random thoughts

Life is good, as Spring is here πŸ™‚

Other than this the news coming from India about the lack of oxygen tanks and the huge number of deaths are simply depressing me. I am so sorry for the residents of India, and all those who are affected by COVID-19. The health care services, like education, should be on the priority list of any governments. Perhaps they did not have the means to do so, but the numbers are so high and the stories are so heart-breaking that I cannot feel but angry for all the lives lost..

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I visited to my yard this morning. Grass are growing and trees are about to get leaves. It has been great lately, with clear and blue skies. The temperature is not too high yet, but I can open the windows for a few hours everyday, just to get fresh air on my face… What an awesome feeling…

I was almost sick last week, so decided to take a few days off and rest. It was the best decision. I have not rested – but I found a chance to stay away from online meetings and just focus on what I want to do. I really dislike the meetings… We have so many.. Why do we have so many meetings????

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I decided that I want to keep Fridays to myself, and refrain from meetings if possible. The 3 days – together with the weekend – just make it a stress and distraction free time period. Sounds like a mini vacation to me πŸ™‚ I could not be more excited.

Mona, my foster cat, is doing really well. Her last set of medications seem to work and she is feeling much better. She has a little rash on her skin, which worries me. For now, we are tackling it by limiting the food to her regular brand and refraining from using chemicals, especially those that I used to apply while cleaning her litter room (lysol). I clean that room everyday now, with hypo allergenic baby wipes and vacuum the floors every day. Her blankest are also washed regularly and I try to pay attention to her grooming habits. My good girl. She will be fine. She will get better. I love her so much.

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Do you have plans for summer? I know this does not sound right as many of us are under lock down still. But we all must try to enjoy and celebrate summer. Nature is amazing, so is weather in summer. We can spend more time outdoors, as many experts recommend, and enjoy gardening. This is the 2nd year that I will not be visiting my family. I cannot complain, I love walking in the city and enjoying the fresh air. I like looking at the yards, trees, plants, and listening to the birds chipping. I like having the windows open. I simply love the blue skies and having people talking on the street. Life is fuller when these happen.

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I am looking at a busy summer though. I just got a new team member last week and another one is to join in two weeks. That means a lot of one-to-one meetings and trainings. I have work to be completed and new ones to start. I am so looking forward to accomplishing all of these, and start new projects.

At least, I will keep my Fridays to myself (I hope), will continue to say no (which I have been getting really good at), prioritize my work better, and take it easy. We are going through a global pandemic and our lives are not the same. Our mentality and emotions are not the same. Our priorities are not the same. We simply cannot keep up with everything and that is okay. I came to accept this a while ago and this reduces the pressure on me. I also expect less from my team members – we all are struggling in one way or the other.

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But I am truly grateful that we are all safe now, my family, my team, my friends, and myself. So far so good. What the new days will bring, nobody knows. but until then – keep safe, folks, wherever you are, take time for your and your loved ones’ wellness, enjoy the summer as much as you can.

Better days ahead.

random thoughts

A cold day here. I can notice it in the living room. Gotta increase the temp a little bit for Mona, my foster cat. She is sleeping comfortably, yet, who knows what they feel? Cats, I heard, are notoriously private animals. You will not know the challenges they have, especially health-related, until late. Cannot risk this. I love her.

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I have had a productive work day, with only one meeting in the afternoon. I cannot say how beautiful and stress free and productive days without meetings are. How did we end up with this meeting madness? There are only a few meetings that are really worth our times. There must be some regulations against unnecessary meetings. I should start with the meetings I organize myself. Are they really necessary? Some of them are not. There is a saying that I had heard once from a colleague – use the needle on you, but the blunt nail on others. If I can not do the right thing, can I expect it from others? If I complain about others’ behavior while I do the same thing? So, I am off to reduce our meeting frequency now.

The week gets longer and longer, but I am excited about the weekend. I hope not to work too hard during the weekend. The pandemic gets on my nerves and I feel the urgent need to celebrate somethings to feel better. Tomorrow I hope to cook something fancy and maybe serve them on fancy plates and with candle light, like my good virtual friend declutteringthestuff does! What an inspiration. Thank you my friend. I certainly am looking forward to my dinner tomorrow!

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I think I had mentioned that we were getting increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases lately. This makes me anxious and also extra careful. Now I use double mask and limit my visits to stores. Shopping, turns out to be, a quality time for me. Last week I noticed it once again (initially I had decided not to go for shopping…). The pleasure coming out of it is noticeable. But I must limit this seemingly safe practice during the pandemic. It hurts, to tell the truth. But it needs to be done.

Mona has a vet appointment in the coming days and I hope that she is okay. I know that when she gets the clear health, she will be up for adoption… The bond I formed with this magical creature and the joy I got with having her in my life have been, just, beautiful… I will miss her… I will cry… I will curse to life that prevents me from adopting her, but I hope to move on when she gets adopted. I hope she will choose good people and be always comfortable, healthy, happy, loved, and well cared.

Then, another kitty needing shelter and love will come πŸ™‚

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On the positive side, NASA had yet another explorer on Mars. How fantastic is this?? Amazing… I am so excited.

Humanity is able to do a lot of things.

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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.

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Sunday morning musings

Good morning everyone – I hope you are enjoying this day.

We have a bright day outside, which is always a treat for us folks during winter. I plan to walk a little bit and get fresh air. Seeing snow all white and fluffy (sometimes; some other times it is just that dirty snow banks – ugh) gives me some sort of serenity. I love it and cannot wait for my walk.

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I am currently enjoying my coffee. I have already browsed through the news and social media. Feeling connected and informed by what have been going on around the world.

The COVID-19 pandemic is going on (duh!). Many folks are still in lock-down, some have stricter, some have more relax regulations. It is hard to believe that it has been almost 10 months for us…. I remember the initial days – how I sent my team members to home earlier, advised them to take personal items with them, and make sure their personal computers can function to continue work. I have been used to work at home, so it did not affect me too much, but going out and shopping was the one that bothered me most.

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Then came the news of more deaths, more people affected. International borders being closed and travel becoming a hurdle. We all hoped for vaccines to come along, which now are available to lucky countries and bunch.

The moment we thought we had hope with the vaccines came the news of the new variants. At first they said that there was no evidence of the new variant being associated with higher mortality, only higher infection rate. The last few days I have been hearing that now there is some sort of evidence that it may be more deadly.

One wonders how long we will go ahead like this and worry about ourselves, family, friends, neighbours, and global population overall.

I think the answer is as long as we all can.

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The other question everybody has in their minds is how we are going to recover economically, socially, or otherwise. I have no idea… Today may as well be the best day economically. For example, we expect some job cuts soon. Will it affect me personally? I have no idea. But it will affect many people, if it has not already. So, let’s enjoy what we have already, folks. Tomorrow we may not have jobs, or our salaries and benefits may be cut, or we all may feel like doomed. Let’s not let this get into our ways. Not yet.

I had heard once that a library was looking forward to the diaries that pen down the experiences of individuals during the pandemic. What a great idea. I feel like we are in the middle of a historic moment in human history. I expect many novels, collections, and movies describing our experiences in the future.

But more importantly, how we all have adapted to this situation. What worked and what did not. Just like the 1918 flu pandemic, perhaps we will leave important clues for the next generations, for the next pandemics and infectious diseases, or catastrophes.

I am aware that none of these are new to you, so this blog entry is rather meh (at least this is my own assessment). But I felt like writing these down. I am lucky that I have not lost anyone I know to COVID-19 and live in a place with rather low numbers of active cases. I am one of those lucky people, who just happened to be in the right place in the right time. I feel guilty rather than lucky, to tell you the truth….

The other day I was having a conversation with an acquaintance and she reminded me that we are all connected – all life forms. We in fact are.

Stay safe and connected.

There is light at the end of the tunnel.

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Happy New Year!

Folks,

I wish you the greatest year and wonderful experiences ever in 2021!

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I know the situation is far from being normal and positive, but we must keep the faith in wonderful things happening and our hope that it will get better with time.

I feel selfish to note this here, but I think 2020 was one of the best years of my life. I know… I am sorry that I can say this…..But finding good things in our ordinary life, slowing down, daring for things that I wanted but did not (aka fostering a lovely cat), and making good progress in some areas – both personally and professionally – are all what make me feel grateful for the lock-down.

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These being said, I continue to be worried about my own and my family’s health and safety during the pandemic. I also feel the burden of being one of the survivors of this pandemic, while millions have died so far in 2020…..It is a real burden.

