Change is easier when I feel but not when I think about it

I have been waiting for these feelings I experience for some time. I knew that one day I would detach from work and my current life plans, and move on. These days seem to have arrived.

The recent heart-opening experience with one of my family members having a near-death accident has changed me and gave me the much needed shake off. No matter how much I try to think logically to keep going here, I kind of know that I was born for something better and bigger. My work is satisfying but it comes with lots of stress and many little and big work left on my shoulders by either my employer or my team members. I like both of these, but I am resenting the fact that I am not allowed to use my time for things that I am most capable of and it is rather wasted with things that a young colleague with no or little experience can do.

Stress. No or little appreciation. A lot of little work eating up my time. Resentment. Toxic and highly pressuring work environment. Working close to 14 hours everyday, including weekends and holidays. Having financial and employment insecurity. Sleep problems. Lack of time to care for myself, mentally and physically. Lack of assurance.

What was I thinking in keep going with this job?

I know what I was thinking.

I had low self-esteem to find a similar position somewhere else and the job position was something that I have always dreamt of. I was not able to deal with my fears and as such did not want to change my environment, either.

Well.

I may change this environment quite easily. As a matter of fact I feel like I will do this soon. More and more roles that I once dreamt of have been offered to me this week by my organization and more and more I think about not accepting them. I want to commit less to anything or anyone other than myself and my family. I want to make sure that when I decide to leave, I will have freedom to do so, fewer team members to place in a new unit, less furniture to sell/give away, and less responsibility to complete. This is great to feel.

I still have commitments that I must honour. I am doing my best to help move them, but goodness knows if I do get others involved not doing their part and leaving things on my shoulder again, I may as well just quit it there. I know this is a scary thought and I should not feed it, but when one asks themselves constantly “how long more to do these and at what expense?” there comes a moment that the last chain in the link is broken quite easily and it feels right and whatever mattered prior to that moment does not anymore.

I am not asking or planning for this, yet if it is its time, it will happen.

In the mean time, I will enjoy my detachment to my past plans/work and freedom to dream the bigger and better life conditions and job that I know I deserve and I will attain.

 

What a day….

I was emotionally quite drained yesterday and found myself sleeping at around 7 pm. I slept around 12 hours and in the morning, I felt quite better.

I had quite a dream yesterday night. One of those dreams where you want to move in a certain way but you cannot. Everything I hanged on to to get up from the floor turned to something else and absolutely useless, and I was making an extraordinary effort to even move my arm holding on to that something….I was so focused on moving my arm and getting up in my dream that I did not even notice, talk, or support the person (a family member so dear to my heart) who was next to me in my dream.

There are many messages in this dream, I found quite reflective of my mental state and life/work struggles. I neglect the people most important to me (family), I find myself in constant struggle to even go through the simplest tasks (but I keep going despite everything and persistently try, which makes me admire my energy and determinism), and I am disappointed by the resources or opportunities available to me (or, I feel like nothing or noone supports me or they are not what I think they are).

What a dream.

I know that this dream is a work of my subconsciousness that is in a healing process. I believe it made my mental state better.

The whole day, I felt remarkably calm.

I knew that I must have changed things.

I knew that I was resisting to many things or changes.

And now I know that sometimes failure, the one thing that I am so afraid of, is actually needed. Sometimes, my friends, things do not go the way we wish them and there must be a stop point in resisting to let go or change the directions of our lives. if we cannot make this decision, then the failure makes us realize that we came to an end. Failure, in such a case, is a blessing, as it stops you from moving in the wrong direction.

I think it is time that I gracefully accept the failure. This feels safe and surprisingly good.

This does not mean that I let go of my current efforts to produce ideas and hard work. It means that I am kind of unattached to all my plans and wishes right now, and I have stopped beating myself about the possibility of current or future issues, problems, or unsuccessful work.

This is a relief.

I am not naive enough to think that all my issues are resolved or this mental clarity is permanent. But I am not afraid at this moment of issues or their effects on me. I may get up tomorrow feeling anxious and extremely caring about every single plan or wish of mine, but right now, I will soak in this peaceful feeling.

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I made my appointment with a psychologist yesterday. I resisted this idea for a decade or two. Maybe this is what is giving me these feelings of letting go. I am not sure. But I want to feel good and gain my composition, strength, and happiness again. I want to see and think more clearly.

Life is interesting. It teaches you everything you need, whether or not you want it is not relevant. It fixes you.

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In the mean time, I started to eat better – I ate some carrots at noon and cooked a meal for dinner. I ate healthy stuff. I took my time to cook for myself. I walked a bit during the day. I considered cutting coffee a little bit – from 6 cups to 3 cups maybe. I did my back exercises – not fully, but at least I recognize that if I do them, my healing will be speedier. I made a conscious choice of not filling my mind with worry about a problematic report that I expect to get tomorrow. I decided to smile more today and being a more pleasant and positive person – and it went well. I decided to not listen to music or TV shows late at night and rather focus on reflecting on the moment.

I decided to write these here so that I can document the reality.

Which I hope will change in a better way starting soon.

all the good things – check

  • sleeping well, dreaming long and vividly, and getting up early – check

I remember the dream, a part of it particularly. I jumped into a sea with someone I know and started to swim away. I was fearless, but then I came to my senses and I said “I do not want to do this, let’s go back”. And we did. I was not fearful (as I would be in reality), but the idea was certainly not a good one. Where were we going? Would we be able to make it to the land across from us (a mile or so)? Why this adventure? Why this risk? Was it peer-pressure or the need to comply with just because we tend to prefer being nice than being chicken? Was it something I really wanted to do?

This was a very realistic dream and I do not know how to interpret it (not that I am interested in interpreting it unscientifically). But the wishes of ourselves as an individual and all the sacrifices or bad decisions we have made in order to comply or “fit in” the social/professional circles is real.

I have been thinking about this for some time. At work, we experience this a lot; at committees we serve or with partnerships we have, we often are not vocal about our own needs or preferences in order to make collective efforts work. One committee I serve is particularly resistant to not comply with the majority of the members with seniority. I started to make my own points and vote against things that do not make sense to me lately. It does not serve me well in terms of fitting in, being liked/approved, or considered as being pleasant.

