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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. 

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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! 🙂

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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 🙂

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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random thoughts

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.

—————————————————–

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)

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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 summer and the new year. By staying in the office till 5 or 6 pm since the beginning of the new year, I feel like the time I need for work is doubled, abundant, and available to me. I am feeling more relaxed, better about my performance, less stressed about time, and more productive as a result.

I love these 🙂

The entire day I worked on a report of a member of my team – one of the delayed tasks of mine. I am close to finishing it, which I expect to happen next week. That is very motivating. With this motivation, I continued to work on another document till 30 min ago – wow! 🙂 It is going well too and I hope to draft and submit my report in a week or so. One more hard work is on the way to completion and I have no feelings but positive ones for spending this Friday night with work 🙂

…………………………………………….

On a separate note, I have been stuck at listening to a song lately; I asked my friend, who introduced me to this song a couple of days ago, to help translate the lyrics.

I was right – this song is amazing……. Care to listen?

……………………………………………………………………………..

“…I will not walk with you on the same path again

You put traps for those who walk with you

I will never touch your skin either

You have your walls standing right before your skin

By hitting these walls

Again and again

I got covered by calluses

and because of tears and crying

I now am covered in mosses…”

……………………………………………………………………………..

 

today’s bits

A lovely day, albeit with lots of snow in front of the house, on the streets, and anywhere else I can see.

Yet, I waited for the bus this morning in an open bus stop; I should say rather 1 meter away from it right on the road (the sidewalk was completely occupied by a ~30 cm high snow – no way that I am immersing myself into that mess). Thank goodness there was not a lot of traffic and even though the bus was late like 15 minutes, I managed to be safe and get on the bus.

In my old days, I would automatically take the cab, especially in this kind of weather. Now, I am happy to take the bus. What an adventure for me…

The fact is that nowadays I am getting up with more energy and with a positive mind set in the morning, which make me relaxed, less stressed, and willing to catch the bus.

I am not sure what I owe this nice change in my life. I thought about three things;

1. I may have more energy now as it turns out the iron supplements I was prescribed to 3 months ago are working well and my iron levels are within normal levels. yay! I will continue for another 6 months, this time with one pill every other day. I am grateful that my body is responding well to the supplement. Thank you, thank you, thank you 🙂

2. The yoga classes that I started at the beginning of January have a very positive effect on my body as well as my mind and spirit. I am more centered, relax, and in tune and connected with my body, and I feel overall very good. These positive feelings may be promoting better mood in the morning.

3. And of course, I have a much higher motivation now to keep up with my budget and protect my money by taking the bus but not the cab in the mornings. So far this year it has been going really well (well, it has been just 3 weeks, so I cannot generalize it yet; but I am very grateful and excited about my reduced spending so far and increased ability to save money – hope that will continue like that..). Even during the day at the office, sometime I find myself remembering how well I have done by taking the bus rather than the cab and that makes me feel good 🙂

For someone who suffered from stress and lack of energy the majority of the time, especially in the last 7 years, the experience I have had lately is so precious, so happiness-creating for me.

I am very grateful for these developments in my life and happy to share with my friends here 🙂

 

today’s bits

We ended up having 20-30 cms of snow overnight. While the street was very quiet in the morning and the cars were remaining where they were, to my surprise it was not a snow day, and off to work I went 🙂

It was a good day, full of nice coffee, conversations, productive meeting, and some work done. I left the office afternoon for an off-site meeting and I managed to walk in the streets. I could not help bu notice the snow banks along the streets. The height of the snow banks time to time gets quite high and I keep wonder why the city does not try to find a way to remove the banks… For us, it is a regular sight in winter; they are white and fluffy at the beginning and after a while get harder and turn their colour to gray… Stuck with all the dirt they can get in the streets – this is when it becomes a particularly annoying sight.

My prediction is that these snow banks will remain until the end of march, refreshed by new snow that we expect in the coming weeks. Unless we are hit by extensive rain of course.

Nevertheless, it is good that we passed mid January now. While our winter well spreads across April and sometime May as well, I know over time its effects will lessen. In April we should get more sunlight and in May the nature starts to bloom…. what an exciting feeling it is to see that – cannot wait 🙂

I am re-starting my yoga classes this evening; I hope to relax both my mind and my body. Especially my back, which has been aching in the last one week. I will take it easy for a couple of sessions and after that I hope to have a stronger feeling back. I am looking forward to that. I am also supposed to start physiotherapy sometime; it should also help me to prevent further damage to my lower back.

One thing I have not developed a solution for is the way I sit at home. Since I love to sit on my couch, I hardly have a straight posture. I may want to move on the recliner again, which has a stronger support for my back and shoulders. Without this kind of improvements, I cannot expect to help my own back by attending yoga or physiotherapy sessions. That would be silly really. So I better start being wise about my posture and give it a priority.

That is what it is so far. I wish everyone a great, relaxing, and lovely evening and night 🙂

today’s bits

I have pulled a muscle at my lower back and I have been having extraordinary feelings/experiences about this.

First of all, for the first time I found it very difficult, almost impossible, to get out of bed and go down to the the first floor to get my pain medication. This was yesterday and it was scary. I for the first time thought about maybe I would have to stay in my bedroom for ever or something like that…..Living alone brings this kind of thoughts I am afraid.

Well, after 20 min of struggle, with lots of pain, trial and error to find the right angle of movement without locking my back or increasing the pain, I finally made it to the 1st floor and my pain medications. It helps and limits the pain – which is useful in terms of mobility (I am very grateful).

Then come the hard decision of what to do: take the cab or walk to the emergency?

I decided to go to emergency because this was nothing like I knew, even though I have had lower back problems/pulled muscles in the past. I decided I did not have to go thru the pain all by myself. Seeing that I was not able to kneel or sit, I decided to walk. Luckily the hospital is 10 min away from here.

I could walk up, changed my pajamas and put on my boots, walked to the hospital, waited like 30 min, cared by a lovely doctor, got my shot for pain and prescription, and walked back to pharmacy and home. The medication consists of painkiller and a muscle relaxant. I was also recommended to  follow up with my doctor; there may be some nerve problems I was told. Arghh..

I am literally wishing to go to office while I am here at home. I am not supposed to go to work for the rest of the week, but I am telling you; this is boring. Yes, I still work on my computer (which is going very well by the way) and coordinate with my team members through emails, but I am seriously bored. I just wished (what a twisted wish that is, by the way) that this has happened in December, when I was very tired – I would appreciate being at home then. After the refreshing holidays, all I want now is to go to office and work for long hours….

Anyways, I should not be complaining about these now. My back is better, walking and light stretching helps, sitting is not a big problem, but lying on the couch or bed are scary (as I may not be able to get up again if my back feels like it); so here I am; sitting on a chair for the entire day 🙂

I missed sitting on my couch, snugging up with my blanket, and surfing on the net or watching TV. But again, I should not be complaining.

The funny thing is that the yoga classes were going so well, so relaxing. I sure was feeling relaxation on my lower back, though on monday class, I had thought my upper body (shoulders) needed quite a stretch; they were very tight. I had thought “while one region of my body relaxes, the other one tightens up – I should not have made the assumption that a week’s full of yoga classes would solve all my problems”. I also happen to have some realizations during each session – that day I have had “connecting with my body” in my mind.

I was right 🙂

The same night, I pulled the muscle at my back while picking up something from the floor. Maybe the lesson I should see was to have a healthy life style and good posture no matter how much yoga stretching classes I attend; one thing cannot be the magic solution to everything. I am thankful that my body has showed me that with my recent back problem… I will support my back while at home; especially while sitting on the couch. Since it is soft, sitting long hours on the couch actually is not good for my spine… gotta fix that. I cannot make it worse than what it already is.

Ah… Life is funny 🙂

 

Despite all the negativities, I am grateful for realizing these lessons,  being able to move around, having painkillers at home, and the hospital and pharmacy being so closed to my home. I am also thankful to the doctor who cared for me and the nurse who gave me the shot, saying she knew how painful that must be… Empathy is an awesome thing and nurses for sure rock!

 

today’s bits

The title may puzzle some of you; it is just an alternative to my regular “random thoughts” posts. For some reason, in this new year, I did not want to use that title anymore. So here we go “today’s bits” 🙂

It has been a nice week overall. Right after the holidays and right before our work schedule gets crazy (starting next week), I have had 4 days of peaceful work. I worked quite a bit, mostly with a team member of mine. I am glad we have had this time to fully focus on his project. I spent regular hours in the office, only to leave after 5pm, which felt good. Only exception was today, when I left my office to work at home around noon.

It was a kind of chilly day today, but i managed to walk back home. I also visited another grocery store, maybe 1 minute off my regular route. I am glad I have done that as the store has different products and somewhat different prices, too. I have bought more than I could carry comfortably, but it was worth it.

I took advantage of the sales and bought stuff that I would not usually consume. Like turkey legs. I in fact like turkey legs; turkey broth is  quite nourishing and smells nice. I particularly love cooking pasta in that broth – that is what I will try this weekend. I also bought a large bag of potatoes and am planning to try fish cakes this week. Hopefully I will not mess it up and it will turn out to be a delicious dish as I have been hearing here and there.

While I have gone to yoga for the last three nights, today and tomorrow, I plan not to. Not that I do not love the stretching classes. But because I wanted to “miss” being in there. In my case, no matter how awesome and well feeling something is, continuous exposure makes me get bored after a while. I need to “miss” such things by staying away for a while. Today this is what exactly I am feeling; missing being in those stretching classes. Sunday, I will resume my classes. Looks like 5 nights a week is a good plan. The remaining two nights, I can take a break, miss it, and do other stuff like reading my book “A Clash of Kings” by GRRM.

have a great Friday night friends 🙂

 

random thoughts

Our 12 days off started today 🙂

We sealed the work year with a lovely lunch with my team members and now we are all stuffed (food was amazing) and ready to relax with time off from work and everyday routine.

I am excited 🙂 I would like to drop all work-related issues and the work I planned to do during this period of time now and read my A Game of Thrones book, but I better not; everything I finish during this time will help me to do more in the next year, without getting into too much of a stress.

So, tonite I will do my best to work on a presentation I have been working on. It should come to a point that the main things should be ready. Later I can fine tune it, which is fine. then, forget that one and then read two folders of documents I am supposed to discuss with my team in January. Once this is done, then I should start working another thing.. then another thing… I know this is not reasonable, unless I work smart and work without overwhelming myself.

So, here is my thought on working smart – focus really well and spend no one minute more than absolutely required. Aim now and see how it goes. especially till the next week; then I can take a break from work for sure and enjoy my time.

let’s hope that will go just like I wish it to be 🙂

have a great day everyone!