  • Those who are affected by this virus or have lost a loved one, I hope you will find peace in being better now and in good memories with loved ones.
  • Those who are affected by the lock-down and lost their jobs/closed their businesses – I hope you will get support during these difficult times and receive opportunities to keep going.
  • Those who has got knowledgeable about the racism, double standards, femicide, domestic violence, homelessness, addiction and mental health sufferers during the pandemic – I hope you will continue to feel these people’s pain and do something, really something, to prevent further injustice.
  • Those who are working from home, while also caring for elderly or kids – I hope the child care will be free for all of you real soon. I know it is hard one to wish for, but I do genuinely wish this for you.
  • Those who got bored during the pandemic/lock-down and started new hobbies and life-styles with positive outcomes – I applaud you and I hope you will show this plasticity in the future and bring the best of creativity to your lives.
  • Those who sacrificed for the rest of us; the essential workers from healthcare providers to grocery clerks – I hope you realize your importance for the globe. Thank you for all you have done for the rest of us.
  • Those who has found something positive out of all of these uncertainty, pain, and worry – I hope you will keep going and share it with everyone around you.
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This last one is particularly important – let’s always remember that labeling 2020 with hardship and pain only, and wishing it be gone will not change anything…. Pandemic is here – people suffer and have suffered. We do not know what the next day will bring.

But, maybe it will bring A GOOD thing.

Let’s remember to remember the wonderful things happening in our lives and in others’ lives. We owe it to our collective well-being.

Have a great 2021 and stay safe.

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Saturday morning musings

Happy Saturday everyone – hope you all will have a pleasant day, and find a chance to rest and be joyful.

I am excited for today as I am not planning to work. Rather I will be out going for shopping πŸ™‚ I did some shopping this week, thanks to a friend who gave me a ride. But I still have some stuff to purchase and some items to return, so today is a great day to do all of these.

Since I do not have a car, my shopping (in malls) is often restricted to one mall and a few stores in the mall in a given day. Carrying bulky or heavy stuff by hand around is not practical. This is just one restriction of not having a car, while there are so many other benefits of not having one πŸ™‚

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I had a rather less busy week at work, and that allowed me doing the house chores yesterday, leaving today to myself. I am quite grateful for this.

It takes longer to clean the house now, considering I have a foster cat (Mona) under my care. But that is okay. I would rather spent 2x time in cleaning than not having these magical creatures in my home. I feel so lucky and happy to have finally decided to take the step to foster cats. It has been 6 happy weeks πŸ™‚

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While fostering comes with almost no extra expense, I nevertheless supply around 1/4 of the food and litter to help the organization. I also am happy to make other expenses that make my and Mona’s life easier – these include disposable litter boxes and scoops (replaced every 2 weeks), generous use of litter bags (scooping the litter 3-4 times a day) and disposable cleaning clothes and disinfectant wipes. All of these make it much better experience. I also need a second vacuum (maybe a small, hand-held one) to help with the vacuuming (litter and cat hair, mostly). This is better than carrying my bulky vacuum on the two floors of the house everyday.

As someone who is interested in saving money as much as possible, the fact that I am enthusiastic about these extra expenses are a clear indication that I get so much by having Mona at home. Money is not everything, right? Right.

We have a rather warm December. Looks like it is gonna be a warm winter this year, which I am sure is welcomed by open arms. We have had such a tough 2020.

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Are you looking forward to 2021? Honestly, I do not expect much of a change, maybe except for the vaccinations rolling on and mortality from COVID-19 going down. We still need to figure out the economy, the travel, and opportunities lying ahead in the post-pandemic future.

One of these opportunities is more virtual meetings & conferences organized. For professionals like me, this provides a cost-effective and comfortable professional development opportunity. I am really looking forward to these.

I still do not know when I can go visit my family, but summer 2021 does not seem to be an option. Have not talked about this to my family, but I think they already predict that. As long as they are healthy and safe, I am okay with this.

I really am.

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random thoughts

Much better day today compared to yesterday, and I could not be happier πŸ™‚

It was a busy day that was filled with itsy bitsy things, all work related. Sometimes our days are filled with little stuff with big hearts. They need to be addressed and they like our attention…sigh…

We have had a rainy, gray day. Looks like it is gonna continue like this for some time. I am okay with this, except that I was planning to go shop (by bus); this will likely not gonna happen as long as it rains.

We are now into 7 months of lock-down. How are you all doing?

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  • I am generally okay, though there are a couple of things that have changed:
  • I visited the thrift stores only once during the pandemic, can you imagine? I used to find great books, clothing and kitchen item, and unique pots for my plants so easily in the thrift stores. This type of excitement has been lacking from my recent life. Maybe that is okay, considering I actually have everything I need
  • I spent more money, now that everything is more expensive. I admit that I spent quite a bit of sum of money to stock up durables (for example, toilet paper, soap, shampoo) and food (for example, canned food, lentils/beans, butter, and so on). On the other hand, I saved money, re; bus fare (small, but significant savings)
  • I drink tea and crave for greens more often
  • I have initially gained some pounds, and then lost a few of them, and am still trying to drop pounds
  • I baked sourdough bread only once during the last 7 months – mostly due to getting even busier with remote work conditions
  • I started fostering cats, with the first one, Mona, being an angel πŸ™‚
  • I have not visited my family this year and I hope that I can do this in the next two years

When I think about the pandemic and see the news, I realize how lucky I am for being here, healthy, and knowing no one who contracted the virus or died from it

Honestly, thinking about future with COVID-19 in my mind is giving me headaches sometime. While certain things have changed for the better, I really do not know how the economy will recover, whether our jobs, salaries, and benefits will be protected, whether I will still be eligible to early retire on time, and whether we will have to deal with this virus even after a successful vaccine is developed and become accessible by everyone around the world.

The likely outcome is that many of us will find ourselves in worse conditions than today. I am grateful for my job, not having my salary or benefits being reduced (not yet), all the savings I have done in the last especially 6 years, and the fact that it could have been much worse… Thinking about the young generations – what awaits them in terms of economy and job opportunities is probably worse than ours.

The economic forecast is possibly the best motivator for me to look into my spendings and see how I can curb it. Maybe I will write about this later…

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Sunday morning musings

Life is good right now, with a peaceful mind and coffee on the side.

There are a lot to be said and comment on; the pandemic, the negative effects of the lock-down, and the itsy-bitsy things that keep filling my mind. BUT, this morning, I will rather contemplate on the positives.

It has been more than 6 months that we have been in lock-down. We work mostly from home, going to office only occasionally. One of my team members have not been to his office since the start – they really would like to limit their exposure to common areas. I respect that. They are doing as good as it can be with remote work. So there is no need to be worried about.

Rather, I am glad that he is that cautious and is a great example to many people who would not follow the guidelines. I am lucky as a boss that I have responsible people working with me.

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This brings me to the cluster at White House – I am so surprised by the lack of understanding of the real situation. That is all I can say. Surprised. We are failing in bringing knowledge to the public. While this is a negative thing to say, it should also help do better.

What I learnt from the recent Black Lives Matter movement and demonstrations was that once we accept that we are a part of this – directly or indirectly – then, addressing racism, inequities, and unfairness becomes much easier.

It is the resistance that blocks change or actions that will benefit most.

Accepting the fact that politicians, medical authorities, scientists, and media are failing in disseminating COVID-19 related knowledge out to public is the first step.

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One can argue that even the knowledge is there, its uptake by the citizens/readers is not. True. Then perhaps we must also look into the reasons of this. Obviously, knowledge per se is not enough.

I personally accept that I have not done my part as a citizen to inform others better about the dangers of COVID-19. I will with diligency think about what my next steps can be.

These being said, on the personal side my insomnia almost disappeared since the lock-down and I can handle the emotions and emotional reactions better as I cave in my home.

Home is healing in so many ways, isn’t it? πŸ™‚

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Home. Home. Sweet Home. Enjoy your home and surroundings, folks. The trees, the streets, the houses, the neighbours. When I look at all of them in the last few months, I have seen many beautiful trees and yards in my neighbourhood, and many people doing and talking sweet things. Paying attention to good and a little bit curiosity about life is the spice of life. Let’s enjoy it.

I am not walking as frequently as I had in the first few months of the lock-down. In a month or so, we can expect snow to start. That white, fluffy, and innocent thing always makes me feel more cozy, homey, and celebrate the slow pace of life.

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We cannot keep running; that is why perhaps we can keep enjoying the slow-down. Like what the pandemic has done to us. Like what Winter does to us.

As long as we are safe, healthy, and accept our failures and misses, I believe we will be in a much better place in the next day.

