Random thoughts

What a beautiful morning.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Simple fact.

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

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Have not been blogging lately – time to pour my mind into this page 🙂

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Life is good, as Spring is here 🙂

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Better days ahead.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That is all I have to say today. A short, but positive blog 🙂

Enjoy the rest of the night, folks.

random thoughts

What a beautiful, bright day!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

have a great night everyone

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Having retirement dream is literally priceless.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay safe folks.

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

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

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

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

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

Then, another kitty needing shelter and love will come 🙂

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

Humanity is able to do a lot of things.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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? 🙂

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

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

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

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

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random thoughts

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

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

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

random thoughts

Much better day today compared to yesterday, and I could not be happier 🙂

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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random thoughts

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

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

Then would come the Sunday.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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random thoughts

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

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

It is.

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

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

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

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

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

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

very random thoughts

Today I decided to foster cats.

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

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

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

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

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

Animated Cats GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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

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You won’t believe what happened.

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

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

The point is that it is a beautiful feeling.

Love is.

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random night thoughts

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

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

I did not, either!!

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

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

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

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

Voila!

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

random thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

Very random thoughts

Let’s rant first:

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

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

Shit happens all the time.

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

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Great things also happen all the time.

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

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

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

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

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Random thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

random thoughts

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

Kindness.

Compassion.

Fairness.

Justice.

Love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

random (morning) thoughts on anxiety

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

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

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

I hope so.

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

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

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

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

It is also the hardest.

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

These being said, these existential issues somehow help me forget about the seriousness of the COVID-19 situation. I shopped after two weeks yesterday. I wanted to shop, as it excites me 🙂 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.

 

 

random thoughts

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

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

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

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

Shopping GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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

 

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

 

random thoughts (in a time of COVID-19)

I went to do my grocery shopping this morning.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay safe friends.

 

 

random thoughts

It is a beautiful morning.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some expenses are good expenses.

Have a great day friends – all and well.

random thoughts

 

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

There.

I said it.

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

And that feels good.

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

😦

Haaaalp!!!!

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

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

Good night friends.

 

 

random thoughts

I lack my regular excitement for the upcoming holidays.

Why?

Because I have not been anticipating.

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

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

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

Hmmmm….

 

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

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

Good questions.

 

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

When can I make them permanent efforts?

 

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

Can be quite exciting 🙂

 

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

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

 

5. I sure would like to shop.

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

 

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

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

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

Hmmm.

.

.

Yes.

🙂

 

 

 

 

 

random thoughts

I have not written in a while.

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

That is right.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Death anxiety? Middle age crisis?

Both are real.

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

Youtube Love GIF by Rosanna Pansino - Find & Share on GIPHY

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gif by:https://giphy.com/gifs/RosannaPansino-love-happy-fBJHoHTNJWvESzcKQn

 

 

 

random thoughts

It has been sometime, folks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

random thoughts

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

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

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

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

Right.

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

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

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

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

 

 

random thoughts on a random evening

I do not even know what I will write in this post 🙂

Here I go.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Sunday musings

Happy Sunday everyone!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

random thoughts at a random moment of life

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

I certainly am.

What a waste of precious moments of life…..

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

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

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

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

 

 

random thoughts

It has been a good day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great Wednesday night everyone!

random thoughts

After a hiatus from blogging, here I am again 🙂

Goodness knows, I missed it!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pokemon Episode Spring GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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

 

 

 

 

 

benefits of the day

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great Sunday night everyone.

 

 

 

random affirmations

It is a peaceful Saturday night. It is important for me to remember this now 🙂

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

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

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

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

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

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

You all have a great Saturday night as well 🙂

 

random thoughts

I do not even know what I will write here, but here I go 🙂

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

random thoughts

Exhaustion and fried nerves – I know them very well.

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

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

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

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

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

totally random thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why to postpone life?

This is a powerful question.

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

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

I am determined to turn things around.

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

We shall see.

 

 

 

 

 

pretty random thoughts

Yes, thoughts can be quite pretty 🙂

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

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

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

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

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

It is quite strange.

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

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

Strange. Strange. Strange.

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

This is a beautiful day my friends.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is a beautiful day indeed my friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

totally random thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is incredibly exciting!

Go claim yours now 🙂

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very random thoughts

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

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

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

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

……………………………..

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

The best of therapy, my friends 🙂

random thoughts

It has been a fine day 🙂

The morning was peaceful and warm enough. I have had a pleasant bus ride to office, enjoyed my coffee, took care of urgent matters, socialized with a colleague during lunch time, bought two lovely pots for my succulents (they are amazing – originally tea cups with beautiful colours and shape) from a thrift store, by the way (double amazing!), came home kind of late from the office, did grocery shopping and bought myself nourishing food, all for a small amount of money.

After the careless spending that took place between the summer of 2017 and this year, I am back to my sensible, frugal self. I gotta! My chequing account was at the minus side at the beginning of this month and I knew I could not keep doing what I was doing. Right after the beautiful family visit, here I am at a kind of stricker but nevertheless abundant frugal life. I must say I have saved quite a chunk of my salary this month and I am moving the chequing account to the positive side. It feels great 🙂

Originally I had an extensive shopping ban till new year, but after 3 weeks I realized such a regime was making me quite unhappy. So last week and today I made visits to thrift stores and bought myself some nice blouses and pots. I am very excited about all of the purchases, which costed me around 30 bucks. What did I buy? 4 blouses all in great condition and loveable; one new plastic pot, one ceramic pot just right for my beautiful succulent props, two other pots I mentioned above (the tea cups),and a large sturdy ceramic plate to be used as a tray for a large terra cotta pot of mine 🙂 Just remembering these makes me joyful and excited 🙂

Life is good, my friends.

I have other good news. I have been wishing for an additional position within my organization in the last 1.5 years. It is something I would absolutely enjoy (it is related to training new project managers like myself), which would also strengthen my place in my work-place. Luckily, this year the colleague who has been undertaking this position had to have a leave and I was offered the position as a replacement! This is on top of what I am already doing, so it is extra work, but I am up for it. My boss wants to see how this one year will go and after that we will see whether my colleague or I would stay in the position. Even for one year I am grateful for this opportunity and yesterday, when I get the appointment formal, I was hyper the whole night with excitement and could hardly sleep at night 🙂 I believe that life is supporting me well and my hard work to keep my job and become more successful is paying off 🙂 I am grateful!

Super duper 🙂

Have a great Friday night everyone 🙂

 

 

 

pretty random thoughts

Is change possible?

Improvement is, but change – I am not sure.

Technically an improvement would also mean a change in something. But changing directions into an entirely different area requires more courage or some enforcement, do you not think?

After the nerve-frying episode yesterday, I am looking for job opportunities. Not that I am very interested in leaving my post right now (I have commitments for another 2 years), but I like having the option and seeing what is available out there. It gives me some kind of hope, some kind of fresh look at my life. Most importantly, it tells me that I am free.

Freedom and freedom of choice are so important. After all, if we cannot have some freedom or control over the manageable/changeable aspects of our lives, what is it about? Tell me.

Some may argue that we have limitless capacity and opportunities. I would like to think so too, but it is hard to make it an objective reality for me.

Middle age crisis may be a real thing. I have always loved what I have done until I the last few years when it started to become more toxic – obligations, responsibility, and demoralization are all too much, too burdening. I am capable of doing a lot of things, but the constant criticism and disapproval of our work or ideas make it hard to keep going. Appreciation is a great motivator and a great keeper of self-confidence. I like it here. I try to perk myself up by looking at the work I have done – it is a beautiful experience and I can objectively see that I have done a lot. This gives me at least a momentarily satisfaction and joy. But the weight of the negativity is always heavier than the positive sides.

At one hand, I fell like a failure, and on the other hand, I know that I am better than this and with the same effort, care, and energy, in a different setting I can do much more. I am thorn between accepting the status quo and changing in a way to find myself again….

Finding myself.. What a beautiful thing.. Also sad – why did I lose myself at the first place? How did I end up in this situation?

Is it a risk or an adventure to change my current work place and career? Will I have similar problems in my next place and position? Is there something wrong with me? If so, I am pretty much guaranteed to have similar experiences in the next phases of my life.

This might be one of the reasons that I still am not writing my resignation letter. I am in the process of understanding myself and figuring out whether I can do better in another place? Sometimes, some cuts are deep and the callus is hard to remove. I am looking at my inner callus and seeing what it is like. I may not like, but every experience, good or bad, help me figure it out. This is one of the silent inner wisdom I know is there. It helps me keep going.

I also know rationally that the future is brighter than this. I know everything, whatever is happening at my work place, is making me one step closer to my future self. I am very hopeful about my future and my future self. Maybe all of these are the signs that tells me this status quo is not the best for me and there is a much better future for me. However burdening these days may be, maybe these burdens are actually telling me that it is time to leave this and open a new route in my life. A new route which will be brighter, healthier, and full of opportunities and joy that I have forgotten I am entitled too.

It is strange that I am actually hopeful about the future….. But I am. I am not happy here but I fully trust the future. I may not know what to do so and how, but I know I will figure out.

Future days will tell.

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very random thoughts

I have hardly anything to write about in my mind right now, but who knows what the next minutes will tell. So, here I go.

I am having another episode of high-focus work and as such am highly irritable and somehow easily bored and agitated. The last weekend I went to shopping twice and while it made me feel good, my bank account is not doing well.

As a matter of fact, when compared to last year I am spending much more and the truth is that I find all bunch of excuses to do so. How is this serving me, I am not sure. At one hand, I have instant gratitude by taking the cab (rather than walking or taking the bus) and by eating junk food. On the other hand, I am hardly grateful for these and rather feel sorry about not keeping my money. It is a dilemma that I have experienced many times and I am sure I am not the only one.

My relationship with money has been always interesting. I am known to be able to save money since my childhood. It makes me feel good and more secure. I keep a simple and modest life. I am not into material. The money I spend on cab or junk food is not high; under different conditions I could as well be spending the money on a car and its maintenance. So, what is the problem?

Problem is that if I want it, I can cut out these expenses quite efficiently.

My problem is my own preferences, which are often getting expensive when stressed or need to work really hard.

My significant problem would be home-ownership and the mortgage and other expenses coming with it. It is a significant portion of my income.

My other problem would be the bad economy that is eating up our incomes with extra taxes.

My most significant problem would be that I started saving for my retirement quite late in life and as such whatever I can save right now is golden for later.

My problem is with myself and how I feel about money, the comfort it brings and the comfort I may not get in the future as a result of spending it today.

It would be so nice if we all have had universal income. Or go back in time to my youth and make better career choices.

Whatever you do, my friends, try to save and invest as soon as you make money.

 

 

 

random thoughts

A very busy day, it is well worth it. This week seems like a highly productive week with many long term tasks/projects being coming to an end, as such, is highly charged and satisfactory – I could not be more stressed and excited at the same time! 🙂

We woke up to 15 cm of snow dumped during the night. The roads were in bad shape, but the cabbie made it to my building safe and sound. It was quiet around the building, which I assume is because of the many people not showing up to work. I do not blame them – I hope they have had a lovely day away from work.

My anxiety levels are down, but I keep feeling overwhelmed. I feel the need of winding down and showing compassion to myself. That means no work for the next few hours. I plan to reflect on the positive things that has happened lately and realize how I fit in the center of all of these. Hard work pays off eventually; my efforts are met with results; I turn the work around to my best; and I feel less stressed as a result. At least, I must 🙂

I had read many years ago on a newspaper of a newly appointed manager of a unit. He had expressed that “he was looking forward to the challenges everyday may bring“. I never understood this, as challenges do not sound pleasant or easy to deal with. One of the constraining issues for me was a new addition to my team, which requires a lot of attention to help them keep moving. In some ways I feel pressured to spend time and train personally, because the skills this staff wants to develop requires my direct involvement. How do I deal with this “challenge” in these time-pressuring times? By further stressing and feeling inadequate, of course.

The last few days I was trying to think differently and open myself to “opportunities” out there. I did not necessarily think about the new staff, but I think this case is developing into an opportunity; she sent me some information (which she developed herself) that solves some of the problems and also demonstrates that they can develop these skills without much involvement by myself!! Is that not wonderful? 🙂 

When the mind is strained, it is so easy to close ourselves and turn blind to the opportunities and rather move towards challenges, I guess.

By the way, last night two of my previous staff emailed me; one became a mom and her baby girl is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen 🙂 The other one wants to see me sometime, just to catch up and I could not be happier to do so 🙂

These are the moments that make this job something I thank for.

 

random thoughts

I woke up tired and with a puffy face, but the rest of the day moved on without much of a trouble between four meetings. I am done 4 out of 15 meetings scheduled this week and this feels good 🙂

Meetings are supposed to be beneficial. I always try to get at least one thing that will benefit the rest of the meeting attendees or myself. I have had it today as well. Hence, my consciousness is clear; I have done my best and exercised the regular practice of gaining something out of the meetings. But goodness knows, it would be much better if we did not have meetings for everything. Honestly this year meetings (on the average 13 hours a week and lately even 25 hours a week) got the best of me; I need time to do my work out of meetings as well. I know I am not the only one who thinks this way.

Two things that soothe my nerves are;

1) I decided to not focus on relaxing when I am stressed, and rather decided to focus on being smart. I know I have a hard time relaxing so imposing on myself to relax did not serve me well till now. I am shifting my perception and rather would like to try being smart; behave in a way that will work for everyone and keep the emotions out of things (so that I will not have my occasional bursts during the meetings if I am pressurized – it does not benefit anyone). The plus side is that I do not argue with myself whether I am smart or not. I am smart. So right away I feel like I have the necessary foundation to handle things well. This is quite a progress on my account. Hope I will be able to walk this talk.

2) We are getting close to the off time. From next Friday on, we will have a 10 days off with two days in between being a non-paid vacation time. I plan to work at that time and this is not a issue for me. I often benefit these quiet times at the office. For me, the most important thing is to be away from the pressing issues and my regular work routine. I will be happy to work during these two days. Other than this, you know I am looking forward to the last week of December; I will be shopping, cleaning my home, decluttering massively, and attending socials if the opportunity arises. Add on top of these being away from the work routine and you know that I will have a great time!

Looking forward to sharing my happy and excited experiences during the holidays. 

random thoughts

It was a strange day for me.

I went to work, got my usual 3-cups of coffee, and realized that my mind was not focused on work at all. So I decided to walk to a nearby shopping centre. I bought some much needed items that were on sale, bought myself a nice latte (with pumpkin spice; yummy) and two toasted bagels as breakfast, checked out two thrift stores nearby, and bought a lovely cardigan from one of them. I then had my hair cut somewhere on the way back to the office. I have short hair now and my gray hair is so easy to see. I think I am getting used to it more than I would like to admit. I do not like getting old and I will write about this later, but I think I actually am getting used to gray… Strange…..