 

random thoughts

It is a chilly day today; I had to increase the temperature at home. Quite a difference from yesterday when it was warmer. Well, the old man winter wants us to remember him I guess. So be it.

I have cleaned by email account completely yesterday, which felt amazing! I deleted all the unnecessary files from my desktop as well – that also feels awesome 🙂 I have not deleted or cleaned any work related folders; they better remain as they are. They are all very well organized anyhow; each distinct topic/work is under separate and clearly labeled folder. I am not worried about these.

Work is continuing and I am happy with my progress. I am just a little bit jumpy nowadays; in other words I am quick to react… I do not like this, as often times the reactions are either automatic or without thinking. This tells me that it is time for me to vent the pressure out a little bit; I do not want to negatively affect anyone around me.

On the positive side, I replaced my mouse and everything is fine right now! My mouse connection has not been working in the last few days and I was miserable trying to work with the touch pad – if you are not familiar with the touch pad, it is kind of difficult and less practical than the mouse. So, I could not be happier that now with the new mouse, everything is well and I can work as efficiently as before 🙂

We have two more days to go to work and after that 12 days off. I am kind of looking forward to this. Two more days, my friends 🙂

Have a great night everyone.

 

random thoughts

I do not know why now, right before the holidays, I feel the thirst for working.

what am I afraid of? Working during the entire holiday season (12 days), feeling awesome about it, only to find out later that I missed my greatest opportunity of the year to rest (these 12 days are all paid holidays by the way).

No friends. While I do want to work, I do not wish to feel silly afterwards. And yes, I will take a rest and do stuff other than work. Better yet, I will work maybe 2-3 days at the beginning fully focusing on work, I do not care whether that means working 16 hours a day, but I will do this and then will rest for the rest of the holidays.

This way I will not feel the stress of work accumulating and I will not feel the silliness coming out of working thru the holidays.

I hope, of course 🙂

So my holidays will start not next wednesday, but next saturday. That still leaves me 9 days to enjoy 🙂

 

random thoughts

A fine day, my friends. I hope you have had a similar experience.

What are the highlights of today? I do not know. How about:


  • being alive, well, and sound
  • working nice and easy
  • being grateful for the work I have done
  • being aware that I have the entire evening and night to myself
  • having the “A Game of Thrones” book waiting for me to read
  • eating a nice healthy meal
  • not being in the lazy mood and still planning to work hard till next Wednesday, including this weekend
  • feeling abundant and peaceful
  • loving this opportunity to share these with you.

have a great night everyone! 🙂

 

random thoughts

Life is interesting; I happen to get this impression time to time.

Today I am once again aware of this because something nice happened. Let me tell you:

For some time now I have been working on developing a project, which I halted time to time, sometime for months. I was very displeased with myself for doing this; I believe I have ranted about this earlier.

Lately, for this project I had contacted a colleague of mine to ask whether she would like to be a part of the project. I did not think she would say no, but I did not think she would like to add and lead a unique component to it, either. She did and now we have a project way better than before!

All these times I did beat myself for not taking care of this task…

All these times that I ranted about my own performance…..

All these times that I found myself inefficient or with poor performance….

None matters now.

As a matter of fact, now I am glad that I delayed this project (unknowingly) so that it could develop into this wonderful one.

Life is good, my friends 🙂

random thoughts

What a beautiful Sunday; it is warm and relaxing, and the snow melted.

One thing about intensely working for a period of time (like my last 2-3 weeks) is that once you realize you have a whole day in front of you, you do not know what to do. There is no document to review, no correspondences to make, no work-related issues to figure out. All of a sudden, you end up with this one full day that you need to fill in. So what do you do?

That is an intriguing question for me as I seem to forget what I used to do when I had less work load. It prompts me to find out again.

Like today, I was not sure how to spend the day, so by taking advantage of the good weather, I decided to walk. I was not sure I would go at the beginning, but I ended up in one of my favorite streets. The houses on both sides are nice to look at, and although there is quite a bit of traffic and traffic lights for that matter, it is a relatively quiet area. I walked up till a Shoppers and lazily went around the shelves. I did not want to buy anything, which is interesting. I remembered years ago, shopping at that store was one of my most fun pass-time activities; I would mostly buy nice smelling candles or health products that would make me fell good.

This need or feeling now seems to have gone. I attribute it to my frugal life I have embraced in the last 6 months.

I, however, bought four boxes of facial tissue; they were on sale and honestly the best price I have seen in the last couple of years. My decision to buy them made me happy and excited.

Tomorrow a new week is starting. Considering the nice weather, I am planning to walk to the office tomorrow morning. If I can make it multiple times this week, I will be very happy.

have a great Sunday evening everyone.

random thoughts

One of these days where I have some friction with my old friends over someone we know and differ in opinion.

The person of interest is a previous mentor of us; I have known her for decades and even though she was difficult, I have great respect for her and still keep in touch. This person now is retiring and this is where we got the friction: I welcomed the news and got excited for my previous mentor and decided to do something in her recognition, to be revealed during her retirement party in the coming weeks. My friend, whom I love dearly, seemed to disagree with me and another friend of mine, who feels the same way as I am, fell in between our conversation full of disagreement. We had disagreements, but eventually, everybody respects everybody’s opinion.

My other friend and I are contacting our other friends to see whether they would like to be a part of this celebration. I am assuming we will not be gathering a lot of people, but that is okay. I somehow understand my friends as our mentor was not a pleasant person (they say people never forget how others make them feel), but I and some other friends also recognize her tremendous influence, support, and efforts on our developments. So we feel that this mentor deserves a great celebration and our acknowledgements.

I increasingly think that officially and sincerely acknowledging people’s good deeds, contributions, great works, and help is very important. It is a great pleasure to be writing/saying these nice words to the others and I am sure those who get acknowledgement are feeling great about it, too. I also think that it brings a highly positive notch to the relationships and overall make everyone feels really good; small stuff are forgotten and the big picture emerge. Great.

On the personal side; No person is perfect and some people are not pleasant. But, I would rather choose an unpleasant mentor who cares about me and contributes to my development, rather than a mentor who is an ineffective mentor but highly pleasant person. Of course, it would be great if our mentors were both pleasant and effective. But I know this does not happen all the time. And that is okay.

So, if you think you have people to recognize, thank, acknowledge for their help, support, kindness, goodness, contributions to your education/training/well being, professional success, or development as a person, take this holiday season to send/say them an acknowledgement note. Tell them what exactly you liked about them and how appreciative you are.

If you wish of course.

let’s heal and seal 🙂

 

random thoughts

Well, after a long work day at home, I am finally settling down and trying to enjoy by reading stuff about, well, yes my latest interest, Game of Thrones 🙂

I know that for all things that are interesting or loved with such a tense interest eventually come an end.

I thought this morning that I would lose my interest in the books soon if I continue to keep reading about  them. My books are about to arrive next week and I heard that they are long and many (5 to be exact). Will I lose my interest? Will I get more interested in? I do not know. But I sure would like to read these stories and write about the characters.

It is very interesting though – now that I have seen the TV adaptation (twice) and read about a couple of characters mostly on the internet (Jamie Lannister and Brienne of Tarth mostly), I wonder what I am going to find in these books? All the details I was curious about? The characters as they were written by the author GRRM? How the HBO series and the original story did differ from each other?

Possibly all these.

On the net, I have found many excerpts from the books, which were not reflected in the series. Remembering this actually makes me keep interested. This per se should be enough for me to eagerly wait for my books and start reading them with affection and amazement until I am done with all.

Until, the next book in the series comes along of course.

They say the release date of the next book in the series is not known. It was initially scheduled for late 2015, but who knows what is going on. Even GRRM says the HBO Season 6, which will air in April 2016, is likely to be earlier than the book #6. Considering the fact that the Season 6 is based on book #6, it is weird…. If I was the publisher, I would have a trouble with that.

As a reader/audience I have a problem, too. Man, my problem is a) how to watch the Season 6 now that I have no subscription to HBO, and b) I am assuming the book #6 will be expensive and if I want to order it right after it is published, I will have to start saving money for it.

Well…. Let my only problems be these 🙂

 

 

random thoughts

A chilly day with an expectation of heavy snow tonite and tomorrow; we may as well have our first snow day of the year.

How do I feel? Under different conditions I would be excited to, yet I am not. It turns out I am supposed to sign a letter tomorrow. So back to office  I am tomorrow unless there is a seriously bad snow storm.

Honestly, I would not care much. This week too I have come home early from the office to work within the peaceful and atmosphere of my house. I have had a breakthrough in my approach to a big document yesterday, which has been nagging me for almost a year. A year…. What a, uhm… unusual and ridiculous thing that I experienced….

I am responsible of course for this delay.. I came up with the idea, wrote the document, formed a team, made a budget; then got feedback and revamped it, changed the idea, changed the scope, changed the budget; got another feedback and realized it was not clear; re-wrote it, re-changed the scope, re-changed the budget; and then I realized it still was not good enough because I was not able to get a sense of it; it had changed so much that it looked like a patchwork with no clear design, flow, or scope.

Thus, I did not work on it for months, always feeling the pressure and low self-esteem its delay created on me. I felt so inefficient. So not like myself.

Then, yesterday eventually I had a day with no other important thing to do and I started working on it. From the beginning. The text is now better, clear, and impactful. Very good – I was in love with my performance yesterday 🙂 I am not done yet I still need to polish it. I also need to fix the budget and other associated documents. I can do this – I have come this far, I can go even further.

It is just a matter of time and mental clarity + motivation now.

random thoughts

What a beautiful day; crispy but sunny 🙂

I have a good mood mostly because I have had a great work day today; I have had 5 different meetings but all went very well. Also after I came home from the office, I took care of a document which was lagging at my hands. I always feel awesome after my procrastination ends 🙂 During the day, I also started to take care of another big work related issue; once I started and if I do not lose my speed, I know I will progress this one, too.

Considering how much I have been beating up myself for not working efficiently lately, this improvement in my performance is an exciting one. I am not sure what contributes to this, but I am glad it is happening.

I must tell you one thing: changing the furniture around my home last weekend has had a positive change in my mood. I keep telling myself how great and peaceful the new couch/seating area feels. I have been contemplating about it yesterday night and I am kind of thinking this set the positive mood for today. Could not be more appreciative 🙂

have a great night everyone! 🙂

random thoughts

I believe it is around a year that I have started my blog here – I just surprised myself by remembering this.. A year.. Wow…

A year ago I was writing my first posts, not knowing what exactly this blog would be about. Not knowing what to expect to find. What to write. How or whether to respond to comments or how or whether to write comments on others’ posts.

A lot changed since then; I have evolved, so have my blog. It is pretty neat indeed.

