a touch of kindness and cacti

I have a colleague that I find quite annoying. I really do not understand his reactions or comments. It is like we are of different worlds.

Fine with me. Fine with him. We keep our professional interactions distant. It works.

This morning he brought me a cactus (prickly pear) – my first cactus ever! He was aware of my latest interest in succulents and thought I might rescue his cactus. It is the most beautiful cactus -a  little one with 3 levels of pads; the third level consist of small ones and it is so pretty 🙂

It has been a warming moment between my colleague and I. I was genuinely happy and he was happy to see how happy I was. Emotions can be quite healing, my friends.

I was excited the whole day.

I planted my cactus in a new pot, changed its soil, and placed in a nice window sill. I will not water it for a week or so to give the roots a chance to heal. In a couple of months, I will try propagating it – I may have mini cacti! 🙂

These being said, I have 4 cacti seedlings germinated. Unfortunately I dropped and broke one of the glass propagation containers. It demoralized me, but it should not (my new approach to self care – trying not to beat myself for accidents or mistakes…). I sifted out the soil, hopefully still having the seeds, and placed in another pot. I am not hopeful about the future of this propagation attempts, but who knows? Maybe the more I ignore (which I am inclined towards now), the more likely that one or two seeds will germinate… We shall see.

Three lessons learnt today;

  • A touch of kindness certainly can dissolve ice
  • Ignoring succulents/cacti is a much better approach for propagation – I can swear that the more you care, the less they grow or strive!
  • I can be compassionate towards myself 🙂

 

 

 

#3 topic for reflection during holidays

Being more assertive is my #3 topic to tackle this year during my reflection season, aka, holiday season.

As I age I found that I got more understanding and tolerant. While these are great qualities, they are not always great. Sometimes we must sit back, evaluate, and then say no. Whether it is our own ego’s or somebody else’s request, it does not matter. 

This past year particularly I have had a number of experiences with my colleagues and work-place management where I was literally taken advantage of and burdened with extra work and ridiculous requests. Since winter I have been distancing myself from such a colleague and I still need to handle another one. Also, for some time now I have been asking questions and not saying yes to everything my management asks me to do. Hear me my fellow bloggers and do not sign anything before you absolutely sure to understand. There is so much sneaky management tricks that may fool you, especially if you are like me and tend to trust. Consult your union, knowledgeable people around you, or a lawyer. This is real.

So I have had some progress in this area and I know that I will keep going until all becomes manageable. There is more to be learnt and I am looking forward to it.

 

joy journal – September 10, 2017

It has been a long time that I wrote in this journal. I miss it almost everyday but it is hard to find time to put the words out. Today I am taking my time as I made a conscious choice of being grateful and, as a result feeling good.

Not all days and moments are joyful, or without any problem or hurt that bothers us. But we/I could find some time to remember the things, event, experiences, and people that makes our lives better, safer, and enjoyable. This journal has served me well in this sense, I hope you too will start your own and benefit from it at least as much as I do.

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1. I am grateful for sleeping well and getting up at around 9 am. It was not too early or too late. Just right.

2. I am grateful for my morning coffee which was just right. Every once a while I get the temperature right and today was one of those times. With a little bit of sugar, it was the most enjoyable drink I have had in the last while 🙂

3. I am grateful for not getting crazy over the rain. I was planning to shop today but it rained whole day and made my plan a future plan. I do not need anything urgent, but shopping would be very therapeutic and help me with feeling good and excited. Ah, shopping…. 🙂

4. I am grateful for baking a sourdough loaf today. I run out of the bread in my freezer and I was so craving for fresh bread 🙂 

5. I am grateful for speaking with my family today and for their well being, health, and happiness.

6. I am grateful for working today. I worked around 3 hours reviewing a report and drafting a report about it. I still have work to do on it, but I started and this is good. I must finish my report in two weeks and I have ample time now that I progressed quite a bit today.

7. I am grateful for being assertive with a dominant and bossy collaborator of mine. He changes things or involves more people in without consulting me on matters directly related to me. I swallowed a few incident like that in the last one month and today he did it again and I said it is time that we talked. I asked him to call me, which he did and we talked. He admits that I am a control freak (who did not know this?) and he was too negligent of others’ opinions and priorities. We talked like two mature individuals with understanding and without yelling or getting mean, which was nice. I am not naive enough to think that this talk has solved the problem for ever; no, as long as I work with him, we will come to the same point again and again. But I am happy that I talked without fearing negative consequences (I actually need him for a project of mine), and formed a more respectful bond between us. This is good enough for now and we can always talk in the future should it be required.