Anyways, I had not realized that I had spent so much time out today – when I returned back to office, it was 4 pm already 🙂 I worked a little and walked back home.

It has been sometime that I lost myself like this, fully focusing on shopping or going around the stores, without thinking work too much…

What a beautiful experience.

 

random thoughts

I have had a good weekend and I am very happy about this 🙂

I am back to my regular self after four months of rush-rush-stress-stress work marathon and two over-seas trips.

I am eating better and healthy, I walk whenever I can, and my budget is back to its wonderful self 🙂

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My hair is transitioning to gray alright and I have not lost my mind over the abundance of grays or the presence of many different colours in my hair, even though I know I HATE this hair, goodness knows I want to DYE it like right now, and I never knew I could be that BRAVE to carry this hair!!

Peace… I need to make peace with this hair, but it is so challenging…

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Anyways; going back to positive experiences….I plucked out weeds and unnecessary plants from my yard, moved a nice flower somewhere else so that next year I can plant food at the back of the yard, enjoyed the mints and flowers still striving, and felt the satisfaction of knowing that now my yard is ready for winter. There is nothing much to be done. I have done good.

I am baking a great-looking sourdough loaf and I will be sharing my beet pickles and potato salad with my friends, who invited me over for a dinner tonite. I am so looking forward to their company and having great time.

Good people make all the difference 🙂

Have a great Sunday everyone! 🙂

 

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random thoughts

I slept till 10 am and felt energized upon getting up. My plan was to start the day with coffee and the usual house chores. A work-related email asking for an urgent document ruined these plans. So I worked in an intense way and in the afternoon it was sent out. That is a big relief. And the house chores are done after that. talking about breaking the routine! 🙂

I have done well and prepared myself a nice lunch with kale. I must re-instate my plan to eat from diverse array of food. I keep eating the same things and a s a result I believe I have some vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Not good. So today’s lunch was a good step towards this plan and I feel fantastic about this 🙂

I am excited about another thing. I placed lettuce and celery in water last week and voila this week they have little growth 🙂 This is so fantastic! I love nature and how it does miraculously! My mom suggested I could plant them and grow at home. I need a pot and soil and I have no idea when I can find time to purchase them, but this system itself is so magical that I feel truly elated 🙂 Thanks those who posted about this which inspired me to try.

🙂

 

 

random thoughts

The day has been good and I like being able to say this 🙂

My hair is doing fine. It has been almost 3 weeks since I have had highlights. I have washed my hair a little bit more frequently than usual, and as such it grew faster relatively to past. In the past, 2 weeks after dyeing my hair my roots would start showing up and I would get depressed over the grays showing. This time, grays are showing but it is not that bad. As a matter of fact, I must very carefully look for them to see them. So I would say despite my epic tantrum at the hair saloon 3 weeks ago, my hair dresser was right – the highlights have lightened up and for now the roots are somehow blending in.

Of course it is quite early to have a final conclusion; I noticed that my hair dresser have done a much better job dyeing my hair than myself, and as such the roots are only coming out to visibility. If I have the same good feeling in the next two weeks, I will conclude that whatever she did, she did it right. Time to make the next appointment! 🙂

The Roots GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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Works is stressful, but at least there are nice people who are helping. One of my collaborators and I have good conversations and we are both humbled by our work experiences. It is time to move up and we will be doing this. Good to have support and empathy, even though time to time we have our own clashes with this collaborator. I come to my senses, she does the same, by comparing our relationships with others (which are much more complex, pressing, and sometime even down right problematic). Among all these turbulent work relationships, the one between us at least work and move both of us up.

Also a staff from another unit has helped me clarify somethings; it was needed and solved a couple of issues. This staff and I have had some turbulent moments in the past, a few years back, on similar issues. I was resentful at that time, but today everything was positive and I could not help but think how well and naturally some relationships heal over time, or after a while.

Both of these recent experience say me that not everything is as bad as I expect them to be, and some work relationships are quite dynamic and require a new look and attitude time to time.

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My potatoes potated! Yes, they have!

I have checked one of the plants out of curiosity and there were around 10 mini potatoes at the root 🙂 I am filled with love and awe…. I planted them back, hoping that maybe they will potate later, or could be food for soil animals 🙂

Potatoes GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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gifs by:https://giphy.com/gifs/tmi0F8ojXMvvO;

 

 

random thoughts

I am back to my normal routine as of today and it feels good.

Yesterday after the noon, I was busy with socials and having great time with friends. That felt good. It was also expensive (the cab ride only took 51 bucks). Add to this the treats and gifts. But what can I do?

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Today I have gone to thrift stores. It was one of those days that I have no interesting stuff to pick. I could probably pick a number of things but none would be something that I would absolutely need. I tried around 20 blouses/cardigans and it is interesting that I did like none of them 🙂 That is okay too – there will be times when I find something really lovely and excited to purchase it.

My hair is doing well. I think because of the exposure to sun today, it looks a little bit lighter. That is what I need to see. I am scared, however, to find out how it will turn out in 2-3 weeks when the roots start to come out. Goodness, help me.

Hair GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Did I mention that I lost my sourdough starter? Yesterday I was about to feed it, but i could not find the glass jar in the fridge. It was an awkward 15 minutes of my life where I just stood there, looked around, tried hard to contemplate the situation, believed that somebody was messing with me, believed that a supernatural creature was messing with me, and eventually I came to the conclusion that with the stress and the agitation of work last week, I had forgotten to spare starter and put all of the fed starter into my loaf last week.

That sucks.

That starter worked really well. Thank goodness, I have had dried it up last January. I have dissolved some of it in water, and fed with flour yesterday and this morning. To tell you the truth, it just smells like flour but not starter. So I do not know what will happen, whether there is an microorganism to revive in the dried starter, and if so whether I will get a robust starter as before. But all I can do is to trying. The worst case scenario is that I start a new starter, even though I really would like my first starter to revive and be present in my life….

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My kefir grains, on the other hand, doubled. I think I have got them in May and it was just a table spoon of grains. Now I have double or even triple this initial amount. This has happened lately, in the last few weeks which I think is because of the warm weather. It has not disappointed me at all. I should find ways to preserve these grains; freeze them? Dry them? I gotta look at the internet again.

Tomorrow will be another lovely day. Until then, enjoy your day and night!

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random thoughts

We have a summer alright… A nice warm summer with heat and clear, blue sky. Like I have never seen here kind of sky. What a blessing we have had this year! I am grateful 🙂

The week has ended and I feel like time is flying and that is why I am not feeling overly enthusiastic. I have had a look at the important things I must do in three months: three projects to be written and submitted; one report to be finalized and submitted; two business trips to Europe; a short vacation in Europe; a new team member to hire among many others. And I am thinking about taking some days off to work comfortably at home or at the office, while also relaxing somehow, cleaning and decluttering my home, and having some free time to contemplate. How are all these gonna happen? I am feeling stressed rather than joyful, and that is not right.

Thankfully it is true that if I am not distracted and have no meeting during the day, usually I do generate a great amount of work. Like today. This pleases me a lot and gives me hope. I can do all of these if I can be smart enough to keep the distraction by others to minimum. Yep.

Distractions GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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I have had a nice sleep yesterday and as a result in the morning I woke up feeling positive. I wanted to wear something different and eventually tried a white cotton shirt that I had bought years ago. I was surprised when I looked at the mirror that it actually looked pretty good on me and I was lucky to have it! Considering that I was contemplating about donating it soon, this is quite a surprise, do you not think? I wonder what other treasures I will find while going through my stuff during the decluttering activity and what items I will dump/get rid of? I really cannot wait to start this tomorrow 🙂

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My grey roots are showing and seeing them like 50 times a day annoys me big time. I am feeling like I am getting close to visiting a hair saloon and starting the process of grey hair.

Hair GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I am conflicted because I want to visit a number of people in a couple of months and I wonder how they will react to me transitioning to grey hair. Perhaps I should leave it to after that time? I really do not know. I think everybody would be okay with me being happy with my new hair.

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I am assuming I will be happy with it, by the way.. Is this a big assumption? Perhaps I should really let this annoyance of grey roots sink so that I can be happy when I no longer have that issue with even a larger patch of gray showing on my head… Who knows?

I was not sarcastic here… No, really.

Anyways…

Talk to you next time 🙂

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random thoughts

It is a true summer day; bright, blue, and warm 🙂

I have had a good work at the office but left early in the afternoon as I was trying to find a solution to an idea. I must apply for new projects to get interest in them and then lead them to completion. I am traditionally good about this, but the two ideas that I was brewing lately seem to be done by others, which necessitates me to find new ideas.

Finding new ideas is not the problem, but finding an idea that others will find interesting is. I realize that this is bothering me more than before and I feel at that point again where I just want to quit this line of work and do something that is more interesting, challenging, and awarding. Where I can feel great about my performance, abilities, and work. Enough is enough, is that not?

I am making an application this week. If it comes through I will be interested in making the interview and learning about myself (Will I really want this job? Will I really be willing to leave my job and life here?) and this job. I believe I can do it really well, but the question is whether or not there will be others who can make it better than me, or whether or not the human resources personnel or whoever is going to screen the applications will find me good enough for this position. All these possibilities make me feel fuzzy, but I will go ahead and make this application anyhow because I want to. Also because I can.

🙂

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My appetite is quite big nowadays, especially today. All I want to do is to eat, especially ice cream. I also want to eat pasta but goodness, if I eat it I sure will gain a pound or two (mostly water retention of course, but…). I think I crave for carbs to feel good…

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One of my aims for the summer was to reduce the consumption of canned food, especially those that I munched on in the office. I have done good so far and reduced my purchase and consumption of canned fish, yet now I feel hungry at the office, and need to bring food from home everyday. I purchased a plastic container (BPA-free) yesterday to put food in and carry it in my purse (it is large enough), and today I have had some veggies and tofu as the lunch. It was great but not enough to curb my appetite. Tomorrow I am bringing in some veggies and canned bean, and I am laughing at myself knowing what an ironic thing that is to be consuming canned food again..

I have serious concerns about this – will I really be able to eat well at the office?

I guess what I need is to plan a little bit better. Obviously the status quo is not optimum and I must refine and revise it. The objective of reducing the exposure to canned food is a good one. Finding alternatives to canned food, on the other hand, is a challenge. What can I bring in? I think cheese and hard boiled eggs as well as meatballs are great options; hard boiled eggs are awesome, I love them, but then I cannot keep eating them everyday. I have concerns re; cheese and if I can make my own cheese then I can have it, but the chances are slim to have this everyday. Meatballs are versatile alternatives and all I have to do is to prepare and cook them at the weekends (see how lazy i can get?). Also, sandwiches. If I must eat bean, the better option is to cook them myself from dry beans. I think this is what I can focus on this weekend.

And I think I should increase my purchase of veggies so that I can supplement the protein source with them.

Sigh…. So much to figure out. All in order to eat better and healthier! 🙂

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random thoughts

After 6 months or so, I did some back and ab exercises yesterday and today I feel like my big belly has shrunk! 🙂

I am serious 🙂

I know I did not lose whatever fat I have but I must admit that the ab muscles do an awesome job keeping things in place and firm once they are active. 

My belly is all tucked up very nicely and my posture is a lot better. I even feel taller.

You know when the abs are strong and supportive, these are all expected to occur.

I used to be physically very active and quite muscular in the past, prior to starting my current job. I know that muscles have their own memory and they are quite forgiving. So if you want to remind your muscles how great they can be, go ahead, take a walk, lift a weight, or just find a way to use them. You will know the difference.

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I have had a good day today. I got up at around 9 am, did the laundry, talked to family, and prepared an interesting dough (sourdough with kefir – cannot wait to see how it will turn out tomorrow).

I wanted to get out and buy some sewing notions but boy, do we have a rainy day? It is raining cat and dog, and I hope tomorrow we will have a better day. On the other hand, I am grateful that it rains – my yard and seeds/plants needed it. Had I mentioned that I have potato plants? Yes, I do and this is such a fantastic feeling! 

Anyways; back to sewing. Sewing relaxes me, even thought I am not sewing frequently or with confidence. Nevertheless this afternoon I felt like I needed to sew (that is a strange feeling; it is like the need to eat… the need to sew… strange but true…), so I have sewn two simple pieces of clothes to be placed over my washer and dryer. They are cute but can be cuter if I can find nice ribbons (which I hope to find tomorrow). They will keep the dust away from my machines and also make that area look a little bit homey. My washer and dryer are in small room with boiler, ventilator, and garbage bin, so this area does not traditionally look or feel nice at all. But after these cloths it feels a little bit better. I also am interested in sewing a nice cover for the garbage bin – maybe with a flowery fabric so that it may look and feel better too! Many can find this idea weird, but I have been meaning to do this for some time and I believe that it is gonna look cute, so I am all for it 🙂

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random thoughts

This week has been going non-stop at work and I am very pleased with this.

In the last few months the work has been going well – albeit slow sometime. I am feeling like I have geared it up a bit, things are moving faster (although not as fast as I would hope), and I am feeling satisfied and happy as a result of these 🙂

This week we are having a summer time. I tell ya – it is warm during the day, even too hot at nights for our Canadian bodies (like, 23C hot?!!), I am wearing no winter coat or trench coat, and everywhere is green and flowery. Beautiful!

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I feel like I am missing a huge opportunity every minute I spend inside the office. After all, we are at around the end of June and my goodness we have only 5-6 weeks of summer. I am so conflicted – should I keep working during the summer or take 1-2 weeks off to enjoy it without work? Argh… I really want to do both. Perhaps the best solution is to make sure I walk out during the noon and work during the rest of the day. Since I get up and go to office early, walking during the noon should not affect my work.

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I think some of the seeds I planted in the yard are coming to life! This is so exciting for me – I hope they are not weed but real flowers and plants! I got lazy and did not water them this evening upon returning from office. But later I realized how unfair that was to my little seeds and threw myself and my pitcher out to yard. It felt good to do this for these lovely life forms 🙂

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Overall, I am excited about summer, the seeds that seem to be germinating in the yard, and my work performance. I will meet with an ex-team member of mine tomorrow afternoon and I plan to play with her 1-year old son and totally enjoy my time 🙂

Life is good, my friends.

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random thoughts

Yesterday and today was warm. Like, really warm. Like the coat is too much, a thin jacket is enough kind of warm 🙂

Today is the last day of May and hopefully that means we are ready to have some kind of warm weather. Maybe Spring or something 🙂 I may sound exaggerating but you know, it is really cool here. June is usually rainy but at least we can be almost sure that it is not gonna snow again for some time. July and August will be hot, like 25 C hot 🙂 Our summer! Cannot wait 🙂

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I have had a good day at the office, only that I was more useful for others than doing my own work. Also, I have had an annoying encounter with a negative person, but I will let this go. I cannot let her ruin my morale (which is going strong nowadays).

