all the good things – check

  • feeling really positive and excited about life -check 🙂
  • taking time to rest in the morning and getting up kind of late – check
  • catching the bus – check
  • enjoying my coffee – check
  • not being stressful at all and looking for something to do at the office – check!

this was very important. I have had time! I took this opportunity to discuss the work of a team member, who seemed to have done really well. I understand his work, which is in fact very complicated. And this gives me extra confidence in his work. Priceless 🙂

  • finding 30 bucks in a pocket of my purse and getting excited about this – check

This is wonderful! it is a lot of money. I have been meaning to buy jars, the little wide mouth ones, for some time. I think I can now get it with a peace of mind 🙂

  • getting a tax return more than I thought I would – check, check, check 🙂

Is that not wonderful? It is 🙂 I plan to make it a pre-payment and further reduce my mortgage. Very exciting! I feel like money comes to me from many different resources. Timing is great as this week I have been really frugal and did not spend more money while also keep living comfortably. I had missed this feeling and I am very excited about it.

  • eating yogurt – check
  • relaxing whole night and not working at all – check
  • buying long, green, and hot peppers at a nearby store – check

this kind is hard to find around here and this is the second time that I found it. My mom would love these peppers, especially if fried. i am not that into hot peppers, but with the seeds removed, the taste and the look of these peppers are just amazing. I feel lucky 🙂

  • having no meeting tomorrow – check
  • planning to visit a thrift store tomorrow afternoon – check

this is very exciting for me 🙂 I have not been to one for a long time. Browsing through all bunch of interesting stuff is a great relaxing exercise for my mind. While I am excited about this plan, I am also conscious about the bad weather outside – it is raining and we expect some storm. If the precipitation is not bad, I still can make it tomorrow – we shall see 🙂

  • having a no-spending day – check

that is right – this was the 5th day that I did not spend anything except the bus fare. I am abundant. I am well. I am proud.

 

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at last; frugal and simple life again

Today I have been completely expense-free; I took the bus in the morning even though it was icy on the road; I did not treat anyone at the office with food or coffee; I walked back to home in the evening; and I did not buy the junk food that I have had an habit of eating every day since July (aka the busy work season).

I saved $30.5 today by these today.

$30.5…. in a single day…

It feels like a lot of money for me today (although I did not care doing these expenses every single day in the last 7 months..).

I feel like during only Monday-Friday this week, assuming that I will keep repeating my frugal life-style today, I will be saving over 150 bucks of mine. This is like 15 x 10 pounds bread flour (more than a year’s of what is needed to bake a sourdough loaf every Sunday); 3 weeks worth of grocery; >1/2 sewing machine (new); a night at a hotel; around 50 bus trips to work; around 8 generous thrift store purchases; or a lovely pre-payment.

Can you imagine how abundant I feel??? 

Very abundant and wealthy indeed!

I am so excited and so proud of myself.

🙂

three days till Friday and holidays

I have three more days to go and then I will be free for 10 days!!

Freedom is something that I really cherish I guess. Just yesterday I was feeling like if I did not have to go to work today, I would have stayed up late and watch a movie. Three more days and I will have this freedom for 10 days 🙂

I thought I was exhausted last week, but this monday I woke up feeling better and having a clear mind. Things did not look so bad to me, so I am working and keep going. There will be many things that I had planned to finish that will remain undone, but some other stuff are being done. Like today we have finalized a document for a team member – she was joyful, and so was I 🙂 

I plan to finish cleaning and declutter my office on Friday, my traditional activity right before the holidays. What a beautiful plan 🙂 I think after this I will go for shopping or visit a thrift store or two. A nice start to the holidays.

All of us deserve to feel light and good about ourselves and the coming opportunities. I hope all of you out there have great plans, positive anticipations, and wonderful smiles on your face.

back to my frugal self this week

Seems like I have had enough of the over-spending spree that has been happening since July.

Except one, all my deadlines are met, a large volume of work is done, and I completed two over-seas business trips. My stress levels are low (knock on the wood) and I am feeling like having a simple and frugal/resourceful life is easy now 🙂

Accordingly, this week my spending was way below my weekly allowance. A first in the last 3 months….. I am proud and very excited about this 🙂

Cannot wait to feel the joy coming out of frugal life and collecting all the savings that I will use for my advantage, such as having mortgage pre-payments 🙂

 

leaving everything behind soon

They say anticipation is more exciting than attaining something.

I truly believe in this – in a few days I will be flying to Europe for a couple of days of business trip and I must say I was not able to anticipate much till this morning, but I guess I am now and it excites me. I will leave everything behind for a couple of day – all the stress of work, work-place, and issues. 

I will be free.

Something marvelous at last 🙂

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joy journal – June 14, 2017

Lots of great things are happening, which deserve to be acknowledged and thanked for 🙂

1. I am grateful for a good sleep yesterday and waking up early.

2. I am grateful for walking in the morning to office. I am usually very absent minded during these walks and I hardly notice what I am up to, but that is not a problem – I feel relaxed as a result of these walks. I also know how useful walking for my bones, muscles, heart, vascular system, skin, and mind – so one activity in the morning does give these many benefits is amazing. I always feel excited and happy about walking in the morning throughout the day! 🙂

3. I am grateful for getting up early. I noticed that if I get up early, I am more inclined to walk. It is, I guess, because if I am late, I feel stressed and want to go to office as early as possible. So a reason to take the cab rather than walk. Being in the office early also gives me a chance to relax and start working early in the day. That means before noon I take care of quite a bit of work, which makes me feel efficient and I am not as stressed as I otherwise would. So, getting up early works very well for me 🙂

4. I am grateful for having a chat with a friend/colleague of mine where we both were frustrated with the toxic workplace environment and finally had realized that we were better than what we thought we were because surviving and striving in such an environment was not easy and not for everyone, but we were doing it. We should stop listening to others and go ahead with our work and plans to success. I also mentioned during this talk that how good I felt about my life, my daily routine, and everything else, except the toxicity of the work place and the feeling of “I am not god enough” that taxes my self-confidence. It felt awesome to be able to feel and say good about my life 🙂

5. I am grateful for walking in the nearby forest with two of my colleagues in the afternoon. It was refreshing and energizing – we all enjoyed it 🙂

6. I am grateful for my kefir grains! have I mentioned that for the first time since I have had the grains (the last 4-5 weeks) I had the milk fermented in 12 hours? I checked it this morning, as my usual habit and curiosity, and there it was! all thick and curdy! It was so exciting! I fed it this evening and cannot wait till tomorrow morning to check it out! I have so many plans; I would like to buy new and bigger jugs to preserve my kefir. I also would like to try kefir spread and cheese sometime. And tonite I also thought about fermenting my own yogurt! I had tried it last year and I was not successful, but I would like to give it a try again. Very exciting!

7. I m grateful for eating relatively healthy today. 

8. I am grateful for today being a no expense day 🙂

9. I am grateful for tomorrow being Thursday,which is usually my grocery shopping day! I really need to buy fresh produce and shopping makes me feel good. So, happy Thursday everyone! 🙂

10. I am grateful for relaxing the entire evening and night and enjoying my time by reading, writing, and watching movies 🙂

11. I am grateful for the rain that we have had for a short time today. Thanks to it, I did not have to water the seeds in the yard. So far I was not able to see any seed germinate (some of them were planted 10 days ago), which is discouraging. But at least, i think I have 6 potato plants! Yuppiiii!! 🙂 Something other than a sturdy stalk of mint, weed, and grass grew in my yard! 🙂

12. I am grateful for the work I have done today and moving things.

13. I am grateful for brewing my own coffee and enjoying it a lot today.

14. I am grateful for the weekend to come and all the shopping I can do then!

Have a great night everyone 🙂 

 

another #no-expense day

Today was one of these no-expense day 🙂

I have not spent any money, not even for the transportation; I walked.

These days were very rare last year; I was amazed the first time I could manage not to pay anything (including the bus fare) in a single day. I still am! It just is becoming a routine thing now. Routine, but still exciting 🙂

Talking about surprising myself 🙂 The feeling of empowerment is high. I am one step closer to simple and self-relying life.

Go try something you think is almost impossible 🙂

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in awe and in love

You know what I love most about falling in love, or seeing a historic monument/art piece most?

The feeling of being awed.

The admiration  I feel.

The feeling of being how lucky to have this experience.

Getting all the cells in my body energized.

The mesmerisation, excitement, silly smiles I get. 

Forgetting everything and focusing on a great thing, a great person.

With increasing age I found that these feelings are showing up less and less.

One may not be able to fall in love with planning, but one sure can plan a trip to see what they want to do, what they want to see. I hope all of you guys have some plans for the summer.

impulses, mistakes, choices, and life as it is

Like many of us, I made mistakes that shaped the rest of my life for the worse (that is how I interpret them anyhow) upon wishes and desires of my heart, but not of my mind.