Enjoy your Sunday, folks.

Saturday morning musings

Happy to type this post this morning; it has been a while that I put my heart, mind, and words here.

The great news is that it is a beautiful morning where I feel no rush to sip my coffee or start doing home chores. I am not in rush… What a powerful, positive, and attractive feeling.

There is this bird that I woke up to each morning. She sings like nothing I have heard. Incredible melodies, maybe 2-3 different tones. Remembering it even puts tears of joys in my eyes. My daily walks around my neighborhood continues to delight me – there are so many new trees, yards, and plants that I got to notice, admire, and love. It is these moments spent in nature that I realize the one organism messes up with much is sadlyΒ  human.

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What is going on in some countries with COVID-19, all the suffering and deaths, failure to control the pandemic and support people, and resistance to use even the simplest public health measures makes me angry, disappointed and disgusted. This is human life we are talking about – can you not implement policies that others are already successfully doing? Can you not put on a mask, or practice physical distancing of 2 meters? Can you not realize this is not FLU.

Rant over. But I needed to do this for the memory of all those who lost their lives needlessly to COVID-19.

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The effects of this pandemic is continuous, of course. I continue to feel depressed, but not sure whether this is due to pandemic and the changes it implemented in my life, or other things going on in my life, especially related to work.

It has been a mixed feeling at the beginning. I had enjoyed having a break from office and working fully from home. It was doable and I was feeling advantageous because working from home is not something new to me. BUT over time people I worked with could not keep up. We started to fall back and my productivity decreased considerably. This sucked. Only lately I feel like I am finally completing the lagging tasks and I can look forward to new, fresh ideas and projects. This is at least a great development lately.

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I also feel like I must take a break and I am starting with a few days the week ahead. I plan to do what I want to do most – contemplate about what is important and what is not. In life and at work.

Remarkably, it has also been a time of change for me. I try to remove my perfectionist attitude and relax the measures a little bit, which makes an awesome difference in the work load I shoulder and give others more responsibility for their action or inaction. There are other changes. I think I will write about these changes and the positive effect they have on me later. Change is an opportunity and gives me hope, makes me excited, and absolutely less depressed.

I think I am feeling depressive because there are things that are not working for me anymore. That is why change is powerful, needed, and feels hopeful.

I also feel very strongly about the fact that I have been feeling like shit for a very long time and it was time that I choose to feel better.

It is gonna be alright.

This too shall pass.

When it does, it will be much better.

I believe in it.

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random thoughts

How you all been doing?

I feel like this pandemic has got on my nerves quite a bit. Self-isolation, working from home, limited social life, limited store visits, and limited fresh food all suck.

There.

I said it.

It sucks!!!!

Today I went to a store just to pick a box of pastry. I felt victorious and free. I decided to do my grocery shopping every week to buy different food each time. I decided to eat better and a variety of food. I decided it was not yet a disaster situation. It was still safe where I was. And, it was okay that I get some sort of normalcy and provide my body and mind some sort of a relief.

————————————————————–

Summer is here and I love it. My yard is good – I cut the grass almost every day to control it. My trees are blooming and I just love nature and what it can do. It is the best time of the year.

I have saluted each tree, each plant in my neighbour during my daily walks. They are pretty – how come I have not noticed them earlier? This pandemic is allowing us to approach life a little bit different. Not necessarily a bad thing, as this new ability to pay more attention to our surrounding shows. Some says the current social activism around #BlackLivesMatter movement and the protests were able to involve more people because many of us are away from the workplace. I think there is a truth in this.

What is happening regarding the #BlackLivesMatter movement is certainly an interest to me. I hope that the words will be followed by actions by allies, public members, governments, and organizations, and things will permanently change and equity will be everywhere and racism, discrimination, oppression and increased violence and poverty and so on will cease to exist. I know it is not going to be easy or in a short time, but we can strive for these objectives. It has been a long time that these hurt and harmed. It is up to us to end and turn things around.

Let’s do it.

Let’s act.

Genuinely.

Persistently.

Happily.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the benefits of the COVID-19 pandemic

It sounds odd, but there are benefits to this fatal pandemic.

Our lives have been interrupted and changed. We do not know what the future will bring, and whether we and everyone else we care about will survive this virus.

We do not know whether we can keep our jobs and mortgages, and put food on the table, and if so, for how long.

We do not know.

Every morning I get up with one thought on my mind – that we are in fact going through a disaster. Some of us, like me, are experiencing it mild, some others are experiencing with daily death and suffering around them.

It is a very depressing and anxiety-creating situation. But, I think I am also good at keeping myself busy and pretending that nothing is happening. This must have kept me sane so far.

I feel horrible writing these words, but this pandemic has been good to me. I realized that I have a high quality of life in my personal life, but low quality of work life.

While I knew that I had a stressful job, I did not know that my life outside of it was a blessing!!!

There are things at work that I fully dread and would love to get rid of, like some roles that drain me but bring me little or no recognition or benefit in return. There are some colleagues who are the worst and I would not like to see or interact with them anymore. This is in fact a great time for me to shake shit out of my shoulder.

It is also strange to be happy that I am not going home this year (my flight has been canceled). I am not feeling bad about this. I will enjoy staying here and experiencing summer. The good weather. The peaceful working from home order. I will. I want to.

cabin fever is real

I have had it enough.

The revolution started this week (e.g. making the decision to do the grocery shopping every two weeks, rather than every three weeks so that I can eat and enjoy fresh produce) is continuing.

Lean In Climate Change GIF by Sub Pop Records - Find & Share on GIPHY

Today I made the decision to go to store AGAIN and get some more fruits.

And what did I see?

Mulch being 50% off.

Whaaaat? Forget the fruit.

I have been meaning to get mulch for years so that I can make my yard look a little bit better. Friends, since I do not have a car, I needed to make multiple visits to the store and get around 12 bags of mulch. Luckily I have had a shopping cart that can handle 2-3 bags at a time. It was tiring, but I made it πŸ™‚ Tomorrow, I will start cleaning the areas in the yard where I want to place the mulch on. Hopefully what I have will be enough – if not I will make other visits to the store. It is going to be awesome. I am excited πŸ™‚

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But before I forget, I must say the most revolutionary step I have taken. All multiple visits to the store today were made without a mask on. That is right. I made the decision to not put on the mask. Maybe a stupid idea, but I wanted some sort of normalcy in my life.

Protecting yourself every minute sometimes creates its own stress. I wanted freedom.Β  Luckily, nobody sneezed on me or talked to me.

I am still scared of this virus – do not get me wrong. I am not trying to be reckless and increase my risk of contracting this virus. Please don’t take my lead and forgo putting on your mask. Do what you need to do to protect yourself.

I was just scared of that feeling of having a limited life, being limited/isolated, and eating limited food. It has been 2 months.

This thing called COVID-19 affects us in more ways than I initially imagined.

Mental Health GIF by Qieer Wang - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

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COVID-19 (May 13, 2020)

I am sick of eating canned and frozen food.

I want fresh produce and I am going to shop this Friday. While I am very much scared of catching this virus, I am also scared of the quality and nutrition value of the food I am getting. So, instead of every 3 weeks, my decision today is to do the grocery shopping every two weeks.

It has been only 2 months and I feel like it has started to get on my nerves.

Sunday morning musings

I came to realize that;

  1. I am tired and need a break
  2. I have filled my plate with more things than I can handle – again
  3. I secretly wish that this pandemic and social isolation continue like this for at least a year so that I can take my break, make my mind, and finally start doing things differently

 

I have been longing for changes or so long – this pandemic may be my opportunity to do so.Β  This being said, I have been on this quest for so long and it is strange that I have not moved up a bit (okay, maybe a little bit). Why all this waiting?

Sometimes a drastic step taken in a new direction without much thinking and saying good bye to status quo is the way to go. I want that. I just do not know how to do it…….

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With my summer vacation went out of the window, now is the time to plan a home-vacation……… The predicament is that – what different things can I do to make it a vacation? Challenge?

Oh, on a second thought, I like it πŸ™‚

Just like the song below – isn’t it wonderful everyone?

There are things that energize me. Like Freedom. Freedom to sleep, freedom to watch Netflix, freedom to speak, freedom to get up late, freedom to walk, freedom to not do what I do not really want to. Like walking – honestly it is one the best things that I can do to my body and mind. Like eating healthy food and keeping a healthy body. I am good at cooking and eating generally speaking healthy food, but not necessarily keeping my body fat down. Like journalling and blogging that help me vent out, realize, and reflect. Like doing exciting work and completing important tasks.