8. I m grateful for the kale meal I have cooked yesterday. At one point in the afternoon I took a supplement that upset my stomach. I ate the meal and it was okay after that. Should I not have the meal ready, I think I would suffer longer while trying to cook something new. Long live kale! 🙂

9. I am grateful for my windows being open and having fresh air in. I love this about summer and fall. One of my treasured activities at home. I feel so lucky 🙂

10. I am grateful for listening to a relaxing music that is great for my fried nerves…. Many years ago I used to try to mediate listening to this kind of music. Seeing the bigger picture in life and feeling safe and well in it in the moment are priceless. I should try sitting meditation someday again, but honestly it is the most boring thing for me (I know many people can do it – hats off!!).

11. I am grateful for stepping out for a short time and purchasing yogurt. I love yogurt!! I can eat an entire tub on a single day; it is creamy and healthy. I should make better choices and opt for low fat variety next time. My doctor informed me that my bad cholesterol is a little bit high. I am still at low risk group, but it was consistently increasing in the last year, so I must be careful with it.

12. I am grateful for realizing my needs and short-comings. I  just had a birthday in the last few weeks. Between the trip to Rome and the busy and stressful work schedule, I could not reflect on my new age except in a few short moments….. I have been looking forward to a quiet time to actually reflect and figure out how I feel about my age and aging, what changes I must introduce in my life, and how content I was with everything else. But this is not happening yet, and I feel annoyed by this… I know that I am changing as a middle aged individual. I know my dreams and plans are changing. I know my days are getting shorter and shorter and so are the days of my loved ones. My chronic disease and death probability is also increasing with each passing moment. These demand significant changes in my attitude, my life-style, and the way I look at life and my priorities. I know my health and my family’s health are the most important thing, but ask me how I contribute to either of this and the answer will be very lame. I am so focused on turning work around and dealing with antsy bitsy issues that I cannot find time to think big or be positive. What a shame…. I am rationally aware of what I must do, yet still cannot or do not take the steps to better my life and spend more time with and cherish my family…. It takes one step to start this journey… I wish that I can start it right now… I may or may not, but at least I am aware of my need and wish and who knows, maybe I will take that step sometime soon.

13. I am grateful for having the day to myself. I plan to watch TV after this and enjoy my time.

14. I am grateful for the cat of my neighbour’s who spends time in my yard a lot. It is a beautiful black and young female cat that keeps hunting and surveilling the yard for pests and moth. She killed a little rat a couple of weeks ago in my yard, which was a scary sight at first. But I am so grateful for this mouser that keeps my yard free of pests. She and I do not interact much except that we both look at each other whenever both of us exist in the yard at the same time. I respect her presence and she respects mine. We are a good team 🙂

15. I am grateful for the food in my fridge and pantry; all the clothes, shoes, furniture, and everything else in my home. They make my life easy and comfortable. 

16. I am grateful for making a conscious effort to have a healthier lifestyle as of today. The last 2 months have been crazy stressful and I lacked the time, energy, and willpower to pay attention to my own health and well being. I almost left home today for a convenience store trip to get junk food, but stopped at the last minute and I am very happy about this.

17. I am grateful for being grateful and finding time to note these here today 🙂

random thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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work and summer

Life continues, and time flies; this is how it feels this week.

I cannot believe that it is Wednesday! I feel like I have so much to do and not done much. Three office days passed already…

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On Monday afternoon I was at a professional event where one of the speakers said something like that “you gotta make sure you work for yourself, but not for others by doing their work“.

How true… I am so involved in other peoples’/trainees’ work that when I need to take care of my own work, I feel stressed because I either run out of time or the energy. I want to claim my own time at the office. Even though I like having trainees under my supervision, I must admit they are too much of a work sometime. It is interesting that not only my colleagues, but also my trainees feel the need to ask me even the smallest thing that they are capable of figuring out themselves. I do not know why I have this effect on everyone, but this gotta change.

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I kind of started doing  that recently; I aim for having at least 2 days/week without any meetings or commitment to others. I found that when I have such schedules, I am most relax, unstressed, and productive. I like my freedom in those days and the peaceful mindset. I love those “free” days 🙂 They make me happier.

Summer is almost here and I have great plans in terms of work. I have a couple of reports to be finished, new collaborative work to be done, at least one project application to make, while also relaxing during the warm, sunny days. This year is unique in the sense that I am not going to visit my family during the summer. That means I have time for myself. I would love to take 2 weeks off during summer. I am not sure when I would like that and what to do during that time, but I am hoping I will at least make it a priority to enjoy the warm outdoors, whether this means hiking, working in the yard, or sitting at a park. 