I crave for kefir, but I need to wait till tomorrow to drink it. I checked it this afternoon – there is no thickening yet (I changed the milk yesterday), so gotta wait till tomorrow to have it. I really hope that the grains can pick up and yield kefir everyday, now that the weather is warmer. 

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We have a celebration event to attend tomorrow for a past associate of mine. It is such a heart-warming experience 🙂 I feel lucky and honored to be invited to this event. It is gonna be a beautiful day tomorrow – cannot wait!

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This week I have been feeling better in terms of my work, re; finding a new one. I have a better idea now; I think some people at my work place are bothering me and if they had left, perhaps things would feel better. 

One of these people is the person I mentioned above who is vastly negative, likes to complain about everyone except herself, and overly-likes to show herself, her abilities, and performance up. I find this kind of people the most annoying. I have sensitivity towards negativity so I often pick their energies, which is not good for me. I also cannot help but react a little bit, especially when they brag about everything and never about their own faults/mistakes/limitations etc., which usually damages my relationships with them. Well, I am not interested in having or keeping personal relationships with this kind of people, but when it is for work, we gotta keep being in each others’ lives and as such when such eye-rolling encounters occur, they realize that I am not pleased with them, which in turn give them a reason to take on me…. Argh….

Be annoyed and then show being annoyed and then get a negative consequence. Who is winning here really? Obviously, not me 🙂 That is my main reason for hoping that they will leave. As a matter of fact, she said today that she may leave because she deserves so much better than this organization (!). Goodness, I hope so.

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There. I ranted and feel a lot better already – thanks for listening! 🙂

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random thoughts

I keep waking up early and going to office by 8 am. Our administrative person at the office has joked today by asking whether I slept at the office 🙂 She said that I was there when she left yesterday and I was there this morning when she arrived 🙂 I told her that I think I am getting old – they say we sleep less as we age 🙂 (is that true, by the way??)

I also keep walking to the office, even though I find that my mind is quite occupied while walking. It is usually very quiet in the morning and there is not much of a traffic. I think I am really lucky to live so close to my work place. 

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It was a very busy day at the office today. I was drained in the evening but I was also happy that things moved well today. Tomorrow I have a busy schedule, and possibly Thursday too. If I remember correctly I have a free schedule on Friday, which is awesome. I for some reason thought that I have had the next Monday off (the Victoria day). It turned out I was wrong. Nope – I gotta work that day. Argh… I was so looking forward to working in the yard this long weekend.. Everybody does… It is the Victoria Day! It is the beginning of Spring and gardening!

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I will have two friends, a couple, over for a dinner on Sunday. I have a list of food to purchase and cook on Sunday. It is gonna be fun and lovely. Having the dinner on Sunday rather than Saturday was a good idea as it will be give me ample time to shop, clean the house, and cook without rushing. This will reduce my cooking stress :))))) I am budgeting 100 bucks for this dinner (including the drinks). I am positive that it will work out just fine. Thank goodness that these people are incredibly lovely and down to earth people. So it will not be a problem to feed them without having too much of fancy stuff on the table. Such people are always welcome in my home.

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I feel like my kefir grains are getting bigger. I will take pictures tomorrow, and then again at the weekend, to document the development in grains. I note that the milk is only lightly fermented in 24 hours even though the soury-kefir-y taste is recognizable at the end of this time period. I wonder whether the taste will get stronger over time. Maybe I need to use a larger container and more milk to ferment… Anyways; my grains are still young. I am sure I will know more about them in the future. For now, I am excited to be arriving home every day, and checking, drinking, and replacing my kefir 🙂

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This is it for now, friends. I hope you have had a great Tuesday and are having a wonderful evening!

 

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random thoughts

So they say Puerto Rico has declared bankruptcy.

Hmm…. I understand individuals but a state/country? No idea how that would be feeling for its residents. I am selfishly grateful for one thing – I had looked for jobs at Puerto Rico over a decade or two, and if I had found one, I would have moved there. Now I realize that I am in a much better place – this province did not declare a bankruptcy. At least, not yet…Until then I will keep working, soothing my anxiety over losing my job/pension, looking for alternative income resources or jobs, and saving as much as I can.

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I wore one of the thrifted blouses today and I felt lucky again; I have got that beauty for such an affordable price. I plan to go to thrift stores again this Saturday. I thought today; would I ever buy new blouses or shirts (these are the primary clothes I am okay for buying at thrift stores) from other stores? I have a shirt that I have hardly worn that I bought for over 50 bucks 4-5 years ago. What a waste…. I do not think I would do that again, as long as my experience with the thrift stores continues to be positive. There is something very satisfying and exciting about finding a beautiful blouse or item at a low cost, feeling lucky about this, and having savings building up for my future 🙂

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I happen to get my weekly shopping done today. I could not help and bought more stuff than I would usually consume. The difference this week is that I will start bringing food to office…. I so far consumed usually canned foods and fruits, but this had to change; I do not think canned food is very healthy. Not 5 days a week. So I have been meaning to transition into bringing in real food everyday. 

This, I suspect, will be a challenge for me. My primary concern is that I may forget to pick up the food in the morning, or get too lazy to even bother preparing food everyday….. One strategy will be to bring a week’s worth of food on Mondays – we have fridge on the floor so it should not be a problem to store them. Since I plan to walk in the mornings, this also means carrying them in my back pack on Mondays… I need a new habit, see? I gotta say that I am pretty sure this will be a struggle for some time, but we will see how it will go. The worst thing I will do is to eat nuts and trail mix at the office, in addition to fruit. At least they are easy to carry and always tasty.

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Tomorrow is Friday. This week has passed quite fast. This weekend I plan to continue fixing my yard, shop at thrift stores, clean my house, and walk to a park or something. I may as well start reading a book, who knows? It has been sometime that I read a book, so this may be actually a great activity to do. 

These are what crossed my mind tonite, friends. Hope you are having a great night and have wonderful plans for the coming weekend 🙂

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random thoughts

It is quite cold, my friends. We are talking about below 0C. 

Air is fresh and crispy but honestly it just feels like when winter is just starting in December. Déjà vu….. Not so cool. We have had with winter already.

Since my morale is low in the last few days, I try hard to feel okay. I am kind of numb or absent-minded. I feel like if I do not keep busy, all the thoughts and emotions will rush towards me and I will collapse under their weights. I know this is irrational thinking. But it just feels so. So I keep busy – I work and work and work and that feels good.

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All my life I worked very hard, except may be a couple of times when I have had personal troubles that kept me from focusing and working a lot. Working seems to help keep my fears and emotions at check and for that I am grateful. It is just that I know that there is no running away from troubling thoughts or emotions, so one day I will have to face my sadness and worries. I hope to gracefully accept them when the time comes, rather than resisting and reacting. I found that not resisting makes it easier to cope with.

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So, am I kind of saying that I am grateful that I am not retired?

What would I do if I had no work to go to or focus in such a mood? Let me tell you – that would not be nice. So, yes I am so very grateful for my job and not being a retiree right now 🙂

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random thoughts

The entire week was warm and with blue skies. I think the spring is coming. I think the winter has left us. I think things will be only better after this 🙂

I was at a boring social yesterday with a colleague of mine and I went to office and had a very productive day today. So, if you had asked me which one made me happy, you know it is the day at the office. Honestly, the lack of distraction is the best thing I can have in my office. I left the office feeling quite happy about myself and the work I have done. I think I have resolved a couple of road blocks in this project so far and from now on I can only move faster and better. This feels amazing 🙂  

I am really happy about this.

 

random thoughts

It has been a long and productive day. If you are like me and have a busy work, please make it a priority to have no meeting or other commitments for at least 2 days a week. Do what is important for you and your work in those days. Nice and easy. And enjoy being independent of others and free of distractions.

I recently started this prioritization and benefiting quite a bit of it. I am also planning to remove further unnecessary tasks, commitments, and activities from my calendar now. We must care for ourselves if we want to be happy with our own performance, and helpful to others. After many decades of reading about time-management, I am curious why now I have come up with this plan for myself. I must have had it…. I am glad I have had it because this is working for me.  

I was bored of being home early (around 5 pm) so I thought I would either sew something or read a book. I oped out for a book and guess what? I re-started reading The Class of Kings, the second book in the A Game of Thrones book series of GRRM. Boy, it has been a year that I left it in the middle as it is one of the most boring book I have ever seen. Would you, would I expect this from this series? Noooo… But it is so true – officially this is one boring book. I have been told that if I can finish it and move on with the third book, things would get better. So let’s hope that will turn out to be true for me. All these things I have done for the Jamie Lannister, Brienne of Tarth, Sansa and Arya Stark, and Tyrion Lannister :))))

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Weather-wise, we continue to have snow and rain and everything else in between. Those of you who have sunshine, blue skies, and warm temperature, please take a moment to reflect how lucky you are. You really are lucky 🙂

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Our storm continues with heavy rain, rather than snow, and with high winds. It has been a wet, cold, gray, and miserable day, but luckily not a snow-day. I worked whole day at the office and one of my co-workers gave me a ride back home. What else do I want from such a stormy day? Maybe a cup of tea 🙂

I am determined to try to sew a collar again this weekend and start a new blouse project. It is the collars that screw everything most – once I do achieve sewing one acceptable prototype, I know I can keep progressing….. But  there were three trials so far and all were fails. I know I should be more patient and keep going. Eventually I will know how to best handle it. After all, there are so many people who can do a collar. Is there any particular reason why I cannot make it?

I did not think so.

Confidence and determinism are rare traits sometimes.

I have watched a number of youtube videos. There are many different ways to sew a neck line. I can do this! 

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I have not posted my “weekly budget check” this week. It has been similar to previous weeks where I saved by shopping items/grocery on sale, minimizing anything else. The only difference was that this week every morning I have taken the cab to the office. This was partly because of the bad weather and partly because of my need to feel good about myself. For some reason, I am not sorry. Perhaps one or two days I could rather take the bus, but in the other days taking the cab was the right decision. That is why I am not sorry. And the fact  that money is not everything. And the fact that it is okay to prioritize comfort every once a while 🙂

I wonder what the future years will bring. If our economy was not this bad, in the coming years we would expect to get salary increases. This would be nice and help me to make further plans to pay the mortgage off. I have a little increase coming in April, for which I am grateful. But knowing that our salaries will probably not increase, in contrast, may even be reduced after that, I am feeling disappointed.

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The other day I was thinking: what other expense I can reduce in my life? How can I get more income? One of the options is to get a roommate – but this will not happen without sacrificing my comfort and freedom. I wish I had a basement apartment where I could rent. At least that would feel like some kind of freedom. But in terms of the expenses, I cannot cut my cable-phone-internet combo; I sure can walk more frequently to office once the weather becomes more permissive; I cannot sacrifice from my grocery and food any further. None of these can happen without reducing the quality of my life or my life style. I can reduce the expenses related to my social life, but hey it is already not too much. So what do I do?

Nothing much. Cherish what I could achieve so much, aim to save as much as possible (possible is a great word here) while also enjoy my life. That is pretty much it.

2017 has been the leanest year in terms of my spending so far. Since it is March 31st, I thought it would be a good idea to check my finances. I usually do this at the end of each year, but it is good to know how I am doing in terms of budgeted categories.

Notable financial accomplishments/facts are as follows: 

1. I am spending much less money this year than before

2. I am walking in the mornings whenever I can – the first time in winter this year (well, okay this is not completely a financial achievement, but an important change in my life this year – so I will keep it in the list 🙂 )

3. I have made an effort to consume the food in my pantry and freezer and it worked really good for me

4. I started to make mortgage prepayments this year and it has been going well. I am more motivated than ever to keep saving, however  little it can be, and use it to make a pre-payment

5. My weekly allowance (of $120) has never been over-spent so far and I am constantly saving in my fund funds (these are the funds left from the weekly allowance). If it continues like this I will have an extra $2,000 – 2,500 at the end of the year in my fun funds account. This is additional to what I predicted that I could save this year. Maybe I will use it for my enjoyment, or maybe I will use it to invest/pay mortgage. We shall see 🙂

6. Of $6,000 funds budgeted for socials, personal care and cleaning products, hobbies, medications and other health-related expenses, gifts, and all expenses other than my weekly allowance, I spent around $1,000 so far. Considering that it is the 1/4th of the year so far, this number is good. I should keep going frugal in these areas, as I happen to shop a lot during the November-December to take advantage of the sales. I hope to keep within this budgeted amount this year.

7.  My chequing account is healthy, above $0, and as usual, I continue to contribute to my RRSP and TFSA investments biweekly. The only thing is that despite all the frugal life-style, regular savings to improve the chequing account has been quite difficult (because of the increased tax, pension contributions, and mortgage payments) compared to the last year. Nevertheless, since it is in a good shape, I am grateful for whatever I can do and I am determined to keep going. 

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random thoughts

We are waiting for yet another storm in a couple of days and naturally I shopped this evening and stocked up some fruits and veggies.

I am not looking forward to this storm yet; I am not interested in shoveling, not going to office and not taking care of the work, and spending another day inside. 

But what can I do?

Nothing much. So, I may as well choose to enjoy it, should we get another snow day or two. As a matter of fact, I think it will be a good opportunity to try sewing a simple blouse again. We shall see how this will go.

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There are talks about “firings” to happen in my organization. The provincial situation is really bad and it shows itself in the lay offs. The morale is low and the future uncertainty and the fear of being without a job or its benefits are giving me a chill. I feel for the people who are laid off so far. Sometimes I think if that to happen to me, rather than feeling saddened by it, I should gracefully accept, collect myself and my belongings, sell my house, and go for a trip for a year or so. Just to find myself; just to figure out what I want in life. What I need in life. Without too much of thinking – like I have always done. Freedom should feel good. It always does.

This being said though, I would not like to lose my job. I do not wish to lose my job. So, I hope this kind of freedom will have to wait till my retirement. 

Since the current provincial government is pretty interested in increasing the taxes, firing people, and reducing the contributions for important services, such as schools or hospitals, our future looks pretty gray, including pension plans.. One wonders how this government could take such extreme measures and created such a depressing outlook for our current life and the future one? This feels so surreal; not having the safety/security and hope for our future while we put 100% of our minds and hearts in to our works and the daily economy. I am very disappointed. Perhaps it is for the best if they let us go and we find jobs and lives somewhere else. That crosses my mind so frequently. But, I should stop giving the wrong messages to my subconsciousness. I like my job and I would like to stay. I do not wish to lose my job.

Looks like my mental judo about the prospect of bad economy, seemingly impossible retirement, chance of being fried, and a currently secure/safe job, and my need for it and everything else it does bring (salary, benefits, a sense of meaningful life and efforts) will continue some time. I hope the future will bring positivity rather than desperation.

