random thoughts

It has been sometime, folks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Life-related objectives following a vacation

I just returned back from a family visit – it was great!

I found a chance to see my family and friends, and I have had a great time. Food, conversations, and visited places were all awesome. I am glad I have done this trip!

I also found a chance to stay away from work, especially in the last half of the vacation. I did not access and respond to emails, which was a blessing! I like this improvement in my approach to work.

My work-induced stress levels were down to zero as soon as I stepped on the plane. I still feel positive and relax. I hope to be able to respond to work related feelings and pressures better. I want to convince myself that I can do this.

One of the best things about having a break from the routine and engage in activities and thoughts that are different than what I usually have (mostly work related issues) is that it is a good opportunity to formulate new plans to remove the negativity of the past activities and have a chance to improve things that do not go so well. Today is a good day to do these:

Aims related to personal life:

1. Going back to frugal and abundant life-style.

I have been quite successful with this a couple of years back and then I broke it with junk food and can-fare expenses… I want to go back to that as of today.

My specific aims are:

  • to spend no more than 100 bucks a week on grocery and other needs (cleaning products, personal care products, etc.). This does not include medication and health-care related expenses (e.g. physiotherapy)
  • to utilize what I already have (dried food, frozen food, etc) to reduce my food cost, while not sacrificing from healthy and diverse food
  • to have another shopping freeze for flower pots, shoes/clothes, books (occasional ones are okay) and furniture
  • to keep all other frugal activities I already have (e.g. use of coupons/discounts, points, etc.) to maximize the value of my money
  • not to make any pre-payments unless an unexpected sum of money finds my way. This is to ensure that my chequing account will remain at a healthy level. I feel quite strongly about this because when it dips, first I pay extra money to the bank each month, and second, it makes me feel like I am in a financial crisis – not a great feeling
  • to eat the food that I have in the freezer and pantry (I have a lot of dried legumes/beans/rice that are waiting to be enjoyed)
  • to save around 7K bucks till December
  • to make a prepayment in December with the money I will save till then while also keeping around 5K in my chequeing account. This is an ambitious but doable aim. I feel like this will give me the best motivation to move forward and keep my frugal spending habits.

Excited Buffy The Vampire Slayer GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

2. Having a healthier body and weight

I have gained quite a bit of weight this year and its negative effects on my health were noticeable during my vacation: my feet ached a lot, my back gave me trouble (twice I have had my back pain/sciatica – they were minor compared to last year, but still I did not like having two episodes in a short time…).

I am aware of two reasons as to why I have gained weight this year: I did not walk as much as I did in the past years (I used to walk from office everyday – rain or shine) and I ate quite unhealthy food (pizzas and prepared food…). I still have two boxes of frozen pizza and some frozen, pre-made dinners in my freezer. I will consume them as well but with the understanding that my priority will be not to purchase them anymore so that I can eat better.

Thus, my specific aims are:

  • not to buy any pizzas or other prepared meals
  • to eat at least 6 different food (veggies, fruits, or dried food) every week
  • to cook meals at least 3 nights a week (I often consume them in two-three days)
  • to eat apples everyday at the office and to continue to eat carrots and radishes that I love so much (for some reason, these veggies made me feel much better and help me lose weight at the same time)
  • whenever feasible, to walk in the morning to office and in the afternoon from the office (this will help me feel great, lose weight, and also save from the transportation – win-win situation!)
  • to shop at the farmers’ market to have fresh local and affordable food
  • to keep take my calcium supplements and drink milk to keep my bones healthy
  • to re-start doing my back exercises to help strengthen my abs and my back muscles
  • to do light weight-lifting at home to keep my muscles and my bones healthy and strong

Kitchen Cooking GIF by Xyngular - Find & Share on GIPHY

3. Heaving a healthier mind and higher quality of life

I wish not to have stress and anxiety to my best anymore…. Work-related stress, sleep problems, and problems related to relations with the colleagues have hit the ceiling last couple of years… I am better at managing my anxiety by means of the worry journal exercise. But in terms of stress management I have not been much successful.

Hence, my specific aims are:

  • to walk everyday, to eat a healthier diet, and to exercise whenever I can find a chance to provide myself a healthier, nourishing way of life
  • to rest everyday. This I noticed is quite important for my stress levels. Whenever I am tired, I noticed I feel more pressurized and over-react as a result
  • to not access the emails in the evenings and the weekends, unless I have a good reason to do so
  • to take things a little bit lighter and not to react to problems when I am anxious or panicky
  • to trust the life and people around me a little bit more
  • to stop thinking that I am the only person who can do things well and on time. This is one of the main reasons that I feel resentment towards people I work with. Often times I have a good reason to think that the work is not done well and corrections/my involvement is needed. However, this also makes me over-work and over-stressed… Perhaps it is time to lower my standards without harming the quality of the work. I can also take it easy with relations. I can be more tolerant and less assuming… (wish me luck with this one. It is hard…. but I must do this)
  • to make it priority to feel calm at the office
  • to feel confident that I have solved many issues in the past and I can do so now and in the future as well. I must remind myself this everyday, especially when I face of an issue
  • to integrate a new walking route or an activity in my life over time – whether this would be going to theaters/shows, visiting a cafe on a Saturday morning, or reading about an entirely new topic does not matter. Something useful and enjoyable!
  • to continue to read my daily affirmations first thing in the morning to set my intentions for the day for the better

For example:

I am calm and can take care of any of the work-related issues easily

I am confident and successful

I have great work-relationships with everyone I see today

I am known by my high quality and meticulous work and I am respected for these

I am kind to everyone I meet today, especially, myself

I have time to do my work

Today has all the opportunities and beauties I may need

I welcome and appreciate the opportunities life can offer me

You Can Do It Good Luck GIF by CBeebies HQ - Find & Share on GIPHY

Have a great Sunday everyone!

Keep It 100 Adventure Time GIF by Dr. Donna Thomas Rodgers - Find & Share on GIPHY

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

gifs by: https://giphy.com/gifs/donnathomas-rodgers-fun-days-of-the-week-in-sun-WdlsNJ10HDp7DNfMRd;https://giphy.com/gifs/CBeebiesHQ-cbeebies-presenters-cbeebiespresenters-8BkIs96btJryzkSEg9;https://giphy.com/gifs/xyngular-healthy-eating-1Zp0u0KQFMWr9XMUNR;https://giphy.com/gifs/excited-buffy-the-vampire-slayer-12TKVISdJ4gIJa

Sunday musings

Happy Sunday everyone!

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

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

—————————————————————————————————————————-

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

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

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

—————————————————————————————————————————-

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

all the good things lately

Many things have been going better lately and I have been feeling better as well 🙂

Notably:

My short and disrupted sleep pattern have been reversing slowly. I can now sleep till 7-8 am. I still wake up during the night and have fragmented sleep, but the improvement is that I can mostly go back to sleep.

My anxiety levels are almost leveled… This is amazing. It can come back (and sometimes I do feel that it is), but as long as I stop stressing myself about stuff and write my worry journal, I am in a more comfortable state. It is strange to notice that my anxiety flares up as soon as I think “I do not know what to do“.. Duh… Classical trigger of anxiety. Nevertheless, I am very grateful for this period of time.

I feel very confident and have self-respect, admiration, and esteem. Wohaaa 🙂 This is HUGE. I owe it to a number of changes in me lately;

1) I am more initiative (such as in initiating new projects) and motivated to expand my skills to new areas. I do not try to calculate risks anymore – only big ones, not the small things that made me busy, anxious, and less initiative in the past few years. It goes well so far, I am forming new collaborations, I can ask people for favors of involvement easier, and I believe that all is much better now with these skills. I also appreciate my development and efforts more, knowing that this way I will be able to grow and do better professionally. I appreciate myself extra because these also takes guts. Seemingly, I have them 🙂

2) I believe the reason I am less conserved and introvert and more initiative is that I care less.. Yes, you heard right. The less I care about the potential and negative outcomes (e.g. failure, being rejected, etc.), the better I do and get responses. Strange but works! 🙂

3) These are all possible because I finally realize to take time for myself and my own value, personally and professionally. Good times 🙂

————————————————————————————

I am one of these individuals that benefited from self-help books. Not all of them, but some were quite influential. The idea of worry journal, feeling better with detaching from my immediate issues and seeing the bigger picture in life, reading positive messages and feeling better as a result, etc. were all good to me. I am not naive enough to think that I have a life-long habit of thinking and feeling better, but at least I know that these strategies can be re-applied, if needed in the future.

————————————————————————————–

I have other areas in my life that I must focus, though. My diet is not the healthiest, my weight increased lately, I hardly exercise, and my spending habits are still harming my saving goals.

One way to help implement them in my life is to write specific goals. So here I go:

My diet: Aim for eating 6 different foods each week; stop pizza and eating out; eat more protein; buy and eat more veggies, especially crunchy ones.

My weight: once I start eating better and walking everyday, I know that it will decrease to its usual amount. Also, stop eating pizzas, peanuts, and junk food!!

My exercise: I can walk in the evenings quite easily. I can also start walking in the morning (to office). Weather is nice and once I start it I know I will enjoy it. I can also do light exercise at home – like my back exercises and light weights.

Spending habits: If I lose the junk food, I am sure I will be in much better shape financially. I also need more specific goals….

MORE to come.

 

 

 

 

 

random thoughts

After a hiatus from blogging, here I am again 🙂

Goodness knows, I missed it!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pokemon Episode Spring GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

————————————————————————–

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

 

 

 

 

 

time to really prioritize myself and my well-being

I have not written here for some time.

