bonding activity and a lot of fun for me 🙂
Purring: The best way one cat can indicate their pleasure is those magnetic purrs. Mona is a great purrer 🙂
I bought some interactive toys for Mona today. She still prefers to play with me, though 🙂
I think playing to break boredom, and interacting and bonding with your companion are not the same things for cats. They definitely enjoy socializing and being with you. They also like to play and explore themselves – that is for sure. But thinking that some toys will be enough for them to entertain themselves may not necessarily be correct for these magical creatures.
Cats are social creatures
They may be independent and selective, but they do need some time with you. Some cats need more than others. Traumatized and scared cats will not let you touch for sometime. Others will just come to your right away. Mona was quite friendly with me from the beginning on. She loves me scratching her head and grooming her fur. But I held her only twice – both to put her in a carrier, and she ended up in my lap only once. I do not force her to come to me and be too close. After 3 months together, yesterday night she slept 30 cm away from me. That was the closest. I was thrilled 🙂
So while she likes petting and playing with me, she does not like to be handled.
I respect her wishes and do not force her in any way. If she wants, I welcome her. I also like this, to be honest. I am not a person who would like to have a clingy cat around. My free space and freedom are also respected by Mona. We are good together.
While fostering, we do not know which kind of cat we will end up with.
When I had visited the shelter/organization (consisting of a large office space with maybe 9 cats leaving there and tons of supplies for fosters) I was lucky to see and pet two other friendly cats cared for by the organization. I loved them right away. They are obviously very comfortable with humans. I felt great love towards these felines – shamelessly I thought maybe after Mona I will get these two to shelter..
Sometimes the organization is looking for emergency fosters to look after cats who were just rescued from the streets, or have had a surgery. Those who have had a surgery needs an comfortable place to heal. Those who just got our of street need to adopt to indoor life. Nothing is impossible, but some patience or experience may be needed.
So, if you are new to cat care and fostering, what tips can I give?
When I decided to foster a cat, one of my friends asked whether I asked that the cat is litter-trained. Never crossed my mind!! If you do not have time, experience, or interest to go through this training, please feel free to ask (luckily, Mona was trained)
Kittens, I heard, are more energetic and have health vulnerabilities different than adult cats, so consider learning more about their care if you decide to foster kittens
Whether neutered (for male cats) or spayed (for females) may be another thing you may want to ask – Mona was spayed and I did not have to go through the heat season, but I heard that it may be annoying to some people. Un-neutered makes may mark the house/furniture with their secretions (there is a name for this that I cannot remember now), that – I heard – may be quite annoying to some people. So feel free to ask their status
Diseases can be something you can ask about as well. I had not. I am not sure whether there are diseases that pass from cats to human, but I would not be surprised if there are. Also if you have little kids or other animals, or are pregnant, I think there are certain conditions that need to be considered. These all should be talked prior to fostering agreement
You can ask whether the vet and medication expenses, as well as litter and food are supplied. In my case, our organization provides them (with I making some contributions voluntarily). Ask just in case to prevent unexpected expenses. The first shelter I contacted required us to bring the fostered animals to vet ourselves. Our organization send volunteers and for someone like me who does not have a car, this is a significant advantage
You may also ask for how long the fostering period is. Sometimes it is for short time (a couple of weeks to recuperate from stress or sickness), and sometimes it is until a forever home is found.
Age or health of the cat may be something you may consider. There is a difference in care, time, and effort needed for a cat with a condition, and a cat that is just healthy or young.
Be prepared to do more cleaning, especially if the cat is shedding. Mona is shedding lightly and grooming her controls it to a degree. But I do more vacuuming and cleaning, especially her litter room (aka my extra bathroom). I often have an extra laundry load as well, for Mona’s blanket and other items
I have not thought, or asked about any of these, except the expense part prior to agreeing to foster Mona, I did not care whether it was a young, healthy, or sick cat.
The fact that I started taking antidepressants right around the same time as I started fostering Mona makes me question whether I feel better compared to before because of the medication or Mona?
I have no answer to that…..
I am continuing the medication because I am feeling better and it seems to make me take things lighter and have more time for myself. I can handle emotions easier and get stressed less.
Today I am convinced that she is an enormous support to my emotional health. She has been my support pet for the day and possibly many other days.
I am very grateful for Mona and the shelter organization that allows me to foster her.
May she always be safe, loved, cared for, free of accidents and fear, and have the cleanest litter box and finest meals.
Mona has minor health issues, like constipation or some other small stuff. We are following vet’s recommendations but time to time she gets it again and it worries me. The fact that I love her so much means that her wellness related matters are painful for me. I am scared that I do not understand if she has a serious issue and cannot take the appropriate steps (like contacting the organization for a vet visit), or they will quit on her.
How painful are these thoughts?
Love is meant to be joyful. But pain is also a part of it. I find serenity in making sure that I follow all recommendations and report all issues, even if they seem small. They are experienced and can decide whether it is a serious issue or not. I also find serenity in praying and asking for protection, support, and love for her and improved understanding for myself to help Mona.
I sometimes feel guilty because I am a hard-working professional and especially during the day I cannot pay the attention Mona deserves or asks for. But evenings are ours and so are the nights. We spent quite some time, play, and interact. I love her when she listens to me and falls into sleep. I love her when she wakes me up in the morning when she gets hungry by walking on my pillow.
Just today, I seriously considered adopting her. Emotions are high 🙂 The hard reality is that I am capable of doing this, but I have to choose between her and my family – the only reason that I am fostering is that when I start traveling for extended period of times, I cannot take her with me. What will happen to her? Where will I leave her to? Fostering helps with this.
These being said, sometimes I think that life is too short to think about such things and we really do not know what the future will bring. Just today Canada announced that they plan to quarantine all Canadians returning from out of country. The moment I thought things were getting better (with the vaccines being administered now), now we have more restrictions for travel. I feel strained because I was hoping to visit my family next year. But who knows what will happen then?
Sometimes, there is no perfect solution that we can come up. Sometimes, life turns in unexpected ways. I will leave it to life to decide…
My sister just joked that “once Mona finds a forever home and leaves you, you may fill your home with new cats, but none will be like her. So be ready“.
There is truth to this.
I am emotionally attached to Mona and I believe she and I have a great bond. She trusts me and I trust her in turn. She has never been an issue for me. She did not scare me, bite me, or hiss at me. She did not break anything at home. More importantly, she is not interested in counter tops and stove, so I keep my sanity (stove is the one that I am most scared off. Cannot imagine her or another cat jumping on and hurting their wonderful paws….)
My sleep is much better since she joined my household. I love talking to her at night and being woken up by her in the morning. She is not an early bird, so 7-8 am is our time. I spend around 5-10 minutes petting her and scratching her head, which she loves. Then comes cleaning her water and food bowls, and adding fresh food and water. We have a comfortable routine in the morning that works.
While she asks for attention sometimes during the day, she lets me work. Not even once she interrupted or asked for attention while I was having online meetings. She is not a fan of the computer or the keyboard either. Absolute, golden luck for a busy professional like me.
The love I feel for her is very strong and makes me happy. I always have known that she would leave one day…. But when she leaves, it will hurt. Until then.
It is impossible to have a magical creature like a cat at home and not bonding or being emotionally attached. I am sure I am not the only one who fosters a lovely cat and one day will let her go.
My fear has always been not knowing whether she is sick/uncomfortable or healthy and well. It is hard to know what they feel. What if I miss an otherwise important, silent clue and she gets hurt? Not one thing that I can risk. That is why it is really awesome that the shelter organization is very attentive to my questions and provides me with info and support whenever I need it. Nevertheless, I continue to fear (not in a way that it creates an anxiety., but in away that I keep watching).
Anyways, considering her wonderful character and our bond, my sister indeed made a great point. Since I was so lucky to start fostering by a cat like Mona, do I really think that other foster cats will be as mild, joyful, and non-problematic as Mona?
What about those stories we hear here and there about cats chewing cables; breaking TVs; ruining furniture; being hostile or aggressive; being clingy or too active; and so on?
These are potential experiences as well, with the future cats. Thanks sis, for making me realize things a little bit better.
I also keep in my perspective that it is also possible to foster other cats like Mona in the future, and each cat has many wonderful characteristics that will continue to awe me.
Some of you may not know the difference between adopting and fostering an animal. I did not know the difference for a very long time.
Simply put, fostering is a temporary care of an animal, in this case, until my foster cat Mona finds a home.
Fostering does not have to cost you anything. The organization that rescued Mona is supplying or covering all vet, medication, food, and litter and other expenses. Supplies are delivered to my home – imagine!.. All other things, including the litter box, scoop, and scratch post as well as blankets or a toy were also provided. Since I am free to donate to the cause, I buy litter sometimes and wet food. I buy toys, catnip, and cat grass kits myself. Since it is my decision to replace the litter box and scoop every two weeks, I supply these myself as well. And, believe me, it is just joyful.
So, if you are interested in, think about this cost-free and highly meaningful experience.
As a foster mom (dad, person, and so on), you have moral and legal obligations. For example, I signed an agreement that I cannot arrange for adoption myself – this needs to go through the organization. If there is any emergency or any unusual health situation, I must give a call to the organization immediately, day or night. Morally, I must take good care of the fostered animal and provide a safe space. I should give the organization a couple of days to bring me supplies and so on. Nothing too much or too demanding. Just making sure that the animal will be cared for.
My relationships with the director of the organization/shelter and the volunteers who take her to vet and bring in supplies are very good. I increasingly become grateful and inspired by their volunteer activities and serving for such a great cause. We also made friends – this is an extra bonus 🙂 Whenever I have a question, I contact them. Together we make sure that Mona is well. It is a great team.
For someone who is meticulous, have a high sense of responsibility, and is kind of naive and un-knowledgeable about cats, their care, or health issues, I had to do a lot of google searches (only reliable resources – I have no time for vegan diet for cats who are natural carnivores and need high levels of protein, or herbal treatments for FIP kind of serious diseases). Many of my virtual friends here and in social media are also great help. My family also provided many useful tips. It is doable, friends – do not be afraid to foster and help an animal.
Many people are appreciative of fosters, and shower you with gifts and supplies. Do not be surprised by these lovely gestures. I was surprised myself – it is so good to know that there are many individuals out there who share the same interests with you.