But, what shall I do? Do what feels right, or the opposite? At what expense? Self-respect versus acceptance.

You tell me.

  • being confused and feeling down again by a recent rejection of one of my work proposals, and not knowing what to do or how to start feeling confident again, starting to focus on what actually I have accomplished in the last one year – check

work-related rejection is killing my morale and taking a significant energy out of my mental wellness. This has been happening for some time and I should be immune to it for now. But, I am not. So I started listing all the efforts I have put in and slowly I started to see how much I have accomplished. Yes, not everything I tried and put enormous energy and effort in worked out, but the rest did. This “rest” was important to remember.

The period of extraordinary work and struggle to keep doing well has not ended, I see. I will continue, it seems. It is hard and demoralizing but I can keep going till I cannot go any further. I think that is the major point f all of these experiences. Change.

Change the way I think and work

or

Change the direction of my work

We will see how this story ends.

  • seeing what a wonderful sourdough I have risen over night and getting excited about it whole day – check!

I baked two loaves, my best so far. I think the warming temperature helps the starter and it shows on the dough. I will give one of the loaves to a friend – I am sure she will be delighted 🙂

  • working shaky at first but then pulling it around for around 5 hours and starting a new proposal – check, check, check!

I actually worked quite efficiently and drafted around 8 pages long draft. This is a significant progress. I feel like I may be able to pull this around and make an application by deadline (which turned out to be just 2 weeks ahead). What a magnificent turn of mental clarity for me today – in the morning I was all lost and in the afternoon I had mental zone that let me generate and find some kind of relief and motivation to do more 🙂

  • sending an email to someone to fix a problem with a scheduling of a meeting – check

this is my second email to this person, who had disregard the initial one and circulated with others the schedule that was not suitable for me and possibly the majority of the other members. I am chairing this committee and I fell that I should ensure the participation by making sure that the time is good for everyone. I feel like I am constantly putting effort and it is side-tracked. How am I supposed to deliver if I cannot make sure participation by others to contribute?

Team work is great but not when one cannot make it work as the chair. There are lots of lessons learnt for me this year….

  • remembering that I have a morning appointment – thanks to my email calendar – check!

I had completely forgotten! How great is technology? 🙂

  • enjoying a comedy show – check
  • being excited about my succulents – check

this is a new interest for me! I have three of them (one haworthia and two jade plants). I cut out some stems and pulled leaves from my jade. They are drying up for now and will be planted this week in new containers. I hope to get more of these beauties over time – what a joy!

Garden Plants GIF by Sharpie - Find & Share on GIPHY

  • having new interests, like sewing, gardening, bread-making, jamming, and succulents, developing over time and making me excited and happy about life – check!

Not everything in life is unpleasant. Finding those that give us joy is priceless 🙂

Happy Very Funny GIF by Disney Zootopia - Find & Share on GIPHY

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one of these awesome days

One of these days that I am calm and feeling good about myself and the work.

One of my team members and I finished a big project today, which was on the go for 3.5 years. I cannot believe. She made that happen and she is leaving soon to move on with a better career. I could not be happier and more proud of her. May she always find success, happiness, and support in life. She has got my full blessing.

I feel like accomplished now a little bit and am feeling hopeful and excited about my work again. Results of this project will be used in many other projects and noone in the world has ever produced such results. The more I think about it, the more I am realizing what a unique and exciting project this was. I must be happy and proud of myself as well!

This realization brings me some sort of confidence and excitement – I have done very well indeed. There is hope that I will sign under the many more difficult and exciting projects. This is such a much needed feeling for me. I would not be surprised if I shed some tears out of joy 🙂

Now I have space for future projects and my calendar is more permissive to move on with others that I have been planning. Happiness! 🙂

I have four presentations to do withing the next four weeks – two of them being this week. I am ready for them. The other two, on the other hand, needs work. Ok – I can do this! After that my next biggest task will be writing a new type of report, which I am looking forward to. It will be challenging at the beginning, we have been keeping it under the radar for some time, and now I will have time to work on it. Something fresh, interesting, and developing me further as a professional. Excitement!

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I was telling one of my friends today that I wonder how I and my life will develop in the next three years. I know that I have been changing my approach to others at work, becoming a little bit more focused on my own interests and reducing my commitment to others’ work, being interested in challenging and developing myself by taking new roles and responsibilities, becoming more assertive, and most importantly, questioning my own look at my life. I told my friend today that I sometimes think about resignment. Not that I want to but I guess it is one way to free myself from all the little issues and attitudes that bother me. Thinking about resignment gives me some kind of relief from the current issues. It also helps me with un-attaching myself from work. I was always overly committed to work and as such have ignored the other important things in life.

What are the important things in life?

Certainly my family is important.

I am important.

It is time that I let these realizations sink into my mind…

It is exciting that I am curious about my future, don’t you think? 🙂 This is certainly becoming an exciting anticipation for me – I want my future to be better, happier, healthier, and more meaningful. I want to have dreams and plans. I want to do different things. I want to feel good about myself and my frequent efforts to do so!

May the next days bring joy, success, happiness, health, and good people, experiences, memories, and opportunities to all of us 🙂

 

choices, children, and the desire for a time-travel machine

I worked a lot this evening and as a result I am feeling hyper now 🙂 Does that happen to you, too?

I am used to work till late, especially lately. It makes me tired and less thinking the itsy bitsy stuff, so actually I love sleeping well and not over-thinking during these intense work periods. Nevertheless, I am kind of annoyed tonite and am looking forward to winding down and relaxing.

While I sleep longer and deeper lately, interestingly I also dream more. Last night I have had two dreams, one about a little child that I met last weekend. He was one of these really kind and lovely kids. I felt quite an affection and protective feelings toward him.

Meeting with him made me think – should I have had kids?

Having a child has never been a real wish for me; it was partly because i was not married and was very busy with my work/career/life struggles. When I met this child, I kind of felt like I should have had kids. The love and affection I felt was awesome really. 