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At work, I am completing some things, some others are still hanging out, and new tasks keep appearing (mostly generated by myself). I have been kind of slow in the last two weeks. It felt needed and okay, but I think it is time that I speed up now. I know that every once a while I slow down, and when I come back, things go very efficiently. So, I take this as one of such mini breaks. Tomorrow, I can start again and move fast and high. This feels great, my friends.

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Do you think we can continue with this altered life style for another year or so, until we have a vaccine that works? Assuming that we will survive this time period, of course (I really hope so!). Or, do you think the negative effects will accumulate and come to a point that it will become quite a strain on systems, governments, and businesses that we will see an incredibly drastic changes and hardship?

This last hypothesis is kind of cruel, and also not so much realistic – I would say. The world has seen worse things, like the 1918 flu, conflicts, two world wars and countless of other wars, famine, lack of services, diseases, injustice, shit and bit – we always found a way to come back and stand up.

Have we not?

Viens, viens… Come, come………

random (morning) thoughts on anxiety

Good morning World – I hope all are doing well in this beautiful Saturday morning.

The Spring has been showing its face in the last while. We have shinier days. Being outside is fun and comfy.

I have been feeling kind of anxious lately. It is one of these episodes that I easily get irritated and scared. They say growing is always painful, but pain is an indicator that something has been tried/done and once you are over the pain, you are wiser. Better.

I hope so.

In addition to its pain, anxiety and irrational fear also stop you or limit what you want to do. After all, trying to move away from the fears and worries is only natural.

The other option could be to de-sensitize myself to criticism, failure, worries, and fears. I have been trying that by undertaking bigger roles (which can create more issues) and by addressing challenging issues. I kind of think that the more issues I have to deal with the better I can sort among what is important what is not. I sometimes, just sometimes, can achieve this. Is this a progress or just lucky encounter, I do not know.

What I want to know is what is best for me?

Am I doing good pushing myself like this, or should I just omit things that bother me? The latter option is really tempting, but I also know that one worry-some thing goes, and then another one comes. So changing the perspective and the attitude seems to be the best way.

It is also the hardest.

I think I would like to take time this weekend to reflect on this. Who knows, maybe I will realize something, read or think about something.

These being said, these existential issues somehow help me forget about the seriousness of the COVID-19 situation. I shopped after two weeks yesterday. I wanted to shop, as it excites me πŸ™‚ I bought cleaning products and some canned food, and it felt great. But putting on a mask and gloves, and then taking them off once I was out of the store, coming home, changing clothes, washing them up, and washing my hands and face up until they felt all red was not fun. These are the moments that make me realize how serious this virus situation is (duh!). I think I have been ignoring it so that I would not experience the anxiety it creates.

Perhaps the anxiety I am having over other points are actually a good thing – who knows?

I cannot claim to know how life works. But I sure need some guidance and reading to do on anxiety and how to manage it.

 

 

COVID-19 (May 4)

The 5th month into the COVID-19 pandemic – how are you all doing?

Seriously – how are you doing?

Sometimes I think that I am denying the seriousness of this pandemic and keeping myself busy just to not think about it.

Thank goodness, at least I can walk and talk to the people who most matter to me.

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Have I gotten a little bit soft as a result of this pandemic? Perhaps.

Have I shed the emotional baggage off my shoulder? Not yet.

Have I gotten a little bit more determined to turn my life around? Not even close.

So……..

What is happening?

Perhaps the lessons I must get out of this are; a) patience is needed, b) we cannot get what we want all the time, c) sometimes more is needed for something to work out in our lives.

Realizations… Wisdom… All great words… Not so much action.

I need to act on things that have been bothering me.

Sunday morning musings

Good morning everyone.

πŸ™‚

It is Sunday.

Does it make a difference that it is being a Sunday in an epidemic when we self-isolate?

It seems it makes a difference in me. I just slept in a little bit longer today after I remembered that it was a weekend. No matter what, the work continues to rule our lives, it seems.

I am one of these individuals whose work-related stress went down with the self-isolation. I was speaking to a long-term friend yesterday. She said that it has been good to people like me who were always rushing, rushing, rushing. Now we all have to sit back a little bit. She is so right. Do you feel the same way?

Do you feel you have slowed down and had the chance to notice other things about life? Yourself? What is and who is important?

There are unexpected gains due to this COVID-19 pandemic.

This is of course quite insensitive to say when there are thousands of people who have lost their lives to this disease. Or, lost their wages and jobs……

They say that our lives will not be the same even if survive this disease/pandemic. I would like to believe in this. In a good way.

Dog Love GIF by Red & Howling - Find & Share on GIPHY

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morning musings

It is early morning πŸ™‚

One of those peaceful times of the day. Do you also find the early and late part of the day the most peaceful, most yours?

I had a very busy day yesterday with a 6 hours of online meeting going up late in the evening. I volunteer in that committee, but I keep thinking why I do that year after year. Maybe next year it will be wise to skip this role.

I am sometimes surprised by my (optimistic) thinking. I am still mostly focusing on work, its stress/issues, and completing tasks. However, I do not even know whether myself or people that I care and love most, will be here next year in the face of this pandemic or another reason…..The ambitions I feel for my job performance and the sourness I feel because of the recent rejection of my promotion request – do they really matter? Will they matter if something happens to me or my family?

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The absolute answer is no. But I must remember this context and ask this question to come to this answer.

The mortality risk due to COVID-19 is real. For someone who has a tendency to be pessimistic and having depressive thoughts, I think I actually try not to think so much during this difficult time. I think keeping busy with work actually helps my mind not focusing on these highly depressive but somehow realistic thoughts.

A strong part of this silent pain is because I am away from my family. I feel trapped, and I would feel kind of terrorized if something happens to them now. I cannot fly, I cannot reach. Goodness help me.

I am sure I am not the only one.

I Love You Corona GIF by Chippy the Dog - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

But, enough with that negativity.

  • I am grateful that my family and myself are safe and well.
  • I am grateful that I have a shelter, food, and a job that pays the bills and mortgage.
  • I am grateful that with each day passing, we are getting a little bit closer to a medical solution to COVID-19.
  • I am grateful that the morning is peaceful and I am free to walk and enjoy these hours all by myself.
  • I am grateful that I have coffee and I enjoy it every single morning day after day.
  • I am grateful that I have this blog that helps me connect with the rest of the world.

Season 5 Thank You GIF by PBS - Find & Share on GIPHY

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COVID-19 (April 28)

Just yesterday I was thinking how much I enjoy working from home. It works for me.

I am not sure of my work-place’s future steps. So far we all have been increasingly distancing ourselves from work. There will come a time when they will say “hey, what have you produced during all these times? What else can you do for us?“.

I will be ready then.

This is the 6th week. I kind of have a routine. I wake up around 7 am, brew coffee, browse news and emails, and start working. I often continue till 4-5 pm. I also walk twice a day; one short (around 25 min) and one long (around an hour). The weather is permissive, sky is blue, and walking is relaxing. It is one of my quality of time activities.

The other would be tea. At around noon every day, I brew tea with lemon and ginger. Top it with honey and Voila! You have a great, healing drink at your hands πŸ™‚

The news are often negative and pessimistic. While I like to read each day, I try to stay away from thinking too pessimistically about COVID-19. I want to remind myself day it has already been 4 months that we have been surviving this pandemic. We are going through it. My sympathies to all who have lost a loved one to this disease. Or jobs.

I do not know how long the Canadian economy will hold up. I do not know how long my work-place will keep floating, either. I try not to think about the potential lay offs, but honestly. If there is a time that they will attempt this, it is this time. I am grateful for each salary cheque I receive. Honestly. One cheque at a time.

Life has changed so much. I could make plans for long-term investments and so on. Not anymore. I already lost a portion of my investments when the markets went down. I do not want to get crazy about it. I hope that things will get better.

In the middle of all of these, what is more important is that I try to sort what and who is important and what/who is not. It is fun. The best way to do this is to take a break from work. In the last while, I worked almost everyday. I have been meaning to take a break since February. Perhaps next week I will take a couple of days off and read books. Reflect on life. Reflect on issues and wishes.

Stay well, everyone. Wherever you are, I hope you are healthy, have food, shelter, and safety.

 

COVID-19 (April 15)

Yesterday and I today I worked long hours. I am writing an objection letter to rejection of my promotion request.

I know that it will not make a huge difference. Goodness knows, I wanted to quit putting energy in that, but could not. I had to do this.

