Happy Sunday

Folks, I hope you all are having a great Sunday.

We have an incredibly sunny and warm day that makes me feel so grateful. I may not realize deep down, but summer is here and it is time to enjoy it (I am advising to myself right now 🙂 ..).

Last year, 2020, was interesting in so many ways. Being at home due to lock-down, I was able to walk every day, sometimes multiple times, feel the breeze on my face, enjoy the scenery, sweat and feel all good. This year, I have not done this much and I think that is a mistake. With walking and fresh air comes the serenity, dopamine, and feel good thoughts.

Emperor Penguin Walking GIF by Nat Geo Wild - Find & Share on GIPHY

These being said, in rare occasions that I found myself walking out, I noticed a lot more dandelions than before. They are everywhere and I think this year we are not so much into getting rid of this beautiful plant. I know, I know.. It is too invasive and if you let it grow and pollinate, we get more. But I kinda think that leaving a good portion of dandelions in the yards just makes them look great.

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I am enjoying my morning coffee. What would we do without this little treat that is mostly affordable and available?

Season 1 Coffee GIF by Twin Peaks on Showtime - Find & Share on GIPHY

My foster cat Mona is well and we are doing just fine. My beautiful girl. I am still okay with cleaning her litter box and occasional drops on the floor without dislike, disgust, or annoyance. Somebody here said that she was sent to me to learn about love. I kinda think now that this is true. Is this how parents feel towards their kids? Unconditional love and care?

Of course, I cannot one-to-one compare parenthood to being a foster carer of pets, but honestly this is the closest I can get. If I can do this, anybody can do it too. Friends, please foster a pet in need or donate/volunteer at an animal shelter. They need our support, and most importantly, we owe their comfort, safety, and wellness to them. We shamelessly occupied their environment and manipulate them and their living conditions based on our needs or wants. Time to fix things a little bit. Please support animals and shelters/rescue organizations. THANK YOU 🙂

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I have no plans and pressing work timelines today, so I am looking at a day that I can do whatever I want to and enjoy. Perhaps a walk, light cleaning, cooking a nice meal, and reading a book. Aaaaah.. How long has it been that I actually sit down and read a book? Maybe a year or so. Time to fix that too 🙂

Enjoy your day. I wish you all a great day and week ahead.

random thoughts

A somewhat boredom-filled weekend. I keep reminding myself that I have all the opportunity to feel good, but can not stick to it. This is pretty much how I survived the last few decades, prior to the start of the antidepressants. In the last 3 months or so, this is the 2nd time I feel like it does not work.

Logically, the medication works. I generally feel much better, more optimistic, and more effective. I do not get bothered by small stuff and do not get stuck at miniature shit. Expecting that I will never experience these while taking this medication is what my fault is. Expecting that the medications will fix everything.

These being said, things have been spiraling up and far regarding the pandemic. While we are still doing much better, now we have a case or two of the variant virus. The cautions are highlighted, as a result. Naturally, as a person who lives in a place where the case load is low and life pretty much continued as before, except with limited social interactions, use of mask, and working mostly from home, I took it kind of hard. It took me sometime to remind myself that this virus is nothing to be taken lightly. With or without the vaccines. And, where the hey are the vaccines? Has any of you been vaccinated yet?

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There is no mention of when we can get the vaccines. I am not in the risky group category, so I think that it will take some time.

Our works have been tremendously affected. We continue to work and produce ideas and results, but honestly I keep thinking that this focus on work has made me forget the reality. The reality is that we all are going through a very tough and serious patch of time. I have hope that things will get better, but when? Perhaps none of these that we keep doing at work will have any value in the long run if we cannot keep ourselves and the rest of the globe safe from this virus. How long are we looking for? At least a few more years is what my prediction is.

I can forget traveling and visiting my family for at least two years. Will my family be okay during this time? My friends? Myself?

Our lives have changed, whether I realize it or not. Things have changed, we adapted, but harder days are yet to come. One thing I really find peace in is that this is a collective journey. There is so much compassion and understanding in so many different people, communities, and institutions.