Then I remembered what an anxious type of a person I was and what a control freak of a mom I would turn into should I have a child. I know from a friend of mine that when you become a parent, anxiety related to the kids’ welfare, wellness, and happiness become the most important thing for you. It would not be something I could easily master or move on. That is a sad truth.

Or maybe I could. There are millions of parents on earth and some of them must have  personality like me. So, if others can manage it, so can I. why not? Right?

Adoption is always a choice. In the past, once or twice I have had considered it and eventually ruled out. Not that I would not like it. But because as a single person I did see it as a difficult task to take. I know from years back a single woman who adopted a lovely girl. She had a busy career as well, but did excellent with motherhood. I wish I had kept contact with her so that I could get an insider’s opinion/experience on adoption and child care.

Sometimes life is brutal I guess. I know what I have become has been shaped by my past choices. if only I was 20 years younger, perhaps I could make different choices.

That reminded me a new year eve 7-8 years back. I had that very strong wish to actually go back in time and re-start my life 10 years earlier. I had a lot of regrets and naiveness around me then. What if stories were true and one could move back in time?

I have a similar, albeit not as strong, wish today to go back and re-start my adult life. I wish we had not lost certain things in life, like our youth. I wish we could have better choices. I wish we lived our lives differently…

Logically I know whatever life I have right now is the best. There is no going back to certain things, abilities, experiences. I am old enough to know that whatever happens, it must be better than a less desirable outcome.

Today, I want to believe in this more than most other times.

what a wonderful trip I have had to Rome :)

I have been back from my short trip to Rome and what a beautiful trip it has been! 🙂

I have had a great time away from work and office, and all the ridiculous problems I have been dealing with at work lately. It was a business trip and as such I have had work related activities, but they were rather joyful and successful encounters, and as such I feel good about myself and my work again. This was much needed 🙂

The transatlantic trips are long and inevitably make me tired, but they are so good for my mind. A fresh look at life as it develops right in front of me is a great experience. I tried new things this time and instead of taking the cab, I mostly took the shuttles and bus. It takes more time, but is certainly a great meditative activity – you gotta find out how to get to somewhere and how to get the tickets etc. A great activity that forces you to be in the moment. This is an amazing relief for the mind. And seeing once again that I was capable of overcoming hurdles in a country language of which you do not know (thanks to its residents who know some English) is a boost for my confidence 🙂 And all the money I saved for my organization by not taking the cab is anther plus! I am pleased with myself. A lot.

I gotta go around the city (Rome) the first day and I found myself really relaxing. It is so beautiful with its history and art. I wish I could retire there 🙂 Dreams are powerful and I realized that I have attained some of my dreams of young age; I am in a profession that I loved so much, obtained good credentials and positions, and I am living in Canada, one of the best countries in the world now. Realizing these during my trip gave me some kind of satisfaction that I cherish even today.

Italian food is not my favorite (i.e. pasta, pizza), but I managed to have wonderful lamb and vegetable dishes. I am grateful for making good choices in food and eating all the fresh produce. I ate peaches, my friends! Where I am, it is almost impossible to find – how lucky I have been 🙂

I am back to work and I feel energized. I have a busy 2 months in front of me that will require lots of attention, focus, and hard-work, but I think I will be fine.

Viva Italia! 🙂

 

Sunday morning musings

This Sunday morning too I am plain lazy on purpose and focused on lovely activities.

For example, my usual and long (3-4 cups long) rendezvous with coffee is going well and very enjoyable.

Coffee GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I have already walked around my small yard with my coffee mug in my hand to see how the seeds and flowers were coming out after the long rain yesterday (and they are all good).

I have had a light breakfast with the beet sourdough loaf I had baked last week and strained yogurt, which makes me feel quite light (not bloated).

Weather is great outside, warm and inviting and there is sunlight everywhere which opens my spirit and joy box.

And I am listening to some songs that I have not for years, which makes me nostalgic and wanting to do more of enjoyable things today and the days to come.

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I have little plans shaped for today. I think I will talk to my family first thing first and then go out for a walk and to buy some sewing stuff. I am really excited about this opportunity – hopefully what I need are all available in the stores that are open today (not too many choices, but we will see). As usual, I will bake my weekly sourdough loaf (with kefir – the first ever trial of mine – we all will see how that will turn out tonite). I will also cook a nice dish with minced beef and eggplant. It is great that summer is here and reminded me about this dish. I am guilty of not cooking great recipes that take time and require care, but yield the best taste ever. This one I am really looking forward to.

Cooking GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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Now let’s go find something to do that comes spontaneously and makes me feel like on top of the world! 🙂

Nature GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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gifs by:https://giphy.com/gifs/coffee-xajAOXg73jylG;https://giphy.com/gifs/walk-tightrope-gibbon-XvsozaG1qrISk;https://giphy.com/gifs/asian-women-kimiko-glenn-asianwomen-3o6ZsXzPwGpNiw5h1C

 

Sunday morning musings

It is a quiet morning.

I am sipping my coffee with gratitude and listening to a great song by Sia:

 

As usual, morning routine consisted of shaping my sourdough loaf, brewing myself coffee, checking the news, and planning the day ahead. Needless to say, news are depressing. Almost everyday something insensible or violent happens – the humanity better shakes itself up. Why can’t we just love all? I know love is complicated, one can prefer love for one over the other, and it is not always shaped by our feelings but by our thoughts, but I keep wonder anyhow. Choices, my friends, are interesting. All these choices we have made in our lives. 

Choices GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I have had another dream that I remember. I interpret this dream as being adaptable to the unforeseen changes in life and distinguishing between the fears in our lives and the fears in our minds: we just had a conversation about this topic a couple of days ago. Or, it can be interpreted like this: sometimes it is okay to take time and not rush at the face of an adversity to resolve it that can create more problems; this pretty much sounds like what was going in my mind lately about my work situation; it is not the best time to aggressively look for jobs right now. Things will change for the better – so stay put for some more time.