It took me maybe 2 months to establish the most practical and easy approach to litter situation. Eventually, I learnt the difference between a litter mat and a regular mat; importance of having a separate litter garbage box in the room (to temporarily store the poop and pees in poop bags); having yet another garbage can (to dispose unconsumed food and food cans); dumping soiled litter every day to keep the room fresh; importance of small, poop bags that are life-savers; the different types of bowls (porcelain is the best in my opinion); not letting Mona eat a wet food after 3 hours of serving (it is cold here but nevertheless the food not only may get spoiled, but also chemically react); mixing water with wet food to increase liquid intake (Mona is not a fan of water); watching the litter box usage to get a sense of her regular bowel movements (constipation is a real issue and can be quite serious after 24 hours), and so on. Now I feel like we have a good system that works for both of us.
Giving a medication to a cat is a real art. I learnt that some medication can be crushed and mixed with the wet food, but not all of them. Some medications seem to have a protective coat, which, if disrupted, release the medication too fast. Keep this in your mind. Always consult a vet. Some liquid medication can be mixed with the meal, but in my experience if it smells or tastes differently, cat may not be well receptive. If you can, orally administer the medication using a syringe (which I could not, but you should try). Some pills also need to be orally administered. We had difficulty with one pill. I could not do it myself, so I had to find a way to trick Mona. So you can use pill pockets, or if they do not work, you can hide the pill in something soft that your cat likes. For Mona, that was cheese. Some other cats, it may be something else. Get ready for the experimentation 🙂
Many house plants and human food are toxic or poisonous for cats. Do your search and comply with the recommendations. Mona ate a plant at home, and got sick. It turns out I mis-labelled the plant even though I had checked its toxicity status. It is good to be on the safe side. Interestingly, Mona is okay with drinking milk and eating yogurt – so I take this as she is not lactose intolerant. Moral of the story – you never know what cats can eat or not, and whey eat, what might be the consequences 🙂
Our shelter/organization does not recommend treats. The way I see there is a lot of information out there for their potential mis-use/over-use, and health effects. Treats, as their name implies, is supposed to be given only every once a while, and they are not necessary. I used it to suppress the smell of a pill. Otherwise we are good with no treat.
The wet food is more expensive than the kibbles (hard or dry food), yet for cats they seem great – their water contents is high and they have generally less carbs than kibbles. Carbs are not so good for cats and can lead to obesity. Too many health problems are associated with obesity/over-weight in cats. Mona has become overweight under my watch, so now she is served less food than before. For her health.
You may remember that since late October I am fostering a cat, Mona.
She has been my first foster cat and I could not be happier.
You may ask why I decided to foster.
I wanted to foster for a very long time, especially after I gave back my cat (whom I adopted a few years back and sadly had to return to shelter after 5 days… I know.. I know.. I am heartless. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. But I was not good enough and could not bear the idea of putting him in a kernel while I have extended trips. Luckily in a couple of weeks, he was adopted. Or, so I was told….).
How did I finally start fostering?
Anyways, my next door neighbour is a big fan of pets and adopting animals as much as she can. So, she encouraged me for years… So did my family… Eventually this Fall, right before I asked my doctor to prescribe me an anti-depressant, I took the step and contacted a shelter. They said they had frozen the program and would open again in a week. My neighbour said – do NOT wait. So I contacted another one. Long story short, I was interviewed in a couple of days, signed agreements, and in a week I had Mona transported to my home 🙂
Then, she arrived.
It was too soon, but in the meantime, luckily I had prepared my home and removed the sticky bands, secured the cables somehow, and prepared a room for the cat. I was planning to keep her in the room a couple of days until she felt secure. But it did not work that way. The vicious cat needed to be let go off the carrier right away, otherwise she would be hurting herself. That was a good thing indeed – she immediately checked the place and found herself a comfy place (the top of the couch). The fact that she did not display any fear or did not hide tells me that she was okay.
She also was friendly with me and did not hiss or otherwise show any aggressive behavior. I showed her her litter box, gave food and water, and let her be.
The fact that I am not interested in showing big attention to anyone helped.
I remember the next night she placed herself on my bed and groomed herself. I remember petting her (I was afraid!!) lightly and learning right away that there was a limit to how many times you can pet a cat 🙂 (answer is that, you gotta stop after 5-6 times and if she wants, she will signal you to do it. Otherwise, be prepared to face an unhappy and determined cat).
How do I take having someone at home and arrange my life around them?
I never felt disgusted or tired of cleaning her litter box, washing her bowls, and giving her food (all wet food) or water. I continue to dump the litter everyday to keep air fresh at home, and dump the entire litter, litter box, and the scoop every two weeks. I vacuum the carpets and floors, especially the litter room, frequently and wipe with wet wipes (sometimes, but not always, with antibacterial wipes. Too much chemicals..). I play with her at least twice a day, generously scratch her head and groom her body. She often sleeps on the foot area of my bed during the nights, and during the day.
The smell of the litter / pooh made me annoyed once or twice, I had to learn to use a small amount of baking soda with litter and better aerate the house.
I was scared to give liquid medication orally by a syringe, which I could never managed to do.
I was scared when Mona got sick and needed to go to the vet.
Other than these, I am simply grateful that she is in my life. She wakes me up in the morning for meal (thank goodness, and let me pet her. I love my mornings now 🙂 I talk to her, always wishing positive things and telling her the difference she has made in my life. She listens.
She has a great community of people caring for her. My friends gave her many gifts and often send their love in messages. My family fell in love with her. She is loved, cared, and admired.
Why fostering gave me a huge satisfaction and has a deep meaning?
I started fostering by the idea of having a cat – I admire them – in my life.
But I had never thought how meaningful and satisfactory is to actually help an animal. Mona was a stray cat and had a rough start in life. She is now in a safe place, loved, fed well, and cared for. Fostering her till she is adopted is most certainly helping another cat to be rescued from the streets, or from abusive owners. To be able to contribute to such a great aim is incredible.
Good morning everyone – I hope you are enjoying this day.
We have a bright day outside, which is always a treat for us folks during winter. I plan to walk a little bit and get fresh air. Seeing snow all white and fluffy (sometimes; some other times it is just that dirty snow banks – ugh) gives me some sort of serenity. I love it and cannot wait for my walk.
I am currently enjoying my coffee. I have already browsed through the news and social media. Feeling connected and informed by what have been going on around the world.
The COVID-19 pandemic is going on (duh!). Many folks are still in lock-down, some have stricter, some have more relax regulations. It is hard to believe that it has been almost 10 months for us…. I remember the initial days – how I sent my team members to home earlier, advised them to take personal items with them, and make sure their personal computers can function to continue work. I have been used to work at home, so it did not affect me too much, but going out and shopping was the one that bothered me most.
Then came the news of more deaths, more people affected. International borders being closed and travel becoming a hurdle. We all hoped for vaccines to come along, which now are available to lucky countries and bunch.
The moment we thought we had hope with the vaccines came the news of the new variants. At first they said that there was no evidence of the new variant being associated with higher mortality, only higher infection rate. The last few days I have been hearing that now there is some sort of evidence that it may be more deadly.
One wonders how long we will go ahead like this and worry about ourselves, family, friends, neighbours, and global population overall.
I think the answer is as long as we all can.
The other question everybody has in their minds is how we are going to recover economically, socially, or otherwise. I have no idea… Today may as well be the best day economically. For example, we expect some job cuts soon. Will it affect me personally? I have no idea. But it will affect many people, if it has not already. So, let’s enjoy what we have already, folks. Tomorrow we may not have jobs, or our salaries and benefits may be cut, or we all may feel like doomed. Let’s not let this get into our ways. Not yet.
I had heard once that a library was looking forward to the diaries that pen down the experiences of individuals during the pandemic. What a great idea. I feel like we are in the middle of a historic moment in human history. I expect many novels, collections, and movies describing our experiences in the future.
But more importantly, how we all have adapted to this situation. What worked and what did not. Just like the 1918 flu pandemic, perhaps we will leave important clues for the next generations, for the next pandemics and infectious diseases, or catastrophes.
I am aware that none of these are new to you, so this blog entry is rather meh (at least this is my own assessment). But I felt like writing these down. I am lucky that I have not lost anyone I know to COVID-19 and live in a place with rather low numbers of active cases. I am one of those lucky people, who just happened to be in the right place in the right time. I feel guilty rather than lucky, to tell you the truth….
The other day I was having a conversation with an acquaintance and she reminded me that we are all connected – all life forms. We in fact are.
Recently I used these words to stop someone, who kept interrupting me during a conversation.
I immediately felt pride in for standing up for this behavior we often experience during professional meetings.
Later, I felt remorse because I was like “what if I interrupt others while they are speaking?”
I do not know the answer to that, but I sure will watch myself in the next while. If I do interrupt anyone, I should stand back.
I learn these words from someone else. That was the first time I had heard them and I thought they were much powerful than saying “Let me finish”, or “Do you mind if I continue”, or “Can I finish my words?”
I have had relax and somehow un-busy two weeks since the start of the year. I kind of find this strange, considering my often quite busy schedule. Perhaps this is a good thing.
For example, this afternoon I was able to clean my home in between meetings. I now partition my cleaning, with vacuuming both floors and cleaning of kitchen and bathrooms happening at different times during the day. Since I am fostering a lovely cat, vacuuming the floors and carpets as well as the floor of the litter room (aka my guest bathroom) has become routine. I also bought an additional vacuum so that I do not carry vacuum in between the storeys. Life is much easier this way and cleaning is not overwhelming so much.
My foster cat Mona needs some medications and it has been quite a hurdle, to be honest. I got liquid medication to squirt into her mouth, which I could not. I then mixed them with her wet food, which she refused to eat. Then, we got pills for one of them and pill pockets. Again, she refused. Tonite I will be trying to cover the pill with cheese and follow with a treat. I hope for the best. The next solution is likely asking her to be cared by someone else during the next two weeks till her medications are administered completely.
I gotta read and learn quite a bit about different ways to give medication. Some pills can be crushed, others cannot. The best way seems to be administer orally by syringe or putting the pill behind the tongue, yet that requires someone who has got the confidence. I do not have that. Mona senses that I am tense and gets even more tense, so trying to hold her, opening her mouth and placing the medications seem a very distant dream to me. Perhaps with some sort of help by another person, I could get to learn how to administer medications, but this will have to wait till the end of the pandemic.
How is your pandemic going on, by the way? We are still working from home and we are quite safe where I live – the case load is low and I could not be happier. I still dream for the day that I will get the vaccination, though. And I hope my family will get it soon as well. It is so surreal… This entire ordeal… I now know 3 close relatives or friends who contracted the virus. Most were okay, but one of them needed hospitalization. It is so scary to know and experience this. Please be safe, friends, and keep practicing the public health measures.