I had felt I was suffering anyhow, so the alternative (a.k.a. the mistake) would be equally hurting. So, what the heck? At least I would feel alive; pulsing with life, hope, excitement, and happiness.

And I had 🙂

Yet, I was not the same after a while, somethings were inherently gone, and I missed them. So, that is why I interpreted them as “mistakes”, as there was no opportunity to go back in time and get again what I had had.

I then decided that mindful choices were better than the desires of my heart, safety more than excitement and impulses. Love was out of question, so was taking risks. I become conservative in my look to life and I would rather have a structured/safe life where I would have peace of mind. I also went through financial hardship – being fired twice in a year (even though I found jobs right away and did not even have one day out of pay check) and knowing how valuable a dollar can be (could buy 1.5 cans of beans for a buck those days), I also prioritized financial security as a result..

Now, I have got all of these; a great job with a great salary and benefits in a safe city. Arse boring life, but safe, well structured, and financially secure. 

Do I feel accomplished?

————–

How do I feel really?

————–

I feel like I want to quit this job and find the true desire of my heart again.

Take risks, move somewhere, meet with new people, and have spontaneity and curiosity about life.

Be open to excitement in seeing new faces, new cities, new cultures, and new experiences.

I want to rediscover myself and the course of my evolution…..

But, I will not take an active step and write that resignation letter.

Not yet.

I will know when it is the time to get out of this, and explore and bloom with excitement.

I will know……

I gotta trust that.

Freedom at last.

One day.

I will be waiting.

One day.

 

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it is not that bad

While I have bragged about how boring my life is, this morning I came to the realization that in the last one years or so, I have changed my life in a much better way.

First of; I started baking my own bread – they may not be the best, but they are getting better each time. More importantly, baking gives excitement to my daily life. Every Sunday I am eager to see how my dough and the loaf will turn out like! It is also healthy (I believe – it must be way better than the store-made bread). What a wonderful, healthy, and easy way to have a recurrent type of excitement 🙂

Second of; I eat better – that is for sure. I eat more raw veggies, which agree with my body. I have also lost some weight (even though I gained some of it back lately I am positive that I can do it again).

Third of; I walk more. I walked in the morning not only during summer, but also in winter (for the first time this winter) from home to office! For someone like me who was chronically tired, stressed, and impatient, this is quite an achievement.

Fourth; I have more energy – thanks to my iron and vitamin D supplements. This makes me feel better about myself and it is incredibly satisfying.

Fifth of; I am saving more than the last few years, so I am in much better shape financially.

Funny thing is that I have come up with these out of blue while walking  this morning 🙂

———-

These being said, it is only normal to fix some issues and then move on with identifying and aiming to fix new issues. In this logic, it is almost impossible to be without any issue.

Fine.

So I must be okay with having  a number of things that bother me now; 

I need a more social life; I do not know what that is gonna be but whether I join a hobby class or start hosting more frequently at home, I have got to come up with something.

I need variety – doing the same things and seeing the same faces/places are dead boring. I have every single right to be bored, considering the circumstances. I believe a new social hobby would enrich my daily life a little bit. Also, traveling is an opportunity to break it, but how frequently one can go away?

I need to stop believing that I am old. I am not old – older, yes, but not old. I still have a life!

🙂

boredom

I realized that the majority of the things that excited me in the past (hanging out with fiends, new challenges and hurdles to overcome, seeing new places, being spontaneous, living in big cities that have a lot to offer, falling in love, picking those lovely black shirts at stores etc.) are no longer in my life.

Did I get old?

What happened?

Why do I not have excitement in my life?

How did I end up in where I am and with what I do and live with?!!!

—————-

I have no one but myself who is responsible for this. I should have never moved in where I am. I knew I was not a small city person – walk to the same places, shop at the same malls, visit the same stores, see the same faces, eat at the same diners…. yet, I moved here because I have got an exciting work. Thanks! Argh!

—————-

I must start a social activity; maybe a cooking or sewing class. I am even in favour of attending a bingo night. Goodness, I must do something different than what I am doing – this is such a boring life!

Come on me, come on…

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A day

I keep getting up early.

I was up at around 8 am this morning. When I wake up that early, the day is so long that I can do everything in it. Like today; I got breakfast, cleaned my home, did laundry, talked to my family, walked to my office, worked like 4 hours, walked back home, cooked meal, and prepared my sourdough for tomorrow. Now, I am chilling.

Wohoo! 🙂  This is a lot of things to do in a day without getting bored or stressed. Yep – I did it. I did all of these without getting bored or without getting stressed 🙂 What a blessing.

Everything was nice and easy today. Cleaning was easy. There was only two loads of laundry. It was too much windy but I walked 30 min to office and then back to home and enjoyed every minute of it anyhow; the work I have done at the office was great – I did not stress myself at all. I just worked without any pressure and I did really good. 

Overall, I could not be happier and excited about getting up early, finding a long day ahead of me, and being stress-free! 🙂

Hey, maybe I will do that again tomorrow 🙂

Tomorrow is my bread baking day. Every loaf is an excitement – after all, there can not be another copy of a loaf. Each one is individual. They cannot be replicated 100% – no matter how hard we try. That is why each Sunday I have excitement guaranteed – “how will this loaf turn out?” What an exciting question! How nice to have this excitement every week.

I am so lucky.

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random thougths

It is Friday 🙂

This week has passed pretty fast and I did not get tired. That means I am planning to go back to the office, hopefully tomorrow and take care of some stuff. That does not happen to me frequently, but when I feel like working at the office at a weekend, it usually indicates my eagerness to finish something without getting stressed. So it is a good thing 🙂

Tonite I am listening to Amy Winehouse – Back to Black.

It somehow saddens me to see her singing in this video, knowing that she has passed away. What a strong voice, what a vulnerable person. The video clip is so openly about death that it heightens my sadness somehow – did she ever think about her death while shooting this video, while singing this song? Does anything that mattered to her when she was alive matter right now?

The answer is a clear no.

So, why do I keep get upset about the tinniest s.it? I am particularly agitable about someone at work the last few weeks. I want to get rid of this annoyance, these silly thoughts. I want to enjoy my moment and cherish everything I am grateful for. Yet, when was the last time I wrote my joy journal?  I increasingly believe that it is only the human nature to be engulfed in the little issues in the absence of apparently bigger issues.. Maybe I should be grateful that I have such small issues at the centre of my life right now.

……

The last two months have passed very fast…. I cannot put my finger on why. It is not like I was amazingly busy at work or out of work. It is strange. I wanted to live and be mindful of each day. Yet here I am at the beginning of March looking back two months and I cannot identify anything notable that happened in the last 60 something day… Strange.. Weird..

Something needs to change, I guess. First thing first is to find new projects at work and at personal life. It is boring to keep thinking and doing the same thing, going to the same places/stores, and buying the same types of food.

Where is my adventurous spirit?

Where is the curiosity? Once it was continuous. Now it is hard to find fast….

Please do not tell me that I just got old.

exciting thrifty store visit :)

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I have had a blast today at two thrifty stores 🙂

Gals; I was reading that some of you were able to get sewing fabric and notions from thrifty stores. I had not believed in it.

It turned out I was wrong 🙂

I took advantage of finishing some critical work early today and despite the slushy roads (which is not fun when one walks), I decided to check my favorite stores; a.k.a. thrifty stores 30 min walking distance from my office. Man, there is so many interesting stuff in these stores.

I have found lovely scrap fabric in great condition 🙂 These were left overs from who knows what project and were on sale. All in great condition and clean, and absolutely do not have any dirt or offensive odor or something 🙂 Some are as long as 7 meters, the shortest is around 1 meter. And I paid a total of $42 for all of these (12 different fabric accounting for more than 30 meters of fabric)!

This is my first serious fabric hunt so far (after I purchased my sewing machine). I am planning to use some as backing fabric for bed cover/quilt trials; some of them I would love to see as tunics, and many of them will be quilt pieces/placemats 🙂

I cannot wait to get my hands on these 🙂

is there something called “excitement addiction”?

I feel like I am addicted to excitement and am in constant need of feeling it.

I have been feeling really good, happier, more excited, and calmer in the last 6 weeks or so (I am so grateful for this). These has been mainly because I was able to walk more and see that I have had my energy back; I was able to save more and as a result, buy more (of those that I needed);  I was losing weight and feeling a little bit better; I had developed a new interest (sewing); and I was able to eat better with more diverse and healthier food.

Doing/feeling each of these great things almost every day/week was a constant source of joy and pride that made me excited! 🙂

Yesterday and today I feel like meh for no apparent reason, even though I have so much to be grateful and joyful about.

Is it because these beautiful things/activities became a routine? 

Perhaps it is true – too much of something great may not constantly feel good over the long run. Perhaps I should refrain from and miss those first, for example shopping, to enjoy it next time…Dully noted…

Or maybe, I need to strive/plan/work towards something new?