Leroy Patterson GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

My plans for today is to bake my Sunday sourdough loaf, plant seeds in the yard, bring forward the summer clothes and hang into the wardrobe, speak with family, cook a cauliflower dish, and walk. Not overly exciting, but so far looks really good.

Have a great Sunday everyone! 🙂

 

gifs by:https://giphy.com/gifs/choices-kvRNohxbdCdby;https://giphy.com/gifs/leroypatterson-3oz8xQQP4ahKiyuxHy

joy journal – May 15, 2017

1. I had a pleasant night and an easy morning, for which I am grateful. I decided last week or so that it feels great to notice and note when I have a comfy and relaxing evening & night at home. The same holds true for the easy morning. Easy mornings are those when I get up when I want to get up and those that I do not stress myself by having negative thoughts going in my mind.

2. I m grateful for the bright day outside and the sunlight that make me feel energetic, optimistic, and hopeful! Spring indeed is awesome, my friends. One of the best remedy for feeling down and the seasonal effective disorder (SAD) that I probably have.

3. I am grateful for walking to office this morning. I do not notice anymore that I am walking. I just walk and often am thoughtful while walking. This may not be the best practice, but at least I am not counting the steps or the distance and wonder when i will reach the office. I just do it, it is relaxing, and becoming a second nature for my mornings 🙂 When I think about 2-3 years ago how lethargic and tired I was and all I could do was to take the cab to the office, I feel nothing but lucky, excited, proud, and happy for being capable of walking in the mornings 🙂

4. I am grateful for walking with my new assistant effectively. She just joined my unit but is very positive and intelligent person, so I am really excited to be training and working with her.

5. I am grateful for my mid-morning walk. I just put on my boots, my toque, and my jacket and walked out in the forest next to our building. The air is fresher and cooler, and it is so peaceful over there. I had felt very optimistic when I had done this last time, and this time was no exception. I am happy that regardless of the issues at work, I still seem to like my life and sometimes take my mind away from the issues and focus on the present and enjoy what it may present to me. 

6. I am grateful for inviting a couple of my friends for a dinner this weekend. We have the long weekend this week (Victoria day) in Canada. I hope to cook some great dishes and host my friends with confidence 🙂

7. I am grateful for eating healthy today; I have eaten eggs in the morning, fruits (apple, orange), chicken, and raw veggies/salad in the rest of the day. It feels great to eat healthy food, even though my scale this morning showed that I had gained weight this weekend 🙂 It must be the carbs and desserts I had. Argh! 🙂

8. I am grateful for my kefir grains 🙂 I had fed them yesterday with 1% milk and I was not sure whether they would strive in it. The majority of the sites on the net mention that the higher the fat content of the milk is, denser the kefir gets. I had some density this afternoon, which was good to see. However, not sure whether I should have expected more, so I will monitor this for a week or so and if it does get worse, maybe I will try the 2% milk.

9. I am grateful for feeling lucky for having been given the kefir grains 🙂 I believe that they are healthy and by caring for them and drinking them in the evenings, I am doing something great for my body. This is a very positive feeling. Many years ago when I was in Toronto, I was big on healthy life-style; each healthy food I purchased, every tea I drank, every walking and cardio exercise I did would make me feel great (and approving) about myself 🙂 Sometimes I miss those times; like checking the health and organic stores; finding those really rare but healthy products, and being grateful for being able to afford them… 🙂

10. I am grateful for being healthy and free of acute or chronic diseases.

11. I am grateful for taking the stairs (2 stories) up today 🙂

12. I am grateful for having the evening and the night to myself and my ability and opportunity to relax.

13. I am grateful for today being a #noexpense day.

14. I am grateful for my hand creams that keep my hands moisturized and give me healthy-looking skin.

15. I am grateful for flossing and loving my floss!!

16. I am grateful for being grateful and taking my time to note this here today.

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What am I thanking myself for today?

  1. I like the fact that I make an effort to be healthy by walking and eating better
  2. I like the fact that I like to work and find satisfaction in it
  3. I like the fact that I have the time, interest, and patience to have fermented food (i.e. sourdough bread) and drink (i.e. kefir) at home
  4. I like the fact that I enjoy walking in nature
  5. I like the fact that I dream and my dreams are helping me to solve problems, even though sometime they are annoying or scary

joy journal – May 2, 2017

1. I am grateful that I dreamt yesterday night. I cannot remember what it was but I believe that dreams are a way of my subconscious mind working and expressing itself. It is supposed to be healthy, so all is good 🙂

2. I am grateful I woke up early and I was okay with it. Friends; I keep getting up before 8 am and that feels really weird. I mean, when I was young nobody could make me get up before 9 am, and now I am up at 7 am?? What is up with that? 🙂 And what is next – will I get up at 6 am, brew my coffee in dark, have breakfast, and then leave home for work? This… has…never..happened… Never! Cannot happen… Can it? 

3. I am grateful that weather was nice and I was energetic so I walked to office in the morning 🙂 It was a relaxing walk, as usual. There is something very satisfying about starting the day with something as nice and beneficial as walking; I keep telling myself it is healthy; good for my bones, muscles, cardiovascular system, my mind, and emotions. In addition, by not taking the cab or the bus, I demonstrate self-sufficiency 🙂 These are all great things, right? 🙂

4. I am grateful for brewing my coffee at the office. I could not achieve my Spring plans of reducing the amount of coffee I drink yet. In contrast, it looks like I developed a tendency to drink more…. Argh…. At least though, I am drinking also tea (the original idea was to replace a part of coffee with tea…). Perhaps soon I can cut coffee… Who knows?

5. I am grateful for working between 3 different meetings today. I was actually overwhelmed by the amount of work I must do – so at the afternoon I was rather lost and not focused. But between 4-5 pm, I have worked quite efficiently. This feels good.

6. I am grateful for organizing for a social with my current team and past members 🙂 I am really looking forward to this lunch next week, which excites me. One of my favorite past team members emailed me and gave me some great news about her career. I am so proud of them. All of them were great and brilliant people. I hope they will always have great jobs and be surrounded by awesome people.