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Perhaps, in the post-pandemic era, our lives, work places and practices, and how we go through our days will be much different. Many of us will be out of work. Some of us will have new jobs. There will be different values, different priorities. Perhaps we all will start homesteads and happy with our simplier, more frugal lives.

I have no issues with frugal and simple lives, as long as the basic rights are protected and healthcare and education are accessible by all.

I predict that in the years coming, I will volunteer more, and support the community and the vulnerable. I please ask once again you to help foster animals. It does not have to cost you anything – just talk your animal rescue organization. Give these creatures a beautiful, safe and loving environment. Let them feel the love and care. You will feel the happiness of their companionship and satisfaction of helping others in turn. Please foster or adopt an animal from a shelter.

Be the hope for a life that was otherwise put in a very vulnerable position by humans. Do it.

Stray Dogs Dog GIF by HuffPost - Find & Share on GIPHY

random thoughts

I have been having interesting days. Overall, things are going well, with me head-butting an issue that creates an anxiety. yesterday and today – it has been solved. I am really happy with this. I am not afraid of it anymore, as I figured that the issue does not even exist… Sigh…

This is what anxiety does to you. It is debilitating and limiting. I cannot conquer it, but sometimes I can attack it. I mostly attack when I must. Otherwise, I just wait and continue my mental torture. What a ridiculous situation…. Fear of fear is the most paralyzing of all.

Also, yesterday I learnt about Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) from a blog, and it all made sense to me. Like a miracle. I also learnt that I was not the only person who cannot meditate and silence my mind, and maybe it was because it was the wrong thing for me to practice.

I  believe I get anxiety because I do not listen to my inner voice. Since I do not listen to, I miss what it is trying to say, until the situation or possible future event becomes probable. No wonder why when I hear it, my inner voice is almost always alarming and panicking. How else would it get my attention??

I work all the time. I keep my mind busy all the time. What do I expect? I must take regular breaks and let my mind speak to me. Safely. I need inner connection. I do.

Yesterday I also have had fun with meeting my IFS components; the exiles, firefighter, and manager. I can easily see each one of this, as well as my Self, in my mind as of yesterday. They are all lovable. To be able to do this exercise was amazing. I am grateful.

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I cannot count anymore – has it been 2.5 or 3.5 months that we have been self-isolating? I find my work getting less and less efficient. I want to do more, but I do not know how else to kick my arse really. When will we be back to normal, if we will?

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The weather is awesome, and walking is a delight. The nature is awakening, and greeting each tree and flower on my neighborhood has been a cherished activity. Each one of them are beautiful – how do we still deserve and compare to animals and plants? When has human become the most destructive of all?

I continue to limit my meat sources to fish, and occasional chicken hotdogs. I have some minced beef and chicken in my freezer. When they are consumed, I wish to eat any meat other than seafood only when I truly crave or get sick (chicken soup). I may not be a strict pescatarian, but I sure am trying and keeping it the majority of the time 🙂

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I am watching the news on #BlackLivesMatter in horror. I stand in solidarity with the oppressed, discriminated, and hurt. I stand together with the Black community and friends and colleagues. I stand together with all who experienced such nonsense in their lives. We must change how we approach one other. The worst is racism and other discriminating/stereotyping behavior to be institutionalized and politicized. You know that it is not one group or other, but many groups of human beings are treated unjustly. I stand with all of them.

Kindness.

Compassion.

Fairness.

Justice.

Love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 🙂

 

 

 

The kindness episode

Kindness_jar

 

This is the first post for “The Kindness Episode“, focus of which is to remind us about all the kind, nice, beneficial, and good things we do or can do for other people and animals, our communities, our world, and our environment.

My kindness episode for today was to attempt to help an elderly lady who was struggling to get up from the chair at the hair salon. She managed it before I could reach her, but it took her perhaps 7 attempts to lift herself up off the chair. We exchanged smiles after that.