Oh well.

Maybe all I need is a sewing project 🙂

 

joy journal – Nov 27, 2016

Tonite, I have find my mind going around negative thoughts and feelings- what better reason to write my joy journal? 🙂

1. I am grateful for sleeping well, having many dreams, and interpreting them. I am not an interpreter but among all three dreams, there was one common theme – that I was dwelling on/keeping the (negative) past memories and events too much. It is time to let these go and move on with a positive attitude, and create new memories…

2. I am grateful for the coffee I have had at home. I love brewing coffee at home 🙂 why did I not do that before? Until three weeks ago, I only brewed my coffee at the office and at the weekends I bought  myself coffee at coffee houses. As part of my minimal spending plan to finance my additional shopping during the holiday season, three weeks ago I started brewing it at home and this week I realized how much I actually enjoy this 🙂 I would love to make it a better experience by buying maybe better and aromatic beans for a change. I love vanilla and hazelnut – flavored coffee :). Otherwise honestly the coffee at the coffee houses are much better than mine! Time to change this 🙂

3. I am grateful for speaking with my family and having lots of laughs together.

4. I am grateful for catching the bus and going to the shopping mall. On the way back, I needed to wait around 40 min for the bus, but, hey, what can I do? In the past I would take the cab, but my conscious choice is to be able to save my money for more important things… So, even though it was a dump and rainy day, I was grateful for waiting for the bus inside the mall and keeping dry..

5. I am grateful for the french press coffee maker that I purchased – it was on sale and I have got an additional discount. It did not cost me too much and it looks really lovely. Upon my return I brewed coffee in it and I must say it is even better (lid is more solid and secure) than the presser at my office. I could not be happier for having this affordable, beautiful, and useful item 🙂

6. I am grateful for all other items I purchased today, which all will be useful in my life.

7. I am grateful for dying my hair 🙂 I am so not excited about this, yet I gotta do it every month or so 🙂 I am trying a new shade and it looks like the dye itself was better than the previous one. Thank you 🙂

8. I am grateful for being 190 pounds 🙂  I was heavier. In 2016 I lost around 15 pounds, very slowly. I am no sure about the exact reasons, but it is mostly because I do not eat late at night anymore (I used to eat a lot before I go to sleep…). I am very happy with this new habit and the positive outcome it brings to my life. My aim is to drop another 10-15 more pounds, maybe in a year or so and hopefully keep them off. The trick is to have this healthy eating pattern over time – a great trick 🙂

9. I am grateful for making conscious choice of letting negative things go off my mind and reminding myself to keep having a happy mental state. There are things that bother me… yet, I have been feeling so great lately that I will not let these thoughts/feelings ruin my overall mood. Feeling good is an amazing thing and I would love to keep it as much as I can.

10. I am grateful for making the better choice of buying and eating dried fruits than biscuits at the shopping mall 🙂

11. I am grateful for the big salad and the healthy meal I have had at home for dinner 🙂 They are healthy and good for my quest to lose fat.

12. I am grateful for having the night to myself and enjoying it as much as I can by watching movies and reading – what a blessing!

13. I am grateful for being safe and sound in this bad weather. We have had quite a rainy and windy day today and the wind is pounding everywhere. It is awesome that my home is standing tall and keeping me safe during this difficult weather.

14. I am grateful for having lots of food at my fridge. freezer, and pantry. I have a lot of things to consume in the coming months. The minimal shopping plan that I implemented in the last three weeks was very useful in consuming what I already possess, but I am thinking I can do better. For one, I have not eaten dry food lately and I may as well focus on consuming them this week. This will help me not only save from my current grocery bill, but also give me a chance to replace them with fresh ones.

15. I am grateful for my computer, internet connection, power, heating, appliances, furniture, clothes, books, TV, and all other items I have at home. They make my life easy, comfy, enjoyable, and safe.

16. I am grateful for my joy journal and taking time to note all the lovely, exciting, interesting, valuable, lovable, and appreciable things, people, and experiences 🙂

I ordered my sewing machine :)

The day was full of great things, like it is being a wonderful sunny and warm November day; I walking in the morning and the evening, feeling good overall, working nice and easy, and eating healthy.

But one thing stands out as a unique source of joy – I ordered my sewing machine!

I did!

The last one week I was reading about different brands/models and trying to choose one that would be good for beginners’ as well as intermediate users’ sewing adventures. I decided a Singer 7258 was what I wanted. Looks like I can do up to quilting, the purchase includes 9-10 presser feet, in addition to many functions that are useful.

I have been checking online where to get this machine and its price. The price is considerably changing from one resource to other and I can say it is not a cheap machine. I ruled out purchasing a second-hand machine this time (even though I like second hand items).

I was determined and obviously I checked on Amazon for too long, for too many times; they sent me $10 promotion code a couple of days ago. I was hoping that the machine would further discount, especially towards the Christmas. So I was checking it almost everyday and today I have seen yet another discount (around $100 total). Together with my promotion code and free shipment option, I had a chance of getting $120 discount from its original (and the cheapest) price out there.

It would probably go down a little bit more in later days, but I thought; 1) what if it does not? 2) I really would like to get the machine soon enough so that I can start working on projects especially during my 2-weeks Christmas holiday, and 3) I was lucky and able to save an additional $142 this weekend, mostly from purchases/expenses I would normal do but did not.

So, I ordered it this evening – it is supposed to arrive next week 🙂

I am excited!

I hope it is a fantastic machine, I will be able to take excellent care of it in many years to come, and together we will be able to create many wonderful things once I get to learn it 🙂

 

*no advertisement intended.

 

sewing may be my newest hobby :)

Since I used my little portable sewing machine to sew myself cloths to use during baking last weekend, I cannot keep thinking about how enjoyable that activity, the feeling of being capable of and self-sustaining were.

I want to buy a sewing machine!

I can sew table cloths, napkins, bread bags, curtains, pillow cases, and make quilts, embroidery and much more! I can repair my clothes. I can re-purpose whatever I have. I can make gifts for family and friends. After many trials and errors of course 🙂

I really am excited about this idea.

I want to be an informed consumer; one thing I would hate would be to buy a machine that would not be comfortable to use, or suitable for my projects. I was looking at the internet and there are so many different brands and models – which one is it that I would like to get? I know I am looking for a beginners/intermediate level model that allows me to sew, quilt, and make embroidery. I know I need a machine that have many stitch options and allows me to adjust the stitch length and width. I will need a machine that fits many different foots suitable for my needs, hopefully coming with the purchase as accessories but not needing extra purchases and thus inflating the cost. I know I can get a mechanical or electrical one, and hopefully with a lot of room on the right side of the needle to help comfortably handle the fabric. I also would love a light machine that does not produce a lot of noise while operating. Something that can handle thin and thick fabric would be nice, too. I will keep reading to find out what else I need to be aware of while selecting my sewing machine.

Information, however, is overwhelming and somehow putting me off; so if you, the dear reader, have any recommendations, please feel free to share in the comment area.

I am thinking I can catch up the holiday sales if I can make my mind till then. I really would love to spend as little as possible. I considered the second hand ones and actually found a nice Singer sewing machine at $60, but I decided it was not worth it. A new one is probably the best bet with all the accessories available with the purchase (if possible). Plus, I can trust that the machine is at good condition.

So, with this decision, my next hurdle is to identify how to save for money to purchase this lovely addition to my life. I am perfectly capable of buying it right now, but honestly there is something nice about saving for it first by cutting expenses in other areas.

I have 6 weeks till the holiday season to save around $200-300. Wish me luck my friends 🙂

random thoughts

It has been a fine Fall day; a little bit cool but otherwise nice and shinny 🙂 I love this year’s Fall – from the scenery to nice weather, it has given its full potential to our enjoyment.

I have not worked too intense today; I rather left the office at noon and walked to a nearby shopping centre 🙂 It is very rare for me to go shop on a work day, so I loved the fact that I permitted myself a bout of spontaneity – talking about breaking the routine 🙂

My first stop was at a thrifty store, where I found a fine piece of art work for my office 🙂 It is a canvas painting with lots of natural colours, trees, and plants in front of a lovely house with great wooden doors and windows. Just looking at it makes me feel in the nature – loved it 🙂 Money well spent.

I then proceeded to check another store and was able to find two gifts for my neighbours and one of my good friends. I could not believe how affordable they were, which was quite a relief. One of the gifts I purchased was a product of my home country, which made me extra excited 🙂 I thought at first the gifts per se would not be enough but then I decided to supplement them with a freshly baked loaf of bread. The fact that there has been budgetary issues where I am and, lately, my organization increased our pension plan contributions, made me very aware of the limited purchasing power. I believe the gifts are just appropriate and the bread will just make them even better 🙂 So my consciousness is clear.