7. I am grateful for eating healthy this evening. Have you tried cabbage salad? Since I am  a lazy person it fits me well; basically I shred cabbage and season it with olive oil and salt. Voila – it is ready! 🙂

8. I am grateful for my clothes, shoes, and boots that keep me warm and make my life easier.

9. I am grateful for having internet connection, a great computer, and this blog-space that make it possible for me to explore, read, learn, interact, and write 🙂

10. I am grateful for being grateful 🙂

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What do I appreciate myself for today?:

I appreciate myself for not reacting negatively to getting up early in the morning

I appreciate myself for making a consistent attempt to eat healthy

I appreciate myself for collecting the garbage in the yard 

I appreciate myself for walking and not spending a dime today

I appreciate myself for being kind to myself today

 

if I had 172,800 bucks..

I would maximize my TFSA, pay back my HBP (Home Buyers’ Plan), make an annual mortgage pre-payment, double my mortgage payments, give a portion of it to my family members, invest the rest, and have a nice Chinese meal somewhere to celebrate.

There.

My dream for today 🙂

They say the more money you have, the more you get. Sometimes I believe in it. I also believe that the more I think I do not have money, the more I find myself spending… What an interesting dilemma….

Years ago when my finances was really low (I was kind of like a student), I had read somewhere that we must set our subconscious mind right. Upon a suggestion I read in a book, I put a number of coins in a glass container and placed it in my kitchen window. Each time I pass there, I made it habit to say “I have money“. It felt good and I can say that year I saved the most money I have ever did until then even though the money I made was quite tight 🙂

Since it is new year and my budget is more or less in check, nowadays I am feeling in control of my finances. Yet, we have got some extra taxes implemented in the new year and also our pension plan contributions have been increased by our workplace, so my salary as of new year is  less than last year. I am determined not to lose track or my saving momentum, but considering how already and significantly I have cut my expenses in the last 1.5 years, I for a moment lost my hope and started to feel like I was financially restrained again.

Then, I thought about the people who have survived the war times or the great depression and I knew that I could still cut out expenses should I wish so. I can cut my coffee in half (currently having 5 cups on the average every day), refrain from buying clothes/shoes/boots for many years (I have plenty), change my diet (not necessarily into an unhealthy one, but a more frugal one), use regular flour rather than bread flour for my bread, stop treating/gifting my coworkers and friends, learn to grow veggies in my yard, stop dying my hair, sew better, stop miscellaneous gifting, stop socializing at expensive restaurants, stop wasting food and every other item in my possession and find ways to re-use them, find alternative ways to enjoy rather than writing on notebooks with fine pens, and so on and on….

Come to think about it, some of them are not bad idea (like cutting my coffee consumption – too much of anything is not good anyhow). I am quite bothered by waste, especially the food waste and still have some fresh produce stalling in my fridge… argh… (I should go back to shopping as required rather than weekly store visits). I can also switch to regular flour (which is cheaper than the bread flour) in my sourdough loaves. I can pay more attention to sewing techniques and start sewing myself blouses (which is my primary aim now).

The point is that there seems to be multiple levels of saving. The life circumstances can challenge us, but there is usually more to change and more to save. Hopefully without reducing the quality of life and hurting our health.

Hey, maybe I should thank those extra taxes and pension contributions. They stretch my mind and imagination 🙂

The Dream of Athena

poem

——————

You will come;

we will see each other again

I will look absolutely stunning

with my red lipstick and smile

and my hat will fit me this time

you will take pictures of me

with your phone

I won’t know

in a dream floating on a river

with eyes on the sky

and heart on the sun

you will realize that this is the woman
you want to connect with
you will realize that no matter
what, she is the one that
makes you stronger
lighter
livelier
and a dreamer.

—————-

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joy journal – Oct 15, 2016

When was the last time I wrote my joy journal? Honestly I can not remember.. I believe it must be at least 3 weeks ago or so; first the work had gone crazy for a couple of weeks and then I was away for a trip to Europe. I am assuming I did not write during these times..

yet today I am joyful and cannot wait to write 🙂

1. I am grateful for getting up before 9 am! I never thought I would be grateful for this. It is partly because I have a little jet lag since my return from Europe and it makes me get up earlier than my usual 9 – 9.30 am routine. i note that there is something peaceful about mornings…. This is very surprising for this night owl 🙂

2. I am grateful for the public transportation! I took the bus to a nearby shopping centre this morning. How convenient and affordable is it? Are we not lucky that we have such a service available to us?

3. I am grateful for the coffee and bagel I have had this morning at the shopping centre. Man, they felt especially delicious today. I am so lucky to have these almost everywhere and they cost me only a few bucks.

4. I am grateful for the two pairs of fluffy slippers I have got today! They will keep my feet warm in our cold Canadian winter 🙂 I am so lucky that they were on sale 🙂

5. I am grateful for having a hair cut. Finally.. It has been 4-5 months that I have been meaning to have one. The cut itself is not great or special, but my hair sure looks way better than before 🙂

6. I am grateful for shopping today 🙂 Shopping always makes me feel great and excited! I bought lots of durable food and other items that I needed. I am feeling happy, excited, and abundant in my life right now 🙂

7. I am grateful for not waiting for the bus too long on the way back and having totes and a backpack to carry my shopping items to home. I felt like my life was very functional and easy today. very rare blessing 🙂

8. I am grateful for talking with my family and sharing laughs

9. I am grateful for the green bean meal I have cooked today. I had frozen the beans after cooking them lightly with tomato (my mom’s idea). They turned out to be incredibly delicious! I would love to get 10-15 bags frozen next summer.

10. I am grateful for the sourdough that turned out to be really good today 🙂 I am genuinely excited about it and would love to replicate the recipe next week.

11. I am grateful for relaxing the entire afternoon, watching movies and reading blogs. There is something so soothing coming out of this that I am awed. I think the stress of the last 3 weeks has lifted and now I am ready to roll again

12. I am grateful for today being Saturday; I can go to bed whenever I want and I can get up whenever I want. What a freedom.