I took some kind of break from internet for a while so that I could rather read inspirational books and analyze my feelings by writing on my worry journal.

It all started with a two-days I took off work – my first time in my entire career that I used my vacation time to focus on myself and rest. This is 25 years of work, my friends. All other times I used my vacation time to visit family or friends (where are they now?)

In that two days, I wanted to do whatever I wanted to do – reading books, sitting at a cafe, ordering meal, shopping, reflecting.. Just about anything but working!  It was good. I did not check my emails during this time, which was a miracle, by the way.  I still try not to check the work emails in the evenings and at the weekend. I also try not to work at home and generally take things easy.

But I am also angry with anything that bothers me, and I think my blood pressure increases time to time in such a way that it is alarming me. Deep down I think I am also depressed. I do not know friends – I feel a lot of things nowadays and I think I should really prioritize myself and care about my body and mind, and I should let go off any past or current issues or negative feelings to feel okay.

Honestly, the other day while I was having elevated blood pressure (I think that is what it was)  I just felt that I could as well die at that moment and I would not even care.

This is scary.

On the good side, since I have started the worry journal practice, my anxiety is manageable.

This is priceless.

 

my worry journal practice

I have been looking for doing something different the other day and I found a book of mine about worrying. I have had the book for over 4 years. I had forgotten it existence.

One of the things this book suggests (the author, to be exact) is to have a worry journal where you jot down whatever goes through your mind during the episode. By analyzing and logically facing the situation/thought that creates the worry, instantly it helps with the feelings. I have been trying it for two days now and I carry a little journal with me. It is amazing how fast it fills, but not everything is negative. I happen to also note down potential solutions and how well I can take things.

Today and yesterday I have had 2 worrisome thought trains each day. They are separate issues and mostly related to work. My worries, as they seem so far, happen both at home and at the office. Most of the time, they are logically manageable. They also humble me and help me develop/remember compassion not only towards myself but others. Writing helps see and materializes these.

I like the fact that I am looking for ways to make my life and mental health better. I love the fact that so far this practice has been going well and useful. I hope to be able to see the patterns over time should I continue to keep journaling.

One of the ideas of this practice is also to identify the triggers and noticing body sensations. I for the first time noticed how faster my heart pounds when I go through a worrisome state.

Another way to deal with worries, this book suggests, is to have a “worry space”. There is an example in the book about a lady who chose a fire escape at the work place for this purpose. By attaching this particular place with the worrying, the lady was eventually able to not worry outside of this place. Is this not wonderful?

Not everything is dark. There are positive things happening at the same time, if we just can look at the situation with a logical, but not emotional mind. It is not easy or possible all the time, but it is worth giving it a try.

The book’s title is “The Worrywart’s Companion”. The author is Dr. Beverly Potter.

when enough is enough?

The question in the title of the post can mean many different things.

I have a tendency to revise my work heavily in a way that eventually I puke of it. For some reason, I cannot feel that it is enough until I reach to this state. Often times that means that I am working on the same documents over and over again. This also means it is improving, but it also means that my time is spent. I am increasingly getting aware of the fact that this is one of the things that makes me feel drained.

What is the right thing to do? I ask myself – to set myself a maximum number of revisions – which would help with focusing on each time. Or to heal that feeling that if I do not puke of it, then it is not good enough. I link this behavior to perfectionism and my interest in due diligence – I only feel good about something (and thus do not beat myself) when I convince myself that I have done what can possibly done and as such if there is a negative consequence (like a criticism), I do not blame myself much.

Sounds a little bit pathetic.

————————————–

I just had a conversation of a friend and she has had it and is planning to retire sooner than she has been planning to. She says she cannot take the anxiety and fear coming out of being in a work environment that threatens her well being and dignity (she has some managers that treats her like an outcast). She was upset that an early retirement means less money, but then she also questions whether her well being is less important than the money. I was very happy for her that she prioritized her well being and chose to end this toxic work-experience. I can easily see that she will be happier, free of the negative effects of her work, and start a new chapter in her life. She had enough.

————————————–

Today one of my team members and I finished a long, hard work…. It went so well so smoothly this week after a long battle that we both cannot feel the satisfaction coming out of this victory. It kinda feels like it was too good to be true. Looks like we are used to hardship, but not the relief coming out of overcoming it. We had more than enough hardship. It is time that we cherish the success. I will wait for this feeling to sink in….

—————————————

I continue to head-butt situations that scare me. Do not get me wrong, I am bone – chilled. I am that scared or do not know what to do. I feel beat and shaky. I feel like anxiety is all around me. I feel like I may be doing something wrong by taking the step or by not taking it. But I move on rather than caving. I feel like this is a learning opportunity. I may fail. I may make mistakes, but whatever I decide to do is the best at the time being and things will move into something better, one way or the other. Perhaps as a person – by walking through the fear. Perhaps as a professional – by taking steps that I am not sure where they will take me.

I gotta trust more. I gotta trust myself. I gotta trust life. I gotta trust other people (this one is hard, but not trusting myself or others is equally hard).

I gotta move on.

And I must take care of myself. The feeling I have nowadays – being cold, shaky, beaten  – makes me extra anxious. And when I am anxious, I cannot think straight and cannot make good decisions. The most important thing for me is to heal this feeling. Once my mind is clear, I can make decisions easier and I can take better steps.

I gotta care about myself and rest. Tonite. Tomorrow. This weekend. Sometime, somewhere I must let myself find my core strength.

 

 

facing the fear

I have been dreading a meeting with a colleague for a long time. This meeting happened today.

The reasons I was dreading this is because; a) my colleague had treated me really bad in the past and I really do not want to do anything with her; and b) the work she wants me to do somehow jeopardizes the importance of my own projects – that means fear and anxiety.

While I disliked being in this situation, sometime whatever you do things can go on bad anyhow. So I decided as a professional it would not matter how she treated me. I was more concerned about how what she wanted me to do would affect my work. I mentally prepared for what I must do (being kind but firm) and what I must clearly emphasize (what I can do and cannot do) for this collaboration to go forward. In these regards it went very well. At least for now.

I do not trust her and as a result I am not saying it is over yet, but I have important gains today:

  1. I faced my fears and dislike and it did not hurt at all. Next time I have fears I my want to remember this
  2. I am not naive enough to think that it is over yet and I can still be on the cautious side while working with her. This way I can continue to protect myself and my work. This means more stress, but….
  3. I was able to protect myself today, but not my projects. Thinking that she would go ahead with these projects anyhow and my work would be still at risk, so my involvement in this collaboration does not do more harm than it normally would. This feels right and may explain why I did not just close the door. I just need to speed up a little bit and complete my projects right away (argh..)
  4. Since I could stand up for my needs and draw a line for what I can do or cannot, I can be assertive again next time

When I think these, the fear becomes not important.

And fear becoming not important is HUGE.

random affirmations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You all have a great Saturday night as well 🙂

 

random thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

we are not alone in our struggles

An interesting thing happened today – one of my colleagues burst out her frustration in a meeting we have had. The frustration she had was unrelated to the meeting and the meeting attendees. But we all understood her and supported her. It was heart-breaking to see this otherwise highly cheerful and positive colleague displaying her frustration so rawly. The hurdles she mentioned were highly similar to what I have been experiencing. I felt an instant compassion and fully supported my colleague.

What has been happening to this work place?

Through my interactions with others, this week I heard about experiences of other colleagues as well. They all have the same base problem of being under too much pressure, expectations from them increasing day by day, and the increased workload mandating that we sacrifice from our personal time and mental health. While I do not enjoy finding many of us in this situation, I find it interesting that we hear more objections and voice related to the work environment compared to before. I think together we can form a stronger voice and hopefully get our voice and concerns heard by others, especially by the management. It is a hot pot now – not isolated cases. The future of such a toxic and unsupportive environment is not bright. They better fix it prior to a mass exodus of highly dedicated personnel. This is not the survival of the fittest kind of situation – if you cannot protect the mental health and intellectual capabilities of your people, you cannot really expect extraordinary work that they do, can you?

—————————————————————————————————–

This being said, I also mentioned my team members how tired and frustrated I was with some of the things not done or taken care of on time just a few days before. I feel like my endless support to my team has come to an end and is retracting now. I am surprised by this but it is what it is. I keep remembering what someone commented in one of my recent posts – if you are not full, you cannot pour. How true. I wonder about the demoralizing consequences of my frustration on my team members; did they feel the same way that I feel towards my managers? Did they think that I was not supportive enough towards them, or created a toxic environment with unrealistic expectations? I really do not know. But I am empathetic.

This change in my attitude towards my own team is concerning me. I feel like I am really on a dangerous line, which I hope not to cross and go all the way down from there. I want to take a rest, like I have done last weekend with less work and more self-care, but I have so much to do that I would rather work this week…

——————————————————————–

The good thing is that I have progressed in making decisions quicker and not spending too much time on trivial points. I also let go of whatever task that does not serve me well. I do not aim for perfection anymore – just today I submitted a report to my colleagues asking them to chip in. Most importantly, the feeling I have got last week, that I was successful and better than what this environment offered to me has been permanent since then. This is amazing. I believe that this is because it is the truth, otherwise my usual skepticism would trash it the next day. I feel empowered by this. Very much indeed.

Nevertheless, I am still tired, stressed, and anxiety is growing in me. I feel like I need additional changes in my attitude towards the work. I will know it when its time comes.