I also visited my favorite dollar store. Well, the majority of the items are not $1 anymore, but still things are quite affordable when compared to other stores. I am excited about the new oven mints (they are bright red and look so lovely 🙂 ) and the pens (they have been my favorite in the last one year or so) I purchased 🙂 I did not buy everything I wanted to, leaving the joy and excitement of shopping to some other time.

Tomorrow a friend of mine and I are going to a shopping centre again. We would like to put our hands and minds on some craft, so let’s hope we will be able to find those fabrics. I also have been meaning to get some left-over pieces of fabric, which I plan to use during baking/dough preparation. We will see how it goes 🙂

This weekend seems like a triple dose of shopping as I am also planning to go to another shopping centre on Sunday! I know, I know… You are thinking; what is she doing – talking about frugality and saving and then shopping three days in a row? See, sometimes you need to do what excites you. Shopping always does excite me…. I do not buy things that I do not need, so no worries about over-spending. I want to buy a couple of items which are on sale this week, like olive oil, as well as hair dye for which I have a coupon. I also need to buy another set of gifts for my friend, which I am happy to check for sales now rather than later.

So my friends, the holiday season is coming, the sales are on, and gifting is somehow both required and exciting. My past experience is that I spend more than average during the holiday season, but this is mostly to take advantage of the sales. I have a list of things that I hope to catch good sales for and this certainly excites me. I would like to buy new pairs of socks and pants, for example. In the past I was able to get really good deals during the holidays. Then I can forget about looking for them during the rest of the year. So that is what exactly I am planning to do this year too 🙂

Hope everyone will be able to get the exceptional deals and enjoy their purchases 🙂

no spending day

I just realized today was a no-spending-day since I do not know when…

I am so excited about this.

I walked and did not pay for bus and I absolutely bought nothing today; no coffee, no treats, no grocery, no nothing….

I remember last year when I first aimed to have a no-spending day it was so difficult…

I feel like I am coming back to my lean budget as of this week and it is making me feel very empowered and abled. This has nothing to do with my accidental no-spending-day today, but both are what make me excited in terms of achieving my goals.

It is interesting that spending less money can make one that excited about herself 🙂

Jamie the cat is home

I brought Jamie home 30 min ago – I am writing from the room I got for him.

I was recommended to keep him in a small room for the few days to prevent him from being overwhelmed 🙂

He seems to be adjusting well (I hope); exploring everywhere, eating food, and walking around. I just wished he had used his litter box for some reason.

I am humming a tune and sometimes even speaking to him (or rather to myself 🙂 ) I am mostly ignoring him, typing or browsing the internet. That seems to be working as he is approaching me.

This is, my friends, a historical event in my life. My first cat of my adult life.

I hope that to be a wonderful experience and adventure for both of us 🙂

my sour dough starter attempts

I have started my 4th sour dough starter today, with 2/3 cup flour and 1/2 cup water. I mixed these with a fork in a bowl and then transferred the starter-to-be in a clean glass jar. I covered the lid with a clean and thin clothe, secured with with an elastic band, wrapped the jar with a little hand towel (only because here is colder than many other places), and put it on a shelf to rest.

I go check it time to time by lifting the clothe-lid – curiosity 🙂 I read somewhere else that it is okay as there would be some bacteria or wild yeast in my surroundings that this would help them to be captured in the flour+water mix, and thus, enhance the starter. True or not, I have no idea. My primary driver is the curiosity – is there a bubble? A rise? Some sort of smell? Something???? 🙂 🙂

Of course, it is not realistic to expect that such a young starter mix will do all of these, but, hey, I am excited 🙂

I will use whole wheat flour for this starter. My plan is to feed it everyday by first taking up around half of it and adding the same amount of flour and water as stated above, except the 2nd day when I plan to add these ingredients without taking out from the starter (to nourish it a little bit at the beginning – the wild yeast is not in great amount anyhow and cannot strive very fast). Use of fork, if you do not have a whisker, is a better idea than using a spoon to mix the flour and water together.

Anyways; this is my fourth starter attempt. Why?

I started my first one while I was on vacation – the first one, even though the weather was warmer, did not flourish well in 5 days. So I started a new one. Maybe I was impatient or it really did not work out, I do not know.

The second one was a thriver and I baked breads with it 🙂 it was a sour dough alright 🙂 Unfortunately we had to let it go right before I left home; my family does not bake breads frequently.

In both of these, I added 4-5 dry chickpeas in the mixture, slightly cracked. My sister heard that that would make a great sour dough starter. I think she was right mostly. I would recommend it to everyone. I also kept and tended to these two starters in the kitchen, which I am sure had both the wild yeast and the commercial yeast, as I was baking bread with dry yeast then, too. So, the commercial yeast would have also been captured in the starters. Would they make sour dough, too, I wonder though? if not, then I can safely conclude that they were wild yeast in my starter, as the bread I baked with was pretty sour 🙂

Then I arrived my home here and I started another one with only flour (all purpose, white flour) and water. Today was the 11th day. It was sour alright, but very very sour-smelling. The first week or so it just smelled like wheat, but nothing else. And the bubbles was not something I saw before – very lifeless looking, small bubbles. It did start to rise in the last few days, so it was telling me that the wild yeast (and bacteria) were there. But today, I decided it was time to let it go, too. I would not bake with this thin-looking starter. I need something stronger. So, here I am on Day 1 of my 4th starter 🙂

I cannot claim to be a successful sourdough maker, yet I have a couple of observations and “feelings” about the sourdough starters:

1. usually the starter rises like 1/2 of its initial height on the second day after feeding (not counting the flour and water mixed in). It makes me excited each time, as we expect a rise in sourdough starter. But it is not permanent and get lost later until it starts to rise again maybe on the 6th-10th day (which ever the first rise and large bubbles happen). I think these are the bacterial actions in the 2nd day, rather than the wild yeast activity. No need to get too excited.

2. hooch can appear on the second day on. I do not like it and prefer to throw away. Once it occurred in the middle of the starter, which I had to mix with the starter. Personal preference, that is all.

3. the denser starters seem to thrive better than batter-like starters. I do not know why, this is my feeling. If i do see that the starter is runny, I opt to add more flour than water to make it a denser one. you noticed above that I add less water than the flour (cup-wise) even though everybody is recommending a 1:1 ratio (by weight). Looks like 1 cup flour = 240 grams and 1 cup water = 236.5 grms (so almost the same weight). I found in my experience, such a ratio makes batter-like starters (which I do not like for some reason) and thus I cut the water a little bit. Again, a personal preference.

4. I must admit I did not measure my water and flour carefully in the previous trials and rather have had batter-like starters one day and denser ones next day, and so on. I know I must be more systematic and use a constant ratio all the time but this does not happen with me. Again, a personal preference.

5. As expected the starter gets more runny the next day; must be the action of the yeast and bacteria in the flour/water/starter. Just an observation. I guess it makes sense as even a dense dough after the first rise or the proof gets softer/more hydrated than the initial dough.

6. checking the starter for rising or bubbles is a very exciting activity. When I see them, I feel like I accomplished something and feeling pretty happy and excited about my life 🙂

 

……………..

Anyways, let’s see how this 4th sourdough starter adventure of mine will develop 🙂

in preparation for the cat

Today, I shopped for the cat that hopefully I will be getting soon.

I must admit at the beginning I was hesitant: I first started picking litter and dry food and then got overwhelmed.

What if I buy the stuff and then not get the cat?

I took a moment, left everything on my cart, and left the store to collect myself. Treated myself with a coffee outside on the curb. It was lightly raining but I really needed that moment.

After all, this cat is my first long-term commitment.

Was I sure that I wanted to get and care for a cat?

Am I ready, financially and emotionally, to have a living being in my life, who is dependent on my care?

Is my home ready? Will my floors be scratched and will I find vomit and urine here and  there? Will these damage the floor (laminate) so that I will need to change my flooring every year?

Will the cat burn itself on the range?

Will it suffocate itself on the blind or while playing with the shopping bags? Do I have items around, small or sharp items, that the cat will swallow and hurt/suffocate himself with?

Will the cat eat my plants and will they poison it?

Was one of my tall, thin bookcases wobbly? Will it fall on the cat while he is trying to jump on it?

Will I lose my cat, even though I have no plans to let it go outdoors, at least for now?

Will there be a good vet somewhere closeby?

How will I trim his nails?

Will he like the food and the litter I choose for him? The scratch post? The transporter? The bed material? The toys?

Will we get along? Will he like me? How are we going to interact with each other?

Will he wake me up with a smile on my face? Like every morning?

I do not have answers to the majority of these questions. All I knew was that I wanted to get a cat, more than the need for a mouser, for the need of having something nice around.

I hope he will be a lovely cat 🙂

a short synopsis of an exciting day

I got tired by shopping and working at home till late again, but many nice stuff happened, too.