I want to continue to like life.

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random thoughts

I always found March-May kind of tricky; they feel like spring but then they are not. As you can guess, yes we are expecting another snow storm tonite. I am sure it is not going to be a snow day, but boy, do I really want the freedom to walk without thinking about the snow banks or ice? Well, looks like I will wait for sometime for that.

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Nevertheless, I walked this morning and it was a pleasant walk. I had my dental cleaning appointment, which went well. Only that I have been cranky lately and that meant I was not complying with everything. For example, my dental hygienist suggested that I have an additional X-ray, which I refused. She might have had a good reason, but I am not getting an X-ray unless it is absolutely necessary or recommended by a dentist. I am proud of myself for saying NO, which is easier when I am not in the mood. Also, it helped that the hygienist made me extra annoyed by asking all bunch of personal questions, spending time like this, and making me pay for an extra time. Next time, I am making clear that I am keeping the time to make sure I will not be charged more than the required, especially while also being subject to a ridiculous conversation. So, that was how I started my day….

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Anyways; after that it was better. First, I felt hungry and bought some muffins/baked goods and ate them with great appetite and enjoyment 🙂 Since I usually do not have breakfast, this was a nice change that I appreciated very much – I can do this more often 🙂

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The rest of the day was not eventful, for which I am grateful. I walked back home and prepared myself a healthy meal. I still have 10 pounds to shed (that I gained lately), which bothers me. Yesterday, for example I was miserable thinking about it…. Yet, I want to feel positive, rather than negative, and believe in myself that I will take the necessary steps to start removing extra fat from my body… This evenings’ meal was a good example of healthy meal (cracked wheat salad with lots of onion, tomato, celery, pepper, and parsley 🙂
Hope I will keep this determination up 🙂

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random thoughts

What a boring weekend.

Sorry – I did not mean to rant and depress, but that is what it has been.

I spent the most of yesterday at home because of a snow storm. Argh… Then a couple of friends called and they said they had no power. I invited them over. I was very happy to be able to help my friends and cook for them with the food at home 🙂 Generally speaking I like being resourceful and helpful. Yet, honest  to goodness, the negativity around these people is incredibly annoying. I feel a lot better around positive people – this is a fact. There is nothing more boring and annoying than people who rant all the time and never seem to appreciate anyone. That is a also a fact.

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So while I felt good about myself, I felt negative about my friends. Do I sound like a hypocrite?

So be it! 🙂

And today was okay. I just felt suffocated at home and went out for a short time and got fresh air. It was very quiet and there was ice everywhere…. Walking was challenging, yet quite relaxing. I have even been to the book store close to my house. Interestingly I only spent maybe 5-10 min and left it without buying any book (when was the last time I left a book store without buying a book? hmmmm)….

On a funny side; I baked a 40% whole wheat flour and 60% rolled oat loaf and what others said was true – oat does not rise. I have a brick-like bread to consume, possibly as croutons. Yay! 🙂

I also sewed a little bit yesterday and today. I realized it is stressing me, not relaxing… This needs to be reversed. I am trying to sew a piece of clothe for my mom and I want it to be great, and also enjoy doing it. I have some mental work to do and I better allow room for mistakes and be okay with messing with fabric and projects… At least for some more time….

Considering how boring today and yesterday was and how annoying my friends were, I questioned once again what the hey I was doing here, rather than being with my family? This is a billion dollar question……It should worth for me to be staying here; emotionally, financially, personally, professionally, health-wise, somehow……. I came to this question time to time, though it has been a while that I have had it last time…. Boy, I must be really bored and mad! I hope not to see those people again for some time.

Anyways; Friday was good friends- I have got my taxes done! I have gone there scared and thinking that I had forgotten to take my cheque book and I hope they could accept VISA or debit for the tax I owe to the government, and came back home just happy. I have got a return! I wanted to celebrate this, but for some reason I did not feel like eating out that days. Maybe some other time 🙂

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What do I want to do with my tax return? A new mortgage pre-payment 🙂 🙂 🙂

That sure makes me feel blessed and happy 🙂

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random thoughts and #TheLeanSpendingMonth

It is going well – this quiet and relaxing weekend I mean 🙂

Weather is good; I walked yesterday for 25 min or so and am planning to do so again this afternoon; I cook and eat healthy with lots of raw veggies; house is cleaned and laundry is done; a number of movies are enjoyed; world news are followed; better spending choices are made; food in the pantry/freezer is being consumed; and life feels overall not too eventful and is peaceful.

Of course, the world news are interesting. What the hey has been happening in the USA? I sometimes think that all the little problems of mine are unnecessary – I guess this kind of mentality and actions are the ones that will fuel a much larger world-wide conflict, unrest, and violence. So who cares about whether I will be able to do every thing I want to do this year? Save that much and invest this much? Nope. We may be looking at a much bigger and global problem to erupt (not to mention the pain and suffering by the people most needed the safety). I am sorry if I sound pessimistic (which I usually am).

Nevertheless, I try to focus on what I can control so that I can not feel hopeless altogether. That brings me to my #TheLeanSpendingMonth challenge I assigned for myself (a.k.a. super-duper lean spending month).

I initially had decided to try it on February but more or less since new year I am on it.

What is #TheLeanSpendingMonth challenge?

As the name implies – it aims to challenge me to spend the least amount of money on non-essential expenses (for me that would mean taking the cab, eating breakfast outside, buying coffee or other treats, buying more grocery that I can consume, and buying anything new while I still have a working copy at home).

I am not 100% lean in my spending; I decided a while ago that fully restricting myself was not a good idea. So I am buying one treat a week as I please (like peanut butter which is not essential for my diet). But I am quite conscious of my spending, and I am making it a choice to calculate the cons and pros of each of my expenses and think about how I could benefit from by not making the expense.

For example, I walked yesterday 15 min away to get eggs on sale, also thinking that walking is a great exercise that I am looking forward to anyhow. Yet, today I decided once again that baking dry beans would not worth it and the canned beans is a much better option for me regardless of the cost (it takes so loooong to cook beans…)…

I also needed an extra and quite clear benefit of not spending unnecessarily and so I come up with the mortgage prepayment account; I note my savings each week which will be later used to make a prepayment whenever I have more than 100 bucks in the account. I did this for the first time 10 days ago and I am excited about it 🙂 So I have more than enough motivation to keep going. 🙂

If anyone had asked me whether I could budget stricker than what I used to have last year, I would say no. But I am proving myself wrong now – I see that I can save more. This cannot be a long term plan for me though, so I rather see the #TheLeanSpendingMonth challenge as some kind of “shopping ban”. After  all I also have a life to enjoy and I would love my weekend breakfast to come back sometime 🙂

So my advice to you, if you are interested in this kind of challenges, is to learn about yourself and your choices as much as possible. Also think about it as a temporary thing; who knows maybe it will turn into a long-term habit, but if not that should be okay, too. I should also say that it is fun to challenge myself and finding ways to cut my expenses. I hope you too will have a similar and positive experience.

Have a great Sunday everyone!

 

 

 

random thoughts

Three more days till my two weeks holidays time off 🙂 I cannot wait!

Honestly, I am done with work. I have things to do but enough is enough. I have been working very hard and made a good attempt to finish ongoing work. I will make one last push tomorrow and Wednesday, and then I will take Thursday off (even though it is not  apart of our holidays). I deserve this extra day 🙂

I have done the majority of my shopping by taking advantage of the sales, though I still would love to check trousers and get one or two if they are on sale. Other than that, I have no need for shopping and I feel good about this. Of course I have many socials to attend, especially this week, which kind of makes me bored already, but I will go through it. The exciting things will be to declutter my home, clean it up, and get some time for myself.

I have quite a reflection to do and the holidays have always been the best time for me to do so… This year has been full of ups and downs…. While on the average it was one year that I have had felt happy, it was also the one that brought me the most profound sadness; my dad has passed away this year.. May he rest in peace…. I did not know what sadness was prior to this and I had never appreciated life as much I have since my dad’s death…My dad has given me life and also taught me the best lesson ever by his death; that I must appreciate life while I have it…. How could I not feel this before, when he was alive? He has seen me mostly depressed and fed up with life; that feels so unfair to him… But I am sure he would love to see me now with this new zest towards life.

I am also older now and getting close to 50 🙂 hah haaa. I have never thought I would but here I am! With age comes change in the body as well as in the attitude towards anything really. I appreciate my family and I still care about my work, but I want to have a better and healthier life-style overall. I am losing weight slowly but steadily, which is good. My mood is overall better, which is awesome. I must continue to care for my back and keep doing my stretches and light weight training, which have been really good for me. I want to get better at sewing and start doing some serious projects, which I hope the holidays will be a good opportunity to do so. I am still keen about saving and paying down my mortgage, but I am not going to get too enthusiastic about it and would like to make it a priority to enjoy my life and care for people I love…

It looks like I have little new projects for the new year. This somehow bothers me (i.e. does not excite me that much) but I would like to think positive. Perhaps this is an opportunity to go with the flow. Who knows, maybe I will develop new interests and projects without thinking about them? After all my two current interest, blogging and sewing, were never planned and were just spontaneously born 🙂

random thoughts

It was a kind of “oh well, I think I am getting down with something” day…

I think the windy weather is making me kind of sick; it is quite strong and when it hits, it hits.. Time for the hot chocolate 🙂 Lots of it 🙂 🙂

The wind outside is quite concerning; I am so grateful for my house standing tall in this weather. We have had a strangely cold, snowy, and windy week. Two days were snow days and this evening was certainly not great. I managed to go to grocery store nice and easy, but when I had left, the snow and wind were just beating us. It is great that my house is very close to the store 🙂

I have socials to attend this weekend and I am hoping (yes, I am..) that we will cancel them. I am supposed to have a hair cut; clean the house; do the laundry; shop at a mall for my needs; and then attend an early dinner tomorrow – how am I supposed to do all of these, while I also feel kind of sick and cranky and the weather is crazy?

Nevertheless, I am hoping that at least the weather will be better, I will feel a lot like my regular self and enjoy my time as it develops tomorrow.

Have a great Friday night everyone! 🙂

 

 

random thoughts

I am writing just because and I have no idea how this post will develop. We shall see.

It has been a miserable day today, with light rain and gray sky. Do you not love it? 🙂 🙂

The only positive coming out of this colorless day is to be able to notice the trees changing colours; all the red, brown, and yellow leaves… Either on the trees or on the ground. I walked by a house with a yard full of fallen leaves. It was so beautiful… What a contrast these colours make with the sky around us and what a blessing to notice them.

Despite the depressing weather, I walked both in the morning and the afternoon. I even saw a colleague of mine biking. How great is that we are making an effort to keep healthy (and frugal)?

My aim of 2 carb-less days per week did not solidify yet. Yesterday I had a bagel in the morning and today I had half a slice of bread with dinner. Both felt very good  and tasty 🙂 Yet, I will continue to make an effort to curb the refined carbs. I am doing good otherwise, eating raw veggies and protein. I hope to continue like this as there is a noticeable difference.

While it is a busy time of the year, yesterday I thought about the holiday time-off. We have two more months to go but still thinking about it makes me excited. We have something like 2 weeks off that I really love. My plans are the usual: taking a rest, minimal work, deep cleaning, airing, and decluttering the house, and shopping. I would love to take advantage of the sales.

I also would like to read books this time. Last year I had bought the “A Game of Thrones” series and was very excited about reading the books until I got stuck at the 2nd book. That one is so boring, my goodness, I need extra motivation to go thru it. I was told that many readers feel the same way about this book, yet once it is done, the rest was as captivating as the 1st book. I believe in this… I will read these books 🙂

As usual, I will also socialize during the holidays and will find time to spend time with my friends. Not sure whether I would host at my home, but I sure will be attending others’ functions.

Holiday season also means the season of gift. I am lucky that gifting for me is not extensive, but I buy gifts for two friends and my good neighbours. The entire year (I cannot believe that time passes this quickly) I was looking for nice gifts, yet I was not successful in getting any yet. I have a couple of ideas and I hope the month of November will give me a lot of options to choose from.

On a separate note, I seem to have got cold. It is Murphy’s Law again; I have a talk tomorrow. I hope to feel better till then 🙂

Until next time, stay safe and positive 🙂

 

random thoughts (and a lot of rant)

Friends;

I have had another challenging day. I am happy that it is over but it was hard. Very hard. I am writing to face my short-comings and rant about myself. So if you are interested in feeling better, I am afraid this is not a post you would be pleased to read.

That being said; yes I have short comings. We have had this 4.30 pm meeting arranged maybe 4 months ago. It involved a lot of people and those that we have not met face to face. Making a good impression and exploring collaborative ideas while also making everyone on our side look good and feel happy was a challenging task.

I failed.

It looks like I was not updated well enough, the idea I was proposing was not well developed, and I did not form critical connections and involve necessary people before. I should have done these prior to this meeting.

I feel like a failure. I feel naive and not suitable for my position. I feel like I would have controlled everything better but could not.

I am trying to mend the things on our side, and I hope acknowledging my own contribution to this experience involving others will ease some sour feelings between me and my colleagues.

I left the meeting feeling stupid. I am now kind of back to my senses and writing helps a lot too. They say after every fail is a great lesson to be learnt. This experience should not be about me being an inadequate person at work, but about discovering the things I should be learning. So I write them as they appear in my mind right now:

lesson 1: be kind to yourself

lesson 2: nobody is perfect, so am I. So what?

lesson 3: next day these feelings will pass – nothing is permanent

lesson 4: when compared to very important things in life, this failure is nothing.

lesson 5: I have short-comings and I know next time how to be better

lesson 6: it is okay to acknowledge my short-comings., especially towards others that pointed out my short-comings

lesson 7: if I find myself fail in one part of life over and over, maybe it is a sign that I must move into another part and try my performance there. Perhaps there is something that I can do a lot better

lesson 8: not all reactions I have got was negative – some things are working.

lesson 9: after all, I may feel like failure but looking at the reactions (that what I was proposing was not well developed), that is also opportunity to get others involved and perhaps contribute to the case more. That is actually pretty good considering that getting my team’s attention to the problem was the biggest challenge for me at the first place.

lesson 10: tomorrow is another day and next year nobody will remember this.

lesson 11: my feelings are exaggerated by the fact that I have had another very ridiculous meeting yesterday. One person that I was interested in working together and I had a phone conference. That person only talked and talked and never let me talk and express my ideas or opinions. At one point, I raised my voice, stated that the person was not listening! (i am sorry I have done that) and cut his words. He then listened to me and understood the issues I have had at my hand related to the work. I dislike being mean to others, but I sure dislike being not considered or constantly being interrupted. I hope I never do that to others…

This and today’s meeting; they helped accumulate my internal pressure.

I will make things better. I promise.

