random thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

random thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yep 🙂

random thoughts

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

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

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

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


joy journal, Feb 12, 2016

1. I am grateful for sleeping well and getting up refreshed.

2. I am grateful for getting on time to catch the bus. I am  amazed that this has become a habit now. After taking the cab every single morning in the last 5 years, this responsible change is so welcome.

3. I am grateful for brewing my coffee in the office and enjoying it 🙂

4. I am grateful for meeting with my team for 3 hours (!) to review some important information. We had a break in between, which was a great idea.

5. I am grateful for the physiotherapy session in the afternoon. It was short and I am not sure whether it helps me really, but I will keep going. I was told that after next week, we hope to reduce it to once  a week and possibly after a couple of weeks, we could stop altogether. Sounds good.

6. I am grateful for my insurance covering a large portion of the physiotherapy fees.

7. I am grateful for walking to home after the physiotherapy. The walk was pleasant, although not remarkable. After my back problem, I have a much better appreciation of my ability to walk…

8. I am grateful for stopping by at a store and purchasing some food. There was a good deal on bulk (10 pounds) of breaded fish, which I purchased without thinking. It is tasty and unlike red meat, I am feeling a lot better eating this product. It is also very easy to cook (in the oven), which is a practical option for me.

9. I am grateful for stopping by at another store and finishing my grocery shopping for this week. I did not buy a lot of food this week, as I still have a lot left from last week. That also meant that I had the opportunity to buy a big bag of road salt. Now that we have ice on the road and in front of my house, this salt gives me a peace and mind.

10. I am grateful for not working or cleaning my home upon returning to home. I thought I would, but I only want to relax tonite. I am taking it easy and I love this 🙂

11. I am grateful for eating a large bowl of salad and fish for dinner; healthy and happy 🙂

12. I am grateful for finding a new sitting arrangement for myself. Ok; I really need a sturdy and well supporting chair to sit at home, which I am still looking for. I have been sitting on one of my dinning set chairs or the recliner. While the chair is better than the recliner in terms of protecting and supporting my back, I decided it was uncomfortable too. So I am sitting on the floor now. For now it is going well, but it is not going to be okay for ever. I gotta find a stable solution to this. One of my friends is buying me a back support to help sit on the chair. Let’s hope that will arrive and work just fine.

13. I am grateful for my stretching exercises that really help relieve some of the pain off my back.

14. I am grateful for today being Friday and the next 2 days being free. I plan to enjoy this weekend. Whether it is reading books, watching stuff, or just reflecting on life. Whatever I do , I am determined to enjoy it.

15. I am grateful for mt computer, internet connection, and my TV that make my life easy and enjoyable.

16. I am grateful for my home that keeps me warm and safe. There is a little storm going on outside; lots of snow and wind. I hope everyone out there has shelters in this weather.

17. I m grateful for being grateful and taking my time to write this journal.



today’s bits

After the large amount of snow dumped yesterday, today was quite. Only that now it is chilly and we have ice everywhere. While I did good not risking slipping on ice in the morning (by taking the cab rather than walking and taking the bus), I could not show the same intelligence(!) on the way back home.

I did not slip or fall but, man, it was close. For the first time this evening I was sorry that I walked. Lessons learnt.

Other than this stressful walk, the day was peaceful. I worked full hours. I also requested an ergonomics assessment for my office and made contacts to get my standing desk. My feeling is that it will take some time, which pisses me off. Funny thing is that even my chair at the office (which is ergonomics by the way) is not supportive of my back. Even when I put a pillow to support my lower back. That makes me sad and angry at the same time. My chair at home is way more supportive. I noticed that the difference is mostly because the chair at the office is wider and I do not, I cannot, fully contact its back with my own back. This gotta change.

On a separate note, some of you may remember that last weekend I was planning to start eating better (this time I am trying to eat more protein at each meal). Well I kind of did and now I am 7 pounds heavier… I am frustrated… A similar thing had happened last fall. I really do not like this.

Well, enough venting for today 🙂

back pain

Pulled my back again this morning for no apparent reason – this is why it is particularly scary… No apparent reason. No twisting. No slipping/skidding. No lifting heavy objects. No nothing. Just like that I pulled it and the incapacitating pain came back.

I had a very bad episode a month ago and I had ended up in the emergency. With medication and rest as well as light walking and stretching in 8 days or so all the pain had gone. My doctor had prescribed physio-therapy which I had not made an appointment till out of laziness or carelessness. Lessons learnt – never show carelessness when comes to your health.

I made an appointment with a nearby physiotherapy place this noon and I will go there twice a week until I get some kind of relief. In the mean time, I was recommended to take breaks every 30 min and stretch. I am of course on painkiller and muscle relaxant, too.

I really do not appreciate myself not being careful. This has been finally my eye-opener. I not only sit at the office for hours but also at home. Home is worse, as I sit with a very poor posture on the couch for many hours…. I knew it was not good, especially yesterday when I had experienced some kind of pain and inflammation due to sitting so long. Thankfully I came up with the idea of walking yesterday, which had helped. But obviously it only delayed the coming problem, rather than curing it.

I do not want to have a chronic problem with serous pain or disability. From today on, I will not only have physiotherapy, but also do stretching and and exercise good posture. That also means I need a firmer chair at home to sit on – no more couch.

My “normal” days are over and if I do want to be healthy, I will have to show care to my body.

You do that, too.


today’s bits

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I was right 🙂

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

Ah… Life is funny 🙂


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


random thoughts

It is Friday!! 🙂

Oh, yes. And it feels good 🙂

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

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

yes, I have done well today 🙂

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

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

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

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

Life is good 🙂

have a great Friday night everyone!

snow and shovelling; please go away

There has been a huge dump of snow yesterday at my city – I hardly could get out of my house this morning.

As if the already existing snow was not enough, it again snowed in the evening and I could hardly came back home; it is great that the cab I took had good tires, otherwise I am not sure how I could reach home in this hilly city. And when I reached home, I had to jump over a 50 cm tall snow bank to get into my front door. Shovelling followed.

My back hurts from shovelling – no exaggeration.

Time to time I actually enjoy shovelling because it is an easy and effective exercise. But today, I really do not like it.

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