Breaking the routine adventures: In the morning, I went to a shopping mall. I have got my regular weekend breakfast (coffee and toasted bagels) at a cafe over there. I found a chance to read the newspaper there, too. I appreciate this change of my routine 🙂

Baking adventures: I bought a  number of things, including some parchment papers that I would love to use while baking bread. Tomorrow I will give it a try!

You may want to ask why I am not baking a bread today… The reason is that the poolish I have prepared yesterday was too sour-smelling in the morning…. I bet I put in too much yeast…… Poor thing went to the garbage. Well, next time my friends 🙂

Tonite, I am preparing dough that I will keep at the fridge during the night. I have not kneaded it well, thinking that I would stretch and fold rather. Well, the dough is too sticky to stretch…. So, this attempt too seems to be failing, but I will see tomorrow. Who knows, maybe the dough will fix itself! :)))

Right, I will keep dreaming 🙂

Thrifty store adventure: Anyways, one of the most joyful purchases I have made today was a second-hand jacket I bought from a thrifty store. It is beautiful, my friends, with little white flower ornaments on a black fabric. There is little defects at the back, which I will fix by adding a lower-back strap. It is gonna be awesome! Cannot believe I have found such a delightful thing to wear 🙂 I feel really lucky :))

Decluttering adventure: Shopping was not the only thing that made me excited today. I continued to declutter my home, and this time I have done the bedroom. I do not have a lot of things, but I sure have more things than I use. I dumped all bunch of old socks and some stuff that I never liked but used anyways, like sports pants. They are now gone. I have also purged a big garbage bag full of usable shirts and pants, which I will donate. I am planning to use two old luggages to keep my old paperwork nicely tucked in. Win-win situation.

While going thru my stuff to declutter, I also found lovely items that I had forgotten I have had! A nice pair of gloves, with the tag still on! When did I buy it and forget it? It is beautiful. I also found much needed new socks in a drawer 🙂 And new sports-pants. I was planning to buy socks and sports-pants during my vacation, but did not have the opportunity to do so. It turns out I never really needed them. Also found 3 in good-shape purses, two of which I have bought from Rome with big excitement! Am I lucky or just forgetful?

Whatever it is, today I feel the same excitement that I felt while buying these items. I feel lucky.

I will continue to declutter tomorrow and possibly next week. This has always been an exciting activity for me, even though starting it is always hard. I not only get rid of unnecessary stuff, but also find a chance to donate. More than that, I get to find nice stuff that I forget I have and also notice how much space I actually have. These, my friends, are priceless.

I continue to highly recommend decluttering.

Cheers 🙂

joy journal – May 31, 2016

1. I am grateful for getting up this morning. I was tired and got stressed right away about work, but at least I have had a restful night.

2. I am grateful for catching up the bus. It was kinda late but so was I 🙂 so it worked out just fine this morning 🙂

3. I am grateful for my coffee and the new water jar I have. It is such a beauty 🙂 one of these types where it actually looks like a glass jar with a handle. It is not only fun to have around but is also very healthy. I used to drink from an old plastic water bottle… Pew – glad that it is gone!

4. I am grateful for working two hours with quite an intense focus on a document. It drained me but at least it is taken care of 🙂

5. I am grateful for leaving my office for home to keep working at home without distraction. I was tired yet still walked. My work at home went well too but after a while I decided to stop and take a break. I am almost exhausted and this is not a good feeling. I need my energy and mental clarity and focus to finish my stuff in the coming two weeks.

6. I am grateful for eating relatively healthy today.

7. I am grateful for not eating too much today 🙂

8. I am grateful for relaxing the whole evening by watching a TV series and reflecting on the positive things in my life. It helps me to feel better and like everyone else I deserve to feel good 🙂

9. I am grateful for the quiet environment and neighborhood, which makes it easier to take a rest and relax.

10. I am grateful for not using my reading glasses. They tire my eyes quiet a bit )or by reading all the time, I tire my eyes myself…). I need the glasses at the office but at home, I usually can manage without them. This is good and helps with relaxing of my eyes.

11. I am grateful for water! what an energizing and rejuvenating drink! 🙂

12. I am grateful for being calm and having confidence that I will do my best in the coming weeks and will finish things as much as possible. even though I cannot finish everything,  I will be fine with this, knowing that I really worked hard to finish my work 🙂

13. I am grateful for being invited to review a document for a national organization. That is a sign of my national recognition as an expert and I find pride and excitement in this 🙂 I also deferred the deadline for my report a month or so, so that in case I cannot finish it prior to my vacation, I will be able to submit my record after I come back from my vacation.

14. I am grateful for declining to review another report I was invited to review. This time it was an international organization that I had helped in the past. It felt good not to spend time on this task, even though the recognition felt really good. Ironically, my work has more international recognition than a national one. Thus I get more excited when I am invited by a national organization than when I get excited by an invitation from an international one. Weird… I guess we all crave for attention from somewhere we do not get it 🙂

15. I am grateful for my floss 🙂 it works all the time and tells me how my gums are doing. In the last few weeks, my gums have been really healthy (they did not bleed while flossing). I am so happy about this 🙂

16. I am grateful for my job that has flexible hours. It would be better if I had stayed in my office as people talk and to them me not being in the office would mean not working. Only a bunch of people who feel like me and prefer the undistractive home environment to work can understand this. Luckily, I have many people like this around and it feels good to have this support and flexibility.

17. I am grateful for my salary and benefits that make my life affordable and somehow secured.

18. I am grateful for my computer, internet connection, useful websites, and the blogs that I keep reading and learning from 🙂

19. I am grateful for being content and grateful, and having the energy and time to write my joy journal 🙂

joy journal – May 25, 2016

1. I am grateful for waking up feeling alright 🙂 This is a rare occasion and I fully appreciated it. I am so very grateful for this feeling 🙂

2. I am grateful for taking the bus this morning. Weather was awesome and i went to work by wearing a jacket rather than winter coats! 🙂 is that not great?

3. I am grateful for working well. I was distracted by a couple of meetings here and there, but all worked out well. One of my team members and I are working on a challenging project. he moved it quite a bit but then like any other things that are done for the first time, we needed to in detail check our approach, methods, and the assumptions/limitations. It is no fun and both my team member and I were quite annoyed but also somehow excited. Once this “confidence building” phase is over, then we will be able to move really fast. I must explain this to my team member better as he is frustrated that we are still not clear about our approach. Fortunately (!), this is a necessary part of the process and we will be done with this phase soon. It is good to have experiences! 🙂

4. I am grateful for my coffee – what a blessing to be able to have an office that allows me to brew coffee whenever I wish 🙂

5. I am grateful for walking back to home early afternoon and continuing to work at home.

6. I am grateful for seeing the nice flower that bloomed in my yard today 🙂

7. I am grateful for chatting with one of my neighbours while I spent time in my yard.

8. I am grateful for my back feeling better and being pain free.

9. I am grateful for not eating too much today 🙂

10. I am grateful for spending the evening and the night relaxing and also reading and writing about my work plans – things are getting clear as I continue to reflect on them. And as they get clear, I also realize how much we have progressed in our projects – that is a great feeling, very satisfying and encouraging. I also realize that I am in a better shape than I thought I was 🙂 talking about self-confidence!

11. I am grateful for being excited about a report at my hand, which I plan to finish in the coming two weeks or so. I really would like to end it before I leave for my vacation so that once I am back, I can focus on new stuff. Finishing things and having its satisfaction are awesome, so are starting new things and experiencing their excitement 🙂

12. I am grateful for it raining today – I did not have to water my seeds 🙂

13. I am grateful for tomorrow being one more day close to the weekend, when I am planning to shop for my yard 🙂

14. I am grateful for the water that quenches my thirst, the food that I can afford and nourishes my body, and my home that provides me a safe shelter.

15. I am grateful for being grateful and finding the opportunity and time to write my joy journal today 🙂

Excitement

Excitement…

Excitement is an integral part of life, is it not?

I feel much better and energized when I am excited about something. Maybe it is my saving and budgeting efforts. Maybe getting stuff on sale with really good deals. Maybe it is baking a great bread and making plans for the next ones. Maybe it is walking in the mornings or finding a great book every once a while. Maybe it is accomplishing something at work, working efficiently, and getting good news/recognition. Maybe it is the nice weather and awakening of the nature with the coming of Spring. Maybe it is the coming vacation to be spent with my family. Maybe it is blogging and knowing that I am a part of a meaningful, informative, and supportive community.

Whatever it is, I increasingly realize that excitement is a good thing for me.

My budget has always excited me, occupied my mind with its ups and downs, and with its progressive and nowadays stable nature. To tell you the truth now that I am spending much less than before, and know and apply saving strategies that work for me, I am not as excited about it as before. OK….