13. I am grateful for my warm house, fluffy socks, and comfy couch that make this cold autumn night easier to bear.

14. I am grateful for being safe and sound, and having a shelter, and enough food and water.

15. I am grateful for my family, my house, my job, my salary, my benefits, my furniture, my clothes and shoes, my friends, my abilities, and all the food and other items I have in my life.

16. I am grateful for having dreams that put a smile on my face.

17. I am grateful for being grateful and having the excitement to write this journal.

 

daydreaming another life full of love, only love

Being true to myself, I find, is difficult.

Why?

Because it requires accepting my own limitations, short-comings, weaknesses, biases, or any other adjective that is the enemy of my ego.

Life would have been much better if we could all be true to ourselves and everyone, without any effort or sacrifice, enjoys that. That would mean having no ego. That would mean a life somewhere else.

I envisioned this life today and I saw myself fully relaxed, stripped of all the bad memories, emotions, thoughts, and ego. I saw myself only as love.

And all my interactions in that world was love.

It was all love, happiness, and joy…..

I loved that life.

hope and dreams

One should have hope and dreams. In their absence, eventually, inertia follows and starts to win over intentions and efforts required to move up to a better place, a better life.

As I read and reflected on grief (after the death of my dad in February), I noticed that I previously grieved for my lost hopes/dreams, too. For instance when I lost the hope to marry the person I had once loved. It took me years to completely forget this person and I was in constant pain and missing terribly the happiness I had felt for my future. I had not noticed at that time, but this was one perfect grieving process.

So, what happened?

Nothing much; except that I also lost my ability to dream and get excited about my future life. I also understood what happiness was.

How does that feel?

Not great actually. I am constantly feeling the need to have a zest for life, but I also constantly fail to do so. This recurring, repeating cycle has nothing to offer but discontent, depressive thoughts, and not surprisingly, unhappiness.

Today, I have dreamed about finding the opportunities out there that would help me find a new job somewhere else; this would help me with initiating a new episode of life away from where I am right now. And that dream felt good.

I am not sure what made me feel good more; to have hope after a long period of inertia, or to be able to one day leave here….Anyways…

Do I deserve to be unhappy? Nope.

Do I deserve to be limited this way? Nope.

How many chances do I have in life? One

What prevents me from seeing the opportunities that may be out there? Only me and my mental blocks.

Will I be able to locate these opportunities at once and fast? Probably not.

Am I in rush to find them? No.

So, what should I do?

I can calm down and feel the hope and all the good feelings it brings along.

I can keep dreaming, as dreams are the ones that will give me the motivation and energy to look for opportunities.

I hope I will not lose these, too.

I do not want to grieve for lost opportunities. I want to claim them.

broken

poem

—————————

cannot cry hard enough, dad

my tears are done running

I since then been grieving

 

cannot dream anymore, dad

my inner child is hidden

now that I am regret-ridden

 

worse; cannot fly high, dad

I never will

one of my wings is broken

now that you are gone

 

—————————-

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“Enjoy the delicious part of life as well”

I got up this morning with the thoughts of “What do I want for my life? How can I get them?

This is a recurring question in my mind over many years, even decades. With the recent death of my dad and head-on clash with the concept of death in reality, I am not surprised that these questions arise again.

When I look at my life, I do see that I pacified myself with my education and training in the past and do the same my work now. It is like shutting the emotions down and focusing on problem solving. They say it is the rational side of the brain (the left side) that works while working on a problem, not the right side, which is more concerned about emotional aspect (whether or not that is true I do not know; but I know that when I focus on work, I am overall feeling better)….

I also know that a number of times I have attempted to make my life better as I wished it to be. Moving to a city or country that I love, or marrying a man whom I would see myself excited and happy with. Many times these did not happen. Many people know that I am kind of stuck at my present city, which is not bad but not great or exciting either (small, isolated city with less attraction and diversity). Yet the work is amazing and I live comfortably in terms of finances, safety (very safe city, which is awesome), and life is overall very simple and easy (which helps me have lots of time for work and myself). So there are so many positives of being here, yet there are also so many other great cities out there. My thoughts always linger towards them…

After I moved here, i have applied to only one job which I thought was better than what I have right now. It did not happen. The small number of job applications tell me that after all I should be content with where I am or my life is. I think in a lot of ways I am content. But then, why do I have this feeling of “I am wasting my life”?

The fact that I live away from my family and home always feels bad…. I should have been with my family. I should have been with my dad more. I should be spending more time with the rest of my family. yet, here I am….

I over and over contemplate about why I prefer a life here than at home and I always decide that this is better for me, even though I am away from home. This is strange and somehow hard to understand. Of course when I get close to retirement, i will reconsider this and the chances that I will go back home. But, is there a guarantee that I will live that long or find my loved ones well and alive then? I can not know.

But I know one thing; after the death of my dad, I am feeling resentment against my interest in work. I, by liking it so much, neglected a lot of things; myself and my family. This gotta change. I also realized, as my dad said a couple of years ago, “life is really short and before it ends and when you still have time, do things that will give you more joy, happiness, and excitement. Enjoy the delicious part of life as well, not always see and engulf yourself in the hard part“.

I had taken notice of this wise and somehow unexpectedly understanding advise from my dad, but I did not overly improve the quality of my life, or make changes that will give me more joy, excitement, or happiness (except that a couple of years back I had almost fallen in love, which had felt exactly like what my dad had described).

I have dreams of course. I would like to move to a South American country for example. I can still work and would be very happy to contribute to a developing country with my skills and experience. I would love the better climate and genuine people. I would love to learn the culture, history, and the language of the country. I would love to sing songs with the elderly and have laughters with the youngster. I can always do that, yet two things bother me; a) I may not be financially as good as I am now, and b) South America is even farther away from my home. So, I will not work towards this dream.

On the other hand, I can focus on my current life, which is already abundant, comfortable, and safe. There must be things that I can do now, on top of what I already have, to enrich it. That sounds like a doable plan. My only problem is; what can I change or do new that can give me this excitement that I am missing in my life?

I guess now it is a good time to read a couple of my books that tackle exactly this question. Good to know that I am not the only one and, hey, who knows, perhaps this time I can see something….