But I seriously want to quit my job, and I cannot afford it, either. Not yet.

This is how you lose motivation towards your workplace.

I have been to this point a number of times. This is not the first time. But it can be the best time.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Time to finally change priorities.

I want to prioritize:

  1. my survival
  2. my family’s survival and supporting my family during the pandemic and beyond
  3. quality of my life
  4. being grateful for each pay cheque
  5. being grateful for each dime saved
  6. having hope that I will look for jobs once this pandemic is over
  7. dumping all unnecessary work off my shoulder

The rest, like promotion, should not matter.

 

Sunday morning musings

Good morning everyone – hope you are all safe, healthy, and free of COVID-19 related anxiety.

I know, I know….

It is hard not to feel anxiety about the situation; about ourselves, our and other loved ones’ well-being, and the current and future financial outlook.

….

Like any of you, I am getting more and more aware of the global and national situation, issues, and future predictions on a daily basis. The fact that I have been stocking up essential items and food in the last 3 weeks or so states this very well. I sometimes think quite drastically and assume that we will be only dependent on the food that we can grow in our yard and homes. Funny I know, but I cannot help but think about this. We will not have that panic-situation, will we?

I am quite aware of the importance of the cash right now and keeping my job. Goodness…

I wished somebody deferred the mortgage payments for 6 months or so – without interest – so that we all could save some cash and feel more secure…

I do not know what to do with my RRSP and TFSA contributions, either. I keep going as before. Since the market is down, it seems like the perfect time to invest. Yet, I cannot think about yet another blow to the market and the value of the investments getting even smaller. Since I used a portion of my RRSP to pay my down payment, I must continue with my RRSP contributions, but what about TFSA? Shall I rather stop my contributions and keep the cash in my chequing account?

I took so many things granted…Like many of us I guess.

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It is a beautiful, shinny, and peaceful morning out there. Perfect time to walk without even thinking about where to go.

I checked on a couple of people who I worked with in the past. I hope they are doing well. It will be awesome to hear from them. It also feels great to reach out to people I care about.

These being said, it is sad that I am away from my family and who knows when I will be able to visit them. I had purchased a ticket for this summer, which I am sure will have to be canceled. Next year? Will this be over next year? if so, how expensive will be the tickets? Will I be able to make it home then? I must confessed that this year I did not want to go visit my family – I have posts about it. I never thought that it would become a necessity like this. Life is so strange.

Over and over, I come to realize that while my mind is busy getting stuck at little pains of the past, it misses the chance of living what is important.

Here is to a painless past and vivid present:

random thoughts

The second day in the row that I am not working. I like this break.

I started watching the Black List on Netflix and I am really enjoying it. I did the mistake of looking for some information about the plots – it really downs the excitement. So a mental note to not do that for future episodes/other shows.

I went to Shoppers today. I had difficulty finding liquid hand soap at Sobeys – my regular store. While I meant to limit my visits to crowded places, I thought it was a good idea to visit Shoppers and get other personal care and cleaning products at the same time. I went there early,Β  waited in the line to get in, and got in together with around 40-50 other customers.

They counted the people at the entrance, which tells me that they allow for a certain number of individuals all at the same time. But I still thought it was crowded. Some people do observe 6 feet distance, many do not. So, it is really up to you protect yourself in such environment. I put on disposable gloves and mask on the entire time. They give you some sort of peace, but it is also uncomfortable to have something on your face. Alas. Shopping my friends, which was fun in the past, is now a hurdle and risky business.

Shopping GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Nevertheless, I am grateful for the eggs I purchased, hand soap, hand creams, and facial tissues. I feel like I have no cleaning or personal care products that I need for at least 3 months. This feels good.

 

gifs by:https://giphy.com/gifs/animated-gif-3d-animation-nKERd2uhn8hhe

 

COVID-19 (April 9)

It has been a bright day with a beautiful blue sky… Under different conditions, we would have been jumping up and down with excitement. Alas. We have a pandemic to go through this Spring (and beyond).

Despite the negative air it carries with itself, we must find ways to appreciate and love the life we are having right now. It is possibly the best day and best life we can have compared to what we will have in the next while. It is true – we may get sick, we may get more isolated, we may experience financial hardship, and we may lose loved ones. But today we are okay. Let’s appreciate this for a moment or two.

Tomorrow will mark the 3rd week of self-isolation, working mostly from home. 3 weeks – can you imagine?

I think we are doing it. I think we get used to this new life. I think we adapt to it better than we thought we would.

What do you think?

 

COVID-19 (April 8)

How is it going everyone? Hope you are all healthy and staying inside, washing those hands, and keeping sane in the face of anxiety.

Canadian provinces have been projecting numbers based on some models, and the numbers of cases and deaths some of them are estimating are horrifying. I increasingly become aware that we are looking at a long and serious ordeal. Whatever I must do, I must keep healthy, isolated, strong, employed, engaged, and connected.

As long as I have my job, I can do any of these. Goodness help us – my organization has been under financial crunch for sometime. It is, I hope, not the time that they start let us go. I doubt it – they can reduce our numbers to some extend, but I as a moderately senior employee should not be in the immediate line. I hope.

I can continue to walk everyday (around 1 hour), keeping away from others in the street. The majority of the time this is quite possible, but today three gents were walking (they were side by side – are they not worried at all?) and I was not able to navigate my way away from them, as they decided to walk right towards me in the last second. This kind of things make me nervous. Anyways – walking is good for my physical and mental health. So I am looking forward to continuing this activity.

I can continue to eat healthy, drink tea with lemon, ginger, and honey everyday. I like it. In the last few weeks since I started self-distancing, I have been having light coughs and sneezes every once a while (nothing serious). It feels like cold, and what better remedy than tea? I believe tea, ginger, lemon, and honey are therapeutic together and keep my body strong.

I can do grocery shopping only once every two weeks or so, and not go to office unless it is really needed. My plants will dry up, I am afraid.. They were so nice and beautiful. Some of them were just flowering… This is sad. But they drying up is preferred than me getting this virus. So we will take it easy.

I can continue to frequently wash my clothes, gloves, and others that I use while outside. I can sew and put on masks while outside, particularly while shopping. I can continue to wash my hands and keep them away from my face (boy! how hard is this? Just right now both my nose and eye are itching!).

I can continue to contact and communicate with my family, friends, and colleagues. The daily human interactions are for sure important and help me against the threat of psychological isolation.

I wonder whether I can cut out some more expenses. I am pretty frugal anyways, just pumped up shopping lately to stock up essential items. I plan to do yet another big shopping next time, but after that it just must be the food. I cannotΒ  keep fearing the financial hardship to come during and after this pandemic. I think we all feel this one way or the other. As a bank official said today, we will get out of this pandemic “a little bit less wealthier”.

Well.

As long as we get out of this pandemic healthy and with healthy family members, I will be okay with this.

 

 

 

 

 

fake news, unscientific news, and supernatural

Gotta tell you – I just un-followed an account I have been following for some time.

The reason?

If I understood correctly, promoting fake/un-scientific things about COVID-19 (such as it is being caused by 5G) was okay and considered an example of freedom of speech.

Well.

No.

I have no idea what 5G is exactly and whether it is related to COVID-19 (I doubt it, but anyways we need scientific evidence I guess).

However, if it does NOT cause COVID-19, then I know that with such a logic, we would also have telling lies, deception, and making up things related to people, events, and things being okay under the notion of freedom of speech as well.

So.

No.

 

 

Sunday morning musings

If it is anything, it is Sunday πŸ™‚

A day to be excited about. Normally! πŸ™‚

I woke up early, spending the next 1 hour drinking coffee and browsing the news. It is like I expect some miracle good news to show up and tell us that the pandemic is over.

Not gonna happen anytime, soon. Logically, I know. But, hope is a good thing πŸ™‚

It has been two weeks that I have been away from the office (went there only once). I keep myself busy with work and, on the average, 7 remote meetings every week. I kinda feel like I am not feeling the heat of this pandemic yet…For example, I or my family members can contract this virus. They may have medical hardship to deal with it. Heck, we may die.

Sh.t.

I know deep down that I must do whatever I can to limit my exposure to outside world. My family is better than me and thanks to them I implemented some measures, like changing the clothes right away upon returning from outside; aiming to shop only every two weeks or so; wearing masks and using vinyl gloves (yes I have started doing this. Whether they protect me at all is questionable. Whether I protect my mental health and reduce my anxiety; without question the answer is yes. So I do put them on when I go to stores, for example. Then I discard the gloves and refresh the mask.). I wash my hands frequently and clean the fresh product that I purchased, and leave those in cans and bottles three days in a room. After that, they go right into the pantry.