I felt sad for this, knowing that we all can find ourselves in the same situation one day. But I am also happy that the lady did not ask for help and continuously tried to get off the chair. Her autonomy and freedom are certainly well deserved.

I am sure you have had similar gestures of kindness and compassion for others today. Share and let us cherish with you if you wish.

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Credit: image by hunterdt @ https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kindness_jar.jpg

 

death and forgiveness

Death does interesting stuff to your thinking.

At least, that is what the death of my dad did to me.

I am open about my pain more than I have ever imagined. I am human and I am okay to show it. I do not feel vulnerable or exploited or something like that. No. I feel completely human by talking and showing my grief and as a result, I get completely human responses; nicer, more positive, more emphatic…. I think I am lucky that I have good people around me – not one person said “stop this; you get to get over the death of your dad” or anything else that only an insensitive assh.le could say.

I am also forgiving. After all, what is not to forgive? No one in my life has hurt me physically or psychologically. Yes, there has been people influential on me and I cried, complained, got angry or heart-broken over people or their actions. Yes, I thought there was injustice or unfairness. Yes, I thought that I could do a lot better if I was given equity/equal opportunity. But no matter what, no one has ever hurt me in a way that I could not forgive. I have since then forgiven all and I am feeling good. Like an internal iceberg has melted and I am filled with warmth instead….

Death is a lonely journey. Thinking about someone going thru it is terrifying. It terrified my right before my dad passed away; I was worried about my dad going thru this unknown all alone. Was he scared? I kind of think he might have… I was not there to hold his hand, look at his eyes, and say “it is okay, dad”… It still breaks my heart. Nobody should face death alone. It would be better if our minds and hearts are filled with love and gratitude, rather than fear and loneliness, while approaching our last moments in life.

So when I think about the fact that we all will go thru death, no matter how much we would like to ignore it, I feel the same compassion and affection for all. I do not think anybody in my life really meant to hurt me. And I would not like any one to suffer or be scared during their transition to death. These make forgiveness so easy, so natural.

I cannot believe death can have such a healing effect, but that is what I have experienced.

Hope you can forgive and it has been easier for you than it was for me.

Hope you can forgive someone today.

 

The life in the diary – XII

Fiction

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February 24, 2013

I am placed in a new single-bed room; my isolation from the rest of the public, even though not strictly, still continues. No mingling with others, especially pregnant women and babies/children, continuing to flush the toilet twice, using only disposable cutlery and plates. The garbage is collected carefully and placed in a special disposal bag. I did not ask about this this time; “its contents need to cool down a couple of weeks before it can be dumped” I was told last time.

Although this is my second time going thru this treatment, although I have been there before, I continue to feel like a disaster, something harmful, something unwanted… I have 12 more days to go like this. “Being extra cautious, that is all“. The radiation in my body should not be harmful to anyone else as long as I keep my distance. That is what they said. That is what they had said the first time, too.

But this does not mean it is not harmful to me. I wanna scream sometime… Nobody, not even nurses, approached me more than 4 meters in the first 48 hours. I had to take showers at least twice a day; flush twice, suck candies or chew gums to protect my salivary glands from the effects of radiation, drink gallons of water, and furiously apply lotion to my body and hands to circumvent dryness induced by extreme washing. On top of these, I had to calm myself saying that radiation was in fact good for me; it was going to kill the blooming cancer cells. It was my door to cure. This too would pass….Yet, not for even a moment, I could dis-acknowledge that my body, my normal cells, were also at risk.

I was given the radiation in a pill, which I dutifully swallowed. Once I took the pill, I was officially “hot”. The nuclear medicine expert, standing meters away, tried to joke by saying this I guess.