Posts and bloggers I like to read have changed since then; mostly expanded. Sometimes I got to learn about new concepts, sometimes I just remembered, sometimes I knew about the topic but read the posts anyways – just to see the other point of views.

Sometimes I followed blogs first for some reason and then continued to read their posts about a variety of topics. Sometimes, I read a post first, something clicked, and then I followed the blogger. The reasons for choosing the blogs I follow (or unfollow) amuses me somehow.

One new concept I learnt about by reading posts here was “minimalism”. What an interesting concept that I can totally relate to. Boy, am I glad I learnt about it. I cannot think about another concept that was uniquely a blogging experience.

Other concepts I read in posts I knew before, but they have a great role in “reminding” me. Decluttering is one example. Reading the posts about it has been a very inspiring experience; I have done one of my biggest decluttering activity in years thanks to this experience. I must credit getting warm to the idea of thrifting and donating all bunch of stuff after I declutter to the thrifty stores to the posts I read here about decluttering.

Saving, budgeting, frugality, and conscious spending have been ongoing topics for me in the last 5-6 months. Similar to other topics, reading the posts has been incredibly inspiring and useful. All the tips and great points made about them. Knowing that I have not been the only one. Seeing that the majority of the tips work in my life. Keeping being inspired to do better in my budgeting and saving. These are still the most important topics that I keep reading about, almost every day.

One may argue that after a while, new posts may not be as useful as the ones I have read at the beginning (where the learning curve was steeper). That is partially true – I can say that I now know the majority of the tips/experiences written about in the posts. However they are still useful – to remind myself about this important goal of mine. That is why I read the posts on these topics very frequently and with delight.

There are a number of other interesting tags that I follow, some of which include renovation, housekeeping, cancer, and DIY.

Knowing how dynamic is my interests and what a variety of topics the blogs I follow write about, I am curious and excited about the future tags I will follow, future topics I will learn about.

keep up the great work everyone 🙂

cheers

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I am getting back to feeling very cranky and energyless in the mornings.

I do not know why this is happening, whether it has got something to do with the chilly or gray weather.

I was feeling better in the summer and following my family visit. Now, in the last few days getting up has been a difficult thing for me, something that I do not enjoy; the thoughts that go through my mind this morning was “how boring it is; now I will do the same things again; use the bathroom, put on the clothes, put on the makeup, go down, contemplate about walking, taking the bus or the cab, feel bad about the idea of walking or waiting at the bus stop even though after these I will feel quite good about myself, or take the cab and feel pampered but will lack the feeling of accomplishment coming from walking or taking the bus..”.

I cannot be excited or joyful in the mornings. I feel late to the office should I take the bus or walk, only because I cannot get up early in the morning. I am tired of this mental judo every morning.

Where am I going like this?

This feeling I have in the mornings is not fun.

I am fed up doing the same things and then get bored.

I am in need of changing a number of things, including my morning routine.

I am planing to change the organization of the furniture in the bedroom to get some kind of change – let’s see whether it will be helpful.

I may want to invest in a radio in my bedroom to listen to it in the morning – maybe it will lift my mood.

I know affirmations or taking some time at home prior to going to the office may change my mood, but I really cannot see myself doing this. Unless I get up early.

And I know if I go to bed early, I can get up early, too and I may feel less pressurized to arrive to the office as early as possible.

I do not know what will work better.

But I know I am fed up of this feeling.

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After a busy weekend, I feel well adapted to work today, that is very pleasing 🙂

I have not done a lot of stuff, but was rather busy with meetings with my team members. Things are getting more clear and however slowly moving. A good news was an ex-member of my team came to visit me; she now has a job in another unit after an over-seas work experience. It is always great to see my team members after they leave my team and learning that they are doing well with their lives and careers 🙂

The night is young and peaceful – I love this feeling about the nights. I have many things to think about or take care, I am giving myself the permission to think about them later. Give this a try and see whether it does help you as well. I had read this long time ago in a book, but I was not able to implement it then. Over time I guess I become good at it.

Time to think… Time to work… Time to worry… Time to relax…. Time to take it easy……

Take these times as we all deserve a break.

 

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Why we time to time feel incapacitated? Inadequate? Inefficient? Not confident?

I realized the answer to this question lately.

There are so many things I (perhaps you too) must/have to:

I must work, do a good job with my job, respond to feedback or criticism, always come up with things better than yesterday, work with people (sometimes great, sometimes not), earn money, save money, clean, shop, interact with others, get up, sleep, feed myself, have hobbies, think, make decisions, have dreams, have plans, take steps, prevent failure, must accept failure, learn, teach, talk, stand up, sit down, keep quiet, cook, water the plants, call people, check emails, support people, express myself, exercise, eat well, drop weight, visit doctors, handle letters and bills, support and pacify myself during hard times, forgive, forget, and remember, ask for help, give thanks and credits, celebrate birthdays, remember good things, deal with bad things, move on no matter what, have good physical and emotional health, eat this or that, not eat this or that, be there when others need me, smile, laugh, be kind and understanding, keep up with things going on regardless of whether or not I agree with them, and keep my sanity while all the other stuff  around me are more or less affecting me (take the news, which are never good, or the inflation and economy as examples).

You know that the list above is long.

I feel there are too many things requesting my time and energy. And I am one person with the same 24 hours a day. It is impossible to do everything all the time. It is impossible to make everyone happy.

I feel incapacitated and inefficient when there are too many demands on my energy and time.

I noticed lately that I also lose confidence as I keep saying “I cannot do this, I could not do this, I could not do all, etc.”during these times. My mind rightfully saying this event-by-event finally believes in these statements.

I do not deserve this. I do not need this. Nobody does.

They say we should strive for enjoying our lives. They say we can prioritize.

Let me tell you something; we cannot prioritize all the time; sometimes there are more than one thing that needs to be taken care of at the same.

And it is not possible to enjoy our lives much when there are so many things that require attention, often immediately. Or when we are dealing with important issues in our lives.

And do me a favor and tell me not about the willpower.

Many people are quick to judge the person in front of them. Without knowing much about the details of their lives, issues, dreams, objectives they are striving to achieve, and problems to overcome.

It is easy to judge. It is not easy to understand.

Tell me, for example, how am I supposed to work acceptionally, cook and eat healthy, exercise daily, lose weight consistently, take care of home all happily and as if there is nothing else I can be bothered about? As if my entire life is these?

So next time when I am talking to someone and wanna say “you should…”, I will stop myself.

I will first believe that they are doing their best under the circumstances. I will not dictate what they must do or how they must do with their lives. Whether they must lose weight, save more, exercise more, eat healthier etc. I can educate or support them if they want these, but I will make sure I do not sound like imposing these to them.

I just wish others would do the same.

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I have had a stressful day. Not by work but by cooking 🙂

I do not like cooking – there is always someone that complains about something. After spending that much time hearing people stating such criticism is not cool.

Luckily today all went well – I had great guests who never complained about my food; in contrast I think they actually liked it. The plates were full one minute and empty the next moment. I loved it! These people are always welcome at my place 🙂

The day was very stressful; some of the dishes I tried takes hours to prepare. Consider cooking 4 dishes all at the same time… Mess around the kitchen.. The sweat…. The stress of delivering a good dinner. The stress again… Oh boy 🙂

Eventually I made it! My guests were really nice and kind people. One of them even helped me do the salad and then the coffee. How nice of her 🙂

I must be happy that all went well and we all had great time together.

Company makes all the difference 🙂

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This was another great work day; I am very grateful.

Tomorrow is off for us, as it is the Remembrance Day here in Canada. I have plans to meet with a couple of friends and then continue to work at home. That sounds good to me 🙂

Working, being kind to others, and being efficient feels good. Today, I have helped 4 trainees with their tasks. I feel like contributing to their development and moving the work ahead. They will do amazing job.

Young people are great; they have such great potential.

There is also a generational differences. For example, I still need to print out and read and work on the documents; they, on the other hand, work on the monitor. Better? Worse? I do not know. Whatever works for them I guess. I sometime envy this preference as I feel like consuming too much paper. Poor trees…

Young people also are easy to adapt to the changes and develop themselves technologically. One good example is how much they know about computers and programming languages. I can learn these too, but I will need a lot of time to do so. Well done youngsters; keep going.

Seasoned people like myself have experience that can help them develop themselves better. For example, today I was at the presentation rehearsal of one of the team members. He is good, and will get a lot better with the tips I have shared. For instance, to keep eye contact with the audience, not to turn our backs to the audience (while showing a point on the screen), hand gestures, body movements, and voice level and changes on the tone (all help to keep the audience’s attention on the presenter), having clear not decluttered slides, etc. I also helped with the sequence of the slides and animations to introduce points separately on a slide; he seemed to understand and like the feedback. How nice of him 🙂

I am hopeful about the next generations. I once was one of them, Now I am seasoned and old generation. We have a lot to learn from each other and the dynamism and energy of the young generations and the expertise and experience of the old generations make a great mix.

Life is good 🙂

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There has been a number of positive things I have done differently today, so I am excited to be writing this post.

Nothing biggie 🙂 but even the small stuff may be impactful – so, so be it! 🙂

First thing first, the way I wake up does not change much; I usually am not in good mood in the morning, and when I have work to do or want to work (both are the case for me nowadays), the first thing I would like to have is convenience and to reach my office as soon as possible. That usually means taking the cab.

But today thanks to the clock in my bedroom, I could take the bus rather than taking the cab. The reason? I have not fixed it after the end of day light savings and it looks like it is not 1 hour but 1 hour and 15 min off.. So when I came down to living room, I noticed that I could actually take the bus (the bus passes every 30 min here). So that is what I have done! Even though it was windy and chilly, I waited at the bus stop for a couple of minutes and comfortably went to my office 🙂 It made me happy and excited; I know that I can do this more often. I know I can take the wind and chilly weather. I know that I saved some money.

Before leaving my home, my mind was also occupied with work related issues and the hardship of making decisions or taking next steps in the midst of thoughts. Since I have been feeling this way for sometime and I was not able to come up with the “perfect” solution, I decided in the morning to do my best… I practiced being kind to myself and I felt a huge load lifted off my shoulder… Now I can move ahead… No more inaction… That feels awesome 🙂

I enjoyed my day by doing work and canceling an afternoon meeting. I rather came home (I know… I was supposed to spend more time at the office and finish work, but I could not help it today..). And at home, I worked with a sharp focus, reviewed some documents that were staying on my list for months untaken care of, identified their issues and the next actions to take (this part can take some effort and is usually painful if you ask me, but the decision to let go the perfectionism this morning helped quite a bit). I love working and I love my job 🙂 Now more than ever as I am not stuck at issues. Yay! 🙂

The positive feedback I have got for my presentation last week also helped with this positive mindset; I told myself that “I can do this. I know this”. Of course I know what to do, but sometimes I beat myself so much for the name of perfectionism that I lose my confidence.