Books still excite me, but I have got used to be on shopping ban for them and the fact that I have many books at home to be read, including the GRMM’s A Song of Ice and Fire, I am not really excited by the idea of buying books. The only book I can buy is about how to make bread – that is all. And I guess I will wait till my vacation to buy one or two.

Work has been exciting today as I could work efficiently and with less than regular distraction. I am moving a good project and that feels good. Also, my colleague from yesterday and I interacted quite positively today, which removes any stress about our potential conflict. All to be grateful for and yes I am excited about these.

I do not wish to walk in the mornings nowadays and I am okay with this. I know when I feel so, I will walk. I am not pressuring myself and I kind of take it as it happens. I am also excited about this lack of pressure and comfort I provide to myself.

Spring, of course, is amazing and I continue to be excited about it. I gave water this evening too to the seeds that I planted at the weekend. I also am happy to see my rosemary is looking considerably healthier that the weekend, thanks to watering it every morning. i am excited about this, too.

I am yet to feel excited about my vacation as I am more focused on finishing things at work prior to leaving. I usually start feeling excitement the day of my travel – I cannot wait for that. there is something awesome about leaving everything behind and taking a break to focus on what is important in my personal life for a change.

I am excited about trying breads, yet I develop that fear of running out of ideas or recipes to try. I know this is not a realistic fear as I am sure there are tons of recipes out there. But, I guess what this tells me is that I like to figure things out, try and experiment. Once I figure things out, then they are not that interesting anymore. So I constantly come up with new plans – like making my own pasta (which I will try some other time). I am also excited about the prospect of purchasing cookie sheets, dough scrapper, and a nice mixing bowl.

Luckily, I get to search for and identify the items on sale each week by checking three store in my close vicinity – that excitement is thus permanent.

I realized that anticipation seems to be a common theme in my bread-making, planted seeds, work, and budget adventures. An interesting driver of excitement.

I realized that once I got something integrated in my life, like my budget, I am not that excited any more.

I realized that some of my excitements are temporary, such as Spring and my rosemary.

I realized that maybe that is why I need to keep look for other activities/things/hobbies to keep myself excited.

Oh well..

Nonetheless, I would like to remind myself that I have time and resources such as internet – I can figure them out.

Who knows what they will be and how they will change my life. Now this idea is exciting!

🙂

my baking adventures and excitement in life

I have written a couple of days ago; excitement is a lovely thing 🙂

I have been thinking since then that that is actually very true and I seem to like excitement (planning, thinking, reading or writing about future plans, whether it is my budget and savings, or currently, my baking adventures).

I like this kind of excitement because honestly I am too stressed to enjoy my life. My mood is pretty much dependent on how the work goes and what hurdles we face. This gotta change and I gotta find a balance in my life between work-related emotions and life-related emotions. Eventually I am hoping that they will balance and when one of them sinks, the other can still keep my mood at a healthy level. That is why it is important for me to find things that will excite me. Who knows what it will be next day, but nowadays it is baking. I

I am planning to bake yet another bread tomorrow with baking powder based on a recipe I found on the net. I hope that this time I can do this as I really am not interested in buying another store-baked bread.

While at the beginning of my baking saga, I was only interested in yeast and how it works, I later got determined to bake my own bread all the time, dwelled into other recipes (such as tea biscuits), and now I can see that I am actually getting interested in dishes where oven is involved.

Not sure why that is but I am kind of thinking;

First, my subconscious mind. For years I have been saying “I cannot cook. I do not like cooking.”. Now the term is different (baking) and I believe that is why I am not negatively reacting to it and I in fact am okay with preparing food by baking.

Second, the availability of all kinds of recipes on the internet makes it easy and convenient to select and try dishes/bread.

Third, I am really in love with yeast and how it works, even though I have failed brutally once I was trying to bake bread/baguette. Baking powder is also interesting for me – improvising with these two is an interesting adventure, with lots of learning and all.

Fourth, baking enables me. I can bake for myself and I can bake for others. This morning for example, instead of buying something to eat with my coffee, I opted to bring in my own biscuit and enjoy it with my coffee at the cafe. Yesterday, I baked for a social. These are new abilities in me and I like this feeling.

Fifty, there is an excitement in planning to bake, choose a recipe to try, shop for ingredients, and actually try it. Considering the fact that baking does not require anything expensive and can be done at the comfort of my home, I am extra excited.

Sixth, I am eating better. Well, maybe not the tea biscuits 🙂 but the bread I made and the zucchini dish I tried today are healthier than what I would otherwise eat. I will never try those store made breads full of who knows what. Less chemicals to consume and more confidence in what I am eating. And any veggie that stays in my fridge while relentlessly waiting me to cook, can now be included in an oven dish or a veggie bread. I can trick myself eating more veggies by baking – I am excited about this.

Seventh, making use of what I have and not wasting food/veggies.

Do I have to say more?

🙂

I wish you to have such excitements in your life that make you healthier, happier, learning, and excited about life.

excitement is a lovely thing

I have been thinking; in the last one year or so I have had a number of things in my life that excited me. Lucky me 🙂

Last June, I started my budget. It was tough and frustrating time to time, but planning for it and monitoring the progress was interesting and somehow exciting.

In the Fall, I have had a couple of international trips. These trips were exciting in many different ways – the change, seeing new places, better weather, being away from the office and everyday routine.

Then in late Fall, I became interested in the Game of Thrones and ordered the first 5 books of the series. I read everything on the net and did complete reading the first book.

Then came the new year and I did two things that excited me; a better budget that allows me to spend much less and save much more. I also started yoga/stretching classes. Both gave me double-dose of excitement with their positive effects on me.

And then in the last two weeks or so, I became interested in baking. I am struggling with yeast-bread recipes but at least I have seen today that I can make excellent tea biscuits. i decided to try baking bread again this week, this time with baking powder. I want to just see that I can make it (recipes seem to be easier with baking powder…). And then I will switch back to yeast recipes. I am determined not to buy another store made bread in my life as long as I am capable of baking my own bread.

I like that. I had not noticed how much fed up I was with the store made breads, especially the toast breads. man, why did I buy and consume these chemical-full and untasty food for so long while I am fully capable of making my own? According to my calculations, it is also way cheaper to make the bread than buying it. Why did I not think about this before?

i wonder what else I can make my own and stop buying.

I am doing my own pickles since last year, too, which is great. I do not consume them too often but when I need it, I know they are there for me. Making my own bread will be something significant and I am very much looking forward to this. One other thing I always wanted to do is to stop buying canned beans and cooking them myself using a pressure cooker. i am scared of that equipment; have heard bad stories with the pressure and steam. But hey, maybe my new project can be that.

What else could I make myself?

Growing herbs or veggies is something that can make me happy. The climate where I am is not suitable for greens, but maybe I can manage to grow potatoes in the yard or herbs inside the house. I bought a small pot of rosemary last week, which I hope to keep and use in baking and cooking. It looks like a study type of herb that I can keep alive.

let’s cross the finger 🙂

 

gifts and treats for myself

Feeling down lately, I found myself missing in my life some of the things that make me excited.

deals: I missed to find a great deal. A nice shirt or a jacket with a great price. Bringing it home and feeling grateful for it. Feeling excited, too. It is so nice to have something that one can love. Mall time?

reading books: Reading mystery books or my “A Song of Ice and Fire” series of books. Man, the second book slowed me down – I have 0 motivation to read it. Why cannot I just go ahead and get the pleasure of reading it? I either will give a serious attempt to read this book, or go buy a nice book this week. I will read it, too.

hair cut? Now that I have a large fun funds at my disposal, I should be finding ways to spend it. For some reason, I have lost my interest in spending, too (go figure). I was supposed to have a hair cut last week, but I was lazy and did not do that. A nice haircut would be awesome – will I try it this week?

buying books: I sometime think that I get the same pleasure by buying a book as reading one. I may walk to the mall this week and look for sales. I may also visit the thrifty stores; they usually have a large used books section. I should be able to find some interesting mystery books, right? I hope.

art work/decorative items: I missed finding a nice art work/decorative item that I can use at home. When was the last time I have tried that? New year? Time to start looking. Who knows? I may be able to find something nice.

flowers: Shall I get a new plant? After the last experience (the plant’s soil turned out to be nest for tiny fruit flies; like 100 of them. I know because I killed them using sticky pads…), honestly I do not wish to get any. But, I have seen some flowers on a blog this evening; They were so nice. I may buy a nice, colorful flower.. Flowers remind me my dad – I guess I would like something. Maybe daisies. Maybe violets. But something colorful. Let’s keep this in my mind.

eating out: I may eat out as I am not spending my weekly allowance, so I have funds. In addition, I am not eating well and eating out may in fact be helpful. I may treat myself to a lunch this weekend. I would like it to be a nice one, not a food court type of food. I had it last week; while I was grateful it did not excite me.

What else?