I am looking forward to a fresh day tomorrow when I would like to just chill down. Honestly, un-busy or not, there is so much out there in life to experience and learn that I appreciate any day without the pressure of work. I hope you too will have a great, relaxing Saturday.
I hope you all have a great Holiday Season and a happy New Year’s Eve!
First, a note on New Year’s Resolution. I have been seeing on social media people mocking others for having New Year Resolutions. I do not understand this – resolutions are hopes and objectives for many people, and some actually can reach their objectives. Many cannot keep up with their resolutions, so what? Let people hope and plan. Whether it is time for them to reach their destination is none of our business.
Second, I wanted to think about what I would like to change in New Year myself. I noticed that there were two things that have been in my list, like for ever. One, to lose weight. Two, to exercise more. Should I focus on these two? Absolutely. Even, for a short time if I eat reasonably (I am old enough to know what my body likes and what makes it lose fat…) and take my time and creativity to exercise, it will help me. I do not plan to become a model or an athlete. So, keeping my plans light and my expectations small helps, even if I fail to keep my resolutions.
Third, I realized I had less to change this year compared to previous years. Why was that?
I thought maybe I already reached or integrated the necessary changes in my life permanently (like, being fugal, making good savings and investments every year, making pre-payments, and so on), or I trust myself that when a change is needed, it finds a way to get in my life anyways. These thoughts actually made me happier and gave me a sense of freedom that I had not felt at around other New Years. Liked it – I think aging with wisdom has been happening with me. Cool 🙂
My 13 days of Holidays break is ending tomorrow. I managed to work only a few hours during this break and enormously liked it. Having time myself helped me clean and declutter my home; donate what I had but did not use; shop and purchase great food and other necessities; and change the face of a couple of corners in my home.
For example, I never knew how larger was my entrance deck than I thought until this Holidays. It is because I keep my coats and shoes out, rather than hanging them in the cabinet, and sometimes the recycling bags, too. I thought enough was enough, and found one of my racks and placed in on the wall. Now, my scarf, hat, and coat are nicely hanging there, right behind the door, without the need to use the cabinets (I am too lazy to open the cabinet doors to take my coat out each time I am out – simple truth…). Also, I placed all of shoes in the cabinet, and left two boots that I use during the winter out in the deck area. The space I have and the welcoming feeling this gives me is truly astonishing 🙂
More over, I put three of my favorite plants to the entrance deck. It could not be more beautiful than this. For a person who is into plants so much, the fact that I just now could think about this baffles me. As, I said above, finding time for myself during the break has been an amazing experience for me. It also made me get excited about retirement – imagine all the new great things I can integrate into my life? 🙂
Overall, I truly enjoyed my break and am ready to start the work tomorrow. I am grateful for everything I could do and the rest I have taken during the last 2 weeks.
I believe one of the reasons that many cannot follow their New Year’s Resolutions is that we are simply too busy in the rest of the year….. To integrate things, like eating better or exercising, we need to find “time”.
One may say that we make our time, but if you are like me and have a highly competitive and high-energy job, then you will also understand that focus on work always takes over focus on myself. Time cannot be generated or saved. Not in such a society where the demands on ourselves increase constantly. So if there was one thing that the pandemic and lock-down did teach to many of us is that status quo of hard-work and not having a true, healthy life-work balance are not good for us, but are the norm.
I hope we will change this, though, I am less than hopeful, knowing there are always overly ambitious people and profit-oriented companies that will drive the glamor of over-work in the future as well.
I wish you the greatest year and wonderful experiences ever in 2021!
I know the situation is far from being normal and positive, but we must keep the faith in wonderful things happening and our hope that it will get better with time.
I feel selfish to note this here, but I think 2020 was one of the best years of my life. I know… I am sorry that I can say this…..But finding good things in our ordinary life, slowing down, daring for things that I wanted but did not (aka fostering a lovely cat), and making good progress in some areas – both personally and professionally – are all what make me feel grateful for the lock-down.
These being said, I continue to be worried about my own and my family’s health and safety during the pandemic. I also feel the burden of being one of the survivors of this pandemic, while millions have died so far in 2020…..It is a real burden.
Those who are affected by this virus or have lost a loved one, I hope you will find peace in being better now and in good memories with loved ones.
Those who are affected by the lock-down and lost their jobs/closed their businesses – I hope you will get support during these difficult times and receive opportunities to keep going.
Those who has got knowledgeable about the racism, double standards, femicide, domestic violence, homelessness, addiction and mental health sufferers during the pandemic – I hope you will continue to feel these people’s pain and do something, really something, to prevent further injustice.
Those who are working from home, while also caring for elderly or kids – I hope the child care will be free for all of you real soon. I know it is hard one to wish for, but I do genuinely wish this for you.
Those who got bored during the pandemic/lock-down and started new hobbies and life-styles with positive outcomes – I applaud you and I hope you will show this plasticity in the future and bring the best of creativity to your lives.
Those who sacrificed for the rest of us; the essential workers from healthcare providers to grocery clerks – I hope you realize your importance for the globe. Thank you for all you have done for the rest of us.
Those who has found something positive out of all of these uncertainty, pain, and worry – I hope you will keep going and share it with everyone around you.
This last one is particularly important – let’s always remember that labeling 2020 with hardship and pain only, and wishing it be gone will not change anything…. Pandemic is here – people suffer and have suffered. We do not know what the next day will bring.
But, maybe it will bring A GOOD thing.
Let’s remember to remember the wonderful things happening in our lives and in others’ lives. We owe it to our collective well-being.
I think I am done! I did close up a number of items/projects with my team members and we are ready to start the Holiday season. Yahoo 🙂
Honestly, I was just struggling to finish all of these. Or, this is what I thought. It turns out that we actually did very well and things went well today as well. So, I have nothing left to do tomorrow. As of this evening, the Holiday Season Starts for me and my team.
Completing what you planned to do right before a break is one of the most satisfying feelings. I could not be happier 🙂
Today I also got notifications for the approval of a report by our group and the approval of a project of mine 🙂 It is as if today was supposed to be a blessing for me. Let me cherish this for a moment…
Yest, despite all of these positive and satisfying experiences, I feel less excited than I normally would. I believe this is the phase where you are so tired that you cannot even enjoy your accomplishments.
To commemorate this evening and the accomplishments of the day, I cooked fried beans and I am in love. Such a creamy and tasty meal. This was my second trial of friend beans and as a beans lover, I cannot imagine how much I was missing by not eating this food more routinely. It has become one of my top food in the list.
To further enjoy the start of my Holidays break, tomorrow I plan to go visit a thrift store 🙂 Now, this is indeed very exciting – cannot wait!
Friends – hope you all are gonna have a relaxing, happy, and comfortable Holiday Season. Please take care of yourself and those around you and those who need help & support. Stay safe and all the best.
We have 3 more days to work and then will have 11 days off – how fantastic is this?
Cannot wait 🙂
This year is different than previous years. I will likely not go to any functions or meet with friends. But I still will do a couple of things.
Gift my neighbours. The only people I consistently and lovingly gift during Christmas is my next door neighbours. They are wonderful and I could not ask for a better neighbour. I picked something nice for them. I hope they will like it
Summarize my financial expenses and savings within the last year and make plans for the next year. I keep records of my expenses, which helps me to see where my hard-earned dollars are going. Some years and better than the others, but I think it was a good year and I was able to increase my net worth. It is also a good opportunity to look at where I spend most and see whether I can do better. I am planning to do these in the next weeks, Exciting!
Clean and declutter the house!! I am unmotivated to do this, as it takes a big chunk of my holidays. I clean every corner and the carpets – by hand – which takes so much time and energy. Decluttering, however, is fun! I decluttered 3 cabinets last weekend and I have a lot of items to donate. I like this. I also cut up old clothes and made myself a nice chunk of disposable cleaning clothes. I am particularly excited about these 😉 My plan is to clean two empty rooms hopefully tomorrow so that I can spare one day from my holidays
I do not wish to work or check/get crazy about work emails during the holidays. Folks – it is such a freedom and I deserve it. You, too
Clean the email boxes and organize & store the bills to open space for the next year’s bills.
Copy the pictures and important documents in an external drive – you never know when the computer will crash (lesson learnt many years ago in a hard way) – highly recommended
Call relatives and friends that I have not spoken in a while.
Visit thrift stores!! I cannot wait – I went to a thrift store only once since the lock down started. I am excited about the prospect of visiting one again. I will also bring in my donations at the same time – win-win 🙂
Spend time reading a book or two, or binge-watch some Netflix series. I deserve this 🙂
And make pastry to celebrate the new year. It is my tradition to have pastry with beef for the new year’s Eve. I cannot wait – yummy 🙂
She changed my life for the better and I certainly feel a positive aurora around the home and pleasant feelings in my mind. Loving, petting, caring for, and talking to Mona have certainly helped me have positive thoughts and emotions. I have tons of good wishes for her and time to time, I tell them to her.
I got used to clean the bowl each time I give Mona food and cleaning her water bowl every morning. Scooping the litter does not bother me at all, I often clean it at least twice a day. I think Mona likes this dedicated service 🙂
Cleaning the litter box, however, is another story. At first, I replaced the litter box, scoop, and litter after two weeks of use. Then, somehow she got constipation and I decided to have a second litter box on the other level of the house. I think Mona loved this as well. I liked it too, because I think it helped with limiting contamination of the floors with litter, pee, or pooh pieces (I think while digging the litter, sometimes she steps on her excretions).
The litter box and scoops are from Dolarama, so they are very affordable. I had no reason to bother myself clean them and use again. The only problem is that when last time I visited Dolarama, I found scoops, but not litter boxes. Hence, I had to clean the litter boxes today….
I am not doing this again.
I am lucky that I have an unused bathroom at home and a bath tub, which was helpful in cleaning and disinfecting the boxes. But it was not kind to my back, and I did not enjoy working on two litter boxes for around an hour of washing, rinsing, disinfecting, rinsing and washing again, and drying. Not to talk about disinfecting the bath tub once all were taken care of.
