It is Friday :)

Friday is here – yay! 🙂

Today has been a good day with getting up early and working till 4 pm intensely. We are moving a number of projects at the same time and this week has been essential in figuring out some blocks and jumping over. Feeling positive 🙂

I have taken steps to make my life a little bit healthier and cooked myself chicken soup, which is always nourishing. I also purchased a number of greens, which I am looking forward to eating.

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My mind is cluttered with negativity due to work relations, but I keep my focus in the future benefits and do not allow myself to break these hard relations yet. Some people can really derail and demoralize, but the strength comes from resisting the emotions and believing in future good. But, honestly in some cases it is so difficult, but one day and one hard and ridiculous person at a time, I am surviving and lifting myself up. Rant over 🙂

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Since it is Friday, I am looking at early morning of Saturday busy with house chores. After that, depending on the weather I would like to see myself visiting thrift stores, just for the joy of it. I am not looking for something particular, maybe a book or two, or a DVD. DVDs are something that I do not use much, but last time I had seen copies of the TV series Dexter. I ask myself now – why not? I can binge watch them and forget everything!

These being said, I just registered with the local library (what was I waiting for?) and hope that I can utilize their DVDs and audio books. I confess that I have no experience with audio books but I kind of feel that I may enjoy listening to them while also comfortably resting on the couch. Let me know if you have any recommendations about audio books – it is exciting 🙂

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My plants are doing well and I am open to get new plants. Each plant is an excitement; how do they grow? What do they want to flourish? How do they propagate? Who can I share them with? I am glad to say that even though I feel like I am hoarding plants, I also love sharing them. So far, I gave cuttings or small plants to 11-12 of my colleagues! Many of them gave me from their own plants as well. This feels very kind to me. I say that because I have a colleague who only likes to ask for and constantly. I do not mind it, but then I also find the constant nagging interesting. Do you?

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This topic brings me back to people I call cheap. These are the people who have the means for themselves, often high level, but when comes to others they seem to be poorer than anyone else and can even take the things they can afford from others if they think they can get it. I know only a few people like this, but it really bothers me. Often associated with these people is the tendency to also humiliate others for not affording high-price items or telling everyone abruptly the latest expensive item they acquired (by also announcing the price associated with the item).

I wonder what would prompt these behavior in these people? Were they very poor at some point in their life (which is perfectly fine, by the way – I know a number of people who were very poor but had the richest heart and the mind I have ever seen) and now enjoy their wealth and cannot keep the show to themselves? Are they trying to create an image that would elevate their social status (who buys that, by the way? Not me)? Or, are they just poor souls that try to compensate for their internal poverty with their talks (which I would rather think is the right answer)?

How do you deal with this kind of people? I try not to pay much attention and feed their approval needs, after a while they cease to put up with their shows. I am compassionate but that ends there. For each cheap person encounter, I now decide that I will donate to a charity whatever I can to cleanse the negative emotions they create in me.

How about that??

I think it is true that everything happens for a reason, even these people that get on my nerves :)))) If I can further develop this “turning the negative into positive” attitude, I think I will be happier and wiser 🙂

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it turns out that tomorrow is Friday

What a surprise! 🙂

I just realized tomorrow was Friday and as such there was one more reason to be joyful today 🙂

I have had an easy-going day at the office today and this makes me feel good 🙂

Friends, I may try to be joyful yet, it does not change the fact that we have an incredibly cold and snowy weather here. This morning I waited for the bus for maybe 4 minutes and my fingers were almost frozen. I have gloves but I guess I must wear woolly gloves rather than leather/synthetic ones.

The scenery in such a snowy day is amazing and very enjoyable. I think we expect more snow early next week; are we looking for a snow day? Goodness, I hope so 🙂 You may think that I would rather be asking for the opposite and be at the office more so that I can finish work. I do want to finish work, but honestly I have enjoyed being away from the office in the last two weeks, so I wish for this to continue a little bit more now. Can you blame me? 🙂

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I could not work as much as I planned today, but I did what I could. There is an important document that I must send tomorrow, for which I have been waiting the input of a colleague of mine. He is away and I have not received his version of the document yet, so I am feeling on the edge. While by working together we all can do much better and bigger work, when not everybody works and does their parts at the same time, it does not move much. I will have to find a way to fix this tomorrow. Now I rather make a conscious decision to enjoy my time.