Maybe I can get inspired by your selection – what gifts/treats you give to yourself?

 

“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.

joy journal, Nov 2, 2015

joy 🙂

hope 🙂

good developments 🙂

joy 🙂

Life is full of ups and downs. I repeat again that not everything is all bright and shinny in my life. But I try to keep my head up off the water by focusing on the positive side. There are somethings that I will have to accept as they are, somethings that I can help change, and somethings that I can hope for.

Thank yo for joining me in this journey to focus on the positive, not the negative, so that I can have a stronger mind to deal with issues.

1. I am grateful for waking up on time and going to the office early (around 9 am). It allowed me to relax with my coffee and taking care of some work prior to a two-hours presentation. No rush, no stress. Allowing myself ample time helps me to prevent stress 🙂

2. I am grateful for my presentation going well, even though it is a 2 hour presentation. We have time to time such long presentations as educational sessions. I have been preparing for it for quite sometime and I am pleased to see that this paid off. The presentation went well, I have got good questions at the end, and eventually the message was transmitted effectively. Good job! 🙂

3. I am grateful for the positive feedback I have got after the presentation. It is more or less a formal assessment about the effectiveness of my speech. The feedback was also sent to my boss, which is great. I feel so excited and motivated 🙂

4. I am grateful for the work I have done today! I have been away from the office for 10 days or so because of my trips. I have been feeling the need to go back and finish tasks. I have started it today, which I am sure will continue for some more time. Till mid december, when I will slow down right before the holiday season, I am planning  to take care of a couple of important stuff in addition to daily tasks. I cannot wait 🙂

5. I am grateful for talking to my team members and expediting their work, too. One of the team members is about to leave and we are trying to make sure this transition is good for him as well as for us. We are progressing very well.

6. I am grateful for making appointments with my team members individually so that we can focus on their tasks and needs. Appointments make me focus my time on specific topics or specific tasks. I am happy to do this.

7. I am grateful for the coffee I have got today; light and creamy 🙂

8. I am grateful for the minor house repair being done today! Cannot believe it has been finally done. It makes me feel so relieved, so excited! There has been moments that I had felt pretty sour about the job. Having negative feelings is not nice. Now, I stand reminded that eventually things happen 🙂

9. I am grateful for the yogurt, mint, and olive oil I have eaten for dinner – I know they are all nourishing and healthy stuff that are useful for my body.

10. I am grateful for looking outside of my office window and enjoying the scenery. The trees are changing their colors – what a beautiful scenery!

11. I am grateful for remembering to smile today. One of my coworkers said I was looking stressed this morning. I was actually just neutral 🙂 I told him that this was the regular expression in my face; unless I smile, lots of people think that I am stressed :)) By smiling more often, I expect to feel better and radiate more positive energy to the people around me.

12. I am grateful for walking in the afternoon back from office to home 🙂

13. I am grateful for my warm house, my couch and blanket. They make me feel pampered and safe.

14. I am grateful for my TV and the cable with streaming service. I can choose among many series and movies to watch and there is a huge excitement coming out of this.

15. I am grateful for working at home this evening on an important document. We have been revising it for some time and I am very satisfied with its current revisions. After that, it will be ready to submit. yay! 🙂

16. I am grateful for the relaxing music I am listening right now. It is calming…

17. I am grateful for focusing on the positive.

18. I am grateful for being grateful and coming up with this list today! 🙂

random thoughts

When I remembered in the morning it was Sunday, and I did not have to worry about going to work and working all day, I felt a wonderful sense of relief 🙂

It is a little bit gray day; as a matter of fact so gray that I have my lights on. It makes me feel like hibernating. That may be one of the reasons that I do not wish to work today, even though I had planned so. I have decided I can enjoy today and then tomorrow focus on an important report and hopefully finish it in a day or so. I know there will be many distractions at the office as there are other things my team members are doing and my department can always ask for more stuff. Eventually I will feel the rush and stress, but I think I made a good decision to not care about the work today and just relax.

I am enjoying my new streaming service and watching movies. I always loved watching movies and it is a pity that in the last many years I only have had cable, which has limited movie selection and movie airing time. It is amazing how little things can change my life and excites me.

That experience made me think again the things/activities that excite me, and my wish to remember and then implement them in my life again. Sometimes I feel like I float with the current of life, its demands and issues. That means I forgot things. Time to remember 🙂

have a great Sunday everyone 🙂

how do you imagine your perfect day two years from today?

I am reading the book “Smart Cookies’ Guide to Making More Dough and Getting Out of Debt” by the Smart Cookies.

This is a personal finance book written based on 5 young women’s initial struggle and later success with money management. It is one of my favorite financial guide type of books.

While I am reading it mostly to get inspired by the ideas and the experiences of the Smart Cookies, I just read a section where the book asks you to imagine your perfect day in near future, a Friday within the next 2-5 years. This exercise is mostly for imagining the future and the things that we believe make our lives perfect; if we knew what we want for our future, then today we could start working towards it (their point of view is finances of course).

Nevertheless, this idea struck me hard.

For some years now, I stop having long-term objectives. Not that I planned it. I did not. I just do not have any plans or wishes for my future life, other than being healthy, happy, safe and well, hopefully together with my family members.

It is great that I have a stable and lovely job, a decent salary and benefits, family and friends, no chronic illness, and freedom to make my own decisions. I am humbly grateful for these forever.

It is just that after reading this book, I keep thinking; maybe I must have more than these; should I?

Should I want to have early retirement for example? Or a better house? Life in another city? Life in a different social environment? What is it that would make my day perfect on top of what I already have?

I think I have the majority of the things I need for a perfect day, a perfect life. At least for now. (What I wished I had more is excitement in my life – something that makes me wake up with a smile on my face, make me hum a happy song. But having my own and my family members wellness is more important than these). Maybe knowing I already have a good life is the reason that I do not have future goals.

It is possible, though, this may not be the case: perhaps I have many future aims to discover but I am just in denial or too occupied at the time being to notice and note them.

I do not know the answer yet; I will continue to contemplate.

In the mean time, if you would like to give a try to imagining your perfect day in 2-5 years, go ahead. Who knows – maybe you will find a great future there 🙂

random thoughts

A gorgeous Spring day! What a delight.

I have been listening to music non-stop yesterday and today. I had forgotten what a magnificent thing it was. Evoking so many different emotions; from admiration to joy, from appreciation to regretting. Regretting that I had forgotten to enjoy it for some time. Was too busy while take caring of stuff and relaxing.

They say we should stop to smell the roses.

When did our lives become so busy? So demanding?

The activities that excite me most seem to be in the past; meeting with my life-long friends, my family members, going to concerts, visiting new places, singing, falling in love. Ah yes, singing. Art could evoke such a rich array of feelings. Singing almost felt like being awed by life.

It crossed my mind to have a bucket list – have at least one trip a year that will excite me; buy tickets for a show or musical at Broadway; explore somewhere new, like Europe or South America; make plans to meet with friends; stop doing the same things over and over everyday.

Life waits.

Let’s meet.

my first day at my new office

Time did not fly, I was excited and happy, it was bright and shiny, I worked effectively but without straining myself, and I did not want to leave…

I was so excited and happy about the new office that I literally dragged people to show my office 🙂

I have more space and a more effective furniture that gives a sense of “big space”. I think the size of the office is not bigger than my ex-office; it just has better furniture that is all. Considering how much paperwork I dumped prior to move is also reflected as having less amount of folders and paperwork around. It is just spacious, this new office is. And I love it as it is. I hope I will be able to keep my promise and keep it uncluttered, clean, well-organized, and harmonic.

This morning I brewed my first coffee at my new office. Walking down to hall to get water (from the fountain) or to the washroom, which is now at the end of the long corridor, was not a problem. I even thought “it is great walking on this floor, little exercise, I am lucky”. The printer will be located somewhere probably not too close to me; great, another exercise opportunity for me.

At noon, I had tea at my office, which I usually would not. Tea has a calming and healthy effect on me. I am bringing more tea bags to the office tomorrow. I appreciate all of these changes.

Men will come in a couple of days to put nails on the wall for my art-work. I have two art-work so far, but I would like to get more. So, I am planning to get multiple nails here and there. It is interesting that I have had hardly any art-work at home…. Now, it looks like I am addicted, how interesting. I believe I will start hanging paintings and photos at home too (I just do not know how to find the best spot on the wall – will ask a friend to give me a hand).

Anyways, the entire floor is just settling. Some of my colleagues are scheduled to move tomorrow. I have one last heavy equipment left at my ex-place, which will be moved on Wednesday. This week all moving should be finished and we should find our ways around this large and spacious floor.

This move changes a lot of things. Our secretary has now an office right across from my office. It is nice to have her as a neighbour. One of my close collaborators is 5 meters away. My team members are scattered a little bit, but that is okay. They used to be seated within meters of me at our previous place; I think this distance is good, provides some privacy to everyone, and I can focus on my work more.