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joy journal – April 1, 2017

There I am – writing to my joy journal again today 🙂 

It is because in the last one hour or so, I started to feel a lot better. I was reading one of my self-help books that opened my eyes again. The message is that “the more you dwell in negative experiences, thoughts, and emotions, the more they are pronounced in your life.”

How true.

I knew it. Yet, I needed to be reminded it. 

The opposite is also true – the more we dwell in positive experiences, thoughts, and emotions, the more they are pronounced in our lives. I realized that while I am scared of being fired, I actually have no reason to be fired – I am productive, creative, and very well contributing to all aspects of my organization, as expected from me. So why do I have this negative self-suspicion about my own worth? I am worth it; I deserve this job as much as anyone else, even sometimes more than many. I should start pushing away my inner critique and other poisonous people around me.

Very well.

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1. I am grateful that I have not given away the book that I am reading when I decluttered my books last year 🙂  This is a book that I bought in 2015 and it seems timeless and very beneficial for me. Thank you whoever wrote, published, distributed, and sold it.

2. I am grateful for waking up early this morning, around 7.45 am. Quite early and that means the day is long and opportunities are limitless 🙂

3. I am grateful for the coffee I brew at home and enjoying it. I like my morning routines – coffee, browsing the news, and checking the emails before I start doing more serious work. Lovely routine 🙂

4. I am grateful for cleaning my home and doing the laundry. This is my Saturday routine and it works well with me. I am lucky that cleaning my home is usually very easy and does not take much time or effort.

5. I am grateful for speaking with my mom and sister and having lots of laughter. I told them what one of my co-workers said to me this week. I was having a stressful and defensive conversation about something that negatively affected both of us and my co-worker said ” life is so big“. He did not continue but when I heard what he said, I knew how I interpreted it “life is so big and this is such a small issue. Like a little point in the entire universe“. What a beautiful thing to say!  Visualizing this little point in a big circle puts everything in a realistic context for me and many little issues lose their importance right away (do you want to give it a try? – see below).

 

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look at this beautiful upbeat life symbolized by the circle and the small “issue” symbolized with the dot; is it really worth focusing on it so much while there are so many other “points” in life? What is this dot’s worth really when compared to the whole life?

6. I am grateful for taking the bus and going to a mall. I broke the frame of my eye glasses and luckily could find the same frame. All I need to do is now to have the glasses fit in a store.

7. I am grateful for buying canned fish (that I snack at the office), personal care products, and canola oil from a store today.

8. I am grateful for preparing two dough today; one sourdough and one commercial yeast dough. Tomorrow I plan to bake 4 mid-size loaves; two for myself (the sourdough) and two plain bread; one for my neighbor and one for a colleague of mine. It was too much trying to deal with both of the dough at the same time, but both are looking very strong and it will be exciting to see them in the morning all fluffy and risen 🙂

9. I am grateful for the healthy meals I have had today; I did not eat for breakfast, but I have had beans and rice for lunch and quinoa salad with greens and turnips in the evening. The fact that I eat a variety of food that are usually prepared in a healthy way (e.g. not fried or so) should be credited for. I should credit and appreciate myself for these healthy choices.

10. I am grateful for consuming up quinoa! My goodness, I am not buying it again. Such a tasteless and expensive grain. Good bye! 🙂

11. I am grateful for trying to fix a collar that I messed up a while ago. Basically I wanted to see whether a binding tape could make it better and it looks like it is not a bad idea. I just need to make sure to stretch it a little bit so that the collar will hold itself well. This is a progress – there is hope, my friends! I will make it! One day! 🙂

12. I am grateful for having lots of smiles on my face this evening 🙂

13. I am grateful for feeling a lot better today; very positive, and content. Even a little bit silly but yes, I am feeling good and this feels fantastic. Feeling good is a birthright – even though I am guilty of being a perfectionist and a worrying type of person, and thus, usually not feeling good. This being said, it does not mean that I do not enjoy and appreciate it when I feel great. This evening is such an evening. After feeling down for a long time, and dealing with one issue after the other since new year, I take this opportunity to breathe well and put a smile on my face. Till next time.