Feeling better already 🙂 thanks for listening!

random thoughts

In between unproductive but critical meetings, fire-fighting all bunch of operational issues, dealing with difficult people often with little energy, feeling hyper-active and at the same time on the edge, and looking forward to 5 days trip to Europe next week as if it is my only way to relax (even though it too is a business related trip).

This pretty much summarizes the current situation of mine. I am so looking forward to reading the posts, yet I have so little time and mental clarity. It gotta wait till I find some kind of peace away from work.

Until then my friends.

random thoughts

It is a beautiful day; neither cold nor too hot/humid – love it 🙂

Before I noticed it, August is passing by and fall is coming. I made a mental note today to enjoy August more; like spending more time outdoors and finishing the minor painting/staining as well as decluttering that I must do around the house. All will be fine.

I worked mostly at home today and I have done really well. I complain to myself that I have so much to do and stress myself; yet eventually everything is going okay. Whatever will happen will happen…. There is life out of work and career.

I bought a second hand rug last week, which I love. It is clean and new, big enough to make me notice how wide my living room is, and the nice gentleman (the previous owner) even delivered it to my home free of charge. I felt very lucky after that.

There was one other rug I had liked and I contacted the owner. In 30 min I had the rug driven to my house, checked by me, and purchased. That was a very fast  🙂 I like the texture and the design of the rug, yet upon closer examination it turned out it has two small dents. It is also quite dusty. I vacuumed it now and am planning to wipe in the coming days to make sure it is clean. So it is not a problem at all. I just do not know what to do with the dents. This is my friends, an example of how you will not always get lucky 🙂 But considering the low cost and the convenience of the purchase, I would say it is well worth it and I am glad I purchased it.

So, I have two choices: either repair or hide the dents of the rug under my coffee table (which is actually a great idea), or place it in the room of Jamie.

Well, who is Jamie?

Jamie is the cat that I have been planning and then hesitating to adopt since last week. There is nothing wrong with the cat; he is beautiful. It is myself that I cannot be sure of. But, hopefully tomorrow I will go and put in the adoption papers. If I do or do not get cold feet again, you will know from my posts tomorrow… Hopefully in the mean time, Jamie will not be adopted.

 

random thoughts

It is a warm and humid day – it started raining in the evening and that feels just like the springs I know. One moment warm and the next moment it slightly cools down with the rain. All is welcome 🙂

I am happy with the work I have done today. I came home in the afternoon to work without distraction and it proved to be a good decision.

I have a new flower bloomed in my yard 🙂 it is hidden in between the leaves of a kind of large green plant. I did not plant it there, so I am assuming it somehow got in there. I also see many small plants here and there. As soon as I understand what they are i will either plug them out or let them grow. They are kind of under a tree from next door and I am assuming that they are the seeds from that tree that germinated. But I cannot be sure yet – I am wishfully waiting.

It is official that I have a pest problem…. Disgusting….. I found new poops in my kitchen counter that make me want to puke… I am calling the pest control company tomorrow – hopefully they will be able to give me some baits and this problem will be resolved soon. I am pretty much annoyed but then I know that I am doing okay in terms of taking steps: I have sticky bands everywhere, poison in two places, electronic repellents (which I think are not working as I found the poops close to them….), i placed all food in cabinets into glass jars or in the fridge, and I try to show up in the kitchen time to time to make sure that they know they are not the only thing there and behave maybe. … Maybe… I can only hope 🙂 I know this is not a pleasant topic to write about – bear with me. I just feel better facing the issue, that is all.

In contrast to almost all of the mornings in my life, this morning I have got up feeling good…. You know what I think is the reason? I filled my mind with positive thoughts right before I went to bed by writing my joy journal. I am curious to see whether I can replicate this feeling tomorrow and the days after that. If I can see that is the reason, then, my friends, I may have just found the key to happiness and less crankiness 🙂

That would be just awesome 🙂

 

random thoughts

File:Forget me not.jpg

photo credit: Rude (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Forget_me_not.jpg)

——————————————-

Today is off, but I went to the office nevertheless. It was magical – it reminded me how well I can do without distractions of emails, phones, meetings, and just people around. In 4 hours I have done days of work… I am very grateful.

The day is warm and shinny with a blue sky. I could see all my neighbours out working in their yards, chatting with other neighbours, and having barbecue parties 🙂 It is as if not only the nature has awaken by Spring, but people too.

Honestly we deserved that after our long winter. This winter was not harsh as it was the last two years. But nonetheless, I am sure all residents are cherishing its end 🙂

I am spending the afternoon at home with listening to calming music and reflecting on  the productive work today and the beauty of Spring. My lilacs are blooming and so are the forget-me-nots. Forget-me-not flower has rapidly become my favorite a couple of years ago when I purchased my home. These little blue  flowers are so elegant, so cheerful, and so beautiful. I feel lucky to have them right in my yard.

Wishing everyone a great Spring day 🙂

The Spring is here

This week is feeling like a real Spring 🙂

It is warm, sunny, and more importantly we are aware that the Spring is here because of the May 24 long weekend 🙂

There is something about this long weekend that tells everyone that things have changed; you can see everyone in their yards planting. I start my grass cutting adventure in this weekend. I also plant seeds.

Today I cut the grass and it made me tired as usual 🙂 quite an exercise – I should be grateful but honestly my arms are aching 🙂

Today I also started to think about what exactly to plant this year. Last time I planted around 50 bulbs, 8 of which had grown but could not give flowers. I checked them today and there was no sign of growing this year. I hope though they will show up. I really would like that.

Last year I had planted seeds for a number of herbs; parsley, mint, basel, oregano… None had germinated….. which is frustrating. I really would love to have some herbs in my yard. I had mint last year; I had stuck the stems of fresh mints I had purchased from the store and they actually grew and made me happy. Do you think they will show up this year? They say mint is quite a versatile plant. I hope the roots are still there and healthy.

I decided to try the herb seeds this year again. I now have some parsley seeds getting ready for tomorrow – I heard somewhere to put the seeds in water a day or so before planting to help them germinate. I am trying it today and tomorrow I hope to have parsley, basil, and some mint seeds to relocate into my yard 🙂

Exciting times 🙂

Welcome Spring!

random thoughts

It was another high-effort day where many things were taken care of.

I cannot complain as long as things are moving. They are; I am just in the constant rush and stressed as a result. My neck is tight and I am longing for some kind of relaxation. While I am watching a TV series right now, I realize that my mind is busy and chatty. The best way to relieve this is to write about it. So here I am 🙂

When I make a conscious decision to leave things behind and enjoy the moment (just like right now) it miraculously works. I can start thinking about the work tomorrow. But right now is mine. Let me be in the moment….

This last sentence made me remember my yoga/stretching classes. How lovely, relaxing, and joyful they were. It is so unfortunate that they were not good to my back, or I could not know how to protect my back. The joy I have got out of these classes will always be cherished. At least I know that there are things in life that made me feel good.

I walked this morning too. The route from home to office does not look too long anymore. I am so grateful for my elevated energy levels – thanks to them I am feeling energetic and can walk without complaining or feeling strained. I feel like I have got my youth back 🙂 And that feels pretty amazing!

Today was a little bit chilly than yesterday, but the sky was blue and clear and I am certain that the spring is here 🙂 There is something magical about Spring; it is the time of renewal, hope, energy, nature, and joy….. I would love to plant plants in my yard but I am not sure whether I can find time to do so before my vacation this summer. It would be great if I had committed to it – my lilacs will blossom soon and the grass will shoot up, too. I must confess I am not looking forward to cutting the grass. It takes time and tires my arms quite a bit. Its scent also makes my stomach turn a little bit. too. But it at least give me a chance to be outside with nature and feeling “talked to and understood” by my trees.

We have a social at the work place this friday and I was wondering whether I could bake something for it (rather than buying). I found a couple of “tea biscuit” recipes that I thought were just perfect; it looks easy and simple to make the biscuits. I would like to try them on thursday night. Let’s hope I will be successful 🙂

 

 

random thoughts

It was a go-go kind of day, with many things happening at work and taken care of with a rush that still makes me dizzy. But at least it is over for today, so I can set this feeling aside.

After my baguette fiasco yesterday I have had that constant feeling of making a bread. It is as if if I can make one, then I will have confidence and can try and achieve baking beautiful loafs. I even considered it for tonite, but decided not to – I will wait for the weekend. more excitement this way 🙂

In terms of my budget, I have done really well so far this week, which is very pleasing. I did not have to buy too much of grocery and I catched up some sales. I also used the points of a loyalty card this past week, which reduced my grocery bill. I believe every month, I can get some cash back (to be used in grocery shopping) using the loyalty card. It can be a small amount but sure makes a difference in my finances and life. While I still have 3 more days to go before my weekly budget ends, I am hopeful that I will be able to keep up my expenses low this week.

This is good because I have a couple of socials to attend and some social expenses to cover in the coming weeks. While they will cost me some money, I am also excited to be a part of them. So all will be fine.

I have a family vacation coming up and I wanted to save quite a bit prior to it. I may not have saved as much as I wished, but I guess what I have is good enough to cover for expenses in a comfortable way. The family vacation also means that I will be away from the work. This can explain the rush and stress I have been having lately. I would like to start the vacation without thinking too much about the work. So things are better taken care of until then.

On the positive side, I walked this morning from home to the office. We have had an exceptional day today, with really warm Spring temperatures. It is kind of ironic that I had to spend such a beautiful day inside my office. But hey, at least I have seen it and got excited about Spring 🙂 So walking in the morning and then in the afternoon were very delightful. I hope to do the same tomorrow. Hopefully there will be no rain tomorrow 🙂

My back has been feeling good in the last two days. Last week, I have had back pains and I was worried. So I decided to give my back a rest and did not do my exercises since friday. Surprisingly that seems to be working so far 🙂 I did a little bit arm work with dumbbells – I like the feeling and the obvious tone improvement in my arm muscles. This is pretty much becoming a regular exercise for me. the trick is to do light work without straining myself a lot or taking too long of a time; then I have the motivation to keep going. Little bit of it is better than none of it 🙂

I was thinking today why and how the gym culture has evolved. Is it because we became too dependent on technology and cars etc. and forgotten to work our body in a natural way? Or did we get obsessed with how we look? Maybe we become more competitive and feeling the need to shape our body and feel good about ourselves?  maybe it is what everybody else is doing so we feel the pressure to do attend a gym… Is it not ironic that we have walking bands in the gyms, countless of them, while we can walk during the day? Have you ever gone to gym with cars?

Those who live in unsafe areas and totally dependent on driving their cars to go around can disregard this last question. Many of my friends in the US have had this one reason for not walking on the streets. It is amazing and sometime quite sad how our living environment can shape our lives, life styles, and needs.

I will finish my random thougths post today by noting the Fort McMurray wildfire that is affecting Alberta and close communities. It is a disaster that I cannot even comprehend; sending my best wishes to fellow Canadians living in that area.

random thoughts

Today I had meetings over meetings, made important decisions, and completely got drained energy-wise. I will work tomorrow too at the office with a team member of mine, and it looks like for the next 4 weeks or so I will have hardly any time to take it easy.

But that is okay because 5-6 weeks later I will be visiting my family. Vacation and family time!

I am just stressed  a little bit but I know I can handle this. I have gone thru similar pressing times at work. Even though it does strain me, eventually the outcome of hardwork is good and desirable. I know I will be okay. I just need to spend my time more wisely and give myself “awards” that will excite me.

So this is what exactly I have done today and bought myself a can of traditional active yeast 🙂 You know my love for yeast, right? The other day I had also got additional flour (I already had whole wheat flour, now I would like to try all purpose flour for a softer type of bread) and now I am ready to roll 🙂

I would like to try a lovely loaf on Sunday. I plan to rise it really well this time. So I will start the dough in the morning and will give it enough time to rise. I have been reading a lot and I have got many tips. One thing I cannot be sure about is whether I will have a plain loaf or a veggie bread, like zucchini bread. I will decide it at that time I guess. Nevertheless, I am excited!

It has been raining today a lot, so I took the bus in the morning. I am glad that I decided to do so, rather than taking the cab. I am very content about this shift in my thinking; previously nothing would stop me from taking the cab in the morning, especially if the weather was annoying. My mind-set at that time was “I deserve this” and “I better go to office as soon as possible to start taking care of work” and “I am really not in the mood and I have little energy; so taking the cab is the greatest convenience for me right now“, and “it is so annoying to wait 5 or 10 minutes for the bus“.

As we all know, these thoughts are feelings of mine are now mostly gone. I, more than 90% of the time, take the bus or walk to the office in the morning. I am not annoyed by waiting for the bus. I enjoy taking the bus (or walking). I enjoy using the cab fare rather on more meaningful things, such as strengthening my bank account or investing for my retirement.

There are a number of factors that has helped me with this mental transition. First, my determination to control my finances better. Second, the iron supplementation that increased my energy levels. And third, waking up a little bit earlier, which makes me feel like I am not late and it is okay to spend extra time to take the bus.

Little things can make huge difference. I feel lucky for being able to have these factors in my life.

Cheers everyone 🙂

 

random thoughts

Another beautiful day 🙂 I hope everyone else is also having a similar experience.

In contrast to yesterday, I woke up with some anger in my mind. It is not fun; I should be able to manage my thoughts better. After all, my feelings are pretty much created by my thoughts. I was remembering some annoying moments from yesterday and that somehow cost me positive feelings in the morning.

The nice thing was that I decided to walk to the office again and it was a more or less pleasant walk. I noticed that if my mind works on negative thoughts, then through the end of the walk I get tired or constrained, rather than feeling relaxed. Something for me to think about.

On the positive side, my excitement over the yeast and bread baking continuing 🙂  It is to me quite amazing that such a small organism can do all of these (for example, producing carbon dioxide that expands/rises the dough and helps form the “holes” in the bread; forming gluten; and producing chemicals/nutrients that give flavor to the bread). I am interested in starting my own sourdough starter, but I guess this will have to wait till later. I am planning to purchase flour tomorrow and some seeds/nuts for my next bread. I hope my interest and excitement over making my own bread will continue.

Have a great Wednesday night everyone!

🙂

random thoughts

There is not much to say, except that:

1. I wanted to walk in the morning

2. I walked from home to office in the morning

3. It was an easy and enjoyable walk, which made me excited

4. My body got warm as a result of walking and sweated a little bit (for some reason I like sweating by physical activity – I guess it tells me I worked my body a little bit more than regular. No worries – I did not stink)

5. I felt happy, relaxed, and excited during the morning (which is priceless, you know well)

6. I worked well with my team members; I am not able to finish the document I was supposed to this week, but hey, I will take it as it is

7. I walked in the evening to home from office, despite a thin rain (great that I did not chicken out and decide to take the bus/cab rather than walking)

8. I have had a healthy dinner, with salad and oven-cooked chicken

9. I want to walk tomorrow morning, too, weather permitting

10. Overall, I feel excited and happy about my energy levels in the morning, and being able to do this useful exercise for my body and my mind.