Good night everyone.

 

 

tackling perspectives and opinions

I have been thinking for many years what a small-scale/restricted life I have had; how my perspectives on experiences and opportunities were focused but small; and how expanding or changing my perceptions/the way I evaluate things would be useful to see the beyond and brighter (especially lately). The events in the last weekend motivate me to seriously think about this now.

I think I have a small-scale/restricted life because I live in a small city with small number of activities that interest me and I work the majority of the time, or occupy myself with it, which leaves little room to reflect on or experience anything else. I have known this for a very long time. After years of struggle, I came to accept the beauty of the simple and safe life this city provides me with and all the financial awards and mental satisfaction (despite its stress) this job gives to me. It also gives me the opportunity to not face what I must face in life most – my fears; by working and trying to control my work, I get a sense of safety away from my own thoughts (it is not new news to you that I have anxiety).

————————————————————————————————————-

My perspectives on experiences and opportunities are focused but small-scale as well; in the last few years, I focused on saving money/frugality, simple and leaner life, with little outside activity. I do not even read books as much as I used to. My plans or priorities concentrated around money and appreciating the beauty of simple and frugal life. There is nothing wrong with these, but it naturally restricts the options one may provide themselves; no vacation somewhere; no movies or other cultural activities; no new furniture I may need; no spontaneity; no sense of adventure. As one of my family members rightfully told me this weekend, money is not everything, however.

The main reason I wanted to save money was to cope with the daily expenses after especially buying my home and investing for my future. This is the right decision and I benefited from it. I would love to be comfortable in my future and have the freedom to pursue interests, take care of myself and my family’s needs better. I am almost half a century old and I do not have enough accumulations for my retirement. But I wonder whether I over-did and strained myself to a point that I have lost my jest for life or spontaneity. Where is the energy and excitement coming from unique and exciting experiences?

There must be a difference between being grateful for everything I have (or not) and be happy with status quo, and aiming better by looking for additional things/way/experiences to better my life, my experiences, and nourish my mind and soul with even at the expense of money.

Being grateful is amazing, but forgetting to aim for better if that is going to enrich my life and remove this being “restricted/small life” feeling may not be. This is what I am trying to say here. That is what my family member was trying to say. Life is short. Our plans and predictions may not happen, good or bad.

——————————————————————————————————-

Just last week, I was thinking about letting my mind expanding or changing my perceptions/the way I evaluate things, which would give me a different view, different opportunities, and better outlook about life. Take work-related stress for example; I am stressed but I also progress and succeed. Why can I not be happy for these?

Challenging my beliefs/opinion on my approach to work and people was one thing that came to my mind. Rather than evaluating my hard-work as stress, I could approach it as something that gives me an opportunity to reach my goals. Rather than evaluating people as annoying, I could see them as souls that needed attention or love. Rather than being feared about being un-appreciated, un-credited, under-respected/recognized, or threatened, I could talk or ask whether these were correct or how to fix. I have not done any of these. But I can. Maybe the situation I evaluated can be evaluated in a different way. If so, would the restrictions I put on myself and the stress and negative feelings I experience be relevant anymore? No.

What keeps me away from this?

I know my anxiety problem is contributing to these. I want to control my life/experiences or be prepared as much as possible to protect myself and my future. I know some of the risks are real so I still need to be vigilant.

But can we really protect our future by sacrificing today?

 

Do we have the right to prioritize ourselves and our well being? Is it selfish?

These are honest questions:

Do we have the right to prioritize ourselves and our well being? Is it selfish?

I have been trying hard to feel good, especially about myself and my life. My last 20 years in North America and many years prior to that at home, I always worked towards ending this frequent feeling of “feeling like shit”, “fear/anxiety”, “financial and other insecurities”, and “low self-esteem”. I naturally kept studying and working to keep my mind occupied with these so that I would not think about the existential thoughts. I felt better as a result, however randomly. The trap is that studying and working, especially in my highly competitive field with high failure rate and with rapid deadlines, also mean stress and feeling like shit again, experiencing anxiety, insecurities, and low self-esteem due to high competition and failure rate.

So, what is this all about?

Entire story sounds like delusion to me.

————————————————————————————————————————

I have been in North America for nearly 20 years now. I left my home-country, my family, and my friends for work, and then stayed. I like the safe and relatively peaceful atmosphere of Canada particularly, even though the economic situations are straining me and my work place is getting more and more toxic especially lately, but it is alright here. And I know that despite occasional racist and discriminative treatment here and there (which really annoys and is so wrong), I believe I feel much better here in Canada than I would somewhere else.

Being away from home and family is never easy. Home is home and family is the most important thing in life. Yet, when being with family and your well-being do not go side-by-side, what do you do? Emotionally, I want to go back, but logically I know this is not the right decision, at least for now. So I stay and I refuse the demands from my family to go back.

I am not convinced that I can survive mentally there, not unless I changed the way I think and deal with things in a more healthy way. Otherwise, I see myself easily in more anxiety, stress, and depression. Who can benefit or be happy with this? Neither me nor my family. I cannot get my family understand this. They think that I can earn much more money, have less stress and issues that I experience or may experience, and feel better there with the support of my family. I do not buy this. I cannot buy this.

————————————————————————————————————————

So, my family needs me, yet by prioritizing myself and my well-being, I deny them the help (financial or emotional) they expect from me. This naturally creates conflicts and lots of negative emotions and encounters between me and my family.

Tell me; how selfish am I to do this? Keeping myself rather in a stable and peaceful place that I believe is better for my mental health at the expense of abandoning my family except seeing them annually for a month or so, calling them every off-day, and financially helping them when they need it most?

I believe it is selfish. That is why I feel like shit as well.

As I said, the entire story looks delusional.

 

 

 

Reflecting on 2018

I have had a brief survey of the year in my mind. It has been an interesting year indeed.

Important things in my personal life were:

Physical health: I re-started yoga/stretching classes in early 2018. As usual, I have enjoyed the relaxing feeling it provided me with, but eventually I pulled a muscle at home and ended up in the emergency room again. I have had excessive physiotherapy this year, which I should be continuing but cannot because of the financial reasons for one. And mostly because after a while I stopped doing my exercises, so what is the point of getting physiotherapy sessions anyhow? This can be one area to work on in the new year.

Mental health: I have had a tough year with stress and anxiety. I for the first time started to attend a counseling service and I keep it in my mind should things get unbearable again. It is a peace of mind, knowing that there is and there will be support should I need it.

Financial health: I did not save as much as I wished, but I have done what I could. I am trying to turn things around since last week with my spending curbed for now. My investments lost quite a bit due to the fluctuations in the market, but I am taking it easy, knowing that  have no control over it and maybe over time they would rise again. Hope is a great thing.

Affirmations: I became interested in affirmations and at one point they really helped me get positive thoughts and beliefs about people and experiences. I know that they can work and help me feed my mind with different perspectives and better thoughts.

Positive thinking: Being an eternal pessimistic ( 🙂 ) it was great to read positive words and alternatives lately. I actually started to experience these positivity in the form of little miracles, better luck, and better feelings overall. I am grateful for the books that give me positive thoughts and am looking forward to keep doing this and affirmation practice in the new year.

Transitioning to gray hair: this saga has been going well this year. 2018 can be the first year in the last ~20 years that I have not dyed my hair myself at all. Yes, I have been to hair saloon to get toners and highlights to help with the transition, but I never struggled myself at home trying to dye my own hair. For this, I am very happy 🙂

Visiting my family in summer: This was great and quite positive. Not everything is rosy of course, but I am happy to see them. It also gave me the much needed break and soothed my nerves. The positive feelings and well-being continued for a while after I returned back. It was overall a highly positive experience.

Stress, anxiety, and sleep changes: These have been I am afraid quite high this year…. It is mostly work related and deep down I know how to better handle it; walking/exercising, better diet, less work, more extracurricular activities, etc. When there are too many work to do, stress and anxiety becomes difficult to manage. I must be wiser than this. Hopefully in the new year. We shall see. Overall, however this kind of experiences help me personally develop and take things differently. Take my sleep disturbance, for example. At first I took it as a very negative experience (hence the term “disturbance”), yet later I benefited from it by ending up at the office early mornings (around 5-6 am; I realized that until 10 am, I could do much of the work I expect from me, as these are the times with no or little distraction around). This was a great realization, for which I am grateful.

Plants: My… I became interested in succulents, cacti, and house plants this year, which have given me the most satisfying and joy-creating experiences ever. they make me happy! Growing them, caring for them, watching them, sharing them with others 🙂 All is well in the plant world.

My professional life:

Funds for new projects: I was able to get two projects as the project leader and another one as the team member, which are all great progress in my career. In a time when everybody is fund-crunched, these projects put me in a much higher place than many of my colleagues. I should be happy and proud of myself. My extraordinary efforts in the last few years are now paying off – this is wonderful. Perseverance, hope, and hard-work are all benefiting me. I am grateful.

Reports: I was able to get 5 big reports out this year, a couple of them especially being hard to bring to completion.

Completed projects: One big project of mine, which was lingering around for around 4 years have been finally finished in early 2018. It was a hard ride, but eventually is done, and I could not be more excited.

Dumping a committee work: I let go of a committee I was a part of in the last 7 years. It was not an easy decision as I had enjoyed my role in it, but it was also the right one. I cherish this decision.

