reconstructing when life needs it

I have taken significant steps to change things; the way I work, live, or interact with others. Just because I realized the amount of change I have been thinking about or implementing, I came to realize today that I am re-constructing myself, my work, and my life. I am also re-constructing my attitude towards myself, work, my family, my co-workers/friends, money, and my life.

It feels great!

I have done what I thought was best at times. I cannot regret, and I am not willing to. They serve me well over sometime, but not anymore. Time to change, time to do differently. For a better tomorrow as I want today.

I am fine with that.

As a matter of fact, I am encouraged, excited, and happy about these!!

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What progress I have had so far?

I am more compassionate and supportive of myself. I feel the need to take care of myself and my wellness is becoming important. This is very healthy and natural – I take that it is a real need and this is empowering.

I am less concerned about the mistakes I may have done, developed new interests and skills, and feeling successful after a 2.5 years of high stress and hard work season. I am very aware of my strengths and capabilities, and I am more confident. What remains to be implemented is to take it easier and maybe stop working regularly at the weekends. And say no more often.

I value life and am curious about it more like when I was young. I want to be out there with life, within life, and I want a fuller life that is not restricted with my work or how stressful or constrained I may feel. I want to taste it – whether it is visiting new places, meeting with new people, having a new outfit style, trying new things, or simply just buying myself a lovely meal, I want to experience life in a wider way. It is my birth right, like is yours.

I am forgiving more and letting go more. This positively affects my relationships. I also speak less and listen more. I am more authentic or genuine than before, less reserved, but equally loving. I am putting myself more out there without fear or fear of rejection, stigma, etc.

At work, I am speaking of my mind less and developing a political attitude to less annoy others, but still make the points I want to make. I do not need to insist on things that others would not agree to. Sometimes my job (at work) is just to bring them over for discussion. Let everyone think and decide.

I have stopped recording my expenses and savings as of yesterday. I realized that it was a constant battle for me to see how much I had spent and how much of it was extra (which meant I beat myself for it). I do not need this in my life. It served me well in the last few years, but came to a point that it started to harm me. So I am stopping it until next time I need it or benefit from it.

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All started in action by re-arranging the furniture of my bedroom yesterday. The “new direction” of my furniture made me realize it was needed, felt great, and was full of opportunities for me to realize. I then visited a nearby book store and purchased two books – both inspirational. I sat at a cafe and started reading it. It was quiet, and the 6 bucks I paid for the tea and scones were the best 6 bucks I have ever spent. This was one of my most enjoyable things to do at the weekends, which I had stopped in the name of saving money. Now I see that I can enjoy it still. And I will as long as it continues to be enjoyable.

Then, I met with some friends and decided to dress up. Boy, it was a great idea. I went there not expecting anything (that is, not having any prior plans or thoughts) and I just took it one moment at a time. All the new experiences I have had and all the new people I have met, and all the positive thoughts that went through my mind as a result, are priceless. Life can be very awarding if we step in it and watch what it can offer. Not all the time, but this does not mean that it does not. I will take my chances with life more now.

I also decided that it was time that I had stopped worrying about work. This week I am going to take a couple of days and shut my work email down. I do not want to think about work. Just myself. My plan is to be visiting new places, a public library or two, some art galleries, and simply sit and read a book at a cafe. All while dressed up like I would love. I also would love to smile more (honestly it makes one feel better right away), immerse in what life can offer, eat better with healthy food, and continue to reflect on and celebrate the wonderful change I am leading.

I have experience from which I have learnt. And I have faith that the next days will be better and everything is happening as they are supposed to be. I trust that this is true.

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

have not written for a while….

I have not written much lately – what have been going on in my life?