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According to my calculations, I have saved around 350 bucks from my salary since my last pay cheque. This looks less that what I wanted to, but it is better than nothing. I have no planned expenses coming this week (other than grocery and regular bills), and for grocery I only have a few items to pick this week. This may mean that I can save a few more bucks.

I know that if I do reach the $500 savings level once, I will be more motivated to keep saving after that. I really am focused on not making any unnecessary expenses within the next two weeks (that means no thrift store visits), no socials, no gifts/donations (I can do these later), no hair cut (my hair cut is long due, but..), no cabs (please no!), no books or any other items. I just need to pick laundry detergent this weekend – that will be the only non-grocery item I am planning to purchase.

Saving money, finding ways to maximize the value of the money (sales, use of points, etc.), and feeling fully abundant are empowering. I know there are a number fellow bloggers out there who are on the same journey as I am. Off to reading their post to get inspired now.

Have a great night everyone. I hope 2019 is treating you with Ease, Comfort, and Appreciation 🙂

 

weekly allowance

I mentioned in an earlier post that I studied for a very long time, and as a result I had very modest income and thus life style until ~10 years ago. So being a frugal person is a second nature to me. However, in no time in my life I have been as frugal as this year, or a two years period a decade ago.

A decade ago, work was really competitive, things were going really problematic with my boss, I was fired twice (even though I was re-offered a better position in the same place and never had a day without being on payroll), and thus I realized if I want to keep my chin up during financially turbulent times, I had to be extremely frugal.

So what did I do?

I moved into a smaller and cheaper studio apartment, leaving my gorgeous one bedroom apartment on the 20th floor of a downtown complex. It was located 3 minutes away from my work-place; had swimming pool, exercise room, and other amenities; and the apartment had a wonderful downtown view that was always a delight to look at. It was a also secure building. It hurt to move out but it was the right decision.

The studio apartment was 20 min away from my work-place and the apartment complex was nothing like the previous one, but both the apartment and the building were okay. It was a slightly less secure street but nevertheless I was comfortable there. I spent two years in that apartment. I remember very clearly counting on pennies in my purse and making calculations. My very ambitious weekly budget was $50 at that time…..

I do not know how I ended up with this amount, but honestly I made extraordinary effort to keep my weekly expenses (including grocery, personal care and cleaning products, and other miscellaneous expenses) under $50. This budget was extremely restricting at that time – I remember this feeling pretty clearly. I believe I could never manage to do so; my weekly expenses were always more than $50.. I think there was no movie or concert ticket in that allowance. My maximum book budget was $5/week (and I bought books every week). Eating out, hosting, or meeting with friends were a rare occasion, even though I lovingly had my favorite weekend breakfast consisting of two bagels and a cup of coffee. I could never think about a weekend without this breakfast 🙂

While I struggled with keeping my expenses under $50, I also saved quite a bit of my income. I put the money I saved into my RRSP account. I know I was locking it this way, but this gave me an enormous peace of mind at that time. I felt really good and proud of this investment for my future. Unfortunately at around the same time the markets had a bad time (remember 2008 turn-down?), so I think I mostly lost money at that time, but that is not the point 🙂

This year I have a similar budget, only that it is designed in a different way. My weekly allowance is 120 bucks for grocery; not including the personal care and cleaning products, hosting and eating out with friends and colleagues, and house-related or other expenses. If I average all expenses I made, I believe it could be ~$130 per week this year.

Not bad, eh?

It also does not feel restrictive. 

I kind of think that this might be because I budget a reasonable amount (that is $120/week + additional expenses) and I have the flexibility. It may also be because I am a seasoned frugal now?? 🙂

Have a great Friday night everyone 🙂

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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.

random thoughts

This has been a great week so far in terms of work. I am taking care of a large document and I have a great momentum. I hope to move it further tomorrow and almost end next week. I say almost as I am still waiting a part of it done by someone. Hopefully that part will go smoothly, too.