While I am hopeful that I can find litter boxes next time I visit Dolarama, there is no guarantee for that. So, I currently have one litter box for use for Mona. Hope she will be okay with this. If it goes negative, I will set up the second litter box. Then, they will have to be replaced in two weeks. That means this or the next weekend, I will be hunting for litter boxes 🙂
Mona is an incredibly gentle and easy cat. I think as the first time foster mom, I have been very fortunate. She just is asking for food whenever I eat something 🙂 and started not to like every food I serve her. That is okay, I guess – she has the right to have favorite food types.
While the food, litter, and vet expenses are covered by the organization I volunteer for Mona, I often buy wet food and litter to help the organization, Mona, and myself. It is a pleasure shopping for her with excitement; great to change or add fresh litter frequently; and see her happy and comfortable.
For decades, I have lived with anxiety and depression. I have done or tried everything I can; from exercise to supplements to psychotherapy (which was very useful, but is also very expensive) to reading many, many books about the topic and trying different approaches to feel good.
I thought if I there was a solution, I would have already found it.
My great doctor did not hesitate to prescribe me anti-depressant after I told him that I was not feeling well for a very long time, I was struggling to keep up with the demands of life and work, I could not feel joy, and I could not afford psychotherapy.
I am highly functional, but sometimes I force myself to do even a simple thing. The pressure I put on myself to do many things eventually becomes unbearable.
It is also unnecessary, my doctor said.
I resisted the idea of medication for a very long time. Now I think that was silly. As my doctor said this may be a simple chemical imbalance. If the body cannot produce it, there is nothing wrong with supplementing it with medication.
My doctor’s positive attitude and support made my day.
Medication gives me hope. We do not know whether this particular drug or dose will be useful or not. But at least there are other dose and medication options. I have hope now.
Leaving resistance to use antidepressants behind and being open to support are additional incredible developments on my side. I feel like I can apply these to other parts of my life and at work.
The day has been strange. I have been feeling tired in the last few days, so I got up late. First thing first, I replaced the water and food for the foster cat, Mona. She is doing well, well adapted to home and me, does not bother me at all, and very loving and loved 🙂 She is lovely and I am lucky.
I worked well in the morning, but in mid-noon, I have become overwhelmed. I felt weak, shaky, hopeless, scared, and feeling like the only solution to all problems I am facing was to quit my job.
This is not something new. I react badly to all negative emotions work-related issues create. I want and deserve a better quality of life.
Will I be able to feel absolutely better for ever if I quit job?
No. If it is not the job issues, then I am sure there will be issues in other areas in my life. Like family, or other relations. Will I quit them too? (No).
So, when I think like this, I start to find myself responsible for my feelings, which somehow hurts me. My thoughts in these situations are “I should be dealing with things better, I should not let annoyances and annoying people annoy me and put me in this emotional state, and I have not been able to do this all these years. Am I weak? Am I broken?“
What is it? I do not know. Maybe I need a vacation (who does not?), therapy, or some medications.
The positive thing is that I want to feel better.
The negative thing is that I frequently feel like sh.t.
Maybe it is time that I ask my doctor to prescribe me an anti-depressant. They usually do not want to, but if I ask, there is a chance. We shall see.
These are the days that I “cave in” in my bedroom. For some unknown reason, spending time here helps me gather myself up, for which I am grateful. It mends me. Now that I also have this wonderful cat snoozing next to me :), I think the healing power of this room has grown quite a bit. Wonderful.
Mona has been good for me. Today is the first time I have had emotional collapse or stress since she arrived here. I always wondered how I would react with a cat at home. One restriction I felt was I did not feel free enough to do whatever I want to do to soothe my nerves. Other than that, I think she is an angel, heals me, gets me, and loves me.
I wish the best for Mona. I hope she will find a great permanent home soon. I will miss her and cry quite a bit when she leaves, but I will get over it eventually. I feel like her eyes are reading me, so I cannot look at her eyes for too long – can you imagine?? 🙂
If only animals had spoken – we would learn so much from them.
Sophie’s choice is an amazing, heart-breaking, and quite an emotionally intense book.
I first got to know about it through its movie adaptation.
Since then, whenever I face a hard choice, I remember it.
A part of my anxiety is because I cannot decide what is the best choice. Shall I notify someone before I cc them in an email? Shall I take this collaboration, or leave it as it is? Shall I say something or not?
These may sound like easy choices, but when you try to calculate risk of your steps and cannot take the risk associated with either of the solutions, it becomes a trouble.
To be clear, I take risks. When I hire someone, when I step up for something, when I go for an interview, when I submit a report, when I want to move in a new direction, live in a new country/city, and when I decide what is best for me in life.
It is a some sort of dilemma that while I can take these risky moves, I sometimes cannot decide what to do with relatively less important things.
The idea of the book is that even you are forced to make decisions that are otherwise seem impossible, sometimes the end result may not change or differ. Not everything is in our power – it is sometimes highly dependent on other parties involved. Sometimes it is just screwed in any way.
Knowing this does not relieve my attention on the hardship of some decisions.
It is one of those hollow days where no activity is stimulating or satisfying, and there is nothing much to be done. So boredom sinks. I know that this is a transition period, and I will pick up in a few days, if not the next moment.
I went to my office today for a few hours and it was good to be there. The empty halls, offices, and common areas are sad to see, but knowing that these measures keep us safe is wonderful. We are lucky in the sense that we can work mostly from home. It is somehow inefficient but we manage, and things move on at work, albeit at a slower pace.
While I was there, I had to attend a remote meeting online. It is a new group we are joining to. Observing how different certain things are has been interesting, but I was expecting this. The group dynamic is always something that interests me – there are many people who are quiet, some people who are pissed, and some others not knowing what to do when things heat up. It is strange that despite all the civilization our humanity has gone through, sometimes we all find ourselves subject to uncivilized attitudes or personal attacks (whether or not the attack should be taken personal does not matter – an attack is an attack). In those cases, I always miss a unifying voice that calls for unity, civility, and respect. There is not many people like this I guess, but all committees need one. A calmer. A negotiator. A leader.
These are the times I also find myself needing to remind myself – be tactical. Smile. Think something else. What a waste of human potential and emotions. Do you also feel the need to change and fit in at your work? Sometimes being authentic does not work out well, even though it is the best and the right thing to do. The way our work environments shape our behavior and impose stress on our well being is very strange…..
These are the moments that my intention to resign intensifies. What is important? A livelihood and otherwise highly satisfactory career, or my well being? It is a silly idea to just stop and lose income, but I can always look for jobs as they appear in my life. I think this idea at least frees me and gives me a sort of peace.
Nevertheless, it is beautiful outside. We have a bright sunny sky with cool temperatures. I enjoy such weather very much. I cut the grass in the yard and I saw birds and insects feasting on the cut grass. There is something great about the nature that we are missing. I was reading a blog the other day by someone who just retired and was making connections with nature again. I felt impressed by and happy for this person.
Happy to type this post this morning; it has been a while that I put my heart, mind, and words here.
The great news is that it is a beautiful morning where I feel no rush to sip my coffee or start doing home chores. I am not in rush… What a powerful, positive, and attractive feeling.
There is this bird that I woke up to each morning. She sings like nothing I have heard. Incredible melodies, maybe 2-3 different tones. Remembering it even puts tears of joys in my eyes. My daily walks around my neighborhood continues to delight me – there are so many new trees, yards, and plants that I got to notice, admire, and love. It is these moments spent in nature that I realize the one organism messes up with much is sadly human.
What is going on in some countries with COVID-19, all the suffering and deaths, failure to control the pandemic and support people, and resistance to use even the simplest public health measures makes me angry, disappointed and disgusted. This is human life we are talking about – can you not implement policies that others are already successfully doing? Can you not put on a mask, or practice physical distancing of 2 meters? Can you not realize this is not FLU.
Rant over. But I needed to do this for the memory of all those who lost their lives needlessly to COVID-19.
The effects of this pandemic is continuous, of course. I continue to feel depressed, but not sure whether this is due to pandemic and the changes it implemented in my life, or other things going on in my life, especially related to work.
It has been a mixed feeling at the beginning. I had enjoyed having a break from office and working fully from home. It was doable and I was feeling advantageous because working from home is not something new to me. BUT over time people I worked with could not keep up. We started to fall back and my productivity decreased considerably. This sucked. Only lately I feel like I am finally completing the lagging tasks and I can look forward to new, fresh ideas and projects. This is at least a great development lately.
I also feel like I must take a break and I am starting with a few days the week ahead. I plan to do what I want to do most – contemplate about what is important and what is not. In life and at work.
Remarkably, it has also been a time of change for me. I try to remove my perfectionist attitude and relax the measures a little bit, which makes an awesome difference in the work load I shoulder and give others more responsibility for their action or inaction. There are other changes. I think I will write about these changes and the positive effect they have on me later. Change is an opportunity and gives me hope, makes me excited, and absolutely less depressed.
I think I am feeling depressive because there are things that are not working for me anymore. That is why change is powerful, needed, and feels hopeful.
I also feel very strongly about the fact that I have been feeling like shit for a very long time and it was time that I choose to feel better.
I feel like this pandemic has got on my nerves quite a bit. Self-isolation, working from home, limited social life, limited store visits, and limited fresh food all suck.
I said it.
Today I went to a store just to pick a box of pastry. I felt victorious and free. I decided to do my grocery shopping every week to buy different food each time. I decided to eat better and a variety of food. I decided it was not yet a disaster situation. It was still safe where I was. And, it was okay that I get some sort of normalcy and provide my body and mind some sort of a relief.
Summer is here and I love it. My yard is good – I cut the grass almost every day to control it. My trees are blooming and I just love nature and what it can do. It is the best time of the year.
I have saluted each tree, each plant in my neighbour during my daily walks. They are pretty – how come I have not noticed them earlier? This pandemic is allowing us to approach life a little bit different. Not necessarily a bad thing, as this new ability to pay more attention to our surrounding shows. Some says the current social activism around #BlackLivesMatter movement and the protests were able to involve more people because many of us are away from the workplace. I think there is a truth in this.
What is happening regarding the #BlackLivesMatter movement is certainly an interest to me. I hope that the words will be followed by actions by allies, public members, governments, and organizations, and things will permanently change and equity will be everywhere and racism, discrimination, oppression and increased violence and poverty and so on will cease to exist. I know it is not going to be easy or in a short time, but we can strive for these objectives. It has been a long time that these hurt and harmed. It is up to us to end and turn things around.