🙂

 

 

random thougths

I decided to walk to office this morning. While it was cut short as one of my colleagues saw me walking and gave me a ride, I was amazed to see that walking was coming easy for me and I was enjoying it. I was almost sad the entire day that I did not complete my walk, but this tells me how much inner motivation I have for walking in the mornings. I love this.

With my decision to bake my own bread yesterday and  with my decision to walk this morning, I felt like I am becoming more `normal`, going back to my natural life style. I also felt an urge to spend more time outdoors, with nature. I cannot wait for Spring to come, which will led me use my backyard and do some light gardening.

Am I returning back to my origin as a human, a part of nature? Have I got too engulfed in technology and work-related activities so that I forgot what it was? Have I got too dependent on store-made stuff, even bread, that I could not even think about baking it myself? When did I become so dependent on others manufacturing+marketing while our moms did their own pickles (well, I learnt how to make pickles this year from mom, so I am good for this one), dried fruits and veggies, canned their food?

I feel like I had lost my connection with a more natural, less industrialized life-style. And I feel like I want to walk more, keep a simple life, cook and bake more, and be happy with the outdoors just to re-connect again.

I know it is not possible right now, but I really would like to live in a farm and homestead. And grow my own food and be with the nature.

Man, who knew that baking one loaf of bread would make all these positive realizations possible?

random thoughts

This has been a great week so far in terms of work. I am taking care of a large document and I have a great momentum. I hope to move it further tomorrow and almost end next week. I say almost as I am still waiting a part of it done by someone. Hopefully that part will go smoothly, too.

I have got a nice feedback today from a colleague. It was nice to get it in writing as in my workplace, this kind of “proofs” are considered significant in annual reviews. I am glad that I took the extra time (weeks) to prepare for a presentation that I delivered quite easily. Engagement by the participants was also great, which made it extremely useful and interesting. I like this kind of experiences and the positive feedback following them 🙂

Tomorrow is Friday, which always feels good. I hope to work really well and then do grocery shopping in the afternoon. This week I am likely not to spend too much. I am thinking apple, pears, chicken, trail mix, maybe yogurt, milk, some greens, and lemons as essential items to get this week. I have some veggies left from last week as I have not cooked lately; I must focus on consuming them before they go bad. Wasting food feels really awful.. There is no need for that.

I have been continuing my back exercises since they were first prescribed to me; it should be around 2-3 months now.. Sometimes I surprise myself 🙂 For someone who can get really `lazy`, the fact that I keep working to strengthen my back/abs and stretch the neighbouring areas mesmerizes me. In a good way, of course.

The truth is I feel a lot better when I do my exercises, it does take maybe around 10-15 min only, and I am very aware of the benefits to my body. For example, I have not had back problems since last time (for which I am extremely grateful!). My abs are tighter, so are my arms. My knees do not make that “cracking’ sound anymore and I feel like my hips are more flexible too.

This past week, I had noticed that my upper body was tight and my shoulders were not flexible. Starting today, I stretch my arms and upper back, too. Also, and I am very excited to say this, I started to do light weight-lifting, too 🙂 Nothing too much or heavy. Just 10 pounds dumbbell lifted up and down and moved side by side 10 times, both arms. That is it. It is great for now and if I feel like it, I can increase the training or the weight later. I am glad that I keep doing my exercises, I notice their benefits, my back is healthier, and I am motivated to do more 🙂

I have had an additional motivation to do arm exercises, though. This week I tried a nice shirt of mine that I had not worn for a year or so. I had a chance to see my arms when I wore it – they got chubby…. That made me sad. I knew I was struggling with my weight, but I was not aware that my arms had lost their muscular tone. I know from my past experience that my body easily is toned with little effort. So, from now on I will prioritize arm exercises, too.

I also noticed that my face looked tired and old… Not necessarily wrinkly or something but just not “glowing”. I used to have great skin, moisturized, and looking healthy. So, I am making facial care a priority from now on, too. I have night creams and daily moisturizers that are available already – why not to start using them again and maybe also initiate a daily cleansing routine?

Yep 🙂

random thoughs

Yesterday I missed the bus again. If only I had 30 more seconds, I could catch it! Alas… I decided to walk to the office and to my surprise it was not difficult and I did not complain about walking!

It was a great idea to remove the extra items from my purse on Sunday. Together with switching to walking shoes (from heavy winter boots), it felt very easy to walk. This feeling has contributed largely to my non-complaining mood 🙂

I walked this morning, too.

So, together with my afternoon walks, this means I am physically active around 1 hour each day – this is fantastic!

I hope to continue like this; only that we expect some rain tonite and tomorrow. I will see how it goes.

It was a quiet and an easy day today; the only stressful thing was a three hours meeting in the afternoon. We assessed a project together with two other colleagues of mine. I am very happy with the professional and smooth discussions we have had. One of the colleagues and I have had frictions in the past, the recent one was last week, which kind of stressed me. But we all behaved and the meeting went without an adverse event or comment, which is very pleasing.

I continue to eat better. Yesterday I have had salad and fish for dinner and today a hearty potato salad. I feel better when I eat veggies. I decided to buy apples and other fruits this week; crunchy and raw food is good for me. Now that I also walk in the morning, together with a better diet, I hope to lose one or two pounds here or there.

I have completed a number of lagging tasks lately and now moving towards new work. I need to come up with new ideas; honestly I feel stuck but I know myself; when I relax and trust myself, then I can come up with great ideas. I have been trying to think in the last few days and I have taken some new steps to initiate a few ideas I have been thinking about. This is good as once I start making connections or talk about new projects, the rest usually follows. This is too pleasing. Nevertheless, I am not done yet and would like to come up with better, bigger ideas.

When I started my job here years ago, I was almost burnt out. I was tired and also everything was new to me. I also was recovering from a serious issue. I was scared that I could not perform and deliver. But to my surprise I have. I took chances and risks and I delivered. It was hard though, usually meaning me working around 14 hours a day. In the few last year, I have been slowing down; working less and paying more attention to my life, which is also great. But this also meant that I am delayed a little bit. I also feel inefficient or unsuccessful. This is silly I know but I also know that I can do much better. I guess I am in a phase that I am motivated to start working really hard again. And hard work I will get.

Anyways, life is good and full of opportunities. Let’s go get them! 🙂

random thoughts

A beautiful half-Spring day 🙂

Half, because it was still requiring me to wear my hat, scarf, and gloves, but not my winter coat or boots. Yay!

I have had a good time having my breakfast and then working at home for some time. Since the weather was so nice, I decided to go treat myself with another cup of coffee. While I was there, I also got myself a nice piece of sweets. My first treats in quite some time – I am glad I have done this! 🙂

I then decided to check a nearby arts market and bought a nice photo depicting a couple of old but colourful wooden doors. The colours reminded me Spring and I must have had it. I am glad I did give myself this particular treat, too 🙂

With the newly found joy, I walked around. There are really nice houses in my neighbourhood, some of which are quite old. Their unique characters always attract my attention. It was great to enjoy my walk, too 🙂

I decided that lightness I experienced was amazing and making my walk easier. So, after I came home, I removed the extra items from my purse. Now it is lighter, not like 10 pounds 🙂

After that I continued to work, and talked to a few people on the phone. It was fun, too 🙂

My appetite is good today. I am actually craving for sweets but I am determined to not go buy a big box of cake. I am not sure what will curb my appetite, but I am glad that I have had a green salad and a noddle soup prepared by beef-bone-stock; I feel like taking care of my body better today 🙂

I have the entire night to myself and that feels good, too 🙂

random thoughts

Finally the week is over!

Boy.. This week has been on a roller coaster. Unproductive, long meetings and many documents to draft and submit in a short time. But we have done it!

I walked under the blue sky back to home. I shopped on the way and bought a couple of food. I have bought fruits that I have been craving since yesterday. This has been a great improvement considering my unhealthy eating habits lately.

I have no particular plan for my weekend. I think I will decide as I go. I must clean my home and do laundry tomorrow. But i wonder whether I can have my breakfast at another cafe tomorrow. A change of scenery would be nice. I may visit the bookstore as well. Who knows? perhaps I can get a nice book to read. This is always exciting.

When I think about buying new books, I remember the ones that I have. I could not finish the “A Clash of Kings” by George RR Martin, for instance. When am I going to get re-interested in this series of books, I wonder 🙂

Tonite, I am focusing on relaxing and enjoying my time. Watching a nice comedy would be nice:)

Have a great Friday night everyone!

 

 

random thoughts

Under different conditions, today would be more stressful. But I managed to relax a little bit I guess.

We have had a meeting whole day. Yes, you have heard right. Whole day.

While I was not particularly relaxed or so, I was better than before. Honestly, whoever mandates having people sitting for hours at the same room is not a kind person.

I have never been good with sitting for long. When I was a student, I refrained from lectures as much as I could. When I have meetings (like today), I make sure to have breaks, even these mean that I leave the room frequently and risk being an annoyance for others. I am sorry but I cannot take it.

What is the use of this inefficient system? Who can sit for so long and listen to the talks? Can somebody tell me? Please.

Anyways, today I could not leave the room as frequently as I wish, as I was one of the note takers. I must confess that helped a little bit by keeping my mind engaged. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to summer, as we hardly have meeting during summer. With September will come other meetings. But let me enjoy my time till then.

Tomorrow is Friday. I always liked Fridays 🙂 I want to feel like a child tomorrow, carefree as one of my fellow bloggers, Deb, said a couple of days ago (if you have not done so, please go check her blog). Maybe I will just not care about the stress and focus on having a good time, despite the busy schedule tomorrow. Maybe I will make sure to stop and smile every once a while. Maybe I will look out of the window with the mug of coffee at my hand. Maybe I will eat ice cream 🙂

My intentions are good. I can do this 🙂

random thougths

We have had another bright day with blue sky; I cannot complain 🙂

The day was busy with 3 meetings; one lasted 30 min; the second lasted 1 hour 45 min; and the last one lasted 1.5 hrs and ended right at 5pm.

Argh – sitting during these meetings is challenging, yet today I was feeling okay. The last meeting went very well actually and we had some progress. Progress always makes it worth attending the meetings 🙂

My mood is better because of that last meeting of the day. It has been about a project that I have been preparing for over a year. So far, I have had presented it once and it was trashed very badly, which had made me feel very bad and angry… I had felt humiliated…. That is a horrible feeling – it had taken me a couple of days to deal with these emotions.

Anyways, today, we met again and with new people from other agencies, it actually got some level of interest. I owe most of this to a colleague of mine, who was I part of the project from the beginning on – his insight (he is an expert of one of the components of the project) and support for the project have helped convince others that there was some kind of value to the project. Eventually, we did not get any financial support yet, we have come up with some initial strategies that I and my colleague need to go thru. These initial steps then may help with further development.

I am indebted to my colleague’s support and the past bad experience that made me move with more confidence and make a better presentation today. If I had believed that I and the project I worked on had deserved to be trashed (the way they made me feel after the first meeting), I would have quit and not even meet today again. But, I did not. I believed in me and the project. In a way, that negative and horrible experience somehow triggered me to be more confident about myself and the project. I love that.

It seems sometimes, failure and the horrible ways others make you feel can be really useful 🙂

random thoughts

A cold and snowy day!

April and Spring…Yeah right 🙂

The scenery from my office window was amazing with snow covering the trees and roofs of the houses. I must say I will miss snow. The truth is the winters here are so long that after a while it kinda becomes the “normal” weather. It is enjoyable. It is beautiful. It does not bother anymore. Spring and summer become distant realities, if not dreams…. And with June, we kind of notice the change, the warm temperatures, and maybe more than that, the awakening of the nature. Spring, after all the snow and dark days, really surprises me every year. Very interesting experience indeed…..

When I was in Toronto, winters were colder, but the sky was always blue and clear. It did make a huge positive difference in my mood. So when I moved here, more than the huge amount of snow dumped every winter, it was the lack of sunlight that bothered me. After all these years, I might have just adapted to the lack of sunlight. Or, it may be the vitamin D supplements I started to take in the last 6-7 months that makes me not requiring sunlight as before… Hard to know.

I worked long hours today, mostly at home. Until 8 pm I was busy with documents. I feel good working and taking care of stuff, especially if they are going well. Today was just one of these days. Now I will focus on relaxing my mind by watching TV shows or reading blogs. I gotta slow down my mind to go to sleep.

I noticed that in the last few years, I do not require 9 hours of sleep anymore. It is maybe more like 7 hours. I had read somewhere that as we age, we would need less sleep (since our physical activity levels would reduce over time). I do not want to believe in it as I am reacting to aging 🙂 but, no – seriously – my activity levels did not change in the last few years, so I am not sure whether it is the reason behind my reduced sleep needs. But I must say this gives me more time and an opportunity to go to sleep late. So, I cannot complain 🙂

Have a great night everyone 🙂

random thoughts

It is a windy day today. As a matter of fact some roads were closed in the morning because of wind damage to buildings/trees. It looks like we are having an usual weather. Hope it will return back to normal sometime soon.

Because of the wind, I decided to take the cab in the morning, which I now regret. Whenever I wake up with a negative morning mood, I rather prioritize un-stressing, which almost always means taking the cab. However, i always regret it afterwards. I must stop this – while I mend one negative feeling by taking the cab (e.g. morning stress), I create another negative feeling for later (i.e. regret for taking the cab rather than the bus).

Other than that, all is well. I worked nice and easy, though time is never enough. I still have a lot to do, but i also have time. I am glad that i did not leave my office after noon – I wanted to do that badly, but then decided not to. Working regular hours and taking care of work felt better.

I had reasonably good meals today. I even had a green salad for dinner (together with oven-baked battered fish). I like this meal. I can eat fish more frequently than chicken or beef. I find this interesting. Fish also makes me want to have salad with it. Win-win situation 🙂

This week I seem to spend more money than before. While it does feel good if I purchase items and products I need, after a while I start to regret that too. I do not want to regret necessary purchases. This aspect of having a budget and saving somehow bothers me -it should be okay to spend money on needs. I do not want to end being an extreme frugal, who no matters what, cannot spend money. I guess eventually I will find my emotional balance when comes to expenses and spending.

Cheers everyone 🙂

 

 

random thoughts

A warm April day; it made my sweated while walking 30 min to a nearby store. My windows are open right now, too. It has been like this in the last few hours. Letting fresh air in is a great feeling. I almost feel like we are about to welcome Spring. If not that, then we should be certainly saying goodbye to old man winter.

Where I am April and May are usually tricky months, as their features are right in between Winter and Spring. One moment it is warm and you kind of think that you will not see snow till the next November or something, and 5 min later, it can be a freezing rain. Rain is a big thing, too as it can start showering anytime. Day or night. You may see the bright and blue sky and feel like walking outdoors, only to find yourself needing your winter coat and scarf because it turns being windy all of a sudden.