Shopping was once a delight. A pleasure.

Work From Home Health GIF by Joan Kamberaj - Find & Share on GIPHY

Perhaps it is a good thing that I still have my job and we still work remotely. Another fear I am developing is losing my job or significantly reduced salaries and benefits because of this crisis. A lot of people have been laid off their work. Considering the economic hardship the pandemic is adding up to, I would think – similar to politicians and other authorities who are hinting this – that we may be looking at a financially very insecure and tough times. I must do whatever in my power to keep my job and make the best out of my salary and benefits. Will there be a retirement for any of us, I wonder.

Anyways. At least we all will be in the same boat.

I bought a large amount of food and other essential items yesterday. The first time I ever spend more than $200 in a grocery store….I think as the pandemic spreads, and as we hear more of the stores closing due to staff being diagnosed with COVID-19, the more I realize that there may be food shortages as well. I believe I have a good amount of food right now and will not need to shop the next two weeks.

Food Shopping GIF by MOODMAN - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

Using food wisely is becoming a reality. Can I dry them up? Can I freeze them? Can I grow my own? Can I can food/meals?

Well.

To some extend I can do any of these, but none will be a permanent solution. My freezer has a limit; my yard is still under snow; I do not have a dehydrater or a sunny climate but certainly I can try to dry up some veggies at home; and I can pickle a couple of more jars.

See; self-sustaining communities become more and more relevant and important.

Canning Pickling GIF by US National Archives - Find & Share on GIPHY

if anything friends, grab a cup of coffee or tea.

Have a great Sunday.

Coffee GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

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COVID-19 (April 3)

Friday.

Yay….

The day started early, which is awesome. I worked a few hours and then spent the afternoon on a 4 hours remote meeting.Β  4 hours…

I walked twice today. In one of these walks my roads crossed with an aggressive big doggy. I screamed in horror when he came literally a centimeter away me and showed me his teeth. He was weird. He seemed to be very friendly. Maybe he was playing – I don’t know. But it was very scary. Luckily he run away for an unknown reason. I was sure that he was going to sink his teeth on me. I am lucky…

I am also lucky as there are friends that check on me. One just emailed. How wonderful is this?

πŸ™‚

It has been 2 weeks that I have been mostly working from home.

While I had decided to do grocery shopping every two weeks, I decided that I better do one big shopping tomorrow. I just heard a grocery store being closed because an employee was diagnosed with COVID-19. If something like this happens to my store, my chances of acquiring grocery significantly reduce (I have no car..).

So tomorrow morning first thing first, I want to grab my shopping cart and purchase as much food as I can. I am not gonna hoard, but will get a significant amount of dry/canned food. I must do this.

 

Stay safe and be kind

First to yourself, and then the others

Give someone in need a hand

Smile at least

 

πŸ™‚

That turned out to be fine,Β  “pandemic poem” πŸ™‚

COVID-19 (April 2)

It has been a more or less pleasant day.

I could not sleep yesterday night. Felt kind of sick and it worried me. But then in the morning all was okay. That is good.

I walked twice today. Once prior to a meeting, around 25 min of walk, It was nice to get fresh air. The second was longer around 45 min. It was beautiful out there, just walking.

My stress levels are low. I think this may be the best thing coming out of this pandemic.

I find that my work communications are kinder and more compassionate. While we still continue to talk about work, we also talk more about how we are during this time. It is good, There is a sense of community in the air. Maybe it is true that once we get out of this pandemic, the entire human species will become enlightened, selfless, compassionate.

I wanna believe in this beautiful picture, BUT I also know that once this ordeal is over, we will likely go back to where we were. I suspect though some things can change. For example, there are more emphasis on caring ourselves and s.l.o.w.i.n.g d.o.w.n…….

Slowing down can be the best thing we can ever do. Indeed!

We are so competitive; always running against time. We always have deadlines – even our bills have deadlines. Our food has expiry dates. Like, what is it with us and time really?

I like the idea of slowing down and savouring it – whatever we are doing.

Let’s slow for a day and savour the moment…

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COVID-19, April 1

So, Spring is here!

My, my, my..

It should be feeling great, but with what is going on with the pandemic, the sad sorrow and fear it creates, it is hard to get excited about the Spring.

Are we getting depressed?

Sort of…

……….

Maybe just depressive, not depressed.

……….

Let’s keep our chin and hopes high, friends. It is a strange time, but we are going through it.

Brighter days to come.

 

COVID-19 (March 31)

Cannot believe we came to the end of March. Spring must be here πŸ™‚

I slept well again and woke up at 7 am. It was a great morning and I decided it was time that I went to the office. It was quiet there, which is great for work. It was a productive day.

I am tempted to go to office and work there, but I came to my senses this evening. I must limit my risk to be exposed to COVID-19. To do so, I must limit my out of house adventures. I decided that unless extremely needed, I can visit my office once every two weeks or so. Not more frequent. Nope.

Since I walked both in the morning and evening, I felt great today. While I was walking everyday, what is a much better way is to be walking long (around 45-60 min), just enough to break a sweat. This kind of walking is more pleasurable and more relaxing than short walks.

I cooked and ate home-made dishes.

I spoke to family and knowing that they are okay feels great.

I heard from two friends today – one through an email and the other on phone. It was awesome to hear from them and I feel very lucky to have them in my life.

Good night, friends. May you always be kind and loving to yourself and others, including animals.

COVID-19, March 30

Monday.

Really?

It feels like Tuesday already. Have you also lost track of days?

It was a productive work from home day. I also managed to have two remote/online meetings.

I continue to get up early. Today it was 7 am. Have I mentioned that I wear my work clothes? Yup πŸ™‚ I comb my hair as well. I don’t put make up, however. That is a nice break from the routine.

I want to go to office, but the weather is not permissive.Β  I hope that before the end of the week I can make it there. There are a number of things I must do to help my work. Like printing some documents; getting some files; and so on. I also want to have a kind of break to my isolation. A change in scenery. A change in activities.

Anyways; I continue to cook and eat at home. Today realizing the extra weight already put on, I decided to do some light exercise at home. Nothing major but I believe it helped at least stretch my muscles. It was also relaxing. I want to keep doing it.

But really, the weight gain is real. OMG – why is it so easy?

The COVID-19 situation continues to escalate. Some of the stories are very horrific. The rapid deterioration that some of the hospitalized patients showed is what makes me scared most. They say around 30% of the hospitalized patients have now passed away. Is that correct? My goodness – please help us. What are we up to really??

I have been checking online grocery shopping services, and it seems there is one at around my neighbourhood. This is very pleasing. If I must, I can survive at home.

How is our mental health in the midst of this pandemic, isolation, and fatality news?

I am grateful that I continue to work, otherwise I think the situation is not fun…. How long will we able to go on like this, before we develop serious or permanent mental health issues, I wonder. There is peace coming from knowing that we are all in this together. At least there is healthcare. At least we are not out there but inside (some countries did not lock down yet). At least we have connections – online and remotely. The community seems to care about each other and compassion is palpable. And so on. In the midst of this pandemic, it is worth remembering these.

Eventually we will survive it. I suspect, however, we will also be changed deeply. Somehow, I feel like it is going to be something better. I just wished we did not need to have people die for it.

Let’s flatten this curve, friends.

Let’s stay inside.

Wash those hands.

Be kind to yourself and others.

Call a friend.

Connect with family.

Take good care of yourself.

And have hope.

COVID-19, March 29

Sunday is here πŸ™‚

I do not know what I am doing with my days. I meant to enjoy being away from office and finding a chance to actually reflect on life, but this is not happening. Maybe it is not the time.

I had not meant to work today, but I was bored, and eventually, craved for work. So work I did. I am glad I have, as I love the feeling of things working and moving. It is motivating.

I ate more than I want to. I have no solution to this. I never had… Better let go?

I spoke with my family and seeing that they take this virus more serious than me is very inspiring. I am proud of them. While I want to go to store and do my grocery shopping, I think I will look for opportunities for pick up services or online orders. I am sure these will not be easy, as many people will be looking forward to these services. Oh, well. Whatever I can, I will take it.

Tomorrow is another remote work day. With two remote meetings. Somebody needs to abolish all meetings. I mean it. I dislike them. More so now than before. Many professionals love to brag about online meetings. I beg to be more genuine and say they may be good if done sparingly. Nobody wants to spend their time looking at a monitor and seeing the background of other people’s, unless there is a good reason and it is of a reasonable length of time.