Well. It was mostly quite positive experiences 🙂 🙂

Affirmations and mental health/outlook: I have had quite reduced stress levels since I came back from home-visit. I was into affirmations, which miraculously made my mental state and thoughts positive, and me happier and healthier. They do work, my friends 🙂 I think we all need to “hear from ourselves” that things are exactly as they are supposed to be, there are many beautiful things and people happening in life, there are many opportunities out there (most may be shaded by the daily clutter, but if we stop and think about them, they do appear), and love, peace, health, success, recognition, and money all comes if we think like this. Happiness is a possibility and is available. We just need to open up to it. And maybe spend some time everyday reflecting on them 🙂

Succulents and new friendships: I have come across another plant enthusiast and we hit it off right away. We have similar interests and are at similar stages of life. Exchanging succulent cuttings was a blessing that I cannot cherish enough. Certainly a great experience, not only for getting new succulents, but also getting to know a person like myself in many ways and developing a kind of friendship at the same time.

Budget and frugality: My budget has been going well, with a frugal life style re-implemented. I spend more than I project, but I continue to save every week consistently. I found that health related expenses (vision care, medications, physiotherapy etc.) take up a good chunk time to time, but other times it is fine. I find ways to save, however small they may be. Of course the exceptions would be new succulents acquired every once a while, pots and soils purchased for these beauties, and occasional social activities. I made it regular to go to thrift stores for pots and I also purchased a number of nice blouses at such reasonable prices that make my life abundant and easy. I am grateful.

Changing how I work: In terms of work, I continue to change how I approach it and how I let it to shape my personal life, mental health, and life priorities. I have got new responsibilities, an additional role that I was interested in and for which I am really excited about, and am dropping yet another role that does not serve me anymore (and was getting on my nerves. They may want me back, and in such a case, I may re-consider it, but until then). And, I realize once more that a lot of people that work with me get dependent on me to conduct, move and complete the work, which is so much more load for me than I should shoulder. I distanced myself from a couple of colleagues that saved me some time. But I must also do this with my trainees, which is a challenge. I will continue to work on finding a solution to this.

Changing myself: And just this weekend, I realized that my next personal challenge will be to “express things positively” rather than negatively. This weekend I met with a friend of mine and I at one point was hard on myself and was criticizing myself (I was criticizing myself for not rescuing more plants from a certain death; they were being discarded and I took 4-5 of them to care for and the rest I did not pay attention because I already had these types of plants). She said “I cannot believe you have turned such a positive experience to such a negative one“. She was right.

I decide right now not to use “I should” “no/not” as much as I normally do.

We will see how this goes 🙂

Have a wonderful night everyone!

pretty random thoughts

Is change possible?

Improvement is, but change – I am not sure.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Future days will tell.

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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.

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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?

 

 

changing for a better me, for a better time

So this past year has been hard on me – it was highly stressful; I worked long hours; I was skeptical and suspicious of my professional future; I have got my blood pressure peaked a couple of times and almost got panic attacks; I have got my self-confidence shook very very strongly; and I have mostly ignored my daily, personal, simple, and frugal life so that I can channel my energy and time to my work-related efforts and use my money to comfort myself during this hard time.

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The hardship started last summer when I realized that our work-place was getting more and more toxic (mostly because of financial issues) and they were openly making comments about firing people. How demoralizing? Very indeed. I worked so hard and did so much for my work and this organization that after all of these, if we get this kind of treatments instead of appreciation, it was time to think about what to do with my future.

  • This was one of the nicest things I have got out of this experience – that I was better than this and I deserved recognition by my work-place, not depreciation like they tend to favor.
  • I also did not want to spend my time trying to prove myself over and over. All these years and after all I have done, what else do they want?? (they do want lots of thing, by the way. It is never enough for them).
  • Most importantly, I realized that I was better than my current work-environment let me be and I was longing for developing further and reaching my personal and professional potential.
  • I applied for a job, for which I did not receive any response back. But that is okay. The important thing was I had started to react to my work/position here and I was being detached from it. This was wonderful – I never thought that I would leave my current job. Great experience!
  • I worked harder and on different topics, which took time and required a lot of courage. I did these. They have not yielded outputs yet, but I am hopeful and determined that they will.
  • I took new roles. That meant lost of time and reading/discussions/practicing to learn new things and taking new risks. It has been tough, but I am moving on smoothly.
  • I exercise new leadership roles and I am developing and discovering about myself in such roles. While this is emotionally challenging (a lot is expected from leaders and knowledge and experience together are required for effective leadership), there is so much I learn about myself that it is amazing 🙂

I also aimed to change myself.