Taking up on a new role: I took a new role in my organization, which I have been interested in. I feel lucky 🙂

Interview with an outside organization: I got interviewed by an outside but professionally related organization in Fall. They even circulated it to thousands of my colleagues all around the world via an email. I feel honored and excited by this. I am glad that I took my time to prepare this interview.

Online courses: I took two online courses this Fall, which were amazing. I want to take a little bit more, maybe in the Spring to help develop my skills and knowledge better. Learning is always exciting 🙂

Overall, a year full of both negative and positive experiences, like anyone else. It has been a hard year – that is for sure, but it also showed its good side and credited my hard-work and perseverance. I think my focus for the new year will be to take things a little bit easier, caring for my mental and physical health much better, and continue to grow personally and professionally.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

anxiety….

Anxiety is crippling on me nowadays….

I am trying to hold on and take rests at the same time.

It is strange as this is not the busiest time – It is quite busy,  but at least some things are going well and I have the energy to keep going. Maybe I just need a break.

Timing is good because a friend of mine is coming to visit me in the next few days. It will force me to work less and enjoy my time with my friend. I am grateful for this opportunity and am looking forward to my friend’s arrival.


Sunday morning musings

Peaceful morning with the coffee on the table and music at the background – what else do I need right now? 🙂

Cat Coffee GIF by hoppip - Find & Share on GIPHY

Appreciating the beauty of the moment put aside, I feel like my anxiety is checking on me, and as a result, I feel like I must convince myself that there are remedies.

I increasingly recognize that there are two types of anxiety creating situations:

  1. one; when there is a real issue which if left unattended may create bigger issues, and;
  2. second; those that exist as possibilities which upon becoming reality can create a real issue and if left unattended may create bigger issues.

I deal with both of these the majority of the time.

Nervous Mio Akiyama GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I am pretty good at managing the 1st type of anxiety creating situations (mostly work-related). I still time to time struggle with them as well, especially when there are too many of them all at the same time, which stresses me.

The best remedy I have found so far?

Reminding myself my past experience:

  • I will not be scared for no good reason
  • I am able to handle anxiety and issues – so far I have. It may take some time and can down me a good chunk of the time, but I have seen that I am strong and resilient
  • Challenges grow me and I have solved many of them in the last few years especially. I can feel confident
  • I will continue to be okay with those thoughts that will benefit me, move me, and motivate me so that I can move on

———————————————————————————————–

The second type is the one that comes from nowhere. It kind of places itself in my mind when I have no or little type 1 anxiety creating situations.

The best remedy I have found so far?

Reminding myself;

  • I will not be scared for no good reason
  • I will think about what to do when my fears become a reality – until then it is a waste of my emotional stability, time, and energy to try to find solutions to non-existing fear-creating situations. Over and over I have seen that I can make (more) rational/logical decisions at the face of adversity
  • I will not resist to anxiety creating thoughts; no matter how many times I come across anxiety

Ladybug GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

——————————————————

gifs by: https://giphy.com/gifs/ES4Vcv8zWfIt2;https://giphy.com/gifs/nervous-anxiety-12nMEydAAgCxYA;https://giphy.com/gifs/ladybug-QIkavkylBv0Z2

totally random thoughts

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

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

————————————————————————————————————

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

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

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

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

————————————————————————————————————

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

Why to postpone life?

This is a powerful question.

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

————————————————————————————————————

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

I am determined to turn things around.

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

We shall see.

 

 

 

 

 

pretty random thoughts

Yes, thoughts can be quite pretty 🙂

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

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

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

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

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

It is quite strange.

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

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

Strange. Strange. Strange.

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

This is a beautiful day my friends.

———————————————-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

——————————————————

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

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

———————————————————

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

It is a beautiful day indeed my friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

what comes with a year

I do not know how I feel, but after eating some food, I must say I am feeling better 🙂

I think I have not eaten much in the last 24 hours. Yesterday evening was busy with a friend. I think we have had finger foods but then forgot to eat a decent dinner. This morning, as usual, I have not had a breakfast. And then, at noon, I managed to eat some left over food. But I guess that was it until 10 min ago, I remembered to eat a slice of sourdough and some yogurt.

Why am I telling you all of these?

I am very aware of the fact that I am highly stressed, somehow depressed and anxious. The last one year has been quite intense in terms of working, having all bunch of frustrations, and not taking a good care of myself. These were topped by the injuries, one to my elbow and the other to my lower back. I very well know that I must care for myself most during this time, and I am most resisting to the idea.

Why, I must ask.

Why would I resist to taking good care of myself?

I feel like every additional step I must take will stress me more. Like walking and other exercises my doctor has recommended to help with my sleep and stress problem. I used to walk every evening from my office to home, rain or shine did not matter much. Not anymore. I even cannot make to physiotherapy every week, even though it is probably a very important healing process for me. There is always something to do and something to take care of. Except my own well being.

I did, however, a good job today and started looking for a mental health counselor. My first shrink session to come 🙂 I cannot believe. Maybe I should have done this long time ago. I really do not know. Maybe I will find relief.

I hope so.

I realize that in order for things in my life to change, I must change myself. The way I think and approach things.

Wish me luck 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

all the good things – check

  • finally making it a part of my reality and consulting my doctor about my stress levels, anxiety, depressive mood, and sleep problems – check

it has been an interesting experience. I am not new to having stress, anxiety bouts here and then, depressive thoughts, and lately sleeping much less than usual. While I was feeling perfectly fine during the day, I thought I would consult my doctor. She suggested nicely to exercise 6 times a week; try melatonin for some time for my sleep – if it does not work out, I can get a pill later; and see a counselor to get a better idea about other ways to manage my stress and occasional anxiety I get. Perfect. I always thought that it would feel weird for me, but it did not. I said to my doctor and I believed in it completely when I said – that I want to feel good. well done, I would say 🙂

  • taking the bus this afternoon, rather than the cab – check
  • painting one of my old-looking pots with the new paints I have bought yesterday – check
  • eating a large bean salad with joy and appetite – check
  • working nice and easy – check
  • deciding not to work this evening – check
  • watering the radish and flower seeds in the yard – check

my radish seeds have done amazing! They appeared around a week after the sowing and I could not be more excited 🙂 There is something incredible about growing something from seeds 🙂 🙂

  • using my new watering can to water the yard – check

why did I not think about buying one before??? It is such a useful thing and only costed me 6 bucks this weekend! It takes a couple of times to fill and then water the seeds/seedlings, but without it I would not be able to do this, either, so I am so grateful that I have purchased it – there will be many flowers and seeds coming out in my yard this year and many years to come 🙂

  • growing cacti seeds – check, check, check!

I planted them 10 days ago and yesterday I have seen my first baby cactus, and then yet another one a few hours after that. This morning, an additional one appeared and this afternoon I noticed yet another one, too! What a joy, friends! I never thought that I could germinate them, but I did it!! Checking every morning and every once a while during the day and seeing new green tops showing up is an amazing feeling – I am so excited!

 

 

positive vibes

The thought crosses the mind and the heart feels.

That is what they say. I kind of believe in this.

Today, I am turning my regular thought pattern of working of problems, and rather, note the random beauty and safety around me.

Like the light coming into my bedroom window right now – what a majestic thing! It is free, available to everyone, and has found my way. I am lucky :). Ligth finds me.

The song I am listening to right now is peaceful, melodic, and intense at the same time. The guitar is both speaking and dancing. All the peaceful and lively melodies find me feed my soul, get my attention and lift my mood up.

I created two lovely sourdough loaves today and shared one with my good neighbours. To be able to share without feeling the need or enforcement is such a bliss. I like this about myself – I like to share the things I cherish. I am kind to my neighbours and I treat them time to time with nice food, little gifts. I am abundant and kind.

IMG_4064

I find things to do when I need to. Like today I painted a number of small terra cota pots for my yet-to-come succulents and cacti (planted seeds last week – wish me luck). I have hobbies that let me create and get excited about what I can do.

IMG_4070

I feel less anxious than Friday and this is wonderful. Once again, my fears triggered by external resources/people and made me remember what I should be careful about in my future steps (about work). I welcome this fear to make my future less problematic and I let it go now – it served its purpose.

I planted a number of seeds in a windy day. Some may have gone around to my neighbours’ yards. May they find their niche, germinate, and make someone happy and joyful. Nature and I have so much to share.

Rain and wind knocked some of my daffodils and tulips. One tulip is standing tall and is about to bloom. Like this tulip, I too stand up no matter what.

IMG_4055

 

Everything is available in life and I claim my part of life right here, right now.

How about this as a turn of the way I often think?

🙂

 

 

 

detachment, work-place, and mental health

I feel so detached to my job. Maybe that is a good thing, maybe not.

Maybe it is a good thing. I am not fully satisfied with my job or my work-place anyhow. I am exhausted by the work-load. I can hardly find time for my own personal development and enjoyment. I am away from the people most matter to me (my family). I am frustrated and my nerves are fried frequently. I often ask myself “what is it that I want from my life and my future?” and I have no answer to that. I feel dried up. I feel living in a microcosmos that consists of mostly work, its problems, and the anxiety it creates.

On the other hand, my job is often respected. My salary is good, thank goodness. I have a simple life where I am – grateful again. I can have quite a frugal life if I want and save money each year (well, maybe not this year but that is okay). These are good things.

So, maybe detachment is a good thing so that I can actually leave here and open a new chapter in my life. It is somehow exciting but considering that I must find another job, it is anxiety-creating as well. I am scared of not finding a good job, a well-paying one.