I gained it back now.

Oh, before I forget, I picked up a little garbage next to my house this evening. I have had seen it in the morning. You may ask “what is so exciting about this?”. Well, it means that I am okay with doing stuff not part of my daily and lazy routine. That is why I am excited! 🙂

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We have had the first snow yesterday!

Oh, boy.. It looks good. The trees and the roads are covered by the thin layers of snow. I realized today that I love this kind of scenery. I know I will complain about it and the winter, especially after February (because of ice on the roads, the snow storms, the shoveling adventures, and lack of sunlight), but today I am enjoying it big time 🙂

The work went well. As a matter of fact, I have worked up till 6pm on a document. It is moving really well and I have revised it after I came back home this evening; we are on the right track. I am excited about this. Working feels good 🙂

The day light saving changes made the daylight in the evening shorter; but for sure it also helps me to enjoy the dark evenings more, as there are more people now on the streets after the sunset. For some reason, I happen to like that. I should take my camera with me so that I can take pictures; there is something lovely about the dark roads lightened up by the lights and the streets energized by the people walking and the stores open.

A post I wrote yesterday and the interactions with another blogger (thank you tamtam) at the comments section convinced me to prioritize appreciating myself in my daily life. Here is what I mean:

I happen to do a lot of good stuff, like yourself, in life; doing meaningful work and hopefully contribute to the family, society and humanity as a whole, training, educating, and supporting others, contributing to the local and global economy, producing knowledge and experience, helping others in need, etc.

I love it when I am kind and supportive to others. Yet, like many of you, I am hard on myself; there are always somethings that I need to do better, easier, more, cheaper, etc. Beating up myself should not be the solution to do better. I know that there are things that I really need to be iron-fist-like; I need to be more health conscious for example and I need to get rid of one extra expense from my life. These are probably the only things that I need to be firm on myself right now. But all other times, starting today, I will thank myself for doing good.

Like this morning when I checked whether the plug at the back of my house was turned off; under different conditions I would delay it till this evening; but my inner voice said “check it now” and I did it. What a peace of mind….And I thanked myself after that with a smile. It felt awesome!

Or when I decided to work till 6pm today; even though that meant I could spend less time unwinding at home, working progressed something important and it felt really good. I thank myself for making this decision, and as you guessed, with a large smile on my face 🙂

The same when I decided to walk back to home from the office, instead of taking the cab this evening. It was late and snowy, I was tempted to take the cab, but I did not. I thank myself for this wonderful decision that not only helped me to exercise my body but also save money.

I will keep doing this from now on. I am not sure which part of my blog I will have these posts all together (maybe the joy journal?), but I will always note the things I have done well while thanking myself with a large smile on my face! 🙂

I hope you can thank yourself for many things you have done or not done today 🙂

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I have been quite relax lately about my budget; yesterday and this morning I have taken the cab to the office (rather than walking or taking the bus).

The reasons were the followings: yesterday it was raining so I decided against walking; and today only because I felt like I needed to pamper myself and it was better to be at the office right away, as there were many things that I would like to work on.

There was a mental judo, of course; I was beating myself for getting relax with money, but then something inside me said “You only do what you think is best for you. Tomorrow is another day. Do not take this as a complete failure“.

How awesome to be able to say this and even more than that, to be able to hear them among all the chatter that goes in my mind 🙂

I remind myself that every once a while, things will not go ahead as I planned or wanted them to be. Every once a while there will be other things more important than my cab fare. I know that I can start taking the bus tomorrow, if I do not feel like walking at all. And I can go to bed early to make sure I will arrive my office early, too, so that I will not feel the push in the mornings.

Even though I do not make it tomorrow, I will try it later again.

I will be gentle on myself. That is my promise; why to break my own heart?

Be gentle to yourself.

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I am very pleased to have a productive and positive work day today 🙂

I still have a lot of stuff to take care of, but at least I am back to my regular working energy; I am confident that over time I will move on things. That feels very good 🙂

I have got a very positive feedback today, which is always great to have! It is so motivating 🙂 I made a mental note to give more positive feedback to my team members so that they can also feel appreciated and motivated to do better.

Another good news was a small repair at home, which is finally done. We have been waiting for the part to be delivered to the repair company too long (more than 6 months). It was annoying and at one point made me very cranky. But I was very happy and excited to see, upon arriving home, that the repair company did it today (it is an outside job so I did not need to be at home at that time). Right before the winter. I am very grateful for this being finally done 🙂

I will be briefly work at home and hopefully finalize an important document this evening. After that I am looking forward to a relaxing night.

Cheers everyone!

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It a beautiful crispy and sunny fall day again 🙂

The beauty around the weekends (or no work day) is the freedom that it gives in terms of how you would like to spend your day, the absence of rush of the work or work environment, and the possibility of having nice conversations and get-togethers with friends and family.

I also like the feeling of “taking care of myself” feeling – whether it is shopping for grocery, cooking a nice meal, cleaning my house, or handling other stuff related to our daily life.

Taking care of ourselves is a must and although I often times forget this, especially when I work, I love doing the activities that remind me that I am on track.

I used to have a great relationship with food, always looking for diversity and nutrition. It was a pleasure going to the stores and finding excellent veggies, fruits, and others. I would find myself often grateful for everything that is available to me and for being able to afford them. I am still hugely grateful for these, but something is missing really…

Over the years, my priority changed from taking care of myself to taking care of work. It is a mistake if you ask me. Those who follow my blog knows that I love my job; it is interesting, keeping me engaged and being productive, the work I do I believe benefit many people and humanity as a whole. The satisfaction coming out of it is incredible and I am very grateful for having this work-line.

I have been feeling, rightfully, though it is now time to switch to “taking care of myself” mode. I have been struggling with this for some time (my healthy life-style journal and breaking the routine page is a good example) but I keep going. Not everything is perfect but I am putting a continuous effort. I am determined to do better for myself and although I lack better and newer ideas, I believe I will do better over time.

They say it is not the end point but the journey that matters, that is valuable. Perhaps that is true in my case. I have seen quite positive changes with my other efforts (conscious spending plan is an excellent example) – I have more or less functional plan that excites me and yields positive and immediately observable outcomes. I need to see over years how it goes and how it helps me to handle financial problems and enables me to retire comfortably. I am grateful for doing this so far and the hope and confidence it gives me now.

Of course, I would like to see the same progress I have with my conscious spending plan with the healthy life style plan. I have been thinking; I am not sure what the reasons behind me not losing weight as I used to, but age is one factor. And of course I should not forget the effect of the trips and my mentality that promotes unlimited eating freedom during the trips (I seem to have gained 8 pounds back in a week). I wonder why I can do so well with the budgeting but not better life style?

Perhaps it is the fact that with budgeting I can see a progress in my finances in a week, while with the weight loss, it is kind of tricky. I remember when I had walk on to the scale a couple of weeks ago and seeing an 8 pound difference and how it had made me feel accomplished and more motivated to keep doing…..

Going back to the idea of “not the end points but the journey matters“, I believe that what I am going thru with my healthy life style plan should be a teacher for me, I should be noticing things about myself and my life as a whole. Perhaps I am aiming for the wrong things (i.e. weight loss) than the beauty of having a healthy life, with great food, exercise, and stretching. Perhaps I am hard on myself and put the weight loss as an indicator of the success of my plan…..

Considering that is possibly the reason (I have implemented many good things as part of this plan, such as walking more, especially in the morning, started stretching, eating whole and healthier food, cutting out bread and carbs from my diet, and supplementing my diet with calcium and vitamin D and milk, both of which are great help for my bone health) is in fact an eye opener.

Perhaps what I should focus on is all the good things I have done for my body and physical health, rather than the mere weight loss.

have a great weekend everyone 🙂

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I am okay with admitting that I was wrong. Humility and setting the record right feels a lot better than ego playing tricks. Plus, I do not like negative feelings; it is a lot better when all sides are content.

Today after a couple of heated conversations (because of months of delay – almost a year now), with someone who was supposed to do some work for me, I realized I made him responsible for also the things he was not directly responsible for (he was partially only). I realized this only after he made his points. The end result was we both were aggravated and it did not help either of us. As a jerk-knee reaction, I have got defensive for a second or so, but later saw what he meant. And I acknowledged this. Sometimes, we forget the details, the whole picture I guess.

I have been stressed for the work that remained undone for so long now that this experience was good at reminding me once again what was important. Peace is better than having arguments. Mental clarity is a lot better than a cluttered mind. Keeping a good relationship is better than hurting it first and then trying to mend later.

I keep asking myself though: how do we find the balance between protecting our rights and interests while also controlling our frustration and still being constructive and kind?

In my experience, it is possible when we are relaxed. When we think that all will eventually be fine.

Off to stretching and listening to relaxing music now. Time for some inner work…

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When I remembered in the morning it was Sunday, and I did not have to worry about going to work and working all day, I felt a wonderful sense of relief 🙂

It is a little bit gray day; as a matter of fact so gray that I have my lights on. It makes me feel like hibernating. That may be one of the reasons that I do not wish to work today, even though I had planned so. I have decided I can enjoy today and then tomorrow focus on an important report and hopefully finish it in a day or so. I know there will be many distractions at the office as there are other things my team members are doing and my department can always ask for more stuff. Eventually I will feel the rush and stress, but I think I made a good decision to not care about the work today and just relax.

I am enjoying my new streaming service and watching movies. I always loved watching movies and it is a pity that in the last many years I only have had cable, which has limited movie selection and movie airing time. It is amazing how little things can change my life and excites me.

That experience made me think again the things/activities that excite me, and my wish to remember and then implement them in my life again. Sometimes I feel like I float with the current of life, its demands and issues. That means I forgot things. Time to remember 🙂

have a great Sunday everyone 🙂

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Today I am writing for the 88 year old man who I know.

He lives alone as he has not been in good terms with his ex-wife and son. He has two daughters; one of them is away and the other one is going thru the struggle of life. There is noone that can take care of this poor man. He did not want to go to retirement residences until this year; this year he started to fall (otherwise he is wonderfully healthy) and he is very aware of the fact that he soon may need more care than now.

It must be a difficult decision to finally find a retirement home. This gentleman will hopefully be happy there and have excellent community and receive excellent care. The fact that either the residences are full or require more funds than he can afford has been challenging; I sincerely hope that the residence he has found now will work wonders for him (cross the fingers). His daughters cannot support him financially a lot but doing their best. I know it is heart-breaking for them as well. Sometimes, there is no good solution to life’s challenges and this engulfes everyone with its deep misery, hopelessness, and guilt.