  • I realized I did not want to do what others were in fact supposed to do (my job requires a lot of this if we want things to move – sad truth is that as a project leader you shoulder a lot of the burden others should) and starting to say no. I first said no to reviewing a report, then another, and then another. I try to save my time for the things I want to deal with now.
  • I raised concerns and demanded better working conditions when my work place came to me with a silly tasks to be done (which can be done by someone else pretty easily).
  • I started to distance myself from the colleagues who ate up not only my time, but also my nerves with their negative, demanding, and belittling attitudes. This is one of my most significant victories….
  • I started raising my voice when my friends or colleagues unfairly criticized me – they think twice now I guess. I found that generalization is very easy and people tend to do this pretty frequently. However, seeing the view from the other side is necessary to understand things better. Many people miss that. I am vocal about this now when it comes to me or my work. I won’t take unnecessary and unfounded criticism that easily.
  • I say no to socials with people whom I do not wish to spend yet another minute. 
  • I started to value my time, energy, well-being, professional efforts, skills, and performance more than ever (talking about confidence that my work-place was trying to diminish with the talks of firing us.. What a nice turn of self-opinion? 🙂 )
  • I started to be a little bit more smart and took steps to strengthen my position in my work-place while also developing myself further. I have two positions at my union’s committees and I am not only learning about our rights as workers, but also how to support myself and other workers against any organizational or professional issues. I feel safer and well supported. And in many ways, also protected. I will continue to work in one of these committees in the coming years, which I know is very beneficial for me. It is like a shield that can defer many silly attempts on me and other vulnerable colleagues. I am loving this.
  • I recently realized that I was very content and pleased with my efforts, hard-work, development, and changes. With this comes confidence and shutting down any effort to belittle me or my work. This is, my friends, priceless.

After all, this hard time is turning into a better and more pleasing experience. Like winter ending and Spring flourishing.

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remembering dad and a few good things

Today is the 2nd anniversary of my dad’s passing.

I remember him with his smile, sky blue eyes, nice skin, strong chin, beautiful voice, and presence. I wish things were different and we could go back and fix everything between us. I wish I could be there for him and kiss his cheeks once more. I wish I could say daddy again.

I cannot.

But I also know that he and I loved each other and we would not wish for another dad, another daughter. He showed his fatherhood and introduced us to not only life but also death, and walked through his lonely journey all by himself. Like his dad, like his mom, like his brothers. At least he was not alone.

Rest in peace dad. One day I will find you again. I promise.

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In the last few days I have been getting really tired of being annoyed by some people and my work being the most important thing in my life.

I had to have dinner with two colleagues I really dislike (!) and a third one I somehow like. I hated the idea of spending my time with the people I disliked but the night went okay, thanks to my third colleague. The two continued to annoy me during the dinner and it has come to a point that I do not want them to affect me this way anymore. I do not know why I cannot let go off their ridiculous ways, but this is what it is.  I will find additional ways to further distance myself from them. At least the benefit of this highly annoying dinner was that finally I have had it enough. It came to a point that cannot be ignored. And this is a good thing. A large part of our relationship is over.

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And I have been thinking for sometime that life has been going, I was getting older and closer to death each day, and all I was thinking about lately was how miserable, stressed, unappreciated, and financially insecure I was at work. 