Anxiety is a horrible thing, my friends. It stops you even you take a step. It fills your mind with all the negativity or possibilities that hope and excitement are buried under a heavy cloud.

Of course, one can argue that if I cannot change my circumstances, then perhaps I can and should change myself.

I am not sure that I can change myself. The way I think and take things. Not so much really. If I had worked less, maybe I could see things more clearly. If I had relaxed, maybe I would get less frustrated. If I had not cared, maybe I would not be emotionally impacted. It is hard to change myself, though I made some significant changes this year. Ironically I am working more, but at least on things that I benefit from. Like the committees I work at – they personally and professionally improve me. Like the new projects I am designing.  Like my creative juice sometimes running full-bodied and sweet. At other times, with other tasks, however, I am heavily burdened.

—————————————————-

I had started the day more or less well. What triggered this turn of emotions was a note from a superior showing the “stick” (where are all the carrots??). I feel intimidated, threatened, and certainly under-appreciated.

I just wonder how long I should take this sh.t and why I do not have the courage to quit myself. It is like I rather am waiting for something to happen so that I can say “that is it! I am quitting!“.

I am waiting, I see.

It is not a full detachment yet, with each “stick” I get closer to it. Maybe it is a good thing.

And, I have serious suspicions of this work-place making me mentally sick.

Depression? Anxiety? Both? Or simply, being fed up?

 

 

joy journal – Feb 4, 2018

1. I am grateful for sleeping well and peacefully. I had no dreams and my morning was easy and without negative thoughts crossing my mind. 

2. I am grateful for working till noon and learning some important and complex information that will be very useful tomorrow in a meeting and three other meetings the next week.

3. I am grateful for baking my sourdough and eating it warm with butter 🙂

4. I am grateful for eating fruits today.

5. I am grateful for chatting with one of my neighbours.

6. I am grateful for not working a lot in the afternoon and enjoying this freedom

7. I am grateful for listing the work I must do for each of the day of the week. I have important deadlines this week and I cannot miss any of them. This kind of lists help me a lot keeping track of things.

8. I am grateful for speaking with my family today; it was a nice and lovely talk that brought laughter to my life 🙂

9. I am grateful for getting interested in affirmations. I know that my mind listens to itself a lot and my mind usually focus on negative issues or problems. Why not the opposite? I am making an effort to read some lovely affirmations and reflect on them.

10. I am grateful for one of my colleagues not sending me their comments this morning. I feel free to move on without the need to integrate their comments in my report and the need to deal with the frustration and negative feelings their words would bring. I really dislike this person. I must exercise forgiveness to remove these feelings from my life. Or, remove this person from my life. Which one is easier?

11. I am grateful for having a safe and sound home; power to heat my home; clothes, furniture, and all other things that make my life safe ad comfortable. I surrounded myself with great items that I like or use. All is welcome in my life.

12. I am grateful for listening to the fearful voice in me during my anxious moments. Although it is hard to listen to it, it helps with extracting information that will be useful for me to prevent future events. That can be the main benefit of anxious thoughts…. So be it.

13. I am grateful for feeling free and knowing that I can do whatever I want to do!

————————————————————

Things that I appreciate myself for today:

  1. I appreciate myself for easily having a mixture of both positive and down moments during the day. I survive it and I do not resist it
  2. I appreciate myself for eating better today
  3. I appreciate myself for being kind to myself
  4. I appreciate myself for changing and implementing new ways to enhance my life. For example; I decided social media and news was giving me depressive thoughts – so I will limit my exposure. I will continue to say “no” to unnecessary tasks; I will continue to turn my email off at the office while working; and I will continue to let my perfectionist habit to ease while doing un-critical work. I will handle my interactions with my colleagues better too; I will keep it to professional topics while interacting with them; I will not help or listen to those negative people that drain my time and energy. I will keep thinking about how to do this better. Things will get better. This new chapter of my life, leaving things behind, and being excited about a new life experience is exciting!

 

random thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

joy journal – Jan 26, 2018

I have had ups and downs today, but I know that writing here will make me focus on the positive and I feel better good after that! 🙂

1. I am grateful for sleeping well and waking up on time. I have not used an alarm clock for so many years that come to think about it, it is amazing that I wake up when I need it ! 🙂

2. I am grateful for taking the bus; good for my pocket, good for environment, good for the community. yay! 🙂

3. I am grateful for encouraging a team member of mine who feels over-whelmed by a new task he needs to do. I am frustrated myself that it is not done yet, but sometimes a little bit encouragement can go way above and beyond. I shall see.

4. I am grateful for coming to home in the early evening to work and getting stressed. Honestly it makes me more stressed than being at the office. So I must stop this and embrace my office full time…

5. I am grateful for starting reading and revising a long report. I have been dreading this, but I have started and it will go on. My plan is to fix it hopefully tomorrow and move on. It is a report written by three of us, two of us being seniors. The other senior and I have different approaches and different levels of meticulousness. It creates and has created problems for both of us. I want this to be over before we get more annoyed with each other and hurt our relationship further. I ask myself; why is it me who is taking it low and still do her part? Is it because I walk what I talk, or because I am silly? Do not answer that :)))

6. I am grateful for doing grocery shopping in the evening. I bought all bunch of fresh produce and also fish. I love fish nowadays 🙂 I am feeling better after eating it with a large bowl of green salad. I cannot thank enough for these food.

7. I am grateful for feeling excited about tomorrow. Tomorrow is Saturday; I will first drink my coffee and browse internet for emails and news, and then clean the house. At noon I want to go shopping and take advantage of some sales in a nearby store; I would love to get some eggs, butter, and paper towel.

8. I am grateful for feeling a little bit angry about my efforts and being appreciated by others. As such, I have got more confident (or pissed off and does not care anymore). next time somebody tries to walk over me, I sure will stand taller.

———————————–

Things that I appreciate myself for today:

  1. I appreciate myself for working – no matter what I keep going
  2. I appreciate myself for getting more confident, knowing that I deserve a much higher level of appreciation
  3. I appreciate myself for keeping my grounds – I will do that increasingly
  4. I appreciate myself for being excited about shopping and the weekend
  5. I appreciate myself for not getting anxious nowadays and feeling relatively better
  6. I appreciate myself for eating fish and salad
  7. I appreciate myself for helping others

joy journal – Jan 23, 2018

1. I am grateful for sleeping well and getting up with relatively mild thoughts in my mind. 

2. I am grateful for taking the bus this morning even though it was really cold and windy. Sometimes I love my persistence 🙂

3. I am grateful for having three meetings today all with some kind of progress. This feels good. I have a new team member who is visiting our organization for a couple of months. She is nice and intelligent. I hope to be able to make this an enjoyable and beneficial visit for both sides. We immediately identified a technical skill for her to develop, which is one of our strength. This feels awesome. We then have a small project to develop together, which again feels good. If we can work well and if we are lucky somehow, we can make this 🙂

4. I am grateful for working till 3.30pm at the office, which is pretty good for me. I took the cab and ate junk food in the evening, but hey, at least some small goals I have had for myself are done today: sleeping well, taking the bus in the morning (despite the cold), eating better (lots of carrots today), working mostly at the office (till 3.30 pm), not having anxiety was a huge plus, working (albeit at home till late) but nevertheless finishing some work. I now have a “me” time for another 1-2 hours before I go to sleep. That should be okay – at least for today.

5. I am grateful for not beating me up for taking the cab in the afternoon and eating junk food. I came to realize that in order for me to have a life just the way I want it, I must fix the work situation first. It is sad that the stress and time-commitments of the work takes priority over my own personal life. It is really sad…. I keep going in this difficult time; poor budgets, poor conditions, and poor recognition. I have not given up yet but I keep wonder when or if that would happen…..

I will know when it is over. It is not over yet.

6. I am grateful for working; I may be stressed. I may be anxious. I may be depressed (time to time). But I am functional and am giving my 100% to this toxic work-place. I have been working in this field for 24 years now. This is a long time; I studied, I worked, I moved up, and now I am no sure where my career is. Frustration is a common experience with everyone I guess. After all these years and dedication, do you not expect recognition? respect? Some kind of satisfaction and ease?

I do.

Maybe that is what exactly I should be grateful for.

7. I am grateful for being safe, healthy, warm, and sane today. It could have been much worse – I could have lost my mind :))))))

Joking.

But it is a possibility, you know 🙂

————————————–

Things that I appreciate myself for today:

  1. I appreciate myself for making an effort to feel good by taking small and simple steps
  2. I appreciate myself for bringing carrot to office – they make wonderful food, especially when I have no time to have lunch
  3. I appreciate myself for working…… At least things are moving
  4. I appreciate myself for being calmer and more confident re; finishing work and figuring out things
  5. I appreciate myself for knowing – knowing myself, my feelings, my abilities, my limitations, and my wishes

 

 

 

 

 

 

it is time to have some plans

Now that I do not get any more (strong) anxiety, I have decided it was time that I come back to my regular routine by re-introducing my small daily life goals.

They literally make me feel like I am in control of my life, I am capable of taking care of my life and myself, and I am capable of making positive changes in my life.

They may be small, but mighty! 🙂

Here they are:

Working at the office, not at home, during the weekdays: Working mostly at home in the last 7 months made me socially isolated. I now feel better if I am in the office and do the work there. I can and will continue to work at home after hours/weekends, but at least my social health will be better. I will also enjoy being at home – lately I went through too many of stressful times while trying to do work at home. It is time that I experience what “home” means.