After all, there is nothing more insensible than wasting my life. I am determined to make it more meaningful and work for me. Hopefully this time, I will start enjoying the delicious part of life.

season winter

poem

——————–

 

many springs passed since last time

green and alive

and many thoughts and tears

without care

hard to imagine when this will end

this winter.. this foggy air..

I am stuck with hunger;

dreams give temporary relief

telling the regular lie

we are together like a lovely couple

I look at your eyes and see the inner boy

a 10 years old with hope and joyful

no age matters, no gray, no hair

giggling and humming the tunes

we are walking down the harbour

like no one else exists, none matters

the sky is blue and it is warm

I see the river and the city behind

it is one dream I love

—————————————————–
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dreams are stronger

poem
————————-

I saw a couple today happy

seeing them deepens my sorrow

reminds me…. inside

inside is so hollow

I am missing a part of me

I can’t steer my way around

pain is sharp, my legs tremble

it exhausts me

reality hurts so dreams are better

I long somewhere in another world

where I am…

I am…….

where there is that little line on your cheek!

that makes you all sweet and speak!

seeing that again I can reach to the moon!

humming the sweetest tune!

I fuel the blaze around my feelings

it reaches the sky

gazing up I smile

remembering that I left you behind

much later than you have had

they start to fall from the sky, the ashes

like the wedding veil I embraced

my eyes softened, gazing low

feeling everything I longed for

I lift my own veil

see, dreams are stronger

————————-
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confusion of love

poem

—————————–

I read a story yesterday
there was love as I dream it
it pained me sort of, perplexed
I recognized the love in the text
but not the one that we had
was it love, darling?
what we had;
was it love?
………………..
what was love, darling?
……………….
in my dream
or in my deem
there was no love, darling
that was not a dream
—————————–
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silence

poem

——————————-

today I dreamt about you;

we were together again, walking

on the streets of the city we love

chatting formally and distant first, and then

bursting into laughter for no reason

we were what we were years ago;

no matter how distant now our hearts are

we were close once we were together

nothing much changed…. nothing much differed…

your voice, look, and smile decidedly

and still was exciting and ineradicable

yet, reality struck once the abrupt silence arrived

the closer we were, the more clear it was

none of these was true….none of these mattered……

——————————-

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the dream of a future simple life

It is not un-obvious that my current life is full of routine and lacks excitement. I keep thinking whether I could leave my current job, which is stable, respected, and provides me with a good income and benefits, and move to somewhere more exciting but possibly not as prosperous and stable as this one.

It is, I guess, normal to have this conflict as in life we always strive for the best living conditions. Considering that I am also very aware of having only one life and it is not fully satisfactory, I do not mind re-visiting this idea time to time.

I was having a conversation with one of my friends lately and she made an excellent point; she said the issue (of leaving my current city for a more exciting one) did not come to a “boiling point”. Boiling point is when we do not think or question; it is when we know we are done and take the action (in my case, resigning from work, selling my home, and finding another job to work  and another city to live in).

I have been wishing to move to a country where people are lovely and lively, culture and history is interesting, living conditions are not too bad, there is political and civil stability, nature is amazing and vibrant, and life is simple…

Simple life is so appealing… Not thinking about all the hurdles and complexities of my work or how to maintain and manage my house for example.. Would it not be wonderful if I had less time and energy spent on these issues and more time, effort, and time put in finding a greater meaning, a greater happiness, and a greater satisfaction in life?

It would be.

Thanks to my education and job, I have got to move around many different countries and cities. I have been to developing countries and developed countries. I have been bombarded by the news and issues as well as opportunities and great health care other services. I have seen the rich people as well as homeless people. I have seen how the technology made our lives easy and then how it made us dependent on it. I have seen good people as well as bad people. I have seen comfortable life and also very dry, de-socialized, and most importantly, always “rushing” life.

I do not want to rush anymore nor be away from people. I do not want to regret being in the city I live. When I walked in the street of the city, I would like to feel the energy. When I look at it, I would like to see a character. I would like to be somewhere where I would not be marginalized, discriminated, or stereotyped because I was not originally from there. When I live in the city, I would like to feel like at home.

I also would like to be intrigued by the history, culture, and daily life of the people in that city. I dream them being nice and smiley all the time, being positive and hopeful, having time for each other, curious and respectful, protective of the environment, animals, and people, cheerful and happy with their lives and their people. Content with what they have and satisfied with their conditions. Not fully complaining, not feeling insecure, not feeling unsafe or unsuccessful, not gossiping or back-stabbing. Happy, healthy, content, relax, wise, and humane.

I do not know whether there is any place like this on earth – at the end we are all human and human have predictable behavior. But I believe that there are places where I can find at least the half of these features and where I can get rid of the stress and “rushing” of this modern, high-tech, and high-demanding life and work. Where I can find myself, without the clouds and mess of the current life conditions, obligations, issues, stress, and others.

The simple life I am dreaming of would include serving the society; maybe as a teacher. Having a small but safe house with a yard and lots of trees around. Having a study at the house where I can have my library of books and a study desk. On the desk I would have my laptop or computer and I would write. I would write the stories that I could not formulate, develop, or write yet. On the streets I would talk to people and at the market I would buy fresh produce. I would eat my food with interest and with admiration. I would chat with my neighbours and invite them over for ice tea at my yard. We would laugh and enjoy our moment. I would have a cat, better yet a cat and a dog. I would read the most extraordinary stories by the most beautiful writers. I would cook at my kitchen with a large wooden table in the middle. I would cook for the people I love. I would walk on the streets with a smile on my face, thinking about almost nothing, phasing out with the rhythm of my breath and the kiss of sun on my cheeks..

And, before I forgot, I would have financial means to do so, live like this, without depending on anyone or anything.

That is the most depressing part of this dream; I do not have the financial means to make it come true. If I stay with my current job and current budget for another 25 years, I may have enough for my retirement. Maybe in my retirement I could move to such a place.

But, my dear friends, would it not be a waste of life?

Fiction bits – II

Fiction bits

——————————————————————

I could not find myself yet.