 

COVID-19 (March 28)

I am enjoying my Saturday so far. Not to a great extend, but as much as I can.

First; I did not work and this feels great.

Second: I slept great yesterday night as well, and this is fantastic!

Third: I went to a local branch of Dolarama. It was a good walk. There were a couple of people walking, often with their pets. Other than that, it was a quiet and lovely morning. I bought a couple of things, including freezer bags which I now use to store my food in (I dump the store-wrappins as soon as I bring the food home) and pens. The store was awfully quiet. I wonder whether we will ever heal the economy after this pandemic.

Fourth: I did some pickling and strawberry jam/marmalade. The jam turned out to be really cool. We will see how the pickle is in a couple of days.

Fifth: I talked with my family and we are trying to support each other as much as we can. They are feeling the COVID-19 situation hotter than me here in Canada as where they are the resources and public health measures may not be as strong as in Canada. Like me, my family loves to spend time at home and have stocked up food that is enough for some time. But the morale is down, nobody knows when this will be over, and what will happen to us if we get infected.

While I have done implemented new measures to help minimize my risk now – like, minimizing the visits to the grocery store; cleaning the food/changing their wraps at home; keeping stuff in the front porch for 3 days before bringing them in the house; changing my clothes immediately after I come in from outside, and so on, I still am not 100% sure that I am doing my best. As a result, I am scared of getting sick…

Oh, well.

Sixth; over and over I come to the point that I must sort out between what is important and what is not, and this solitary period of pandemic may be just what I need. I have a long way to go, I know, but so seems the pandemic. My painful growth in this important area therefore seems to go on for some time…

…….

Stay safe, friends. Sending love.

 

 

 

COVID-19, Day 8 (March 27th)

A week is over and I could not be happier. I am determined to celebrate Friday!

This week, I worked only from home and it was full and packed. I have had 7 remote meetings and tons of email correspondences, now that everyone feels like speaking through the email and the administration takes this opportunity to tell us what we should do and how they help control things. There is certainly an email fatigue accumulating.

After shopping in the morning and doing some light work, I decided it was time that I let go of things and rather focus on personal life. So, I cleaned my home and cooked healthy meal. Watching Netflix and browsing the internet, if I want.

Today and tomorrow I will just let myself enjoy my moments.

Now that we are working remotely, I feel ambitious and want to get the best out of these times. My team is doing well and their work is going okay, too. But I want to finish a number of things that have been on my to-do list. One by one, I am taking care of them and it feels pretty amazing. This is cool. Once I move on with two or three of them, there will be an opportunity to start something new. This is exciting. I wonder what it is gonna be! πŸ™‚

I must also admit that I need to actually just stop and be with life….. I have been meaning to do this, by taking a break, for sometime, but it did not happen. Perhaps what I should do is to take time off from work till Monday. Two days would give me enough time to relax and rest, and on Monday I could go to office. I think I like this idea. I think I will benefit from the freedom from work, and connecting with life more.

Here is a great, peaceful music that I hope you too will enjoy.

Be kind to yourself and others. Stay safe friends and enjoy every moment.

 

 

 

random thoughts (in a time of COVID-19)

I went to do my grocery shopping this morning.

I figured that if I go early, there would be less people around and as such less risk of getting the droplets that contain the COVID-19. It was in fact quiet and easy to shop. Since yesterday I had realized that this may be one of the best times to even further stock the essentials – before it gets crazy here with the infected individuals -, I went with my shopping cart and I am glad that I have. It was full and heavy. Thank goodness that the roads were free of snow, ice, and slush. I made it home with my newly purchased essentials.

I bought a lot of food, including frozen veggies, canned food, and dry food (e.g. lentils, beans). I am sure I have quite a bit of them, but I found that if this is to go on like this for some and the numbers are to increase day by day, the chances of getting infected is lower now than in the future.

I cleaned and dumped the store wrappings/plastic bags and placed food in new storage bags. The rest of the items that are not required to be in the fridge or freezer are staying in the front entrance. My plan is to keep them there for around 3 days (this is what they say is the time it takes COVID-19 to die on plastic and metal surfaces?) and then place in the pantry.

I also stocked up laundry detergent. I am thinking that I may have everything I may need for around 3 months now….

I believe the only thing I was not able to get was liquid hand soap. I sure will have to get out sometime and grab that…..Maybe this weekend. I do not know.

Other than this, I am not in the mood of work today. I did some critical work and I have a remote meeting in the afternoon, but that is all for me. I think I will just clean my home and then relax.

Some of my friends checked on me today and I checked on two other, one single, friends, through emails. I think it is important to be able to do this and keep connected.

How are you all doing? I know many of you are at home and being creative with your time and activities. I have not just yet become creative and tried something new (it has been a whole week in physical distancing), but I bought some frozen strawberry that I want to turn into a jam. I also have cabbage that I want to turn into pickles. Maybe tomorrow?

Stay safe friends.

 

 

COVID – 19, Day 7 (March 26)

Cannot believe a week it has been that I have been mostly at home, leaving only for shopping and daily walks.

A week.

They say that it can continue yet another 2-3 months. I think we will eventually get used to this and, hey who knows, perhaps ask to work remotely after that πŸ™‚

Things are getting more and more serious. There are more people now infected than before, and more mortality.

I talked to a couple of my colleagues, and it made me get more scared. Well, first they do not leave the house (I have been walking everyday).

One of them said that they would even wait a few days before they collect their mails πŸ™‚ Wow. Never thought of this. Am I naive?

The other one said that they wash and disinfect everything they purchase from the store, including food. What?

Why have I not thought about these??

Do I take it light?

I do not know. But after today I decided to take it serious. I am aiming for grocery shopping every 10 days or 2 weeks. I do not need to be at the store every week. So tomorrow morning I will go there with my shopping cart and fill it with durable as well as frozen food. Then, I will just leave home to walk. Hopefully I will not need anything till the next one.

Stay safe, my friends.

Be kind to yourself and others.

Give someone in need a hand.

 

 

 

COVID-19 Day 6 (March 25th)

Cannot believe that it is the 6th day away from office and in the house (mostly).

We had a kind of rainy/snowy day. As a result walking was kind of not fun, but still okay. I walked twice for short distances, worked in between, and stopped working at around 4 pm. Works is going extremely productive, for which I am grateful. Lack of distractions works for me πŸ™‚

On the personal side; I cooked healthy food but ate a lot. The weight gain is immediate…

My stress levels continue to be low and I can sleep long and deep.

The pandemic is catching up where I am and it is scary. I think the worst is yet to come. Are we prepared?

Am I prepared?

Are you? I hope we all are well prepared.

This feels like a Zombie attack sometime.

 

COVID-19 Day 5

Can’t believe it is the 5th day.

I worked today from home, but nothing too exciting. One remote meeting, some emails, and a couple of correspondences. It was not one of those days where I would focus on something and significantlyΒ  move things. That is okay.

On the positive side; I received a couple of appreciation emails and it really made me feel great. Good vibes are amazing! Send some good vibes to others, friends.

 

On the personal side:

Interesting that I sleep well and long. This break is working for me πŸ™‚

I cook and eat healthy food. Nevertheless, the slight weight gain is obvious and concerning…. Oh, well πŸ™‚

I walked twice again today. In the morning I took a long walk, around an hour. It was good. We have a cool but bright day. I have seen more people walking today than before. Some people make an effort to keep around 2 meters distance between themselves and others. The majority do not. I try hard to keep this distance. Maybe as time goes on, more people will pick it up.

I saw people lining up at around a church, which I believe is soup kitchen or something. It broke my heart to see so many people lining up, and so many people in close distance to each other. Once this virus spreads to less fortunate, you know it affects them more drastically. Prayers and good wishes are on.

My stress levels are low and it is a good thing.

How long do you think we will continue like this?

Wherever you are; stay safe and well, my friends.

 

COVID-19 Day 4

A regular day filled with work from home. Lots are done, which is pleasing. Otherwise, being isolated is somehow starting to get on the nerves. This is how I understand how important is the freedom to do whatever I want to do. If I ever complain about boredom or not knowing what to do at a weekend, please smack me in the head…

Two things I have done well and for my own enjoyment were walking twice during the day and getting fresh air, and cooking a great bean meal and enjoying it. Lovely.

I cannot believe it is only Monday. I decided that I would shop on Friday morning to limit my exposure to people around. Honestly I cannot wait – shopping will give me a chance to see and think different things. Wow. A child who was about to visit Disneyland would probably feel that way…..

The great thing about social distancing is the quietness around. Have you noticed? I feel like my mind is just resting.