I have noticed this pattern a while ago. Prior to that I always got psychologically annoyed by the loss of my Spring hopes during March and April. Now, I am more knowledgeable; I do not get excited until after May. The last weekend of May is when we all start to work on our yards and plant flowers and bushes. Until then, we do not even cut the grass. So you have got the idea – I have two more months to feel the Spring 🙂

It is a usual Sunday for me with little chores and lots of time for myself. I am hoping I would read a book. It has been a while… Time to continue that “A Clash of Kings” book by GRRM. Man, that book needs to be dealt with as soon as possible so that I can move on to the others in the series. The new season of the HBO’s Game of Thrones show  is set to start at the end of April – while like many of you I may not be able to watch it, you know I will read the comments and reviews on the net. It would be nice to progress with the book somehow until then.

Anyways, these are my random thoughts that occurred to me while writing this post. I hope you all are having a nice, warm Sunday full of lovely activities 🙂

random thoughts

Finally it is Friday! 🙂

Man, this week felt so long and now it is completed. I am excited 🙂

I worked well today and then left in the afternoon to shop. I bought food that I hope to consume in the coming week. There were BOGO free deals – felt awesome to stock up shampoo 🙂 And I am glad I did not purchase too many of them as with this usage pattern, I predict that I will not need to buy another bottle before the new year.

By taking advantage of coming home early, I did my weekly house cleaning, too. This saves me time tomorrow, which I plan to spend at a mall shopping and getting my hair done. Again, I am excited.

These excitements feel good after a week that I spent mostly down.

We all deserve a break. Should you have had a similar experience, I hope you too will have opportunities to cheer yourself up this weekend.

cheers everyone 🙂

random thoughts

While last week felt too short (friday was off), this week feels like loooooong!

Seriously long.

It is “yesterday I thought it was Thursday” long. It is “today felt like 15 hours at the office” long. It is “Oh my, I have another day at the office long – I cannot believe this!” long.

Long. Long. Long 🙂

Anyways, kind of good too as we have been working very well this week – me and my start assistant. Today we worked 6 hours straight excluding the lunch break and we are very happy with the results. It feels awesome. I will also finish another task tomorrow, which has been on my to-do-list for 6 weeks. How about that? Awesome 🙂

We are entering a rather less busy-than-regular time (from fall to the end of April are the months that we have most meetings and presentations). This is almost done now so I can relax till next fall and focus on new tasks that can be taken care of, since I will have more time in my sleeve. Feeling excited about this.

On a separate note, weather is awesome, bright and shinny. Spring may or may not show its face sometime soon, though they expect lower than normal temperatures sometime soon. nevertheless, I am determined to feel cheerful whenever we have weather like today 🙂

have a great evening everyone! 🙂

 

random thoughts

The work has stolen some of my sleep last night… I woke up at around 5 am and the thoughts about the work that waits for me to take care and all the work-related issues that I have experienced lately have jumped on me. I could sleep after a while but it was not nice.

There was a period of my life right after the new year when I had started the yoga classes; this period of time was when I had felt genuinely happy…. This lasted around 5 weeks until I got my back problem exaggerated. It was a great feeling, it easily came to me, and it was beautiful. I woke up happy and excited in the mornings.  Not like before when work related thoughts would just fill my mind as soon as I woke up; this almost always made me cranky and stressed. Not the best way to start a new day…

I feel like I am returning to this depressive mornings and I do not like the idea. As a matter of fact, I feel like I may be slipping in to a little depression.

Work related stress is something real. I know I can deal better if I stop undertaking too much or by having a less perfectionist but more relax mind. So far I was not able to do either of these. But tomorrow is another day… Hating my job or having a depression are not somethings that I am looking forward to.

random thoughts

I made a conscious effort to feel good today and I believe it has worked 🙂

I have been really on the edge lately and I got tired of the mental wrestling I have had. So I decided I have done what I could do best; life was too short; and I deserved to feel good. It was time to let go.

This was mostly motivated by the fact that I seem to divide my day as “time spent at work” and “time spent at home”. Home time is focused on relaxation and enjoying my life and work time is for work, which is usually pleasurable but also stresses me. For example, I started to dread emails I have got. Or, the issues my team members are facing that require my involvement to solve. And at home, I usually have a great time reading, writing, or watching TV series; they help me relax.

I decided this division was not healthy and I could feel good at work, too.

I took it easy today and also decided to ask for help with issues that I spend too much time to resolve. That lifted quite a weight off my shoulder. I also worked very productively – Mondays if lack meetings prove to be the most productive day of the week for me.

Anyways, I had an appointment with my bank so I left office early and I walked around 1 hour to my appointment. The weather was warm, the sun was noticeable, and I sweated a lot 🙂 This is also because I still have my scarf, gloves, winter coat, and hat on me. I guess it is time that I switch to a lighter outdoor clothes.

Now that my bank arrangements are done, my next step will be preparing a will and having an estate plan. Since my dad died, I am very aware of my own mortality and I do not wish my family to face hardship in case I die here away from them. I gotta find a reliable trust company and start the process. It may take some time but I will do that. I should do that.

random thoughts

Outside looks a lot better compared to the morning. The frozen rain has stopped and the sky is not gray. This is always a much better, more welcomed scenery at this time of the year.

It has been a little bit of a boring day, when I have had all the time at my disposal but not knowing what to do with it. I did not want to shop, I did not want to walk, I did not want to get a hair cut. What did I want?

I am still not sure. I have read a page of my “A Clash of Kings” book. For some reason, I have lost my interest in this book a while ago, as it is a slow going book. The preceding book in the series, “A Game of Thrones” was more fluid, more interesting. Well, the general opinion is that this second book of the series “A Song of Ice and Fire” makes this kind of impression on the reader. OK.

On the positive side I talked with my family and also cooked a nice chicken broth-soup. Chicken broth has a healing power somehow – its smell makes me feel like all will be fine now. Weird. But I am sure I am not the only one who feels this way towards it.

I have another day to fill with activities tomorrow. I may go shopping tomorrow, but it will all be dependent on my mood and the weather. I have a busy week ahead and I am trying to take care of minor stuff as a preparation for the week; this feels good. This always feels good as the lagging tasks always make me stressed. And the best way to reduce the stress is to do something about the stressor. I have got this lesson learnt long time ago.

I was browsing the net yesterday night and I came across the TV series from 1980’s called Remington Steele with Stephanie Zimbalist and Pierce Brosnan at the leading roles. Did you know that there are videos (not the best quality but they make it) of the series on youtube? When I was younger, I had really enjoyed watching this series. I may as well binge watch it today and tomorrow.

have a great weekend everyone 🙂

 

random thoughts

Feeling a little bit better today. I even went shopping in the afternoon and bought myself food that I knew I would like. I prepared myself some proteins and salad, and that makes me feel a little bit better about myself. I hope to cook healthy meal this long weekend and continue to eat better.

I feel good also because I have done quite a bit of work today. A number of tasks remained, which I will have to take care during the long weekend, but at least I feel like I have done well today; helped three team members with their works; fixed a messy document sent by a colleague of mine (took me around a day to fix that… I am actually a little bit pissed that I had to fix it); drafted a report; and started assessing four other reports. I have an additional 4 assessments to make this weekend for a discussion next week. I am busy but at least things are moving and I have time. Plus, tomorrow is an extra day; I can work without any distraction. i am hopeful after today’s performance and that makes me excited and energetic.

There is so much wind outside. In the morning I thought I would take the cab, but I took the bus nevertheless. I feel proud 🙂

That is all for now – enjoy your long weekend everyone!

 

random thoughts

I am somehow exhausted. I blame the hectic diet I have been having lately. I eat much less than what I used to do. This is partly because of the back pain I have had, which prompts me to lie/sit on the bed starting like 7pm every night, as the recliner or the chair are not comfy. Since I am a lazy person, sometime I do not get up and go down to the 1st floor to grab something to eat. As a result, my late night eating is reduced significantly.

This may sound like a positive change, but I am not sure. Considering that I usually do not have breakfast and my lunch is almost always a snack, like canned fish or trail mix, that leaves me with only the dinner as a daily source of nutrition and calories. I am a big girl and I need a lot of calories. More importantly, I should not be too restricting the caloric intake otherwise I believe my body will enter into a starvation mode and will frantically store whatever I eat as fat. That means imbalances in energy metabolisms as well as possible weight gain. Add up to these negative possibilities the feeling of exhaustion I have now, and you realize that something gotta change right away.

My exhaustion may as well be because of the boring work I have done the past few weeks. I have many stuff waiting on my to-do-list, yet I am spending the half of my time to train my team members. I wish that ended soon so that I can take care of my own work. I am mentally bored as a result and that may cause my exhaustion somehow.

Anyways, the good news I went to my bank and increased my biweekly RRSP contribution starting April. That is so cool! 🙂

 

random thoughts

It is a bright day, albeit with a chilly temperature. Is Spring finally coming, or is it the effect of the daylight saving  adjustment done a week ago? I know our winter is not over yet, but I always welcome open sky and sunlight that have positive effects on me.

For some reason, I missed the bus this morning- it just drove through the street right before I could catch it. This is the first time that I missed it so close. While I was pissed a little bit and suspicious that the clock in my bedroom must have been slow, it now looks like the clock is just fine and it is a mystery what happened in the morning that caused me to lose time and miss the bus.

Seeing the bus gone and all, I started walking to work this morning. It was chilly, the route is boring to look at, yet I walked. It has had a therapeutic effect of course; each time I walk and arrive my office with a little sweat, I feel so good till late afternoon. The hard job of wishing to walk in the morning and getting bored while looking at the boring scenery is something, and then feeling accomplished and good about myself after walking is something else. What a dilemma.

I now try to convince myself to try walking every morning as long as the weather is permissive. It makes me feel good; it is good for my physical health; it is good for my bones, muscles, lungs, heart, and circulatory system as well as my legs; it is good for my mental health; it makes me feel like I accomplish something important; it makes me feel like I am taking more control of my health and life-style; and it makes me feel proud as together with my afternoon walk, a total of 1 hour of walk/ workday is in fact amazing.

It also gives me freedom. Freedom to wake up anytime I want. The bus operates every 30 min so I need to arrange my morning according to its schedule. but now, I can get up anytime and start walking. No more waiting for the bus….

How about that?

Is it not awesome that we can find so many positives of a simple activity like walking?

I hope you too have many, many things in your daily life that make you feel happy, excited, accomplished, and grateful.

 

 

random thoughts

A fine day. It is snowing lightly right now and it is a delight to look out of window. I am becoming more and more of a snow gal 🙂

I have finally got my tax filed this morning and I have got a tax refund. This feels good (in the past, it was not unusual for me to have a balance and send a cheque back to the taxman). I am relieved that this year I was on the positive balance side.

I, like many of us, plan to use this refund for saving purposes. My chequeing account will now be at a healthy level, and this is something I have been working very hard to achieve in the last few years. The satisfaction coming out of this is really cool.

I, of course, have also celebrated this achievement. Before you think that I spent my refund on a new TV or clothes or anything else that I do not need right now, please take a breath… Thanks. here is my account of celebration for the tax refund and knowing that my chequeing account is now above $0 and healthy:

  1. Chinese lunch: I walked all the way up to a shopping mall after I have got my taxes done. It takes around 40 min and I believe it is an healthy and lovely activity. I wanted to treat myself with a nice meal after I went thru some of the stores but not buying anything. I love Chinese food, but the restaurant there was about to close till dinner, so I opted for a food court restaurant. It was not the best I could eat, but I have and I enjoyed it. Cost: $11.50
  2. New socks and stuff: I desperately needed new socks. I do not know why but I happen to use up and damage socks pretty fast. That is okay. I also needed some other minor stuff. By taking advantage of a sale, now this issue is resolved. Cost: $35.0
  3. Candies for the office, dehydrated bread, and napkins: I happen to have candies or little chocolates in my office. I snack on them myself as well as anyone who comes over. I guess it is a nice gesture though one may argue they are not healthy. I hear you and I agree with you. That is why I now switched to a low sugar type of candy that comes in many different colors. They are cute and not as sugary as other products. I bought two packs today. I also bought paper napkins for a friend of my, who likes them and asks me to get some for her time to time. I also bought a pack of dry or dehydrated bread slices, which are awesome and crunchy companion for soups. Cost: $11.0

My total cost of shopping for needed items, little gifts for loved ones, and office treats today is $57.5.

And I am glad I have made these expenses. No regrets.

Now the rest of the tax refund will be used to do beef up my chequing account, which I will use for an annual personal retirement plan contribution in the coming months. Proud 🙂

random thoughts (mostly on metastatic cancer)

1. It is kind of boring today – otherwise a very fine day. I checked on the net and it looks like I am not the only one; a significant portion of the people think that Sunday is the most boring day of the week. Nothing compares to Friday or Saturday, eh? Nothing prepares some to Monday, either 🙂

2. There are group of people who are really pushing for the metastatic cancer research. I am fully supportive of them. My thought on metastatic cancer (cancer that spreads to other parts of the body)? It is mostly ignored. I do not know why. It is ironic as this is where most urgently we need science and medicine to work for our patients. Why are we okay with letting people die of metastatic disease?

Shame. Huge shame.

On the other hand, there is quite an interest, funding, and many organizations about cancer prevention. Prevention is also important – I believe in reducing our risk of cancer by increasing our awareness and hopefully modifying our exposures and life-style factors (such as smoking, viruses, radiation, etc.) and implementation of screening and early detection programmes. But, these are not the only way to help control cancer. We must treat this disease better, too (i.e. whatever we do, we are not able to prevent or early detect/cure all cancers; at least for now).

Please do not ignore metastatic cancer.

I knew from before that there is quite a (negative) reaction towards one of the well publicized breast cancer organizations, Susan G. Komen organization in the USA, for their sole focus on prevention. It seems like we have another winner in this category, The Breast Cancer Deadline 2020, which would focus on prevention but not metastatic breast cancer.

Luckily, there are many advocates, like Robin @Majormac1 below in addition to many others, raising their voice to draw attention to metastatic breast cancer (as well as male breast cancer) and lack of interest by the “prevention” organizations on Twitter.

The more we advocate for it, the more attention it gets. Advocates rock – I appreciate their work so much.

 

And the tweet below from a metastatic breast cancer patients tells everything out:

The research into metastatic cancers, whether it is breast cancer or other cancers, is very limited. If we do not have funding, then we do not have much research. If we do not have research, then we do not understand it. And if we do not understand it, we can neither prevent or treat cancer. As simple as this. @LuluChange’s tweet is the heart of the dilemma; we cannot pretend to prevent cancer with limited research and lack of understanding about all aspects of cancer.