Dreams left me first. They were now blackened by the reality, stifling, and heavily cankered. One side of me still wanted to nurture them; I fell asleep caressing them and I got up loving everything back again… Inevitably, each dawn turned into the day and with the day, each day, I felt the fear. First the fear of losing them, then the fear of losing my sanity.

It was agonizing, but no matter how ceaselessly I lingered in this furious and heinous cycle, I never became ready to let them go. It was the dreams that finally left me; they managed to rip off my weakened grab, walked slowly to freedom, and left me behind, void, and blind to sentiment.

I do not know what was more painful; parting with the only dreams I have had or having no dreams at all?

——————————————–

Fiction bits – II

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aching dreams

they say when you break a bone

even after healing

you can still feel it lightly aching;

how true it seems….

one of these days that my heart aches

over an old heart-break

there were things to live, things to say

things to experience, things to share,

and things to be happy with

life would have been different,

more content maybe, more exciting,

and more fulfilling..

or maybe not….

possibly not actually.

well, what did I expect?

without living that love,

one can only cry

after the dreams

for the dreams

——————————————————————-

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forgotten

you did good ending this

running and spreading your coldness

frozen I was; frozen

did not cry, did not complain, did not vent

peace it was; only frozen

dreamt about you the other day

woke up trying to remember

forgiving I was; forgetting

did not remember, did not hate, did not cry

forgotten you were; forgotten

———————————————————————–

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joy journal – March 8, 2015

I cannot think about a better way to continue feeling better than writing the things I have been grateful for lately. I do not know what I will write right now, but I know that once I intend to write them, I will find them, I will remember them. That is in the simplistic term an effective therapy for me. Here I start;

1. I am grateful for my family and friends; for their love and support, their well being and health. I love them dearly.

2. I am grateful for today being a sunday. I have maybe another two hours before I go to bed and I can enjoy every minute. This being said, I can enjoy any minute any time; it is my choice and my right.

3. I am grateful tomorrow is a work day – one more day at home would get boring for me. I have the choice of taking a day off if I feel like I may need time for myself, or do not want to be in the office. That freedom feels good.

4. I am grateful for gathering myself up after the depressive day yesterday. I am not sure what happened or how I managed it. It did not happen because I tried something, some way, some strategy (such as meditation, talking to friends, or so); it just happened. I feel like my mind helped itself. It feels good.

5. Despite all issues, worries, or negative things going on in my life, I am aware that I am not the only one, so I feel some kind of relief. Many people have even more dare issues to deal with; sickness, grief, financial troubles, etc. I know I am not immune to life’s challenges. I know that I will go through them like anyone else.

6. I am grateful that I have food, clothes, furniture and a house to live in.  I am thankful that I can afford all of these.

7. I am grateful that this morning at my favourite cafe, instead of working i read a magazine. What a nice change! And change I like. Routine gets boring after a while; seriously does. I need change; different places to see, different colours to wear, different opinions to hear.

8. I am grateful for my blog, computer, and the internet connection that makes this writing possible.

9. I am grateful that I realized I need a break. yes, I do. how wonderful it would be if I could afford a mini vacation, a week maybe away from this cold winter and every day routine.

10. I am grateful that I support myself fully and I am capable of facing things, however scary or annoying they may be. I am thankful that I appreciate myself and thank myself.

11. I am grateful that there are some nice voices, smiling faces, supportive and compassionate souls here and there. it is nice to hear someone offering that they can listen to me if I want to talk it happened here yesterday; many thanks you 🙂 ). I am grateful that the waitress at my favourite cafe yesterday get my coffee ready before I asked. I learnt her name and I have thanked her. That was a high-energy experience. It re-charged me, gave me hope, and energy. Thank you Jessica. I hope when you need it, you will find many people around you to support you and make you smile, like you have done yesterday for me.

12. I am grateful for not being agitated right now; a little bit maybe but not too much. there is quite a relief in accepting things as they are and letting wishes, plans, and any other thing that do not work and bothers me go. That is a great feeling. Some may say it is a failure, I say I am liberated. Point of view.

13. I am grateful for the daylight saving time being started (or ended; I do not know which one) today. I have not enjoyed losing one hour today, but you know what; this one extra hour-long daylight in the evening gave me hope. this one extra hour of light made me feel like, even though it does not show its face yet, spring is about to come. a couple of more months and then things will be brighter. It feels good.

14. I am grateful that while I was depressed yesterday, I did not whine to anyone and reduce their energy by it. All needs their energy to go through their lives. I am happy that I have not negatively affected any one.

15. I am grateful that I realize I take too much to do and along the way get overwhelmed and inefficient (as I have been lately). It is time for me to say no to certain things. It is time for me to stop during the day and do something different. As a matter of fact, that is a great idea! why do I not have a “Change of the day” section here and write down things that I did differently!! That will be awesome! Great idea! even a small thing can make a difference in my life. I am grateful that I have come up with this idea right now. Another great thing about writing my joy journal! :))))

16. I am excited for the “Change of the day” idea and I am grateful for that. Excitement is a great thing.

17. I am grateful for making a list of things that I have done as a change lately: here is my short list:

a) starting a blog ( a few months ago)

b) writing poems and short stories (I hardly did before I opened this blog)

c) buying less groceries

d) eating more carrots

e) drinking tea at home, even for time to time

f) starting yoga and then taking a break from it before it became a routine activity

g) planning to start yoga again

h) starting to work at my favourite cafe

i) not visiting my favourite book store – now I actually wished I had; it is such an exciting thing to go through the books, buying them and bringing home, and then exploring them. Due to winter I could not walk there, but you know I will start sometime soon. So it is great.

j) changing my tooth paste

k) changing my laundry detergent; it smells so good I am very happy about it.

l) not shopping large – I enjoy shopping, buying things that I will need, especially if they are on sale. On top of the things that I need, I also purchase things that will feel like a present to me; a pack of pens, some other little stationary items, something colourful. I have not done that since the holidays because I have everything now. This probably saves me money, but at the same time I should mention I missed that feeling of shopping!

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