I have got a nice feedback today from a colleague. It was nice to get it in writing as in my workplace, this kind of “proofs” are considered significant in annual reviews. I am glad that I took the extra time (weeks) to prepare for a presentation that I delivered quite easily. Engagement by the participants was also great, which made it extremely useful and interesting. I like this kind of experiences and the positive feedback following them 🙂

Tomorrow is Friday, which always feels good. I hope to work really well and then do grocery shopping in the afternoon. This week I am likely not to spend too much. I am thinking apple, pears, chicken, trail mix, maybe yogurt, milk, some greens, and lemons as essential items to get this week. I have some veggies left from last week as I have not cooked lately; I must focus on consuming them before they go bad. Wasting food feels really awful.. There is no need for that.

I have been continuing my back exercises since they were first prescribed to me; it should be around 2-3 months now.. Sometimes I surprise myself 🙂 For someone who can get really `lazy`, the fact that I keep working to strengthen my back/abs and stretch the neighbouring areas mesmerizes me. In a good way, of course.

The truth is I feel a lot better when I do my exercises, it does take maybe around 10-15 min only, and I am very aware of the benefits to my body. For example, I have not had back problems since last time (for which I am extremely grateful!). My abs are tighter, so are my arms. My knees do not make that “cracking’ sound anymore and I feel like my hips are more flexible too.

This past week, I had noticed that my upper body was tight and my shoulders were not flexible. Starting today, I stretch my arms and upper back, too. Also, and I am very excited to say this, I started to do light weight-lifting, too 🙂 Nothing too much or heavy. Just 10 pounds dumbbell lifted up and down and moved side by side 10 times, both arms. That is it. It is great for now and if I feel like it, I can increase the training or the weight later. I am glad that I keep doing my exercises, I notice their benefits, my back is healthier, and I am motivated to do more 🙂

I have had an additional motivation to do arm exercises, though. This week I tried a nice shirt of mine that I had not worn for a year or so. I had a chance to see my arms when I wore it – they got chubby…. That made me sad. I knew I was struggling with my weight, but I was not aware that my arms had lost their muscular tone. I know from my past experience that my body easily is toned with little effort. So, from now on I will prioritize arm exercises, too.

I also noticed that my face looked tired and old… Not necessarily wrinkly or something but just not “glowing”. I used to have great skin, moisturized, and looking healthy. So, I am making facial care a priority from now on, too. I have night creams and daily moisturizers that are available already – why not to start using them again and maybe also initiate a daily cleansing routine?

Yep 🙂

random thoughts

Finally it is Friday! 🙂

Man, this week felt so long and now it is completed. I am excited 🙂

I worked well today and then left in the afternoon to shop. I bought food that I hope to consume in the coming week. There were BOGO free deals – felt awesome to stock up shampoo 🙂 And I am glad I did not purchase too many of them as with this usage pattern, I predict that I will not need to buy another bottle before the new year.

By taking advantage of coming home early, I did my weekly house cleaning, too. This saves me time tomorrow, which I plan to spend at a mall shopping and getting my hair done. Again, I am excited.

These excitements feel good after a week that I spent mostly down.

We all deserve a break. Should you have had a similar experience, I hope you too will have opportunities to cheer yourself up this weekend.

cheers everyone 🙂

today’s bits

The title may puzzle some of you; it is just an alternative to my regular “random thoughts” posts. For some reason, in this new year, I did not want to use that title anymore. So here we go “today’s bits” 🙂

It has been a nice week overall. Right after the holidays and right before our work schedule gets crazy (starting next week), I have had 4 days of peaceful work. I worked quite a bit, mostly with a team member of mine. I am glad we have had this time to fully focus on his project. I spent regular hours in the office, only to leave after 5pm, which felt good. Only exception was today, when I left my office to work at home around noon.

It was a kind of chilly day today, but i managed to walk back home. I also visited another grocery store, maybe 1 minute off my regular route. I am glad I have done that as the store has different products and somewhat different prices, too. I have bought more than I could carry comfortably, but it was worth it.