Another great thing about social distancing would be limited shopping. As a result, we all are about to save some money, I guess πŸ™‚

I plan to visit my office Friday afternoon to print out some documents. Honestly I am not looking forward to this, but it needs to be done.

I believe the death numbers in Italy are going down, which is making me hopeful and happy for my fellow Italians. Everywhere else the numbers are increasing, though.

Please be safe everyone. Wash those hands. Stay away from people (around 2 meters, if possible), and stay inside. Please quarantine yourself if you have traveled. Follow the Public Health Officers recommendations.

Protect yourself and protect others. Both go hand-to-hand; without one, the other is not possible.

 

COVID-19 Day 3

Sunday is here!

Friends; I continued my day as usual; baked my sourdough (my goodness; can something smell better?), did some work on computer, planned for my week (yes, we are still working), made two jars of pickles (jalapeno and radish pickle), cooked food, and walked twice – one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

The roads are almost always empty with occasional cars and walking/jogging people. I question sometime whether I should still be out there.

I know my chances of getting the virus from those who are walking on the road is low, as I keep at least 2 meters of distance from anyone, but still; paranoia is paranoia and I tend to think conservative when it comes to serious things. Thoughts?

My plan for this evening and tonite is to chill back and enjoy my time as much as possible. My plan for tomorrow is to get up early – as usual – put my work attire on (it helps to work at home!), attend two remote meetings, and do work that has been on my list. I also want to walk twice again; one in the morning and one in the afternoon to keep my body engaged and get fresh air and sunlight.

Have a great Sunday evening everyone. Wherever you are I hope you are safe, washing your hands, staying away from people, gatherings, and social functions, and taking great care of yourself and others around you.

 

 

 

COVID-19 Day 2

I slept like a child and got up at 7 am.

When you start the day early, the day welcomes you, nourishes you, and slows you so that you can enjoy more of it without stressing for time. I love such days.

I have not worked today. This is a wonderful development on my side. And it feels great.

As usual, I cleaned my home and did the laundry. I also fed my sourdough starter and have a dough to be risen overnight. I have not been baking bread in the last 2 months or so, so having my hands in that dough and working with it was an amazing feeling. I cannot wait till tomorrow and smelling it, right out of the oven.

————————————————————————————————————

I did some more shopping. I feel like I am hoarding. Nowadays my shopping is almost doubled. It is not necessarily a bad thing – my freezer and fridge are full, just in case, and I have all cleaning and personal care products, except liquid hand soap. I feel confident this way and it is a plus on my side, but from this week on, I must just focus on getting fresh food and other essentials, but not necessarily stocking up.

I walked in the afternoon as well. All of a sudden it turned out that I ran out of garbage bags. Now. I was one of those who used the plastic shopping bags as garbage bags. Since they are not offered anymore in the grocery store I often go to, that means I must purchase them…… Okay…. I have. I am good for another 2-3 months – thank you. Who knew?

I found a chance to talk to my good neighbours and they are scared. They are both above 60 but very active people. She said that she could not look at facebook anymore as she only saw scary stuff. Sometimes I think that we must be scared so that we will take it serious. Is this really the only way, however?

The death rate in Italy and other parts of the world – due to COVID-19 – is continuing to break my heart. I do not think anyone see that coming. Or, maybe someone did but many people did not hear or listen to.

———————————————————————-

Overall, I enjoyed my Day of self-distancing. But it is just the beginning. I want to feel like this is an adventure (no disrespect to those who get sick or die is meant here). A change in my daily life. Hope that does not mean that I will gain weight, but, oh well…. Just for the record and to keep myself accountable: I am 217 pounds today. Cannot gain more!!!

Also, when I think about the economic consequences, I cannot help but think that if this continues like this – and by all predictions it looks like it will continue for months – what will happen to our workplaces? Will they try to get rid of us? OMG.

But, no.

It is not a time to feel discouraged and pessimistic.

We will get through this.

 

 

 

COVID-19 Day 1

I was supposed to be away from work since Tuesday, but it was not possible. I was called for meetings and I had things to take care of that could be done only in the office.

But today is the day.

I collected almost all of my personal items from my office, leaving plants behind, and walked to home. I am self-distancing myself as of today and will only go check the work-place once a week, or as needed.

They say that we may be on and off this self-distancing for a year or until a vaccine is developed and become available.

This is a scary thought. Are we witnessing history?

Perhaps.

I feel for those who got sick, those who lost lives, and those who lost someone to this disease. I am very sorry. I wish we were in a much better time medically, politically, socially…

…………………..

I am trying to keep my chin up under this situation. I will likely not be able to visit my family this summer. I feel restricted. I also worry for them. Hope they will not get this virus. Please.

Thank goodness that neither me nor my family members have underlying health conditions that make the COVID-19 infections fatal. This gives me some kind of calmness.

I wonder how long I will be able to manage to have such a limited social contact for an extended time period. Living alone is not something new to me (20+ years), but extended periods can be quite challenging to manage. I should get ready and strengthen my social media connections and interactions with family and friends.

I plan to walk everyday, if I can, so that I can get out of home and get fresh weather. Thank goodness that spring is coming and we all can enjoy the fresh air.

I bet that I will gain weight.

Challenging times.

That is okay. We are all in this together.

We will pull this around. Hopefully soon.

Please stay safe and sweet.

COVID-19, Day 0: social distancing and working from home start

Looks like my organization finally decided this COVID-19 virus is worse than anyone wants to think about and they needed to be more cautious.

Yes, as of tomorrow, we will report to work only in the case of emergency situations. Other than these, we are to work from home.

Sure. I have no problem with that.

I only have one meeting on Friday that I wanted very badly to attend. If we cannot make that meeting, many things will be delayed. Will it go ahead remotely?

Other than this meeting; I am looking forward to having some home-office time, having no meetings in my life, having no unnecessary distraction at work, and staying away from office stress. I also see this as the best opportunity for me to learn a software I was meaning to learn for years.

Terrific! πŸ™‚

This evening, just in case, I did some grocery shopping. I stocked some frozen veggies and this feels good. Also fresh cabbage and carrot, as they usually stay fresh longer than any other veggies I know. Since my freezer and pantry are packed with food, I feel secure.

So, here is to Day 0 of COVID-19 home isolation/quarantine.

 

COVID-19 and ambiguous days ahead

Hello everyone,

Hope all is having a great Sunday.

These are interesting times, indeed.

First of all, I am really sorry that so many have died of COVID-19, aka corona virus.

At first, I had not understood the lock downs, but now I understand it very well. China and South Korea have done well controlling the disease so far. The situation in Italy seems bad, with a large number of deaths in the last day or so, which makes me wonder where they have gone wrong.

Experts say that they were late in social distancing and isolation measures.

Pretty much similar to the USA right now. My fellow Americans, Italians, and all other nationalities affected by COVID-19, please be safe. Please exercise vigilant hand-washing and social distancing.

When it comes to Canada, we have cases but overall it seems to spread just slowly yet. My work place has implemented a number of measures, but we still are expected to report to work. I have no problem with this, but wonder how long this will go on. I have a feeling that we may be asked to stay away and work from home soon. As someone who likes to work, I find this somehow annoying.

But come to think about it, it can also be a great opportunity to break the routine, let go off some of the unnecessary tasks, and re-evaluate what is important and what needs to be kicked out – whether it is tasks, committees, or relationships at work.

So, my friends. Let’s stay safe. Let’s take this time to help others and neighbours (elderly particularly – let’s help them keep safer by shopping for them, for example). And let’s take this time to come to our true nature. Free of the clutter and hurdles of the daily life and workplace.

 

 

coronavirus COVID-19

Well. I do not know what to think or feel about this viral endemic (or is it pandemic now?).

I am in a kind of isolated place and my province has no diagnosed cases yet, so I do not think we feel the heat of this virus and what it does to infected individuals. Naive? Silly? Ignorant?

I do not know what I am, but I am getting scared. Have you heard that the entire Italy is now in lock-down and first death from COVID-19 from Canada has been reported today. I read a news yesterday talking about a young physician getting infected and rapidly deteriorating, which made it even more scary for me. As we all want to think that if we are young enough and without serious health conditions, or with the help of the healthcare (hello? In the case of an endemic, finding a hospital bed can be so hectic), we can heal a viral infection. Naive?

I think in this case, yes I am naive to think so.

I am scared friends, for not only myself but everyone else in the world.

Here are some recommendations by Public Health Canada – have a look to get informed and be prepared.

Stay safe.

In solidarity.

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