I have been having interesting days. Overall, things are going well, with me head-butting an issue that creates an anxiety. yesterday and today – it has been solved. I am really happy with this. I am not afraid of it anymore, as I figured that the issue does not even exist… Sigh…
This is what anxiety does to you. It is debilitating and limiting. I cannot conquer it, but sometimes I can attack it. I mostly attack when I must. Otherwise, I just wait and continue my mental torture. What a ridiculous situation…. Fear of fear is the most paralyzing of all.
Also, yesterday I learnt about Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) from a blog, and it all made sense to me. Like a miracle. I also learnt that I was not the only person who cannot meditate and silence my mind, and maybe it was because it was the wrong thing for me to practice.
I believe I get anxiety because I do not listen to my inner voice. Since I do not listen to, I miss what it is trying to say, until the situation or possible future event becomes probable. No wonder why when I hear it, my inner voice is almost always alarming and panicking. How else would it get my attention??
I work all the time. I keep my mind busy all the time. What do I expect? I must take regular breaks and let my mind speak to me. Safely. I need inner connection. I do.
Yesterday I also have had fun with meeting my IFS components; the exiles, firefighter, and manager. I can easily see each one of this, as well as my Self, in my mind as of yesterday. They are all lovable. To be able to do this exercise was amazing. I am grateful.
I cannot count anymore – has it been 2.5 or 3.5 months that we have been self-isolating? I find my work getting less and less efficient. I want to do more, but I do not know how else to kick my arse really. When will we be back to normal, if we will?
The weather is awesome, and walking is a delight. The nature is awakening, and greeting each tree and flower on my neighborhood has been a cherished activity. Each one of them are beautiful – how do we still deserve and compare to animals and plants? When has human become the most destructive of all?
I continue to limit my meat sources to fish, and occasional chicken hotdogs. I have some minced beef and chicken in my freezer. When they are consumed, I wish to eat any meat other than seafood only when I truly crave or get sick (chicken soup). I may not be a strict pescatarian, but I sure am trying and keeping it the majority of the time 🙂
I am watching the news on #BlackLivesMatter in horror. I stand in solidarity with the oppressed, discriminated, and hurt. I stand together with the Black community and friends and colleagues. I stand together with all who experienced such nonsense in their lives. We must change how we approach one other. The worst is racism and other discriminating/stereotyping behavior to be institutionalized and politicized. You know that it is not one group or other, but many groups of human beings are treated unjustly. I stand with all of them.
I started writing gratitude journals years back to help remind myself all the great things that was happening in my life. Writing these almost always makes me feel good. That is for sure. It is therefore one of the ways that I help reduce the emotional distress coming out of anxiety or depression. For example, just to be able to remember that I walked in a warm and quiet day with blue sky (and, hence, not only enjoyed my moment but also did something good for my health) sounds great, is it not? It is. Obviously, it also says that I made a good choice that day. Extra gratitude!
But, this kind of approach is fragmented – I start everyday again and again, as if it has no link to previous days or the future.
A couple of days ago I realized that there may be additional things to consider while practicing gratitude journaling.
If I restrict things to write about to experiences, choices, and activities of the day, I almost always lose the continuity and being grateful for things that are continuous. For example, having the freedom to pursue my dreams. Having the ability to change things. Having the ability to feel happy. Reminding myself that even the worst thing shall pass one day. Good memories. Good friends. Good experiences.
There are things better and bigger than what is happening a day in one’s life.
Let’s focus on this greatness. Boundless opportunities. Bigger picture. The full life. The whole experience.
I was happy for the entire morning yesterday. Really happy.
I was excited about the day. The great weather. The ability to walk, The ability to work. The ability to survive and do all bunch of other things. I had a life and it was going well.
Since it does not happen all the time, it was precious! It was beautiful! It was energizing!
Then, what happened?
Well, work related shit happened and I had to find a solution to a confusing situation that directly relates to me. It is important that I find the best solution so that I can feel that my interests are protected to best.
I increasingly realize that finding solutions to complex situations is one thing that drains me and stresses me…… Since it is an intense mental process, and I cannot help but have that urge to find the solutions right away, it means that my work and life are interrupted and I feel heavily overwhelmed until that solution miraculously shows up in my mind.
If only I could develop some sort of confidence that I am capable of finding solutions without getting into an intense thought process.
Another thing is when I need to write an email. Sometimes I find myself revising it so many different times until I find it making the point clearly and without giving away more than what it is intended to. With work-related emails, there is always a chance of being mis-understood or having negative consequences if the email does not sound right. So I draft and sometimes revise them multiple times, which is another annoyance for me. BUT today I realized that I revise them to make these emails better, which is better for me – so I should actually trust my instinct, keep revise until I am satisfied, and be happy to revise at the same time.
It appears that a change in the perspective is something I can benefit from.
And, the more I analyze, the better I can see why I experience certain annoyances…. This reminds me my worry journal that has been therapeutic. Time to get the dust off it.
Regardless of what, though, it has been great to remind myself yesterday that happiness was possible.
It sounds odd, but there are benefits to this fatal pandemic.
Our lives have been interrupted and changed. We do not know what the future will bring, and whether we and everyone else we care about will survive this virus.
We do not know whether we can keep our jobs and mortgages, and put food on the table, and if so, for how long.
We do not know.
Every morning I get up with one thought on my mind – that we are in fact going through a disaster. Some of us, like me, are experiencing it mild, some others are experiencing with daily death and suffering around them.
It is a very depressing and anxiety-creating situation. But, I think I am also good at keeping myself busy and pretending that nothing is happening. This must have kept me sane so far.
I feel horrible writing these words, but this pandemic has been good to me. I realized that I have a high quality of life in my personal life, but low quality of work life.
While I knew that I had a stressful job, I did not know that my life outside of it was a blessing!!!
There are things at work that I fully dread and would love to get rid of, like some roles that drain me but bring me little or no recognition or benefit in return. There are some colleagues who are the worst and I would not like to see or interact with them anymore. This is in fact a great time for me to shake shit out of my shoulder.
It is also strange to be happy that I am not going home this year (my flight has been canceled). I am not feeling bad about this. I will enjoy staying here and experiencing summer. The good weather. The peaceful working from home order. I will. I want to.
It has been sometime that I posted in this topic 🙂 Lots to be grateful for!
sleeping well and getting up early – check
as I had expressed a few times before, the self-isolation and working from home have been good for my work-related stress and insomnia. I am very grateful for the restful sleep I get almost every night and the optimistic mornings 🙂
enjoying my morning coffee and afternoon tea – check
coffee may be the most exciting treat I can ever give myself. Every single morning I find it loved, enjoyed, and wanted. Isn’t this real love?
And tea with lemon, honey, and ginger. It can be the second best treat I can give myself, almost every day now during the pandemic. I kind of feel that it is therapeutic and I am so eager to have it. A very soft, enjoyable drink. We are lucky indeed to have coffee and tea in our lives.
walking an hour while also enjoying the soft, bright, and cool air around me – check
it was delicious. The walk. The softness of the air around me. The feeling of being surrounded by a healing air….Delicious.
working from home and making things happen – check
it was yet another day where I was able to handle a number of things nice and easy, and bring solutions to them. I was not stressed at all, and things went well.
being anxiety free so far today – check
I have not had fear or anxiety-creating thoughts today – how wonderful is this? 🙂
for completing mulching my yard – check
yes, I have completed the mulching saga! I think it is good, but I will have to see how the mulch stays and behaves over time. I have additional bags of mulch in case I will need them – this makes me feel good. I want to buy some bushes and plant flowers in pots and place them around the yard. I hope I can do this this year. Looks like we will have a warm summer and I would love to spend some time in my yard. It is going to be so good 🙂
speaking with my family and having laughs – check
I spoke with mom, sis, and bro – the complete family 🙂 we had great laughs. They feel the stress of the pandemic as well, but are trying to keep things and minds in place. It was lovely to be with them, even through internet. It is funny how now online meetings are becoming a norm…...
eating healthy and tasty food – check
I ate a broccoli salad
(steam it; add garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, sesame seeds, and vinegar together and whisk into a sauce, and Voila! – you have a beautiful, healthy salad)
and my specialty soup
(add 1 cup of red lentil, 1/3 cup of wild rice, 1 potato (diced), 1-2 tbs of butter and 2 cups of water, and cook till the wild rice is soft – and Voila! you have a hearty and healthy soup that will fill your stomach and make your body happy!)
It was awesome to have these two together – give it a try 🙂
The revolution started this week (e.g. making the decision to do the grocery shopping every two weeks, rather than every three weeks so that I can eat and enjoy fresh produce) is continuing.
Today I made the decision to go to store AGAIN and get some more fruits.
And what did I see?
Mulch being 50% off.
Whaaaat? Forget the fruit.
I have been meaning to get mulch for years so that I can make my yard look a little bit better. Friends, since I do not have a car, I needed to make multiple visits to the store and get around 12 bags of mulch. Luckily I have had a shopping cart that can handle 2-3 bags at a time. It was tiring, but I made it 🙂 Tomorrow, I will start cleaning the areas in the yard where I want to place the mulch on. Hopefully what I have will be enough – if not I will make other visits to the store. It is going to be awesome. I am excited 🙂
But before I forget, I must say the most revolutionary step I have taken. All multiple visits to the store today were made without a mask on. That is right. I made the decision to not put on the mask. Maybe a stupid idea, but I wanted some sort of normalcy in my life.
Protecting yourself every minute sometimes creates its own stress. I wanted freedom. Luckily, nobody sneezed on me or talked to me.
I am still scared of this virus – do not get me wrong. I am not trying to be reckless and increase my risk of contracting this virus. Please don’t take my lead and forgo putting on your mask. Do what you need to do to protect yourself.
I was just scared of that feeling of having a limited life, being limited/isolated, and eating limited food. It has been 2 months.
This thing called COVID-19 affects us in more ways than I initially imagined.
I want fresh produce and I am going to shop this Friday. While I am very much scared of catching this virus, I am also scared of the quality and nutrition value of the food I am getting. So, instead of every 3 weeks, my decision today is to do the grocery shopping every two weeks.
It has been only 2 months and I feel like it has started to get on my nerves.
The first one is Lucifer. I loved it generally speaking, the Lucifer character is interesting. I do not think the actor who plays Lucifer, Tom Ellis, is particularly handsome, BUT he and the character, is indeed incredibly charming……. Very interesting.
I was not very enthusiastic about the relationship between Lucifer and his love interest – Detective Decker, as it did not give much of an excitement to the story. Not so much and until now, at least. The crimes that they solved together were not hugely challenging, either.