Please take a moment today and reflect on the effects of cancer on us as individuals, families, and societies. We must way ways to better control this disease, hopefully without leaving any patient (such as metastatic cancer patients) out.

 

3. The cancer language is so wrong sometimes. And the tweet below broke my heart. I too believe that no patient fails the treatment, but medicine and treatments fail them. Shame.

 

random thoughts

I continue to think about life and death…. I kind of understand why we are ignoring our own and others mortality – thinking about death is very depressing. But this depression may as well help us to make the best of today and the relationships in our lives. So, give hugs to those you love; send messages to those you have not seen for sometime; love, forgive, and forget more, and hopefully, dislike less.

Life is supposed to be good – so let’s enjoy it by making it better for ourselves and everyone else; after all we are all connected. Somebody’s misfortune cannot make us happy, but somebody’s positivity can make us smile if we let so. Our choice.

The heavy weight of the thought of death of loved ones and the pain coming with it, I found myself first not working today; so in the morning after a meeting, I left my office to do some errands here and there. The change was very welcome and taking care of the stuff that have been hanging over my head for a couple of weeks felt satisfying. After these are done, I worked at home and started an important document, which to my surprise went really well. I am glad I was in the mental state to work efficiently and without thinking too much. After that of course I felt good again.

We need to feel good time to time. If I was to immerse myself into depression again, that would not be nice. I know what depression is and it is nothing to be taken lightly. That is why I am once more grateful for my job that keeps my mind busy and working. With each work done, with each focus on a different subject, my mind and soul get a chance to breathe.

My back feels better and sitting is not too much of a problem anymore. I credit the exercises my physiotherapist recommended. I do not like doing them – that I can assure you. But after each time I do them, I notice that my body feels better. I just need more motivation to do these exercises, that is all.

I did something nice this noon and bought myself a soup somewhere while going around to do my errands. I am glad I have done that; since yesterday morning I have not been eating much (which is very unusual for me). In the evening I have had a large salad, which I know has been very good for me. Whatever I do, I should not let my body go deprived of nutrition and energy.

On a separate note, my power bill has just arrived and looks like I was able to drop it a little bit this past month. Last month I have got a high amount that I think I had never seen before. I was not sure about the reason, but one thing I could think about was the home ventilation. I usually open the windows at the weekend to aerate my home. I think it is a very healthy habit and would recommend anyone. But I was not particularly paying attention to the heaters while doing this. So since last month, I started to lower the thermostats while the windows were open so that the heaters would not need to work harder to keep the temperature up. It made a difference; even though the change is not too big, I am rather happy to see that I am not having an unnecessarily high power bill this time.

Looks like there is no end to learning in this life, for which I am grateful 🙂

 

random thoughts

I have been thinking about life as a whole; the regrets that we have; the relationships that we could not protect or save; the wishes that have remained unattained; the decisions and choices that we have made and turned out to be plain wrong; the opportunities that are lost; and the pain that comes with any of these.

I must correct myself; I have been thinking about these not because of life but because of death.

When death is in the equation, nothing much matters; none of the old scars, arguments, misunderstandings, hurt caused/experienced, insults made, the time and love lost along the process while we were struggling to just go through these emotions and live.

When death is in the equation, forgiveness and affection appear again. We do not care much why the other person did what s/he did or did not. We do not care why they did not behave the way we wished them to.

It is ridiculous that we cannot attain such a state of mind while people we care about are still alive.

Maybe there is too much history/memories, too many events, too many emotions linked to the past with that person. Maybe these are painful experiences, somehow hurting and making us ache deeply. Maybe they changed the course of our lives for a worse one; maybe we lost good opportunities because of them. Maybe we just could not reach them; could not become the friends, daughters, brothers, or parents we wished to be. Maybe we just blamed them for things that have happened or not happened.

Death is a journey to the unknown and it is very scary. They say death is more painful for those who are left behind. But I guess a part of our pain is to know how brave are those who have died and experienced the unknown. Before us. And we have nothing to help or support those who are gone. They are all alone in this and we are powerless.

I know while death is a natural part of life, we hardly would like to think or talk about it. I just read something about death today; it basically said since we do not think about it, we happen to think that we will live for ever. One reason to delay things to later. One reason to not enjoy the sight of the moon, scent of the flowers, hugs of a child, and the smile of a loved one while they are right in front of us.

The same writing also asked how many days of our lives we have not remembered? If we do not remember, then was it wasted or was it just ordinary?

Hard to know the answer, but this can be a good opportunity now to make every day count and every person in our lives feel loved and supported; to exercise less ego and more forgiveness; to share more and better, and smile;  and to remove the term “hate” from our vocabulary.

random thoughts

Another beautiful day 🙂

It is a little bit crispy when compared to yesterday but there is no snow around and walking and being outside is quite a pleasant experience.

I have got breakfast at a cafe and then walked around the streets. One of the streets is where I used to live prior to buying my own house. I had forgotten what a beautiful street it was. The majority of the houses on that street are quite old and they preserve their character. I love this – I love old neighborhoods and the efforts to keep them as they are. Some of the houses, however, were not managed well and seemed in immediate need of renovation. It breaks my heart to see them like this. After all, what we have is a part of our heritage and it is our duty to preserve it for the next generations – let’s hope they will appreciate these as much as we (or some of us) do.

It is also a quiet street and I made a mental note to walk more there. Since it was a pleasure to be in the neighborhood, I stopped by at another cafe I used to frequently go when I lived in that neighborhood. This must the first time I have been to two different cafe at the same morning 🙂 I liked this change and breaking my routine for no reason and with no plan.

It is great to be spontaneous 🙂

 

 

 

random thoughts

It was a bright day with a blue sky – kind of made me think about Spring. What a joy 🙂

I am enjoying my day; I got up not late, shopped and enjoyed it too, read a couple of finance books (more like scanned), and now watching TV and at the same time reading “A Clash of Kings”, the second book of GRRM’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. Yep; I am back to reading it and to my surprise it did not take me too long to remember where I was and who Yoren was. I am pleased with myself – nothing more annoying than feeling like you gotta re-read the entire book from the beginning on.

In the shopping mall, there were sales and I contemplated about buying some gifts for the holiday season. I do not buy or give a lot of gifts during the holidays; only for three people; two of them are my friends and my neighbours, who are good people and reliable neighbours. Eventually I decided it was too early and did not buy anything. Hope I will not regret this decision as I hardly like anything, I would like to give gifts that I like, and I had liked two items today. Anyways…

My back is better but still annoyed. I am keeping up with the exercises I was given to practice every day. They actually help me to feel better. My problem is that I do not like my physiotherapist that much….. She is nice but I wished she had explained me things better before she applies. With such negative feelings, I am not sure how well I am benefiting from my sessions. I guess I must have the benefit of doubt and trust that she knows what she is doing, and as such, eventually visiting her would benefit my back.

I am invited for a dinner tomorrow. I am happy to visit these people, but they made me kind of annoyed as they seem to have specific preferences for everything. And I mean everything. From the food to this to that. I am annoyed by their opinions on everything and honestly each time I struggle with the idea of what to bring to their home. This time I decided I can bake a frozen pie. This is a deviation from other occasions when I almost always brought some nice drinks or cook myself. Well, I am not going to do that anymore. Baking a frozen pie will not take much of a time and if they do not like it, I may as well eat it myself.

The people who are opinionated about many things or vocal about their preferences put me in such annoyed state. I myself have never made a negative comment about what my guests have brought to my place. Never. Not because I am extremely kind or something (so I refrain from making a negative comment). No, it is because it does not matter at all. All is welcome at my place and I appreciate the time and effort my guest put to bring them to our gathering. Whatever they may have chosen to do so.

Tomorrow, another friend of mine is also coming to the dinner and I love her more than any other friend of mine here. I have been to their places, once even with a pie that was hot, not solidified enough, and shaken in the cab and thus turned into a “soup”, yet all they have done was to laugh with me and my joke of “here I made you a soup” and eagerly eat it. I love such people who are easy and welcoming whatever the shape or the value or the brand or the type of whatever treat you bring to their home.

Now that I ranted a little bit and emptied the pressure in me, I may go and continue reading the book 🙂

Have a great Saturday night everyone 🙂

 

random thoughts

There is something nice about finding in myself the right to fully enjoy this evening and night after a highly productive work day 🙂

I love such days; during the day energy and effort is needed but eventually somethings are taken care of and that creates an incredible satisfaction. Especially if they are lingering tasks (which I have many in the last one year or so) or critical and with positive outcomes. These days should be celebrated to acknowledge and reinforce the satisfaction coming out of hard or long work! 🙂

I have an assistant who does wonders. She is young, smart, careful, enthusiastic, and positive and I love working with her. She has been helping and facilitating many difficult tasks that I have been having a hard time to start with or focus on. Thanks to her, two of the difficult tasks are moving now. One was particularly bothering me but today together with her we had a breakthrough. Priceless…..

I am one lucky boss 🙂

 

 

today’s bits

I have done something different and went to a cafe 20 min away from home. I did not take my laptop with me, either. So I have had a great coffee (I like their coffee the best) and two bagels. I also read the newspaper the cafe have had. I sat in front of the window and enjoyed my breakfast and life for sometime.

It was well worth to visit this cafe. Plus, its prices are more affordable than my favorite cafe; so better coffee+free read of newspaper+better affordability = I should be going to this cafe all the time!! 🙂

There is another catch with this cafe; it is just next to my favorite second hand bookstore. I admit; I wanted to visit the bookstore and possibly buy a book; that is why I went to that cafe (first visit since december or so). And I am glad I have. I missed being there and going thru all the interesting books….This is an amazing feeling. I know I have been on shopping freeze for books for some time, but every once a while having this pleasure of being there and buying a book should be okay 🙂

I bought a book. It is about finances and investing. I enjoy reading this kind of books. Considering it is my objective to save and invest as much as possible for my future, I am glad I have bought this book. The book does not say anything new we do not know;

1. start saving and investing early

2. invest in stocks; stock market eventually corrects itself

3. invest over time and regularly (such as monthly or biweekly)

4. invest when you have money and wish to invest; do not wait or delay

5. do not try to time the stock markets

6. buy and hold rather than buying and selling frequently, unless there is a very good reason (what would that reason be, I have no idea)

7. work with financial advisors or investors

8. buy, if you can, when the market is low (just like nowadays…)

9. maximize your company retirement plans (401K if you are in the USA) and take advantage of the company matching plans (For my fellow Canadians, that would translate into maximizing the RRSP contributions)

10. do not try to pay off your mortgage in a short time by extra payments or by increasing the mortgage payments; rather invest the extra payments or keep cash at hand so that if you need it, you can use your own money.

Okay; this last one is tricky and after I read it it made some sense to me. Yes, by paying the mortgage early we do save from the interest and it feels quite exciting to be able to have the “home” in nearer future. Yet, nowadays the interest rates are really low and one wonders whether if investing the money would bring a better return? I really do not know. I for one lost confidence in the market as they are volatile and they are predicted to go even more down as the countries struggle with their economies as well as the aging populations.

This being said; I am  planning to increase my mortgage payment by a small amount in the fall, only because I am getting a little salary increase at that time. But that is pretty much it.

BUT, I love the idea of keeping my own money should I need it (for repairs or other urgent matters of life, like health problems etc.) rather than making it my day and night effort to pay the mortgage off first. As a matter of fact this is what exactly I am trying to do for now; accumulating an emergency/house contingency fund in my TFSA account. My prediction is that after maybe 2 years or so, I will be comfortable enough to divert my money to investments for retirement, or to reduce my mortgage by extra payments.

I keep telling myself I should be patient…

Time will show 🙂

 

 

today’s bits

After the large amount of snow dumped yesterday, today was quite. Only that now it is chilly and we have ice everywhere. While I did good not risking slipping on ice in the morning (by taking the cab rather than walking and taking the bus), I could not show the same intelligence(!) on the way back home.

I did not slip or fall but, man, it was close. For the first time this evening I was sorry that I walked. Lessons learnt.

Other than this stressful walk, the day was peaceful. I worked full hours. I also requested an ergonomics assessment for my office and made contacts to get my standing desk. My feeling is that it will take some time, which pisses me off. Funny thing is that even my chair at the office (which is ergonomics by the way) is not supportive of my back. Even when I put a pillow to support my lower back. That makes me sad and angry at the same time. My chair at home is way more supportive. I noticed that the difference is mostly because the chair at the office is wider and I do not, I cannot, fully contact its back with my own back. This gotta change.

On a separate note, some of you may remember that last weekend I was planning to start eating better (this time I am trying to eat more protein at each meal). Well I kind of did and now I am 7 pounds heavier… I am frustrated… A similar thing had happened last fall. I really do not like this.

Well, enough venting for today 🙂

today’s bit

A nice day I have had.

The weather was so nice today that it felt like Spring. Sky was blue, which is a rare treat here. I left the office early and walked under the blue sky – nothing much could feel as good as this at that moment. I am very grateful.

I found a nice loaf of bread at a store and came home to do some work. Since I was home early I decided to try an early evening yoga class. It turned out the class was fully booked and I was put on a waiting list. I waited 15 minutes hoping that maybe the last person who signed up would not show up and I would attend the class. That is what happened 🙂 It was a great class; the instructor is a young lady with lots of positive energy and great instructive capacity. She is one of my favorites. I have a couple of instructors who are my favorites. I wonder sometimes what makes them my favorite and what makes one or two others not so favorite…

Anyways, you know I get to relax a lot and connect to my body during these classes. In yesterday’s class while sitting on the mat before the class, I put the soles of my two feet together. You know what happened? I loved them together! When was the last time you let two of your feet touch each other? your toes to touch back to back? They are usually separated from each other; why?…. I thought they touching each other was just magnificent. My toes cherished each other and wigged like three years old kids till the start of the class. I felt happy for no reason.

Joy must be this 🙂

And in today’s class, I have experienced something else. Have you heard about “delicious breath” before? I had and I did not know what it was. But in today’s class while breathing deeply and easily through my nose, I felt it for the first time.

What is a delicious breath? Breath that is so thick and full that every cell in your nose feels it; it is smooth like honey and pretty much alive and present…

Have a delicious breath. Have more than one. Come to think about it, have it all the time 🙂

today’s bits (and love, heartbreak, music, and lyrics)

It is almost midnight – this might be one of the rare cases of my late-night posts 🙂

I have had a great work day today. There was no people interrupting me, no phones ringing, no snow storms lurking on our heads. I just worked within the relaxing and focused atmosphere of my office till past 5.30 pm.

It was so productive that I did not want to come home – if I was not hungry enough I would as well continue to work at the office.

It has been a while that I have felt that way. As a matter of fact, I have realized more and more lately how un-protective or stressful it has been for me to work at home in the afternoons between the last