Anyhow, this gentleman’s story made me think about it my own future. I am single and away from my family. I am middle aged now but may eventually age and require care (unless I die suddenly and while still healthy or middle-aged). What will I do? would I love going to these residences? How would I feel? Would I still feel my dignity and freedom? Would it depress me or would it be a useful experience?

I do not know; I do not want to think about it for now. I guess I can, and will deal, with one thing at a time.

Wishing everyone a great old age.

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It is Friday!! 🙂

Oh, yes. And it feels good 🙂

I am so grateful for my job, which has flexibility when comes to working hours or being at home or in office.

Yesterday, I worked from home to finish some work and some errands in the afternoon. Today, I spend only around 3 hours at the office and then walked back home. My cold, sneezing and runny nose continue; but today I also started to have headaches. In addition, walking or sitting for long hours is not helping the muscle I pulled at my back. But more that that there was a 2-hour meeting in the afternoon I kind of dreaded. So I sent my comments and suggestions by email for the meeting, came home nice and easy, went to the cafe to work a little bit and got some ideas while walking back, worked on a critical document and finished it (yay!), sent some slides to some people, and finalized another set of slides for a presentation next week.

yes, I have done well today 🙂

I do not know how it looks to someone from outside if they see me not being in my office. Do I look like taking advantage of my work? Not working? Enjoying my time with other lovely and leisure activities?

I think to some this is what it would look like.

To me, working home is a great alternative; less distraction, more comfort. You have seen the amount of work I have done in 6 hours above. I am very pleased with all going so well, despite the frequent sneezing and the runny nose. The headache and the pain at my back are manageable for now, if not I have medication to help ease them. So all is well on my side 🙂

I am so happy that today is Friday and tomorrow is the weekend. I plan to take it easy this weekend, but will work on another document that I have not finished in the last few months. It is time that I complete it and submit. I will clean my home and do the laundry tomorrow, but I am not worried about them too much. Then, I will get prepared for my trip next week.

Life is good 🙂

have a great Friday night everyone!

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There is so much problem, violence, war/conflict, and pain in the world that sometimes these feelings override the joy I have in my life.

We have the right to feel good about ourselves and our lives – yet this is so much dependent on others’ feeling and lives.

If you can be happy for someone else and if you can cry for someone else, then you know what I mean. The more we care, the more heavily we feel their emotions.

Depression comes so easily when negative things happen. Should I feel bad about myself if I try to keep myself up in the presence of all the depressing news and experiences? When I am safe and sound? When I have what others need most? When I have the energy to keep going? I have no answer to these.

I am so looking forward to a world where all is safe and conflicts are resolved by working on them rather than by guns, suppression, violence, or humiliation; when one’s interest did not mean to hurt, eliminate, or suppress the other’s; when we all realize whatever happens to someone else somehow affects us, whether positive or negative.

Peace.

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A wonderful, sunny and warm October day 🙂

Now that I have taken care of a bunch of work before I take my next trip, today feels “empty”.

What should I do to fill this boring sensation? 🙂

That is what working at a high speed does; one gets bored when it is finished. Only because our activities and thoughts are so much focused on the things we need to take care of. Naturally, we forgot about the rest.

Going back to my question, re: what should I do now, here are my options:

  1. take a long walk and enjoy the scenery
  2. read a book that I meant to read for sometime
  3. call a friend I have not seen or talk to for some time
  4. browse the TV or the internet for useful information or entertaining programs
  5. plan for the coming days or future ideas related to my life, life-style, or work
  6. declutter the final bunch (CDs and VHSs)
  7. stretch at home
  8. cook a nice meal
  9. drink tea or hot chocolate
  10. be grateful for everything I have
  11. explore a topic I have not tackled much, such as history
  12. make an inventory of what I have accomplished at work to see how well I have done, what needs to be expedited, what needs to be changed/improved
  13. assess my budget and healthy-life style plans
  14. make someone joyful by helping, supporting, or complementing
  15. do deep breathing exercises
  16. write a poem 🙂

Enjoy your Sunday everyone 🙂

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It was a busy day, but there were a lot of social interactions and laughs as well. So I cannot complain 🙂

I am very grateful that there are two more work days and they are meeting free. That means I can focus on the urgent work at hand. I think I will have to work at the weekend, but that is okay, too. I incidentally invited some friends over; I am happy to host them although this is going to make my weekend a little bit busier. Nevertheless I am looking forward to it 🙂

This week, neither my budget nor the healthy life-style plan is going well, but I am not going to beat myself about either of them. I know myself – when the right time comes, I will do better. I right now am observing and analyzing; what is happening? what needs fixing? what can I do? I trust myself that with both of these plans, I will eventually do a lot better.

There is something so nice about trusting that the best is yet to come. That things will turn around  good. That I can and will do better. That there is something better coming after each struggle or failure. This has always been like this – frustration just means that there is something better I will get to experience, design, or plan. It is just a matter of time.

That is a good feeling.

I have other plans about my life and work that I would like to implement. I am excited to be able to handle them, too. Knowing that I cannot implement many new things all at the same time, naturally would like these two to work out well first (so that I can move on with the new plans). I have done well with the budget, though I still have a large unnecessary expense to erase form my life. The healthy – life – style plan is going good but not so good; I am generally eating better, cut out the bread and bagels a lot, I walk extra in the mornings; it is just that the weight loss is not there. Anyways, that too will happen one day; I just need to keep going 🙂

Right?

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Is this just Tuesday today?

Hmmm.

It felt like a Wednesday; I am not sure why. I think I have a weekly stress level that reaches to its maximum on Fridays. Since yesterday (and this afternoon) was stressful, this may be the reason why I feel closer to Friday 🙂

It has been a warm and shiny day today, for which I am very grateful. I came home early today too after writing a last minute letter that my boss requested. She is very nice and I cannot possibly say no to her without any good reason. So I kicked a little bit and wrote the letter, which turned out to be not so bad 🙂 I often need time to revise and make a letter/document shinny – I did not have this chance today, but hey, I did it without sweating like a river or looking at the sky like a gerbil facing a threat, all motionless and catatonic 🙂

The walk in the morning was awesome. I can get up anytime I want (i.e. no need to adjust my time according to the bus’ schedule, which is quite a freedom) and enjoy the scenery along the way. I must admit many thoughts race thru my mind while walking, but maybe I need that too?

The walk is easy now as the route is usually down hill or flat (in contrast, in winter the downhill walk will be almost impossible due to ice on the sidewalks/road). I am hoping we will not see the winter till January so that I can keep doing this.

I do not forget to pat my back after each time I walk and arrive my office feeling accomplished, relaxed, and warmed up quite a bit – just enough to feel like I have worked my body; that it is in great condition, and that I found the joy of walking once again in my life time. A simple act of walking in the mornings creating that many positive emotions is amazing.

Maybe I should look deep in my memory to identify other things that I used to do with great enjoyment. I know weight lifting was one of them and as soon as my back feels alright, I am keen on starting that again. What else?

I will figure them out soon. Life is too short, too valuable to not enjoy.

I hope you will take this opportunity to identify yours.

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It has been chilly today but they expect a warm Monday tomorrow 🙂

I like this about my city – the weather can change in such a short time.

My plan for tomorrow evening is to finish staining the deck and paint the woods close to the soil. They are in good condition, but I was advised to paint them every 3-4 years to protect them from the water damage. As tomorrow will be warm, it sounds like the right time to me.

I went to shop at noon to get the stain for the deck. I visited other stores around too. It is always an enjoyable activity for me (did I mention I loved shopping? 🙂 ).

Luckily, I catched some sales today; I bought a nice plant and toilet papers with discounts. It is interesting with the toilet papers that they were not only on sale, but there was also a coupon valued $3 on each pack. I have been hoping I would catch up something like that to stock them up for some time – so I felt happy :)) I bought 3 packs, enough for more than a year. My estimation is that the sale together with the coupons led me to have an 50% discount for each pack. That is not bad at all. I thank myself for noticing the coupons 🙂 I would feel silly otherwise – why to throw away money while the vendors let me keep it?

I contemplated about taking the cab, but then decided not to. I carried my plant around (together with other stuff I purchased), took the bus, and came home. I am seriously proud of myself :). Yet my back is aching 🙂 Maybe it was not the best idea.

I have decided not to hesitate to take the cab if I have many stuff to carry around – my health is more important than a cab fare.

have a great Sunday everyone 🙂

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I spent the evening with a couple of friends; can not think about a better activity to wind down after this long and busy week 🙂

I still have a lot to do, but the weekend is mine. I decided I can maybe work around 1 hr tomorrow and sunday, but no more than that. Putting limits to things that make me tired or stressed helps me to handle them better psychologically.

What are my plans for the weekend (remember that I love to plan?) 🙂

As usual, going to the cafe to enjoy my morning and coffee; cleaning the house, shopping for the stain to finish staining my deck, cooking meals for myself (some nice meals I will try this time like meat-loaf; not just simple stuff), getting together with my friends, and just taking it easy.

If I can find time, I also would like to try baking some home-made granola bars 🙂

sounds like a relaxing weekend to me – wishing you the same 🙂

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I need a plan to implement more exercise in my life.

That is why now I am trying to “remember” how much I enjoyed walking and exercise. How I felt during and after. How stronger it made my body and mind.

See, the beginning is the hurdle. For example, to exercise, first I must decide about a convenient and affordable place to go. My work place has a variety of work-out facilities. Are they affordable? Well, depends. What are the alternatives? I have no gym close to my home. So going to the work-place gym is very convenient; I can drop by after work, relax and work-out as I wish, and then walk back home. No hurdle here.

Second, I need to remember having some snacks with me prior to the exercise (considering that I cannot even remember packing my breakfast with me in the morning, this one is gonna be challenging). There may be a solution to that, though; I can stock up and keep the snacks in my backpack (which I will use to carry my sports clothes/shoes). Good options? Hmm. What are my options really? I do not want to eat nuts (I already consume them at the office). Granola bars etc. are not good for me (too much sugar). Seriously, what are good options as durable snacks for me?

Ok. Third, I need to decide about the dates; I would love to exercise twice a week for now. Which days? Mondays for sure – after the hibernating weekends, it will feel good. The second day – could it be Friday? I guess so. What other way to close the work week and start celebrating the weekend?

Fourth, when shall I start? The earlier is better, so I am aiming for the coming Monday. Good decision! 🙂

Fifth; where will I cut in my expenses to cover for the fee? Something to think about. The fee is about $35/month. I can do this, right?

Right! 🙂

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I am firm that I made peace with my body.

I am not young any more and as I am not stupid either, I can see what the aging has been doing to my body. My body is not the same as 10 years ago. I have no idea what will happen to it in another 10 years, either.