I loved the therapist character, Dr. Linda Martin; she ended up being a psychotherapist for most of the main characters in the show. It is delightful to watch these scenes.. I kind of learnt a few things out of her talks with her patients. I also loved the interest of Lucifer changing and longing for acceptance – whether he was able to have these is a matter of question. In terms of character development or so, Lucifer would be the only one that I would be interested in following.
The other character I loved was the tough girl-demon Mazikeen. Despite all the toughness and being familiar with the evil acts and torturing/paining, both Lucifer and Mazikeen bring in human qualities of caring, insecurity, love, failure, and courage to this show.
The second one is Marianne. This is a French horror series. I find it really horrifying. which tells me that it serves its purpose well. The acting is amazing, so is the certain parts of the story-line (e.g. Marianne not being able to tell a lie about its name). The book pages turning every once a while as a transition point is very refreshing and creative. I love French art – there is something very strong and cinematic about it. The acting of the lead, Victoire Du Bois, is amazing and worth every single moment watching this series. I hope we will see her in many other great pieces in future.
I have filled my plate with more things than I can handle – again
I secretly wish that this pandemic and social isolation continue like this for at least a year so that I can take my break, make my mind, and finally start doing things differently
I have been longing for changes or so long – this pandemic may be my opportunity to do so. This being said, I have been on this quest for so long and it is strange that I have not moved up a bit (okay, maybe a little bit). Why all this waiting?
Sometimes a drastic step taken in a new direction without much thinking and saying good bye to status quo is the way to go. I want that. I just do not know how to do it…….
With my summer vacation went out of the window, now is the time to plan a home-vacation……… The predicament is that – what different things can I do to make it a vacation? Challenge?
Oh, on a second thought, I like it 🙂
Just like the song below – isn’t it wonderful everyone?
There are things that energize me. Like Freedom. Freedom to sleep, freedom to watch Netflix, freedom to speak, freedom to get up late, freedom to walk, freedom to not do what I do not really want to. Like walking – honestly it is one the best things that I can do to my body and mind. Like eating healthy food and keeping a healthy body. I am good at cooking and eating generally speaking healthy food, but not necessarily keeping my body fat down. Like journalling and blogging that help me vent out, realize, and reflect. Like doing exciting work and completing important tasks.
At work, I am completing some things, some others are still hanging out, and new tasks keep appearing (mostly generated by myself). I have been kind of slow in the last two weeks. It felt needed and okay, but I think it is time that I speed up now. I know that every once a while I slow down, and when I come back, things go very efficiently. So, I take this as one of such mini breaks. Tomorrow, I can start again and move fast and high. This feels great, my friends.
Do you think we can continue with this altered life style for another year or so, until we have a vaccine that works? Assuming that we will survive this time period, of course (I really hope so!). Or, do you think the negative effects will accumulate and come to a point that it will become quite a strain on systems, governments, and businesses that we will see an incredibly drastic changes and hardship?
This last hypothesis is kind of cruel, and also not so much realistic – I would say. The world has seen worse things, like the 1918 flu, conflicts, two world wars and countless of other wars, famine, lack of services, diseases, injustice, shit and bit – we always found a way to come back and stand up.
Good morning World – I hope all are doing well in this beautiful Saturday morning.
The Spring has been showing its face in the last while. We have shinier days. Being outside is fun and comfy.
I have been feeling kind of anxious lately. It is one of these episodes that I easily get irritated and scared. They say growing is always painful, but pain is an indicator that something has been tried/done and once you are over the pain, you are wiser. Better.
I hope so.
In addition to its pain, anxiety and irrational fear also stop you or limit what you want to do. After all, trying to move away from the fears and worries is only natural.
The other option could be to de-sensitize myself to criticism, failure, worries, and fears. I have been trying that by undertaking bigger roles (which can create more issues) and by addressing challenging issues. I kind of think that the more issues I have to deal with the better I can sort among what is important what is not. I sometimes, just sometimes, can achieve this. Is this a progress or just lucky encounter, I do not know.
What I want to know is what is best for me?
Am I doing good pushing myself like this, or should I just omit things that bother me? The latter option is really tempting, but I also know that one worry-some thing goes, and then another one comes. So changing the perspective and the attitude seems to be the best way.
It is also the hardest.
I think I would like to take time this weekend to reflect on this. Who knows, maybe I will realize something, read or think about something.
These being said, these existential issues somehow help me forget about the seriousness of the COVID-19 situation. I shopped after two weeks yesterday. I wanted to shop, as it excites me 🙂 I bought cleaning products and some canned food, and it felt great. But putting on a mask and gloves, and then taking them off once I was out of the store, coming home, changing clothes, washing them up, and washing my hands and face up until they felt all red was not fun. These are the moments that make me realize how serious this virus situation is (duh!). I think I have been ignoring it so that I would not experience the anxiety it creates.
Perhaps the anxiety I am having over other points are actually a good thing – who knows?
I cannot claim to know how life works. But I sure need some guidance and reading to do on anxiety and how to manage it.
Does it make a difference that it is being a Sunday in an epidemic when we self-isolate?
It seems it makes a difference in me. I just slept in a little bit longer today after I remembered that it was a weekend. No matter what, the work continues to rule our lives, it seems.
I am one of these individuals whose work-related stress went down with the self-isolation. I was speaking to a long-term friend yesterday. She said that it has been good to people like me who were always rushing, rushing, rushing. Now we all have to sit back a little bit. She is so right. Do you feel the same way?
Do you feel you have slowed down and had the chance to notice other things about life? Yourself? What is and who is important?
There are unexpected gains due to this COVID-19 pandemic.
This is of course quite insensitive to say when there are thousands of people who have lost their lives to this disease. Or, lost their wages and jobs……
They say that our lives will not be the same even if survive this disease/pandemic. I would like to believe in this. In a good way.
One of those peaceful times of the day. Do you also find the early and late part of the day the most peaceful, most yours?
I had a very busy day yesterday with a 6 hours of online meeting going up late in the evening. I volunteer in that committee, but I keep thinking why I do that year after year. Maybe next year it will be wise to skip this role.
I am sometimes surprised by my (optimistic) thinking. I am still mostly focusing on work, its stress/issues, and completing tasks. However, I do not even know whether myself or people that I care and love most, will be here next year in the face of this pandemic or another reason…..The ambitions I feel for my job performance and the sourness I feel because of the recent rejection of my promotion request – do they really matter? Will they matter if something happens to me or my family?
The absolute answer is no. But I must remember this context and ask this question to come to this answer.
The mortality risk due to COVID-19 is real. For someone who has a tendency to be pessimistic and having depressive thoughts, I think I actually try not to think so much during this difficult time. I think keeping busy with work actually helps my mind not focusing on these highly depressive but somehow realistic thoughts.
A strong part of this silent pain is because I am away from my family. I feel trapped, and I would feel kind of terrorized if something happens to them now. I cannot fly, I cannot reach. Goodness help me.
I am sure I am not the only one.
But, enough with that negativity.
I am grateful that my family and myself are safe and well.
I am grateful that I have a shelter, food, and a job that pays the bills and mortgage.
I am grateful that with each day passing, we are getting a little bit closer to a medical solution to COVID-19.
I am grateful that the morning is peaceful and I am free to walk and enjoy these hours all by myself.
I am grateful that I have coffee and I enjoy it every single morning day after day.
I am grateful that I have this blog that helps me connect with the rest of the world.
Just yesterday I was thinking how much I enjoy working from home. It works for me.
I am not sure of my work-place’s future steps. So far we all have been increasingly distancing ourselves from work. There will come a time when they will say “hey, what have you produced during all these times? What else can you do for us?“.
I will be ready then.
This is the 6th week. I kind of have a routine. I wake up around 7 am, brew coffee, browse news and emails, and start working. I often continue till 4-5 pm. I also walk twice a day; one short (around 25 min) and one long (around an hour). The weather is permissive, sky is blue, and walking is relaxing. It is one of my quality of time activities.
The other would be tea. At around noon every day, I brew tea with lemon and ginger. Top it with honey and Voila! You have a great, healing drink at your hands 🙂
The news are often negative and pessimistic. While I like to read each day, I try to stay away from thinking too pessimistically about COVID-19. I want to remind myself day it has already been 4 months that we have been surviving this pandemic. We are going through it. My sympathies to all who have lost a loved one to this disease. Or jobs.
I do not know how long the Canadian economy will hold up. I do not know how long my work-place will keep floating, either. I try not to think about the potential lay offs, but honestly. If there is a time that they will attempt this, it is this time. I am grateful for each salary cheque I receive. Honestly. One cheque at a time.
Life has changed so much. I could make plans for long-term investments and so on. Not anymore. I already lost a portion of my investments when the markets went down. I do not want to get crazy about it. I hope that things will get better.
In the middle of all of these, what is more important is that I try to sort what and who is important and what/who is not. It is fun. The best way to do this is to take a break from work. In the last while, I worked almost everyday. I have been meaning to take a break since February. Perhaps next week I will take a couple of days off and read books. Reflect on life. Reflect on issues and wishes.
Stay well, everyone. Wherever you are, I hope you are healthy, have food, shelter, and safety.
This is the 5th week of self-isolation and working mostly from home.
I have been thinking a lot about hope (especially, since the recent rejection of my application to promotion). I think hope is one force that helps us keep going when the conditions are particularly challenging. Whatever we hope for may not happen, but the thought of it happening gives us the wings. It also gives us the perseverance.
So we try. We try our best and take further steps towards the goal even though it is very challenging to get there. Pretty much like needing a miracle, sometimes.
When we get there, it is fantastic.
When we do not get there, it breaks our heart.
To hope or not to hope when the goal is not likely to happen – which one do you choose?
I have been thinking – what is it that I want from my life?
I am close to 50. It is a significant age.
All my life, I have studied and worked. School and workplace have always had a strong place in my life and decisions. It has been quite stressful, though. Especially in the last few years. You know I developed sleeping problems.
Some of this stress is self-created because there are things that I want to do and there are recognition that I want to achieve. Today I have learnt that my request for promotion has been denied. It does not feel right… I worked so hard and so much, and put in a great application file. I applied because I find my qualifications satisfying the criteria. External evaluators also said the same thing. When it comes to internal evaluators, this is where they rejected the idea. It really hurts that there are negative opinions about my performance within my organization, while outside of here my qualifications are well recognized. What a mess.
But I wonder – is it the most important thing?