Taking the bus and walking: Last week was good in terms of taking the bus in the morning and walking in the afternoons (back to home). I do not want to waste anymore dimes on the cab (although I love it – so easy and comfy. Also the cabbies are always nice and very talkative). BUT I want to keep my money for more important things. I must keep my money for more important things.

Eating better: I have done well in the last two weeks by eating a variety and healthy food. I still sometime munch on candy or chocolate, but I cook more and eat more salad. The lettuce seems to be doing the magic 🙂

Stretching and elbow exercises: My physiotherapy continues and my elbow has been feeling better but not quite healed. I was given a new exercise last Friday that aims to smooth the muscles around my elbow (they are very tight). The effect was instantaneous and I cannot think about not doing these exercises! I feel so lucky and hopeful that my elbow will be like new quite soon 🙂

Budget and frugal life-style:  This is a long one.

I have been struggling with keeping up with my budget and that makes me feel bad. Literally bad. I have had a very successful history of highly effective budget and saving as much as I can. Last year was hugely successful.

However, I have not started this year well and I am way above my weekly budget and cannot save much from my pay check. This is ridiculous – I have some payments coming up; one soon for a plane ticket to Europe and another one for an investment account (an annual sum that challenges me each year, but I keep making it knowing that in the future it will be so useful). According to my calculations, unless I save around a good sum of money each month, it looks like I will not be able to make pre-payments and I will have to tap into my line of credit account.

WHAT??

An additional debt? Was mortgage not good enough??

By the way; why did Bank of Canada increased its interest rate? Argh.. Now the major Canadian banks are increasing their mortgage rates and they predict further increases in the future. My term ends in 2 years and with increased tax and no salary increase, how the hey am I supposed to pay my mortgage, invest for my retirement, and have a comfortable life all at the same time ??

……..

Going back to my frugality plan; all I have to do is to start being responsible and motivated about savings again. Which is hard. I meant to do this almost everyday lately. I know that it will happen one day, but when is that day? Tomorrow? Monday? Next week? 

I chose Monday – wish me luck 🙂

 

 

 

joy journal – Jan 14, 2018

After an anxiety-filled and psychologically turbulent week, I am feeling a lot better now (and for now). This is a blessing and contributing factors are the followings:

1. I am grateful for my past experiences that helps me with understanding the causes of the anxiety and tackling it. 

2. I am grateful for my family and the blogging friends being supportive during this difficult time.

3. I am grateful for the warm weather that makes my life a little bit easier.

4. I am grateful for seeing some plants and flowers still being alive in the yard. It is amazing how resilient they are during winter. It gives me hope that despite the estimations that they would be dead now because of the snow and freezing conditions, some of them still survive. I shall too survive this time and the future ones to come.

5. I am grateful for eating better lately, which makes me feel like at least I am good at taking care of myself.

6. I am grateful for donating a number of items to a charity. I had had collected them from home in the last one year and now almost all of them are gone to be enjoyed by other less fortunate individuals. What a blessing.

7. I am grateful for buying drawer organizers yesterday and seeing that they do their job very well. Now my measuring cups and utensils are in different containers and my drawers are well organized. What a difference they make in how I feel about myself and my life!

8. I am grateful for treating myself with little indulgences; a small bar of chocolate yesterday and another two today. Knowing that I care about myself, try to release some of the pressure off my chest, and support myself is great. 

9. I am grateful for shopping yesterday and today. It gave me a much needed mental break from the issues. I also purchased lovely items that I would need, coffee being one of them 🙂

10. I am grateful for having the day to myself and so far having a more or less pleasant day and feelings.

————————————–

Things that I appreciate myself for today:

  1. I appreciate myself for caring myself.
  2. I appreciate myself seeing the positives after negative experiences.
  3. I appreciate myself for being open about my current anxiety and stress.
  4. I appreciate myself for constantly trying to do good and feel good.
  5. I appreciate myself for functioning well despite the mental clutter, stress, and feeling anxious.
  6. I appreciate myself for cooking and baking healthy food.
  7. I appreciate myself for surrounding myself items/furniture etc. that are all either useful and needed, or loved and appreciated.
  8. I appreciate the fact that I donate to charity whatever I am done with and in usable condition.
  9. I appreciate myself for not further pressurizing myself with my own expectations.
  10. I appreciate myself for keeping a clean and well organized home that gives me a sense of peace and accomplishment.
  11. I appreciate myself for taking time to reflect upon, identify, and write all of these great things here.

finding a balance

My recent bout of feeling anxious and down has several causes I can think of. One of them is the re-prioritization of extensive work in the last 7 months of my life; I worked day and night and with great intensity. I have undertaken new roles, new projects, and faced lots of issues to deal with. I have been trying to grow and get stronger professionally. That meant giving my own emotional and physical health a lower priority and some parts of the jobs the same.

Right now what I am feeling is lack of control over my work and personal life. My mind keeps presenting me scenarios of negative outcomes, one being failure. Anxiety I am feeling is real.

I find some level of serenity by facing the issues, realizing what happened and why happened, and getting back to my past experience to predict for the future. My issues are the ongoing neglect on the other parts of my professional and personal life that if not handled soon can create negative outcomes; the reason they have happened is because of the toxic and negative work environment that pushed me to work at a high level continuously and the need to deal with this stress with unhealthy habits or food; and my past experiences tell me that this too will pass if I handle things well now, re-prioritize things in my life, be kind to myself, and the anxiety I feel is often an alarming but useful reminder of these changes.

I may be a control freak and I have no shame in telling this. My job requires a good deal of control for a high quality work, so maybe I am well cut for it. Maybe it makes me this way – who knows?

It is well known that in my line of work, there are many pressures that we need to deal; internal or external. Nothing new to me. I will take one thing at a time. Some things need to be dropped. Other things need to be started. I cannot prioritize my personal life yet, but I will start with controlling the work first (obviously it is very important for me) stating with neglected parts of it, starting tomorrow.

I may also ask for help. My mental health is important to me. If this goes on for a period of time, I will be speaking to a doctor.

In the middle of all of these reflections, I keep wondering how that life-work balance works for everyone. 

Life GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

—————————

gif by:https://giphy.com/gifs/life-3EAGWsRjSzb2M

 

 

joy journal – Jan 7, 2018

Th first joy journal entry of the year 🙂

I am feeling kind of anxious and down. My best remedy is, as usual, remember the people, things, and experiences that I am grateful for. So, here it goes:

1. I am grateful for being healthy and well. I am safe, I have a job, and I have financial abilities. My emotions may be over-whelming right now, but I know from my past experience that eventually my anxious thoughts are trying to help me correct or remember things, and my future acts and experiences, thus, are going to be better.

2. I am grateful for talking to my family and their well-being.

3. I am grateful for cooking a large pot of bean meal today. I love beans! They are hearty and tasty. My freezer have 5 containers of bean meal that will be consumed in the coming weeks. It is a peace of mind to know that I have home-made meal to be consumed later.

4. I am grateful for the weather being chilly but not extremely weird. It is winter alright; with snow, cold weather, lots of high winds, and some sunlight in between. I predict that in May we will have a better weather and all these will be over. 4 more months of this… is.. manageable.

5. I am grateful for baking a wonderful loaf today 🙂 I have more than enough bread to keep me going the entire week.

6. I am grateful for feeling what I feel, however un-pleasant it may be, and going through the turbulence. I know that I am at the eye of the thunder, but this too shall pass.

7. I am grateful for all the food I have at home. I am abundant and well cared for. What a blessing.

8. I am grateful for watching a funny show. It feels good to be paying attention to something positive and have a laughter every once a while.

9. I am grateful for being warm and cozy at home.

10. I am grateful for today being Sunday so that I can use the day to deal with my emotions and emotional turbulence. Tomorrow is another day.

11. I am grateful for tomorrow being a work day so that I can focus my mind into new and fresh topics.

12. I am grateful for wanting to resign but deciding not to. What am I gonna do if I resign? Finding a job is not easy and financial strain will be too much. I pray that there will be better days ahead and my mind will cool down. I know I am not calm or well right now. The last 7 months have been very busy and stressful. I prioritized work more than my own personal well being. In addition, I prioritized a part of my job over others. Now it is time to pay attention to other parts. I feel like if I can control the work better, I can control my personal life easier. Maybe I am wrong, maybe I am right. Only the time will show. In the mean time, all I can do is to keep doing my best, be smart, and keep my nerves cool. Wish me luck.

13. I am grateful for realizing that I am not well emotionally. I will use this realization as a start point to pamper myself and find solutions to the situation. 

14. I am grateful for having this option to vent out here. Facing the adversary and acknowledging it is the first step to solve issues. I believe in it.

——————————————-

Things that I appreciate myself for today:

  • I appreciate myself for trying; trying to keep my head above the water and trying to face my feelings
  • I appreciate myself for working, even though that means I work at the weekends and late nights. At least I am functioning and my professional performance is good
  • I appreciate myself for getting tired of working at home, which is productive but also causing some kind of social isolation. Hope to fix this soon
  • I appreciate myself for eating healthy food
  • I appreciate myself for having past experience that helps with identifying issues and their root causes, as well as mechanisms to deal with them

choices, children, and the desire for a time-travel machine

I worked a lot this evening and as a result I am feeling hyper now 🙂 Does that happen to you, too?