It is not that I am not feeling sorry; I am.

I used to take care of my body better prior to the last 7 years. I am glad I have. It is true that I could (and I still can) take steps to nourish and tone up my skin, my muscles. I can for example work on my biceps or triceps. Legs. Abs. Neck. I know I can do these.

There are many women out there who have taken better care of their body by diet and exercise and whose bodies hence looks younger. Maybe their genes helped, too. I do not know. But good job – please keep going.

It is just that this (aging and the associated changes in the body) is a normal extension of life. A privilege of living to this age. Who said that I could not live to age?

Honestly I am okay with my body and with aging. As long as both are healthy and happy.

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A rainy and misty day 🙂 It is good that I have an umbrella that did not break with the wind and made me safely (and without getting wet) took the bus this morning 🙂

This is a very busy week for me, but it is going well so far. Sometimes I am in “the phase” when I can function well and take care of many stuff. After a while it becomes too much and i need time to recuperate, but I am guessing I have a couple of weeks to go before that happens. That is cool 🙂

A couple of positive developments occurred today, which pleased me. With one of our important collaborators I have had some sour conversations in the past few months. Now it looks like we are mending this – they invited me to have a meeting in October. Cannot wait to talk face-to-face; it is always  a lot better than written correspondence. Plus, I gotta travel for a day or two to the US – trips and taking time away from the office is always a delightful break for me.

I also have a new team member, which arrived from another city last week. he seems to be doing well, settling in and getting adapted to our environment and the system. It is amazing how well young people can take the initiative and take care of stuff related to their living conditions without needing our help (I always appreciated and admired this). I have high hopes for this new team member; based on my initial impression, he looks like a mature and smart person. I think we will do great work together.

Having hope and positive developments always feels good; I hope you also had such experiences nowadays.

until next time

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A misty morning turned into a warm and bright September day; could not be better 🙂

I broke my routine today bu doing the grocery shopping first thing in the morning. well, well, well.. It turns out there are many buy one get one free deals. Got extra apples, cucumber, and yogurt thanks to this deal. The receipt now shows how much I have saved in each transaction. It feels great to know that I saved around $25 today 🙂

I wonder why I have not noticed such deals previously. I do not thing it is the first ever one buy get one free deal at the store. I guess the more I am conscious about my spending and savings, the more I notice and take advantage of them. Good to know 🙂

I have a busy weekend and week ahead. Trying not to get stressed. I keep telling myself “I am doing it”. I did shopping, cleaned the house, doing the laundry, will work on my computer, and hopefully will also relax this evening. Tomorrow me and my colleagues are walking for the Terry Fox Run event, which aims to raise funds for cancer research. I am excited to be doing this and very proud of the people who sponsored our walk and made donations to the Terry Fox Foundation.

Although I did not think I would this week (due to enormous amount of stuff I need to do), I started staining the patches on my deck. Not sure why, by some regions of the stain has lifted. I am not finished yet, but I have done 2/3 of the work. I love myself when I do the things that I procrastinate about 🙂 In a couple of weeks, I am planning to finish the rest. Not bad for a non-handy person 🙂 This is however just a temporary solution; I think the stain will protect the wood, but the stain colorwise looks quite patchy. I guess in a couple of years I will have to strip off the stain and re-stain the deck. That is okay. I will take care of this later.

Have a great Saturday 🙂

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Welcome to the chilly fall day 🙂

My home is really chilly; I upted the thermometer last week to keep it around 18 Cs. Tonite it is particularly chilly; my knees are feeling it. Thankfully I have my blanket 🙂 What would I do without it?

This slush blanket has been with me for 4-5 years. I bought it with love and since then there has never been a chilly day that I have not used it over my lap and legs. A perfect companion.

Chilly weather reminds me the Games of Throne’s famous sentence; “Winter is coming”. I do not like our long winters that much. Hopefully it will be a reasonable winter this year.

I love walking on chilly weather though – with my scarfs and the gloves on. I am fond of both of them. They make me feel pampered. Hot chocolate and all bunch of other warming beverages also have a role in this feeling.

Autumns are somehow romantic 🙂

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A misty and rainy morning turned into a beautiful Sunday this afternoon – hope you are all enjoying today 🙂

I stained my deck and front stairs last year and when the winter was over there were some parts of the stain that lifted up. I finally went to a store today and bought additional stain. It is too bad that I did not keep a record of the last year’s stain; we could approximate the colour of the stain but I can tell you it is not the same. I re-stained my front stairs; it looks patchy and all. I am not sure how it will look when it dries up. Then I will move on the deck. I am afraid next year I will have to strip off all stain and then re-stain again; that sounds like the best solution for now.

The problem is our summers are short. August and September are the only times we have less than regular rain. I wish we had longer summers so that I would have the freedom to do these over time. Without stressing myself over the short time to finish everything. Oh, well.

Today was a shopping day. I have not enjoyed it as much as I usually would. No idea why that is 🙂 I always enjoyed shopping! Well, just not this time. I am proud to say that I took the bus again and despite the stuff I purchased was heavy and all, I carried them in my back pack and two large shopping totes. Taking the bus is good for my purse (rather than taking the cab) and carrying stuff around is good for my heart and bones. I cannot complain.

On top of that, I managed not to eat out at a restaurant (come to think about it, this one may be the reason behind me not enjoying my shopping today – what is better than a nice meal in between the visits to the stores?). Anyhow, I munched on some nuts rather, which was delicious.

One strategy I find efficient in limiting unnecessary purchases is to have a look at all items at the end and ask myself whether I really would need them and need them right now. I left a number of stuff at the cashier – I wonder whether that annoys them? I hope not. though I understand it must be extra work for the store staff.

Anyways, we still have the Sunday evening and night to relax. Enjoy your Sunday everybody 🙂

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I feel like writing about small indulges that make me feel pampered 🙂

Considering that the only expenses bigger than $1,000 were my washer and dryer (excluding my flights to visit my family and my house), I guess I am doing good pampering myself while also looking after my funds.

So here is a list that I can come up with now:

1. Having breakfast: I love having breakfast at the weekends! there is something nourishing about it and the fact that I get to have it on the weekends only, it is my way of start celebrating the weekend. Breakfast does not need to be too expensive (though it  depends on your preferences. Nevertheless, breakfast and lunch are often times much cheaper than dinners).

2. A good book that captivates my interest. There is nothing like a great book that makes your day enjoyable, time frozen, and mind and heart filled with new knowledge, emotions, and empathy. 90% of my books are purchased from second hand bookstores or charity. The only book I have had pricey was a project management book I needed to study as part of a certificate program (time to sell it now). Borrowing books from libraries, of course, does not cost a dime – give it a try.

3. Chicken noodle soup: is there any other food that nourishes the body while also relaxes the mind? What is the cost of this? $3?

4. Taking photos: that is a really fun activity. Other than the cost of the camera and print outs, the cost of all the memories and lovely pictures recorded is basically $0. Plus, can we really put a price on recording memories?

5. A good cup of coffee every once a while. I love caramel or maple syrup added coffee every once a while. There is a cafe that do these in a shopping mall I go time to time. A great way to award myself.

6. Food: food is always a tricky material for indulges. I happen to reward myself a lot by food, especially pastries and bread (though I am trying to limit them lately). My new year eve meal is almost always some pastry I make at home with beef and pastry sheets. Even though I love this meal, I am glad that I do not bake it more than twice a year.

7. Movies: Although I have not done this in years, seeing a movie at a theater is a lovely experience.

8. Tea, apple cider, and hot chocolate: whether black, green, or herbal, tea has a calming effect. On cold winter days, in addition to tea, hot chocolate and apple cider are my favorite beverages.

9. Leisure walking: Although I do not do this as often as I wish to; when I do, I enjoy it very much. Especially those that occur spontaneously where I do not before hand plan for the route, take my time to enjoy and examine the scenery (even looking at different houses and their characteristics can be an interesting activity).

10. Going through the stores at the airport: One of my favorite activities! I love looking at the merchandise and the variety of items. This is particularly nice when the airport is in a different country. As you can guess, the books sold are the ones that get my most attention. but hey, they are great 🙂

11. Browsing the stores: I have a negligible habit of impulse buying thus I am not afraid of going thru an entire store, examining and exploring the items. It is one of the meditative experiences for me when I truly focus and thus get a mental break from daily thoughts and tiredness. Thanks to this activity, I have discovered many different food (e.g. savory I am so fond of) that were not a part of my regular diet.

12. Taking a road trip: I love it when we drive on a car together with friends or family. Have you noticed that the conversations are different, lovelier during road trips? Especially when we all are going to places that we have not explored before. Whenever I have a chance to suggest an activity, i suggest a road trip 🙂

13. Music: Music is… awesome! I listen to it while at home and office. The free music channels and youtube makes it basically free. Could not be happier 🙂

14. Writing my blog and reading other blogs: Very amusing, relaxing, informative, and affordable activity. Okay I need a computer and an internet connection to do so, but these two help with so many activities (listening to music, watching videos, doing research, learning, booking flights and hotels, etc.) that their cost comes really low. Plus writing helped me to learn a lot about myself – how about that as a great benefit?

15. Planning, planning, planning: I have a thing for planning for goals I would like to tackle. Coming up with a question and then designing a step-by-step strategy to reach the goal is always exciting for me. Yep I do mess up with executing the plans sometime (my recent healthy life-style plan that I blew is a good example), but eventually all go well.

16. Sleeping in: every once a while there comes a weekend morning that makes me sleep till noon. This does not happen to much, but I believe it happens when my body needs it. Often times, it is relaxing.

17. Sleeping late: there is something peaceful about late-nights, some kind of freedom… Friday and Saturday nights are my freedom nights when I can stay up till late, reading, writing, or watching TV. Serenity..

18. Spending time in my yard: I have a small yard with a couple of trees; lilacs are particularly my favorites. Seeing them in summer is a beautiful feeling. The same thing with just being in the yard and listening to the sound of trees – the soothing whoosh their leaves make with wind…..

19. Scents: I love my perfume but due to scent-free policy of my workplace, I only wear it at the weekends. Its scent is so lovable I am glad they produced it! The same thing with candles and soaps. I have a soap that leaves a nice scent after each hand-wash. I would not change it at all. When comes to candles, I did not buy lately but I make sure to check them at the stores. One of my favorite one has honey-cinnamon scent.

20. Wearing my best shoes: I am a person of habit, so I keep wear the same things weeks after weeks. Yet, every once a while wearing a different outfit or my favorite shoes makes a difference in my mood 🙂

21. Grocery shopping: I love grocery shopping. Finding fresh produce is a rare and often cheerful activity for me (where I live, fresh produces are hard to find).