One of the changes that has happened this past summer was that I did not want to dwell on small issues and rather use my time, effort, and skills for bigger issues, bigger fights, bigger good. The fact is this: I happen to find issues in anything in life (a professional curse) and dwell on them full force. The question I asked myself was whether I wanted to have a bigger professional life and deal with bigger issues taking similar time and energy, and having similar levels of irritation/stress. The answer is an easy yes. That is why I undertake a lot more this year in terms of leadership and committee work.

I have started to extend this to my personal life. This morning I was talking to my sister and I said since my social life is small, even the little social interactions, if a little annoying, annoys me big time. I said that I have decided to have a bigger life and then get annoyed if I must. Maybe I will learn one or more things. Maybe I will meet great people. Maybe I will find ways to enrich my own inner life. I know it will be better, no matter what.

As part of this, I am excited to say that I re-started my stretching/meditation classes tonite. Just like that I showed up there, purchased my plan, sat on the floor in a quiet, warm, and cozy room with others, breathed in and out, calming my mind and soothing my body. And I just felt that calming my mind was one of the most fantastic things I have ever done for myself lately.

🙂

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Sunday morning musings

It is a great day with the freedom to do nothing and everything 🙂

I used this sentence first yesterday and I kinda liked it – so please ignore it if it bothers you. It just reminds me my own freedom. For a control freak and someone like myself who has a lot of things on her to-do-list, that is a great feeling:)

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I am drinking the first cups of my morning coffee and looking ahead the day:  I have a bean meal to cook (started already); a sourdough loaf to bake (proving right now); a yard to dig and fix somehow; loved ones to speak to; and mentally work on the problem of “what is best for my future self“:

 

1) is it staying at my current job and job environment, and aiming to change my mind set so that I can feel good about myself no matter how negative or problematic the work is?

Can I really relax, lower my expectations from myself, adapt a new attitude, care less, and become more self-confident and just make things happen – if they can happen? 

Not sure, but I sure can try….I am quite aware that my self-confidence is quite low. This is mostly because of myself and the expectations I have from myself. Certainly, it does not help when you self-critique yourself all the time…. Please do not do that, friends; it is good to be aware of yourself, but please be not rigid in your thinking about yourself and others. You change; people change. I too can change. I just do not know how to handle that…

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2) is it taking the risk or opportunity (depends on where you are looking from), and looking for jobs aggressively?

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Assuming that I find a new job that I am content with; 

Am I ready to make this change mentally and physically? Yes, I am. I have done this before – I can do it gain.

Can I move to another city? Yes I can – I have done this many times in the past. packing and getting rid of stuff is a head ache, but it happens eventually. The worst thing would be to ask a couple of friends or contract persons to rent a truck and deliver the stuff to a donation centre.

Can I sell my house? hey, yes I guess so. Also, keeping it and renting is another option, is it not?

Can I leave my team at work? That is gonna be tough….. They trust me that I look after them and advance their work and careers. They trusted me and relocated here….. So it is really tough. I am kind of thinking that we can find better jobs for them; at least we can try. And if not, look for alternative ways. I am sure it is gonna be just fine….

Can I leave my position, salary, benefits, office? Yes, if I can get a comparable one somewhere else.

Will I change? the way I look at my work, performance, and my expectations from myself; will I find myself in a similar situation in the new job too?  This is even a tougher situation for me…… I am not confident that I can be fully happy with my new job, either. I feel like I may end up feeling a similar way; lack of self-esteem may take over again. what will I do then? Start looking for another job? How will it affect me now that I am middle aged?

How will it feel to start a new chapter in my life? Energizing and exciting! It will be great to get rid of the garbage off my shoulders and put my chin up with positivity, fresh air, and hope!

But, if I do not make this change, do I have a chance to change? Do I have to get a new job for these:

  • to have a better look at life 
  • to have better interests and better value to my work?
  • to make positive changes for myself and others
  • to feel good about myself

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And, most importantly; what is it that I really want? To change myself or to change my work?

Is it about changing what I see or how I see what I see?

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