14. I am grateful for having the night to myself and tomorrow. Tomorrow my plan is to get up early again and walk to a store to get milk and eggs. Then I will bake my breads and a cauliflower dish. I also would like to try another neck line to improve my skills. Yes – sounds like a good Sunday 🙂

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I appreciate myself for the followings today:

  1. I appreciate myself for being healthy
  2. I appreciate myself for having books and benefiting from them
  3. I appreciate myself for re-realizing my worth and the great things about myself
  4. I appreciate myself for taking excellent steps to ensure that I eat nutritious and healthy food
  5. I appreciate myself for not having expensive hobbies or wants
  6. I appreciate myself for constantly expanding my understanding about myself and life
  7. I appreciate myself for smiling 
  8. I appreciate myself for not making unnecessary expenses today
  9. I appreciate myself for being lighter today than yesterday (by one pound)
  10. I appreciate myself for laughing together with my family today

saying “no” is a right

I have been practicing being more assertive and true to my own needs (one other example here). I think it could also be described as advocating for myself, if you will.

And that feels good, my friends.

A colleague of mine, who became quite dependent on me and is neither fully kind nor fun to be with called me at home yesterday evening and again today in the office. I do not mind calls at the office but I hate it when people think that they can reach me whenever they want and call me at home. This was not the first time she called me at home, but this time I had finally had it and I reacted; I saw and recognized the number, and did not answer it.

The same thing today when she called my office. I was out for a second when she called (luckily), saw her number upon my return, and decided to forget about it. The funny thing is that if that was important or an emergency, I am sure she would email me. Anyways; I called a couple of hours later when I have had time. It turned out that she called me for a small thing that she could easily handle. But no, she has to bother me, and instead of figuring things out herself, the solutions should always come from me!!! Because I do not have any work to do myself!!!!

I am angry at the situation as you can see.

We should limit our interactions with such people, especially if they are not even kind towards us, not crediting us for the work and help we do for them and pretending like they have figured and done every thing themselves, and are draining us with their constant neediness, negativity, and opportunistic characteristics.

I have taken my first steps yesterday and today. I am determined to distant myself from this person and stop doing their itsy bitsy work for them. She not only took my time, but also fried my nerves.

If you have someone like this in your life, I hope soon you will prioritize yourself over them.

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random thougths

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

need for reflection

Six days ago one of my colleagues, who I have been working with closely for many years, have died suddenly.

It is such a shock; I had last seen him prior to my vacation – he was well and cheerful as usual. There was no indication that he had health problems. His family said he died all of a sudden.

I still find this difficult to accept.

Is life that fragile?

The answer is obviously yes.

I feel lucky that so far many people important in my life have remained alive and reasonably healthy. Yet the uncertainty about the future, as emphasized by the death of my colleague, made me feel quite anxious.

They say we should be grateful of every moment and for being well and alive, in addition to many other things in life (come to think of it; the last time I wrote my joy journal was almost 6 weeks ago. Time to do it again…). While logically it makes perfect sense, we (I) are so engulfed in the current issues/the requirements of the daily life that this point often is neglected – I have little/some idea about how to change my mindset so that I can relax more into the moment and have both acceptance (of the ever-changing, dynamic nature of life) and positivity (that eventually whatever looks like a big problem may in fact be less impactful than many others, or can be dealt with, or will just pass) every single day.

It is time for me to do some reflection. When the mind stops working on the same little details day after day, it becomes easier to see the reality and the big picture (that we often forget by focusing on small stuff) as they are, and assess better what is important in life. And I can guarantee myself neither the daily issues of my work nor the extensive repairs that will be required at my house will be the most important things in my life 🙂

cheers everyone

random thoughts

What a beautiful day; it rained a little bit here and there but it was warm and very enjoyable day.

I attended a whole-day long work-related workshop today; it is great that we have such gatherings every once a while. It is truly a great opportunity to learn from others, form collaborations, and have lively discussions. I was not sorry that I was away from the office today.

I kept my eating (free and usually unhealthy) food to minimum, which was very pleasing. Also rather than drinking 5-6 cups of coffee, I had tea half of the time. It still pumped my heart rate up a little bit, but I guess tea is a lot better than coffee for a drink.

I had a speech for 30 minutes. Prior to the talk I was a little bit nervous, but it went really well. Two of my team members also attended the talk, which was nice. I tried to credit their excellent work as much as I could. I am sure they enjoyed it and I wish to continue to do so. In all my talks I have pics and names of my team members when I talk about their work. I kept this practice since the beginning, which I am keen to continue. I may be a tough boss (and I am..), but when comes to giving credit I do it well. Knowing that I hardly have seen this kind of practice in other boss’ presentations, I am very happy with my choice.

After the workshop we had a social in a nearby place, which was somehow quite in terms of attendance. But it gave me a chance to connect with some of my colleagues at my work place as well as some of the visiting professional from other provinces. Having a casual and comfortable chat among us (all opinionated and ambitious professionals) is an amazing experience. I am glad I did attend this event and I am glad I did take time to do so.

My work and my colleagues amaze me in so many different levels 🙂

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