22. Shopping after the holidays: this is the season for shopping!. The sales right after the Christmas are unprecedented. Boy, do I stock up? 🙂

23. Thrifty store visits: Even though I often end up not buying as much as I plan to, I love browsing through the shelves in thrifty stores, especially the kitchen items and the books. A good book I certainly will buy. The kitchen items are mostly an interest; to see all the old stuff… I have a thing for old things. They are different and very interesting for me.

24. Ethnic stores: There are so many different things in these stores that I make regular trip to one close to my house. It is a little food store where I can find the most interesting spices, hot sauces, and dried food. Plus, that store is incredibly cheap. I wonder why that is.

25. Soft facial towels: These are priceless; there is nothing nicer at the end of a busy day to come home, wash my hands and face, and feel the soft towel on my skin. I would highly recommend you to get a thick, slushy towels that is a delight to use.

26. Creams and moisturizers: my hands require hand cream throughout the day. In winter, it is almost essential to moisturize the rest of the body. I am grateful for these creams and lotions that not only nourish my body but also smell good 🙂

27. Time spent with family and friends: Do I have to talk about it? It is the favorite activity of many people. Are we not lucky?

I hope your list of things that make you feel pampered is longer than this.

Go pamper yourself in this beautiful Saturday! 🙂

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For a book-lover like myself, it is weird that I happen to put notes on their pages. Such an habit certainly makes the books unsuitable for others to read. Plus, it actually a little bit disrespecting to these wonderful, and information and imagination full things that we call books…

Anyways, just yesterday I notice a benefit of this practice. I was re-reading a personal finance book that I am fond of and I came across my notes from years ago; I wrote two major and extra expenses that I was utterly unhappy of. As a matter of fact, whichever personal finance book of mine I look at, I find this recurring expenses and my wish to eliminate them…One of them is taking the cab rather than the bus or walking (to and from the office).

I have a very good estimate of this extra expense; I save $90/week by taking the bus in the morning and by walking in the afternoon, rather than taking the cab in the morning and the afternoon. This corresponds to around $4,500 savings per year. Considering I took the cab for many years (only because it was convenient and I thought I deserved this convenience), the total amount I paid for my transportation unnecessarily adds up to quite a large amount of money….

I knew it then and I know it now. But what I have experienced yesterday is the relief of knowing that this years-long struggle is now ended (as part of my “conscious spending” project I have been working on the last 3-4 months) . While I am still not happy about writing on the books, I am glad I put these notes there to remind me how long I have been occupied with eliminating this unnecessary expense.

An additional, and perhaps more cheerful thing is that I have been working on the second expense that I would like to get rid of. It too has been in my list for many years and I am making attempts to erase it. After yesterday’s experience, I am more confident that when the right time comes, that expense category will go, too. Then I will be able to cross them as issues from my life.

Priceless.

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It was a beautiful September day today; crispy and shiny with a clear blue sky. What a delight 🙂

In addition to meeting with my friends and having lovely time, I also did some more work at the house. First I went thru the books I sorted out to get rid of. I had a feeling yesterday that maybe I overdid it and in fact there were many books that I could enjoy. So, I could not help it, went thru each of them, and decided to take back one book. Only one book! 🙂

See, I guess anyone who is parting with loved items would feel this way; did I make a mistake? should I keep them? How wise was my sorting and decluttering strategy? I am very happy to see that I did a good job with it; taking back only one book tells me that next time I can trust myself more and sort only once. Then, they will be ready to go. No looking back.

I must admit when I put the to-be-donated books away in a cabinet (till we bring them to the charity), my living room looked a lot better, more clear and organized. I could not help but move little furniture around, put a plant here and there, and vola I have a brand new living room. Is that not awesome? I think it is. Change in scenery is always good. And having the freedom to move stuff around (which you can only do if you have enough space free of clutter) is even more exciting.

I am not done with decluttering; in the last few weeks I have done great donating clothes. Now the books. The next items are the CDs and the VHS casettes that I have. I am very fond of the VHSs particularly. But I decided it was best we went different directions in life. I am not sure whether they can be donated anywhere; but it does not hurt to ask. As per the CDs, some of them I really like and would like to keep. But others need to go – there are CDs I have not listened in the last 5-10 years.

The final items to be sorted out will be my shoes… I am scared to look at the shoe boxes as I always find something that is beautiful…

There is something nice about getting rid of stuff. Today one of my friends came to choose among the books I am about to give away. She was surprised apparently and asked me “why are you giving them away?”. I said “so that I can get rid of the old and open space for new ones, new experiences, new interests. Plus, they (i.e. books) would love to have new readers that will appreciate them”.

My friend nodded in agreement.

Have a great long-weekend everyone 🙂

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What a beautiful day – it is Friday, a little bit cool but okay, and the beginning of the long weekend 🙂

When I was young, I used to dread Sundays, as it would be full of activities to get prepared for school (homework, laundry and ironing, etc.). Usually the TV would not be cheerful, either (i.e. did not stream nice movies or series). Also the streets would be quite for some reason (everybody was busy at home preparing for the week?).

Maybe 10-12 years ago, I decided to enjoy my Friday nights and Sundays, in addition to Saturdays. That meant that the “enjoyable” weekend consisted of 2 days and 3 nights (Friday-Saturday-Sunday), not only Saturdays. That felt good 🙂

And now that we have Monday off, that means I have 4 nights and 3 days for the weekend. I will continue to declutter my living room (sorted out around 200 books to give away; I expect another 100 when I am finished), I will meet with my friends, do the house chores and possibly clean and declutter my entrance deck, read books (going thru my books was amazing – I have so many interesting books to read), and just relax and enjoy my time.

Wishing everyone a great Friday and long-weekend 🙂

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Working from home in the last two days was very refreshing and effective – a big document is now almost finalized, which always gives contentment and happiness 🙂

All of a sudden today, the temperature got low. I do not know how low but even the jacket was not enough to keep warm. I will have to wear thicker clothes from today on. I think the summer is officially ended…

There are nice things about fall, though. The cooler temperatures makes me wear thicker clothes, which somehow makes me feel like I am pampering myself. This feeling originally was born when I purchased a dark brown short coat with a feathery-collar. The warmth around my neck was always something I had appreciated. While this coat is long gone, I imitate the feeling with scarfs in fall; it does help feel the same way (i.e. pampered). Also, I love it when the trees change colors; what a nice scenery the fall brings to us..

My efforts to declutter my living room, however slow, continues. I so far checked 30% of the books and sorted out those that will be donated. That translated into 2 large bags of books to be donated. I suspect maybe 3 or 4 more bags to come till I am finished. I feel like I can donate more books, but it is so hard to let them go especially if I have not read them lately. I gotta change my mindset about the books at home; I should see them as a library where there are many treasures to be read. That sure will help me to read them this time. And if next year I find out that I have not read them, then I should donate them, too.

I am thinking about purchasing a domain for this blog; but I am hesitant. When I decease, this blog should not decease with me (i.e. if I stop paying for the domain, they say they inactivate or remove the blog). Any of you have ideas? Cons and pros of switching to a domain? Please leave comments – Thank you.

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What a beautiful day 🙂

The handyman fixed my faucet locks and drained my water boiler – they recommend it every year, though the handyman said he did not bother about it at home 😉 Well, that is alright; next year I can get servicing, see whether there is anything that needs to be alarming or going bad about it. Someone had said if I get it serviced, it could last 7 years, if not then change it every 5 years. Sounds good to me; I will get it serviced in the 6th year and get professional opinion.

I made a great change his morning – I went to another cafe for breakfast. Yep, I still ate bagels but this time I have got it with cream cheese, not butters. Change felt good, though I still need to find an healthier alternative to bagels. Does not matter how much I like something (e.g. my favorite cafe), it is good to give a break time to time; it was getting too familiar, too routine. I am happy with my decision to go to somewhere else this morning.

Otherwise, how am I doing? Good. I had a healthy lunch. But most importantly, I went through my kitchen drawers and the pantry. Those teas and spices which are beyond their expiry day are now rightfully in the garbage. I have found 4 cans of food somewhere, 36 rolls of paper towel (why did I keep buying them??), 15 sponges to be used (again, why bought??), an incredible amount of cleaning clothes, and garbage and recycling bags that I had forgotten I had… And, how about the facial tissues that I thought I was running out of? Yep…..

You got the idea; we need to go thru our stuff time to time to know what we have what we need. I seem to buy stuff (like paper towels) out of habit, which now is mounting in my kitchen. And, the fact that I did not look at them carefully and thought some of them were  toilet papers,  I also realized that I am running out of toilet papers.

I have a lot of dried food: dried beans, chickpeas, rice, cracked wheat, dried peppers, okra, and eggplant. I need to, I want to integrate them into my weekly menu so that I can consume them, not waste them. Yesterday I came up with the idea of buying a pressure cooker. It will help with my time and especially with cooking the beans that I keep eating out of the can. As soon as I do my research and decide which one to purchase, I am getting one.

It felt really good to be going thru the stuff, dumping unusable ones, and noticing what I have. I so far did this with the bedrooms, kitchen, and two of the bathrooms. I now am onto the living room, boy, which is gonna be though 🙂 Books and all the paperwork/stationary items that need to be sorted are giving me the chills 🙂 I also need to decide which books and CDs to keep, which ones to donate; that is not gonna be easy, but I will do this 🙂

cheers everyone

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The summer is slipping out of our hands; I have been wearing jackets in the last few days. I sure will miss the sunshine 🙂 Well…. till next time.

I left the office early but continued to work at home. Sometimes it is a lot efficient this way, though I feel bad about not being in the office.. Anyways, looks like my “take-it-easy” days are over and I really need to kick if I want to finish things in a timely manner. And I do. Working will thus continue throughout the weekend. Cannot complain 🙂

I did grocery shopping this afternoon, which really made me feel good. I like shopping :); I gotta tell you though buying less items and as required made a huge difference in my “waste” levels. I am glad that this is working for me.

Today was also the first day of my new financial week (i.e. feeling rich as I have a weekly allowance at my disposal)- I treated myself with a cup of take-out coffee in the morning, right before a 9am meeting; could not be happier 🙂 And I am really proud of myself that I now have no problem catching the bus or waiting for it should I get up a little bit earlier or late. When I remember the internal fights I have had for several months till the last couple of weeks, I am sincerely surprised. It tells me that change does not come easy but it comes eventually….

By this inspiration and by noting the fact that I was only gaining weight in the last few weeks by not cooking meals at home, I am now moving up with my next challenge in the list: eating healthy food and losing weight. Just like taking the bus rather than the cab, I expect this effort to be a little bit inconsistent at the beginning, but later becoming standard.