I wonder this because for some reason, I do not feel discouraged or down by the denial of my request for promotion.
One thing that I kept thinking while preparing my promotion file was that I would undertake only meaningful and really big tasks once I receive my promotion. I would also care about the quality of my life. Well. I feel like I can do this right now as well (I hope I will continue to feel this way about it). I feel like I have reached that objective of promotion anyhow.
I believe in my qualifications and it does not matter what they say anymore. I can slow down and I can undertake less.
Good morning everyone – hope you are all safe, healthy, and free of COVID-19 related anxiety.
I know, I know….
It is hard not to feel anxiety about the situation; about ourselves, our and other loved ones’ well-being, and the current and future financial outlook.
Like any of you, I am getting more and more aware of the global and national situation, issues, and future predictions on a daily basis. The fact that I have been stocking up essential items and food in the last 3 weeks or so states this very well. I sometimes think quite drastically and assume that we will be only dependent on the food that we can grow in our yard and homes. Funny I know, but I cannot help but think about this. We will not have that panic-situation, will we?
I am quite aware of the importance of the cash right now and keeping my job. Goodness…
I wished somebody deferred the mortgage payments for 6 months or so – without interest – so that we all could save some cash and feel more secure…
I do not know what to do with my RRSP and TFSA contributions, either. I keep going as before. Since the market is down, it seems like the perfect time to invest. Yet, I cannot think about yet another blow to the market and the value of the investments getting even smaller. Since I used a portion of my RRSP to pay my down payment, I must continue with my RRSP contributions, but what about TFSA? Shall I rather stop my contributions and keep the cash in my chequing account?
I took so many things granted…Like many of us I guess.
It is a beautiful, shinny, and peaceful morning out there. Perfect time to walk without even thinking about where to go.
I checked on a couple of people who I worked with in the past. I hope they are doing well. It will be awesome to hear from them. It also feels great to reach out to people I care about.
These being said, it is sad that I am away from my family and who knows when I will be able to visit them. I had purchased a ticket for this summer, which I am sure will have to be canceled. Next year? Will this be over next year? if so, how expensive will be the tickets? Will I be able to make it home then? I must confessed that this year I did not want to go visit my family – I have posts about it. I never thought that it would become a necessity like this. Life is so strange.
Over and over, I come to realize that while my mind is busy getting stuck at little pains of the past, it misses the chance of living what is important.
The second day in the row that I am not working. I like this break.
I started watching the Black List on Netflix and I am really enjoying it. I did the mistake of looking for some information about the plots – it really downs the excitement. So a mental note to not do that for future episodes/other shows.
I went to Shoppers today. I had difficulty finding liquid hand soap at Sobeys – my regular store. While I meant to limit my visits to crowded places, I thought it was a good idea to visit Shoppers and get other personal care and cleaning products at the same time. I went there early, waited in the line to get in, and got in together with around 40-50 other customers.
They counted the people at the entrance, which tells me that they allow for a certain number of individuals all at the same time. But I still thought it was crowded. Some people do observe 6 feet distance, many do not. So, it is really up to you protect yourself in such environment. I put on disposable gloves and mask on the entire time. They give you some sort of peace, but it is also uncomfortable to have something on your face. Alas. Shopping my friends, which was fun in the past, is now a hurdle and risky business.
Nevertheless, I am grateful for the eggs I purchased, hand soap, hand creams, and facial tissues. I feel like I have no cleaning or personal care products that I need for at least 3 months. This feels good.
It has been a bright day with a beautiful blue sky… Under different conditions, we would have been jumping up and down with excitement. Alas. We have a pandemic to go through this Spring (and beyond).
Despite the negative air it carries with itself, we must find ways to appreciate and love the life we are having right now. It is possibly the best day and best life we can have compared to what we will have in the next while. It is true – we may get sick, we may get more isolated, we may experience financial hardship, and we may lose loved ones. But today we are okay. Let’s appreciate this for a moment or two.
Tomorrow will mark the 3rd week of self-isolation, working mostly from home. 3 weeks – can you imagine?
I think we are doing it. I think we get used to this new life. I think we adapt to it better than we thought we would.
How is it going everyone? Hope you are all healthy and staying inside, washing those hands, and keeping sane in the face of anxiety.
Canadian provinces have been projecting numbers based on some models, and the numbers of cases and deaths some of them are estimating are horrifying. I increasingly become aware that we are looking at a long and serious ordeal. Whatever I must do, I must keep healthy, isolated, strong, employed, engaged, and connected.
As long as I have my job, I can do any of these. Goodness help us – my organization has been under financial crunch for sometime. It is, I hope, not the time that they start let us go. I doubt it – they can reduce our numbers to some extend, but I as a moderately senior employee should not be in the immediate line. I hope.
I can continue to walk everyday (around 1 hour), keeping away from others in the street. The majority of the time this is quite possible, but today three gents were walking (they were side by side – are they not worried at all?) and I was not able to navigate my way away from them, as they decided to walk right towards me in the last second. This kind of things make me nervous. Anyways – walking is good for my physical and mental health. So I am looking forward to continuing this activity.
I can continue to eat healthy, drink tea with lemon, ginger, and honey everyday. I like it. In the last few weeks since I started self-distancing, I have been having light coughs and sneezes every once a while (nothing serious). It feels like cold, and what better remedy than tea? I believe tea, ginger, lemon, and honey are therapeutic together and keep my body strong.
I can do grocery shopping only once every two weeks or so, and not go to office unless it is really needed. My plants will dry up, I am afraid.. They were so nice and beautiful. Some of them were just flowering… This is sad. But they drying up is preferred than me getting this virus. So we will take it easy.
I can continue to frequently wash my clothes, gloves, and others that I use while outside. I can sew and put on masks while outside, particularly while shopping. I can continue to wash my hands and keep them away from my face (boy! how hard is this? Just right now both my nose and eye are itching!).
I can continue to contact and communicate with my family, friends, and colleagues. The daily human interactions are for sure important and help me against the threat of psychological isolation.
I wonder whether I can cut out some more expenses. I am pretty frugal anyways, just pumped up shopping lately to stock up essential items. I plan to do yet another big shopping next time, but after that it just must be the food. I cannot keep fearing the financial hardship to come during and after this pandemic. I think we all feel this one way or the other. As a bank official said today, we will get out of this pandemic “a little bit less wealthier”.
As long as we get out of this pandemic healthy and with healthy family members, I will be okay with this.
Gotta tell you – I just un-followed an account I have been following for some time.
If I understood correctly, promoting fake/un-scientific things about COVID-19 (such as it is being caused by 5G) was okay and considered an example of freedom of speech.
I have no idea what 5G is exactly and whether it is related to COVID-19 (I doubt it, but anyways we need scientific evidence I guess).
However, if it does NOT cause COVID-19, then I know that with such a logic, we would also have telling lies, deception, and making up things related to people, events, and things being okay under the notion of freedom of speech as well.
I woke up early, spending the next 1 hour drinking coffee and browsing the news. It is like I expect some miracle good news to show up and tell us that the pandemic is over.
Not gonna happen anytime, soon. Logically, I know. But, hope is a good thing 🙂
It has been two weeks that I have been away from the office (went there only once). I keep myself busy with work and, on the average, 7 remote meetings every week. I kinda feel like I am not feeling the heat of this pandemic yet…For example, I or my family members can contract this virus. They may have medical hardship to deal with it. Heck, we may die.
I know deep down that I must do whatever I can to limit my exposure to outside world. My family is better than me and thanks to them I implemented some measures, like changing the clothes right away upon returning from outside; aiming to shop only every two weeks or so; wearing masks and using vinyl gloves (yes I have started doing this. Whether they protect me at all is questionable. Whether I protect my mental health and reduce my anxiety; without question the answer is yes. So I do put them on when I go to stores, for example. Then I discard the gloves and refresh the mask.). I wash my hands frequently and clean the fresh product that I purchased, and leave those in cans and bottles three days in a room. After that, they go right into the pantry.
Shopping was once a delight. A pleasure.
Perhaps it is a good thing that I still have my job and we still work remotely. Another fear I am developing is losing my job or significantly reduced salaries and benefits because of this crisis. A lot of people have been laid off their work. Considering the economic hardship the pandemic is adding up to, I would think – similar to politicians and other authorities who are hinting this – that we may be looking at a financially very insecure and tough times. I must do whatever in my power to keep my job and make the best out of my salary and benefits. Will there be a retirement for any of us, I wonder.
Anyways. At least we all will be in the same boat.
I bought a large amount of food and other essential items yesterday. The first time I ever spend more than $200 in a grocery store….I think as the pandemic spreads, and as we hear more of the stores closing due to staff being diagnosed with COVID-19, the more I realize that there may be food shortages as well. I believe I have a good amount of food right now and will not need to shop the next two weeks.
Using food wisely is becoming a reality. Can I dry them up? Can I freeze them? Can I grow my own? Can I can food/meals?
To some extend I can do any of these, but none will be a permanent solution. My freezer has a limit; my yard is still under snow; I do not have a dehydrater or a sunny climate but certainly I can try to dry up some veggies at home; and I can pickle a couple of more jars.
See; self-sustaining communities become more and more relevant and important.
The day started early, which is awesome. I worked a few hours and then spent the afternoon on a 4 hours remote meeting. 4 hours…
I walked twice today. In one of these walks my roads crossed with an aggressive big doggy. I screamed in horror when he came literally a centimeter away me and showed me his teeth. He was weird. He seemed to be very friendly. Maybe he was playing – I don’t know. But it was very scary. Luckily he run away for an unknown reason. I was sure that he was going to sink his teeth on me. I am lucky…
I am also lucky as there are friends that check on me. One just emailed. How wonderful is this?
It has been 2 weeks that I have been mostly working from home.
While I had decided to do grocery shopping every two weeks, I decided that I better do one big shopping tomorrow. I just heard a grocery store being closed because an employee was diagnosed with COVID-19. If something like this happens to my store, my chances of acquiring grocery significantly reduce (I have no car..).
So tomorrow morning first thing first, I want to grab my shopping cart and purchase as much food as I can. I am not gonna hoard, but will get a significant amount of dry/canned food. I must do this.
I could not sleep yesterday night. Felt kind of sick and it worried me. But then in the morning all was okay. That is good.
I walked twice today. Once prior to a meeting, around 25 min of walk, It was nice to get fresh air. The second was longer around 45 min. It was beautiful out there, just walking.
My stress levels are low. I think this may be the best thing coming out of this pandemic.