I am used to work till late, especially lately. It makes me tired and less thinking the itsy bitsy stuff, so actually I love sleeping well and not over-thinking during these intense work periods. Nevertheless, I am kind of annoyed tonite and am looking forward to winding down and relaxing.

While I sleep longer and deeper lately, interestingly I also dream more. Last night I have had two dreams, one about a little child that I met last weekend. He was one of these really kind and lovely kids. I felt quite an affection and protective feelings toward him.

Meeting with him made me think – should I have had kids?

Having a child has never been a real wish for me; it was partly because i was not married and was very busy with my work/career/life struggles. When I met this child, I kind of felt like I should have had kids. The love and affection I felt was awesome really. 

Then I remembered what an anxious type of a person I was and what a control freak of a mom I would turn into should I have a child. I know from a friend of mine that when you become a parent, anxiety related to the kids’ welfare, wellness, and happiness become the most important thing for you. It would not be something I could easily master or move on. That is a sad truth.

Or maybe I could. There are millions of parents on earth and some of them must have  personality like me. So, if others can manage it, so can I. why not? Right?

Adoption is always a choice. In the past, once or twice I have had considered it and eventually ruled out. Not that I would not like it. But because as a single person I did see it as a difficult task to take. I know from years back a single woman who adopted a lovely girl. She had a busy career as well, but did excellent with motherhood. I wish I had kept contact with her so that I could get an insider’s opinion/experience on adoption and child care.

Sometimes life is brutal I guess. I know what I have become has been shaped by my past choices. if only I was 20 years younger, perhaps I could make different choices.

That reminded me a new year eve 7-8 years back. I had that very strong wish to actually go back in time and re-start my life 10 years earlier. I had a lot of regrets and naiveness around me then. What if stories were true and one could move back in time?

I have a similar, albeit not as strong, wish today to go back and re-start my adult life. I wish we had not lost certain things in life, like our youth. I wish we could have better choices. I wish we lived our lives differently…

Logically I know whatever life I have right now is the best. There is no going back to certain things, abilities, experiences. I am old enough to know that whatever happens, it must be better than a less desirable outcome.

Today, I want to believe in this more than most other times.

The second day of the “work” staycation

Today went well too; worked more or less without much of a distraction and it felt good to be able to do this.

My anxiety levels are still high, though, and unless I find a way to reduce it, I am afraid it may escalate. So I will be making a good effort to go back to my routine tomorrow; thank goodness it is Saturday tomorrow and I will fill it up with my regular activities, such as cleaning the house, picking up milk from a store, doing laundry, preparing my sourdough for over night rise, and speaking with my family. I must also clean up the yard and pick the weeds and other unnecessary life forms. I never knew how much I would appreciate my daily (and often times boring) highly structured life-style.

I am familiar with anxiety accompanied with shallow breathing and the feeling of being scared of something, someone, a thought. I try to not resist but rather relax into it and mediate the situation with some meditative music and focusing on the positives; I have a great family who supports me; I am doing great work; my home and yard are at a much better shape than last year; I keep budgeting and living frugally; I try to find joy and happiness in little things; there is a wonderful weather outside; I was able to keep my window open the whole day and have fresh air inside; I have good friends who are happy to socialize with me and help me if needed; I have usually a great job that provides me with more than enough money (even though it also makes me feel inadequate – the main reason of my latest anxiety boot).

Happy GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I feel angry at the conditions that limits me at work and my performance; i am angry at the funding situation for our projects; I am angry at the endless competition we undergo to achieve something; I am angry at the economy; I am angry at myself for not saying “no” more often and often ending up doing other peoples’ works. I am angry at myself for not focusing on the positive and the big picture we call life, rather than all the little antsy bitsy things that I let to annoy me.

I want to feel good and I know that as long as I have this wish, this anxiety will not go anywhere. Wishing to feel good by running away from what I am experiencing is a form of resistance that makes things worse. It is so counter intuitive. I know there are things that I will change and improve as a result of this experience. I just do not know what they are.

The best remedy for anxiety is to trust the unknown. I need to trust to life, the universe if you will, people around me, and more importantly, myself. I may fail at work according to my own or others’ criteria, I know I will get up being better and stronger out of this hurdle. Maybe I will turn things around by being a little bit more smart in protecting my own time and energy, a little bit more lucky, or by changing my own attitude towards myself, my life, my work, my colleagues, my hopes, and my failures. 

I know all of these. 

Now it is time to believe in them.

Love GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

—————————————-

gifs by:https://giphy.com/gifs/cute-happy-gif-KiywA7wHlHgvC;https://giphy.com/gifs/love-penguin-believe-in-yourself-nwyqBwP65XCAU

the start of the 11 days staycation and the chicken noodle soup

I am starting my 11 days staycation as of this evening. I am not overly enthusiastic, but grateful for this nevertheless. You know I chose to take these days off to actually focus on my own work (not on others’ like my team members) and to do some work needed at home, such as decluttering, too. Everybody needs a break every once a while.

Interestingly I am feeling kinda sick as of this afternoon. I am not sure what triggered this but I was attending two meetings/presentations this afternoon back to back, and I realized my heart was kind of racing (or the feeling I have had was that, because the physical heart was working just fine – I checked my heart rate), I was feeling down, tired, and worn and torn all of a sudden….

Anxious GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I felt like something really bad happened to a loved one of mine (my mom came to me my mind; since I did not get any bad news yet I am assuming this feeling was not real….how could it be real, by the way? Am I  psychic now?? That being said I had felt something at around the time that my dad had passed away.. it is scary.. anyways).

It was like I was having a heavy anxious state or depressive mood. I could not solve it, but I did not like it either. But then years of life experience taught me not to resist but take it as it is and go home and make yourself chicken noodle soup. That is exactly what I have done. I believe in its healing properties – there is something unknown and great about the smell and taste of chicken noodle soup….

When I came to my senses, I thought that perhaps I am feeling down because I have been feeling kind of excited lately. The facts that I have re-arranged the furniture and created a much better living space and found some great stuff at the thrift stores that excited me, I wonder whether this is a way of my mind and body saying “enough is enough, let’s go back to regular”. Maybe subconsciously I realize that my joy and happiness is not hidden in these material things, but is rather internal and this is what I must be looking for. And I think the timing supports this idea because now I actually have time to “reflect” on my life. What are the things that I want? How do I attain them? What is important for me? Is my life really working for me? Do I work well for my life in turn? When and how will I fall in love? Will I leave here? And if so, when?

These are serious questions I must address. No wonder that I have had a little anxiety today..

These experiences reminded me two things:

1) I am scared of being bipolar because sometime after being excited about some good stuff going on in my life, I lose my interest in them (or the excitement they give me). I know that clinically this does not make me affected by bipolar disease, but I cannot not keep thinking about this elation followed by so-felt down experiences.

2) I knew someone that I cared a lot about who had a heart condition. He would go extra miles, 1,000 of miles, to not get excited… he would say the racing heart symptoms that he was experiencing at those times were too painful, too scary.. Poor guy. Like myself, he could not live his life to its full potential. I at least have a chance still… I want to take advantage of this and find my true call. What is it? Where is it? How am I gonna identify and reach it?

Important questions for me to deal with…

—————————————–

gifs by:https://giphy.com/gifs/anxious-ExTvY0izaqdk4;

 

an excellent idea! (by others of course :) )

Well; just when I was having a hard time thinking and making myself depressed about the possible foundation problem at my house and since I did not want to waste my entire night/day/life worrying and having depressed feelings, I remembered one approach that may work: having these thoughts and feelings during only a specified time period (how about 15 min a day?)

take a look and see whether you also may give it a try (if needed)?

http://lifehacker.com/5825023/set-aside-time-to-worry-to-reduce-stress-and-anxiety

http://www.livescience.com/15233-planning-worry-time-ease-anxiety.html

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2015/02/01/how-to-worry-more-effectively/

it is dark here, but I will have perseverance

are the winds gone? why am I breathless?

none seems right; perception perplexed

xerosis of my soul is here… no joy, no avidness

in the lightest hour of the day

envision a sky reflecting greyness

the dreams fighting with hopes

yes – it is dark here, but I will have perseverance

*dedicated to an anxiety patient

——————————————————————————-

All rights reserved.  ©https://lifeasiinterpret.wordpress.com/

The life in the diary – III

Fiction

———————————————————————————————————-

January 29, 2013

I went to pre-surgery check up today. I am not a fan of these visits – they ask all bunch of questions, some of them I do not even have an answer. Do I have any allergy to medication? How would I know if I am allergic to something if I have not discovered it yet? I think they have to ask these questions, but it does not help really. I need answers myself. Sadly, nobody would give a concrete answer to what would happen to me; my doctor should know better, this visit is about the surgery. Fine. I will ask her when I am not shaky. In the mean time, they advise me to relax. Sure. Why not? And the usual advise, too; have someone to pick you up from the hospital – the general anaesthesia and the surgery can make you dizzy and weak – better someone gives you a hand. Sure. I did not tell them I did not plan to have anyone with me.

I should thank these pre-surgery visits actually – a little bit anger helps me to keep going. This appointment was better than the first time. I had felt like a victim at that time; now I seasoned. I know what to expect, what to feel.

I did not tell anyone yet about my ordeal – does my boss need to know? I am not ready to talk about it right now. The best thing I can do is to try to finish critical things as soon as possible, if I can, and then let the talking be done at the least unavoidable time. That is the best solution I have right now.