I took advantage of the sales and bought stuff that I would not usually consume. Like turkey legs. I in fact like turkey legs; turkey broth is  quite nourishing and smells nice. I particularly love cooking pasta in that broth – that is what I will try this weekend. I also bought a large bag of potatoes and am planning to try fish cakes this week. Hopefully I will not mess it up and it will turn out to be a delicious dish as I have been hearing here and there.

While I have gone to yoga for the last three nights, today and tomorrow, I plan not to. Not that I do not love the stretching classes. But because I wanted to “miss” being in there. In my case, no matter how awesome and well feeling something is, continuous exposure makes me get bored after a while. I need to “miss” such things by staying away for a while. Today this is what exactly I am feeling; missing being in those stretching classes. Sunday, I will resume my classes. Looks like 5 nights a week is a good plan. The remaining two nights, I can take a break, miss it, and do other stuff like reading my book “A Clash of Kings” by GRRM.

have a great Friday night friends 🙂

 

joy journal – May 22, 2015

1. I am grateful for reading a post about gratefulness. It immediately lifted my mood 🙂

2. I am grateful for sleeping soundly and getting up easily this morning. I was energized and rested. That is, to me, a great feeling.

3. I am grateful for eating two apples today. I noticed that when I eat sliced apple, my chances of liking it is higher. No idea what causes this perception, but just to keep eating this healthy and hearty fruit, I will keep doing what works. By the way am I the only person noticing better digestion due to apple? Interesting…

4. I am grateful for shopping this afternoon. There were many fresh produce, all looking colourful and delicious. I am grateful for the vine tomato for smelling so good, the hot pepper for being so delicious, for zucchini being so plum, the canned lentils, beans, and corns being affordable and ready to consume.

5. I am grateful for walking back from the office. Today is the first day that it felt really like spring and thus I switched to my spring coat. No more winter coat! 🙂 I am so excited about this. I have so many different and nice coats/jackets that I would like to wear now. I feel abundant and i love the change 🙂

6. I am grateful for leaving my office early day and working at home. I did light work only; my next week schedule is pretty light, which excites and relaxes me.

7. I am grateful for telling to the interviewee this morning right away that I would not be interested in hiring him. I usually would like to be positive but this person was really not ready for an interview and did not have a professional attitude. Case closed. I will focus on other applicants now. Amazing how the info on the paper and the person in reality can be so different.

8. I am grateful for spending time at my yard in the morning and the evening. Just for a few minutes, just to look at the life forms in it, to see whether any of my seeds came to life. Nothing yet, but tomorrow is another day – who knows what will happen? Hope is the best remedy 🙂

9. I am grateful for getting an okay and support for an event I would like to organize within our unit. My boss is supportive and contacted admins to make sure they were okay with it. I have drafted a document to circulate to some of my colleagues who were interested in giving me a hand with it. Together we can move this idea and have a wonderful event.

10. I am grateful for three small trees in my yard. Last year they were small; this year I decided to remove them, but could not – one of them turned out to be quite difficult to get out, so I left them alone. This morning I noticed that they started to bloom and they look so healthy, so alive, so awesome! Seriously! 🙂 I have no idea which kind of trees they are but I am grateful they are in my yard and thriving in it!

11. I am grateful for the relaxing Friday night. I have two weekend days to enjoy without going to work. I can walk, I can shop, I can have breakfast, I can clean and declutter my home, and I can just relax reading and contemplating.

12. I am grateful for chatting on the phone with one of my colleagues in another city. We have known each other for more than a decade and have been collaborating about several projects. It is awesome that we can both talk seriously about the work and then have friendly conversations and laughters.

13. I am grateful for thinking about cancelling the cable and subscribing to netflix instead. Not sure whether it is possible to stream with my old TV, but a phone conversation can answer that question.

14. I am grateful for all the pens, papers, notebooks, and other stationary items I have. I love, love, love them. Buying them, seeing them, and using them. Writing and reading are so integral to my life-style anything that propels and helps them is appreciated.

15. I am grateful for being abundant, safe, sound, and healthy. I am grateful for all the furniture, items, clothes and shoes I have that make my life easy and going. I am grateful for all the cleaning products and other regularly used-up items which I have stocked up and available for use when needed.