I find that my work communications are kinder and more compassionate. While we still continue to talk about work, we also talk more about how we are during this time. It is good, There is a sense of community in the air. Maybe it is true that once we get out of this pandemic, the entire human species will become enlightened, selfless, compassionate.
I wanna believe in this beautiful picture, BUT I also know that once this ordeal is over, we will likely go back to where we were. I suspect though some things can change. For example, there are more emphasis on caring ourselves and s.l.o.w.i.n.g d.o.w.n…….
Slowing down can be the best thing we can ever do. Indeed!
We are so competitive; always running against time. We always have deadlines – even our bills have deadlines. Our food has expiry dates. Like, what is it with us and time really?
I like the idea of slowing down and savouring it – whatever we are doing.
Cannot believe we came to the end of March. Spring must be here 🙂
I slept well again and woke up at 7 am. It was a great morning and I decided it was time that I went to the office. It was quiet there, which is great for work. It was a productive day.
I am tempted to go to office and work there, but I came to my senses this evening. I must limit my risk to be exposed to COVID-19. To do so, I must limit my out of house adventures. I decided that unless extremely needed, I can visit my office once every two weeks or so. Not more frequent. Nope.
Since I walked both in the morning and evening, I felt great today. While I was walking everyday, what is a much better way is to be walking long (around 45-60 min), just enough to break a sweat. This kind of walking is more pleasurable and more relaxing than short walks.
I cooked and ate home-made dishes.
I spoke to family and knowing that they are okay feels great.
I heard from two friends today – one through an email and the other on phone. It was awesome to hear from them and I feel very lucky to have them in my life.
Good night, friends. May you always be kind and loving to yourself and others, including animals.
It feels like Tuesday already. Have you also lost track of days?
It was a productive work from home day. I also managed to have two remote/online meetings.
I continue to get up early. Today it was 7 am. Have I mentioned that I wear my work clothes? Yup 🙂 I comb my hair as well. I don’t put make up, however. That is a nice break from the routine.
I want to go to office, but the weather is not permissive. I hope that before the end of the week I can make it there. There are a number of things I must do to help my work. Like printing some documents; getting some files; and so on. I also want to have a kind of break to my isolation. A change in scenery. A change in activities.
Anyways; I continue to cook and eat at home. Today realizing the extra weight already put on, I decided to do some light exercise at home. Nothing major but I believe it helped at least stretch my muscles. It was also relaxing. I want to keep doing it.
But really, the weight gain is real. OMG – why is it so easy?
The COVID-19 situation continues to escalate. Some of the stories are very horrific. The rapid deterioration that some of the hospitalized patients showed is what makes me scared most. They say around 30% of the hospitalized patients have now passed away. Is that correct? My goodness – please help us. What are we up to really??
I have been checking online grocery shopping services, and it seems there is one at around my neighbourhood. This is very pleasing. If I must, I can survive at home.
How is our mental health in the midst of this pandemic, isolation, and fatality news?
I am grateful that I continue to work, otherwise I think the situation is not fun…. How long will we able to go on like this, before we develop serious or permanent mental health issues, I wonder. There is peace coming from knowing that we are all in this together. At least there is healthcare. At least we are not out there but inside (some countries did not lock down yet). At least we have connections – online and remotely. The community seems to care about each other and compassion is palpable. And so on. In the midst of this pandemic, it is worth remembering these.
Eventually we will survive it. I suspect, however, we will also be changed deeply. Somehow, I feel like it is going to be something better. I just wished we did not need to have people die for it.
I do not know what I am doing with my days. I meant to enjoy being away from office and finding a chance to actually reflect on life, but this is not happening. Maybe it is not the time.
I had not meant to work today, but I was bored, and eventually, craved for work. So work I did. I am glad I have, as I love the feeling of things working and moving. It is motivating.
I ate more than I want to. I have no solution to this. I never had… Better let go?
I spoke with my family and seeing that they take this virus more serious than me is very inspiring. I am proud of them. While I want to go to store and do my grocery shopping, I think I will look for opportunities for pick up services or online orders. I am sure these will not be easy, as many people will be looking forward to these services. Oh, well. Whatever I can, I will take it.
Tomorrow is another remote work day. With two remote meetings. Somebody needs to abolish all meetings. I mean it. I dislike them. More so now than before. Many professionals love to brag about online meetings. I beg to be more genuine and say they may be good if done sparingly. Nobody wants to spend their time looking at a monitor and seeing the background of other people’s, unless there is a good reason and it is of a reasonable length of time.
I am enjoying my Saturday so far. Not to a great extend, but as much as I can.
First; I did not work and this feels great.
Second: I slept great yesterday night as well, and this is fantastic!
Third: I went to a local branch of Dolarama. It was a good walk. There were a couple of people walking, often with their pets. Other than that, it was a quiet and lovely morning. I bought a couple of things, including freezer bags which I now use to store my food in (I dump the store-wrappins as soon as I bring the food home) and pens. The store was awfully quiet. I wonder whether we will ever heal the economy after this pandemic.
Fourth: I did some pickling and strawberry jam/marmalade. The jam turned out to be really cool. We will see how the pickle is in a couple of days.
Fifth: I talked with my family and we are trying to support each other as much as we can. They are feeling the COVID-19 situation hotter than me here in Canada as where they are the resources and public health measures may not be as strong as in Canada. Like me, my family loves to spend time at home and have stocked up food that is enough for some time. But the morale is down, nobody knows when this will be over, and what will happen to us if we get infected.
While I have done implemented new measures to help minimize my risk now – like, minimizing the visits to the grocery store; cleaning the food/changing their wraps at home; keeping stuff in the front porch for 3 days before bringing them in the house; changing my clothes immediately after I come in from outside, and so on, I still am not 100% sure that I am doing my best. As a result, I am scared of getting sick…
Sixth; over and over I come to the point that I must sort out between what is important and what is not, and this solitary period of pandemic may be just what I need. I have a long way to go, I know, but so seems the pandemic. My painful growth in this important area therefore seems to go on for some time…
A week is over and I could not be happier. I am determined to celebrate Friday!
This week, I worked only from home and it was full and packed. I have had 7 remote meetings and tons of email correspondences, now that everyone feels like speaking through the email and the administration takes this opportunity to tell us what we should do and how they help control things. There is certainly an email fatigue accumulating.
After shopping in the morning and doing some light work, I decided it was time that I let go of things and rather focus on personal life. So, I cleaned my home and cooked healthy meal. Watching Netflix and browsing the internet, if I want.
Today and tomorrow I will just let myself enjoy my moments.
Now that we are working remotely, I feel ambitious and want to get the best out of these times. My team is doing well and their work is going okay, too. But I want to finish a number of things that have been on my to-do list. One by one, I am taking care of them and it feels pretty amazing. This is cool. Once I move on with two or three of them, there will be an opportunity to start something new. This is exciting. I wonder what it is gonna be! 🙂
I must also admit that I need to actually just stop and be with life….. I have been meaning to do this, by taking a break, for sometime, but it did not happen. Perhaps what I should do is to take time off from work till Monday. Two days would give me enough time to relax and rest, and on Monday I could go to office. I think I like this idea. I think I will benefit from the freedom from work, and connecting with life more.
Here is a great, peaceful music that I hope you too will enjoy.
Be kind to yourself and others. Stay safe friends and enjoy every moment.
I figured that if I go early, there would be less people around and as such less risk of getting the droplets that contain the COVID-19. It was in fact quiet and easy to shop. Since yesterday I had realized that this may be one of the best times to even further stock the essentials – before it gets crazy here with the infected individuals -, I went with my shopping cart and I am glad that I have. It was full and heavy. Thank goodness that the roads were free of snow, ice, and slush. I made it home with my newly purchased essentials.
I bought a lot of food, including frozen veggies, canned food, and dry food (e.g. lentils, beans). I am sure I have quite a bit of them, but I found that if this is to go on like this for some and the numbers are to increase day by day, the chances of getting infected is lower now than in the future.
I cleaned and dumped the store wrappings/plastic bags and placed food in new storage bags. The rest of the items that are not required to be in the fridge or freezer are staying in the front entrance. My plan is to keep them there for around 3 days (this is what they say is the time it takes COVID-19 to die on plastic and metal surfaces?) and then place in the pantry.
I also stocked up laundry detergent. I am thinking that I may have everything I may need for around 3 months now….
I believe the only thing I was not able to get was liquid hand soap. I sure will have to get out sometime and grab that…..Maybe this weekend. I do not know.
Other than this, I am not in the mood of work today. I did some critical work and I have a remote meeting in the afternoon, but that is all for me. I think I will just clean my home and then relax.
Some of my friends checked on me today and I checked on two other, one single, friends, through emails. I think it is important to be able to do this and keep connected.
How are you all doing? I know many of you are at home and being creative with your time and activities. I have not just yet become creative and tried something new (it has been a whole week in physical distancing), but I bought some frozen strawberry that I want to turn into a jam. I also have cabbage that I want to turn into pickles. Maybe tomorrow?
Cannot believe a week it has been that I have been mostly at home, leaving only for shopping and daily walks.
They say that it can continue yet another 2-3 months. I think we will eventually get used to this and, hey who knows, perhaps ask to work remotely after that 🙂
Things are getting more and more serious. There are more people now infected than before, and more mortality.
I talked to a couple of my colleagues, and it made me get more scared. Well, first they do not leave the house (I have been walking everyday).
One of them said that they would even wait a few days before they collect their mails 🙂 Wow. Never thought of this. Am I naive?
The other one said that they wash and disinfect everything they purchase from the store, including food. What?
Why have I not thought about these??
Do I take it light?
I do not know. But after today I decided to take it serious. I am aiming for grocery shopping every 10 days or 2 weeks. I do not need to be at the store every week. So tomorrow morning I will go there with my shopping cart and fill it with durable as well as frozen food. Then, I will just leave home to walk. Hopefully I will not need anything till the next one.
Cannot believe that it is the 6th day away from office and in the house (mostly).
We had a kind of rainy/snowy day. As a result walking was kind of not fun, but still okay. I walked twice for short distances, worked in between, and stopped working at around 4 pm. Works is going extremely productive, for which I am grateful. Lack of distractions works for me 🙂
On the personal side; I cooked healthy food but ate a lot. The weight gain is immediate…
My stress levels continue to be low and I can sleep long and deep.
The pandemic is catching up where I am and it is scary. I think the worst is yet to come. Are we prepared?