I have a surgery in 6 days – I better take care of the grocery shopping. I need to get slippers and a bed rob for the hospital stay, too. I wonder what happened to the rob I had purchased last time. Cannot remember it at home. I will walk pass the store I had bought them last time. If I am lucky, I can find new ones there. I admit despite all the emotional turbulence and the anxiety, there is something calming about shopping; I feel like I am taking care of myself.

Whether it is shopping, or I am extremely relieved to be out of the appointment, or am angry with the questions and all, I do not know what, but I feel a little bit strong walking. I keep telling myself “I will do my absolute best to support myself during these difficult times. Yes, I will. Watch me.”

Better said than done.

——————————————————————————————————-

The life in the diary – III

All rights reserved.  © https://lifeasiinterpret.wordpress.com/

Sasha – part 5

————————————————————————————

The biggest challenge about the anxiety I had was to reverse the beliefs that made me scared.

Once you believe in something, especially if it is something that demands your attention all the time, such as extraordinarily fearful thoughts, then you must get away from it or diminish it. Since it was my mind that made these calculations and found in itself the right to fiercely warn me of the fearful situations, moment after moment, basically  I could not run away from them.  So how do I reverse such strong beliefs?

At first, resisting to the fear acted very strongly against me; the more I resisted to the fears, the stronger they got. That was a horrible experience. That pretty much describes it….

Once you hit the bottom, something moves you up sometime. So, since there was no hope in resistance diminishing my fears, I opted for accepting the consequences of my fears. I assumed in reality I was in that fearful situation. Do you think that feels better? Certainly not – as a matter of fact it horrified me more than anything else. What would I do if my fear become reality? What if I lose it then? Would I cry, scream, or beg? How would be the pain I would go through? How would I stand all of these? There was no relief in it. The end was, well, horrible.

Since neither resisting the fear nor accepting the fearful reality were solutions, then what was it going to be? Establishing what I could do to scare myself less and making new memories and new beliefs were essential in my recovery. This is how I found in myself the courage to calculate the risk; how likely was it? Was it possible to get away from the prompters (those things/people/events that made me remember it), would change in my life be helpful in getting rid of the fears? Was there a space, behaviour, attitude, or people that I would feel safe with? What would I find the strength, hope, and protection in?

That was a turning point. Took sometime, but it is done.

I still time to time feel that they are check me, making me feel like they are coming, but I am not going to let them take over again. Nope. I have suffered quite a bit from anxiety. While this is my wish, nevertheless, if it happens again I am confident that this time I will go through it faster and with much less suffering.

In the mean time, I will go ahead and continue working my mind, have a healthy and relaxing life style, and enjoy my life. I have one life. I mean to enjoy it. Pretty much actually. And that feels good. Great in fact.

————————————————————————————

*that is probably the end of Sasha’s story

————————————————————————————

Sasha – part 5

All rights reserved.  © https://lifeasiinterpret.wordpress.com/

Sasha – part 4

———————————————————————————-

Life with anxiety forces you to change. I tried very hard to do my best to relief my symptoms. First thing first, I started eating a little bit healthier. It nourished my mind maybe more than my body – there was a little bit excitement and satisfaction in putting the effort to go to the stores, get fresh produce and healthy food; I had felt like taking care of myself, having some kind of superficial control in my anxious life. It helped.

Then, I started exercising – similar to the better eating attempts, that idea was mostly from the books I have read about anxiety. It was not easy at first, but I somehow managed to start cardio activities. Kick-boxing to be exact. It really works; a surprising fact. They say it is endorphins or something, the feel-good hormones and natural pain-killers that are released during physical activity that elevate the mood. Cool. For me, no levels were enough to make me feel better though. But with activity, I at least had the chance to focus my mind on my body and environment – or somebody would come and kick me at the head :). I needed to force myself to focus on something.

Yet, one cannot live at the gym and doing nothing meant listening to my mind. And it was telling me terrible stories. No, I could not be still. So I walked. I walked any time, any day. No rain, no snow storm, no work waiting for me did defer me from walking. Day and night, whenever I had “it”, the feeling of suffocation anxiety gave me; the feeling of desperately looking for a way to escape from it; the feeling of “what will happen to me?” ; the feeling of seeing no no-anxiety day in future; the feeling of having no hope whatsoever to return back to what I was prior to anxiety, I threw myself out. I often cried, too, out of misery.

———————————————————————————-

Sasha – part 4

All rights reserved.  © https://lifeasiinterpret.wordpress.com/

Sasha – part 3

——————————————————————————————-

Once I identified that it was anxiety I was experiencing, one of the logical problems was solved. At first, I thought I would get better after that. Well, I did not. Not seeking professional help was a huge mistake.

I still needed to deal with the thoughts and emotions going through me; they were strong and scary. I could make my mind focus on literally nothing; I thought if I could use my analytical mind, I would get away from the irrational thoughts and emotions. Yet, my mind worked only at a primitive level and whatever I needed to use it for was hence put on hold. I am certain that my mind was paralysed. It felt like I was suspended in the air with no movement, no effort, and no energy. I was aware of everything around me and beyond, but I had no control over neither myself, my body or life, nor my surroundings. Things would happen to me – good or bad – without my involvement, consent or resistance. My entire well being was at stake, there was no safe place for me, and my fears, the fears that my mind created so generously and vividly, would eventually happen. I knew I was stuck at that invisible corner and I had nowhere else to escape. I was going to be a victim.

Of my own imagination.

-to be continued

——————————————————————————————-

Sasha – part 3

All rights reserved.  © https://lifeasiinterpret.wordpress.com/

Sasha – part 2

————————————————————————————-

Where shall I start?

The beginning is too long ago; but maybe the most impactful will make it. I was mid 30s unhappy with my job. We all thought that we would have opportunities to move up within a pretty reasonable period of time. But we did not. The economy was not good and works for people like us were highly competitive. I had this desperate wish to leave my current work place and move to somewhere else with a better level of job, respect, and financial prosperity.

Well, it did not happen and I got more and more agitated. I started to have problems at my current work place; I was good at what I have done but I was not particularly a pleasant person. So people working with me, specifically my boss, were having a hard time to deal with my career-frustrations. I lost my motivation quite a bit and decided to do something else, mostly to get away from my work place. Hence, I started studying French language. My aim was to have a feeling of how much I could get into it and if I was into it at a sufficient level, then to attend a course to learn it. I was buying the books and listening to the CDs for pronunciations. I could turn the TV on French channels and try to grasp. It was all fun.

What I have not seen coming was that while I was not working the analytic side of my brain because of the less time I spent at work, even though I thought I was as I was studying, my brain would just collapse. Not literally; but that is how it felt. At one point of time, I felt a sudden and powerful rush and vicious, violent dance of all bunch of emotions, not necessarily the positive ones for that matter, into my conciousness.

I was sitting on my couch when that happened and it was a nice afternoon. As soon as it happened, I started to freak out with the strength of the feelings. I did not know what was happening but I knew I was feeling incredibly bad. I was scared by the thoughts running in my mind; I was living in a terrible world created by my mind. I believed every single thing it said. Otherwise was not possible.

With this new “reality”, I walked around as if I was being dragged around with the heaviness in my chest. I could not sleep. I could not find one moment of peace. This horrible state and my lack of understanding of it continued quite a bit. I bought books, realizing it was possibly a mental situation, but focusing was so difficult I could not read them for quite sometime. I thought about seeing a doctor, yet I did not even know how to define it. I could not ask help, I could not focus on anything, and I could not understand it.

Eventually, I identified the core feeling as fear and thus was able to find self-help books on fear. There I realized what I was happening to me was a kind of anxiety. It was a relief finding a name to my situation. It also helped me to see that whatever looked real was not real; I was safe. But in the majority of time when I could not focus on reading and thus understanding my feelings, my mind was busy playing me the worst scenarios over and over, more vivid than ever, and more fearsome than anything. My mind was the worst enemy and finding a way to subsidize it did in fact  prove to be difficult.

– to be continued

————————————————————————————-

Sasha-part 2

All rights reserved.  © https://lifeasiinterpret.wordpress.com/

Sasha – part 1

——————————————————————————————–

I deep down know well that what I am going through is not normal.

I have issues to deal with – my mind, which has been antsy and uneasy for decades, is busy formulating ways to assess problems, even when they do not exist, and frantically searching for solutions. At times when it is too prolonged, too overwhelming, I give up. I give up either the joy of life or the sanity.

I self-diagnosed myself with anxiety a long time ago. At first I did not know what it was; now I do. It is a terrible feeling. When it gets too unbearable, I am grateful for the depression lurking it and eventually replacing it for some time. Depression is equally tormenting, never been happy to have it, but it at least freezes the pain a little bit so that I can take a break from constant fear and worry. To me, it feels better than anxiety. I bet you have never heard about someone who is grateful for having depression time to time. That person is me.

My first anxiety episode was sudden and inevitable. Yet, I have grown up with it and now I can feel when it is close to show up. I slightly panic and rush to calm myself. Lately I have had some success in it. I found that the best way is to keep my mind busy; I am grateful for my job, which lets me work my left brain hard. Yet, work has its own problems, and I have a house, social interactions, and a mental sanity to keep. When all life areas are problematic, it breaks.

I desperately look for something to hold on to at these times. People advise finding something I like; I guess they have never been in the same situation; during anxiety or depression those people and things I like all disappear. Not that they physically go away; my perception of them does.

-to be continued

—————————————————————————————

Sasha-part 1 

All rights reserved.  © https://lifeasiinterpret.wordpress.com/

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: