all the good things – check

  • missing the bus and walking in the morning to office – check
  • treating myself with a muffin – check
  • working long hours without losing focus or energy – check
  • having a lunch with a friend, a very rare treat for me during the week days – check
  • getting a ride back home by a colleague in the afternoon while it heavily snowed – check
  • drinking kefir and loving every drop – check
  • keeping calm the whole day – check
  • realizing despite feeling largely like a failure, how well my projects created unique outcomes in the last one year and will continue to do so in at least the next two years – check
  • feeling sleepy and getting ready for a resting night sleep – check
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a little rant

Ok. So you think you have friends and tell them that you are not feeling well. Two of them take you out for an afternoon coffee and they start lecturing you about how you should not feel this way or that way; how you should do this or that. And when you react to what they say (which is mostly not relevant to me or the situation I am in), they mention that your perception of things and their efforts are affected by you not feeling well, and as such, is distorted.

Well.. Well.. Well..

Excuse me!

In order to understand the person across from you, you must first listen to, rather than questioning or lecturing. Over-generalization of everybody and every situation is NOT a good practice. I understand that my friends were trying to be “friends” and “helping”, but this is not the best way to demonstrate these.

I rather wished my friends asked me how I think they could help or what I would need from them.

Let’s keep this in mind next time when we have a friend who is going through a stressful time.

On a separate note, I am glad that I stood up to my grounds and expressed myself.

 

Happy new year to who?

I have been very fond of my friends and teachers/mentors and every Dec 31st, I would send a short but personalized email to each one of them to express good wishes for the coming year.

I stopped doing this last year. Last year I wanted to see who would email me before I email them. Only one friend of mine and a previous mentor of mine did this. These people deserve the best.

I was frustrated with the rest and this year too I am not going to send my traditional happy new years emails. I want to see who would take their time, remember me, and send me good vibes. I am not very hopeful, but who knows maybe one or two people will be doing it. If not, my motto will be “Let’s declutter that part of life, too“.

The other two, on the other hand, have been emailed or will be emailed tonite. They have a special place in my heart.

And to you all out there, I do not know you personally but I am extending what I would say to my family – Happy New Year! May 2018 be an exceptional year with lots of positive vibes, memories, and experiences. Live it to the end and live it to the fullest!

Excited Happy New Year GIF by Hazelnut Blvd - Find & Share on GIPHY

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joy journal – November 7, 2017

1. I am grateful for prioritizing my time and working effectively today. That is why I am not sorry for taking the cab from and to my home and making some additional extra expenses to keep myself pampered and time-efficient today.

2. I am grateful for my friends telling me how much they have liked the fig jam I made this past Sunday! It is always a delight to see friends appreciate my food – as a person who does not enjoy cooking this is a great feeling indeed. There is something great about sharing food, too.

3. I am grateful for getting a compliment on my hair today 🙂 Did I mention that I have had a hair cut and now my gray hair is more visible? I was very sad to see them at first but over time I grew to love my hair and the new style. I do not know whether in the future I will have the same feelings, but at least so far, I have not reverted back to dying my hair, which is a significant success!

4. I am grateful for the wild rice soup I have made and consumed today. It is a delicious and completely improvised recipe. I am proud of myself and cannot wait to serve it to my guests.

5. I am grateful for the beet pickles I made last week. They are tasty and give me an opportunity to snack on them, rather than eating bread or other carbs.

6. I am grateful for my kefir grains. They keep providing me kefir and cheese. I am now drying a bunch of them for later use. I hope I will be able to revive them later so that I can always have these magnificent organisms and kefir in my life 🙂

7. I am grateful for doing my physiotherapy exercises to help my elbow heal. It has been since May that I have had the problem. It is sad to see my body needing therapy like this, but hey, considering my age I guess this kind of things are just normal. Nevertheless, I must care for my body and keep it in good and strong shape. Goodness help me! 🙂

8. I am grateful for the flowers in my yard sill striving and flowering. The weather was so nice this year that I am not surprised that they still are alive. I am collecting their seeds with the hope that I can have more of this plant next year.

9. I am grateful for all the food in my fridge, freezer, and pantry. I think I will not need a big grocery haul this week. Time to consume what already have 🙂

10. I am grateful for watching movies and listening to music. They are distracting me when I need most and relaxing me when I cannot take stress anymore 🙂

11. I am grateful for working really hard nowadays. I started a new project last week, which has moved really well in the last two days. I surprised myself with my performance today and I am glad that work is moving well. I do not know whether they will find interest and get approved for us to do them, but designing and writing them are the best thing I can do. The rest will be at the hands of life. Let’s hope for the best outcome 🙂

12. I am grateful for the flexible working hours that allow me to come home and continue to work without distraction.

13. I am grateful for having no disastrous events in my life nowadays. I live in a safe and comfortable city that makes my life easy and peaceful.

14. I am grateful for sleeping well last night. Nowadays my sleep pattern is healthier than last few weeks when I used to sleep for only a couple of hours.

15. I am grateful for this weekend being a long weekend! My plan is to use the extra time to complete some work and also try orange jam! Yes, you have heard right – I want to try another jam, this time something that is my favorite. I may share it with friends should it turn out to be a nice one.

16. I m grateful for being grateful and taking my time to write these.

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Things that I appreciate about myself today:

  1. I appreciate the fact that I keep working and trying
  2. I appreciate the fact that I do not completely strain myself and relax some tight plans, such as my budget, in order to function better
  3. I appreciate the fact that I have lots of great food at my home
  4. I appreciate the fact that I find excitement and interest in small things, like pickling and jamming
  5. i appreciate the fact that I do a great job

 

 

 

 

 

random thoughts

I have had a good weekend and I am very happy about this 🙂

I am back to my regular self after four months of rush-rush-stress-stress work marathon and two over-seas trips.

I am eating better and healthy, I walk whenever I can, and my budget is back to its wonderful self 🙂

Nobodies. GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY

My hair is transitioning to gray alright and I have not lost my mind over the abundance of grays or the presence of many different colours in my hair, even though I know I HATE this hair, goodness knows I want to DYE it like right now, and I never knew I could be that BRAVE to carry this hair!!

Peace… I need to make peace with this hair, but it is so challenging…

Saturday Night Live GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY

Anyways; going back to positive experiences….I plucked out weeds and unnecessary plants from my yard, moved a nice flower somewhere else so that next year I can plant food at the back of the yard, enjoyed the mints and flowers still striving, and felt the satisfaction of knowing that now my yard is ready for winter. There is nothing much to be done. I have done good.

I am baking a great-looking sourdough loaf and I will be sharing my beet pickles and potato salad with my friends, who invited me over for a dinner tonite. I am so looking forward to their company and having great time.

Good people make all the difference 🙂

Have a great Sunday everyone! 🙂

 

gifs by:https://giphy.com/gifs/snl-saturday-night-live-season-42-3oKIPnS9hjxxDB1FtK;https://giphy.com/gifs/nobodiestv-tv-land-tvland-3o7btX8tHdHhu6V1Ti;

start of the “work staycation”

I am taking the next week off to work. Am I funny or what?? 🙂 

I have a number of things to finish and I am looking forward to this break. I have another 1-2 weeks to take off before the end of August, which is a relief. Maybe I will stop for a couple of days and focus on myself a little bit.

My plans are as follows for the next 9 days:

Work:

3 documents to develop and/or finalize

2 speeches to finalize

Email correspondences and other emergency stuff that will occur within the week (that is correct; I wrote “will” rather than may” because the past years have taught me that emergencies are a normal part of our work Yuppi! More stress hormone! )

Work GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Personal life and home:

Two dinner parties with friends; meaning lots of shopping, cooking, and cleaning. We will see how this will go. Two dinners in a week seem too excessive for me. It is like a marathon! It is great that my friends are understanding. The worst we can do is to take out.

Cooking GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Staining and painting the patio and the wooden parts of the outside doors and windows; I resent this task, but it must be done so that I can protect my property better.

Reading a book…… It has been almost 2 years that I have not read a full book, from start to end…. I have the Game of Thrones series at my hand, which are so interesting. yet, where is my book love? How did I lose it? How can I get it back?

Gilmore Girls GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Taking more pictures of the natural beauties. The photos I posted in the last few weeks, the photos of the plants and flowers in my yard made me realize what a great yard I actually have. Many of these appeared in the last year or two, and when I first purchased my home, the yard looked incredibly bad. I digged and almost leveled the back of the yard, planted a little maple tree, trimmed some unwanted ones, planted a number of seeds, some of which germinated (let’s see how they will survive), planted potato, onions, and garlic. The potato plants are doing great, onion has almost seeded, but the garlic does not seem to be producing anything (I checked one of them). I had heard about sterile garlics, which I seem to have planted. In the fall, I will plant again, potato as well, to see whether the time of planting makes a positive difference (they say these plants should be planted in fall before the frost).

Clara Terne GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I also plan to print some of the photos and hang them on my walls. This is a massive undertaking for me because I want to hang around 15-20 frames…. Since I cannot do this myself, that also means that I will hire someone to put the nails on the walls. Fun stuff…i repeat that we need a “handyman/woman” registry or company that can do this kind of little work for people like myself.

And, I must do some back/ab exercises to keep my back strong. I have neglected these exercises for some time now and I feel like I must prioritize them again. Since at home I sit mostly (rather than using my standing desk at the office), my chances of hurting my back increase. I do not need that type of “emergency” situations, do I? 🙂

Fail GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Have a great Friday night everyone!

Friday GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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gifs by:https://giphy.com/gifs/books-book-smell-R8HesZtwvngQM;https://giphy.com/gifs/let-weekend-begin-b2GZmLzEvgcFO;https://giphy.com/gifs/3o6ZsZfk5ogLgPDSqA;https://giphy.com/gifs/fail-fitness-health-jTfMFLFD7qlOg;https://giphy.com/gifs/someone-work-bathroom-nzrgSRJ7mTNE4;https://giphy.com/gifs/cooking-PIJ0l1DaprUyI

 

 

the perfect day

I have got a great day today.

We have had a career celebration event for a past associate of mine. It was such a great ceremony 🙂 After the ceremony we went for a lunch and had a cozy afternoon. I was care-free, comfortable, feeling being among friends/family, and we had candid talks and laughter. So what else did I want?

Nothing much really……

It was a perfect day.

 

 

my kefir grains :)

IMG_0996

My friend who we visited yesterday gave me kefir grains! 

I am so excited!

Last year I had looked on the net for information about it. I was hesitant to purchase it, so I let it go from among my plans. So when my friend yesterday asked me whether I have had other fermented food (she knows that I have a sourdough starter),and whether I would like some kefir grains she has had,  I was like, yes – please!! 🙂

A wish came through.

Unexpectedly.

I m grateful for my friend and my sourdough starter – it will keep company of my second house pet 🙂

this was not the life I wanted

This was not the life I wanted.

I was supposed to love, be loved, and have a family of my own.

I was supposed to be happy and joyful, smiling and laughing. I was supposed to be with my friends, having care-free and fully supportive relationships without personal agendas.

I was supposed to live in a fair and just life.

I was supposed to work at an organization that valued me and my efforts rather than belittling me because of my gender, where I was from, or what they assumed I believed in.

I was supposed to be comfortable under my own skin, feeling great about my own identity, body, character, and acts.

I was supposed to feel confident and strong against any tides life could throw in my direction.

I was supposed to be free, walk in the weekends in busy streets, see the movies and dance to the songs I have loved.

I was supposed to discover myself in relationships.

I was supposed to have excitement. 

I was supposed to live somewhere else.

I was supposed to be happy.

but I am not.

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I have none of these that I thought I was entitled to. Not because I did not want to. But because I made choices.

I chose to move here and take this position, which now is under too much stress and the environment is getting more and more toxic, with lay offs and people blaming, belittling, or pushing away each other.

I chose to have a secure position that will give me financial stability and a sense of meaning and strength. I chose to do what I once loved to my bones – my job.

I chose to stay even after I realized whatever I was getting was not enough for me to feel good about myself or my life. In contrast, I was in so much stress and pressure that I do not know why I have stayed. Tell me – why did I choose to stay?

I chose to not have trips to see new places or friends to rather save the money for my future.

I chose to over and over take a mental note and saying “there is nothing much here for me to do alone”. A hobby class? A dance/sports club? A cooking class? Poetry? Writing? New language? Anything. I chose to have no such interests.

I chose that instead of having zillion of friends, I would have a few good ones in my life.

I chose to believe in that I was not a good cook so I hardly host my friends at my home.

I chose that the most interesting activity for me at the weekends would be to visit the two shopping malls in my city, browse the stores, and purchase what I may need.

I chose to believe in that at my age of mid-40, I was already old.

I chose to believe that I was not lovable.

I chose to have no future plans. I have tried multiple times. It just does not happen – what am I waiting for?

What is it that drags and anchors me down?

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What am I supposed to change in my thinking, my priorities, my life?

What choices I must reverse and what new choices I must make to be happy?

Tell me.

preferences for social activities

I have just declined a social invitation from a nice couple that I happen to like. I have met with them last week for a dinner and I will be meeting with one of them for a breakfast this Wednesday. The social that I refused to take part was scheduled for the next weekend.

This is the second time that I said no to these lovely people. Seeing  them rather frequently is the first reason for my refusal and the restaurant choice is the second. The place they have chosen is an expensive diner with food that does not appeal to me. Honestly I have no reason to spend 90 bucks on something that does not even excite me.

But the first reason re; seeing them lately too frequently is something that I always knew but never voiced before. Well…. It is true. I live alone and am perfectly happy with it 99.9% of the time. When I see people rather frequently I develop negative reactions. I cannot help it.

At least I have been true to them and to myself.  I really like these people. Hopefully next time we will eat at my place.

These friends of mine seem to get me and do not push it, which is awesome. I had friends in Toronto who would get quite upset if I had declined their invitations. It was so weird, so ridiculous that eventually our friendship has ended. I have not talked to them for quite a long time. Honestly I could not care less. You cannot force people to socialize with you whenever you want it. See, I am still angry with those people.

Anyways; I am thankful that I continue to be assertive and say “No” as necessary and I have great friends who totally get it and still be cool with me.

I feel good about myself and lucky 🙂

weekly budget check

When it rains, it pours.

No, not the rain – I am referring to my spending pattern 🙂 

This past week was a relatively high spending week.

Let me explain:

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Weekly allowance: $120

Expenses related to the weekly allowance (grocery, breakfast/coffee at the cafe, cab rides- if ever, and other little miscellaneous expenses): $87

Fun funds saved this week: $120 – $87 = $33

Fun funds expenses: $0

Total fun funds accumulated so far in 2017: $597.5  (dance with me here! Wohoo 🙂 ) 

Other expenses: $111 (social/dinner)

Savings from would-be-expenses: $46.5 (these are the savings from expenses that I would normally make, but decided not to; such as walking rather than taking the bus, having breakfast at home rather than the local cafe etc.)

Notes: it is interesting that sometimes spending money feels right. For example, on Tuesday morning I took the cab to office for the first time in 2017 (I usually would take the bus or even walk). It felt right and I am not resentful about its fee because I woke up at 6.45 am and by taking the cab I started my work-day at around 7.20 am. It was a very efficient day and I am very happy about this.

Also the dinner expense I have made (today) was well worth it. I took a couple out for a simple dinner tonite. They are very nice people, I enjoy spending time with them, and I have been to their home many times. It was my turn. Also, they just bought a house, which I wanted to celebrate!  It was a great night with great people – so all is well 🙂

Mortgage pre-payment: I paid an additional $270 today as mortgage pre-payment 🙂 This is my third payment this year totaling $870. I am very excited about these payments and am motivated to save more from my regular expenses so that i can keep making these payments 🙂 🙂 🙂

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Pantry/freezer treasures enjoyed: rolled oats, flax seeds, soya beans, and green lentils from the pantry 🙂 I love, love using the food at home! 🙂 

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Happy budgeting and happy savings 🙂

Death baffles me each time..

I just learnt that someone I know, a most gentle and kindest soul I have ever known, has died yesterday because of complications from pneumonia.

We were not close, but I had respect for him (he was my senior). He was a legend in so many different ways back in the day. When I met him, he was afflicted with diabetes and was over-weight. One common friends of mine was complaining, saying things like “I told him to quit drinking juice so many different times…”  As if the other person would not do that himself if he could. People can be so silly sometime.

Anyways… We used to chat time to time on social media, the latest one being on Nov 25th last year…. The last things we talked about was he asking me going to his city to see him and other friends of ours and me responding to that by saying ” hopefully :)”…

I could not see him or talk to him after that, but I am glad we were nice and kind to each other and I am glad we have had good wishes for each other. I just am shocked that this person now is dead. His body is cold. He will never chat with me or anyone else again.

This is so surreal…

I have a problem with death. However natural it can be, I do not care – I have a problem with it.

Eddie – rest in peace my friend. You are free now. You can be everything and anything you want to be. Wherever you are, I can see you smiling even though it hurts to think that you are gone at such a young age. Rest in peace my friend. Rest in peace.

 

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And here is something as part of celebration of your life – something that you liked so much and were so good at: 

Gym GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

gifs by:http://giphy.com/gifs/rest-in-peace-qaiMIXADRyo36 andhttp://giphy.com/gifs/gym-lifting-weightlifting-3o6ZsYzuLyRfSGX4f6

the 9th and the 10th day of the staycation

Well.. Well… Well..

It has been 10 days already 🙂

Well. Yesterday I shopped fabric just to feel good about myself, but honestly it did not help 🙂 That is okay. Fortunately a friend of mine called, I mentioned her that I was feeling like I have had tons of things to do, she said that I am too fixated on this and should rather relax and enjoy my time (she was working), I realized that was totally the truth and decided that I should quit being a drama queen. And I invited them over for a lunch today.

It was a fine day 🙂 I did not get crazy about cooking, all meal was loved and consumed, we have had a relaxing afternoon, and we even sewed together 🙂

The lesson is that sometimes even those that we do not appreciate enough can see the plain truth and tell us what it is. Then the entire fog miraculously lifts and brightens our day.

In the new year, try giving chance to those that you may not be 100% of fond of – maybe they will see your truth better than you do 🙂

 

the 8th day of the staycation

Wow!.. Days pass quickly. I cannot believe that I have 6 days left before I return back to office and start a work-marathon….This thought somehow depressed me, but I will let it go.

I have had a fine day with shopping and nothing else in particular. I am making an effort to have free time so that I can reflect rather than keep myself busy with doing house chores or other activities.

The year 2016 has been quite an interesting year for my life. I felt happiness quite a bit; especially when I started yoga/stretching classes in January. It was going well, I was feeling connected to my body and appreciating it, but then one night I pulled a muscle on my back and I quit those classes. Alas..

I under-estimated how bad that lower back problem was and even though I was recommended to see a physiotherapist I did not and two weeks later I pulled it again. I had no chance but to take it serious. And I have. I attended physiotherapy, my work-place purchased me a standing desk, and I have been doing my back stretches/strengthening exercises  quite frequently. My back is feeling alright, but I am not naive to think that it has been healed completely. I will keep taking care of it.

Then late February my dad passed away and sadness engulfed me. if you follow my blog, you know I am grieving quite a bit… He was a gentle soul who deserved much better. I wish our lives were different.. May he rest in peace.

My relationship with my family strained a little bit after my dad passed away and we are trying to mend it. I never thought that I could have such a serious issues with my family members, but I did. Just recently I decided to go visit them this summer – I hope things will be back to normal. Love is stronger than anything else, even though time to time I too succumb into disliking things and people. Nothing changes the fact that my family is important to me.

In October, I went to a European convention and got strained there for two additional days because of a labor issue in the host country. The stress and anxiety I felt was palpable – would I be able to find a hotel room to stay? When could I return back safely? . Eventually it turned out to be okay, but this incident changed me a little bit. perhaps next time I can handle it better (not that I wish another adventure like this…). During those times I accidentally stepped on a song by Sia – Chandelier, which remains to be one of my favorites since then. I believe there has not been a day that I have not listened to it. The voice is captivating (though I am not sure what to think about the video).

 

In May I started to bake my own bread and in september I started my own sourdough starter 🙂 these two have been quite interesting adventures and  I am so happy that I have them in my life 🙂

And lately in November or so, I also became interested in sewing; I bought my sewing machine and have been collecting all the notions and supplies since then. I am not good at sewing yet, but I hope I will be over time 🙂

And, as per my budget; I have had the greatest budget at the beginning of 2016; it was the leanest budget I have had in the last 7-8 years and it did wonders for me. I was able to significantly reduce my spending, bring my chequing account to a positive balance, increase my RRSP contributions and my mortgage payments. During summer I succumbed back to spending unnecessarily, yet I hope the new year will give me a chance to keep my budget on track.

And finally; I lost around 15-20 pounds during the the past year. I suspect that baking my own bread and my lower back problem both contributed to it. I am feeling good about it and wish to keep losing some more fat in the coming year.

As per work; it continues to stress me out and I perform well, however, less than before. There are times that our interests change and I guess it has been the case for my work too. I still do a considerable amount of work, but there were times that I wished I could retire. Retirement is a distant dream, but it is such a freeing dream… I wonder what else I would discover and get interested in….

This year was also one of these that I made an attempt to be more social. I hosted a few times at my house, but it worked out well. I socialized with friends and colleagues and enjoyed them to some degree. Honestly I am not very interested in hosting or socializing again anytime soon, but I am glad at least I tried, made an effort to enjoy these occasions, and realized once more that solitude is the best life-style for me.

Quite a busy and influential year, is it not? 🙂

a great long weekend so far :)

Friday was the Canadian Remembrance Day and an official holiday. May all those perish/killed/hurt at wars and because of wars may be remembered by compassion, love, and respect. As one of my friends said “No war is a good war”…

Anyways; mostly because I have had a great weekend last week full of shopping, I felt like I could work on Friday. That has been a wise decision as it was quiet and there was no distraction. I had a productive and easy day.

Yesterday was full of socials! First I met with an ex-colleague/assistant of mine who has a young baby. It was so exciting to see her again and meet with her little baby. What a lovely, happy, and cute baby he is – may he have a long, healthy, happy and pleasant life.

Then I went to a dinner I was invited to and met with great people and enjoyed conversations on many different topics. I had great time and I felt really lucky to have these people and occasions in my life. See, lately I have been making an attempt to be social and so far it has been going really well, making me feel like it is awesome to socialize with great people!

And today, I am baking a carrot-sourdough loaf, which I hope will turn out to be great. We will see in a couple of hours 🙂

Overall, I am feeling great about this weekend.

Have a wonderful Sunday everyone 🙂

socialization attempt – II

I have been blessed with yet another successful social yesterday 🙂

A friend of mine connected with me a colleague that just moved where I am and we thought we could get together over a brunch. I also invited another friend of mine, who is also a colleague. We had a wonderful brunch and then came to my place to do some baking together! 🙂

It was a fine day with lots of laughs and working together on food. None of us seemed to be an expert yet we all were interested in putting our hands on the dough. We tried mid-size and small loafs filled with beef, spinach etc. and they turned out to be tasty and lovely. We decided to do this again. It also turned out that the hubby of the new colleague has a tasty bread recipe from his mom, which we sure are to try sometime.

Company makes all the difference, is it not? I love and value both of my colleagues. There is diversity in our attitudes though – our new colleague is very down-to-earth and smart but not a dominant person. She also made herself at home, lovingly rolled the loaves and was excited to do so. It is a pleasure to be with this kind of people; it is comfy and friendly.

My other colleague is also very nice, but she thinks that I should change and arrange my furniture in a way that she thinks is best. I am so far kind and not taking it as a serious intervention in my life. But honestly, do you not get annoyed by people who think you should replace your furniture with the ones they like and then also arrange your home the way they like? It makes the impression that they do not like your house/furniture and also think that they know better than you do, even re; your own house?

Somebody needs to awaken these individuals; that we all have choices and when the right time comes I will make the arrangements in my house the way I like or decide. I guess young people are like that but I can be the wise one between the two and let this one go. I would love to deal with it better next time and make it clear that I have my own plans for my home – I think that would cut this down 🙂

Joy journal, Sept 19, 2016

1. I am grateful that I survived this Monday too!!! Are you too feeling the joy  coming out of this? I hope so 🙂

2. I am grateful for walking in the morning, although I was feeling tired and it was somehow cold. It was a quiet morning with a serene scenery and walking for sure makes it even better (by moving and relaxing the body). It is good for my bones, for my muscles, for my blood circulation, and for my mind -what else can provide all of these but walking? 🙂

3. I am grateful for my coffee! I brew my coffee at the office and drink quiet a bit of it. Only that today around noon, right before a meeting, my stomach got upset. Luckily a colleague of mine had salty crackers and shared them with me. I felt much better after that.

4. I am grateful for my colleague who shared their crackers with me 🙂

5. I am grateful for working really intense but nevertheless productively. I cannot believe that just yesterday I was relaxing at home, without doing anything particular. It is amazing how well we adapt to work conditions and its pressure.

6. I am grateful for walking back to home in the afternoon. I must state, however, it was too cold.. Time to get the scarfs and gloves out.

7. I am grateful for the soup I have had at home that was the greatest medication after the cold walk. It was a simple soup prepared with chicken stock, potato, and lost of lemon juice. Sure to heal and warm you up 🙂

8. I am grateful for working up late today and finishing some important documents. I have been incredibly busy last week and will be quite busy the next two weeks too. I will give my best. The best thing; I have a business trip to Europe for a couple of days after that, which will give me time to relax. I am so looking forward to it 🙂

9. I am grateful for my standing desk at the office. In the last few weeks I always worked standing up. My back feels overall better; I believe the standing desk, walking and stretching everyday helps. I am not naive enough to think that I can stop here and go back to my previous unhealthy and un-ergonomics life, but at least I know that with little changes, I can make a positive change in my life. That is priceless 🙂

10. I am grateful for my blanket that keeps me warm tonite 🙂

11. I am grateful for my family being safe and sound. That reminded me a sad occasion of a close friend of mine. She was in love with someone else, who finally decided to marry another person. That guy was killed recently in a freak robbery attempt while on honeymoon….. How sad is this? Anyways… this is supposed to be a joyful entry – so back to gratefulness…

12. I am grateful for having a house, furniture, clothes/shoes, and heating system, all of which make this cold night manageable.

13. I am grateful for my books, internet connection, computer, notepads, and pens that make my life exciting 🙂

14. I am grateful for the TV series I have been watching this evening.

15. I am grateful for all the opportunities out there that wait for me and for everyone else. May we all recognize them as they cross roads with our lives.

16. I am grateful for being grateful and writing my joy journal tonite 🙂

when the socializing attempt feels good :)

My socializing attempt yesterday by hosting 6 adults and two little girls was a success:)

It took me some time to clean and cook, pick up stuff, and organize the dinner table, but I can tell you the people you are hosting make all the difference; nice, polite, and humble people make every effort of yours look like a giant success; abundance of laughter makes it comfy and fun; and more importantly, having two little kids at home is an amazingly joyful.

Kids and I played. I had a couple of toys from the past which we used to our enjoyment. The older kid (3.5 years old) was the doctor and put first aid bandage on every leg, arm, and head we could find on the toys. We also had a therapy dog (toy) for which the little girl (1 year old) and I made a dog house (out of a small cardboard box). At the end, thanks to the efforts of the kids and the therapy dog, all patients were healed and the puppy was very happy 🙂

My friends were amazing too; even though I almost burned the bottom of the bread, they ate it. And they ate everything else, which was awesome.

There were hassles, of course. Like, I burnt my sourdough (that I was rising) on the stove when I wanted to warm it up and then forgot to turn the stove off…

Oh, well. It was a fine day and I am okay with that 🙂

 

socialization attempt

I have been contemplating lately about the changes that have happened to me and one area that bothers me is the low frequency of social interactions out of work.

I used to host my friends almost every weekend 10-15 years ago. We were all young, single or married, but with no kids. It was easier then.

Then I moved to another country and my friends over there were now over 30 and lovingly with babies/kids. I loved the kids, I loved my friends, but what I was cooking or offering at home as entertainment for my guests were not adequate (I had no toys or board games, for example. I sucked in cooking meals that kids would love). I got to play with the kid when I visited their homes and was welcome and never felt awkward because of me being single or without a kid, but honestly I eventually fed up listening about kids all the time and watching the kid movies. I started to miss sincere conversations about life, our lives, and other philosophical discussions. It also annoyed me quite a bit after a while that my friends thought that I could be there whenever they wanted, as I had “no dependent“. They missed the point that I too had a life, issues, joys, interests, and needed time for myself and needed people/friends who would listen to me and intellectually stimulate me.

We have had enough frustration and disappointment. Bitter emotions built up. Eventually, I drifted away slowly as they also did.

Then I moved to my current city and got very, very busy with the work. I met with many wonderful people but was not able to host them because of time-restrictions. I developed quite a bit of insecurity about my cooking skills too, which also contributed to my anti-social life. Not to mention a number of serious health and family issues I have had in the last few years that made me more and more introvert.

But no insecurity or busyness or being anti-social are helping me and it is time to break this cycle.

It was an unusually busy week and I am tired cleaning the home and thinking about the menu tomorrow, but I am doing this with excitement – I am hosting a number of lovely people and two little kids tomorrow 🙂

 

sometimes it is best to leave the love behind

It is all good, I promise.

Skip the 1st part and scroll down to the second half should you prefer not to hear about the drama.

(honestly, I too would like to leave this drama behind…).

———————————

My mom was very upset that I returned Jamie the cat back. My sister and my brother too. They highly recommended me take it back.

Did I not want it?

With each day I have been feeling a little bit better, but I am still emotional about that innocent, mystical live-being.

Anyways, my mom forced (!) me to go back to the shelter. And I did. Not to take him back, but to inquire what would happen to him, and if he was to be killed, to re-adopt him (I thought what I could offer him would be better than death for this young, lovely cat). They assured me again that he would not be killed unless he has behavioral problems or gets sick. There were cats that have been living there for 3 years 🙂

I could not completely believe, but got happy anyhow! 🙂 Jamie will not die because of me and he has got a lot of opportunities to be adopted 🙂

———————————

Why am I telling you these?

Not to continue with my recent drama, but to note something that I realized.

By chance, I saw my friend at the shelter; she is a regular there. She told me one thing that I cannot forget.

She said Jamie was not the right cat for me.

I was still defensive and said I was not the right owner for him.

Now I am thinking; she was right. It felt right. Jamie the cat and I were not right for each other. if it was so, we would be happy and comfortable together.

In the past too I have had experiences like this when I was not 100% sure and got conflicted about whether or not to take a step (like adopting Jamie).

In the future I hope to remember this: if I find myself stretching too much for someone/something, and if I am not 100% comfortable, I will stop myself and walk away.

While there is room for development in all of us, if it is too much of a concern around it, it is best to leave the love behind. There will always be others.

And long-live the friends 🙂

And if i want to help animals, then I better donate to shelters and stop eating them for sometime…

My first day with Jamie the cat

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there he is! Jamie 🙂

Alright friends; I survived it 🙂

I brought Jamie home from the shelter (with the help of my friend, who encouraged me to adopt a cat and has been with me several times to see/check Jamie at the shelter). She has been instrumental in me finding a company and Jamie a home 🙂

I was not sure what would happen, as I was said at the shelter that he is a scared kind of cat. They told me it is mostly the other cats that scares him, but nobody would know how it would be at his new home. They advised me to keep him in a room for a few days prior to introducing the rest of the house to him, and spend time with him.

Okay. So I got a small room readied for him; everything is in there; toys, bed, scratcher, food, water, litter box,  carrier/pet taxi, a high bed-side drawer (so that he can go up to feel safe; that is what everybody says about cats; they like heights), the pillow I sit on while I am in the room, and an old small luggage of mine, which I thought he would like as a hiding place (he loved it 🙂 ).

During the entire time, I stayed in the room for 20-30 min and then left him alone to do other stuff in other parts of the house.  That works just fine with me.

But when I am in his room, I ignore him mostly, work on my computer, and let him approach me.  I am happy to say that we made frequent contacts as soon as he finished exploring his environment 🙂 I just offer my hand and he comes and pets himself as he pleases.

I talk to him too, which is weird 🙂 But I can see his tail waving, I hope that means he is okay with that  🙂

We did head-butt a couple of times, which I think is friendly.

I am not sure whether he liked his litter though – he seems to play with it and spread it around (the floor is like a war-zone – I have never seen that much dirt in my house before 🙂 ). I hope to see in the morning that he uses it.

For some reason, he is not eating his treats but seems to have liked the wet food I gave him. That is alright. I plan to feed him with wet food once a day or in two days or something. I am glad I have got something that he liked 🙂

We also play lightly; he likes the feathered fishing pole kind of toy very much. My friend told me not to stimulate him too much and I think for the first few days, we will keep our play times short.

By the way, what is up with catnip guys! I spread a pinch or two around the scratcher and the litter box and the cat has gone crazy! I mean, real crazy :)))

I left him in his room for the night and I am not sure what he is doing or how he will spend his time. But he needs to adjust to this. I hope not to get crazy and check on him every once a while. …

Anyways…. Overall it is good that we are getting along and fear is not a factor between us 🙂

I must thank my friend (which I have already many times) and another friend of my friend. See, my friend’s friend has given a cat taxi for Jamie (and toys and all bunch of other things) and my friend brought them to the shelter. I appreciated this so much 🙂 I was planning to buy a carrier but I was not sure which one to choose. That solved one problem right there. Some people are really nice 🙂

And I feel just lucky today.

my animal shelter experience today

You know I have been considering having a cat as a companion for sometime, which was further motivated by the pest problem I have had in my house in the last few months.

Well; yesterday I ranted a little bit about the cat and I liked at a shelter and my cat-friendly friend who would refuse to go there to give me a hand with her cat-wisdom. I was frustrated and a little bit angry yesterday, but today things turned out to be better.

Let me explain:

Today, my friend took me to another shelter first. It was a nice one with lots of cats, who were not solely cage-contained (they had other contained places to go, including fenced areas outside). How nice.

I have liked one grumpy cat called George, who did not like other cats and preferred to be in his cage only. Okay…. George was a lovely young male cat and it would be awesome to have him around and watch/observe. Yet, my feeling is that his grumpiness could give me some stress, especially when I need to do things that he would not like (like trimming his nails, or putting him in a transporter). So, while he was an awesome and likable one, I a few hours back decided not to get it.

I saw another female cat, white and with odd-eyes. She may be deaf in one ear, not necessarily a great looking cat, but very easy going. I feel affection for her, especially for being deaf in one ear. Her eyes reminds me about “being different” yet still being beautiful and valuable. I am inclined to get her for now. Hopefully thursday. I hope she is a mouser 🙂

When I said to my friend that I also would like to see the cat I liked in the other shelter, she said no first, but then decided to come with me… That was incredible on her side, as she has very strong and negative feelings about that shelter. Anyways; we have been there, the shelter did not take her dog inside the shelter so she had to wait outside, and I checked the cats. They were all contained in cages and they have had no free space to explore, walk, run, or play. This, my friends, is cruel if you ask me and the main reason why my friend did not have a positive feeling about the shelter. I understood her better today and she has every single right to dislike the management of that shelter.

Anyways; I found the cat I liked (i had chosen him thru the website/photos). A very cute and young male cat. very easy going as well – i held him in my arms! I was not scared and he was not scared or aggressive. I asked about him and they told me that he lost a few teeth but was fine now. I went out and asked my friend to check the cat; she came back and said he was lovely. We made plans to adopt him tonite.

Then while driving back, we talked about the teeth and my friend and I got a little bit skeptical about it. For a young cat like him, losing ” a few teeth” would not be considered normal… It would mean he was sick, old, or plain unlucky. I emailed the shelter and it turned out to be a likely permanent gum/neck problem that would require further tooth loss in the future…

My heart bleeds my friends that I will not have him. Considering how much I liked this cat and he may have health problems that require immediate attention, I cannot possibly leave him behind while I am away for extended periods of time (which I do at least twice a year). Since I must make these trips, that means that he should not be under my care.

Would someone love him as much as I do and care for him as he needs? I do not know…. See, I am still hesitant and emotionally would love to get that cat, but logically it is better I do not.

My first cat-love has now ended with a broken heart, I must say.

It is like the first love in life that cannot be  replaced by another. I guarantee you that….

I am determined to love the next cat, though. All living beings deserve love.

animal love and the grief of loss

I am getting cold feet re; adopting a cat.

Two reasons:

1) I was really mentally ready to get a cat today, yet my cat-friendly friend had other urgent matters to attend, so we could not make it to the shelter. Since it did not get the cat today, I am kind of getting frustrated and less motivated to check the cats in the future.

Plus, it turned out my cat-friendly friend has personal problems with the shelter I chose a cat from (thru their website) and she is directing me to another shelter and suggesting to pick one from there… She says we can go there tomorrow.

I am not dependent on my friend, of course. Only that she would be great help pointing out desirable or undesirable things in a cat (she has had cats for a long time). That is one great advantage of having my friend with me while picking the cat.

But, I also do not like my preferences not being considered – I liked a cat (however virtually) and I feel like I should be able to get it if I continue to like it when I meet face-to-face. Down side? I will not have anyone helping me with their cat-wisdom because my friend will not come with me to that shelter.

I now need to decide whether to go after the cat I liked (which means I will not have my friend with me to get ideas), or to go to another shelter with my friend tomorrow and pick a different cat?

Have I mentioned I do not like the uncertainties and would like to make the decision and take the steps immediately? Or, should I completely forget the idea or park it for a while?

Some people say I am not patient. I say, I would like to do and complete things that I put my mind into.

So, this new-decision making ordeal is annoying me. It is like it dangles over my head.. Very annoying indeed.

 

2) My mom just told me with sadness that she has lost two of her birdies, whom I loved dearly too. They were the joy of the household, we loved their chirping and characters, and we have had a strong bond with them. Especially my mom, who tended to their daily needs.

I got very upset and cannot imagine how my mom is feeling about this….

I thought, after having all the grief over these birdies, that perhaps this is the sign that I should not get an animal, another living being, in my care as I also have a chance to lose the cat while in my care – I have to open the doors, both the front and the back doors daily. What happens if the cat just run away to the street where there are cars and other dangers, or to the backyard, which has high fences, but come on, this is a cat who will climb, get lost, or get into fights with the dogs/cats of my neighbours?

Worse yet, what if the cat gets injured, sick, or dead while s/he is with me?

…………..

I guess I will have some break from the cat story for a while.

I hope I will not have another mouse-annoyance in the meanwhile.

I might be getting a cat, friends

I might be getting a cat, finally.

yesterday night at 2 am I woke up by the sounds coming from the en suite and detected mouse droppings on the floor. Yes, I have had mouse problem in the last 3 months but we have thought it was well controlled after a pest control company put traps and baits around the first floor of the house. We even got one in a trap 10 days ago. I was hopeful that that was it. But, no mice seem to be staying.

I slept on the couch on the first floor and put two traps and many sticky pads over the bathroom floor. There is nothing for now, but you can imagine my disgust and annoyance with this. For one, I paid over $300 to the pest company to help sort this problem. Well, it has not happened. yes, the mice showed up sporadically and maybe once a week I would see an activity, yet come on! – obviously either there is an entrance to the house or the baits are not working.

I called a friend of mine to “borrow” her cat to have its scent in the house – I heard that that would defer the mice. My friend said that this is only a wishful thinking and the best way is to have a hunter cat, a young and playful cat, in the house. My friend has convinced me finally that it is the sign that I should be getting the cat that I have been wanting to in the last one year or so. We hope to find one from a shelter this week.

I will love this cat; be friends with it; be its protector and carer; and we will be happy together 🙂

And, no mice please!

on life and death; and then life again

A couple of days ago in a morning, I had woken up early in the morning and then tried to get back to sleep. This happens to me almost every morning. In those times my head fills with thoughts, which often times stress me. This time, one of the thoughts was that this would end one day and that I would die.

This was a very scary thought…This is not the first time that I faced the future event of my death. After my dad passed away last winter, it had occurred to me that one day I too would perish.

They say it is an instinct to survive. It probably is. We, as humans, have unfortunately consciousness as well and are maybe the only species on earth that is aware of their future death. Painful truth.

While I do get depressed time to time and there were moments in my life that I sincerely preferred to be dead than being alive (how silly I was…), since my dad’s death, I actively wish to be alive. I wish to be alive and enjoy/be okay with even its hurdles, the stress it gives me sometime, and the depressive mood or other problems.

While life is complicated and can get pretty seriously wrong (think about all the people in war-thorn countries, for example), it is also precious. After all, a life is better than no life….. Since it will end one day, what is all these fuss about the little issues in our lives, like missing the bus; an argument with a family member or friend; a lost item; a lost opportunity; or work-related issues?

I am middle aged now and can see that the majority of my life I spent with school/career and little family/financial problems. There are only a small portion of my life that I remember with joy and happiness. There are only a few people who are important for me; only a few hobbies/out of office activities that gave me joy and excitement; and only a handful of memories that I cherish. The rest is full of failure/struggle/arguments/lost hopes/identifiable or unidentifiable causes of unhappiness and anxiety.

I am guilty of dwelling into the little problems in life; particularly work-related ones, that makes me unhappy, depressed, stressed, or mad. Yet, at the end will they matter? Probably not.

Life is what we make out of it, they say. I cannot control the life as it develops fully, but I am more and more contemplating about finding a right mental state to explore and integrate new faces of life in my life. I may not know what they may be, but, hey I am at least more open to what is going on in life.

If you follow my blog, you know that I care about my profession and the work I do very much. I feel not truly successful and am constantly striving to do better. The atmosphere and the events occurring or not occurring in my work-place have the heaviest weight in my life and emotional world. I even contemplate about resigning time to time, even though I do not know how I would provide for myself or what I would do as work (again a very silly idea; what was I thinking?) only because either I feel inadequate or am fed up of the stress I create over work.

It is time that I either accept or deny fully that I am inadequate and remove this unnecessary stress from my life with a more relax and positive outlook. Whatever the pressure I may be imposed by my line of work or by my colleagues, I must keep going. I should also reduce the expectations from me; I can make mistakes (which I do), I can be late in completing tasks (so what? they eventually are done); I may not be the star-professional in my work-place (there will be always someone better than me anyhow); I may be classified as successful by somebody’s criteria, but do I not do high-quality and creative work, even with limited resources? I do. And eventually when I get old or sick, would that be what I will think about anyhow? Nope.

Hug a tree. Watch a movie. Host good friends. Start writing that book that I always wanted to. Visit more countries/cities. Laugh more. Pay more attention to family and friends. Forget work-related issues upon leaving the office. Find out more about life. Find about more about love, understanding, and forgiveness. Care less about money and care more about people. Create new memories that I will cherish.

Yes; let’s create new memories that I will cherish.

How will I do that?

I guess I will figure out one day.

Special joy journal – July 27, 2016: things that I have acquired while I was on vacation

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this is what my new throw looks like. Love the colour, softness, and the little pieces on it – all made with love 🙂
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this little piece is one of my favorites 🙂
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I love this one too 🙂

 

Every time I am home for vacation, I was showered by gifts by my family and friends. I also find a chance to shop as my homeland is not only affordable but also has a variety of items that I cannot find where I am.

This year too I was blessed with many gifts and purchased items. I have been feeling pretty excited about them, which prompted me to write this special entry 🙂

1. I am grateful for the soaps I have bought! They are the softest bath soaps I can ever imagine. The bright green color gives me peace; their softness and foam are incredibly soothing; and i am lucky to have had 6 of them. I feel like I do not have to think about buying another soap for quiet a long time. I am so excited 🙂

2. I am grateful for the blouse I found. It is soft to touch, has lovely little flowers along the fabric, and is a delight to wear. It is also much more girlish than the shirts that I usually wear at the office 🙂

3. I am grateful for the winter boots and the walking shoes I have bought. This is the third year that I have been buying the same brand of shoes/boots from the same store. The winter boots are awesome; sturdy and water proof, and I could not be happier to have them here where the winter is pretty harsh. I have been using the first pair I bought three years ago in the last two years and I believe they will be good to go for another year. I have two new pairs of winter boots now, which means that I do not have to think about buying winter boots for quite sometime. I have the same positive experience and feelings for my walking shoes; the one that I am wearing is 2 years old. It has been battered a little bit, so I am happy to replace it with the new pair I bought this year. They are comfy and pretty 🙂 What a peace of mind to have all of these ! 🙂

4. I am grateful for my new throw! I used to have a nice one for years, which I kind of burnt over the stove while I was trying to help my dough get risen 🙂 So my sister bought me a nice soft fabric, cut it out for me, and fixed the corners and trims with a lovely embroidery. For some reason, I wanted to make it colourful so I knitted around 20 different, little pieces and glued on the fabric. The end result is really cool! Each piece was improvised and I love looking at them. their shapes and colour gave me joy 🙂

5. I am grateful for the spices I bought or were given by my family members: crushed chilly peppers (thanks mom), dried mint (thank you aunt) 🙂 I sure will lovingly use and consume them 🙂

6. I am grateful for the sesame, nigella, and poppy seeds that I bought to be used during my bread-baking adventures 🙂

7. I am grateful for the corn flour that I bought. I have been meaning to try corn bread for sometime. This excitement cannot be missed now 🙂

8. I am grateful for the cat figurines that my sister gave me – they are so cute I do not know where in the house to display them 🙂

9. I am grateful for the little painting in a beautiful frame that my sister gave me. She has done an amazing job with the colours as well as the frame… I will cherish it for ever 🙂

10. I am grateful for the big tea glass that my sister-in-law has given me. It is one of a kind 🙂 I guess it holds around 500 ml of liquid so that means one glass of tea will be more than enough for the day 🙂

11. I am grateful for the purse that may sister made for me. My sister has been interested in this kind of stuff for some time and I must admit she has been doing an amazing job. She made maybe 20 purses, each of which are unique and improvised. The one that I have got has 40 different and unique embroidery-like pieces on the body and the strap. The colours are all nice and joyful, too. I am so lucky 🙂

12. I am grateful for getting two memorials from my dad’s house (he sadly passed away last winter): his cell phone and an old bowl that I remember was around for decades…. I am glad I have found this chance to keep his presence around me right here in my own home..

13. I am grateful for the black sweater and the dark-reddish jacket that my mom knitted for me 🙂

14. I am grateful for the basket that I bought to proof my loafs in! I made it! I found something to do this very important job. It is lovely and my mom and sister also made clothes to put in it to help prevent dough sticking to the basket. cannot wait to try all of these 🙂 I also bought a little sharp knife that I will use to score the surface of the dough prior to baking them in the oven. I am anything but excited about everything I have to help me with the bread-baking adventures 🙂

15. I am grateful for the freezer bags that my mom gave me. well.. here too we have freezer bags, yet these are so nice and easy to use thatI could not help but pack 5 packages with me 🙂

16. I am grateful for the rice. Its grains are bigger than what we can find here – just the type that I love!

joy journal – July 26, 2016

Been a while… There are many things to note yet I will keep it to the things/experiences/people that have been giving me excitement, hope, and happiness lately.

1. I am grateful for the day. It has been just the right temperature; neither hot nor cool, with a little breeze and lots of sunshine. A perfect summer day :).

2. I am grateful for getting up earlier than usual and not getting crazy about hastily leaving the home a soon as I wake and dress up. I spent around 30 min at home in the morning, browsing the internet while waiting for the next bus at 8.30 am. It is awesome to note this (waiting for something/someone makes me crazy usually. waiting for the bus, which is scheduled for every 30 min used to make me extra crazy. But I seem to have tamed… at least for now… is that not awesome?)

3. I am grateful for taking the bus and arriving the office earlier than usual. I have had a peaceful morning when I brewed my coffee and enjoyed it, worked productively, and felt overall good about work and life.

4. I am grateful for walking back to home in the afternoon and taking care of some emails and other paperwork after that. Working at home is usually a very relaxing practice for me. I am so lucky to have a job that gives me such a flexibility.

5. I am grateful for watching TV this afternoon. After my back problem that occurred early in the new year, I had hardly spent time in my living room, or sat on the couch and watched the TV. Couch is not good for my back so it was not long before I moved up to the bedroom again, but nevertheless this change was very welcome 🙂

6. I am grateful for cooking a healthy meal for myself today. I tried a new recipe that I have got from a neighbor while I was on vacation. Pretty tasty stuff made with cracked wheat (bulghur). Hope to post the recipe one day.

7. I am grateful for the open windows and the fresh air filling my home. What a luxury it is! (old man winter does not let that to happen very frequently.)

8. I am grateful for my new throw, couch covers, shirts, and socks; tea, spices, seeds to be used during baking (nigella, sesame, poppy seeds etc.), corn flour, rice, hard salt to be consumed;  decorative artwork that my sister has given me as gifts; the bowl that I had picked up from my dad’s house as a memorial; the walking shoes and the winter boots that will last like for ever. It feels great to remove any hesitation about having/finding comfy shoes and winter boots- I feel blessed to have found and purchased them 🙂

9. I am grateful for my laptop and the internet connection that make it possible to write, read, and learn 🙂

10. I am grateful for not gaining weight lately. Hope to drop more of those resistant fat particles 🙂

11. I am grateful for having food in my fridge, freezer, and the pantry. what a blessing to know that I have more than I can consume and I am abundant.

12. I am grateful for my friends here whom I have called or seen yesterday. It is so relaxing to know that I am surrounded with good and kind people. This is particularly important for me to realize, as I have just come back from a family visit. i do not feel lonely and I feel like I have a life here 🙂

13. I am grateful for the hand moisturizer that makes the wonders all the time. My hands are prone to get dry yet this moisturizer is just right and it smells awesome. I am lucky to have found it 🙂

14. I am grateful for my plans to shop this weekend. Shopping is always a delight (if done responsibly, of course) 🙂

15. I am grateful for my back feeling good and being pain-free in the last month or so.

16. I am grateful for getting sleepy now. I may have some kind of jet-lag, which is okay… if you have ever experienced difficulty falling asleep, you will know why I am excited about getting sleepy. Long live the jet lag! 🙂

17. I am grateful for being safe and sound.

18. I am grateful for my family; we may be a hard ball together but we sure love and care each other. I am extra grateful that they are fine, healthy, and safe, too.

19. I am grateful for being grateful and being excited to have written this post.

🙂

how do I feel as a person who just came back from vacation?

Hello friends!

After 5 weeks of being away, I am back!

I sure have had the most interesting vacation ever (vacation = going to my homeland to visit my family).

There were many nice things that I have experienced during my vacation; like seeing family members and friends.

Being away from my everyday routine and the often-times stressful work was an exceptional plus.

I swam at the sea, got lots of sunlight, ate the freshest fruits and veggies, shopped for nice stuff, and made important realizations and decisions for future that may make things better.

I am refreshed and energized, and as usual I have my resolutions in place to work on, such as to lose weight and to make a better, more social, and meaningful life out of my usual routine-based, work-focused, and one-person life (these two resolutions are recurring themes that I was not able to achieve yet… so wish me luck 🙂 ).

Yet, interesting does not necessarily mean that I have had a beautiful, happy, and joyful time during my vacation. On the contrary…

For example, at the beginning of the vacation, I have experienced emotions that sometime reached to a level very close to hate (which is very unusual for me….). Hate is a very bad feeling – I do not want to feel it. Like ever.

I made many trips to other cities and had to spend time with some annoying people, which made me physically drained and emotionally agitated.

I made mistakes and emotionally hurt some good people.

And, later through the end of my vacation, there were historical and very negative external events developing and making me realize that none of the ridiculously non-essential issues (that made me feel hate-like emotions or break good people’s hearts –  what was I thinking?????) in fact should matter in life or occupy my mind/heart….

I hope I am better than before because of these experiences.

Sometimes life feels like a cheap toy to me: it is awesome one minute and the next moment, it does not mind breaking in front of my eyes. It is as if it requires extreme care, intuition, relaxation, communication, consideration, intention, and luck all the time. That is tiring….

Thankfully, it is also miraculous, beautiful, and awesome the other times……

 

————————————————————————–

I hope all of you have had a great summer and great experiences, too.

I have not read all the posts posted while I was away by those bloggers I follow, but I know that some of you have had bad news recently and are keeping their positive attitudes towards life’s hurdles (Go Team Red Phoenix Go! ).

Sending positive vibes to all of you! 🙂 

thanking myself for my life style

Self-appreciation is something we do not even think about, but we all deserve big time.

I have many things to celebrate and appreciate about myself, work, character, life-experiences, and resilience. For this post, I will just focus on my life – style. Specifically, for its being simple and cost-effective.

here are the things I come up that makes me quite satisfied about my life-style:

1. Having no car: True that it may be restricting my mobility, but that does not apply to me. I have other means (walking, taking the bus, or flights) to go to places. I do not have to buy or lease one, I do not have to pay for the insurance, I do not have to apply for a parking permit to the city or pay for a parking spot at work, I do not need to look for and pay for parking space in the city, or I do not have to maintain or pay for repairs/replacements.

I am not arguing against having a car or two. Having a car is a necessity for many people, especially those who commute, or have kids to transport to schools or activities, or those who live away from their work places. I also know that it is a must for many where there is no public transport (like many cities I know in the USA).

My monthly transportation expenses, assuming that I take the bus or walk, are around $25.

Just by looking at that amount I now realize how easy it is for me to save…

2. Brewing my own coffee at the work days: I have been brewing my coffee at my office in the last 7 years. There were occasional buys from the cafeteria, but that is pretty much it. I am not sure how much I am saving by this habit, but considering I drink around 4 cups of (light) coffee per day, it must be quite so. A large can of coffee (~$10), 300 grms of coffee mate (~$3), and 200 grms of sugar (~$1) are enough to brew coffee for two weeks.

Can I guess how much I am saving compared to buying 2 cups of coffee/work day from Tims, for example? I think I can:

$3/per day x 5 work day = $15 per week. $60 per month. $120 per two months. Based on this calculation, I am saving around $50/month only from coffee…

3. Not eating out frequently: Since I started my budget last June, I limit it to maybe one or two times a month. Sounds pretty good to me. I used to eat out at least once or twice a week prior to that.

4. Having simple and low-cost pleasures:

   a) My weekends almost always include a morning coffee and bagels at a cafe. This is my signature pleasure – I must have them! 🙂 Honestly, I do not mind giving $6-10 per weekend to them.

   b) Over 90% of my books are second-hand books, purchased from second-hand book stores or the thrifty sores.

   c) I do not eat dessert or meat regularly, or buy food from convenience stores. The last one is mostly because there are 2 grocery stores within 10 min walking distance to my home – I am lucky.

   d) I live alone and I cook for only myself. And if you follow my blog, you know that I do not like to cook… For myself, I cook simple things and salads are my favorites in addition to soups. At the work days, I do not have breakfast and lunch is usually a canned fish or other snacks like trail mix. I am aware that this is not an healthy eating style. So please go ahead have your own delicious meals regularly as you need them, as you wish them. This is how it has been for me for decades and I guess that is what works for me.

   e) I am not interested in fashion and I often buy clothes and shoes when they are on sale. Holiday sales are my favorites. When I travel to other countries or cities, I shop there too, which are often much less expensive than where I am.

   f) Using internet for both entertainment and learning: I am very happy with my computer and internet connection. every evening and night, these give me a chance to read blogs and articles on the net, and watch TV series/movies. being content with these is something I must truly celebrate.

5. Exploring international stores and other small businesses: I can find many food, diverse food, at a reasonable cost in these stores. There is one close to my home where the spices, oriental sauces, pickles, canned beans, noodles, legumes, and olives are way cheaper than the stores. Many of these items I cannot even find in the big chain grocery stores. Plus, there is a pride and satisfaction coming out of supporting small business owners. Win-win situation in so many different ways.

6. Not hosting dinners at my home: Again, I am not arguing against this.. As a matter of fact, it is sad that I do not do that. Main reason is the fact that cooking for my lovely guests is an incredibly stressful event for me (only because I usually mess one or two dishes each time…). Maybe once a year or so, I will have my good friends over – but that is it. They understand and I am glad they do.

7. Not comparing myself with Jonases and giving up upon peer pressure: i do not do these. I do not need to have the latest computer or the TV, nor the cellular phone. I time to time get talks from friends about how I need to replace my old TV or replace my phone etc, but I do not give in. Give me a break. It is my life. I will replace my stuff when I need or want them. Not when the others suggest. I hope you do not have such toxic people in your life.

8. Vacations: I take one vacation per year and that is to visit my family. I do that every year and I am glad I do that and I am financially capable of doing that. My friends from other cities and countries invite me to their places, for which I am really happy and touched. If I had more vacation time or more funds at my disposal, I would love to do these visits – they are truly lovely and nice people. But I made a decision long time ago that my family had more priority over my friends. And I am glad I have done that, as now that my father passed away, I am glad I have seen him every year in the past decade or so, or before that whenever I could make it.

 

I am sure I have a longer list of experiences and choices to appreciate. Perhaps at another post.

I am sure you have many thing to appreciate about yourself. I would like to encourage you to find and appreciate those choices you have that enrich your life without breaking your bank account or psychology.

cheers 🙂

 

random thoughts

It was a bright day with a blue sky – kind of made me think about Spring. What a joy 🙂

I am enjoying my day; I got up not late, shopped and enjoyed it too, read a couple of finance books (more like scanned), and now watching TV and at the same time reading “A Clash of Kings”, the second book of GRRM’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. Yep; I am back to reading it and to my surprise it did not take me too long to remember where I was and who Yoren was. I am pleased with myself – nothing more annoying than feeling like you gotta re-read the entire book from the beginning on.

In the shopping mall, there were sales and I contemplated about buying some gifts for the holiday season. I do not buy or give a lot of gifts during the holidays; only for three people; two of them are my friends and my neighbours, who are good people and reliable neighbours. Eventually I decided it was too early and did not buy anything. Hope I will not regret this decision as I hardly like anything, I would like to give gifts that I like, and I had liked two items today. Anyways…

My back is better but still annoyed. I am keeping up with the exercises I was given to practice every day. They actually help me to feel better. My problem is that I do not like my physiotherapist that much….. She is nice but I wished she had explained me things better before she applies. With such negative feelings, I am not sure how well I am benefiting from my sessions. I guess I must have the benefit of doubt and trust that she knows what she is doing, and as such, eventually visiting her would benefit my back.

I am invited for a dinner tomorrow. I am happy to visit these people, but they made me kind of annoyed as they seem to have specific preferences for everything. And I mean everything. From the food to this to that. I am annoyed by their opinions on everything and honestly each time I struggle with the idea of what to bring to their home. This time I decided I can bake a frozen pie. This is a deviation from other occasions when I almost always brought some nice drinks or cook myself. Well, I am not going to do that anymore. Baking a frozen pie will not take much of a time and if they do not like it, I may as well eat it myself.

The people who are opinionated about many things or vocal about their preferences put me in such annoyed state. I myself have never made a negative comment about what my guests have brought to my place. Never. Not because I am extremely kind or something (so I refrain from making a negative comment). No, it is because it does not matter at all. All is welcome at my place and I appreciate the time and effort my guest put to bring them to our gathering. Whatever they may have chosen to do so.

Tomorrow, another friend of mine is also coming to the dinner and I love her more than any other friend of mine here. I have been to their places, once even with a pie that was hot, not solidified enough, and shaken in the cab and thus turned into a “soup”, yet all they have done was to laugh with me and my joke of “here I made you a soup” and eagerly eat it. I love such people who are easy and welcoming whatever the shape or the value or the brand or the type of whatever treat you bring to their home.

Now that I ranted a little bit and emptied the pressure in me, I may go and continue reading the book 🙂

Have a great Saturday night everyone 🙂

 

joy journal, Feb 12, 2016

1. I am grateful for sleeping well and getting up refreshed.

2. I am grateful for getting on time to catch the bus. I am  amazed that this has become a habit now. After taking the cab every single morning in the last 5 years, this responsible change is so welcome.

3. I am grateful for brewing my coffee in the office and enjoying it 🙂

4. I am grateful for meeting with my team for 3 hours (!) to review some important information. We had a break in between, which was a great idea.

5. I am grateful for the physiotherapy session in the afternoon. It was short and I am not sure whether it helps me really, but I will keep going. I was told that after next week, we hope to reduce it to once  a week and possibly after a couple of weeks, we could stop altogether. Sounds good.

6. I am grateful for my insurance covering a large portion of the physiotherapy fees.

7. I am grateful for walking to home after the physiotherapy. The walk was pleasant, although not remarkable. After my back problem, I have a much better appreciation of my ability to walk…

8. I am grateful for stopping by at a store and purchasing some food. There was a good deal on bulk (10 pounds) of breaded fish, which I purchased without thinking. It is tasty and unlike red meat, I am feeling a lot better eating this product. It is also very easy to cook (in the oven), which is a practical option for me.

9. I am grateful for stopping by at another store and finishing my grocery shopping for this week. I did not buy a lot of food this week, as I still have a lot left from last week. That also meant that I had the opportunity to buy a big bag of road salt. Now that we have ice on the road and in front of my house, this salt gives me a peace and mind.

10. I am grateful for not working or cleaning my home upon returning to home. I thought I would, but I only want to relax tonite. I am taking it easy and I love this 🙂

11. I am grateful for eating a large bowl of salad and fish for dinner; healthy and happy 🙂

12. I am grateful for finding a new sitting arrangement for myself. Ok; I really need a sturdy and well supporting chair to sit at home, which I am still looking for. I have been sitting on one of my dinning set chairs or the recliner. While the chair is better than the recliner in terms of protecting and supporting my back, I decided it was uncomfortable too. So I am sitting on the floor now. For now it is going well, but it is not going to be okay for ever. I gotta find a stable solution to this. One of my friends is buying me a back support to help sit on the chair. Let’s hope that will arrive and work just fine.

13. I am grateful for my stretching exercises that really help relieve some of the pain off my back.

14. I am grateful for today being Friday and the next 2 days being free. I plan to enjoy this weekend. Whether it is reading books, watching stuff, or just reflecting on life. Whatever I do , I am determined to enjoy it.

15. I am grateful for mt computer, internet connection, and my TV that make my life easy and enjoyable.

16. I am grateful for my home that keeps me warm and safe. There is a little storm going on outside; lots of snow and wind. I hope everyone out there has shelters in this weather.

17. I m grateful for being grateful and taking my time to write this journal.

 

 

joy journal, Jan 18, 2016

1. I am grateful for sleeping well and getting up refreshed and ready to take the day.

2. I am grateful for my coffee in the morning and at noon. It is delicious and is giving me the kick that I sometimes need to keep focus on work. I am also glad that I brew my own coffee at the office, as I please, as much as I like.

3.  I am grateful for the cheese snacks I have had at noon – better than no lunch.

4. I am grateful for taking my time in the morning to be happy about taking the bus this morning. yes, there was a lot of snow on the ground but I decided to take the bus. It was delayed 15 min this morning, but thankfully there was another lady who was waiting for it and we lightly chatted till it arrived.

5. I am grateful for liking to take the bus this morning – this feeling is important for me to keep taking the bus rather than the more expensive cab.

6. I am grateful for working on two important documents today, which are to my surprise progressing real fast. that is quite satisfactory and exciting as one of the documents I can submit this week and the other one was one of those delayed documents that I could not find energy to work on during fall. Good to see that this task now will be lifted off my shoulder 🙂

7. I am grateful for walking back to home from work, even though there was a heavy snow falling.

8. I am grateful for my back feeling better today, though walking in the afternoon made it ache more than usual. I have stretched my muscles a little bit upon coming to home and that felt really good.

9. I am grateful for having the entire evening to myself and enjoying it.

10. I am grateful for the possibility of a snow day tomorrow; they expect a heavy snow dumped tonite. So tomorrow morning I will check my emails first to see whether my work place is closed. if so, I will go to my favorite cafe and work there until I get bored of being there.

11. I am grateful for the nutritious soup and the almond milk I have had this evening.

12. I am grateful for my internet connection and computer that allows me to browse the internet and learn many interesting stuff. Just this evening, I learnt about the “grey scale” disease that GRRM created for the A Song of Ice and Fire series of books.

13. I am grateful for feeling alright, well, and relax today.

14. I am grateful for my black jacket that I love so much and which I have worn today. the color suits me well and I would like to get one or two black jackets after March when my shopping freeze for clothes ends.

15. I am grateful for communicating with an old friend of mine. She just had a baby girl and seeing the pictures made me happy 🙂

16. I am grateful for the peaceful atmosphere of my home and the night.

17. I am grateful for being frugal today and generally speaking doing really well with my frugal life and budget.

18. I am grateful for the light shoveling I have done in the afternoon – it is a good exercise though I should be careful and not hurt my back again.

19. I am grateful for my family and good friends, for their wellbeing, health, safety, and joy in life.

20. I am grateful for life, for having everything at my home working well for me, for my home being strong, resilient, safe, and warm.

21. I am grateful for being grateful and taking my time to remember these beautiful things/thoughts I have experienced today.

random thoughts

One of these days where I have some friction with my old friends over someone we know and differ in opinion.

The person of interest is a previous mentor of us; I have known her for decades and even though she was difficult, I have great respect for her and still keep in touch. This person now is retiring and this is where we got the friction: I welcomed the news and got excited for my previous mentor and decided to do something in her recognition, to be revealed during her retirement party in the coming weeks. My friend, whom I love dearly, seemed to disagree with me and another friend of mine, who feels the same way as I am, fell in between our conversation full of disagreement. We had disagreements, but eventually, everybody respects everybody’s opinion.

My other friend and I are contacting our other friends to see whether they would like to be a part of this celebration. I am assuming we will not be gathering a lot of people, but that is okay. I somehow understand my friends as our mentor was not a pleasant person (they say people never forget how others make them feel), but I and some other friends also recognize her tremendous influence, support, and efforts on our developments. So we feel that this mentor deserves a great celebration and our acknowledgements.

I increasingly think that officially and sincerely acknowledging people’s good deeds, contributions, great works, and help is very important. It is a great pleasure to be writing/saying these nice words to the others and I am sure those who get acknowledgement are feeling great about it, too. I also think that it brings a highly positive notch to the relationships and overall make everyone feels really good; small stuff are forgotten and the big picture emerge. Great.

On the personal side; No person is perfect and some people are not pleasant. But, I would rather choose an unpleasant mentor who cares about me and contributes to my development, rather than a mentor who is an ineffective mentor but highly pleasant person. Of course, it would be great if our mentors were both pleasant and effective. But I know this does not happen all the time. And that is okay.

So, if you think you have people to recognize, thank, acknowledge for their help, support, kindness, goodness, contributions to your education/training/well being, professional success, or development as a person, take this holiday season to send/say them an acknowledgement note. Tell them what exactly you liked about them and how appreciative you are.

If you wish of course.

let’s heal and seal 🙂

 

what was important

I know I am having an internal dialogue about the things I am not happy with (mostly my bad habits and not being able to work lately due to the trips) and the boring daily routine that I have had.

All the activities and their sequences in my life are predictable; the way I get up, brush my teeth, the way I put on my socks, leaving home after that. Brewing coffee right away as soon as I arrive the office, checking the emails, attending to the meetings, coming home (usually by walking), changing my clothes, cooking or preparing something to eat, then the relaxations by browsing on the net and blogging.

I am a person of habit, having a system that keeps things in track. It is not always bad as it also makes my life efficient. It is just boring. very boring.

I know I am not the only one living like this or saying this. So I do not feel like having a unique situation. But I really would like this to change. I would like to be more spontaneous and less structured. I also would like to work better and more.

I have an interesting relationship with my work; I feel a lot better when I work. I feel a lot better when things are completed. I feel a lot better when I can take care of the projects and work.

In the last month, I was not able to do so mostly due to the trips I have taken. I must confess I also liked being away from the work and visit new places and being in the moment. Being away from the office also meant stress as I had to work harder to complete things prior to the trips. But it is time that I go back to my work as before. I should not be hard on myself as I also have worked and accomplished quite a bit lately; my widely praised presentation that got positive feedback from many is a good example. I just need to finish the other stuff. Stuff that has been on my list for months. Time to get them done! 🙂

Timing is also great as the holidays season is coming. I usually take 10-12 days off during this time. That means I can really kick it until then so that I can enjoy both the satisfactory feeling of already taken care of my work and the time off from it.

So I am going to just do that. One thing I need to stop doing is working at home. It is lovely and the majority of the time effective, but it also makes me too relax. I guess I will commit to being in the office and working there from now on. I will work at home only when being in the office is unbearable (which does not happen too much).

I will also come up with plans to enrich my weekend life; whether this will be going and checking out stores, shopping malls, or bookstores, I gotta do this. I know I am on shopping ban for many items and I have a budget, but I will have to trade money with enriching my life with other activities and experiences.

This morning, I thought “what is important in my life?”. Here is the list:

  1. my mental and physical health: eating better and exercising, losing weight a long the way (hopefully), having a content and less boring life, getting rid of unhealthy habits, taking care of myself better and improved personal care.
  2. family and friends: their well being and support are important to me.
  3. work: I love it and I want to be more successful. It also helps me with how I feel about myself, my support to family and friends, and my financial health. that is why it is important. But it should not mean that for the work, I should forget what if more important (number 1 and 2 above)
  4. financial health: as much as I can do; not more important than myself or my family’s well being at this point. Fully dependent on my work and my performance.

I now will go away and contemplate on how I can do better in these aspects of my life.

have a great sunday everyone 🙂

friendship

I just read somewhere about cherishing our friends; it said when they are loyal, they are priceless. Or something like that. There was also a picture of two young women hugging each other with large smiles on their faces 🙂

I have had such friends and I am very lucky to have them.

When I started thinking about my friends, I could not remember what made them being in my live for so long, with so many memories. Was it their kindness? Loveliness? Respect? Sincerity? Support in bad times? Being happy for me when great things happened? Being excited for me, with me? Spending time with our families? The care we show each other? The extra steps we have taken for each other?

What drives these behaviour? Why some people care about us and become great friends and then many others cannot?

See, I cannot put my finger on what makes friends friends. What distinguish them from thousands of other people I have met in my life….

I made the majority of my friends before the age of 30. We studied together, we laughed and cried together. We trust each other. We love each other. I would not change them to the world. The only good friend I have made after the age of 30 is a great person, a colleague of mine who is smart, humane, kind, funny, and dependable. I wonder whether I will make another one in my future – possibly not.

I love my friends. Perhaps I will never know the reasons that led them and me keep being friends, love and care about each other for so many years, but I know that I am grateful for them for ever.

Next time I see them, I will give them an extra hug.

middle age awakening

As a middle aged person (mid 40’s now) and familiar with life and death, and change in the body and age, I have started to have different feelings, different thoughts for some time now.

Death is a subject that I, like many people, would like to ignore. I am lucky in the sense that none of my family members and dear friends have yet passed away. But I am at an age that makes me realize that this may change soon, starting maybe with my parents. Not that this means that young people in my family or friends cannot die; they may. It is just that the increasing age makes it more likely. And all is scary…

I do not think I will ever come to terms with death or understand it fully for that matter. But I am glad I at least started to realize how real it is.

A couple of days ago, I thought about my own death as well; it scared me as it felt lonely. This thought, the thought of my own death, was something new to me. I did not want to die. This somehow helped me to notice my love for life.

I decided to do and prioritize things differently to have a life that I will love and has no or little regrets.

Regrets are hard and like anyone else I too have regrets; I wished I was happier for example. I wish I had handled things better and made my well being a priority. I wish I had spent more time with my family and I did not love my job that much. My job probably has a bigger role in my life than others, as I not only earn a living with it, but also changed the countries and cities I have lived in,  hardly got settled in anywhere, and with it and because of it I have got to get many difficult life and work experiences.

Eventually, I am grateful for what I have become and for my life as a whole. But it is time to re-think, re-assess, and re-decide what is important, what is not. What deserves my time and energy? How do I find more meaning in it? How do I help others better? How do I stop beating myself and relax? How do I take better care of myself? What are my needs that I neglected? What can I dump along the way to release myself from stress, sadness, and hopelessness? What excites me and how do I get them?

I feel like I will revisit this topic time to time. I am not interested in having a bucket list of 50 things to do before 50, but hey, maybe I should. Maybe they will help me discover my needs and wishes. This is gonna be challenging as I am someone who does not have long term plans, but maybe that also should change.

Now that is what I call the middle age awakening, rather than a middle age crisis 🙂

joy journal – Oct 24, 2015

1. I am grateful for the following; I am tired after a long and daunting trip and I feel like I will leave quite a bit of stuff in my work and in my life and move towards a new, better structured, and meaningful life. I am excited about this, as sometime in the stress and problems lie the solution for a better future. I am hoping this is what is happening. I should be cautious as I do not want to make a mistake and leave something just because I am feeling tired (mentally) and frustrated. From my past experience, I have had many knee-jerk reactions, some of which I later regretted. This time, I will think calmly, estimate cons and pros, and decide about the best by taking my time.

2. I am grateful for sleeping well yesterday night prior to the early morning flight which I need to catch up.

3. I am grateful for the coffee, bagels, yogurt, cheese, and bread I have had today; they nourished my body and gave me the energy I needed.

4. I am grateful for my health and well being.

5. I am grateful for being resourceful and being familiar with minimalism prior to my trip, when my airline lost my luggage and left me with a set of clothes. I kept generally positive and look for ways to minimize the impact on myself and my business meeting. I saw it as an “adventure”. It was not the end of the world. It was not that bad. Until I talked to my airline and learning that they were sending the luggage back to my hotel the next day when I was scheduled to return back. I wonder; the airlines have no plan, no system in place to ensure the best for their customers? I plan to put these in writing together with my reimbursement form. Hope they will benefit from the feedback and if we are any lucky, then maybe they will do some adjustments for future customers.

6. I am grateful for my backpack and having some extra items in it prior to my trip. It literally helped me go thru the first 2 days. I made a mental note to have an extra trouser and a t-shirt whenever i go for a meeting, together with my personal stuff in case I get to experience a luggage lost again.

7. I am grateful for the trip starting tomorrow. It is a long trip, but I hope to enjoy my stay. I also get to meet with an old friend of mine who I love. It is gonna be awesome 🙂

8. I am grateful for doing the laundry and nothing else today. I am relaxing and mending.

9. I am grateful for not eating too much or unhealthy today.

10. I am grateful for thinking about my job and my job relationship. I think I am going thru a “middle age awakening: (not crisis). I am evaluating my past choices, my current life and work, and listening to my feelings; what are my priorities now? What would make my life more meaningful, happy, and exciting? What would make my life better? What are the things that I am missing in life? how can I get more meaning, peace, happiness, and satisfaction in my life? What should be the new directions in my life? Am I happy where I am? Where can I? What are my needs? What are my dreams?…

11. I am grateful for coming to home and coming to my senses about my healthy life style plans. I have not done well during the trip, but i have seen how good choices I have made the first day. This is a good reminder to keep going.

12. I am grateful for my family and good friends. Their love, humour, support and sincerity makes my life a lot easier and lovelier.

13. I am grateful for the relaxing music I am listening to now. It reminds me my need to stretch and being mindful. See what is important; what is not..

14. I am grateful for my blogging experience; I have missed reading, writing, and interacting with my fellow bloggers. I have been thinking the other day; no matter how depressing or problematic is a time-period in my life, I always have, find, and do things that I like and cherish. This experience is one of them.

15. I am grateful for being grateful. Honestly I started this post to feel better (which I do not…), as writing my journal always cheered me up in the past. I will accept this as what it is; I will accept my feelings as they are. Tomorrow will be another day 🙂

16. I am grateful for having hope 🙂

random thoughts

I spent the evening with a couple of friends; can not think about a better activity to wind down after this long and busy week 🙂

I still have a lot to do, but the weekend is mine. I decided I can maybe work around 1 hr tomorrow and sunday, but no more than that. Putting limits to things that make me tired or stressed helps me to handle them better psychologically.

What are my plans for the weekend (remember that I love to plan?) 🙂

As usual, going to the cafe to enjoy my morning and coffee; cleaning the house, shopping for the stain to finish staining my deck, cooking meals for myself (some nice meals I will try this time like meat-loaf; not just simple stuff), getting together with my friends, and just taking it easy.

If I can find time, I also would like to try baking some home-made granola bars 🙂

sounds like a relaxing weekend to me – wishing you the same 🙂

random thoughts

I feel like writing about small indulges that make me feel pampered 🙂

Considering that the only expenses bigger than $1,000 were my washer and dryer (excluding my flights to visit my family and my house), I guess I am doing good pampering myself while also looking after my funds.

So here is a list that I can come up with now:

1. Having breakfast: I love having breakfast at the weekends! there is something nourishing about it and the fact that I get to have it on the weekends only, it is my way of start celebrating the weekend. Breakfast does not need to be too expensive (though it  depends on your preferences. Nevertheless, breakfast and lunch are often times much cheaper than dinners).

2. A good book that captivates my interest. There is nothing like a great book that makes your day enjoyable, time frozen, and mind and heart filled with new knowledge, emotions, and empathy. 90% of my books are purchased from second hand bookstores or charity. The only book I have had pricey was a project management book I needed to study as part of a certificate program (time to sell it now). Borrowing books from libraries, of course, does not cost a dime – give it a try.

3. Chicken noodle soup: is there any other food that nourishes the body while also relaxes the mind? What is the cost of this? $3?

4. Taking photos: that is a really fun activity. Other than the cost of the camera and print outs, the cost of all the memories and lovely pictures recorded is basically $0. Plus, can we really put a price on recording memories?

5. A good cup of coffee every once a while. I love caramel or maple syrup added coffee every once a while. There is a cafe that do these in a shopping mall I go time to time. A great way to award myself.

6. Food: food is always a tricky material for indulges. I happen to reward myself a lot by food, especially pastries and bread (though I am trying to limit them lately). My new year eve meal is almost always some pastry I make at home with beef and pastry sheets. Even though I love this meal, I am glad that I do not bake it more than twice a year.

7. Movies: Although I have not done this in years, seeing a movie at a theater is a lovely experience.

8. Tea, apple cider, and hot chocolate: whether black, green, or herbal, tea has a calming effect. On cold winter days, in addition to tea, hot chocolate and apple cider are my favorite beverages.

9. Leisure walking: Although I do not do this as often as I wish to; when I do, I enjoy it very much. Especially those that occur spontaneously where I do not before hand plan for the route, take my time to enjoy and examine the scenery (even looking at different houses and their characteristics can be an interesting activity).

10. Going through the stores at the airport: One of my favorite activities! I love looking at the merchandise and the variety of items. This is particularly nice when the airport is in a different country. As you can guess, the books sold are the ones that get my most attention. but hey, they are great 🙂

11. Browsing the stores: I have a negligible habit of impulse buying thus I am not afraid of going thru an entire store, examining and exploring the items. It is one of the meditative experiences for me when I truly focus and thus get a mental break from daily thoughts and tiredness. Thanks to this activity, I have discovered many different food (e.g. savory I am so fond of) that were not a part of my regular diet.

12. Taking a road trip: I love it when we drive on a car together with friends or family. Have you noticed that the conversations are different, lovelier during road trips? Especially when we all are going to places that we have not explored before. Whenever I have a chance to suggest an activity, i suggest a road trip 🙂

13. Music: Music is… awesome! I listen to it while at home and office. The free music channels and youtube makes it basically free. Could not be happier 🙂

14. Writing my blog and reading other blogs: Very amusing, relaxing, informative, and affordable activity. Okay I need a computer and an internet connection to do so, but these two help with so many activities (listening to music, watching videos, doing research, learning, booking flights and hotels, etc.) that their cost comes really low. Plus writing helped me to learn a lot about myself – how about that as a great benefit?

15. Planning, planning, planning: I have a thing for planning for goals I would like to tackle. Coming up with a question and then designing a step-by-step strategy to reach the goal is always exciting for me. Yep I do mess up with executing the plans sometime (my recent healthy life-style plan that I blew is a good example), but eventually all go well.

16. Sleeping in: every once a while there comes a weekend morning that makes me sleep till noon. This does not happen to much, but I believe it happens when my body needs it. Often times, it is relaxing.

17. Sleeping late: there is something peaceful about late-nights, some kind of freedom… Friday and Saturday nights are my freedom nights when I can stay up till late, reading, writing, or watching TV. Serenity..

18. Spending time in my yard: I have a small yard with a couple of trees; lilacs are particularly my favorites. Seeing them in summer is a beautiful feeling. The same thing with just being in the yard and listening to the sound of trees – the soothing whoosh their leaves make with wind…..

19. Scents: I love my perfume but due to scent-free policy of my workplace, I only wear it at the weekends. Its scent is so lovable I am glad they produced it! The same thing with candles and soaps. I have a soap that leaves a nice scent after each hand-wash. I would not change it at all. When comes to candles, I did not buy lately but I make sure to check them at the stores. One of my favorite one has honey-cinnamon scent.

20. Wearing my best shoes: I am a person of habit, so I keep wear the same things weeks after weeks. Yet, every once a while wearing a different outfit or my favorite shoes makes a difference in my mood 🙂

21. Grocery shopping: I love grocery shopping. Finding fresh produce is a rare and often cheerful activity for me (where I live, fresh produces are hard to find).

22. Shopping after the holidays: this is the season for shopping!. The sales right after the Christmas are unprecedented. Boy, do I stock up? 🙂

23. Thrifty store visits: Even though I often end up not buying as much as I plan to, I love browsing through the shelves in thrifty stores, especially the kitchen items and the books. A good book I certainly will buy. The kitchen items are mostly an interest; to see all the old stuff… I have a thing for old things. They are different and very interesting for me.

24. Ethnic stores: There are so many different things in these stores that I make regular trip to one close to my house. It is a little food store where I can find the most interesting spices, hot sauces, and dried food. Plus, that store is incredibly cheap. I wonder why that is.

25. Soft facial towels: These are priceless; there is nothing nicer at the end of a busy day to come home, wash my hands and face, and feel the soft towel on my skin. I would highly recommend you to get a thick, slushy towels that is a delight to use.

26. Creams and moisturizers: my hands require hand cream throughout the day. In winter, it is almost essential to moisturize the rest of the body. I am grateful for these creams and lotions that not only nourish my body but also smell good 🙂

27. Time spent with family and friends: Do I have to talk about it? It is the favorite activity of many people. Are we not lucky?

I hope your list of things that make you feel pampered is longer than this.

Go pamper yourself in this beautiful Saturday! 🙂

joy journal – August 15, 2015

I have not written my joy journal for quite sometime (due to vacation). I missed expressing gratitude and the good feeling coming out of it so much.

1. I have many things to be grateful about the time I spent with my family – there is no short way to express all of them here. I cherish every memory and every smile, hug, and kind word. I am grateful that my family members are well and sound; loving and supporting; and genuinely interested in my well-being. Thank you all of you for being there for me.

2. I am grateful for my job. I have gotta give its credit; it gives me a sense of purpose, excites, and provides me with livelihood (despite the challenges and occasional crises that I face). Thanks to my job, I get to see around the world, live in different cities, meet with people with diverse backgrounds, and get insurance. Insurances are important too – providing a sense of security if something out of ordinary occurs in life.

3. I am grateful for my house. It is in a quite neighborhood that is close to downtown as well as my work place. It is true that the prospect of the serious repairs (e.g. the foundation problem I probably have) has been giving me the chills and depressed me beyond my imagination; that I cannot develop trust to the previous owners/renovators, which prevents from feeling peaceful in it; and that I constantly find myself checking for potential issues and thus further create anxiety in myself. But then what can I do? I did not know there may be problem in my house. I did not know when I purchased my home that houses can be fragile and they require constant maintenance. I did not know that it would take me a long time to accept these and then finally find peace in this acceptance. I have not still fully accepted these and thus am emotionally suffering deeply, but I know eventually one day I will give up the resistance and glide into acceptance gracefully. I thank my house-troubles for this; reminding me that it is a process and I am going thru it.

4. I am grateful for my retirement plans, however small they may be. It is true that I could have saved and invested more for my retirement and in the past I have had very obvious expenses that I could have avoided. Yet past is past and I can only look at the present and the future. I have been giving serious thoughts about budgeting lately (mostly motivated by the expenses related to the repairs at home) and have progressed quite satisfactorily. I have a healthy and abundant budget that will take care of my fixed as well as variable but essential expenses that I have been implementing in the last 2-3 months. I know I can do better once I feel comfortable with it. It is awesome to feel this hope and confidence. It is awesome to know that I am making a difference in my financial situation, however small it may be.

5. I am grateful for summer; where I am usually is cool in summers (15-25 C). But since I came back from vacation, it has been hot, sunny, and lovely. A perfect summer 🙂

6. I am grateful for the document I have to finish till monday evening. I have made quite a progress with it yesterday and today. Seeing that I can work effectively under mild stress by taking it lightly (the benefit of having a wonderful vacation prior to it) is one thing, but more importantly the fact that I had to do it in such a short time is what helped me to adapt to work so soon and to stop feeling the emotions associated with leaving my family.

7. I am grateful for my blog. Writing is therapeutic, reading other posts and interacting with fellow bloggers are fun, interesting, and informative. It certainly helps me feel better.

8. I am grateful for the breakfast I have had this morning together with a friend/colleague of mine. I had my usual bagels and coffee after 6 weeks of vacation and a wonderful conversation with my friend, which felt great 🙂

9. I am grateful for walking to and from the coffee shop and sweating a long the way.

10. I am grateful for my new little fryer that makes fried eggs so tasty, so different 🙂

11. I am grateful for doing the laundry and aerating my home today. No I am not cleaning my place this week. My friend who house-sat while I am away already took care of this. I am feeling blessed.

12. I am grateful for being keen about starting a huge decluttering at home. Yep! I have been meaning to do it for quite sometime. I will start easy with bathrooms (which are easier to declutter) and slowly move to the other parts of the house. I will open every single box, purse, bag, and drawer. I will sort things out generously, collect the usable items for donation, and dump the rest. I really need this – I feel like I am carrying a huge and unnecessary weight on my shoulders. This feeling gotta go. I am also excited for the possibility that I will find out many stuff that I had forgotten I have had but are useful or valuable. cannot wait to rediscover my stuff 🙂

13. I am grateful for my couch that provides me with a comfortable place to sit on and write this journal.

14. I am grateful for my laptop, internet connection, cable, TV, phone and all others that help me have a comfortable and engaging life at home.

15. I am grateful for all the stuff I have brought from my vacation. Many of them are the gifts that are given to me by my family members, which I love and cherish. Seeing them around make me feel extra grateful and happy.

16. I am grateful for the music I am listening to right now. It is relaxing and something I have not had heard before and thus is interesting.

17. I am grateful for today being Saturday. I can enjoy it as I please without going to the office.

18. I am grateful for my joy journal and my continuous wish to write in it.

19. I am grateful for life.

20. I am grateful for being grateful.

post-vacation blues

Hello everyone,

Just came back from my vacation of 5 week. I had incredibly beautiful and at the same time an emotional time with my family and friends. It is always sad to leave the people I love most behind and come back to work and my life here… I suspect I will write many posts over the coming days about the feelings and realizations I have had while on vacation, and more importantly after I came back.

I love my family more than anything else. Each time I come back I think about leaving my job and life here to join them. It is a possibility yet the conditions are not perfectly fine (mostly financial). And that is why I keep doing this – living away from them and visiting them once or twice a year. Yet, I question a lot whether that is the best. Will I be able to see them again? Will I regret the times spent away from them? Is it worth having my daily life here while I emotionally dessert myself so much?

I cannot know.

On the positive side, my friend who house-sat while I was away is still at my home and keeping me company. I owe her a lot – she not only gave me a piece of mind but also distracts me from my post-vacation blues. She even prepared a nice welcome back dinner yesterday; is that not awesome?  🙂

It is great to have people around who care, love, cherish, and support. If you are one of those lucky people, please take a moment to appreciate them.  I sincerely hope you have many of them in your life 🙂

friends, trips, and unexpected expenses of airlines

Something wonderful happened today; my friend who is staying at my place did a great gesture and prepared me a lunch box full of apples and sandwiches – she said considering my recent plans to consciously spend, that would seem about right…. How generous, how considerate of her… Do we not love our friends? 🙂

This lifted my mood right away prior to my trip, as I just realized I need to pay a considerably amount of money for the 2nd luggage. Sigh… The ticket was expensive enough even though I bought it months ago. And now the extra luggage fee? Why do airlines do this? I admit I had not checked the airline, but had rather focused on the date and the timing of the flight. Lessons learnt; I am not flying with them again. Another lesson; if I buy the ticket earlier than usual, then my chances of finding a cheaper flight by a better airline increases.

I am thinking about how to keep up with my budget during my trip. I happen to like to buy books and small gifts for family members, drink coffee and have food at the airports. I used to enjoy all of these 🙂 This time, I will try to make my budget a priority, without limiting myself too much; I still will have my coffee, but I am bringing food with myself this time, and I will not buy books at the airport (rather packed two of them from home), but will buy gifts for my nephew and brother at one of the airports.

I cannot wait to start this trip and see my family in the coming days. I also love the fact that this vacation breaks the work, life-style, and thought routine for me. A nice change that I will not only enjoy but will also use as an opportunity to reflect on my priorities: What is it that I would like to do with my life? How am I doing re; the changes I have been trying to do in my life (budgeting, weight loss, healthier eating etc.)? What else can I do to make my life better?

I hope I will figure out these soon 🙂

Cheers everyone.

minimalist; sometime by choice sometime by necessity

The person who is going to home-sit my house while I am away has moved in today. That is a huge peace of mind. My friend told me she likes my house, which is very nice to hear. She also said that the yard looked a lot better this time 🙂 All the cleaning and trimming I have done since last month seem to have worked 🙂

Going back to my home, I have minimal furniture, which makes my home feel spacious. When I first bought my home, I had plans to furnish it really well; I had planned to replace the two beds in the bedrooms with the new ones, together with side tables, night lamps, and dressers. I had planned to have carpets/rugs in the hall, the living room, and the rooms. I had planned to buy new book cases that would fill with my ever-increasing number of books. And the art-work would be everywhere, making the bathrooms, bedrooms, halls, and the living room all pretty and nice.

But soon after I bought the house, I realized I could not do all of these. Home-ownership is really expensive, especially with old houses like mine that keep requiring repairs, sometime even significant ones such as foundation problems. So I had decided to freeze such expenses for an indefinite time, until I secure my home first. This has been 1.5 years ago and I am still counting.

I have been having second thoughts lately and when my friend said nice things about my home, I thought “I can make my home really pretty”. Even though I cannot buy the furniture now, I really would like to beautify my place with art-work for the bathrooms, living room, and the bedrooms. Different kinds of paintings, photos, or other wall ornaments. I am really craving to see them, to make my home feel pretty and colorful.

I am on a serious budget and am saving. I know I am doing much better than before and even so, I can still cut some of my expenses for a month or so to finance the art-work. I am excited by this idea 🙂 My plan is to save the money first (let’s say $100) by means of spending freezes (on books and dining out for a month). Then I can go shop as I please for beautiful art-work for my place. I believe that is going to be fun and largely satisfying 🙂

See, friends and budgeting are great in many ways; one of them supports us all the time and gives us wonderful ideas and motivations, and the other one allows us to make plans for ourselves and make (material) things happen :).

Stay on track with both, everyone 🙂

late-night random thoughts

First of all, late nights are awesome! They are silent, peaceful, and I feel like I have the entire world to myself.

Nowadays I have been going to the bed late. Tonite is one of them. I am not worried about not getting up on time. I am not sure whether it is true that as we age, we need less sleep? I always thought it was because of reduced amount of exercise maybe? Considering my almost the same level of exercise over the days or months, i do not think lack of exercise has anything to do with my reduced need of sleep. There must be another reason.

This morning, I woke up right on time to catch the bus, but rather took the cab. Why?

I do not have good mood in the mornings. This morning I woke up particularly pissed. I remembered (and why did I do that?) that one of my “good” friends had joked and almost insulted me about a treat basket I sent her all they way from Canada to USA when she got married. That was maybe 8 years ago. That is what she said about the chocolate in the basket;  “You know how much I love chocolate; I even ate that chocolate”.

Well, I  am not sorry that I did not send you the finest chocolate ever. I was almost penniless at that time and it cost me more than 2 weeks of allowance. 2 weeks.. yet, I sent it to you to celebrate your beautiful day.

No more gifts for you my friend – until you start appreciating people’s efforts and good wishes for you. Or at least until you zip it.

And this thought does not make me feel good, either; I prefer to have good wishes, good thoughts, gratefulness….

I am pissed at my friend once more.

I am surprised how mean and inconsiderate people can be and how we can keep them in our lives. In my case, my friend turned out to be a solid one, but she certainly is not shy to insult me as she pleases.

Again, I am pissed..

Deep breath.. All is well.. Right now I have everything and everyone I need and want. Right now I am at peace….

When I get up in the morning, I will be grateful for being alive, for welcoming another beautiful day full of life-experiences and opportunities, and hopefully will do or think something to make myself feel good.

Goodnight everyone 🙂

joy journal – June 11, 2105

1. I am grateful for feeling better today.

2. I am grateful for the summer weather – for two days straight we have had incredibly warm (not hot) weather with blue sky. Its positive effect on me is incredible.

3. I am grateful for taking the bus this morning. I needed to wait 10 min at home, which I have. I must admit though the first thought passed my mind was “I can take the cab this morning”. It somehow went away after I managed to keep myself busy for 4 minutes at home.  When I got off the bus, I thanked for the opportunity to walk even for a short distance to my building.

4. I am grateful for eating two apples today. Healthy and tasty.

5. I am grateful for meeting with someone in our organization who provided me with excellent assistance on some project-related questions.

6. I am grateful for walking to and from the meeting (total around 25 minutes).

7. I am grateful for attending a seminar by a wonderful speaker; I enjoyed meeting with her, listening to her informative and energetic presentation.

8. I am grateful for walking to the appointment with the lawyer this afternoon. His office is 5 minutes away from my house and I could easily find it. I did mental-wrestling about taking the cab or walking. Eventually walking won 🙂

9. I am grateful for working at home after my appointment – I worked on an important document, which went really well in a short time. I am pleased.

10. I am grateful for meeting with my friends and having a dinner at a nearby restaurant. We were 5 people, all nice and cheerful people. The meal was great and so was the coffee 🙂

11. I am grateful for not over-eating today.

12. I am grateful for my conscious spending plans – lately they started to make a visible difference in my finances. I am highly motivated to keep going and save a lot more.

13. I am grateful for having a relaxing night – it is peaceful.

14. I am grateful for my plans to work tomorrow and possibly Saturday.

15. I am grateful for the coming weekend. I would like to read books, many of them if I can 🙂

16. I am grateful for keeping up with the challenges I assigned to myself: today I walked in the morning and then in the afternoon; took the bus not the cab; ate relatively healthy; did not make a purchase; enjoyed the view from my office; smiled more and had great time with friends; combed my hair in the morning, and determined to lift my mood, finances, and healthy life-style up.

17. I am grateful for being grateful.

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.

joy journal – May 14, 2015

1. I am grateful that my mood is up today. Partly because I did hardly have any time slot empty today. I can say maybe up to 8 formal and informal meetings I have had and all went all right. I love being busy but also relax; it was one of these days.

2. I am grateful that I noticed one of the reasons I feel stressed or lazy, especially in the mornings, is that I get up with many thoughts in my mind. I think if I focus on something rather than what I have to take care of during the day or in future, my chances of feeling better is more likely. They say being in the moment helps with this kind of stuff; would like to find a way to divert my mind to more positive things. May not be easy, but I will try 🙂

3. I am grateful that I made a conscious choice of not eating the cake at the social this afternoon, but rather had vegetables. I am seriously proud of myself. I had a chance to eat a variety of veggies and did not let my body get irritated by sugar.

4. I am grateful for one of my good friends/colleagues giving me a ride this afternoon. She is a sweetheart and I am lucky to have her as a friend. It makes a huge difference to have good, kind, wise, and nice people in my life. I am extra grateful that in the car there was another colleague of mine, whose name I had known but never had a chance to meet with. Considering that she had actually resolved one of my work-related issues today (I got a letter from her just today), I was so excited to meet with her. Amazing!

5. I am grateful that weather is nice today; not necessarily warm but really nice and bright. They say it will raise up to 16 C tomorrow. Cannot wait:)

6. I am grateful for having a phone interview in the morning with an applicant for my team. The applicant is not necessarily the best one suitable for my projects, yet there are some nice qualities about him that I may be interested in recruiting him. The phone conversation left a good impression on me. Better than what is written on the paper.

7. I am grateful for shopping in the afternoon. I found fresh mint, which excites me very much. Where I am, it usually is not a common herb, but I love it! I could not be happier 🙂

8. I am grateful for having a large green salad where I liberally used fresh mint. It was amazing! I should go back tomorrow and buy more. I would like to grow mint myself – I tried it before but now more than ever I am determined to find a way to do so.

9. I am grateful that I have had a protein-based meal for dinner and I am very pleased with the recent eating pattern. I bought bread today but I am keen of eating it less and veggies more. I will see how it goes.

10. I am grateful for my shoes, clothes, furniture, stationary items, my computer/cable/internet connection/TV that makes my life easy and comfortable. I am extra grateful for my house, however problematic it may be, for sheltering me from bad weather and the rest.

11. I am grateful for weighing a little bit less today compared to last couple of days. I know my body does not like simple carbs, especially bread, in excessive amounts. I am keen to keep my body happy and continue to lose water or fat, whatever it is that I am losing and have a healthy blood chemistry (i.e. normal level of glucose).

12. I am very grateful that I kept up with some of the challenges I listed a couple of days ago.  Specifically, I could get up right on time (8.15 am), waited and took the bus rather than the cab, drank a cup of tea at the office, not only looked out of my own office window but two other places to enjoy the scenery during the day, ate better and healthier, did not make unconscious expenses, shopped lightly and bought fresh produce, and smiled once or twice during the day (that made me smile now 🙂 ).

13. I am grateful for being grateful today.

cheers

joy journal – March 27, 2015

I think the main reason I want to keep writing to my joy journal is because I am depressed and need to feel good. So; let’s do this one more time:

1. I am grateful that I woke up a little bit earlier this morning. I did not want to; I have such a low energy overall, but especially in the mornings. Usually, lots of things look difficult to me in the morning and thus I prefer the comfort of the office (i.e. go to office right away). This morning though, I had to go to the City. So despite my usual reluctance, I did go there… Come to think about it, I think what helped with that was I needed to shovel the front of the house a little bit… The city trucks cleaned the snow on the streets yesterday night and of course dumped quite a bit of snow to the front of my house. I had to shovel it to open a walking passage. I wonder whether this extra activity in the morning actually helped me to “wake up” a little bit?

2. I am grateful for realizing that my lack of energy in the morning (or overall during the day) may be because I do not move my body and as such my body remains in a relatively lethargic state whole day??? If that is the situation, there is solution to my low energy levels (see also the point 3 below)! I am kind of excited about this…

3. I am grateful for having a conversation with one of my good friends this afternoon. I had mentioned her about my energy levels. She said ” lack of activity/exercise is making us slow and lethargic (at work) and being slow at work means we need to spend more time at work, which in turn limits our chances of exercise – what a cycle..”. How wise is she? Very 🙂

4. I am grateful that the cab driver this morning was one of the regulars, who is kind, positive, and super professional. As soon as I left the cab, I was ready to take the day. Good humans make a huge positive difference.

5.  I am grateful that the people at the City were incredibly kind, nice, and helpful. They have helped me get good advise about what to do with my wall. One of my walls is cracked; it is a straight crack on both sides of the wall. The inspector I talked to was a nice, kind, and highly informative person, who told me that that was somehow normal, the house was moving, and unless I can see through the crack or it starts leaking water, I should not worry. However, she said if I am nervous about it, then I should see a structural engineer. I will certainly do that, first thing on Monday morning! I could not solve the problem, but I have taken time and energy to start working on it – I am proud of myself 🙂

6. I am grateful that instead of omitting that wall-crack, I got worried and took steps to understand it and to get it fixed. It did not feel good; feeling worry never is. yet, thanks to these feelings, I took action to get fix it. Thus, until this moment, I was negatively reacting to the feelings, but this turn of perspective is very welcome 🙂

7. I am grateful that the City was just 50 meters away from the company that files my taxes each year. I have been meaning to get my tax stuff done for sometime; yet it is such a busy time of my work that I was sceptical that I would ever spare time to go there anytime soon. I had all the documents with me for some time, so I took that chance, went there, and a very nice lady filled my tax for last year! It is a relief, the lady was so nice and friendly, and I was able to get my tax refund cheque immediately.

8. I am grateful that my bank is also in that area. I deposited my tax refund, purchased some coins that help me with my daily life, and then went to a nearby cafe to get breakfast. The day was bright and warm, people were nice and helpful, I had taken steps to resolve or took care of two important tasks for my life (e.g. the wall-crack issue and filing the tax), and I was enjoying my breakfast and moment. I thought quite a bit about not to go to the office today, but then felt the pressure of things that I have to take care. I went to office anyhow.. It was nevertheless a very joyful morning 🙂

9. I am grateful that I took the bus after the breakfast to go to the office. the bus literally arrived 1 minutes after I arrived to the bus stop – was I lucky today or what ? 🙂

10. I am grateful that I have taken care of two small but important emails/tasks in a short time, but after that i decided it was time I had some social interactions. So, I went to see a friend of mine – she just moved into a beautiful building with a nice office. I grabbed some chocolates and teas. We both were tired, overwhelmed by work, and had low energy levels. For some reason, we started talking about second hand stores and she said we should go now! what else do I want! of course. and there we went.

11. I am grateful for this second hand store – I have a thing for this kind of stores. They almost always have interesting stuff, one can find nice stuff at a very affordable price, and purchasing things from these stores helps the charity and recycling of items. I bought 5 different books in great condition and I am very excited about them 🙂 I also bought a nice jacket. Unbelievable 🙂 !

12. I am grateful that my friend gave me  ride home and I then bought myself a nice meal as a present.

13. I am grateful for my friend.

14. I am grateful for being able to buy myself a dinner.

15. I am grateful for reading my books tonite, which relaxes me.

16. I am grateful that I have made some healthy choices of food, even though not completely healthy. I am working on it, resisting the temptation to go back to completely unhealthy eating.

17. I am grateful that writing this post made me feel relieved and positive. Joy is here, however temporary it may be….

have a joyful weekend 🙂

problems; how important they are?

Like anyone else, I have things to think about, resolve, or worry about.

A friend of mine lost her father to cancer last year. I was talking to her after a couple of months, and she was still devastated and sad. yet for some reason she asked about my life, I happened to complain about my own issues. Then I had realized that was so inconsiderate of me – she had lost her dad and my problems were so minor compared to hers.

When I told my friend I was sorry I was bragging about such unimportant things, my friend said something that I cannot forget; she said “There is no little or big problem; problem is problem and how you feel is how you feel. If something trivial makes you feel like sh.t, you feel like sh.t and no one can argue that you should not feel this way, just because it is a little issue according to them, or relatively to others problems.”

That was such an amazing understanding and compassion on my friend’s side. And a great moment for me.

I have problems; big or small does not matter, but right now they are important for me.

Are they more important than having a serious health issue or losing someone I love and care?

No.

Do they hurt me now?

Yes.

Will I be okay?

Eventually, yes.

breaking the routine – March 14, 2015

I have not made any attempt to break my routine today, which is not pleasing me in any way. But one of my friends invited me to an Irish music band show, which I gladly accepted. It was fun to be with my friends, have nice and funny conversations, and to not spend my evening at home, as I usually do.

Friends are awesome!

They also gave me the idea that the theatre where the show was tonite actually have other activities all around the year. It is just 10 minutes away from home. How about that?

Friends are awesome in so many different ways!

tolerating unacceptable behaviour of friends

There is something about tolerating unacceptable behaviour of friends and others we interact in our daily life. For example, rudeness; a good and a long-time friend of mine can get so rude time to time and can even talk “insultfull” that despite all the support and other goodness I get from this person, I sometimes just want to cut our ties. I want that person to disappear and stop the rarely uttered but nevertheless impactful and unnecessary rudeness from my life.

Friendship requires effort, love, support and understanding. Yet when one side starts treating you like s..t, it may be a good idea to show your reaction rather than tolerating whatever is bothering you. Let them either fix themselves or disappear. Life is short. We do not need this s..t.

My take on 2014

My take on 2014 is:

family is great.

long-term and solid friends are the best.

work is endless and as such does not deserve my entire time.

my heart first expanded to the size of Atlantic Ocean, then sank to the bottom, and now it does not matter.

and now I am writing; no words to be unuttered, no emotion unendured, no wishes unblessed, and no day unspoken for.

holiday plans – the change is here

Here are my plans for the 12 days off till after the new year;

1. I will have breakfast every single morning – you got it right; every single morning I will go to my favourite cafe and order my favourite breakfast with coffee. That is my dream!

2. The delightful breakfast will be followed by a visit to my favourite book store close by; I can find beautiful books, buy or browse them as I please. Cannot think about a more lovely time spent.

3. I will walk around, maybe check the shops, see whether there is something interesting I may be interested in. Now that I will have spare time, I will take my time going through the stuff and fully engage my mind with whatever is at my hand. A great mental break – lovely.

4. I will call and visit some of my good friends – I am really looking forward to this! Everybody including me is so relaxed during the holidays that it is a perfect time to enjoy each others’ company and laughter.

5. I will go to the malls and check all the sales I can find – now that is one perfect time to find the best items at an affordable price. Since time is not an issue, I can explore in more detail and find and purchase those that I may like. I really would appreciate getting new shirts and trousers for winter.

6. I will visit the thrifty store, too. There are so many stuff that are interesting in such stores. Especially household items, such as old china or kitchen tools and furniture. I have been always fascinated by the fact that if I want to have a sense of the past of the city I am in, the old items, either at houses belonging to the people, or those who are dumped at the thrifty stores, are an excellent way to do so.

7. I would like to knit a nice toque this holiday season – based on my past experience if I can decide of what kind of toque to knit, I can produce it in a single day. I think it will be red and orange yes the colours that give energy during the winter. Great idea.

8. I will clean my house really well – starting the 2nd floor rooms which are much easier to clean. I will clean the floors well – they are in good condition but a little bit of deeper cleaning would be nice to protect them from permanent dust.

9. I will de-clutter the house – yes I will. I can keep things but not those which are not needed any more. That will help my house breathe better; it will refresh it, it will energize it. Together with the unwanted/unneeded items, I will also dump my old scars and painful memories. As I create space for new items at my house, I will also open space for new beginnings and memories. That is the most exciting of all the activities I plan to do during the holidays. This will lift my heart and my mind.

10. I will start implementing better and healthier life style. I am usually okay in terms of eating good and at least walking every single day, but I can do a lot better. I will start daily light weight exercises, I will stop eating refined carbs, and I will start breathing and relaxing with music more.

11. I will call my friends and family members to catch up with people important for me.

12. I will donate the books I am not reading any more.

13. I will clean my email inbox; ever year this is one of the best practices I follow – just delete the unnecessary/temporary emails, organize and store the others that are important. Open space for new emails, new developments, new important communications! Open space! Awesome – so exciting 🙂

14. I will shuffle the furniture around a little bit – I would like see my home a little bit different – just to have a mental stimulation, a fresh look, a statement of “change is here”. You would not believe how useful this kind of changes are in making more profound changes in our lives. Go ahead, change something and find in yourself the courage and wish to change other aspects, whether it is relationship, habit, life-style, or hobbies.

15. I will review my year and note all things that I have been grateful for. That is a great exercise not only to feel grateful, but also to appreciate the year that is ending and to welcome the new one with hope and positivity.

joy journal – Dec 13, 2014

today has been a mixture of exciting and worrying events and news. Nevertheless, I will keep it up and try to see the positive side of the things.

1. I am grateful for sleeping till late – I woke up at 11 am; too late for me but it was quite resting. I am happy that my mind and my body got to get a break.

2. I am grateful for the warm weather – it was rainy a little bit but not too much.

3. I am grateful for trying the new cafe house close to my house – it is fresh and nice. During winter when the roads are snowy or icy, I may as well just go there rather than my usual cafe that requires a little bit walking.

4. I am grateful for taking the bus and going to shop. I loved it – I bought a number of stuff I liked or needed, which made the entire afternoon well spent.

5. I am grateful for buying glass plates that I had liked so much a couple of weeks ago – I had two and now bought four; I can serve dinner in these plates.

6. I am grateful for the porcelain mid-size long and thin plates I bought today; I can serve stuff in them. As a matter of fact, I served myself some food in one of them. It makes a difference – felt like a good treat. well done.

7. I am grateful for the  gift bags and gifts I have bought today – one for a good friend of mine and the other for my neighbour. I am sure they will like the gifts. The gift bags are particularly nice – I should get more. It is a delight to use them.

8. I am grateful for the salad I have had this evening – greens and with lemon-olive oil dressing. Very healthy.

9. I am grateful for carrying my shopping items with me – they were heavy but I know carrying heavy stuff around (without hurting myself) is a good way to strengthen my bones.

10. I am grateful for catching up with three of my high school friends – we had not talked for a while; everyone is all right and all is good.

11. I am grateful for the Saturday night – it is quiet and peaceful. It is still young. I can spend it reading books or watching TV or talking to my friends. There is freedom in it.

12. I am grateful for the second coffee I had today – shopping and drinking coffee; yes, it feels good.

13. I am grateful for missing to go to the book store; I could not go today so I really want to go visit it tomorrow. Maybe I will find a great book to read.

14. I am grateful for not rushing to clean and tidy up my home after returning back from shopping. I rather decided to enjoy my evening by a fine dinner and chatting with my friends.

15. I am grateful for tomorrow being Sunday – I have one more day just for myself.

16. I am grateful for the backpack I have – it is so useful during shopping. It does take quite a bit of stuff and make it easy to carry especially heavy things.

17. I am grateful for my house being warm during this early winter day.

18. I am grateful for writing what I am grateful for – it does reinforce the positivity and positive memories.

Go ahead, make yourself tired real good for once!

I am mad.

I know someone, who for his work travels a lot. A LOT. In the last few weeks I am not sure how many states he has been to, often with flights as little as 12 hours apart. Now he says he is about to board a trans-atlantic flight.

Since I am not comfortable talking to him, but I do care about him, I will say it here. He may not know what I think, but at last I have this chance to get it out of my system.

Go ahead, make yourself tired real good for once!!! Get burnt out. Get cold. No heart attack or a serious issue, but something manageable. Maybe you will stop killing yourself. Maybe this time people in your life will, instead of clapping, talk to you out of hurting yourself for your career.

she was difficult to deal with

she was difficult to deal with

weird, and quick to get mad

and when mad, she spoke harsh

over small things we would fight

yet she never stopped fuelling my dreams

except when it was hard on me

then she would show her attitude

expecting me to have gratitude

I completely ignored her

I took no steps to see

nor called to ask how she was

though she did contact me

over the years time to time

she passed away lately

after a long illness I was told

I wonder why she never told me;

come to think about it

I never happened to ask her her life

the attention was always on me

———————————————————————–

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end content

—————————————————————————————–

two nights ago

a thought crossed my mind

“this will end one day”

it said

realizing the truth in it

maybe for the first time so naked

I felt the urge to live and panicked

I did know that

I would either regret

not having been with you

or be content

knowing that I did love you

I will not get to choose

which one will show up in my mind

to prevent the regret

forgetting you till then

would be the best

yet I will take the risk

I wish to end content

—————————————————————————————–

Kate’s short story – XVI

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the poem of heart

———————————————-
we all were wrong

it started as a joke
then stuck around
yet I got it serious
and I was into it
maybe it was your joy
may be your loveliness
for whatever reason there I was
waiting you

one fall evening
you gave me a flower
finally thought
you would ask me out
waiting long enough

I asked a friend
“T, do you think he likes me?”
he said with sadness

“no, he does not”
my heart sank…
we all were wrong
and I was
the last one to know
———————————————

Kate’s short story-IV

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