I did not like the nuclear medicine expert from the beginning on. A tall, confident man. Asked me where I was from. I wanted to snap back asking”why?” but answered anyhow. Whoa… It turned out our nations had battles sometime during  the deep, long history and my nation was certainly not one their favourites!! Ok…. why did I need to be told this? I fumed inside. In a moment, I transformed from feeling incredibly vulnerable to feeling like a hard-rock impasse. I took my revenge when he asked me whether he could sit on my bed to start explaining the cons and pros of the treatment and when I said “sure, please sit; you are old.

I broke a large victorious smile.

He?

Startled.

Oh, yeah; I love myself:)

He came with a young fellow, who never uttered a word during the half an hour pre-treatment consultation. I assumed he was a resident or a medical school student shadowing the expert. Before they leave, I wanted to tell him “we are vulnerable and anxious; we need comfort, assurance, and compassion from our medical teams. Please, whatever you do, please do not aggravate your patient.”

I did not say anything but I hugely regret this now; maybe this young fellow would contemplate on what I would say. Maybe it could help other patients.

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The life in the diary – XII

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goodbyes

Yesterday I have read a blog where a terminally ill patient wrote a “goodbye” post after her treatment failed her and she entered into hospice care.

That goodbye post profoundly affected me in multiple ways. There are a couple of people whom I would not speak to (or they would not speak to me), whom I care about, whom I once loved but did not have a chance to make a good end to our relationships. Considering these, and also that our lives can end any time, I had a tough time yesterday.

If they were sick or dead, I would be saddened beyond their imagination. Knowing that there were things I wanted to say to clarify our interactions, apologies to make, questions to ask to understand them better, and one last hug to show that none of the things happened or did not happen in the past were important now. Knowing that we had no or little chance to do all of these, unless something drastic happens and unless we are given time and opportunity to do so. Knowing all of these hurt.

I loved these individuals more than they can imagine. I loved them deeply, as there was no end to my love for them, regardless of whatever or whoever they were or whatever had happened or had not happened between us.

I loved them timelessly, as not only one spring (where things are the most hopeful, positive, and lovely), but many years (with continuous cycle of different seasons, different grieving, reflections, and healing) passed while my feelings for them excited me, made me happy, and then tormented and emptied me.

I really loved them, as I know I would still love them if I had a chance to be with them, even it has been years or decades since I have last seen/talked to them.

Sickness and death are powerful in the sense that when we face them, then the little things do not matter any more. It becomes easy to forgive and forget all the things that helped our ego or our pain to keep us at an angry, cold, and resentful state.

It is important to say a proper goodbye, it is important to have and show compassion for each other while ending relationships. It is important to remember each other with a smile and warmness in the heart, rather than having the heaviness of negative feelings. I know they have compassion, I know I have, too. I also know neither me nor them will make a move any time soon to restore our compassion and kindness for each other.

Love you both.

I can only be compassionate and understanding

Since I wrote this post a couple of days ago, I have been thinking; there is so much truth to it. Yes, “there is a limit to what one can undertake”.

I have chronically low levels of energy; it has not been like this all the time; but in the last 5-6 years, this has been the case. Whether it is a natural change in the body/metabolism due to middle-age, or I have been undertaking too many work-related activities with too much of responsibility, or I have been living in geography with usually grey skies and icy, snowy, or long winters, I do not know. But, I walk less, I exercise less, and most importantly I want to do less (except the work activities).

What do we do when we have many to take care or think about? We all have lives and people we care about; the majority of us have houses and other properties to clean, organize and take care of, work and financial needs and worries are there, too. Include your health, hobbies, and wishes and plans for future. How do we deal with too many thoughts? Issues? I personally will shut down some of the issues to deal with those which needs to be taken care of immediately or that carry some kind of importance. Or, just to keep my mind occupied by other activities to give my mind a break. That means, the rest will remain somewhere out there or in my mind to be dealt later.

I can only be compassionate and understanding when the issues not dealt with come back more problematic, as I cannot deal with all. It is okay to shut down, relax, and recharge when it is needed. It is okay to prioritize and it is okay to err in prioritizations.

This is not “losing”, this is not “giving up”, this is not “not fighting up”.

This is acceptance. This is being human.

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