And did I mention I loved shopping? 🙂 Yes.. Yes, I have. I will treat myself to a thrifty store visit this weekend. Hey, I may as well bring the bags of clothes that I had sorted while decluttering my wardrobe a couple of weeks ago. I meant to check them again to make sure that I was not giving away anything that I could use, but the fact that I have not done this since then tells me that I already gave up on these items. Time to find a new home for them.

have a great friday evening/night everyone 🙂

random thoughts

I mowed the lawn again and am feeling sooo  tired 🙂 Man, when did I become so old or out of shape? I decided today to take it easy next time; maybe instead of mowing at a single attempt, I can divide it to two or three parts and see how I feel. I am too young to feel this tired just by an hour of yard work 🙂

My birthday is coming and although I would like to celebrate it, I still could not figure out what exactly to do; shall I invite my friends over for a dinner? shall I invite them out to a diner? Shall I spend it alone and by reflection? What shall I get myself as a gift? I have no idea…..

This age is somehow important for me – I am mid 4os and I am feeling like the youth is slipping away from me. I should not be thinking this way as I have seen many people in their 50s, 60, and even 70s enjoying good health and high energy levels. I used to have a lot of energy once upon a time and I miss that feeling.. I know good diet and regular exercise help with the energy levels. So, maybe I will start with cooking myself a nice soup and preparing a hearty salad today. And as long as the beautiful summer days continue where I am, maybe I can increase the amount of walking I am having. Or maybe I can just pay a teenager or a student to mow my lawn next time 🙂

While I am tired and feeling the humidity/hot weather quite a bit, I must say I am very happy with the yard work. On a separate note, among all the seeds I planted, none has grown 😦 The only things that have grown are the fresh mint leaves I had inserted into the soil. Five-six of them seem to have rooted and are growing. I could not be happier as it is a very rare treat to find fresh mint here; I really love eating fresh mint with my salads; and more importantly I know once they get stronger they will spread around to form more mint plants. Yey! 🙂

Now back to healthy food that hopefully help my body recuperate; what else than the old good chicken noodle soup that heals fatigue 🙂 time to go to the kitchen.

cheers,

random thoughts

A productive day in terms of work 🙂 I woke up early around 7am and then decided to take the bus (yes, my struggle to take the bus rather than the cab continues till date). I arrived the office around 8 am – excellent! 🙂

I have an important document to be prepared for Monday – I must say it stresses me out quite a bit but today things went well. For some reason my mind works efficiently 🙂 I still have to revise the document for clarity, yet I see that I have done beyond my imagination this time.

Why is it that sometime we can work efficiently and not all the time? I have been pondering over this for quite some time. Since I am not able to find a logical answer, my best bet is to work when I feel like working. Even though this may mean working long hours or at the weekends.

The majority of the people who knows me cannot comprehend my unusual working habits, but I can understand why; many people I know can work anytime even under stress. This certainly does not apply to me 🙂 and I rather have sporadic “phase periods” when my mind and my work can flow like a butter on a warm baguette 🙂 I love these times and I make sure to get the most of them.

That also means, as you can guess, that time to time I do not work much 🙂 But that is okay in terms of work. Eventually it is the end products and their quality but not the time spend on them that matter (or, at least that is what I would like to think!). It is just that when my mind works, I am happier – yuppi!! 🙂 So let me work 🙂

cheers everyone 🙂

random thoughts

A beautiful summer day – I hope everyone is having a similar weather.

I have done something out of my routine and went to visit a nearby museum. Admission was free today and it gave me a chance to see its contents and the view from the museum. It is famous with its view as it is on a hill and in the front is the green (nature), blue (ocean), and the colorful buildings all meshed up with each other. I congratulate myself for making this trip and enjoying not only the exhibitions but also the view 🙂

I am cooking at home today: yesterday I was so tired after the yard work that I bought myself a dinner in the evening. While the diner was not bad, the meal I tried yesterday was okay (do not get me wrong; I am thankful for the meal), but not overly tasty. I said to myself “you can cook better than that”, which was interesting because a) I do not like cooking that much, and b) eating out seems less appealing right now, which helps with my recent budgeting and saving efforts. So while I could not enjoy the meal I bought yesterday, I am grateful that it helped me to make better choices about myself.

I cut out a few lilacs from the trees today; I am not into hurting nature but I would like to dry these elegant flowers, and then frame and hang at home. I have seen somewhere yesterday some art-work including dried plants hung in the bathrooms; what a great idea! I will not only enjoy framing & displaying them, but I also hope to bring them with me wherever I will be in future, in case I sell my house.

One of the things that make me attached to my home is the yard and the trees in it. If you have a yard or a pot of plant/flower, or close to a park and other places of nature, I hope you are enjoying it right now 🙂

random thoughts – decluttering

I would like to do some extensive decluttering real soon.

I wanted to clean up one of my cabinets today, which has been on my mind for a long time. There are so many boxes, especially empty ones there that it is ridiculous. Why do we keep stuff? I think we believe that we will need it in near future, yet that future is possibly distant. So better to get rid of those now. That is what I have done. I also found a nice small rug that now resting on the floor; many shopping bags that now are in the garbage; a nice art work that I was craving for; an extra folding chair I have no idea what to do with; extra purses that can be donated; and a very old keyboard that is now rightfully in the garbage.

I know that I have many stuff here and there that I keep. I also know that some of them are useless so should be dumped; some of them are useful so should be either used by me or be donated to charity. The clothes and shoes are the biggest group as I keep those that are in good condition but are a little bit small for my size. I know I am determined to lose weight and have been progressing in this direction lately; so I will still keep them for some more time. But I am really excited to let go the big size items. I have a box now that I am collecting all those that will be donated and it feels good.

So, I am very happy with the work I have done around the house today.

I did pretty amazing job at the yard too. Removed many plants here and there, especially at the corners that keep growing. Those around the trees are the most versatile ones. I know that the mower cannot reach everywhere; so removing them was a great accomplishment today. Also, the grass is mowed and OMG, was I huffing and puffing ) ; it is tiresome and I do not enjoy either the cutting or collecting the cut grass off the land. But all is done now and it feels good. Plus, it is a great exercise 🙂

I have more decluttering plans for tomorrow. I am really loving the motivation I have 🙂

random thoughts

A relaxing Friday evening.

I made myself tired cleaning the house; I left the office early and decided to do the cleaning today rather than tomorrow. And I felt like I could do a more detailed, better job today, which I did. And the end result is good yet I find myself tired.

Am I getting old? Is that it? My tiredness is not physical I can tell you that. More of mental. Only because I do not like house chores, especially deep cleaning that we all gotta do time to time. On the positive side, even though I feel tired, I am glad that this is done and over. Until next  time 🙂

So tomorrow is a Saturday – what shall I do? How should I enjoy it? I know I still have some house chores to do tomorrow, but at least I can start the day with shopping. I thought today that shopping is useful mentally as it helps me to focus on the store items rather than the usual chatter going on in my mind; work, projects, etc. A nice mental break.

I gotta mow the yard but it is rainy. Hoping it will be dry this weekend so that I can clear the yard a little bit. With all the rain, the life forms just bloom. It is actually amazing; it is just the longer I wait to mow, the harder it gets to do so. Nature versus myself – we will see how it goes.

But for now, I will take it easy. Listening to classical music, sitting comfortably on the couch, and just relaxing. Old age, the weight of the house chores, or stress; it does not matter.

Tonite I am relaxing.

random thoughts

It is Murphy’s law that right before I go for my vacation, urgent matters appear that require me to work harder and more. Sigh..

I am 10 days away from my vacation and in addition to what I already knew that I have to take care of, I have got today a) an error in an important data to fix; b) an important but delayed document to correct and edit; and c) an important project and report by another colleagues of mine (whom I have great respect for) to do work for and edit. All of these are time-sensitive.

I am stressed.

I am really looking forward to a relaxing stress-free vacation.

But, of course I am not going to end this post with a negative tone! Positivity is way better: so here is the positive things about all these: once I took care of them, and I can, even though it is going to be hard on me a little bit, I will fly away leaving everything behind. I know this feeling very well – happened each time I took a plane to leave where I am and all the worries and stress associated with it.

time to fly! 🙂

random thoughts

The day was alright, but the afternoon I stressed myself because I could not find an important information I was looking for! It took me sometime to figure out where it could be and finally I made it 🙂 Yay!

I happen to think that I am quite organized and I can find the documents and information right away. The lesson I have got from today’s stress was that it is important to organize better and maybe do mental exercises to remember where everything is. Now I know very well where this info is as I had a stressful experience looking for it. This impact enforces the memory.

Well, even though I still have stress hormone rushing in my veins, I think I will choose to be grateful for this experience that made more careful…

This kind of experiences are what make me take care of or look for stuff earlier than the last minute. Imagine what would happen if I had left it to the next week when I actually need the info – a mini-disaster 🙂 Some people I know can function well (even better) under stress, yet I am one of those who under stress just stop thinking and taking actions…..

It is good to know myself so well so that I can be pro-active.

cheers everyone 🙂

random thoughts

A rainy and grey day 🙂

Where I am, the weather is so not summer; the heater is on, the trench coat is back, and the umbrella is becoming one of my best friends.

It is good that I am going away for a vacation in 10-15 days in a sunny place. Family time! It is very exciting and I cannot wait. I will not be able to post to my blog and will certainly miss reading yours. But when I come back, at least these will give me something exciting to do and ease my transition back to my live and work here. You will be here, right?

I have now lost 10 pounds since I started conscious eating plan two months ago. I am still cautious that it may not be permanent; especially now that I am going to spend around a month with my family, I am almost sure that I will gain it all back 😦 That is sad, as I really need to lose another 10 more pounds for my health. Maybe, I will be able to control my eating while on vacation; let’s not be desperate; perhaps I can do that… My motivation is high, yet my confidence is not (how can I say no to my mom’s meals?). Sigh… 🙂 Maybe I will keep motivating myself by looking at the mirror; the weight loss is visible, especially around the belly region… Exciting!

I also would like to keep my conscious spending and budgeting practices while on vacation. I am almost sure that I will be able to do this one; unless something extraordinary happens. My family knows about my financial hardship and are highly supportive of my spending plan.

I took the cab this morning for no reason and I certainly did not feel good about it… I hope it will not rain like crazy tomorrow so that I can take the bus, not the cab. More or less,  I am still within my weekly budget and am hoping this week will be a satisfactory one, too. I will see on Thursday how I am doing 🙂

cheers everyone 🙂

random thoughts

An incredibly beautiful day: no trench-coat was necessary! That is a great feeling 🙂

I mowed the lawn at the yard. I am not sure whether I am getting old or something but my arms are shaky after holding the cutter for almost an half an hour. I for sure am paying myself some bucks for this effort 🙂