16. I am grateful that I kept up with some of the challenges today; I drank a fabulous cup of tea at the office today; enjoyed looking at the yard and trees several times; ate relatively healthy, and walked for 30 min on a beautiful day.

17. I am grateful for being grateful and expressing it.

Happy Friday everyone :)

Friday is here; happy friday everyone. I hope you are leaving the work behind and preparing for a relaxing and warm weekend.

I have not worked too much today; as a matter of fact I think I have not worked at all, but that is not true. The only reason I feel like this is because I did only light work, attended two important meetings, worked on a presentation, and left the office at 2pm because I was not really in the mood of working and I was bored.

I kept thinking; okay, I can leave the office now and take this opportunity to do something new, nice, or interesting. Honestly I could not think about something to do; I have been to the mall yesterday so I did not feel like going there again. So I started walking saying to myself that “along the way I can decide what to do”. Then before I know it, I reached home, and I said to myself “okay, let’s go eat somewhere”, I did that and now I am at home.

I wish I had worked really well so that I would be happy to come home. I noticed that if I do not get tired at the office, then I do not appreciate how relaxing being home is 🙂

tomorrow can be a better day

I am not sure what should be the title of this post: “joy journal” or “random thoughts”.

I will let you decide.

1. It is a sunday night 🙂 The day has been okay; I had breakfast at a cafe, spent time reading and writing, prepared a healthy meal and enjoyed it, and I am into this peaceful night a lot.. Maybe I will go to bed late, till I really relax browsing/reading. I have no interest in going to work tomorrow – I have been feeling so in the last few weeks. For some reason, I am feeling overwhelmed when I think about work. But then when I go to work and work efficiently, I feel great about myself, great about my work, and great about my day.

I can feel the stress on my body, though – my shoulders are tight and achy; I hope this feeling will be gone quite soon.

2) I have been reading quite a bit about the posts written on cancer. It occurs to me how different people go through it differently. And there is so much courage and effort there; important decisions, overwhelming feelings, obstacles that do not exist anywhere else but the reality of cancer to be overcome. Cancer is such as personal experience and such a demanding disease – physically, psychologically, emotionally, financially, and socially. Why do we have this disease? Why did it evolve and make itself an integral part of our lives?

Stories I have read as well as the writings by the patients reminded me that I have not been to my physician for some time and it is time to get my blood test done; running away from the medical care is not the solution – in contrast it can create problems. Cancer for one if diagnosed early can be treated more effectively. It saves lives.

I thank all who shared their stories and increased awareness about this disease. Very well done.

3) This morning there was high winds around here – before that though, it rained… The problem with rain immediately after a lot of snow is that it melts snow… And the snow we have had last week was too much and the city did not remove them from the fronts of our houses. So in the morning while going to the cafe, I noticed that there was an accumulation of rain on around my house, around the snow banks. It alarmed me; I tried to open a passage for this water to run down the street (I am on a street with a slight hill) so that instead of accumulating around my house, the rain would drain down to the street. I have checked it a couple of times, seems to work rather inefficiently. I hope tomorrow will be a better day..

Yes, tomorrow can be a better day 🙂 for everyone I hope 🙂

when I can do the work

So it is Friday; at last 🙂

I was excited about today, as I have done quite a bit of work with little distraction. This week was amazing in terms of having no meeting and little time that required me to solve issues that members of my team face.

I have not had such an experience for quite a long time… I sometimes think, maybe it is good to work alone…  Sometimes… when I can do the work.

Usually though, we need a team of co-workers with different skills and talents so that we can do a great job that would otherwise be difficult to do. Okay.. I got it. So there are cons and pros of working alone or with a team.

All right; no problem. I think for me the best solution would be to spare sometime, maybe a week per month or so with little interaction with others. I guess that is a great idea.

PS: I am sure many management, leadership, and self-help books state these facts.. reading them somewhere is something, and realizing them myself is something else 🙂

Thursdays

this is a Thursday afternoon

one of those days that is

not as impactful as Fridays

or Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays

yet it feels good to me today

just because it has been a great day

how many more Thursdays did I miss

that were just fine but not Fridays

or Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays

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