Since it is such a big floor (we have the entire floor now) and offices and the rest are partitioned well, it is also somehow quiet. Perfect place to have a quiet mind and do amazing work.

joy journal – April 16, 2015

What an exciting (and tiring day 🙂 ). Here are today’s list of joyful events, experiences, and hopes.

1. I am grateful and extremely excited that I took the bus this morning, too. I have a weird habit of leaving the house upon getting up. It is an urge that I cannot explain and it does make me take the cab rather than waiting for the bus. And snow days are the worst, as I feel trapped at home. But today even though I had to wait at home an additional 15 min, I made it by keeping me busy with checking the emails. Time flew before I knew it and I arrived the bus stop maybe 5 min earlier. I made it! I hope to continue like this and keep taking the bus. It is easy, affordable, and fast!

2. I am grateful that I gave myself another present by buying coffee in the morning. It is an aromatic kind of coffee that I like. I think I should actually buy myself that kind of coffee to brew in my office.

3. I am grateful for moving my office and organizing everything in my new office. It is such a great office and I really like it. I am so excited!

4. I am grateful that I took a couple of minutes in my ex-office after we moved everything and contemplated about the times, cries, laughter, challenges, and good work I have had there. I have been in that office for more than 6 years… A lot of emotions attached. But, I love the change and I am cherishing it.

5. I am grateful that the water fountain is close to my new office (I drink around a litre of water every day at the office) and there is a sink in one of the rooms where I can wash my coffee mugs and coffee maker without spending too much time.

6. I am grateful for dumping quite a bit of unnecessary paperwork among my files. I think I have had something like two boxes of garbage dumped from my belongings. I am excited that I now have less files and folders, got rid of my second bookcase (which I have never liked anyways), by desk-station’s cabinets can hide away extra folders, and drawers takes up my personal stuff.

7. I am grateful that I had the momentum and the motivation to set everything in proper places in my new office. It was tiring, but I am amazed by my perseverance. I did not think that I could finish it today, but actually it happened. I know myself – if I had not finished it today, the remaining work would remain undone for some time. This office deserved better!

8. I am grateful that one of my work is now accepted! I had seen the congratulating emails after I got my computer is hooked up in the new office around noon. It always feels good 🙂

9. I am grateful that I have got rid of three old computer hard drives today. I do not know why I kept them for so long in my office. I think because they could still be useful for trainees or something. That experience made me remember one of the suggestions I had read somewhere that if we have not used something for six months (clothes included), it is time to let it go. Excellent advice.

10. I am grateful for walking back to home from the office, despite the facts that I was tired and there was a chilly wind outside.

11. I am grateful for eating salad and healthy today.

12. I am grateful that I have the evening to myself. I will take my time to relax, read, and watch TV. I guess one of my favourite TV shows has a new episode tonite. Cannot wait.

13. I am grateful for getting sleepy in the last few nights and going to bed at a regular time. That makes me sleep easily and get up early, too. Lovely.

14. I am grateful for my couch, furniture, food, house, power, TV, computer, and internet connection all of which helps me to have a comfortable, sheltered, and nourished life.

15. I am grateful for tomorrow – I gotta be somewhere else for a 6 hours work-related event but it does not start till 11 am. So I have the morning free. I plan to go to my favourite cafe, have breakfast, and also work till 10.45 am. It is a good plan.

16. I am grateful for being grateful and feeling better and excited today.

I am excited for ending the season of hibernation soon

The idea of spring excites me.

No doubt.

I can wear different, lighter coats. I love my winter coat- I bought it 7 years ago and since then it has been the only one I have been wearing. It is not particularly good looking, but it is water-proof, has a hood, inside is covered with feather-like stuff so it keeps warm, and it is long enough to keep my knees protected.

I think the winter is so long here, I kinda get used to wear the same stuff over and over. Then, when the weather warms up a little bit, I realize I have other clothes/coats/shoes that I can wear… Change excites me.

Clothes and shoes are not the only ones that I can change. I am feeing like I can walk for longer hours, maybe even in the morning (from home to the office). I think that is a great idea, considering that it takes around 30 min to do so. The health benefits (for my mind and for my body) are considerable. Plus, I get to save money. Why not to give this a try?

I may as well walk at the weekends. There are really nice neighbourhoods in the close vicinity and shopping centers. It will feel awesome to walk and break some sweat.

I am excited for ending the season of hibernation soon.

Hope, I find, is the best remedy for the long winters.

I decided today that life was bright and hopeful

I am excited so I feel like I have to put this excitement into words.

I had a series of writings/poems under the Kate’s short story category; I decided to end it today.

I am very happy with this decision. While I am happy with some of its parts (that I can extend later to form other, much better stories/poems), I am feeling it is also quite a relief to let it go. I have had quite heavy feelings, and not necessarily positive ones, when I focus on writing it; an impossible love is not a positive experience (in terms of the feelings it evoked).

Come to think about it, I have other series called Sasha’s story and The Life in the Diary,  which are collections of two other story lines. Both are depressive.

I decided today that life was bright and hopeful.

I decided today that I did not need more “heavy feelings”: rather there is also joy, happiness, opportunities, peace, kindness, and goodness in life. I will focus on these from now on.

I will make my writings reflecting these. Pain is everywhere, so can be happiness.

cheers

the funny poem

——————————————————————————————————-

I can feel the excitement I would have; butterflies around me

white, light blue, and red; flipping and singing a serenade

I would walk around the house excited, with a smile on my face

looking at the mirror I would see myself, ah! how to turn into a date?

I would put my little hairpins on – the ones that I love so much

my dress would have to be perfect, so would be my shoes

I do not know how many times I would check everything

change dresses, shoes, hair, oh boy, where is the girly muse?

in the middle of this chaos, the phone would ring

you would say you are on your way

I could not know what to do until then, or worse yet

when you arrive, ah.. shyness does not pay

but excitement and excitement! my heart chirping

I would get the dress, the shoes; forget the hair – it is hopeless

do me a favour, my love, put me at ease

give me hug, silently smile, keep me there

say it is gonna be all right, no matter what

this one date I wanna flare.

——————————————————————————————————-

Kate’s short story – XLV

All rights reserved.  © https://lifeasiinterpret.wordpress.com/

joy journal – Dec 17, 2014

I am grateful for a bunch of things today

1. I am grateful I had a good sleep tonite; going to the bathroom in the middle of the night has been going on for some years; I was annoyed by this for some time but I guess that is okay. Age changes things. I am embracing this.

2. I am grateful for putting the garbage out for collection; it is funny that I have never forgotten to do that so far? Human mind is interesting; it remembers things when needed, sometime over and over again. I am grateful for this.

3. I am grateful for the light work day – stress was so unexisting that I love this feeling. All is taken easy and things move while I keep relax. How can I do this all the time? I better figure out the reason and make it happen.

4. I am grateful for training my assistant for some ordering, finance checks, and data analysis and storage. She is smart, notices things and learn fast. I am very pleased by her performance.

5. I am grateful for the quiet work place – I think some people have already left for the holidays. It is peaceful and there is certainly less rush in the place. That I think contributes to my less stressful experience.

6. I am grateful for walking back to home this evening – good for my health, heart and bones. Well done.

7. I am grateful for the relatively warm weather and lack of icy snow on the road that permits me to walk.

8. I am grateful for drinking milk today – I so rarely drink milk. It is supposed to be useful for my body – keep drinking time to time.

9. I am grateful for the hot soup and salad I had this evening – the soup warmed me up and the salad literally gave me vitality.

10. I am grateful for not missing someone desperately today. It is dreadful feeling. I am enjoying whatever goes through my heart today – they are all warm feelings.

11. I am grateful for not procrastinating with an important email today; less stress translates into more clear thing, confidence, and internal peace. I really would like to be like this the entire life, not only in december when I start getting excited about the days off from work and naturally become less stressed and more positive (good to notice that by the way).

12. I am grateful for my warm and safe house – I am grateful for my throw that keeps me warm, I am grateful for my socks and wool jacket that keep me warm. Warmth has a unique place in my needs I see – winter does it. Another reason to be grateful for then, re; winter.

13. I am grateful for my food – I have many veggies and fruits still available from last friday. I can cook something nice tomorrow.

14. I am grateful for being sleepy – that means I will have a good night sleep.

15. I am grateful for not replying to an email reply from someone I know – I think I can stop it here; there was no indication of a need to continue to keep emailing back, though I wanted to interact with that person a little bit more. Maybe at another occasion.

16. I am grateful for receiving a free calendar in the mail today – it is cute and I will find a good use for it!

17. I am grateful for feeling upbeat, optimistic, and positive.

18. I am grateful for feeling the excitement of the book I am going to read in the coming days.

19. I am grateful for finding all these to be thankful today.

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